Herbalife is well known as a company that sells dietary products and supplements. The company has been founded way back in 1980 and it had been on the rise until a couple of years ago.
Even though it only employs almost 9,000 people – it has over 2 million independent distributors that have helped take Herbalife from the ground to almost a $5 billion company.
They have a wide range of products that are ideal for people who are looking to get into a healthy lifestyle, change their bad dietary habits, and lead eat healthier.
But how quality is their products and should you trust them? How about their MLM program that anyone can join and become an independent Herbalife distributor?
In this article, you’ll find out everything you should know about the company, its products, and its MLM program. By the time you finish reading the article, you’ll be able to exactly make up your mind.
Herbalife is all about going green, and even when you visit their official website – it’s all green. The motto of the company is to provide nutrition that has your goals in mind.
They really have a great brand going on for them and their products are backing it up. The company has been on the rise ever since 1980 – but it was only recently when it all came crashing down.
If you were thinking of becoming Herbalife independent distributor, you will think twice after you hear the following.
Herbalife is considered to be one of the biggest MLM pyramid schemes in 2016, it has been fined $200,000 million dollars as a part of a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following the accusations of being a pyramid scheme.
Along with the fine, they agreed to restructure the fundamentals of the business. This is public information and it definitely did a lot of damage to the reputation – eventually, making things harder for distributors who, it looks like, have already been having a hard time.
Their products haven’t been very well accepted either. Not only because of the price but also because of the highly-processed ingredients that they feature, regardless of being advertised as healthy.
So keep on reading to find out everything you should know before thinking of doing business with Herbalife or digesting their products.
Owners: Mark R. Hughes
Price: It costs from $35 to $94.10 to start being a Herbalife independent distributor
Overall Rank: 2.0 out of 5.0
Herbalife promotes a healthy lifestyle and their products seem to be ideal for everyone who needs to correct their nutrition and yet doesn’t have an idea what healthy nutrition should consist of.
Therefore, when you visit Herbalife website, you can see products that Herbalife labels as “product solutions”.
Here, you’ll find a wide range of products such as:
- Healthy weight products
- Specialized nutrition for both men and women
- Energy & fitness products
- Skin & hair care products
- Sampling tools
- Core products
Their products seem a bit overpriced, and since they have a wide range of products – you should definitely think your purchase and nutrition through before making the decision.
On the bright side, there are Herbalife independent distributors who can help out with this, as long as they know the product well and aren’t only rushing after the sales.
But what I really like about Herbalife is their info content available on their website. If you didn’t notice it yet – in their main menu, you can find information and tips on how to live healthy which includes:
- A balanced diet
- Fitness tips
- Fitness articles
- Nutrition blog with articles
- Personal care articles
You can also find plenty of recipes that often include Herbalife products, but they can be done without them as well – with a little bit of creativity.
Herbalife products seem really great at first sight, but one thing I was really concerned about is the fact that these products are high in processed ingredients. In some of their products, you can definitely find artificial flavors, synthetic vitamins, sugars, protein isolates, and even emulsifiers.
Therefore, even though Herbalife helps you get your nutrition in order and teaches you great meal plans and recipes – their products could have been a lot healthier, especially considering the price.
But again, this is the same marketing problem that occurs with vitamin water which is also advertised as healthy, and yet is full of highly processed ingredients.
While most Herbalife customers don’t even know or notice this – this is definitely something to consider. Especially if you would be paying the high-end prices for these products.
Herbalife Tools & Training
From the moment you visit Herbalife website, you will be able to spot “Business Opportunity” in the main menu which lists:
- The Gold Standard
- Why Herbalife?
- Success Stories
This is the main landing page for everyone who wants to become a Herbalife independent distributor. However, I think that Herbalife did their best to promote their company and the opportunity with the help of their own branding and success stories.
Therefore, there is a big lack of information that future independent distributors would actually want to know about.
For example, I wasn’t able to find out about the up-front payment required to become an independent distributor. Herbalife only mentioned low-startup costs.
Also, I wasn’t able to find the commission structure and the way their MLM program works.
The training and tools aren’t mentioned either on the main landing page for Herbalife independent distributors – so this is just another bad sign.
Therefore, it looks like this part of the website was made in a hurry since it’s very short and it doesn’t answer any questions or tells the whole story about the program.
And considering that we’re talking about a company that has only about 9,000 employees and yet over 2 million independent distributors – this is a bit disappointing.
