Is Herbalife a Pyramid Scheme?
Welcome to my Herbalife review!
I’ve been getting a lot of question from my readers “Is Herbalife a Pyramid Scheme?” This is an honest and unbiased truth review Herbalife and its affiliates.
Direct Marketing companies are pop up almost every day claiming that all you need is to join them and you’ll be financially free. One that you may heard about is a company known as Herbalife.
They claim that they will change your live with great nutrition products and programs. Do they hold up to their promises though?
However, the many Herbalife complaints on the internet have caused many people to view this business as a Herbalife scam often. So, I have decided to prepare a Herbalife review to help new people to determine whether Herbalife a pyramid scheme or not.
Let’s dive into it…
Herbalife is a company that deals with health products such as weight-loss shakes, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and many other products. The company is specialized in several key areas of health, wellness and fitness. These include:
- Health Products
- Weight Management Products
When I first heard about this company, I was dealing with weight issues, and I wanted to know more about the firm.I started researching about Herbalife, and I discovered that the company was started approximately thirty years ago.
Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company founded in February 1996 by Mark R. Hughes and it’s mainly based in Los Angeles; CA.
They also happen to be listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, but they are not accredited. They have an A- Rating at the time of this review.
Here’s a Short Video on Herbalife Nutrition.
Having an MLM business model means that it uses individuals to sell the products on its behalf. Additionally, the sellers can earn more money by recommending the product to other people and convincing them to sign up as the product distributors.
One of the main reasons people are asking ” is Herbalife a Pyramid Scheme? is because the company is mainly focused on recruiting. In 2016, the company was the subject of a high profile FTC lawsuit and the FTC labeled them a pyramid scheme.
In April 2020, Truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) has filed a complaint against Herbalife with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for deceptive claims that Herbalife products can help prevent and treat the coronavirus by boosting immune system.
What I Liked About Herbalife.
Sometimes back, I talked to one of my friends who had been recruited into this MLM Company. After talking to her, I discovered that this company has its positive side. The following are some of the reasons why I think that Herbalife is a good company.
Has a history of success
As I mentioned before, Herbalife has been around for more than forty years now. Decades is quite a long time in the MLM business. It has survived the countless congressional controversy, lawsuits and other fights aimed at destroying the company.
It has received many awards and recognition
Another thing that I like about Herbalife Nutrition is the number of awards it has received. For example, in 2013 and 2015, the company received the Healthy Nutrition Awards.
In 2014, the firm received the 2014 Product of the year award. There are also other international awards such as the 2013 SNQ National Quality Certification.
Receiving these awards shows that their shake mix, Triple Berry complex, Niteworks Powder Mix and the Tang Kuei mixes are natural and healthy.
Herbalife nutritional products are effective
From the company’s website, the nutritional benefits that Herbalife deals with have very many benefits. For example, the proteins contained in those shakes helps in weight loss and weight loss management.
Here’s a Quick Video on the Product.
Therefore, obese and overweight people can benefit from these proteins. Another benefit of the Herbalife protein shakes is that they for a complete nutritional meal due to the presence of vitamins and minerals. The fiber helps in digestion and weight loss.
Herbalife products are healthy because they contain no cholesterol and Trans fats.
Various high-visibility sponsorship and charity programs
Herbalife’s brand has grown due to the company’s sponsorship programs. It has sponsored professional athletes such as Christian Ronaldo and also professional sports teams such as the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team.
I also like this company because it has a family foundation, called the Herbalife Nutritional Foundation that helps in giving back to the society by helping the poor and the disadvantaged children.
What I Didn’t Like About Herbalife
The principles of the weight loss plan are based on outdated science
When I tried to research on the benefits offered by the Herbalife products, I discovered that they are not scientifically proven. According to modern science, low fat and low-calories diets are not recommended as effective or sustainable approaches to weight loss.
Their nutritional products are also highly processed. During the processing, they add undesirable and unhealthy ingredients such as artificial colors, flavors, and sucrose.
Many who have used these supplements have complained about the adverse health effects that the products cause.
Lack of transparency on the ingredients
On their official website, I found no information about the ingredients used to process the products. Yes, they say that they are natural products, so we expect them to use natural ingredients.
As a normal human being, one would be suspicious, wondering why the company does not want to inform its clients about the ingredients.
I think that they should have provided all the necessary information about the nutritional products so that consumers can know what they are about to consume.
Providing sufficient information could also attract more customers to use the products, but I guess the company does not find that necessary.
Low nutrient content
Herbalife describes their shakes as protein shakes. However, the Formula 1 shakes only contain nine grams of proteins. According to nutritional experts, one gram is less than half the protein content that a regular meal should have.
This is one of the reasons why I think that their products as not as nutritional as they claim them to be.
Why don’t I take a standard meal and gain all the nutrients that I want instead of processed products which are nutrient-deficient?
According to some customers, Herbalife is not close to healthy. I assume that this is because of the medical issues that have been discovered.
In 2004, Israel’s health minister started investigating Herbalife’s products. Before the investigation, four people who had been using these products suffered from liver problems.
The results of the test cause Herbalife to withdraw one of its products, which was promoted explicitly in the Israel market.
Three years later, doctors at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland worked together with the Liver Unit of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel and found out that the consumption of Herbalife products was linked directly to hepatitis.
