Herbalife Pyramid Scheme – Scam or Legit MLM? Read This Review!

Are you looking for a Herbalife MLM review? Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme? If you want to make money online, you might have heard of this program. But you may wonder if it is a scam.

There is a good chance that you heard about Herbalife MLM through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home through Herbalife MLM.

I have a passion to help people explore the best money-making opportunities online, so over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of similar online programs like Herbalife MLM.

To help you make a more informed decision, I have thoroughly researched the Herbalife MLM so I can tell you more about it.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Herbalife MLM. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to Herbalife MLM that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

Herbalife MLM Review – Key Takeaways

  • Name: Herbalife
  • Pros: MLM opportunity to make money
  • Cons: Herbalife MLM has a very low success rate; Herbalife MLM commission is low; Herbalife MLM model is not sustainable; Herbalife MLM costs money to join
  • Overall Rating: 1/5
  • Who is Herbalife MLM For: Herbalife MLM is supposed for marketers to make money. But you are unlikely to make a penny because of the MLM nature and you may end up losing a lot of money.
  • The Best Alternative: An All-in-One Platform to Make Passive Income Online

In this Herbalife MLM review, I’m going to cover the following in this review:

What is Herbalife MLM?

Herbalife is primarily a direct sales organization. In 2019, Herbalife’s global net sales were approximately $4.88 billion.

They sell protein shakes and nutritional supplements that are not available in any store.

Herbalife distributors are the only places where you can get these products. Their website contains product and price information, but you cannot purchase them.

Herbalife, founded by Mark Hughes in 1980, is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company with over 9,000 employees worldwide. In over 94 countries, the company’s products are sold by over 4.5 million members and distributors.

Initially, the company sold weight loss products, with their first offering being a protein shake designed to aid in weight loss.

The product line expanded beyond women’s health, aging, digestion health, fitness, and other areas. This company has grown to be worth millions of dollars.

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Who Founded Herbalife MLM?

Herbalife Nutrition was founded in 1980 by Mark Hughes, who lived from 1956 to 2000. His goal was to change everyone’s eating habits one person at a time.

He spoke about his success plan, which led to what is now a multibillion-dollar company with Independent Herbalife Participants in more than 90 countries around the world.

Hughes founded the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) in 1994 with the goal of improving children’s lives by assisting businesses in providing healthy, well-balanced food to children in need.

Today, the program provides food for many children all over the world. HNF also contributes to relief efforts and assists people affected by natural disasters all over the world.

What Products Does Herbalife Offer?

Protein shakes that are good for you and help you lose weight are among the products offered by Herbalife Nutrition. They sell healthy protein bars, teas, aloe vera gel, vitamins, as well as sports hydration, energy, and personal care products.

Herbalife encourages people to form groups by referring to them as “nourishment clubs.” At these events, members will sample the drinks and discuss how to live a healthy, balanced life.

However, these events are simply a means for them to promote their product and grow their business.

According to Herbalife, these nutrition clubs assist people who would otherwise eat out or from a vending machine. As a result, they assist in demonstrating healthy and well-balanced options and supporting them as they make this change.

Herbalife shakes can help you lose weight. However,to achieve the best results, you must also exercise and maintain a strict diet.

The Herbalife fat-burning product research study is still ongoing, as the product claims to keep people from gaining weight over time.

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What is MLM?

Before we get into Herbalife MLM, I’d like to explain what MLM is and how it differs from traditional business models.

Multilevel marketing companies are also known as direct sales companies or network marketing companies.

An MLM company does not pay you a salary.

You make money by recruiting others to join your business rather than selling products. If you hire someone and they start making money, you get paid a commission on the sales and recruits they bring in.

There are several levels to this (hence multi-level).

Think about a triangle. If the person at the top of the triangle recruits ten people, and each of these ten recruits ten more, and each of these ten recruits ten more, you will receive commissions from everyone in the triangle because they are all in your direct downline (in an MLM, the people beneath you are known as your ‘downline,’ and you are their ‘upline’).

You can earn $1100 by recruiting 10 people.

Even if your MLM company offers a wide range of products, most people prefer to recruit others because they can earn a lifetime passive income from them, whereas if they sold a product, they would only receive a one-time commission.

