Forever Living Scam: Pyramid Scheme or MLM? [Review]

If you’re on the lookout for some extra income, you may have heard about Forever Living. It’s an MLM company that sells health products, and it’s totally legit. You’ve probably heard about it from a friend or family member, right?

As an online entrepreneur, I have reviewed many similar online opportunities over the years. So I can tell you what you need to know.

Just so you know, I’m not affiliated with Forever Living at all. I’m not getting paid to write this review, so you can trust that my thoughts are honest and unbiased. 

And to be totally transparent, I’ll also share with you the best alternative to the Forever Living MLM program that has helped me make a full-time passive income online.

Keep reading to find out if Forever Living is right for you!

What is Forever Living?

Forever Living is a company that sells a range of products including aloe vera-based drinks and bee-derived cosmetics, dietary supplements, and personal care products. The company was founded in Arizona, USA, in 1978 by Rex Maughan, who believed that aloe vera had healing properties and decided to grow the plants himself to ensure quality.

Over the years, Forever Living has grown to become a major player in the industry, acquiring Aloe Vera of America in 2010 and expanding its reach to customers in over 150 countries. With a turnover of $1.7 billion and a workforce of over 9 million people, it’s safe to say that the company has come a long way since its humble beginnings.

However, not everyone is a fan of Forever Living’s business model. Some journalists have compared the company’s multi-level marketing distribution system to a pyramid scheme. While the company insists that it is a legitimate business that provides opportunities for people to earn money through selling its products, the controversy surrounding MLMs is something to keep in mind if you’re considering joining the company as a distributor.

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What Products Does Forever Living Offer?

Forever Living has been around for over 40 years and offers a wide range of natural products. Here are five groups of products you can choose from:

Bee Products

If you’re looking for honey baths or bee supplements like bee pollen, propolis, and Royal Jelly, Forever Living has you covered with tablet options.


Forever Living’s drinks mostly contain aloe vera and are perfect for a healthy, balanced diet. They are claimed to help with digestion and nutrient absorption.


Forever Living also sells dietary supplements in pill and bottle form, similar to multivitamins. You can find nutrients such as Ginkgo, B12, and more.

Personal Care

Looking for personal care items? Forever Living has soaps, hand sanitizers, creams, and body sprays to cater to your needs.

Skin Care

The aloe-based skin care line has a variety of products, including lotions for moisturizing, scrubs for removing dead skin, and aloe scrubs.

Forever Living Products only sells natural products, so there are no risks when using them. Although their products are not FDA-approved, they are not fake. Many people have given positive reviews of the company, and they wouldn’t have lasted 40 years if they sold unsafe products.

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Is Forever Living An MLM?

Yes, Forever Living is an MLM company, which has been around since the 1990s. In fact, they even acquired Aloe Vera of America back then, and they now have a vast network of 9.3 million distributors.

However, it’s important to note that when you become a sales representative for Forever Living, you won’t receive a regular salary. Instead, you’ll become an independent distributor of their products and run your own business. While this may sound exciting, it’s unlikely that you’ll make a substantial income just by selling their products.

Like most MLM programs, your success in Forever Living relies heavily on recruiting new members to work under you. As your downline grows, you’ll earn commissions on their sales and new recruits. Think of it like a triangle: if the person at the top recruits ten people and each of these ten recruits ten more, then you’ll earn commissions from everyone in the triangle.

Now, if you can bring in just ten people, you can earn $1100. However, most people in the MLM would rather earn a lifetime passive income from recruiting others than a one-time commission from selling products, even if there is a wide range of products available.

It’s worth noting that those at the top of the triangle tend to have the most financial success, while those at the base have the least. Therefore, having a large number of people in your downline is crucial for success in a multi-level marketing company like Forever Living.

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Is Forever Living A Pyramid Scheme?

No, Forever Living is not a pyramid scheme. It is a reputable MLM company that sells health products, and as a distributor, you can make money by selling these products. You don’t have to rely solely on recruitment to earn an income.

