What is the Herbalife Nutrition? – Herbalife MLM Review

If you have landed on this page through Google, I bet you can’t wait to learn What is the Herbalife Nutrition?

Is this company really gives you the opportunity to live the American dream, or is it just selling you the hope of it?

In this Herbalife Nutrition MLM review, I will tell you everything you want to know about this company and hopefully, will help you understand if you can make money selling nutritional supplements.

Herbalife Nutrition OverviewWhat is the Herbalife Nutrition? - The Logo

Full Name: Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.

Type: MLM Business Opportunity

Website: https://www.herbalife.com/

Founder: Mark R. Hughes

Price to Join: $94/$124

Recommended? No

Important Note:

Please note that I am not Herbalife’s consultant and you will definitely not see me here promoting their products or convincing you to join Herbalife business opportunity.

I have nothing against Herbalife, just I find the business model they are using which is multi-level marketing to difficult to accomplish.

If you are serious about building your own business and are open for other options, I would recommend checking out affiliate marketing which has some similarities with the MLM business model but instead, you’ll not have to annoy your friends and family, or random people on the street, to check out your business opportunity.

If You Don’t Want To Waste Anymore Time On MLMs,
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What is Herbalife Nutrition?

Founded in 1980 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Herbalife Nutrition is a controversial direct selling company (often referred to as multi-level marketing or network marketing company) with a wide range of personal care products and nutritional supplements, sold in more than 90 countries around the world.

As of 2018, it had 8, 900+ employees, and approximately 4,5 million independent distributors and members.

Throughout 40 years of operation, along with registering billion of dollars income, Herbalife had been through numerous lawsuits and troubles with Food and Drugs Administration and Federal Trade Commission.

Who is the Founder?

What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Mark Hughes
Mark R. Hughes (1956-2000)

Herbalife story has begun in February 1980, when its founder, Mark Hughes was selling the original Herbalife weight loss management product from the trunk of his car.

His mother, Joanne, passed away due to some health issues caused by disorder eating and an unhealthy approach to weight loss.

Thus, Mark started Herbalife company with the noble goal of changing the nutritional habits of the world.

But even before that, he used to be working with several MLM companies like Seyforth Laboratories, Golden Youth that later on went out of business.

Being a good salesman (the skillset that he has been constantly practicing even since high school), and having an extensive previous experience working in multi-level marketing companies, served a good foundation for Mark to take his own MLM company – Herbalife, on top of success.

What is Herbalife’s Financial Situation?

Speaking of success, there were both good and not so good times, like with any other business out there.

If we take one of the latest reports, according to Wikipedia, Herbalife earned $ 4,89 billion in total income in 2018.

There was even more back in 2013 when the company achieved record retail sales of $7.5 billion.

As of 2019, Herbalife has reported net sales of $4.9 billion for the full year 2019, which were relatively flat compared to full-year 2018.

Are Herbalife Products Any Good?

Herbalife’s line of products includes weight management products, weight loss programs, meal replacement shakes, dietary supplements, personal care, and sports nutrition.

What’s important to mention here is that nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, these are not backed up by scientific evidence that the products actually really work.

The only way to see how well Herbalife products are performing is to look at what customers are saying about them.

One source I like to use is Amazon online shopping platform since the customers’ reviews we all can read there are submitted by the verified purchasers.

So, it’s assumed that these reviews were written by people who really purchased the products and share their first-hand experience with the product.

The first thing that caught my eye was that a great deal of Herbalife’s protein powders on Amazon are getting quite good ratings, overall. Most of them are 4-4,5 stars and Amazon’s Choice products.

Take a look yourself what people are saying about this Herbalife Protein Drink Mix PDM:

What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Amazon Positive Reviews


It looks like for some people, this Herbalife protein drink really helps with weight loss.

Here is a testimonial of another happy customer:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Amazon Positive Review #2


I really don’t want to be a negative person, all I want is to be as much unbiased as possible with this Herbalife review.

That is why I can’t overlook that amongst these positive reviews, you can find some not so positive, like this one below:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Amazon Negative Reviews


And another one here:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Amazon Negative Reviews 2


If you would decide to become a Herbalife distributor, it’s recommended that you use their products yourself, otherwise, how will you know which products to recommend to your customers and what not?

Hopefully, you will not experience the same thing as these people writing the negative reviews but it’s good to be aware of these cases so you know and fully prepared of what to expect from the Herbalife products.