People at the top make a lot of money because money trickles up to the top of the triangle, while people at the bottom make the least.

The ultimate goal of someone who works for a company like Herbalife MLM is to have as many people in their ‘downline’ as possible, allowing them to earn large amounts of passive income.

How Does Herbalife MLM Work?

Before you can become a member or a representative, you must first purchase Herbalife products. You can then sell them or use them to promote your company. Or do both, which is the best option.

However, this is the main reason why some people are perplexed and believe Herbalife is a pyramid scheme.

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Is Herbalife A Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them money or services in exchange for enrolling others.

A pyramid scheme is unsustainable and frequently a scam because members lose money as the number of recruits increases.

Those who want to join must pay a fee to an organization that runs a pyramid scheme. The organization will share a portion of the funds raised from each additional member they recruit as a reward.

The directors of the organization receive a portion of these payments (those at the top of the pyramid).

The scam is profitable for the directors whether or not they do any work. It is in the membership’s best interests to recruit and funnel money to the top of the pyramid.

Such organizations almost never sell valuable goods or services. The scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members because it does not produce any goods or services.

Pyramid schemes are very similar to exponential growth mathematics. The size of a pyramid grows dramatically with each level. A pyramid scheme would have to grow indefinitely in order to make money for everyone who joins. This is impossible due to the planet’s finite population.

The scam will fail in the absence of new recruits and other income sources. Because the largest terms are at the bottom of this geometric sequence, the majority of people live in the pyramid’s bottom layer.

Workers in pyramid schemes typically promote the company rather than the product they are selling. At some point, no one at the bottom of the pyramid will make any money, while only those at the top will profit.

People at the top of the pyramid usually make money, while those at the bottom usually lose money. Because they are at the bottom of a pyramid scheme, the majority of participants lose money.

Members at the scheme’s bottom will have no chance of profiting if the scheme fails, but they will have already paid.

Is Herbalife, then, a pyramid scheme?

No. Herbalife does not operate as a pyramid scheme. It’s possible for members of the company to make money by selling their products.

They don’t have to make money solely through recruitment.

Watch the short video below to learn more:

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How Do You Make Money With Herbalife MLM?

Herbalife offers two ways to earn money:

  • Selling products
  • Recruiting members

Selling Herbalife products isn’t the only way to make money. You can earn bonuses by bringing in new members and having them bring in new members as well.

To make any money, you’ll need to sell a lot of Herbalife protein shakes. Also, keep in mind that you must first purchase the items before you can sell them.

What you can afford to buy will tell you how much you can earn. If you buy too much, you might have trouble selling it.

You have a year from the date you bought the items to return them if you haven’t opened them.

When these goods are sold, distributors make very little money. Of course, when you sell more items, you make more money.

If you reach a certain number of volume points, you can advance to the next level, but your retail commission will remain the same.

Volume points are added to your account when you or your downline purchase products. As a result, the more volume points you obtain, the more you or others will order.

You can then proceed to the next level.

In most MLMs, recruiting is more important than selling. You can make more money if you have a large number of people in your downline because you get a percentage of everything they sell.

If you want to join an MLM to make money while you sleep, you must recruit. If you want to make a lot of money, try to get as many people to join your team as possible.

MLM business models do not last, so you will eventually run out of people to recruit.

It makes no difference how many items you sell in MLMs. What matters to them is the number of items you can purchase and the number of people you can bring in.

What is the Herbalife MLM’s Compensation Plan?

Obviously, the more Herbalife products you sell, the more money you make. However, distributors do not make much money from selling these products. The goal is to sell items and earn volume points for each purchase.

When you reach a certain number of volume points, you can advance to the next level, where your downline commission is higher.

Finally, when you or your downline order items, you receive volume points. So the more you or your downline order, the more volume points you or they receive.

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17 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Herbalife MLM

1. The Good Reviews are Written by Herbalife MLM’s Affiliates

You probably have found some other reviews of Herbalife MLM and all of them are saying good words.

But all of them are actually paid to write, meaning they will receive a commission if you join Herbalife MLM via their links. Therefore, their words are often biased and not trustworthy.

Those reviews are simply sales pages and do not tell you the hidden costs and the difficulties of really making money.