From our experience, there are definitely many other MLM companies that keep their MLM program very transparent. This concept seems like you would have to join first to find out more information.
After the Herbalife suit that ended up costing them $200 millions of dollars, they definitely changed their MLM structure.
I’ve noticed a clear message stating that you can’t make money by only recruiting or sponsoring others – so this is a good sign that their program isn’t the biggest MLM pyramid scheme anymore.
Another thing I saw is that they have more pages showcasing success stories of other distributors rather than informational pages regarding their MLM program.
This leaves a lot of open space to mislead people into their MLM program by not disclosing some important information at the first contact point.
The Gold Standard page I’ve mentioned before seems like kind of an up-sell to potential distributors who would like more protection and guarantee. This might not be a bad idea if they actually described their MLM program into detail and kept it transparent.
Otherwise, it looks like just another way for Herbalife to make money and that’s just another disappointing part of their MLM program.
If you had to go through this lack of information and you aren’t even a distributor yet – you would be disappointed too not knowing what to expect on the inside.
I believe that Herbalife likes the old telephone approach and almost anywhere on their website where you look for support – you’ll find a contact number.
They have a phone number for refunds, a phone number for relationships with their distributors, and probably a customer support line for the customers themselves.
At first, I don’t think that the support system for independent distributors is good enough. I’ve seen many other MLM programs that were both transparent from the very first moment to having great support, including training and tools.
They also have a support center where you can type any term or question in and it will guide you through their website or connect you with a support team.
However, this support section seems like it’s more of support made for customers rather than distributors which is just another giveaway that the support team inside their MLM program isn’t decent.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the Herbalife product prices. These products aren’t 100% healthy and there were claims that these products can even lead to side effects.
Yes, Herbalife’s goal is to help you change your nutrition and get more protein and less saturated fat into your body.
However, considering the prices of their products, and the required continuous use of these products – I believe that there is a lot of better ways to spend this amount of money in order to get your nutrition right.
Of course, this might be ideal for beginners who are just learning about nutrition and weight loss. But with so many free learning resources on the internet, you can acquire this knowledge in no time.
And most important, you can spend this money on a whole food, quality whey protein (if required), and ingredients to make your own shakes in which you will know exactly what you put into.
Yes, it can be hard to do everything yourself, especially considering that there is a company that specializes in quick nutritional products. However, even if the money isn’t an issue – you’ll be better off learning more about nutrition & weight loss yourself and invest in quality and natural products.
Otherwise, it looks like you are paying for convenience which still isn’t 100% healthy so you’re actually just reducing the potential of your possible results in the long run.
But how about the prices for their independent distributors? Before you even join, you will have to pay a joining fee which can be up to $95 US.
As an independent distributor, you get 25% off on products, so you could order the products with a discount and sell them for a higher price – to earn 25% as a commission.
This isn’t that bad of a structure, but considering the price of these products – it might be a bit harder to sell a lot of them and keep the customers coming back for more.
Overall, I believe that Herbalife could also re-construct most of their products and keep the price, or lower the price and increase their support and information on their website.
As it is right now, I’m not sure if I would recommend the products or the MLM program to anyone at all.
But many people like the convenience and education which is probably the reason their products are still increasingly popular.
Summary and Final Opinion
Herbalife has been around for quite a long time and it’s making great revenue. However, considering their lawsuit a couple of years and their structural change – I don’t think that their MLM program is ideal.
Prices of their products are a bit higher than the average dietary products – no matter how well they try to pack the benefits of the products.
Also, considering that many people have complained about the highly processed ingredients – I’m not sure that their products will sell as they sold before.
This makes things harder for independent distributors, and since there’s no ability to make money by only recruiting – it’s even tougher than ever before to make some decent money selling Herbalife products, regardless of the company’s size.
It seems like that Herbalife really took advantage of MLM to the point that they had to re-structure and lose a lot of money in the way because of their mistakes.
If it was not a good program before, I do not think that it is a good program now especially considering that there is not much help, training, or support for independent sellers.
Therefore, I don’t believe that you should spend any time on this MLM program, yet if you’re really interested in an MLM program – check out some other programs such as Avon. There are better ways to earn extra income without having to sell products.
What do you think about Herbalife? Did you ever try their products? Have you ever been one of their distributors? I would like to hear what you think about Herbalife, so leave your thoughts questions and comments in the section below and I will be happy to respond.
All the best,
Founder/Creator: Living on Lean Means?