Is MONAT a Scam? [May Your Hair Beware.] – Dec. 2019 Update

Interested in possibly joining the Monat opportunity because of all the benefits you’ve heard about? Maybe you’re even thinking of joining just for the discount. I’m glad you’re looking into it first because we’re going to answer the question, “Is Monat a scam, or a legitimate opportunity?”

Monat is a fairly new Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company on the market, but they are already having their fair share of trouble. Or should I say, their fair share of hair nightmares?

And we’re also going to talk about some lawsuits that they’re facing and why.

Let’s dig in and see what Monat is all about.


Summary: Monat is short for “Modern Nature” and is a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company started in 2014 by a father and son team. Monat includes a line of hair care products that they claim to restore and rejuvenate hair and prevent hair loss. Monat products are sold by independent distributors (called Market Partners) mostly via social media.

Recommended? I do not recommend anyone join the Monat opportunity as an easy way to make money from home. While it’s tempting to be drawn into the lavish lifestyle that Monat distributors seem to enjoy, the reality is that almost everyone loses money in an MLM. Not only that, but Monat is currently in several lawsuits due to their products allegedly causing hair loss and skin issues.



What Is Monat?

Is Monat a Scam? Their homepage is very professional.

Monat is an MLM company that was started in October 2014 by father-and-son duo Luis and Ray Urdaneta. Monat is short for “Modern Nature” and mostly refers to its most-distinguished ingredient called Rejuvenique oil, which is a combination of 11 different essential oils.

The Rejuvenique oil is contained in all but one of MONAT’s products and is used to help with hair loss. Which is very ironic as we’ll discover later.

Like other MLM companies, Monat uses independent distributors (who they call Marketing Partners) who go out and sell the product for them. Unlike most MLMs, you don’t actually hold inventory because Monat drop ships the product directly to the consumer.


The Monat Opportunity

Here’s a video of a couple of Monat’s Marketing Partners who can tell you about this “ground floor” opportunity. (This video is a couple of years old. I think that the ground floor is crumbling pretty badly by now.)

As they mentioned, there are 3 ways you can be a part of Monat:

  1. Retail Customer. You just buy the Monat products from their site or from a Market Partner at full retail.
  2. VIP Member. You get the products at a discount of 15% off the retail price.
  3. Marketing Partner. You get the products at a discount of 30% off the retail price and you can sell Monat.

For the Monat Opportunity, you would pay $99 to become a Market Partner (plus a recurring yearly fee). More details about the opportunity are below.

The Monat Compensation Plan

Every MLM needs to have a complicated compensation plan, and Monat is no different. This video gives a simplified breakdown of the compensation plan, but it’s still confusing:

Here’s a breakdown of what the video mentioned.

Market Partner:

  • Makes about $87 / month
  • Level 1 = gets commissions of 15% – 30% on sales, and 7% of sales on anyone who joins below you

Managing Market Partner:

  • Makes about $418 / month
  • Needs 2 active downlines, 300 PV (personal volume), 1200 GV (group volume)
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 10% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 3% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level 

Associate Market Builder:

  • Makes about $713 / month
  • Needs 3 active downlines, 400 PV, and 2400 GV
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 12% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 5% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level

Market Builder:

  • Makes about $1009 / month
  • Needs 4 active downlines (including 1 Managing Market Partner line), 500 PV, and 4000 GV
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 12% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 6% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level
  • Level 3 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 3% of sales on anyone on your 3rd level

Managing Market Builder:

  • Makes about $1602 / month
  • Needs 4 active downlines (including 2 Managing Market Partner lines), 500 PV, and 7000 GV
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 12% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 7% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level
  • Level 3 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 5% of sales on anyone on your 3rd level
  • Level 4 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 3% of sales on anyone on your 4th level
  • GV Bonus = 2%

Associate Market Mentor:

  • Makes about $2542 / month
  • Needs 4 active downlines (including 1 Managing Market Partner line and 1 Managing Market Builder line), 500 PV, and 7000 GV
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 12% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 7% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level
  • Level 3 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 5% of sales on anyone on your 3rd level
  • Level 4 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 3% of sales on anyone on your 4th level
  • GV Bonus = 2%
  • Gen Bonus = 4%

Market Mentor: 

  • Makes about $4907 / month
  • Needs 4 active downlines (including 2 Managing Market Builder lines), 500 PV, and 30,000 GV
  • Level 1 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 12% of sales on anyone on your team below you
  • Level 2 = gets standard sales commissions, plus 7% of sales on anyone on your 2nd level
  • Level 3 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 5% of sales on anyone on your 3rd level
  • Level 4 – gets standard sales commissions, plus 3% of sales on anyone on your 4th level
  • GV Bonus = 2%
  • Gen Bonus = 4%
  • Gen Bonus = 2%

At the Market Mentor level you qualify to get a car payment for a Cadillac. I didn’t research the exact payment plan that Monat offers, but we learned in the article Is Arbonne a Scam? that the car payment can end up being quite a burden instead of a bonus.