By common sense, should you trust someone who has a conflict of interest that receives huge compensation by “reviewing” the program? Probably not. They are not reviewing, but selling!

Therefore, I recommend reading the reviews of those written by the non-affiliates of Herbalife MLM.

2. Very Few People Can Make Money With Herbalife

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like Herbalife.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

3. Losses From Herbalife MLM Are Reframed As Investments

Herbalife MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

4. Herbalife MLM is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for Herbalife if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

5. You May Need to Purchase Herbalife Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like Herbalife. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

6. Herbalife Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, Herbalife offers overpriced products. There are many other brands that offer similar products but at lower prices.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell Herbalife products because your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price. This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

7. Herbalife’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like Herbalife is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider Herbalife to be a legitimate business opportunity.

8. Exaggerated Claims Of Income

Herbalife, like any other MLM company, makes exaggerated income claims, but in reality, very few people make a good living by promoting Herbalife.

Herbalife’s low retention rate can also be discouraging, as less than 41% of its distributors are active.

According to Herbalife’s payouts to distributors, over 99 percent of Herbalife distributors never make a profit.

9. Herbalife Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

10. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like Herbalife put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with Herbalife require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this Herbalife review.

11. There Are A Lot Of Highly Processed Ingredients In Herbalife Shakes

Consider the following: protein isolates, sugar, gum, fiber, artificial flavors, and synthetic vitamins.

Because of the sugar content, this is an unhealthy choice on its own. With only two servings, a Herbalife shake contains 18 grams of added sugar.

A healthy diet should include fewer processed foods and more high-quality proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

12. Herbalife Supplements Might Be Harmful to Liver

Supplements contain a wide range of ingredients that are not governed by the government.

As a result, its efficacy and quality are unknown.

Herbalife supplements have been linked to liver damage, according to reports.

Some Herbalife products have been reported to be contaminated with Bacillus subtilis overgrowth. This bacteria harms the liver.

13. Herbalife Products are Not Approved by FDA

The FDA has not approved these products. However, the FDA has inspected them. FDA approval was mentioned in a Herbalife video from 2014. When the FDA learned of this, it immediately stopped disseminating false information that the products had been approved.

14. Herbalife Receives Many BBB Complaints

Herbalife has an A- rating and a 2.2/4 star rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Although there aren’t many reviews, the ones that are available are useful. Customers who have purchased the products have left reviews. Distributors who left reviews were dissatisfied with the products.

Herbalife has addressed only one of the six complaints listed on the BBB website.

15. Herbalife Has Been Sued Many Times

Herbalife has been sued several times, according to my research. Many lawsuits have been filed against Herbalife over the years for questionable business practices. There have also been allegations of pyramid schemes. All of this has severely harmed Herbalife’s reputation.

The FTC sued Herbalife for $200 million for operating a pyramid scheme. This comes as no surprise. After all, Herbalife is one of the world’s largest MLMs. It’s only a matter of time before the FTC shuts them down unless they change their business model.

Herbalife is even listed on the website of the Better Business Bureau. The alert details misrepresentations of Herbalife’s business model as a direct selling company in China.

Another class action lawsuit has been filed by Herbalife distributors alleging that the company misrepresented the amount of money they could make.

Distributors were also told that anyone who attended the “Circle of Success” events would become wealthy.

Several distributors suffered significant financial losses as a result of the lawsuit.

It is extremely difficult to build a home business when major networks such as ABC and HBO conduct investigations into your company and customers complain about your products.

16. Herbalife’s Compensation Plan Is Too Complicated

Herbalife MLM has a complicated compensation plan. It also focuses too much on recruiting members rather than selling products.

17. Herbalife Is In A Very Saturated Market

If you are looking for a health and wellness company, there are thousands that are better than Herbalife.

To be honest, Herbalife hasn’t convinced me. To me, it appears to be a fairly typical multi-level marketing company.

Aside from celebrity endorsements, Herbalife does not stand out. They stand out in a negative way as a result of their bad reputation.

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What are the Pros of Herbalife MLM?

1. Products are Refundable

New Herbalife representatives are eligible for one-year refunds. This can be a failsafe for those who are new to MLM.

Distributors can return all unsold products to the company within a year. Distributors will be reimbursed.

