Are there problems with Herbalife? Sure, I’ve found that every business, regardless of their particular industry, has some problems. Let me begin by telling you that I am a huge fan of their products and business opportunity, even though I am in no way affiliated with the company.
They produce very high quality health, nutrition and weight loss products, all at a reasonable price. Just about every Herbalife distributor or customer I’ve ever talked with was happy with the products, the compensation plan, and the training. While the company has lots of things going for it, I do believe there are a few problems that should be addressed.
As I see it, the four biggest problems with Herbalife are their internet marketing policies, their market timing, deceptive recruiting strategies and the eBay/Amazon sellers. I will explain more about each category below. Please note that some of these problems are with distributors, not the company itself.
Internet Marketing Policies
If you are a Herbalife distributor and you are trying to build your business online, make sure you read through the distributor agreement first, so you have a clear understanding about what you can and cannot do. You will quickly find that you are very limited in how you can use the name “Herbalife” in your online marketing efforts. I understand why the company has strict internet marketing policies to protect its image, reputation and intellectual property, but it does limit your online marketing efforts.
For instance, you can’t use the name Herbalife on your blog, if you use Google AdSense or if you discuss other MLM Companies, lead programs, systems or affiliate products. And Herbalife retains the right to “take ownership” of your website if they deem you are in violation of one of their policies. Personally, I dislike that policy. I think their online policies are a bit outdated, especially with the growth of the Internet in recent years.
The reason I say that “timing” is one of the problems with Herbalife is that the company is more than 30 years old. It’s one of the top 10 network marketing companies around, in terms of sales and distributors. They’re pretty much the leading health and wellness direct sales company in the world. And they have a good reputation (overall). But, if you look at most of the top earners you will quickly discover that most of them have been with the company 20 or more years.
In other words, you don’t see lots of new people joining the company and advancing to the top ranks quickly. I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen, or it can’t be done, but it is very unusual. I’ve learned that there is a “strategic” time to join any direct sales company, especially within its first five years. This allows you to take advantage of the initial momentum and improve your chances of success. If you join the party too late, it’s much more difficult to get to the top ranks.
Deceptive Recruiting Techniques
There are some distributors that do some shady things, such as sell systems and training to their downline at a large profit. Often times, it is misleading, or provides a significant income to the top distributors, without the new distributors knowing it. Herbalife has recently cracked down on several of these top distributors by terminating their distributorships.
There are also successful distributors who recruit online and offline, but never mention the word Herbalife. In many cases, people who sign up/buy don’t even know they are becoming a Herbalife distributor. Personally, I think this wrong and misleading. Once again, the company is really cracking down on this, so I expect it will happen less in the future. Finally, some reps advertise Herbalife as a job on sites such as Monster and Craiglist. I believe this is also very deceiving.
Ebay and Amazon Sellers
I think eBay and Amazon have pretty much ruined the opportunity for a new distributor to achieve success with Herbalife, especially with acquiring customers. With Amazon and eBay, anyone can go online and purchase Herbalife products at a huge discount, probably cheaper than you can buy them for directly from the company as a distributor (even with your discount). This makes it difficult to find customers and distributors when they have a cheaper alternative than buying from you directly.
In conclusion, I am a big fan of Herbalife. I think it is a wonderful direct sales company with great products, exceptional distributor support and plenty of great training. The only problems with Herbalife I can find are the company’s online marketing policies for distributors, the market timing, some of the deceptive recruiting technqiues by the top distributors, and the eBay/Amazon sellers. I still believe they offer a viable business opportunity for the self-motivated person. They remain one of my favorite direct selling companies around, even though I am not a distributor.
You could also argue that many of these problems apply to most companies in our industry, not just Herbalife.
What are your thoughts? What are the problems with Herbalife as you see it? Leave a comment to let us know.
Disclaimer: All names are registered trademarks. I am not affiliated with the company in any way.