Complete Shaklee Review: Unveiling the Truth Behind the MLM
Complete Shaklee Review Unveiling the Truth Behind the MLM

Welcome to an in-depth review of Shaklee, a company that has stood the test of time in the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry. For over a century, Shaklee has been a major player in the health and wellness market, offering a range of products from nutritional supplements to eco-friendly household cleaners. This review aims to unpack both the opportunities and challenges presented by Shaklee’s MLM model.

In the world of MLM, transparency, product quality, and financial viability are crucial indicators of a company’s legitimacy and the potential success for its distributors. We will explore how Shaklee measures up in these areas, focusing on its business practices, compensation plans, product range, and the overall sustainability of its MLM model.

Whether you are considering joining Shaklee as a distributor or are simply curious about how MLMs operate, this review will provide you with balanced insights into the pros and cons of committing to an MLM strategy with Shaklee. Read on to discover if this opportunity aligns with your financial goals and business aspirations.

Disclaimer: This Shaklee MLM review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public.  Any conclusions drawn from that information are my own opinions.

Shaklee Review Overview

Product Name: Shaklee

Owner: Roger Barnett

Product Type: Versatile MLM Company

Price: Starting at $49.95. Pricier starter kits are available, ranging from $276 to $1,000 + ongoing costs

Best For: Established Network Marketers

shaklee-mlm-website

Pros

  • Long Established Company
  • Earning Potential 
  • Positive Product Reviews

Cons

  • Most Members Lose Money
  • Hidden Costs & Unrealistic Expectations
  • Outdated Sales Techniques
  • Overpriced Products
  • Declining Brand Interest

Quick Summary

Shaklee has established itself as a reputable name in the multi-level marketing (MLM) sector, offering a diverse range of health and wellness products. With over a century of business, it stands out for its longevity and commitment to quality, which is evident from the positive feedback on its products. Shaklee operates on a traditional MLM model where distributors earn through product sales and recruiting new members. This approach has allowed many to generate income, although reaching high earning brackets remains challenging for the majority of distributors.

However, the MLM model, by its nature, presents significant challenges. Statistics show that a vast majority of MLM participants do not make substantial profits, with many losing money. Shaklee is no exception, with some distributors facing hidden costs and the pressures of monthly sales quotas. These challenges are compounded by Shaklee’s reliance on traditional and less efficient marketing methods like door-to-door sales, alongside the high cost of their products compared to competitors.

In conclusion, while Shaklee is not a pyramid scheme thanks to its legitimate product sales and structured compensation plan, the overall effectiveness of its MLM model is debatable. Potential distributors should weigh the robust product endorsements against the financial and personal risks involved in MLM ventures. As with any MLM opportunity, entering with a clear understanding of the model’s limitations and a realistic approach to the potential for earnings is crucial for success.

Rating
3/5

Recommended? Depends on Your Experience Level

Table of Contents

What Is Shaklee?

Shaklee Corporation stands out as a prominent figure in the MLM landscape, producing an extensive array of products ranging from nutritional supplements and weight management solutions to beauty and household items.

shaklee-mlm-website

Not just made in-house, these products have a global market reach, sold through a well-structured multi-level marketing system. Independent representatives spearhead their distribution across the USA and six other countries, including Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, and Indonesia. In a significant digital stride, Shaklee suppliers have taken to the web, setting up online platforms that make it easy for consumers to get their hands on Shaklee products—quite an impressive move!

Beyond just selling, Shaklee also opens up the avenue for individuals to earn by promoting and selling its health-centric items.

Related Post: Isagenix MLM Review

Who Owns Shaklee?

Tracing its roots back to 1915, Shaklee was the brainchild of Forrest C. Shaklee, an American chiropractic doctor and nutritional expert from Iowa. He made a groundbreaking contribution to health supplements by developing the first US-classified vitamin, known as “Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals.”

shaklee-mlm-owner

In 1956, this innovation gave birth to Shaklee Corporation, which saw explosive growth in the 1970s, skyrocketing from annual sales of $20 million to a staggering $300 million by the decade’s end. The year 1972 marked a new chapter as the company adopted its current name and stepped into the public arena, listing on the New York Stock Exchange a year later. The 1980s brought pivotal changes when Shaklee Japan was partly sold to Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical for $350 million, though Shaklee retained significant ongoing interests through licensing and royalties.

