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So someone has introduced Herbalife to you as this great "opportunity to work from home". 

But you're probably still wondering... can you really make money selling Herbalife? And is Herbalife just another pyramid scheme or scam?

First of all, I want to congratulate you on taking your time to do your research.

A big reason why 99% of MLM members lose money is because most of them jump in blindly without knowing what they will actually need to do. It often prevents them from finding a legit way to make money from home

This honest Herbalife MLM review, with videos, will expose the true pros and cons of working inside the company. This will help you to make an informed decision if Herbalife is right for you or not. 

Herbalife Review

The overview and rankings

Name: Herbalife

Founder: Mark Hughes in 1980

Website URL: herbalife.com

Type: Health and Wellness, Skin Care MLM

Herbalife review- Can you make money selling Herbalife

Products (Including Pricing): 40 out of 100

Success Stories: 1 out of 100

Price To Join MLM: $94.10 or $124.10 (80 out of 100)

What To Look For In An MLM:

  • Low start-up fee & maintenance cost
  • High-quality affordable products
  • You don’t have to carry inventory
  • An affiliate-like system 
  • Generous compensation plan
  • Company is in the early momentum phase

Herbalife Pros

  • Proven history
  • Positive product reviews
  • It's well known
  • No monthly sales quota

Herbalife Cons

  • Expensive products
  • Herbalife lawsuits
  • Pyramid scheme in disguise?
  • 0.4% make over 15k/ year
  • Downward trend

Summary: Herbalife does sell legitimate health and wellness products but they are pretty expensive compared to alternatives on the market. 

Some very good sales people and active social media users can make money selling Herbalife.

However, their income disclosure proves that only 1 in 250 Herbalife distributors make more than $15k a year.

The only real way to make a good income from Herbalife is by recruiting people into your "downline". This makes the company very similar to a pyramid scheme in disguise, where the majority of people lose money to benefit the ones at the top.

Make Time Online Rating: 40 out of 100 

Recommended: No (health and fitness bloggers or "influencers" can make money from selling Herbalife but normally at the expense of the people they "recruit")

What is Herbalife?

Herbalife is a health and wellness Multi-Level-Marketing company that mainly sells weight loss & nutrition products. They also have some skincare products too.

It was founded in 1980 by the late Mark Hughes, who tragically died from alcohol poisoning and an overdose of an antidepressant at the age of 44. 

In the year 2000, the company dropped by 43% in stock price just after this happened. 

But it has continued to grow, especially in Latino America, since this with the help from celebrity endorsements (such as Cristiano Ronaldo) and big advertising deals (such as sponsoring the football team LA Galaxy)

The 2 minute video below explains more about the Herbalife MLM "opportunity"...

So it looks like a pretty exciting opportunity, right?

But you're smart enough to realise this is just a Herbalife sales video.

So you're probably still wondering...

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme?

No Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme because distributors can earn money from selling products. 

However, Herbalife is a "pyramid scheme in disguise". 

The reason is that you can only earn good money from selling Herbalife if you recruit more people into your "downline" and make money from their purchases or sales. 

Confused?

Let's explain this a bit more clearly...

What is a pyramid scheme?

A company that promises payment to its members for recruiting more people into the company rather than selling any product or service. 

Pyramid schemes are totally illegal in most countries because it is impossible for everyone to earn money from this "business model".

Just check out the Wikipedia diagram below to see why...

Now, most MLM companies, like Herbalife, do offer legit products that their distributors can sell and earn a commission on. 

However, it is impossible to earn any good money from these 25% commissions by selling face to face to friends and family. The only way distributors can "move up the ranks" and realistically earn more than $1,000 a month is by recruiting. 

That makes Herbalife very much like a "pyramid scheme in disguise". 

Just watch the 5 minute video below, which explains this a bit better...

Success is rare with Herbalife

In fact, success is hard to find in any MLM company. 

Did you know that between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives lose money?

MLM FTC Fact Stat

Herbalife has released income disclaimers in the past to show how much their representatives have earnt. They seem to have removed this from the public eye now, but I did some digging to find an old copy. 

You'll find out more about this later on in this Herbalife MLM review. 

For now all you need to be aware of is that 95.5% of distributors earnt less than $200 income for the year.

Does that sound like you can really earn money selling Herbalife?

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I created a passive income online within a year. I had no marketing skills or online experience when I started. 

Mike Beatty

How does Herbalife Work?

Herbalife produces a range of health and wellness & personal care products. 