Furthermore, I like to rely on more than one source in my research process. So, I have found that Herbalife got 92 reviews that together formed 3 stars rating on www.ConsumerAffairs.com.

So, here there are a little bit more of the negative reviews, take a look at the screenshot I have taken:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - ConsumerAffairs Negative Reviews


And, as always, let’s not neglect what more happy customers have to say:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - ConsumerAffairs Positive Reviews

I hope these reviews are giving you a little bit of insight into how Herbalife products work on people and if consuming Herbalife products might be a good move in terms of the health issues they may cause.

How Much Does it Cost to Join Herbalife?

In order to become Herbalife Independent Distributor, there are two Product Packs that you can choose from to purchase: International Business Pack ($94.10), or the International Business Pack – Super Starter ($124.10).

Other than that, there are no more required purchases to be made by you in order to qualify for earning commissions.

However, if you want to move up in the Marketing Plan, there are two ways in which you can accumulate sales volumes:

Personal Purchase Volume (PPV), i.e., the volume purchased by you directly from Herbalife; and

Downline Volume (DNL) – all orders placed by people who you recruit in your downline organization/team.

How to Make Money With Herbalife?

According to Herbalife’s Marketing Plan, Herbalife Independent Distributors can earn up to 73% of product revenues.

This is the maximum amount that is not obtained automatically though.

Any MLM company, no matter they are telling you that their compensation plan is the most lucrative one, in essence, provides you with two main ways to earn money.

#1. Retail Profit

When you sign up as Herbalife Independent Distributor, you can earn Retail Profit by purchasing products with your Distributor discount and selling them to customers at their full retail value.

For example, if you purchase a product that is worth $100 in the retail price, you’ll pay only $75 to Herbalife for that product, and later on, you can sell it to your customer for that same $100, and your profit will be $25 for that sale.

#2. Wholesale Profit + Other Bonuses and Rewards

Now, let’s face it: how much money could you make selling Herbalife’s products in person for retail commissions?

Unless you are a good salesperson, who doesn’t get discouraged after hearing people saying to you “No, thank you, I’m good” multiple times, most probably, you will not make a lot of money this way.

That is why if you want to make a substantial amount of income selling Herbalife products, you must look at other opportunities Herbalife has to offer to you.

In particular, here is where you should show your leadership abilities to recruit more people in your downline, or eventually develop that set of skills if you are still not good at recruiting.


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - The Famous Recruiting Potential
Source: Herbalife’s Marketing Plan

What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Wholesale Profit

Do They Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?

Yes, and in fact, one of the latest news in this sense is that Herbalife has partnered with Tencent, which is China’s largest internet technology company, in order to help its distributors more effectively sell Herbalife products online. 

As a result of this partnership, a personalized online store will be delivered for service providers and sales representatives on a comprehensive social customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

Is Herbalife Legitimate?

There were numerous times when Herbalife was called a pyramid scheme.

One of the accusations was brought by Bill Ackman, an American investor, and hedge fund manager, who stated that Herbalife is running an illegal pyramid scheme.

Of course, Herbalife denied these accusations. But it was later on obliged to follow some of the requirements imposed by the Federal Trade Commission, in return for not being shut down out of business. 

Can You Make Money With Herbalife?

Herbalife took care to include an earnings disclaimer stating that “there are no guarantees that you will earn money.

Like all business people, some Distributors will succeed, while some will not”.

Therefore, the answer to the question is that it depends a lot on your skills as a salesperson as well as a leader, and how much time and work you are willing to put into it.

While this may seem quite encouraging and thankfully, according to Herbalife’s official documents, we are not promised some big earnings with little or no work, still, it’s good to have a look at what already existing Herbalife distributors are earning.

Here are some of the numbers for 2017:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Distributors Earnings for 2017


These numbers prove that only a small percentage of Herbalife distributors are earning a more or less decent amount of income.

The Good and The Bad


#1. Relatively Low Start-Up Cost

If to compare with some of the other MLM companies, there are way more costly start-up costs than in Herbalife business opportunity.

For example, in order to start making money with doTERRA MLM, you’ll need to buy the enrollment kits that could cost up to $3,666!

#2. No Recurring Fees

Other than buying one of the Product packs I have mentioned above, there are no more fees to be paid, and most importantly, there are no annual recurring fees.

#3. A Variety of Products to Sell

Herbalife is not limited to only one product or even a few products. Their product line is quite extensive which is good.