The narrative took another turn in 2004 when Roger Barnett, an American multimillionaire and part of the influential Wolfson family, took the helm of Shaklee Corporation through a $310 million deal managed by his firm, Triggered Holdings LLC. Today, Roger Barnett continues to lead as Chairman and CEO, steering Shaklee into the future.

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Is Shaklee a Pyramid Scheme?

At first glance, the question of whether Shaklee is a pyramid scheme comes with complex answers. Shaklee operates on a model where members can earn through both product sales and recruiting new members. It’s crucial to note, however, that recruiting often appears more profitable than just selling products. This aspect can sometimes give the impression that Shaklee operates more like a pyramid scheme than a straightforward MLM (multi-level marketing) business.

Before diving deeper, let’s clarify what a pyramid scheme actually entails.

What is a Pyramid Scheme?

Essentially, a pyramid scheme is a business structure that relies heavily on recruiting members rather than selling actual products or services. Members are promised payment for enrolling others into the scheme, which perpetuates a cycle where money from new recruits is used to pay off earlier recruits, often without any genuine product or service being exchanged.

In the pyramid model, the sustainability of the business is dependent on continuous recruitment. This video [Below] explains how these systems typically operate, highlighting why new recruitments are critical to the scheme’s survival.

Why Do Some People View Shaklee as a Pyramid Scheme?

There are a few reasons why Shaklee might be perceived as a pyramid scheme. First, Shaklee representatives earn commissions not only from direct product sales but also from recruiting new members to join their team. This dual-earning potential leads some to speculate that the emphasis might be more on recruitment than on product sales, clouding the typical characteristics of a legitimate MLM.

Is Shaklee a Pyramid Scheme in Disguise?

From what we’ve reviewed, Shaklee is not a pyramid scheme by the classic definition. The company offers legitimate products and allows its representatives to earn commissions based on product sales and the sales of those they recruit. Importantly, Shaklee does not provide direct payments solely for the act of recruiting. This structure suggests that while Shaklee operates as an MLM, it maintains a focus on tangible products, differentiating it from pyramid schemes.

Although it’s not legally classified as a pyramid scheme, perceptions can vary. Whether Shaklee feels like a pyramid scheme might depend on personal experiences and perspectives regarding MLM practices.

This adjusted content provides a clearer, more nuanced exploration of Shaklee’s business model, helping readers understand the fine line between legitimate MLM operations and pyramid schemes. It also aligns well with the conversational, informative style suited to an audience looking to understand complex business structures.

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Is Shaklee a Scam or a Legit MLM?

Navigating the world of MLMs can be tricky, with many questioning the legitimacy of various companies. However, Shaklee stands out as a legitimate MLM business, not a scam. Members can earn money through two primary ways: direct product sales and recruiting new members, establishing a reputable name in the industry.

What further solidifies Shaklee’s credibility is its partnership with NASA to develop rehydration products for astronauts. This not only demonstrates the quality of their products but also showcases Shaklee’s innovative capabilities in the competitive nutrition and supplement market.

Beyond its products, Shaklee is recognized for its strong commitment to sustainability. It was the first company to become climate-neutral certified, offsetting its entire carbon footprint. The company has received numerous accolades for its eco-friendly practices and green business approach.

Shaklee offers more than just an earning opportunity; it provides a platform for building a rewarding and successful network marketing career. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability makes them a standout in the MLM industry, offering significant growth potential for its members.

This revised section eliminates the additional headers, creating a cohesive narrative that’s easy to follow and keeps the reader engaged with key information about Shaklee’s legitimacy, partnerships, and environmental initiatives.

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What Products Does Shaklee Sell?

Understanding the range of products offered by a company is essential when considering a partnership or investment.

Shaklee markets a diverse portfolio of products across several categories:

  • Nutrition: This category includes a variety of nutrition regimens, specialized vitamins tailored for different demographics (such as vitamins for women, men, and prenatal supplements), and the “New Life Shake” product line among other protein shakes.
  • Healthy Weight: For those focused on weight management, Shaklee offers sets including plant protein weight reduction shakes, soy and whey protein shakes, meal replacement bars, snacks, energizing teas, and a metabolic boost.
  • Beauty: The beauty line features an anti-aging collection, hydrating series, a personalized skincare program, perfecting makeup, and related accessories like the BB cream applicator brush.
  • Sports: Targeted at fitness enthusiasts, this range includes performance packs (Endurance Pack, Fitness Pack), products to build and energize (including a zero-calorie energy drink and energy chews), hydration solutions (low-calorie electrolyte drink, endurance electrolyte drink), and a post-exercise recovery complex.
  • Green Home: Environmentally friendly household products such as the Basic H2 biodegradable cleaner, moisturising hand sanitiser, hand wash concentrate, hand dish wash liquid concentrate, and fresh laundry concentrate.

