Is Herbalife MLM Worth Joining?

Hey there Sea Changers, and welcome back to my series of MLM reviews in an effort to help you find ways to fund your own sea change. Today I am going to have a look at one of the largest nutrition supplement companies on the planet in Herbalife. Why? Well health and wellbeing is one of a number of popular, evergreen niches and something that people will spend money on to assist them with their busy lives.

Is Herbalife MLM worth joining? Well I guess we can check it out so if this is an area that interests you as you plan your own online business, then grab yourself a protein shake, a notebook and let’s see what we can find out about the Herbalife Independent Distributor program…

Note: I am not a member of the Herbalife MLM Program (and hence make no commissions from any of the links included within this post). The reason for this is that I prefer to write these posts based on what a newbie would be seeing if they were interested in joining – that way I feel I can make a better judgment on what it is that these companies are offering within their programs.

What is MLM?

Multi-level marketing (MLM) programs are the mainstay of the ‘party plan’ world of products such as Tupperware, Mary Kay and Amway etc. More recently however, online marketing processes have become more and more prevalent within the MLM space including the health supplements market. One of the reasons for this is that the increased online presence of many modern MLM programs has to large extent alleviated the need to run parties – and, more importantly, not hassle everybody you know to join (you can of course, but you don’t have to).

The ‘multi level’ aspects of MLM come from its hierarchical nature in which you make commissions based not only on those that you sell to, but also the sales of those whom you ‘sign’ into membership arrangements as well.

In short, the process works as follows:

  1. You join the program, either via referral from another person (known as your up line) or directly through their website.
  2. You promote the products of the company via parties, workshops or online.
  3. As you make sales, you offer incentives to your customers to sign up as a member of the program (there are different names for this but they all mean the same thing).
  4. That new member is then placed ‘underneath’ you in a hierarchical arrangement (known as your down line).
  5. You, and a number of levels of your up line, then gain extra commissions for everything they sell as well.
  6. If they manage to refer their customers into memberships, they also become a member of your down line allowing you to make up line commissions as well.

The number of levels of your up and down lines will vary depending on the program you have joined. Commission rates will also change as your down line grows or contracts and many will also offer other incentives such as total company sales percentages and/or access to membership prizes as your own business grows.

Who is Herbalife?

is herbalife MLM - home page

Herbalife, as mentioned earlier is a global company whose main aim is to “make the world healthier and happier”. They pride themselves on their high quality products based on scientific research, a strong code of ethics and sustainability. The company employs roughly 5000 people worldwide and in 2016 recorded net sales of approximately $4.5 billion. Herbalife stocks are also traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company was founded by Mark Hughes in Los Angeles, California, in February 1980 and in the years since has been rolled out in over 90 countries worldwide.

What do they Sell?

Herbalife offers over 200 products aimed at health and nutrition within the following categories:

  • Healthy Weight
  • Specialised Nurtririon
  • Energy and Fitness
  • Skin and Hair care

is herbalife MLM - core products

Click here to see their full range of products.

Products are offered as single options or within specialised bundles designed to cover your every nutritional need. The advantage of this site also is the fact that they have very carefully and cleverly created a complete health and wellbeing guide based around their products.

On the downside however, the company has been in trouble with authorities – mainly in the U.S. – for misleading information and some less than transparent practices within their MLM programs around the calculation and application of Personal Volume points and a focus on recruitment rather than actual sales (putting it dangerously within the realms of a pyramid scheme) . These issues have, by my research, been rectified.

MLM Program outline

The Herbalife MLM program is known as its Independent Distributor program.

The base details are as follows:

Base Commission rate: Nil – discounts on products for resale are available.

Down line commission rates: 5% – 25% to seven levels .

Minimum monthly spend to qualify for commissions

There are no minimum monthly requirements set (unless you want to rise through the ranks) however you cannot make money in this program simply by recruiting and/or sponsoring others meaning at least some purchases are required.

    Payment terms: Monthly.

    Application required?: Yes, Initial application with basic information for call back.

    Purchase requirements to join: Yes

    • International Business Pack ($94.10) or
    • International Business Pack – Super Starter ($124.10)

    Marketing materials provided: Basic selling skills and access to specific marketing materials. Access to a personalised sales coach.

