January 27, 2022

Is Melaleuca A Scam or Wellness MLM Pyramid Scheme? 2022 Review

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So someone has probably shown you that it's possible to work from home using Melaleuca.

You know that "some" people can do it, but is it something you will actually be able to do?

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

And is Melaleuca a scam or a pyramid scheme in disguise?

This honest Melaleuca review, with videos, will show you the pros and cons of joining so that you can make an informed decision if it's right for you or not. 

Melaleuca Review

The overview and rankings

Name: Melaleuca

Founder: Frank L. Vandersloot in 1985

Website URL: melaleuca.com

Type: Health & Wellness MLM

Products (Including Pricing): 30 out of 100

Success Stories: 10 out of 100

Price To Join MLM: $19 per year + tax

+ Allow $60+ a month to hit the 35 PP requirement (70 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

Melaleuca Pros

  • Long history
  • Positive product reviews
  • Big selection of products

Melaleuca Cons

  • Expensive products
  • Low income potential
  • Cancellation issues
  • Not transparent
  • Executives are forced to keep purchasing
  • Not in the "early momentum" phase

Summary: Melaleuca offers some safe and toxic free health and wellness products in a whole range of categories. Many people appear to enjoy their 400+ products. However, to make any serious money as a member you will need to recruit a lot of people into the company. 

Make Time Online Rating: 37 out of 100 

Recommended: No

What is Melaleuca?

Melaleuca is a Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) company that offers a wide range of health and wellness products. They claim they are not an MLM company but are a "direct sales" company, but in reality they are pretty much the same thing...

Melaleuca is one of the veterans in the MLM industry. Besides the opportunity to build an income stream selling its products, the company has also gained a reputation as a manufacturer of safe and green items.

There's not even anything wrong with being an MLM company so I'm not sure why they have such a bee in their bonnet about the term!

Interestingly, Melaleuca gets its name from the Melaleuca plant. They naturally claim this plant is what makes their products so terrific. I've never personally tried it, yet it may be everything they claim it is.

In any event, the company is primarily marketing vitamins, supplements, charm care, detergents, and cleaning products.

Various other products are in stock, but this is the primary push. They claim that their products have no chlorine, formaldehyde, coated pills, or every type of ingredient that's not "green."

Melaleuca is appealing and lucrative because the whole environmentally friendly thing is currently a tested psychological draw. So Melaleuca was ahead of their time in that respect.

Their liquid products are sold as a concentrate, so once you buy them, it lasts a long time. This would be cleaning products, laundry, dishwashing detergents, shampoo, etc. Vitamins and supplements are generally in 3-month supplies, and make-up and beauty items are in regular sizes.

The big push is that if you buy what you normally buy, you won't spend any more money, but you will get natural, green, healthier living.

Frank L. Vandersloot founded the company in 1985 so it has been around for quite some time. It operates in almost 20 countries around the world and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. 

Plus, they offer everyday people the opportunity to work from home by promoting these products and recruiting more people into the MLM business. 

The 3-minute promotional video below explains the idea behind Melaleuca...

So it's starting to sound like an interesting company, right?

But you're clever enough to not just fall for these marketing videos. And you're probably still wondering...

Is Melaleuca a pyramid scheme?

Let's get this straight...

No, Melaleuca is not a pyramid scheme.

They offer legit products and their "executives" (also called members, directors, distributors or ambassadors etc.) can get paid by selling these products. 

However, is Melaleuca MLM operating as a pyramid scheme in disguise?

What is a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is when the only way members can earn money is by recruiting more people into the company. 

Technically, there are no products or services on offer.

These are illegal in most countries as they are totally unsustainable, as you can see in the diagram below...

Most MLM companies will offer products, like Melaleuca does. 

But some MLM companies only offer products to "look legit" on the outside. When in reality the only way their ambassadors can earn good money ($1,000+ a month) is by recruiting. 

This Melaleuca MLM review will investigate the company in more detail later. But for now you can learn what to look out for in "pyramid schemes in disguise" in the video below...

Success is rare with Melaleuca

So it's not just Melaleuca that it's hard to find people that make a full time income.

Did you know there are studies that shows that between 72.5% and 99.9% of all MLM representatives lose money?

MLM FTC Fact Stat

Melaleuca also releases income distribution statements so you can see the numbers for yourself. This review will look into that a bit later on. Just know for now that only 1.1% of members earn more then $2,000 a year. 

But before we dig into that, let's get our head around...

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Hey, I'm Mike.

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

Mike Beatty

How does Melaleuca Work?

Here's the truth laid out:

  • Melaleuca makes health and wellness products
  • "Executives" for the company market these products (and get commission for what they sell or their "downline" sells)
  • Melaleuca makes money

It's designed to be a "win-win".