There are additional levels after that. I took this screen shot from the video posted above:

MONAT's levels.

Why are MLM compensation plans so complicated? There’s something else I noticed about this that really makes me think…

It makes me think, “Why would anyone in their right mind want to do this?

But we’ll get back to that a little later.


How Much Does it Cost to Join Monat?

In order to get started as a Marketing Partner for Monat, it costs $99 with an annual $49.99 renewal fee. The $99 gets you a Monat Starter Pack, which includes:

  • SMART Start Workbook, which explains the different Monat products and systems
  • Roadmap to get you started the right way
  • Online training materials
  • Product samples
  • Brochures to help you market different aspects of the business
  • Your own Monat website

As a Market Partner, you get 30% off the retail prices of the products.

Certainly $99 isn’t a lot to spend to start a business. But you also need to hit a PV every month to qualify for higher ranks.

From my experience with MLMs, 1 PV usually (but not always) = $1. So that’s about $200 per month. You can get that through orders, but if you’re having trouble getting orders, you’ll be forking over that money yourself.

And you’ll likely be pushed by your upline to order lots of products, possibly even more than the 200 PV. So that you can “be the brand” and know what all the products are like and can sell them better.

(And psst. That’s also how your upline makes money. They make it from the people in their downline buying products. They don’t make their money via retail sales. Just think about it.)


How Much Money Can You Make with Monat?

According to the compensation plan information I mentioned above, the average amount of money you make per level rises as your level rises.

The average amount you make, according to that YouTube video, as a Market Partner is $87. And it goes all the way up to over $100k at the top level.

I know what you’re thinking. “Wow! That’s a lot for an easy, stay-at-home job.”

My reaction was the opposite, honestly. As a Market Mentor, which is getting pretty high up in the ranks, you ONLY make $4700 per month on average. (And this is just a huge guess since they don’t have an actual income disclosure.)

The reason why I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind would do this is because this ISN’T an easy, work-from-home job despite what the opportunity videos show you. You have to constantly be recruiting and training, recruiting and training.

And because the turnover is extremely high in MLMs, you’ll have to do that for quite a while to get those numbers to start rising. Can you handle recruiting and training over and over and over again?

Most people can’t, and that’s why they fail. (And why the turnover numbers are so high.)

Again, it’s your choice, but you should really think about how much work you have to put into this business in order to get some return. While $4700 is a nice amount of money, it’s a LOT of effort to get there.

To make matters worse, here’s Monat’s income disclosure from their Canadian Compensation Plan (it’s on the very last page):

MONAT earnings.

In case you can’t read that, it basically says that someone who has at least achieved Managing Market Partner makes between Cdn $22 – $1188. Per YEAR.

And that’s before expenses.

Yikes.


Monat Good Reviews & Complaints

If you take a look at the Better Business Bureau website, Monat gets an A- rating, which is pretty good. But it’s interesting when you read the list of complaints because they tell another story.

The biggest complaint is that customers are receiving unwanted shipments of products.

To be fair, it looks like these customers signed up as VIP members, which requires them to have 3 Flexship orders, which are automatic shipments. If they don’t get all three orders and want to cancel, they are charged a fee.

This is likely a case of people not reading the terms before ordering. At the same time, a company needs to disclose that well enough so that customers don’t get confused.

Here’s an example of one of these complaints (this one was resolved by Monat):

Monat Complaint.

Here’s another interesting complaint from a Market Partner. She talks about how the products made her hair start to fall out. We’ll get back to that more in a minute.

This complaint is long, so this is just a snippet, but you can read the entire thing at the BBB website link I’ve posted above.

Another Monat Complaint

Here’s an interesting video of an ex-Market Partner:

There are a couple of happy customers at TrustPilot.com. These reviews say that the products are great and have helped restore their hair. It’s honestly a little hard to find positive reviews from people who aren’t selling the product.

Monat Lawsuits

As I mentioned above, one of the claims that Monat makes is that their products help with hair loss. I said that was ironic because they actually have several lawsuits from people claiming that the products have caused them to lose hair. (Monat is suing back for some of these claims.)

Here is a list of lawsuits going on from the site mlmnewsreport.com.

Here’s an ABC news report about Monat products causing hair loss:

Here’s YouTuber Monica talking about Monat. Toward the end of the video she explains a little more why Monat is suing a woman for defamation when she started a Facebook group for people who’s hair was falling out (allegedly) due to their products:


Is Monat a Scam or Legit?