They save a lot of money on advertising or marketing by getting everyday people to help them sell these products.

In return these "distributors" can earn commission for any sales they make and "work from home" to "be their own boss".

In theory it sounds like a win-win. So let's dig into the company a bit more...

Herbalife products

If you really want to join an MLM, then it's crucial to understand their product line. 

Herbalife offers hundreds of products under one of the following categories:

  • Healthy weight
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Energy and fitness
  • Specialised nutrition
  • Skin and hair care
Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme

There are far too many products to go into detail about them all here (that would be a whole article by itself!) But you can find all of these products inside the Herbalife shop.

It is important to be aware that there are hundreds of MLMs that exist that sell a very similar range of products to Herbalife, such as:

So the only way to see what makes one MLM company different to another is to learn more about their main products...

Herbalife Formula 1, 2, 3 - flagship products

Herbalife has a big focus on their "F1, F2 and F3" product line...

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme
Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme

The whole point of the F1 is to help people lose weight easily. 

The stand out benefits of the Herbalife F1 products are:

  • It's easy and convenient
  • Soy-based products may be good for your heart

However, there are also some downsides to be aware of:

  • Shakes are highly processed
  • Not true meal replacements (not enough calories)
  • Herbal supplements can cause liver damage (see study 1, 2 and 3 that prove this)
  • Not suitable for everyone (certain allergies or intolerances)

You can learn more about the products in the 5 minute video below...

Can you really make money selling Herbalife?

Very good sales people and those that can recruit a big team under them can make money selling Herbalife. 

However, it will have to be done knowing that the majority of people you recruit will likely lose money from Herbalife. If you're OK with that then that's your call.

Like most MLM companies, there are 2 ways you can earn money as a Herbalife representative:

  1. Sell Herbalife products to earn a commission
  2. Recruit more people and earn bonuses from their sales

I really want to hammer this home as Herbalife has been burnt from this before...

You cannot earn money just by recruiting people.

You only earn bonuses from the purchases that your downline personally make or sell on.

This is how Herbalife avoids being an outright pyramid scheme and lets them stay in business...

Can you make money selling Herbalife

How much does it cost to join Herbalife?

The price to join Herbalife is either $94.10 or $124.10 depending on which package you get...

Can you make money selling Herbalife

You can also become a "preferred member" for $34.95 to get the discount of the products. Later on you can then choose to convert to a distributor for an additional $59.95 if you want. 

The business pack comes with a range of marketing materials, a protein shake and supplement for you to try as you can see below...

So you're probably asking yourself what are the...

Herbalife monthly costs

There are no monthly sales quotas at Herbalife. This is a great sign for any MLM as so many of them have these "quotas" that sales reps need to hit every month to stay active.

This can be one of the main reasons that reps lose money as they often buy products themselves just to remain active.

However, if you are serious about promoting Herbalife products then you are probably going to need to use them yourself. People can see right through those "sales reps" who just preach their products but you never actually see them using the stuff themselves. 

And you can even see what Healthline suggests about the price...

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme

If you are going to take it seriously and try to make money selling Herbalife then you will need to become a consumer yourself. 

So you're looking at spending at least $80 a month on the shakes. 

This obviously isn't necessary, but if you don't like or use the products yourself, then you probably shouldn't consider trying to sell them!

Herbalife compensation plan

There has been a lot of change to this since Herbalife were sued for $200 million by the FTC in 2016.

There isn't yet an official compensation plan that Herbalife has released for the public. 

But you can find YouTube videos from current distributors and work it out. Luckily for you, I've done this for you...

There are 4 main ways Herbalife reps can get paid:

  1. Retail commission (25-50%)
  2. Build a team (earn wholesale profit bonuses from your downline sales)
  3. Royalties (5% bonuses from your downline sales)
  4. Bonuses (around a $400 bonus for recruiting & promoting 10 people to supervisor level)
Can you make money selling Herbalife

For some reason, most MLM companies love to make these compensation plans with complicated diagrams like the above. These are usually harder to understand than solving a Rubik's cube blindfolded!

To be honest, the only thing you need to know is what you have to do to make money. And remember that is:

  1. Sell products
  2. Recruit people

And do you notice that 3 out of 4 ways you get paid requires you to recruit people?

If you want to get your head around the Herbalife compensation plan a bit more then you can watch the 11 minute video below...

Or see the shortened concise compensation plan here. 

Is Herbalife a scam?

No Herbalife is technically not a scam. 

They sell legit products and pay their representatives like they say they will.