Melaleuca saves money on advertising. And everyday people have the opportunity to work from home without having to dedicate their life to creating products or starting a business from the ground up. 

Once you join the company as a business partner, you will save 30-40% off retail on your household products. You can also make money by building a business and getting others involved.

The participants, who are non-employees, sign up with the firm to purchase its items online and have them shipped to their homes/businesses.

To finish signup, you must deal with an existing participant and sign up under him/her.

Therefore, that existing member, now referred to as an Item Supporter, earns a payment every time his/her new team member purchases an item.

The common payment is 7%, which adds up promptly if you recruit a few or even more participants under you. However, before recruiting, you'll have to purchase some products yourself.

Melaleuca products

If you are considering joining any MLM company then it's vital that you understand their product line. 

This is what you will have to market and sell to make any money. Even if you plan on just recruiting people into the company you only make commission from the sales you or they make. 

Melaleuca has a lot of products (over 400) in the following categories:

  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Food and weight loss
  • Hot beverages
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Beauty
  • Cleaning and laundry
  • Home fragrances
  • Pet care
  • Bath and body
  • Dental care
  • Essential oils
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

There are far too many to go into detail about all of them, but you can check out the total list from 2017 with the prices & points you'd earn here.

So we will just look into their flagship products in a bit more detail...

Melaleuca cleaning products

Here's the thing...

After researching this company for hours I still have no idea what their flagship product is. It seems like the company is trying to serve everyone. 

And there's a saying in marketing... "when you try to serve everyone, you actually serve no one".

Saying that, there is a common thread amongst most of their products...

The unique selling point for Melaleuca is that their cleaning products are not toxic, but are natural and kind for the environment.

They don't release the ingredients in their products as they use a "proprietary formula", which is a bit suspicious but anhoo... 

Also note that there are a lot of other MLMs that offer similar products and have similar earning styles with Melaleuca. Some of the most notable ones are:

Here's a 5 minute video about the cleaning products...

Wow, that's some good marketing... I want to start cleaning some floors after that!

How to make money with Melaleuca

OK, so this is probably the bit you have been waiting for!

So let's not hang around, let's get straight into it...

There are 2 ways you can make money from Melaleuca as an executive:

  • Sell products
  • Recruit more "executives" and make commission from the products they sell

Note- you do not get paid for recruiting people, but you make commission on any sales these recruits make. Melaleuca seems to think this doesn't make them a MLM company... but this is pretty standard practice of any half decent MLM company! (Remember not all MLM's a scams or bad!)

The short video below shows why some people became an executive for Melaleuca...

So you're probably wondering...

How much does it cost to join Melaleuca?

It costs just $19 + tax to start.

This is an annual fee but you can start making money once you pay that and join the company. 

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

So you're probably starting to think... ah this is amazing it's so cheap to start!

Well it doesn't end there amigo...

Melaleuca monthly points

To remain "active" as a Melaleuca member you need to accumulate 35 "product points" each month. 

Some people seem to claim that can cost as little as $50 per month...

But from my research and the product pricing pdf the best price I can see you paying is $60+ per month. 

Now, if you sell these products, you can offset what you need to personally spend. 

But the truth is, a lot of new members will have to stump up this cost themself for most of the first year (if not all of the costs).

So the total cost for 1 year is at least: $19 + $60 x 12 = $739

This is super low cost compared to a bricks and mortar business, but it is certainly more than $19!

Melaleuca compensation plan

For some reason MLM companies make compensation plans harder to work out than understanding astrophysics in latin!

Melaleuca is no different!

They claim there are 9 ways for you to get paid:

  1. Commissions (20% for your referrals and 7% for 7 "tiers below")
  2. Advancement bonus- rank up one of the 49 "status" (see diagram below as a small sample)
  3. Pacesetter bonus- Rank up in a certain time frame
  4. Mentoring bonus- When your enrollees move up the ranks
  5. Core mentoring bonus- When your enrollees move up the ranks
  6. Double core mentoring bonus- When your enrollees move up the ranks
  7. Leadership growth bonus- more bonuses when you get really high ranks!
  8. Monthly car bonus- monthly bonus for a car at certain ranks
  9. 20/20 bonus- 20 enrollees in your first 5 months
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

So this may look super exciting to you. 

And that's great, there are multiple ways you can receive bonuses and rewards. 

But here's the brutal truth:

  • When you make sales you only get paid commission in 1 way
  • You need to recruit people to make money from the other 8 ways

So I hope you are ready to recruit people into the company!

Here's an outdated video, that kind of explains the principle behind the compensation plan (do note it's a bit outdated, but it may help to understand what's going on)...

Find the full up to date 12 page Melaleuca compensation plan here. 

Is Melaleuca a scam?

Hopefully, you have realised that Melaleuca is not a scam. 