Monat is not a scam. And Monat is also not a pyramid scheme, although many would argue that it’s extremely close to one. Because Monat sells actual products, they can get away with not being considered an actual pyramid scheme.

But because making an income with Monat mostly relies on recruiting people onto your team, this makes it very, very close to being a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are always destined to collapse at some point.

Pros

  • $99 to get started is relatively inexpensive
  • There is a (tiny) chance you could make a good amount of money with this
  • Some people do enjoy the products and think they are good
  • Don’t need to hold inventory

Cons

  • Most people make very little money if any at all (most people lose money in MLMs)
  • In order to make money in an MLM, the people at the bottom have to lose money in order for the people at the top to make money
  • Recruiting and training is NOT an easy work-from-home job
  • There are several lawsuits against Monat
  • There are many complaints from people that the products made their hair fall out
  • Many people have complained about the autoship program and that it’s very hard to cancel

Selling via Social Media

Monat doesn’t push home parties. Instead, they do their selling through social media. I talked about this in the article, Is Younique a Scam? Younique also does its selling through social media, and this is touted as a benefit.

I can understand that it sounds like a big benefit. You can do all of your selling from the comfort of your home right on your phone!

But the issue that I’ve seen brought up, and one that I mentioned in the Younique article is that when you’re selling to your online social circle unless it’s HUGE, the people that you recruit will have the same social circle.

That means that you’ll be trying to recruit from the same pool of people. Eventually, this is going to backfire on you unless you can find a brand new social circle.

In the video I posted above with the woman who left Monat, she mentioned something really strange. Apparently, when you’re promoting Monat, you’re not supposed to show the logo.

I tried to research more about it, but I didn’t find anything except this thread on Reddit.

Isn’t that odd? The woman in the video said that if someone asks three times what the name of the product is, you’re supposed to tell them “Modern Nature”.

Does Monat not want people to know their name? Maybe because, as one Redditor mentioned, when you Google their name, you get a lot of information about their lawsuits?

Shady.


Conclusion

While Monat is technically not a scam, it’s definitely an MLM that borders on being a pyramid scheme. And you should really think about whether it’s a good idea to join before you go all in.

As with most MLMs, something like 99% of people in them lose money. Remember, that’s how people at the top make money. Not only that but it takes seriously HARD work to get anywhere in an MLM.

If you like a lazier way of doing business with more income potential and less investment, then I would recommend learning about affiliate marketing.

Read why I chose affiliate marketing over being in an MLM.

There’s no inventory, recruiting, phone calls, training, team meetings, home parties and you never have to post on Instagram if you don’t want. You don’t even have to tell your friends and family what you’re up to.

You can read my free guide, How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners for more information.


December 2019 Update – Monat’s New Policy

Monat recently sent out an email talking about their new policy for distributors. Distributors are no longer allowed to talk about income potential when talking about Monat. Here’s Emily Leah’s video. She reads the entire email that was sent out:

Distributors cannot talk about or post on social media:

  • Income claims
  • Income potential
  • Lavish lifestyle claims

The email talks about how this is especially important if you’re in the top 10% or 1% of all Monat Market Partners. The email brings up Advocare and Nerium. Advocare was recently charged as being a Pyramid Scheme by the FTC, and Neora (formerly Nerium) is being looked into – again.

Is Monat afraid that they’ll be next? They should be, as well as just about every other MLM out there. Because they all operate almost the same way.

If you’re thinking of joining Monat or any other MLM, I would really think about that. The FTC seems to be taking a real close look at these companies lately…

Summary
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4 thoughts on “Is MONAT a Scam? [May Your Hair Beware.] – Dec. 2019 Update”

  1. Christina, this is definitely a complete review of Monat. I have never been a fan of multilevel marketing companies as they all seem a bit scammy with having people pay to join and then you really work your butt off for the higher ups. Only the best at the top of the pyramid. Thanks for the review and I will steer clear.

    Reply
    • I know people who are in Monat will probably disagree and say it’s the best thing ever, but I think I’ve presented enough evidence to prove otherwise. I don’t blame you for staying away. 

      Reply
  2. Thanks for this excellent review on monat  and I’m glad I got detailed information on what I was about to get myself involved in. Firstly, I was never told it is an MLM scheme, because if I had known, I would have never gotten myself involved in it. I lost a lot of money to MLM business in the past and I don’t want such to repeat itself again. Also, a product line like this being sued to court doesn’t award too much credibility and as such, I will just stay off it altogether. Thanks

    Reply
    • It’s probably a good idea to not get involved with Monat. I know some people do very well in MLMs, but they’re few and far between. And yes, the lawsuits don’t help their case…

      Reply

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