If you’re reading this, chances are someone has approached you with a business opportunity from Herbalife. This company has been around for a pretty long time now and as a newcomer, it’s crucial to ask this question – can you make money selling Herbalife?
More so, is it an MLM scam? Can it provide a viable income stream? Let’s try to break through the rhetoric and figure out exactly what this wellness brand is all about.
First, What Is Herbalife?
Herbalife is a multi-level international company involved in the development and marketing of dietary supplements. It was founded in 1980 by Mark Hughes and chartered in the Cayman Islands but is headquartered in Los Angeles. It employs approximately 8900 people, but those people are only the tip of the iceberg.
Herbalife operates in ninety-four countries worldwide with about 4.5 million independent distributors driving the network as their own business. The company first introduced Formula 1, in 1980 as a meal substitute shake, designed to provide nutrition while helping one lose weight.
Since then, it has followed up with a wide array of protein shakes, energy-boosting drinks, dietary supplements, and other personal skincare items. The original product, Formula 1 remains the number one selling item, accounting for 30% of the overall sales.
Marketing Herbalife products may seem a bit unusual when it comes to traditional multi-level marketing. It’s very encouraging that Herbalife does not allow its distributors to use their name or logo in any way to promote the product, sales, or recruiting distributors.
You will likely never see any Herbalife storefronts or signage that promotes the “brand”. You will also not likely see a whole lot in the way of flyers. Instead, you are encouraged to market the product by selling its advantages. This is why distributors are required to have a vast working knowledge of the product and the sales experience before going out into the public and hawking their wares.
What The Business Opportunity Is All About?
Herbalife distributors are encouraged to advertise the product as a weight loss program, not mentioning Herbalife specifically. Or an energy-boosting plan. Or, since, quite a bit of their earnings will come from recruiting others, approach the promotion as if marketing an income scheme.
These opportunities can put your business in a strategic position due to the following reasons;
(1) Marketing an Evergreen Niche
Herbalife products are designed to add values to one’s health, fitness, and beauty; three areas that are considered evergreen in today’s consumerism due to popular demand. This puts them a par with other well-known fitness brands like Beachbody and Weight Watchers that already have a large following.
Weight problems, health issues, and the search for eternal youth (if there’s ever such a thing) have, in recent years, prompted massive growth in this wellness sector, making it one of the most profitable niches out there. This is reflected not only by the number of new products entering the market every day, but also the unquantifiable online queries that appear on the search engines every day.
This phenomenon confirmed one thing; people are actively searching for solutions and with targeted marketing, Herbalife could very well be the answer to their problems.
(2) Leveraging Positive Testimonials
There’s no shortage of positive reviews when it comes to Herbalife products. Those who have tried and committed to their products, especially the protein meals and dietary supplements, will give you convincing lines about their experiences. In other words, their products work and people are generally happy about that.
Heck, even soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo personally endorsed the brand and is currently the acting ambassador. With so much strong support, it is not difficult to promote the brand to potential customers, granted you do it the right way. As long as the testimonials are realistic, people will eventually buy into the idea.
(3) Earn High Sales Profit
Earning from retail sales is one of the ways to make money from Herbalife products besides getting discounts for personal purchase. As a new distributor, you can make at least 25% in profit but with higher sales volume, the percentage could go up to about 50%.
This margin is considerably lucrative in comparison to other health-related MLM products. Given their extensive catalog, it’s not impossible to sell to a myriad of customers to maximize your sales profit.
(4) Benefit from Low Start-Up Cost
Most network marketing companies encourage distributors to buy a starter kit before launching their business. These packages usually come with some product samples, brochures, and marketing guidelines to help break into your first few sales. Some companies charge between hundreds to thousands of dollars, but fortunately, that’s not the case with Herbalife.
Their business kits only cost between $USD94 to $124 AND the fees are refundable if you’re unable to sell any of the products within 12 months. In other words, you can easily cover the start-up cost by selling several products AND the incurred loss is fairly minimal, should you decide to withdraw from the distributorship completely.