Are Shaklee Products Effective?

Feedback from users who have personally tested Shaklee products generally indicates that they are not only effective but also environmentally friendly. Shaklee’s commitment is reflected in its product formulations that prioritize both human and environmental health. For example, their chemical-free home cleaning products are described as effective, gentle, and odourless. Many users have expressed high satisfaction, leading them to adopt Shaklee products exclusively for their various needs.

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Can You Buy Shaklee Products on Amazon?

While Shaklee’s business model typically focuses on purchases through partner distributors or their own website, many of their products are also available on Amazon.com. This availability offers consumers the convenience of accessing Shaklee products at potentially lower prices than those offered directly by the company or its distributors.

However, there are notable disadvantages to purchasing from third-party platforms like Amazon. For instance, products bought through Amazon do not come with the Shaklee Guarantee, and there have been reports of issues related to poor packaging and inaccurate product descriptions. These concerns are detailed further in the broader Shaklee MLM review.

This section aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Shaklee’s product offerings, their effectiveness, and the nuances of purchasing them through various channels, ensuring prospective partners and consumers are well-informed.

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How Does Shaklee MLM Work?

Shaklee distinguishes itself in the health and wellness market with its unique marketing approach. Instead of pouring funds into traditional advertising, Shaklee harnesses the power of individual entrepreneurs to market their products.

pyramid-scheme-structure

As a distributor, you not only earn commissions from direct sales but also bonuses by building a team and capitalizing on their sales. This structure, while effective, sometimes leads to misconceptions about Shaklee being akin to a pyramid scheme.

However, it’s important to clarify that Shaklee operates as a legitimate marketing organization. Distributors can earn by selling products directly to the public, without the necessity of assembling a sales team. This flexibility allows for various levels of engagement and investment in the business model.

How Can You Join Shaklee MLM?

Joining Shaklee offers flexibility. You can start as a mere consumer of their products or step up to establish your own distributorship from a home office. This section focuses on the multi-level marketing aspect of Shaklee.

As a distributor, you’ll have the opportunity to sell Shaklee products, earn incentives, and recruit others into the business, which can enhance your earning potential. To kickstart your Shaklee venture, the company recommends starting with a Beginner Set. These starter kits are designed to introduce you to the Shaklee product line, teach you effective sales techniques, and help set up your business for success.

How Much Does It Cost To Join Shaklee?

The initial investment to join Shaklee as a distributor is quite accessible at $49.95. This fee includes a starter kit and provides you with a personal online store for three months, making it easier to begin selling immediately.

shaklee-business-starter-kit

To actively participate and generate income, purchasing products is essential. Further details on this will be covered later in the review. For those looking to dive deeper, Shaklee offers more comprehensive starter kits priced between $276 and $1,000, featuring a wider array of products for personal use or resale.

This setup is designed to accommodate a range of commitment levels, from those merely wishing to market the products casually to others aiming to build a significant business within the Shaklee framework. Each option provides an accessible path to potentially rewarding entrepreneurial endeavours.

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How To Make Money With Shaklee MLM?

Becoming a Shaklee distributor opens up two primary avenues for earning:

  1. Selling Shaklee Products: Distributors earn a commission on each product sold.
  2. Recruiting New Members: You can expand your income potential by building a team—recruiting new members—and earning bonuses from the sales your downline generates.

In my experience, the most effective way to secure a consistent and substantial income with Shaklee is through recruitment. While this is a common strategy in many MLM businesses, it’s why some people raise concerns about the potential for Shaklee to seem like a pyramid scheme. However, Shaklee stands out due to its dual emphasis on sales and recruitment.

What Is Shaklee’s Compensation Plan?

Shaklee’s compensation plan, like many MLMs, can seem complex, but here’s a simplified breakdown of the various ways you can earn:

  • Gold Bonus: Earned from achieving certain sales milestones.
  • Power Bonus: Awarded for quickly building a strong team.
  • Price Differential: The difference between wholesale and retail prices.
  • Personal Group Bonuses: Bonuses from the sales made by your personal group.
  • FastTrack Program: Rewards for hitting early goals.
  • Incentives: Special promotions and seasonal incentives.
  • Car Bonus: A monthly bonus that can be put towards a car lease or purchase.
  • Leadership Bonuses: Additional earnings for those who reach higher ranks within the company.

