Is Monat a Legit MLM or Pyramid Scheme? [Review]

I used to sell Monat stuff online. It was a big deal for me in my online business journey. At first, I was really excited about the idea of making lots of money and being my own boss. But as time went on, I realized it wasn’t as simple as it seemed.

In this review, I’ll tell you all about my time with Monat. I’ll talk about the products they sell, how they pay their sellers, and what it’s really like to work with them. I’ll be honest about the good stuff and the not-so-good stuff.

After trying it out for a while, I decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. So, I moved on to focus on my blog instead. But I learned a lot along the way, and I want to share that with you. If you’re thinking about getting into MLMs like Monat, stick around. I’ll give you the inside scoop based on my own experiences.

What is Monat? 



Monat is a company that sells haircare and skincare stuff online. It started in 2014 by Luis Urdaneta and now, Rayner Urdaneta and Stuart A. MacMillan run it.

MacMillan was once in charge of a Ponzi scheme, which worries some people. Monat sells its products through “Market Partners” who earn money by selling stuff and getting more people to join the team. The more folks they bring in, the more money they make.

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What Are The Monat Products? 

Monat Products

Monat sells stuff for your hair, face, and keeping healthy. They’ve got lots of hair care stuff, like shampoo that costs about $40 and conditioner for around $47. That’s a bit more expensive than other brands. Lately, they’ve been dealing with some legal issues.

What is MLM and is Monat an MLM?

MLM stands for multi-level marketing, a way to make money by selling stuff and bringing in new people. Monat is one of these MLM companies.

Here’s how it works: Instead of getting paid a regular salary, you earn cash by selling products to friends and family and by getting others to join the business. You make money not just from your own sales, but also from the sales and new recruits of the people you sign up. This creates a chain of earnings that spreads out over several levels, forming a network.

In this setup, the folks you recruit become your “downline,” and you become their “upline.” The aim is to grow a big downline because you get a cut of the sales made by everyone under you.

While you can make money by selling products, many folks in MLMs focus more on recruiting because it can lead to a long-term income without much effort. This encourages people to aim for a big downline to earn money without working too hard.

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What is a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is kind of like a multi-level marketing (MLM) setup, but there’s a big difference: In MLM, reps can make money by selling stuff and bringing in new members. But in a pyramid scheme, folks pay money to join and hope to make big bucks by getting others to sign up too.

Here’s the tricky part: When more and more people join, it gets tough to find new recruits. Eventually, there aren’t enough new folks to keep the money flowing, and most people end up losing out. Think about it like this: If every single person on Earth got roped into the scheme, it just wouldn’t work!

Because most folks can’t make money in pyramid schemes, they’re actually against the law. MLMs, on the other hand, are totally legal because they let you earn by selling real products, not just by bringing in new members.

But here’s the thing: Some pyramid schemes pretend to be legit MLMs by selling products. If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) figures out that most of the money is coming from recruiting, they’ll shut it down faster than you can say “scam.”

Is Monat A Pyramid Scheme?

According to the FTC, Monat isn’t considered a pyramid scheme. But let’s check if it behaves like one:

Can most people profit?

Monat’s Income Disclosure shows 94% of its members make only $35 yearly after costs. Most spend more than they earn.

Do you need to buy products to earn?

Signing up costs over $100, and the system incentivizes reps to buy and sell products, making them the main customers.

Is recruitment crucial for success?

While you’re not paid to recruit directly, higher ranks and earnings depend heavily on growing a team.

So, while Monat isn’t labeled a pyramid scheme, its model raises concerns similar to one.

Learn more about the differences between MLM and pyramid scheme

Why Is Monat Facing Multiple Lawsuits?

Monat is in trouble because folks are saying their stuff makes hair fall out and messes up scalps. People feel like Monat didn’t tell them the truth about how safe their products are.

Plus, their way of selling things, called multi-level marketing, is causing legal problems too. But despite all this, Monat is still running, backed by folks who trust their products and how they do business. Some folks are even questioning if it’s a pyramid scheme.

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How Do People Make Money With Monat?

People make money with Monat by doing two main things:

  1. Selling Monat’s products: You can earn money by selling the products offered by Monat to customers who are interested in them.

  2. Recruiting others to join the company: Another way to make money is by inviting other people to become part of Monat as independent distributors. This is often more profitable in multi-level marketing setups like Monat, where you can earn commissions not only from your own sales but also from the sales made by those you recruit and the people they recruit.

So, by selling products and recruiting others, you can earn money with Monat.

How Much You Can Earn By Joining Monat? 

Joining Monat might mean you can make money by selling their products. But, lots of people in companies like Monat don’t end up earning anything. Here’s how it works:

If you become a market partner, you can earn 30% of the price for each product you sell. But if you sell to VIP customers who get a 15% discount, your commission is 15% instead. To become a VIP, you have to pay $19.99, keep up with two flex ship orders, and buy some products when you enroll.