They have even developed a range of products for kids, like this shake booster:


What is the Herbalife Nutrition? - Herbalife for Kids


#1. Low Income Potential

Despite everything you might have been told about Herbalife earnings potential as a distributor, still, the numbers are discouraging.

Unless you manage to get to the top of earners, you barely could make any decent amount of income selling Herbalife.

#2. Misleading and False Claims Made by Herbalife Distributors

a) About Health Benefits of Herbalife Products

Although Herbalife’s management team stated that this is not what they are teaching their distributors, a good deal of them is making misleading and false claims about the health benefits of Herbalife products.

Here are some of the distributors’ statements about Herbalife health benefits included in Brian Ross’s ABC News Investigation about Herbalife:

“With Herbalife, I’ve been able to alleviate my problems with headaches, anemia”.

“I’m 40 years old, and I am at my first pregnancy”, pretending that Herbalife products were responsible for getting pregnant.

b) About the Possibility of Becoming Rich

If you attend one of the Herbalife presentation meetings, you’ll get the chance to hear how Herbalife has changed some people’s lives.

Here are some of the distributors’ statements about earnings included in that same Brian Ross’s ABC News Investigation about Herbalife:

“Last month, I made almost $ 8000”.

“Because of Herbalife, I was able to buy my house. A million-dollar house. All cash paid for”.

#3. Beware of Lawsuits Against Herbalife

It didn’t take a too long time before Herbalife got in trouble with the law for the first time.

There have been only a few years since Herbalife’s inception when its founder, Mark Hughes was accused of being dishonest and deceitful by recruiting distributors with exaggerated claims about getting rich:

“The second year, you’ll make $1 250 000, and that’s the least amount of money that you are going to make”.

As a result, the Superior Court of the State of California has filed a lawsuit against Herbalife and Mak Hughes to prevent them from making false and misleading representations of a guaranteed income or supposed health benefits.

You can watch the full version of Brian Ross ABC News Investigation on Herbalife in the video below:



In all Herbalife official documents and training materials, it’s stated that distributors should not say that Herbalife products can treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Still, there are Herbalife distributors who claim that people regain their health after beginning taking Herbalife products.

Throughout the all-time of Herbalife operation, there also was a plethora of other lawsuits and investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

As a result of the last FTC settlement in 2016, Herbalife is required to provide proof that at least 80% of the sales are made to individuals outside of their network of distributors.

Also, another important requirement is that distributors can only earn 2/3 of their rewards based on retail sales of Herbalife Nutrition products.

My Final Opinion About Herbalife + A Better Alternative

All in all, if you truly like Herbalife products, you could successfully sell them and make some money on the side.

If you are looking to make a full-time income with Herbalife though, then it’s most likely not going to happen, unless you manage to become one of the top distributors in the company.

Did you know that you could have your own online business without even having to sell a single item to anyone?

If you are serious about building your own affiliate marketing business, then I highly recommend you check out the online learning platform I am using to learn about Internet Marketing and building my websites.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and now, you know a little bit more What is the Herbalife Nutrition.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can! Please note that I am a real person, and always reply to my readers.

Stay safe and stay well!



Herbalife MLM






Overall Quality



  • Relatively low Start-Up Cost
  • No Recurring Fees
  • A Variety of Products to Sell


  • Majority of Herbalife Distributors Do Not Earn Much
  • Herbalife Distributors are Making False and Misleading Claims
  • Beware of Lawsuits Against Herbalife

4 thoughts on “What is the Herbalife Nutrition? – Herbalife MLM Review”

  1. Thanks, Natalie for the insight into this company.

    I appreciate the deep research your article goes into on Herbalife.

    I personally think the company is a scam.

  2. What a brilliant post!

    I’ve always wondered about Herbalife. Someone I know promotes it and I have heard mixed reviews.

    Thanks for shedding light on this.

    • Hi, Russ, thank you for dropping by.

      The point with nutritional supplements is that these don’t work the same way with all people. For some, Herbalife products are the best, while for others may cause health issues and disorders.

      This could be fixed by finding a distributor who knows the products just perfectly, on the one hand, and on the other hand, knows customer health condition even better than the products.

      So that he could actually help you with whatever health or fitness goal you might have rather than harming you.

      Unfortunately, this situation could be considered almost Utopian, since the majority of MLM distributors are concerned more with selling more products and making as much money as they could, instead of being concerned about how to serve the customer better.


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