So long as you don’t purchase big inventory, running a Herbalife business is a pretty low-risk affair. That is until you get into the program itself.
The Disadvantages of Selling Herbalife
MLM’s have a long and varied history when it comes to scams and the preconceived ideas of what kind of income can be attained by joining such a controversial business opportunity. The same goes for Herbalife distributorship.
That means, members often buy the products at a discount and sell at a higher profit. They are also encouraged to recruit others into the program and earn a commission from the process as well as on their downline sales. This helps to generate massive revenue for the company and pay its direct employees.
This can go both ways of course; some may be skeptical when it comes to the lack of genuine marketing tactics and think that they are trying to hide what they are all about and how they make money, while others may see it as a more upfront way to tout the benefits of the product and services without using the name in a shameless self-promoting way.
(1) Lawsuits and Settlement
There have been more than a few investigations into Herbalife as a product and as a distribution network. You can find a lot of conflicting information when it comes to reviews from both consumers and distributors alike.
The major warning whistle may be that the company has a rather checkered history dating back many years. For example, in 2003, it settled a lawsuit in West Virginia for $7 million for violating telemarketing regulations. In 2005, the State of California challenged their marketing practices. In 2008 Herbalife faced charges that the levels of lead in several of its products violated California state law about acceptable levels.
Although their testing repeatedly refuted this accusation, several countries, including the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel, and Spain have expressed suspicion about high rates of liver disease in Herbalife users. Their products have since met with scrutiny from the medical community, consumers, and government agencies alike.
(2) It’s a Recruiting Business
Regardless of how the words are being rephrased, an MLM cannot run a profitable business unless they create downlines. To do so, recruiting new distributors is crucial to pocket beyond retail profit. Only with a bigger team, can you earn from wholesale commissions, royalties, cash promotions, and the much desired, fully-paid vacations.
Selling wellness products is one thing, but getting others to join your team and share your business goals is another challenge on its own. This is where most people get the cold feet or rather, persuade every single person who crosses paths with them.
If you belong to the latter, you’ve probably annoyed some of your friends and family during the process. There have long been allegations that Herbalife is nothing more than a money-making pyramid scheme, profiting by indirectly recruiting members whose earnings depend on them recruiting others to do the marketing work.
This can raise red flags to potential customers while you’re promoting the products and advocating the business opportunity at the same time.
(3) More Than 90% Drop Out Rate
Despite the low start-up cost, the cold hard truth is that 90% of Herbalife distributors (or more) never actually made it through their first anniversary with the company. For those who do, only 1% rake about $2600+ per month while the majority earn anywhere between $95 to $700+.
Bear in mind that these calculations could be much lower after deducting expenses such as marketing materials, home parties, and product trials. Expensive retail prices, online competitions, and the challenges that come with building teams are some of the factors that can hamper business profit as well as your advancement within the network system.
So, Can You Make Money Selling Herbalife?
It’s not impossible but it’s surely tough in today’s era as more businesses favor the digital economy versus the traditional MLM way. There are more wellness brands in the market nowadays than 10 years ago and they are equally as good and affordable, if not better.
There’s no harm in becoming a Herbalife distributor but beware of certain liabilities involved when pushing products like these on the consumers. Check your local laws and regulations for specific protections and legislation involving MLM’s and herbal supplements.
There are many opinions and reviews online/offline on the subject matter that can be used to make the most informed decision before you take the business further.
If selling Herbalife doesn’t rhyme with you, another way to profit from wellness products is to be affiliated with trusted brands that reward you in the form of online sales commissions.
It’s called affiliate marketing and it’s one of the many ways that enable people to start an online business without any inventory. All you need is a blog and you’re pretty much good to go. Check out my recommended training platform to learn more about this opportunity. It’s free to sign up!
I hope this review has shed some light on what to expect from selling Herbalife. Let us know your opinions or questions if you’ve any. See you in the next post.