These methods are designed to reward active and successful distributors in various ways, from direct sales to team management and leadership.

Can You Make Money With Shaklee MLM?

Yes, making money with Shaklee is definitely possible. Distributors enjoy a commission rate of 16 to 36% on product sales, which is quite generous compared to many other MLMs. Additionally, team commissions range from 12 to 20%, rewarding those who effectively manage and expand their teams.

It’s important to note that maintaining an active status as a representative requires achieving a certain level of Personal Volumes (PVs). Shaklee also offers additional incentives such as a $100 weekly benefit for selling specific plans.

Shaklee uses a point system to rank suppliers, with various fringe benefits awarded based on these points. This structure not only incentivizes sales but also encourages distributors to engage deeply with both the product line and recruitment efforts, enhancing their potential earnings and career growth within the company.

This section of the review underscores Shaklee’s balanced approach to providing earning opportunities, emphasizing both product sales and team development, which helps to align it more closely with a legitimate MLM model rather than a pyramid scheme.

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Shaklee MLM Reviews and Complaints

When evaluating whether Shaklee is a scam or a legitimate MLM, it’s crucial to consider the experiences of actual users. Online reviews can provide valuable insights into both the products and the company’s business practices.

shaklee-product-reviews

Fortunately, the majority of Shaklee reviews are positive, particularly regarding their product quality.

Positive Reviews

Here are a couple of testimonials from satisfied customers:

  • Vitamin Enthusiast: “This is a good multivitamin, and I’ve taken them on and off for years. I like Shaklee’s whole line of products. This company has been around for years and consistently delivers quality. I feel more energetic when I take these vitamins daily, especially their B Complex for energy.”
  • Long-Term User: “I’ve tried many vitamins over the years, and I believe this is the most complete multivitamin you can get for the price. I previously used the Vitalizer but found it too expensive to continue. This vitamin offers great value and high quality. I plan to continue using it for a long time.”

Negative Reviews

However, not all feedback is glowing. Here are some examples of less favorable reviews:

  • Disappointed Customer: “I absolutely love Vita-Lea and have taken it for years. However, this is the second time I’ve been sent vitamins ‘with Iron’ which I cannot take. The label did not specify ‘With Iron,’ and I only discovered the iron content after experiencing adverse effects. I am very unhappy and concerned about losing money on a product I cannot use.”
  • Price-Sensitive Shopper: “The prices are too steep. MLM distributors seem to make a large profit margin. I wish Shaklee would shift to internet and retail-based selling, eliminating the high commission structure for their associates.”

While there is a minority of negative reviews, these generally focus on specific product issues or dissatisfaction with the MLM pricing structure. It’s important to recognize that these critiques don’t necessarily indicate that Shaklee is a scam. Rather, they reflect individual preferences and isolated experiences.

In my comprehensive Shaklee MLM review, I’ll explore these positives and then delve into addressing the complaints raised. It’s essential to acknowledge both sides to provide a balanced view of Shaklee’s offerings and business model.

This balanced approach ensures potential distributors and customers understand what to expect from Shaklee, highlighting both the successes and areas where some users have expressed concerns. This method allows individuals to make informed decisions based on a full spectrum of experiences.

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Shaklee MLM Review: What I Like

In the diverse and often volatile world of multi-level marketing, Shaklee stands out as a beacon of stability and reliability. Here’s what makes Shaklee a noteworthy contender in the MLM landscape:

#1 A Century of Success

Unlike many MLM companies that struggle to sustain their business model, Shaklee has a proven track record of over 100 years.

This longevity is a testament to its legitimacy and robust business framework. It’s important to recognize that if there were any legal or ethical violations, regulatory bodies like the FTC would have intervened long ago. Shaklee’s enduring presence in the market speaks volumes about its operations and compliance.

#2 Earning Potential Through Product Sales

While Shaklee offers a pathway to earning, it’s crucial to manage expectations. The potential for making money exists, primarily through product sales, which can provide a sustainable income over time. However, reaching a high income bracket, such as $1,000 per month, can be challenging, especially for those new to sales and marketing. Shaklee requires commitment and skill in networking and sales, which might be daunting for newcomers.

#3 Strong Consumer Endorsements

Shaklee products have consistently received positive feedback, which underscores the quality and effectiveness of their offerings. While it’s wise not to base your entire decision on these reviews, they are certainly indicative of the product satisfaction among users. This positive consumer feedback is crucial in an industry where product efficacy and brand reputation are key to long-term success.

