If you’re thinking of starting up your own health supplements business and you’re looking at Herbalife as a means to grow that business, you’re in the right place. In this Herbalife MLM Review we’ll be taking a really close look at this MLM business opportunity.
Herbalife is quite a well-known brand of health supplements and you’ve probably heard of this brand even if you don’t really have much interest in MLM companies themselves. Herbalife sells all kinds of allegedly healthy potions and pills and obviously by the name of the brand, herbal is what it’s all about.
This review, however, is going to be focused mainly on the MLM business side of Herbalife that gives you the opportunity to sell their products as a distributor. It is not going to be focused on the efficacy of their products, no matter how good or how bad they are.
We’ll look at what will be expected of you if you join Herbalife as a distributor, what the compensation plan is like, if the MLM scheme is a good one or not and we’ll also look at the pros and cons, too. Well done on doing your due diligence, by the way, because it’s always best to check out Herbalife MLM reviews before jumping in with both feet.
Table of Contents
What is Herbalife?
In 1980, Mark Hughes founded Herbalife in Los Angeles, California. Herbalife employs around 9000 people globally and their business model is multi-level marketing which is often times very, very similar to a pyramid scheme or a ponzi scheme.
Herbalife products are available in around 95 countries and territories around the world and claim to have over 4.5 million distributors and members.
Back in the early 1980s, Herbalife focused on marketing weight loss products. In fact, one of their very first products was a protein shake that was to help people lose weight. Herbalife gradually expanded its product range to include fitness products, anti-aging products, and women’s health products, among others.
Interestingly, Mark Hughes first got started by selling weight loss shakes from out of his car in Los Angeles. After doing quite well in a couple of other MLM business opportunities that went out of business, Mark Hughes decided to go into business for himself, and Herbalife was born.
And since then, Herbalife has continued to grow into a multi-billion dollar company in the health and fitness supplements niche. Soon after starting Herbalife, the FDA started receiving a lot of complaints about unproven claims about the benefits of Herbalife products. Mark Hughes then adjusted the ingredients in his products and Herbalife went on to launch in the UK in 1984.
By the year 2000, Herbalife had grown significantly. In 2000, sadly, Mark Hughes died at the age of 44. The troubles he’d had with the legalities of Herbalife had taken a toll on his mental health and he overdosed on alcohol and anti-depressants.
Herbalife currently generates revenues of around $5 billion per year and is one of the most successful MLM companies compared with others.
Are Herbalife Products Worth The Money?
After doing a quick bit of research for the cost of a random Herbalife product, I found that a shake mix from Herbalife is a lot cheaper on Amazon. I found this out after just 1 minute of research. It makes me wonder if there are other places that it can be bought even cheaper.
So, you might have problems selling your Herbalife products to those who are good at sniffing out a better deal. How do you convince someone it’s better to pay more for something when buying from you than it is to just hop on over to Amazon and get the same product for around 25% cheaper?
You’ll see proof in my 2 screenshots below. At top is the Herbalife website cost of this product, and at bottom is the product on Amazon.
Cost of Herbalife’s Formula 1 French Vanilla Shake Mix on Herbalife’s Website is $42.85
Cost of Herbalife’s Formula 1 French Vanilla Shake Mix on Amazon’s Website is $33.00
Seems quite expensive to buy Herbalife products through a Herbalife distributor, to me. I’d rather buy it on Amazon and save a few bucks. I’d save a heap more money if I were frequently topping up on health supplements from Herbalife by simply going to Amazon instead of through a distributor.
It’s also worth mentioning that Herbalife does have other competitors selling similar products a lot cheaper than the Herbalife brand, so do your due diligence first.
The Herbalife MLM Business Opportunity
The Herbalife MLM business opportunity works in much the same way as all other MLM schemes. There is a lot of focus on signing up new people under you as a distributor and then you can earn commissions on anything they go on to sell.
So you’ll be making money by selling Herbalife products and you’ll also be working to recruit others into your team of distributors. Just as you would earn commissions from those in your downline who make sales, the person who recruited you will make commissions when you make sales, too.
It’s a little bit like a pyramid scheme, in my opinion. If you decided you didn’t want to recruit people you’d probably struggle to make a decent income from just selling Herbalife’s products.
How Much Does It Cost to Join Herbalife MLM?
If you want to become a distributor with Herbalife MLM you can get started with around $94.10. You will have to buy a Herbalife Distributor Kit (a starter kit).
There are 2 different kits you can start with. Choose from the International Business Pack which will cost $94.10. If instead you go with the International Business Pack-Super Starter the cost will be $124.10
There are other costs involved, which are not as obvious as the starter kits. These costs include calls you’ll have to make with your phone, gas money for you to get to and from your customers, and of course the cost of your time.
Can You Make Money with Herbalife MLM?
The same with any MLM company, is true with Herbalife. You have to consider the demand for Herbalife’s products. You have to take into account whether you’re a good salesperson or not. And as with all other MLM schemes, you’ll make money by not only selling the products, but by recruiting other people into your downline as members of your own team.
Herbalife product distributors are given a 25% discount on the products and then they go on to sell the products for full retail cost, which in effect gives you, the Herbalife product distributor, a commission of 25%. Keep in mind that you have to cover your costs of travel, communication and whatever else out of those commissions.
