Has someone in your family or friend group been hassling you about joining Herbalife? You've seen it before: someone on Facebook or Instagram talks all about their incredible new business opportunity and how they've reached financial freedom.
Is it legit?
Before you go signing up for something you haven't put research into, it's time to learn the facts. Is Herbalife as good as it seems, or is there something more sinister behind the business model?
Keep reading for my Herbalife review so you can learn all about how they may not be as great as they seem.
Herbalife: What Is It?
Herbalife is one of the most popular “network marketing” companies. They sell products that they claim are good for your health and promote weight loss.
They frame themselves as a company that provides a fantastic at-home business opportunity for anyone willing to put in the work to achieve massive earnings.
Like many of these types of businesses, they have an earning structure that may not be related to product sales at all. So why do people get involved?
Do the Products Work?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of working for Herbalife, it's useful to know about their products and whether or not they're actually a good investment. If you plan on joining their company, you want to know that they're selling a good product, right?
Herbalife products are labeled as “dietary supplements” and are allegedly backed by scientists and nutritionists.
Their most popular product is a nutrition shake (which is going to be our focus here), but they also sell vitamin supplements, immune support, tea concentrates, and more.
To be clear, there are nutritionists on Herbalife's board, but is this good enough? To be valuable, these nutritionists need to be nonbiased, and someone who gets a degree doesn't necessarily equate to someone who wants to provide useful information.
The popular Formula 1 shakes are meant to be meal replacements when they're used for weight loss.
Each one has fewer than 300 calories and fewer than 20 grams of protein. This makes them nutritionally inadequate for meal replacements. While a low-calorie diet will help you lose weight, it isn't sustainable and these shakes are bordering on being too low in protein.
All of this said, they do offer higher-protein options.
But Are They Worth It?
Many of their supplements are overpriced. While they may work, they're no more effective than supplements that you can get at a pharmacy if you know what to look for.
When it comes to the shakes, shakes with higher protein and equal to lower calorie content are available elsewhere. While the extra “herbs and vitamins” that these shakes offer are tempting, the price point (nearly double other nutrition shakes) is not.
What's the Income Structure?
So what's it like to earn when you're doing Herbalife?
Herbalife claims that there are multiple ways to earn money with various income streams. These are:
- Retail commission
- Wholesale commission
- Production bonuses
- Cash promotions
- A “Mark Hughes” bonus
- Paid vacations
But is this true?
In reality, making money through most of those income streams is difficult. People who buy Herbalife to sell do so at a discount and hope to sell the product full-price to anyone they can persuade into it (in this case, friends and family).
Because most people aren't interested in Herbalife products, both because they're overpriced and because they've now developed a bad reputation, distributors don't earn enough from the commission. So what about the other income streams?
The production bonus, paid vacations, Mark Hughes bonus, and cash bonus, are all bonuses that are based on recruiting other people.
When you establish downlines (that is, people who you recruit), you earn royalties based on sales and their recruitment earnings (for up to the third tier: your recruit's recruits).
How Do They Recruit?
So how are people recruiting for this anyway?
Well, you've already seen it. They use social media (or worse, real-life interactions) to sing the praise of Herbalife and how it's helped them create financial independence and ultimate health.
They may post “weight loss results” that may or may not be doctored photos. When other people want to achieve their results, they prey on their insecurity to reel them in.
First, these people try the products. Because they're expensive, distributors encourage them to also become distributors to get the discount and provide themselves with an “amazing income stream.”
Is Herbalife an MLM?
Think of it this way. If you're a starting distributor, let's say you get three recruits underneath you. Then those recruits have two underneath each of them. If you draw this out, what does it look like?
While “pyramid scheme” is a divisive term, there's no doubt that this is a business system with multiple levels. It fits the definition of a multi-level marketing system.
Do People Actually Make Money?
Most people who distribute Herbalife will never make a dime. They spend a lot of money on products to distribute, but without being able to sell them, they end their distribution career at a loss.
Even if they manage to get a few recruits, the income is minimal, and often it just makes them break even. So how are there people who claim that they've “made it big” with Herbalife? Where do those company trips come from?
To advance beyond the halfway mark, tier-wise, with Herbalife, you must recruit people beneath you. The top distributors (who get the Mark Hughes bonus) are not the ones who are selling on social media.
For the most part, they're people who have been working with Herbalife for decades, so all of their money comes from recruits. They use their earnings to “encourage” others that they can do the same.
That said, if you're intent on staying with this kind of program, you should at least brush up on your marketing techniques. People are wise to the cut-and-paste scripts that the company provides.
Final Herbalife Review: Not Worth It
If you got into Herbalife in the nineties or early 2000s I might say that Herbalife is a valid business opportunity, but this Herbalife review gives the business a failing grade as far as opportunity goes.
There are better ways to make money from home.
You deserve to rely on yourself and products that you feel good selling to people. Don't rely on downlines for your income. Instead, learn how other people have reached success through online marketing. You can create your own online business instead of lining other people's pockets.
If you've reached the end of this Herbalife review and decided you'd rather try your hand at affiliate marketing, please consider checking out our free online webclass which will walk you through our #1 recommended way to earn money online from home and teaches affiliate marketing strategies including how to make multiple high-ticket affiliate commissions each month marketing valuable products people already want to buy.