    Click here for more information in regards to the Herbalife Incentive program

    From what I can see, this program is of the old school party plan variety in where at your own level, you make money by purchasing products at discounted rates and then selling at retail to make your profits. There are no referral text links etc. for online sales processing by your referrals and there is a definite requirement for a financial outlay for the products in order to on sell them. This of course can be via online processes – i.e. your own website – however you will need to manage payment and shipping via yourself (unlike most others where you direct your recruits to the website for direct purchase).

    is herbalife MLM - discount description

    As is common with MLM programs, commissions and rankings are determined by the total Personal Volume that you and your downline generate in a calendar month. To qualify for downline commissions within Herbalife, you will need to generate a minimum of 500PV points worth of product monthly (roughly USD$500). Most MLM programs manage it this way so as to ensure that you are getting sales based results rather than simply signing people up whom don’t purchase.

    How can I get paid?

    This program promotes 4 ways in which you can make money when you promote and sell their products. These are quite standard for a MLM program of this nature however there is still the disadvantage of having to purchase products to sell as a starter which can certainly place a first up strain on your finances. The four ways to earn income are as follows:

    is herbalife MLM - ways of making money

    As above, to qualify for any earnings under options 2 – 4, you will be required to maintain least 500 – 1000PV of purchases per month.

    Ranking structure

    The ranking structure – which determines earning qualification for the money making options 2 – 4 listed above – is of similar ilk to most other programs in that the more people who you have underneath you that make sales, the higher you can move through the ranks.

    is herbalife MLM - rank 1

    is herbalife MLM - rank 2

    As with many other programs, rankings are determined by the total PV you and your downline generated in a calendar month. As your downline grows, your commission rates increase as per the above graphics. All in all, should you be willing to purchase the products and put the work in, this is what Herbalife expect you to earn:

    is herbalife MLM - income earning options

    What else do you get?

    On top of the potential earning methods outlined above, Herbalife also offers members in the higher ranks bonuses such as:

    • Access to worldwide training as speakers
    • Conferences and retreats

    Note: There are also levels above those listed here but there is no information on this online – it is all very secret squirrel stuff!

    There is also the option to join Herbalife as a Preferred Member at a cost of $34.95. This gives you access to the 25% discount without actually joining as an Independent Distributor.

    is herbalife MLM - bonus

    Refunds

    As you need to purchase products to make money via direct selling methods within this MLM program, Herbalife does offer the following refund options:

    • If you are in your first year, you can cancel your account and receive a full refund of your International Business Pack.
    • If you cancel your Distributorship, you can return unopened products you purchased within the last year for a full refund including shipping.

    Make that Sea Change - In post banner 3

    What is good about it?

    So, after a good look around the site and looking at all the options I could find, I do like the following:

    • The business is well-known.
    • Commission rates are fairly good compared to other programs.

    What is not so good about it?

    There are also some things to be aware of including:

    • Information on the program is not easy to find.
    • Although they comment to the contrary, you will need a semi-decent cash injection to make decent money from this business.
    • You need to handle all sales and distribution yourself.
    • It is not easily geared for online sales – there are no referral text links etc.

    My final thoughts

    Look, MLM is not an easy platform to make money in at the best of times, and if I am being honest, I don’t see this one as being one of the easier ones around in which to gain a footing. From an online business point of view, you still need to do a lot of offline, manual work including sales and shipping. My biggest red flag here however is how hard it is to actually find decent information on the program- my personal pet hate. If you like the product however and have a good network of potential purchasers, then, as with all MLM programs, there is money to be made with hard work and dedication.

    Product reviews for Herbalife are definitely mixed with the fact that many believe the products to be overpriced a major theme. This however is not always a bad thing if you can drive sales successfully with some good old-fashioned problem solving marketing.

    Is it worth joining? Personally, if I were looking to do this as an online business then I would be looking around for programs with better online sales processes allowing you to concentrate on the marketing and recruitment side of things.

    Conclusion

    So there you have it, my honest review and appraisal of the Herbalife MLM program. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below.

    Are there any other programs you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.

    Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own Health and Wellbeing or MLM based website?

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    Alternatively, if you wish to see what all the fuss is about, click on the link below to watch me build a website from scratch in just 7 days.

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    Until next time

    Have fun

    Paul

    Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

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    Herbalife MLM Program

    $94.10 +++++
    4.6

    Clarity of Information

    3.0/10

    Commission structure

    8.0/10

    Cost to enter

    5.0/10

    Ongoing cost requirements

    1.0/10

    Bonus structure

    6.0/10

    Pros

    • The business is well-known.
    • Commission rates are fairly good compared to other programs.

    Cons

    • Information on the program is not easy to find.
    • It is not easily geared for online sales - there are no referral text links etc.
    • You will need a semi-decent cash injection to make decent money from this business.
    • You need to handle all sales and distribution yourself.

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