In exploring these advantages, it’s clear that Shaklee offers more than just an opportunity to earn—it provides a platform for sustainable business growth supported by quality products and a rich company history.

Shaklee MLM Review: What I Don't Like

While Shaklee offers some notable strengths, there are several aspects of their business model and practices that I find concerning. Here’s a breakdown of the cons associated with Shaklee MLM:

#1 Most Members Lose Money

The allure of making money with Shaklee can be strong, but the reality is often different. According to their own 2022 income disclosure, the majority of people do not make significant profits.

A small fraction of participants achieve substantial earnings, while the vast majority either lose money or earn very little. The disclosure lacks clarity about how many individuals fall into each earnings category, which raises transparency issues.

#2 Hidden Costs and Unrealistic Expectations

Shaklee imposes several requirements that can add up financially for distributors. For instance, maintaining a 100PV (Personal Volume) each month is necessary to stay active. This often means that distributors have to keep buying products regardless of whether they are able to sell them, leading to accumulating expenses without corresponding returns. This practice casts a shadow over the proclaimed ‘business opportunity,’ making it feel more exploitative than empowering.

#3 Outdated Sales Techniques

Despite the modern advancements in marketing, Shaklee still recommends traditional methods like door-to-door sales. This approach is not only outdated but also inefficient compared to digital marketing strategies that could reach a broader audience more effectively. In today’s digital age, insisting on such antiquated methods can hinder a distributor’s potential to succeed.

#4 Overpriced Products

Shaklee products are significantly more expensive than similar items available on platforms like Amazon. For example, the Shaklee “Prove It” package costs up to 300% more than comparable products found online, even with a special discount.

This pricing strategy can make it challenging for distributors to sell these products in a competitive market, potentially limiting their ability to earn.

#5 Declining Brand Interest

An analysis of Google trends indicates a decreasing interest in Shaklee, suggesting a potential decline in the company’s popularity and market viability. For someone in network marketing, aligning with a brand that is losing traction can be a risky move, possibly leading to reduced potential for growth and recruitment.

While Shaklee has a long-standing history and some positive attributes, these significant downsides present real challenges for potential distributors. It’s crucial to weigh both the pros and cons thoroughly before deciding to join Shaklee or any MLM. As the market evolves, it may be beneficial for Shaklee to reconsider some of its strategies and pricing models to stay competitive and appeal to both current and prospective distributors.

Why I Don't Recommend MLM…

Multi-level marketing (MLM) models, while popular, often carry a significant risk of loss for participants. Statistically speaking, the odds are not favorable:

  • According to the FTC, nearly 99% of those involved in MLMs lose money.
  • The AARP Foundation found that 47% of all MLM participants lose money. Even among the 26% who do earn, 53% make less than $5,000 annually.
  • Relationships can suffer too, as 39% of those making $5,000 a year from MLMs eventually quit due to the stress of recruiting friends and family to buy and sell often subpar products.
  • Stability is another issue, with 50% of all participants leaving MLMs within the first year.
  • A concerning 75% of individuals who have joined an MLM reported they would never participate in this type of business model again.
  • A 2018 survey among 1,050 MLM distributors revealed most earned only about 70 cents per hour, with 20% making no sales at all. Additionally, 60% earned less than $500 in total over five years, and 32% accrued credit card debt to support their MLM activities.

These statistics illustrate why the MLM structure can be highly challenging and why it might not be a sustainable business model for most participants.

Shaklee MLM Review: Conclusion

Shaklee utilizes a multilevel marketing strategy, where independent salespeople market products directly to consumers, including in their own homes. As a Shaklee distributor, you can earn commissions from your sales as well as from the sales of those you recruit. This setup, which emphasizes actual product sales over mere recruitment, distinguishes a legitimate MLM from pyramid schemes, which are fraudulent and focus primarily on recruitment for financial gain.

Therefore, while Shaklee operates within the legal boundaries of MLM, it is not a pyramid scheme. However, considering the broader challenges and statistics associated with MLMs, potential participants should approach with caution and realistic expectations about the risks and potential returns.

Thank you for reading this review. What are your thoughts on Shaklee and MLMs in general? Have you had any personal experiences with this business model that you’d like to share?

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Thanks for reading my Shaklee MLM Review!  If you have any questions, or any experiences to share then please write them in the comments below. ;). 

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