They sell legit products and members of the Melaleuca program get paid like they claim they will.

However, it's maybe not as transparent as you first thought. And just because an opportunity to make money from home is legit it doesn't always mean it's suited to you. 

The rest of this Melaleuca MLM review will help you make and informed decision about if you want to join it or not.

Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse Melaleuca 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.

Common positive reviews

  • "This company has changed my life - 23 years ago my daughter had asthma and it forced me to learn about going GREEN and Healthy Solutions...I have never looked back. Best decision for my family's health."
  • "They make it so easy to switch where you are buying your everyday products over to Safer, More Effective, and even More Affordable! Real Wellness delivered right to my door! I love how non-toxic doesn't have to cost an arm & a leg with them! I am totally addicted because the products work so well."

Common negative reviews

  • "I enjoy most of their products but don't go to them if you ever have a problem, they have terrible customer service."
  • "They trap you into buying a set amount each month (used to be £75 monthly but likely much higher now). If you don’t order, they send you a bundle of products to the value of the set amount regardless. They also try to get you to get your friends and family to join on the pretext of creating your own business."

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

What I like about Melaleuca

There are a few things that I genuinely like about Melaleuca...

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 Long history

The company has been going since 1985...

Melaleuca founder MLM review- is it a scam?

This is a great sign for any company but especially an MLM company. Around 50% disappear in less than 5 years of starting and only 1 out of 3 last longer than 10 years!

As you can see Melaleuca is not a scam.

#2 Positive Melaleuca product reviews

People clearly do really like the products.

Not every review is positive but you can see on sites like Trustpilot or BBB that people seem to rate the products highly. 

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

At the end of the day if people like the products and are die hard fans they will be willing to keep spending money with the company no matter what.

Just think about Apple if you don't believe me!

This is another sign that Melaleuca is not a scam.

#3 Large selection of products

Some MLM companies only offer one thing such as books, candles, weight loss supplements, skin care, cleaning products etc.

Melaleuca offers loads!

They cover so many categories that you could probably stop anyone in the street and find something on the list that they have bought an equivalent of in the past month. 

Melaleuca products MLM review- is it a scam?

What I don't like about Melaleuca

So there are some hidden truths that I think everyone needs to be aware of before diving in. 

These are not always made clear especially by the person who introduced the company to you (and is really trying to sell it to you).

#1 Expensive products

OK, so this is always the first thing I check out in any MLM company. 

If they have expensive products and a monthly "sales quota" that signals to me that the company is probably working like a pyramid scheme in disguise. 

Here's why...

Let me ask you this...

Why would anyone pay 100%+ more for a very similar product?

The answer is simple in MLMs...

Because MLM members have to (remember the sales quota that you need to hit every month at Melaleuca? Yeah, if you don't sell it, you need to buy it pal!)

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?


  • Melaleuca - $0.41 per tablet (over 300% more expensive)
  • High rated Amazon products - $0.07- $0.13 per tablet
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

Wax melt:

  • Melaleuca - $2.5 per ounce (over 250% more expensive)
  • High rated Amazon products - $0.83-$0.99 per ounce

When you can buy the same type of products for a third of the price then alarm bells should be ringing for any company that you want to get involved with!

#2 Low income potential

If this wasn't enough just check out the Melaleuca income disclosure.

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

89% of Melaleuca members do not make any money. 

And then from the ones that have at least 8 customers, 90% of them make an average annual income of $2,101!

That leaves 1.1% of Melaleuca members making more than $2,101 a year! And that's not even taking expenses into account!

#3 Canellation issues

If you have an eye for detail you may have noticed this in one of the earlier sales videos...

That's amazing right?

96% of customers re-order!

That probably means that customers are really happy with the products...

Or it could be that it's almost impossible to cancel your standing orders or leave the company!

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?
Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

It's not even funny how many times this same complaint appears all over the internet!

#4 Melaleuca is not transparent... is it just a pyramid scheme in disguise?

So here are some dishonest things that Melaleuca does:

  • Gets in a hissy fit about NOT being an MLM company... when it clearly is... and there's nothing wrong with that!
  • Doesn't show the products prices on their website
  • Doesn't make it clear how much it costs to get started
  • Hides the ingredients in certain products

When a company is not totally honest and transparent it becomes very hard for people to truly trust them. 

#5 Executives are forced to keep purchasing

The compensation plan is so hard to understand that you can't really tell if there is a "sales quota" to hit each month to stay active.

But a bit more digging on the internet finds the truth out here...

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

There are more complaints about being forced to buy products every month and numerous people suggest it is 35 "product points" needed each month to stay active. 

Melaleuca makes it very clear that it costs ONLY $19 to start...

But they certainly don't make it clear that if you don't sell $60 worth of products each month then you need to fork out for them yourself. 

