Is it a pyramid scheme? Yeah, pretty much. I mean technically it's multilevel marketing...but the outcome is essentially the same.
You're paying a company to sell their products for them, basically. I have so many friends involved in this stuff that I can hardly believe it. And yet only one is truly doing well for herself and that's because she's recruited so many people to work for her on her "team" that she makes money off of them, too. But you can bet most of those friends she's gotten into it are losing money or at best not making very much. I have ethical issues with that, but clearly she does not...so I guess it depends on your own standards.
I think even at the most basic level you can get really close to exploiting friends and putting strains on relationships. I've actually had friends beg to me order something they're selling so they can meet that month/quarter's requirements and they can keep selling. And that's AFTER they've already dumped some of their own money into the order. It's silliness. I'd rather someone straight up ask me to borrow $20 than keep themselves going in the same vicious circle. I think a lot of people do truly like the products they sell but it's not lucrative for a vast majority of the people doing it. If you're cool spending X amount of dollars to keep your status if you don't get many orders in any particular time period, then it might not be so bad. But if you're looking to actually make some money and a consistent income then you're barking up the wrong tree, for sure.
Personally I wouldn't touch this stuff with a 1000ft pole, I would direct your time and effort to something a little more reliable.