In contrast, pyramid schemes are scams that promise money or services in exchange for recruiting new members. The problem with pyramid schemes is that they are unsustainable and ultimately only benefit those at the top of the pyramid. Members at the bottom end up losing their money.

To join a pyramid scheme, you typically have to pay a membership fee to the company. The company rewards you with a portion of the funds raised from each new member you recruit. The people at the top of the pyramid benefit the most because they receive a percentage of the payments from every new member recruited.

Pyramid schemes do not typically offer valuable goods or services. Their only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members. The scheme can only make money for everyone if it grows infinitely, which is impossible due to the finite population of the planet.

Eventually, the pyramid scheme will fail if there are no new recruits or other sources of income. Since most members are at the bottom of the pyramid, they will likely lose their money.

An example of a pyramid scheme is Vemma, a company that produces energy and weight loss drinks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused Vemma of operating a pyramid scheme in August 2015 because it paid more to recruit new members than to sell products. Most participants, who were usually young people like college students, lost money.

You may read our article on the difference between MLM and pyramid schemes here.

Is Forever Living a Scam?

No, Forever Living is not a scam. It is a legitimate MLM company. However, the company has faced lawsuits in the past for making misleading and irresponsible marketing claims. 

For instance, in 2004, they were found to have violated several laws related to advertising, registration of nutritional products, and use of cosmetics as medicines in Hungary. Similarly, the Environmental Research Center (ERC) sued Forever Living Products and its affiliates several times between 2011 and 2016 in California for violating Proposition 65 or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Exposure Act.

The ERC claimed that some Forever Living products, including dietary supplements, makeup, beverages, protein shakes, and bee pollen contained high lead levels, which were marketed as part of the Clean 9 Kit, a “detoxification program.” While Forever Living is not a pyramid scheme, its business model is very similar, and distributors at the bottom of the pyramid often struggle to make money.

Although it may be challenging for independent distributors to promote Forever Living products due to the numerous lawsuits, it’s not a scam. However, to succeed in this business, one has to aggressively recruit new members. Alternatively, you may want to check out other MLM companies or online platforms that offer more viable options.

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Forever Living’s Compensation Plan

Here’s what you need to know about their compensation plan.

Retail Profits for New Distributors

As a new FLP distributor, you can earn a retail profit of 43 percent on products you sell.

Assistant Supervisor Bonuses

If you become an assistant supervisor, you can earn a 5 percent bonus on top of your 43 percent retail profit for your personal sales.

Supervisor Commission

As a supervisor, you can earn 43 percent on retail profits, 8% on personal retail sales, and 3% on assistant supervisor group retail sales.

Assistant Manager Commission

If you become an assistant manager, you can earn 43 percent on retail profits, 13% on personal retail sales, 5% on supervisor group retail sales, and 8% on assistant supervisor group retail sales.

Manager Commission

As a manager, you can earn 43 percent on retail profits, 18 percent for personal retail sales, 5% for assistant manager group retail sales, 10% for supervisor group retail sales, and 13% for assistant supervisor group retail sales.

Globally Rally and Chairman’s Bonus

Once you’ve built up your FLP business, you’ll have the opportunity to attend the Globally Rally in a beautiful location. Plus, FLP business owners can receive a portion of the global profit share on stage at the Chairman’s Bonus ceremony.

In summary, FLP’s compensation plan provides opportunities to earn money through retail sales, personal sales, and group sales commissions, as well as bonuses and recognition for top performers.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Forever Living?

You won’t have to shell out any money to become a member. Unlike most network marketing plans, Forever Living doesn’t charge an activation fee, so you can sign up for free.

That said, you will need to have products to sell if you want to make a profit. So, while the membership itself is free, the costs can rise if you decide to purchase products to sell. But the company doesn’t force you to buy a certain amount of inventory, so you can start small and see how it goes.

Overall, joining Forever Living is pretty straightforward and won’t break the bank.

Pros and Cons of Joining Forever Living MLM Program

Thinking about joining Forever Living’s MLM program? Here are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Low startup costs, which means you don’t need to invest a lot of money upfront.
  • The products have received positive reviews from users and customers seem to love them.


