Is Herbalife a Scam?

Name: Herbalife
Price: $49.00 to get started
How I Rank It: 10 out of 100

As an ex Herbalife Consultant, I get a lot of people asking me the question, “Is Herbalife a scam?”.  So I wanted to answer the question here on my blog so that I have a place I can send people to.

First of all, I want you to know that I was with Herbalife for over 3 years. I was a global expansion team member who had a large group of distributors under me. And I made some really great money. Until one day it all started to fall apart. And when it did, I quickly realized that in order to be successful in Herbalife, I was dependent on other people.

Herbalife is an MLM. MLM stands for multi-level-marketing. In an MLM the pay structure works in such a way that when you recruit someone, they are placed under you and you get paid a percentage of what they sell. This may sound easy but the problem is most people are not willing to do the work it requires to be successful.

In order to be really successful in Herbalife, you need a large down-line (people under you) who each have a large down-line. And in this down-line, you need to be able to convince people to buy into a large shipment of products. They make their money when they sell those products. But the up-line makes money when they convince the newbie to “invest” in products.

For me, this was an integrity issue. I simply couldn’t convince people to invest money, that I new they didn’t have. And you might say that obviously I did since I was there for 3 years and was a Global Team member. That is true. And that is part of what I want to explain in this article.

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There is a sort of “brain washing” that happens with Herbalife and every MLM. It isn’t obvious when you first start, or even if you are there for a while. But you are convinced that you are helping people by getting them to invest large amounts of money in products. Because if they invest that kind of money, they wont quit. And they will be committed.

You may ask yourself how in the world do people get sucked into Herbalife or any MLM. And I have to tell you it is pretty simple. It is called Hype! This is why Herbalife has conferences and wants to get people to them. Because they know you will hear testimonials after testimonials. They make is sound so simple. I promise you, by the end of the conference you will be convinced that you will be rich.

Is Herbalife a scam? Herbalife is legit….but….

Yes, Herbalife has real products (and they are actually very good products). And I never had a problem with them in paying me or anything like that. It is just the business model of an MLM that makes it next to impossible to really make money. There is such a small percentage of people who make money, and those same people make their money off of the people below them.

Honestly it was one of the worst experiences in my life. I’m not proud of being an Herbalife representative.

But on the bright side I learned a lot from my experience with Herbalife. I learned what doesn’t work and what does work.

Read to learn about what worked for me and why.

If you are thinking about joining Herbalife here are a few red flags to be aware of.

Hype: There will be a lot of hype. When you go on the websites or talk to distributors be ready to hear all of the testimonials and success stories. They will try really hard to get you sucked in.

Invest: They will tell you that if you want real success you need to invest in products. They will convince you that the more you invest, the more you will make.

Use The Products: They will convince you to use the products yourself. Because you can’t sell something you don’t know about. Of course they want you to buy products monthly. It gives them commission.

Go To All Training’s: Again it is about the hype. They want to make sure you drink the cool-aid. There is lots of pressure to get to the training’s.

Again Herbalife is a legitimate company. But if you want to make real money, you need to be willing to invest lots of money, and time and you need to be willing to get others to do the same. It is a lot of work and may take you years to ever make a penny. I’m hoping you will learn from my experience and not waste your time.


This is just my opinion based on my personal experience as a distributor several years ago. Things may be different now.

I guess the most important thing I want you to take from this post is to do your homework and go into Herbalife with your eyes wide open.



P.S. The thing about MLM is your success depends on your down-line. And it isn’t fun being depended on other for your success. For me I found real success with affiliate marketing because I don’t have to depend on anyone at all. My success is up to me! And I like that.

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  1. // Reply

    I’ve read an abundant number of stories online of people that were taking Herbalife an had adverse side effects. In the past, it has been said that they gave misleading information regarding the benefits of the products. The products are overpriced and consist of GMO’s , artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG, and highly processed fats and trans fats. Any company that uses these type of ingredients doesn’t care about your health. Both the product and the business opportunity is a scam.

  2. // Reply


    Your article is enlightening and as it come from your own personal experience, I’m sure it will help people to make an informed decision.

    As it happens, I published a post on my site the other day about the Herbalife documentary released in May 2014 by Bill Ackman. I found it interesting and informative.

    I have never been in Herbalife, but have experience with MLM, and what you say is essentially correct. There are a few legal MLMs around, but one needs to be well educated about multi-level marketing facts and fiction in order to make the right decision. Your article goes a long way to help in that regard. I enjoyed reading it.


    1. // Reply


      Thank you! It is really important to me that I can help prevent people from getting hurt financially with Herbalife. I also watched the video that you recommended and I have to tell you, it is very true. I have seen lots of people get hurt. Hopefully people will do research and find your post before handing over their money. Thanks for your comment.


  3. // Reply

    Thanks for a really open and candid review on Herbalife.

    I understand what you mean by an integrity issue, I have been in a similar situation with another company in years gone by and it makes it all too hard to continue with a brave face; let alone a moral conscience.

    Herbalife has been subject to severe public scrutiny of late. The real facts are that although the essence of the business model is good and fair the whole culture of building a successful organisation seems bent on the premise of front end loading.

    Many people have been left with huge debt following unrealistic promises from over enthusiastic, let’s make that greedy – distributors.

    It all starts at the top, however.

    Up to May 2012 Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson was the highest paid of all USA Company CEOs, based on a compensation survey by GMI Ratings.

    According to the corporate governance Research Firm Michael Johnson’s total compensation, including the realised gain on its options, was $89.4 million.

    That’s a pretty hefty sum.

    Like most business’s and organisation etc, the culture start’s at the top.

    Thanks for a great thought provoking article Wendy.

    Cheers Russ

    1. // Reply

      You are so right that it starts at the top. I just had too much integrity to stay with Herbalife. Like you said, many people were left with huge debts. I wasn’t going to be the cause of anyone getting hurt in that way. Sadly lots of people get hurt with Herbalife.

  4. // Reply

    Great article Wendy, I know a person who distributes this rubbish in Australia I think I may have to share your article with here. I actually done some research into this product and it’s company plan and I come across this blog that you might find interesting. The writer Dani really knows her stuff and if course there are some distibutors that get on and give their rant, but to know avail. Dani shuts them down pretty quick.

    1. // Reply

      It is a great article Craig. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  5. // Reply

    Thank you for your story Wendy. A few people were trying to get me sucked into the herbal life but I’ve ironically learned about Affiliate marketing before and they say you need to research before you jump into anything. I found many other people as well as you that went through the same thing.

    1. // Reply

      I am so glad you found WA Lolita! Yeah there are many of us who got suckered into Herbalife. But everything happens for a reason.

  6. // Reply

    I went to my first H.O.M meeting and i was convinced so i paid like 69$ to get an ID…, in my niche most of the people that i know can’t afford to buy these products so i’m not getting any profit… So my question is can i get my money back if i want to quit herbalife?

    1. // Reply

      It has been a lot of years since I have done Herbalife. I don’t think you can get your money back.

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