If you get four VIPs to sign up in a month, you’ll get a $60 bonus to make up for the lower commission. You can earn more commission if you sell more stuff. To get a 10% bonus and a 25% commission on your VIPs, you need to sell about $3500 worth of stuff every month.

So, you need to convince people to become VIPs to make around $875 each month. And you have to keep buying or selling $200 worth of Monat products every month to stay active as a market partner.

Ranking Up By Recruiting People To Monat 

Getting promoted in Monat means getting more people to join as partners, which can earn you more money than just selling products. Many MLM companies work this way.

Monat has 11 ranks with different bonuses like Uni-level, Group Volume, Rank Advancement, Rank Advancement Matching, Motor Club, and Generation bonuses, but the exact pay details for recruiting are not clear.

The more people you bring in, the more you can make, although understanding the payment system might be confusing.

Succeeding in Monat means being good at convincing friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers to join. If you’re okay with that, Monat could be a good option for you.

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Does Monat Give Its Members Cadillacs?

No, Monat doesn’t give out Cadillacs. Instead, they offer a motor club program like other multi-level marketing companies. When you reach the “Market Mentor” rank, you can get payments for a white Cadillac. Here’s how it works:

  • You’ll get a one-time $1500 USD payment, plus monthly payments depending on your rank:
    • Market Mentor and Managing Market Mentor: $500
    • Associate Executive Director and Executive Director: $750
    • Senior Executive Director: $1,000

But, you have to handle your own car payments, and you must stay as a Market Mentor to keep getting payments. If you drop below this rank, you have a two-month grace period per year, but they can’t be back-to-back. If you miss the rank for a second month in a row, you won’t get any money from Monat.

Also, Monat doesn’t pay for everything like registration, insurance, and gas. So, while it gives incentives, you still have to think about ongoing car expenses.

How much does it cost to be a Monat Market Partner?

To become a Monat Market Partner, you’ll need to pay:

  • $49 for the sign-up fee, which you renew every year.
  • $99 for the Starter Kit. This kit has different materials and samples.
  • You can also choose to buy product packs if you want. They range from $199 to $799. These packs include the Starter Kit and products at a discount.

To keep earning money and commissions, you need to stay active. That means you have to maintain a 200 PV (approximately $200) monthly. You can do this by buying products, making sales, or recruiting others.

Some Market Partners end up buying products themselves if they don’t make enough sales. So, even if you don’t buy products, joining Monat costs at least $148.

In 2018, most Market Partners earned only about $183. So, it might be tough to make a lot of money with Monat.

Final Thoughts

Monat works a lot like other MLMs, really pushing recruiting and most sales ending up with its own reps. Because it’s expensive to join and focuses a lot on recruiting, it’s tough for most folks to earn. Stats say 94% make less than $200 a year, and only 1 in 909 does alright.

While it’s not called a pyramid scheme officially, it seems like it might not last. It’s probably best not to sign up as a Monat Market Partner.

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1. What are direct sales companies?

Direct sales companies are businesses that sell products or services directly to consumers through independent sales representatives instead of traditional stores.

2. What is a network marketing company?

A network marketing company, also called a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, relies on independent distributors to sell its products. These distributors earn commissions based on their sales and the sales of others they recruit.

3. Is Monat a Ponzi Scheme?

No, Monat is not considered a Ponzi scheme, although it has faced criticism and legal challenges regarding its business practices.

4. Is Monat still in business?

Yes, Monat is still operating.

5. Do you have to pay to sell Monat?

Yes, to become a Monat Market Partner, you need to pay a $49 website fee and buy a $99 Starter Kit. Additionally, purchasing a Product Pack, starting at $199, is encouraged.

6. Is Monat a scam?

Monat is not a scam, but the notion that joining as a Market Partner is a good business opportunity is misleading.

Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

Looking for a better way to make money online? Forget about Monat and listen up! My top recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate.

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Curious about how much you can earn? Well, let me tell you about a student who made over $7,000 in just one week with Wealthy Affiliate. Yep, you read that right—$1,000 a day!

Better Way to Make Money Online

Wealthy Affiliate has been around for 15 years and has over a million members. It’s a legit and popular platform with tons of success stories.

Ready to give it a try? Signing up is easy. There’s a free membership with lots of perks, like access to the community, training modules, live chat, and more. If you want even more goodies, you can upgrade to premium for $49 a month or $395 a year.

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Other MLM Opportunities

Here are the other MLM companies we have reviewed:


Amway (Full Review)


Market America (Full Review)


Primerica (Full Review)


Herbalife (Full Review)


Mary Kay (Full Review)


Vector Marketing (Full Review)


Enagic (Full Review)


World Financial Group (Full Review)


Nu Skin (Full Review)


Q Sciences (Full Review)

See our list of the best MLM Companies.

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