Some people argue that any MLM that is a "pyramid scheme in disguise" is a scam. But technically, if you could sell hundreds of Herbalife products every month then you could make decent money without recruiting. In reality, that's pretty tough for most people!

It's always your decision on what route you take but the rest of this Herbalife MLM review will help you to make an informed decision...

Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse Herbalife in any way.

I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn how to “Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.

Tired of MLMs? Check out how I make money online here!

What I like about Herbalife

There are a few things that I genuinely like about the Herbalife MLM.

Some of these things make it better than other MLM companies, but at the end of the day, it's still an MLM!

Key Terms:

  • Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
  • Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
  • Red Flag - A warning sign

#1 Proven history

Did you know that 50% of MLMs disappear within 5 years of starting. 

Herbalife's long history proves it's not a scam.

This helps because if you do dedicate a lot of time to it and start earning a monthly income (by recruiting lots of people) then at least you know the company isn't likely to disappear tomorrow with all of your income. 

#2 Positive product reviews

There are so many positive reviews of Herbalife's products just like the one below...

Herbalife review

You can tell that real people have used Herbalife products and genuinely have lost weight and like the products. 

This is so important for any MLM company. 

If there are real people using the products (not just the distributors) then at least you know you could make money from sales rather than just recruiting!

#3 It's well known due to celebrity sponsors

If you ask someone if they have heard of Isagenix they will likely look at you with a blank expression on their face. 

If you ask them about Herbalife most people will at least recognise the name. 

That's because Herbalife has put a lot of effort into getting themselves out there through sponsorships and celebrity endorsements...

Yeah even big Cris is an "endorser"!

The company name does come with some downsides though as many people have heard of some of the negative sides to it. Just check out the popular documentary "Betting on Zero" if you haven't heard of it before. You can see the 2 minute trailer below...

#4 No monthly sales quota

This is the BEST thing about Herbalife for me. 

The really good news is that if you become a representative you don't need to sell a certain amount to "remain active" and earn commission from any sales you do make.

This means you don't need to keep paying for these expensive products every month just to stay part of the company.

They even use a clever marketing badge & slogan to help you talk to people about what you do...

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme

This is a great sign that Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme and they do focus on selling the products rather than just recruiting.

And just so you know they've put a LOT of effort into trying to make themselves seem like they are not a pyramid scheme!

What I don't like about Herbalife

So there are a few things that many distributors find out the hard way once they've joined. 

I've done some serious digging to uncover these hidden truths so you are aware of them before diving in...

#1 Expensive products

Herbalife's products are stupidly expensive!

This is always the first thing I check out in any MLM company as it can be a sign that Herbalife is a "pyramid scheme in disguise".

herbalife products
Protein powder
  • Herbalife shake = $2.34 per serving
  • My protein shake = $0.64 per serving

Herbalife is 300% more expensive that other very highly rated protein shakes.

Now, I can almost hear you thinking... well surely Herbalife's shakes are better.

Check this out...

Herbalife products
Protein powder nutrition

There is more protein, less sugar and less additives in the MyProtein shake. 

Sure you may get some other vitamins in the Herbalife shakes. But less processed shakes are far better for you in the long run. However, Herbalife's shakes are highly processed.

The expensive products means that many of the distributors will encourage people to join Herbalife with the potential to make some "pocket money" from it. This is far more attractive to people than offering them overpriced protein shakes that they don't want. 

But that is also a sign that Herbalife promotes recruitment aka a pyramid scheme in disguise!

#2 Herbalife lawsuits & being sued for $200 million by the FTC

You can see what happened in the FTC lawsuit below...

Can you make money selling Herbalife

It's becoming more and more common to hear about MLM companies getting sued for being a "pyramid scheme in disguise" or falsely marketing themselves. 

However, Herbalife had to "restructure their business from top to bottom" because of their misleading claims. That suggests to me that Herbalife has always operated like a pyramid scheme in disguise...

#3 Is Herbalife still a pyramid scheme in disguise?

So it seems like Herbalife has made an effort to make it seem like it is not a pyramid scheme. However, there are still far to many signs that Herbalife is just a pyramid scheme in disguise still.

You can watch 5 minutes or so of the pretty funny and eye opening video below (it starts at 12:53) to see what I mean...

There are also numerous negative reviews online trying to warn people, such as this one...

Herbalife review

But when you take into account that their compensation plan pays you in 3 out of 4 ways for recruiting people and continuously mentions "building a team" you can work out what their true intentions are!