When you cancel your Distributorship, all products, as long as they have not been opened, are fully refundable.

The company offers a 30-day refund policy to regular customers who wish to return unused products within 30 days.

2. Herbalife Has Been Established For Many Years

Herbalife is a leading natural health company that was founded more than four decades ago. MLM companies like this are well-known and widely recognized. They are well-known to almost everyone.

Despite congressional opposition, countless lawsuits, and Wall Street titans betting against their stock in order to destroy it, it has been present for four decades.

An organization that generates billions of dollars in revenue each year is not going away anytime soon.

There are very few MLMs that last more than three years, so staying that long is already a huge accomplishment. Since Herbalife has been around for 40 years, it simply means they are managing the business properly.

3. Herbalife Has Many Sponsorships

Herbalife has several high-profile sponsorships that boost the company’s credibility.

This sponsorship includes, in addition to Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s most popular footballers, LA Galaxy, a Major League Soccer team from Los Angeles.

These well-known athletes are almost universally associated with the Herbalife brand. This will make your job easier.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Herbalife MLM?

To sign up, Herbalife distributor kits must be purchased. There are two kits to choose from.

The International Business Pack costs $94.10, while the International Business Pack-Super Starter costs $124.10.

Other costs are hidden costs. Costs that your distributor agreement does not cover, such as your time, phone calls, and gas to and from your customers.

Herbalife MLM Positive and Negative Feedbacks By Real Users

Positive Feedbacks

  • A long-standing business (40 years in business)
  • High-quality dietary and weight-loss supplements
  • Some people claimed that their MLM was successful.

Negative Feedbacks

  • You must immediately purchase the items you intend to sell.
  • Herbalife is considered a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.
  • Their products and plans are quite expensive.

Is Herbalife MLM a Scam?

I cannot say Herbalife MLM is a scam for legal reasons. A scam is defined as “a dishonest scheme; a fraud” by the Oxford Living Dictionary. 

Can you make money selling Herbalife products? We already know that a majority of Herbalife reps did not earn any money. A few people do make money but only if you put in a lot of effort. And usually, the way they make a lot of money from Herbalife is by recruiting aggressively.

Also, Herbalife blatantly makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members. Therefore, some people do consider Herbalife MLM a scam.

My #1 recommended platform, however, has seen a lot of beginners earn four figures a month after joining it for a year.

I will tell more about my #1 recommended platform at the end of this review.

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Final Verdict: Herbalife MLM Review

Here comes the conclusion of my Herbalife MLM review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining Herbalife MLM to make money.

You will have a tough time at the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your Herbalife commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your Herbalife business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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The Best Alternative of Herbalife MLM To Make Passive Income Online

If you’re beginning your online business journey, you deserve a programme much better than Herbalife MLM.

My #1 recommended platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

Herbalife MLM Review

Compared with Authority Hacker, Wealthy Affiliate has a much longer history, which has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade. Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership. The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny.

So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

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Herbalife MLM Review FAQs

1. Why Is A Pyramid Scheme Illegal?

Pyramid schemes initially make money for the early investors, but then they dry up.

Although they are intended to fail, they do not appear to be so. In fact, they set unrealistic expectations for something that is doomed to fail.

You’re squandering not only your time but also your money.

It’s sad how they prey on your hopes and dreams of becoming wealthy.

Many MLM companies appear to do the same thing.

2. Is There A Lawsuit Against Herbalife?

There have been numerous lawsuits filed against them. The most recent was filed this year.

They bribed Chinese officials for the third time in four years.

They spent $123 million on the settlement with the US government.

The settlement and indictment came less than a year after Herbalife agreed to pay the SEC $20 million for misleading investors with its China business model.

Herbalife CEO Rich Goudis was recorded telling a Chinese employee to disregard expense account limits.

These are just a few of the recent lawsuits.

3. Why Is Herbalife Banned In The US?

Herbalife reached an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2016 to reform its business and pay a $200 million fine in response to allegations that it was a pyramid scheme. Ackman’s hedge fund closed its Herbalife short position in November 2017.

Herbalife products were also pulled from the market in 2002, after several states in the United States banned plant-derived ephedrine supplements.

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