#6 Not in early momentum phase

The second most important factor for me when I research an MLM company is whether they are still in the "early momentum" phase.

You probably know that the most successful people in the business are the ones who got in early and helped the business grow. 

Well Melaleuca is not one of these!

Melaleuca MLM review- is it a scam?

As you can see from Google trends... other MLM's such as Farmasi are still in that early momentum phase but Melaleuca has past that stage a long time ago and is on the decline.

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My opinion - Melaleuca

Melaleuca does sell some high quality products that people seem to enjoy. 

However, the business opportunity for most people is not going to help them quit their full time job and work from home any time soon.

It's going to be an uphill battle to make any decent money...

The only way you can make any good money from Melaleuca is by recruiting a lot of people into the company and then hoping they have the grit to also build a success out of it. 

It will take a lot of rejections and thick skin to continue.

How I make passive income online

Some MLM's are a great way for people to try out their own "business".

I was never a huge fan of them because you are restricted to what you 

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.

Make Time Online Income

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. I ran into this product in the 80’s. I knew then that it was more or less a pyramid platform. Your article spelled it out very informatively. While some of the products were to my liking as a consumer, but as far as the sales end? I ended up getting a group 1 insurance license instead. It was easier making money selling life insurance than trying to sell this product. Thanks for confirming my views on this line. Buyer beware I always say.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Patches.
      I totally agree it seems like the products at Melaleuca are pretty good. But as far as the opportunity to make money from home goes? It’s simply not worth the time!

  2. Natural cleaning products are an interesting concept. However, I’m not entirely convinced that they would be a lot cheaper than bleach or other household chemicals we use to clean our homes. 

    Because of this, I’m not convinced that other people may want to choose these products as an alternative to bleach and other similar chemicals since A) that is what the people are used to, and B) people hate change. Knowing both of those factors, it is easy to say that perhaps it wouldn’t be the best business opportunity out there.

    1. It’s very true but I do think more and more people are becoming more aware of saving the environment and not using as many chemicals to clean with. Saying that, there are much cheaper natural alternatives to the products you  can find  at Melaleuca

  3. I like your review of Melaleuca. I think you gave all the information both for and against going into business. I am not a fan of multilevel. I’ve been to several companies and ended up with a surplus of products and a lack of money. In the end, I realized that they all have the same or similar story and that it is tough to find new members and sell products because they are generally more expensive than similar products on the market.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! The expensive products and monthly sales quota are the clear signs for me to stay away from an MLM.

      In the  2020’s I personally think the only way people can have any real  success is by using MLM’s more like an affiliate marketing income  stream. If you  genuinely  like and  use the products then it’s  possible  to recommend them using a website to get traffic and potential customers. 

      The old home parties or  knocking on  people’s doors simply won’t work anymore. 

      1. Melaleuca only offers affiliates as members don't sell the products. They can only recommend products to use based on personal testimony and send a referral link by email for any potential customer to create a customer account.

        I have been shopping with Melaleuca for close to 4 years and the prices are hit & miss like all companies. They have products to suit all budgets. The cleaning supplies, pharmacy are by far the best value as it's sold in concentrated form at about $1undefinedbottle which is cheaper than the grocery storeundefinedWalmart. They do have quite a few products that are expensive as well…like their snack food. Get it at the grocery store as I don't care how good it tastes lol I'm not paying $10 for a box of granola bars that I can get for $3-4 at CVS.

        I don't promote their products because I'm happy just shopping and don't have extra time to have a side hustle so to speak. Melaleuca does not require their customers to recommend their products which is different than a MLM as MLMs require that you sell, sell, sell and recruit, recruit, recruit. It's 100% optional to promote the products and only approximately 10% of all their members do this.

        1. Thanks Wendy I appreciate your personal feedback from your experience.

          I should have made that more clear that members don’t physically sell the products. Like you say they will get a link to send people and if they buy through their link they make a commission.

          It’s good that you can remain a member if you don’t sell the products. But I believe you won’t earn any commission from the sales you do make if you don’t meet the 35 “product points” each month. That’s just from what other people have said online and how most MLM type companies work. Correct me if I’m wrong here?

  4. Almost everything you stated is correct about Melaleuca except that there is no sale of products by members. The only way you can purchase the products is directly on the Melaleuca website & not thru any individuals. This is what differentiates it from a MLM company. Members can advertise or promote the products that they use but are not actually selling the products & they are just recommending them. If someone wants to shop, the only thing a member can do is send them a referral link for the membership, nothing more.

  5. Don't even think about it. Crappy products which YOU will be paying for. Getting people to join? Good luck. I worked 90 hours per week to do it – yep, no sleep. It won't happen. Don't even try. Pyramid scheme. They're so nice (Linda [surname removed]) and then they're gone. RUN away from this one…

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