Why Ambassadors Are Leaving Plexus, the Once-Popular MLM


Sep. 7 2023, Published 4:01 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Plexus, which sells health and wellness products, was once a popular MLM company.
  • Many former Plexus ambassadors are leaving the company, with some even claiming that it ruined their lives.
  • Some users have also alleged that Plexus' products don't really live up to their claims.

If you've spent any time on social media during the 2010s, you've no doubt encountered the posts. Claims that you can boost your immunity, lose weight, and find other health benefits through Plexus products are sprinkled in with testimonials by so-called "ambassadors" of the company.

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But many Plexus acolytes have stopped raving about the supposed benefits of its supplements and products, and you'll even find Reddit threads dedicated to ranting against the company. So why is everyone leaving Plexus?

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What is Plexus?

With a name that sounds vaguely scientific, Plexus is a direct-sales company that primarily manufactures health and wellness products. Its products are marketed as promoting gut health, skin care, weight management, general nutrition, and other aspects of health.

Plexus products include Plexus Slim Hunger Control, which claims to help with weight loss by controlling hunger; Plexus Block, which claims to block absorption of sugar and carbohydrates; and Plexus Bio Cleanse, which claims to aid in digestion.

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Plexus is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. This means it operates on person-to-person sales (also called direct marketing or network marketing). The FTC says that MLMs may pay salespeople both from product sale commissions and recruitment of new distributors, but if they only pay based on recruitment, they are a pyramid scheme.

four women smiling with their bottles of Plexus Pink Drink
Source: Plexus Worldwide/Facebook

Photos of happy friends using Plexus products are key to its marketing strategy.

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Why is everyone leaving Plexus?

Well, the fact that Plexus is a MLM should provide a pretty big clue. Even though MLMs are technically legal, they're typically shady businesses. The FTC even warns that "most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money." A study by AARP found that 47 percent of MLM participants lost money, while another 27 percent didn't make any money.

Plexus claims to be a company where you can earn great money while working flexibly and improving your health. However, as Start Business Tips explains, it's very pyramid-like in that the top few distributors earn exponentially more than the lowest tier of distributors.

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Here are a few of the most common reasons cited for leaving the Plexus business:

  • Questionable recruitment and sales tactics
  • Small percentage of members earn good money
  • Misleading product claims (Plexus even received a warning from the FTC in 2020 for representatives making unfounded health claims during the pandemic)
  • No third-party certification or research
  • Expensive for distributors who must buy products themselves
  • Lack of FDA approval.
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Check online for "how Plexus ruined my life" testimonials.

Searching Reddit for threads related to r/antiMLM will yield a lot of stories of how Plexus has harmed people's lives. One Reddit user posted in 2018 about having offered to purchase Plexus items to help her brother, but then learning her brother had signed her up as an ambassador without asking. She ended by saying, "The immoral people who run these MLMs are destroying lives and they don't care."

Another Reddit user asked, "How can I get my girlfriend out of Plexus?" The tl;dr version of the post reads: "Girlfriend is deep in Plexus. She thinks it's working, I'm convinced it's other things. She's trying to sell me on it, I decline. She's getting in the hole financially because of it, and I want to help her get out. How do I do this?"

Despite the many who believe Plexus is a scam, the company still has its loyal members commenting on social media about how much they love the products.

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