So if a product you sell costs $100 at retail, Herbalife give that product to you for $75. That’s 25% off. After that, you go on to sell that product for the $100, making you a commission of $25.
If you believe you can sell lots of items, you might do very well as a distributor. But I would guess that you’ll do much much better by recruiting others into your Herbalife distributors team. You will then earn commissions on whatever the people in your downline can sell.
If you’d like to learn more about Herbalife’s commission rates, the rules you must adhere to as a distributor, and more, I’ve included the Herbalife Sales and Marketing Plan and Business Rules PDF which will open in a new tab when clicked.
I’ve seen complaints about herbal supplements causing liver and kidney damage. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t know much about any damage a herbal product can cause to one’s health. But I do know that I’d be very wary about getting involved in a company which is being accused of damaging people’s health, as opposed to improving health.
Video – The Truth About Herbalife
According to Quackwatch.org, Herbalife were sued for fraud and negligence by a 20 year old woman who’d experienced acute liver damage after using Herbalife’s products.
I’m pretty sure that herbs in general are good for your health, but maybe taking too many herbs all the time will overload the body and become toxic.
Too much of anything is bad for you. Did you know there’s such a thing as water poisoning, where people die because they drank too much water? It’s true.
There are also some dubious claims being made by some unscrupulous distributors of Herbalife, such as the ones in the following video below.
Video – ABC News Investigates Controversial Diet Shake Company, Herbalife
The Pros of Herbalife MLM
Full Refund Available
There is a full refund available for MLM distributors of Herbalife products providing the products are unopened and not tampered with.
Flexible Working Schedule
Being in business for yourself is beneficial because you get to set your own schedule. You can work all hours god sent or just a few hours a week. It’s completely up to you.
Don’t Have to Purchase Business Tools
When you join Herbalife as a distributor you are not forced into buying additional business and sales tools.
No Monthly Purchase Minimums
There is no set monthly purchase minimums for distributors of Herbalife.
The Cons of Herbalife MLM
As I already mentioned above and proved with the images, you can buy Herbalife cheaper on Amazon, and probably other places too. Why would people want to buy something that costs around 25% more from you if you were a distributor? I wouldn’t. Would you?
Not FDA Approved
According to an article in the New York Post, Herbalife were told to STOP claiming that their products were FDA Approved. You can see that article here.
Their product line seem to come with a few too many complaints that raise a lot of suspicion to me. When I look at a business opportunity I want to see as few complaints as possible. I also want to see that complaints are dealt with in a timely and satisfactory manner.
Someone named Samantha G (below in the screenshot) had this to say when she visited the Better Business Bureau to complain about Herbalife.
Herbalife has been in the sights of the FTC and has also been sued by at least one person in regards to the safety of their supposedly “healthy” products. Do Herbalife health products damage your health?
Is Herbalife MLM a Pyramid Scheme?
Ponzi or pyramid schemes are illegal because they inevitably collapse when they reach breaking point. Most MLM companies are very close to being illegal, and some companies do in fact end up in trouble with the authorities for illegal business practices. They aren’t always shut down, but are sometimes ordered to restructure their business model so they meet the best practices guidelines.
“In July 2016, Herbalife agreed to change its business model and pay $200 million to its distributors in a settlement with the FTC.”
You can see the rest of what WikiPedia says about Herbalife Nutrition here.
After a quick search on YouTube for Herbalife scam, I found this video. It seems to imply that Herbalife’s Nutrition Club is a total fraud.
Video – Bill Ackman says Herbalife’s Nutrition Club is “Total Fraud”
My Verdict of Herbalife MLM
There are just too many negatives about the Herbalife brand such as possibly being a cause of liver and kidney damage, according to lawsuits. Personally I’d rather make sure I’m eating proper nutritious food with the money I don’t spend on Herbalife products. But that’s just me.
The Herbalife MLM business structure is not sustainable. Sure, you can convince a few family members and friends to buy from you, but for how long?
As with any MLM, you’re going to have to recruit people into your downline to make Herbalife work for you. And just like any other MLM, you’re going to start annoying people close to you with your constant sales pitches. People start avoiding you, because they’re tired of the same old story about how your MLM is so awesome, even when it’s not.
Personally, I don’t like MLM, it’s not a nice way to make money, you have to deal with people in person, and you’ll no doubt struggle to make ends meet. Most people in an MLM do not make money.
According to this article, 99% of people who participate in an MLM scheme do not make money.
For more further reading, check out this pdf on the research, risks and rewards of MLM.
And if you’re still not convinced that MLM is no good, check out what the FTC has to say here.
Is There a Better Alternative to Herbalife MLM?
There are better ways to make money. You don’t have to convince people to buy something from you, and you don’t have to nag people to join your team. You don’t have to stock any products and you don’t have to manage refunds, billing, delivery, and all that other stuff that makes business painful.
If you’d like to earn money from home without all the hassles any MLM will cause you, and you are determined to be successful without working a regular day job, then there is something much better than ANY MLM.
Read my Wealthy Affiliate review for more details on how you can make money online, set your own schedule, not answer to any boss, and still replace your regular job’s income. Wealthy Affiliate taught me how to earn money with affiliate marketing. It’s the opposite of MLM and is way easier and cheaper to get started.
Thanks for reading my Herbalife MLM review. If you have any questions about this company, or any MLM in general, leave them below and I’ll get back to you.
Do you have any experiences of Herbalife MLM? Share them below.
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