The use of these products worries nutritional therapists because it exposes the consumers to different health issues.
Fake success stories
The Herbalife distributors are trained to give fake success stories. During their marketing, they are advised to tell stories about how they became wealthy and successful.
I once met a distributor who said to me that she used to wash dishes for a minimum wage at a particular restaurant across the street.
Now that she sells Herbalife products, she makes $150, 000 in a year, and is living in a luxurious mansion and driving a big car. I was left wondering whether to believe the story or not.
If a distributor has not yet become successful, they are forced to use Mark Hughes’ favorite quote, “fake it until you make it.”
Most MLM companies sell their products at a very high price, yet they expect their distributors to sell them at a full quotation comfortably.
You can find the protein shakes and the multivitamins elsewhere at a lower price. If you are selling the products to your family and friends, it might be challenging to explain the high price.
Who it is for
Herbalife is not for everyone. It is for those people who are good at marketing products and recruiting others.
For you to make good money, you should have a passion for talking to your friends, family, and other people and convincing them to join this business opportunity to make money.
How You Will Be Making Money With Herbalife?
Since this is an MLM business, customers can only access the products from the independent distributors. You can connect directly with a distributor on the company’s official website. Alternatively, you can connect with them through certified retailers.
Below is a Short Video how their Compensation work.
Once you have connected with a Herbalife independent distributor, you can then choose your weight loss program from the three-the Quickstart, Advanced or the Ultimate program and begin the Herbalife diet.
Note that these programs have different monthly prices, ranging from $150-275.
The two primary methods of making money through Herbalife are direct sales or multilevel marketing. You have to pay more than $60 to join Herbalife as a distributor.
You have to buy the nutritional products from the company at a specific price and then sell to other people at a profit.
One advantage of being a distributor is that you buy the products at a discount, which is usually 25% of the retail price.
Let me give you an example. If you purchase goods worth $150 and sell them at %200, you can make a $50 profit.
There are also “volume points” to be won for every product sold. If you earn five hundred volume points in one month, you are promoted to the senior consultant position.
This person receives a 10% commission on all sales made by the distributors they recruited. There are many products distributors in different countries all over the world.
Currently, the Formula 1 protein shake is the company’s main products. In the modern world, obesity has become a global health issue, and this is why Herbalife specialized in this industry.
A lot of people are looking for weight loss solutions. If the distributor has excellent marketing skills, he or she can make good money by selling many products at a profit.
For you to become a distributor and start making money, you must be recruited by an already-existing distributor.
The company’s website also states that recruits have to but a Herbalife Nutritional International Business Pack. This is a guide that shows you how the business works and how you can become a sponsor.
Once you become the new distributor, you will have to buy Herbalife products and market and sell them at a higher price so that you can make a profit.
Many people have made allegations that in Herbalife, a distributor’s compensation is not determined by the number of products they sell to the consumers but by the number of people they recruit into the so-called business opportunity.
This might be true because the most significant percentage of the company’s income comes from the product purchase made by new distributors trying to join the business. In my opinion, the distributors are like the end users of the company’s products.
However, I liked the fact that the distributors can cancel the distribution process any time they want to, return the unopened products to the company and get a full refund.
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Herbalife has a powerful customer support system that quickly resolves issues and deal with customer complaints. If you need to make any consultations, you can contact them via their website.
The Start-Up Cost
Since Herbalife uses an MLM model, it does not sell its products directly to the consumers. Distributors are the ones who buy the products and later sell them to the final consumers.
It means that the price might vary from one distributor to another. When I checked their website, I could not find anything listed there.
However, I tried to talk to some of the distributors to find out the estimate of a Herbalife diet package. The following are some of their products and their prices.
- Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake-this shake costs $39.00
- Herbalife Nutrition Aloe Hand and Body Wash- you will be required to spend $9.90 to get this package.
- Herbalife Nutrition Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex- this product costs approximately $24.35.
- Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bar Deluxe which costs around $25.50
Apart from the distributor, the price of these nutritional products can also be determined by where you live. There are some customers who say that they pay $145 every month for the protein supplement and two shakes. This could mean that the more products you buy, the more you pay.
My Final Opinion on Herbalife
In my opinion, it is correct to say that Herbalife is a borderline pyramid scheme because for one to earn a bulk of money, they have to recruit a team of distributors.
The person at the top of the rank earns more money the one at the bottom. You should not join this company expecting to make money by just selling nutritional products.
You also have to talk to your friends and family members and convince them to become distributors. I have talked to many Herbalife distributors, and the stories they gave me presented an alarming image.
They told me that the only way one can succeed in Herbalife is to recruit as many new distributors as possible. I think that this company is trying to turn people into recruiting machines instead of helping them to make money.
As a nutritionist, I am not a fan of weight loss programs, particularly those that use liquid meal substitutes. The only time I would advise a person to use these programs is when they need to lose weight fast for either health or medical purpose.
I think that meal substitutes are neither healthy nor sustainable. Therefore, I would advise you to join herbalife as a business opportunity or start using their products at your own risk.
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Herbalife at a Glance
Owner: Mark R. Hughes
Price: Not Disclosed
Overall Scam Rank: 5.3 Out of 10