  • You must sell directly to people, which means you need to have good communication and persuasion skills.
  • The majority of the funds come from recruiting, which means you’ll need to focus on building a team of people to make significant income.
  • The structure of the MLM program can be difficult to grasp at first, which might take some time to understand.
  • The products can be quite expensive, which might be a challenge for some customers.
  • Success in MLMs often depends on being highly motivated and skilled at selling, which might not be everyone’s strong suit.
  • MLMs, in general, are not always successful and can be challenging to make a living from.

Overall, if you’re interested in joining Forever Living’s MLM program, make sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions.

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Why I Don’t Recommend Forever Living MLM Program

False Health Claims

Many reviews of Forever Living products claim that they are good for your health, but it’s important to be cautious. Some of these reviews may be biased or even paid for by the company. 

In fact, Forever Living was criticized by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority in 2015 for making false claims about the health benefits of its products. The company was warned not to use medical professionals in its promotional materials, and an investigation was launched after it was revealed that NHS staff were acting as salespeople. As an independent distributor, it’s important to consider the potential health risks to your customers.

Difficulty Earning Money

Success is difficult to achieve with MLM companies like Forever Living. Statistics show that 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money. This is because MLMs often have sales quotas that require members to continually sell products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions. 

If they don’t meet the quota, they won’t be paid. As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

Misleading Claims of Investment

Forever Living MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as “investments” in their business, promising future financial freedom. 

However, it’s important to recognize that these losses are unlikely to be recouped and the return on “investment” is often negative. Reframing losses as investments is misleading and can cause distributors to continue investing in the company even when it’s not financially beneficial.

The Cult-Like Culture of MLMs

MLMs like Forever Living often discourage critical thinking and isolate representatives who ask questions. Leaving an MLM can result in rejection from people who were once considered family, and reps are not allowed to contact former members. MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize business over personal life, which can lead to further isolation.

You May Need to Purchase Forever Living Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network to sell to, you may need to purchase Forever Living products yourself each month. This can result in a losing proposition, as you are essentially paying to work for the company.

Forever Living Products are Overpriced

Forever Living products are often overpriced compared to similar products from other brands. This can make it difficult to sell the products and cause reps to focus more on recruitment than actual sales.

Unbalanced Distribution of Commissions

One major flaw with Forever Living’s MLM model is that the commission distribution is skewed towards those at the top. The majority of the money is made by the pioneers and top-tier distributors, while those at the bottom may not even break even. This has resulted in many people viewing Forever Living as an illegitimate business opportunity.

Exaggerated Income Claims

Like many MLMs, Forever Living makes exaggerated income claims to lure people in. However, in reality, very few people make a good living promoting their products. Additionally, Forever Living has a low retention rate, with less than 41% of their distributors remaining active. According to their own payout data, over 99% of their distributors do not make a profit.

Recruiting is Necessary to Succeed

If you don’t recruit others into Forever Living, you may end up losing money. Eight out of ten ways to make money with Forever Living require recruitment, so it’s a major focus of their business. This may not be appealing to those who want to focus on selling products they truly believe in.

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Final Verdict

I have to be honest with you, I don’t recommend joining Forever Living to make money. It can be quite challenging in the beginning, especially when you’re trying to find people to recruit for your commission.

One of the toughest parts of this job is that you may feel like you have to keep asking your loved ones to join your business opportunity, and that’s not always a pleasant experience.

Moreover, your upline may constantly push you to buy more Business Support Material, even if you’re struggling to find new recruits. Unfortunately, the statistics support this: 99% of MLM participants either break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

Another major issue is the pressure to succeed, which can be overwhelming and ultimately lead to people quitting the business.

So, instead of joining an MLM, have you considered starting your own online business? This way, you can choose what you want to promote and work on a flexible schedule. Plus, it’s a legit way to make passive income online!

In fact, I can tell you how to build your own online business in a legit way and earn a full-time income within a year. It’s 100% sustainable and unlike MLM models, you won’t have to constantly pressure people to join. Keep reading to learn more.

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You may read our article about the difference between MLM and affiliate marketing.

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