#4 Can you make money selling Herbalife?... 0.4% make over $15k a year

Can you and your family live off $15k a year?

Well, check out the Herbalife income disclosure below...

Herbalife compensation plan

They try to make it sound like loads of people join as a Herbalife distributor because they just want a discount.

Even though this may be true for some people, the vast majority will like the idea of making money from the company... otherwise they'd just buy the better more affordable shakes elsewhere!

This means once you do the maths you can see that only 1 in 250 members earns over $15k a year. 

#5 Downward trend

The final nail in the coffin for me is found on Google Trends. 

You can see that Herbalife has been searched for less and less since 2013. 

Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme

When you see some other customers reviews like this, you may understand why...

Herbalife review

You probably know that the MLM members that join before the companies "early momentum phase" can benefit the most from the increasing interest in the company and sell products or recruit people because of this. 

When you compare Herbalife to newer MLMs like Farmasi you can see that Herbalife is simply going the wrong way! 

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I've created a growing passive income online with no previous marketing skills or online experience... 

I've made a special video for you to explain exactly how I did this. 

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My opinion - Herbalife MLM

So Herbalife does sell some legit protein shakes and supplements that have helped some people lose weight. 

But what do I think about the Herbalife MLM opportunity to make money from home?...

Unless you are a seasoned sales person with an online business and a lot of connections to people in the health and fitness space, you will really struggle to make any decent money from the Herbalife MLM. 

And now you know how expensive the products are in comparison to others, can you really ethically promote Herbalife to people knowing they are getting ripped off?

How I make passive income online

MLMs are not all scams or illegal. However, I'm not a fan of them because of the restrictions to the expensive products you have to promote.

Once I learnt about affiliate marketing, I realised it's a far superior business model because:

  • You can promote anything you want and truly own the business
  • You never need to sell to friends and family
  • It's completely free to start

In 2018 I had no idea what affiliate marketing was.

But I went from a full time PE teacher to making a passive income online within one year...

Mike PE teacher to Passive Income Online

If you want to discover how I did it then check out this special video I created which explains exactly how. You can also get your free 7-day bootcamp to get started.

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About the Author

Mike Beatty has built a passive income online whilst working as a full-time PE teacher without any marketing or technical experience. Learn more about how he's done it here.

Mike Beatty

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  1. Hello

    Thanks for allowing me to read your post on “Can You Make Money With Herbalife Legit or Pyramid Scheme? It’s been a while since I heard information about Herbaife, one of the most popular MSM ways to make money on line. I had no Idea you don’t need to have inventory. Also, the no monthly sales quota is a good thing to know.

    I rally appreciate you reintroducing Herbalife to me and others. You really helped me to read things I didn’t know.

    Best Regards

    Audrey

    1. Hey Audrey, yeah I think things have changed a lot since all the controversy and lawsuits. I think no monthly sales quotas is a big benefit. 

      However, I cannot recommend that people join the company. Selling overpriced products is not morally right and the focus is still on recruitment to make any decent money, even though Herbalife has tried to hide this!

  2. wow. This is the single most detailed MLM review I’ve read. After reading your review, I don’t think anyone in their right mind would join this company nor take their products. For me, testimonial of the lady claiming she had liver enlargement was what sealed the deal. I think it comes as no surprise that they got hit with a gigantic lawsuit

    Sunny

    1. Yeah that really isn’t good that there are some serious health concerns in some of the reviews about the products. The company simply doesn’t offer anything that you can’t get elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. I personally, would find that hard selling to my friends and family if I knew they could get it for half price or better with the click of a button

  3. Hi Mike

    It is no surprise  that so many do not make money on Herbalife  where you can make  more money by promoting  the business to other people and recruiting  rather than selling the products. This shows to me that the company has no interest  in the products but the money they can make by recruiting people. It may not be a scam but you can say it is not a recommended. Not illegal but not advised  to join the scheme. It amazes me how people will come up with different ways to squeeze money from people. It seems like hard work to achieve so little and  I don’t  like it. 

    A company that was started by a person who was depressed and died does  not give good vibes. I thank you for writing  this detailed  review as you have added to my companies to blacklist. Herbalife is not for me?

    Thanks

    Antonio 

    1. Hey Antonio, I think you are so right. 

      It’s not illegal they have done their best to make sure it’s not. But there is still clearly a focus on recruiting like you say. It’s the only way to make good money and it will come at the expense of the people you actually recruit. It’s not a morally sound way to make money.

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