MLM companies are always worth looking at through squinted eyes since so many of them promise so many things in so little time. However, out of the countless MLM companies that have gone and disappeared over time, many of them have stayed strong. One such company is Shaklee.
In this review, we’re going to answer the age-old question, is Shaklee a scam, so you can decide whether putting your money in this wellness/MLM company is worth it.
What Is Shaklee?
- Name: Shaklee
- Website: shaklee.com
- Founders: Forrest C. Shaklee & Forrest Shaklee
- Cost to Join: $0 to $599
- Rating: 5/10
Shaklee is an MLM and manufacturing company that focuses on providing its large customer base with high-quality wellness and common household products. The company’s headquarters are in Pleasanton, CA, but operates around the world. Shaklee products and distributors can be found in China, Malaysia, and Japan.
Shaklee was founded in 1953 by Forrest C. Shaklee, a chiropractor turned philosopher turned entrepreneur. He, along with his son Dr. Forrest Shaklee, started the company that has been credited for introducing vitamins to the US market.
What Does Shaklee Have to Offer?
Apparently, Shaklee has a lot to offer. The company’s products range from multivitamins to weight management snacks, all the way to water filters.
Many of these products are free of gluten, soy, preservatives, and artificial coloring. It appears that Shaklee, despite being in the business for over 60 years, has stayed on top of the market’s demands. We aren’t sure whether all of the products are vegan-friendly, but you can rest assured that Shaklee does not test its products on animals.
Here’s a quick look at Shaklee’s multiple product lines.
- 1+ Essential Nutrition – nutrition regimens, multivitamins, new life shakes, protein shakes, prenatal vitamins
- +2 Targeted Solutions – aging well, blood sugar, bone & joint, cleanse & detox, digestive health, energy, eyesight, fiber, greens, heart health, immunity, men’s health, mind, omegas, probiotics, sleep, stress & mood, turmeric, women’s health
- +3 Vitamin & Mineral Boosts – b-complex, vitamin C, vita-D3, vitamin E, garlic complex, iron & C complex, lecithin, sustained release VitalMag, zinc complex
- Children’s Nutrition – multivitamins, meal shakes
- Weight loss kits
- Healthy, organic shake powders
- Meal-in-a-bar snacks
- Energizing tea
- Shaklee metabolic boost
- Youth – anti-aging collection, hydrating collection, personalized regimen, perfection makeup, accessories
- Shaklee baby
- Daily care
- Performance packs – performance endurance packs, performance fitness packs
- Muscle building – protein shakes
- Energize – drinks, chews
- Hydration – electrolyte drinks
- Recovery – recovery complex vitamins
- Household cleaning – all-purpose, dishes, laundry, accessories
- Water filtration – get-clean-water, best water
- Commercial cleaning
What Does It Cost to Join Shaklee?
There are four levels you can sign up for when joinng Shaklee. You’ll find an overview of each level and what you need to pay to register.
Distributor – $49.95
To join as a distributor, you will first need to purchase the Distributor Welcome Kit and a Success Pack valued at $49.95. You will then gain access to a personalized digital shop, from which you will conduct most of your business.
Gold Distributor – $299 or $599
If you want to jumpstart your career in Shaklee, you can register as a Gold Distributor. There are two Gold packages available: Gold Pak ($299) and Gold Pak Plus ($599).
You’ll receive the same perks as a regular Distributor but immediately come eligible to receive higher commissions (higher rank equals more money, allegedly). You’ll still have to pay an additional $49.95 for Welcome Kit and Success Pack on top of the Gold Distributor registration fee.
Consumer – Free
You don’t have to pay a dime. As a consumer, you’re a part of the Shaklee family (welcome aboard!), but you won’t receive any perks. No discounts, no commissions, nothing. You can’t make any money by reselling Shaklee products unless you sell it for more than the retail value.
Member – $19.95
To become a member, you will have to purchase any kit or individual product valued at over $150. By becoming a full-fledged member, you will gain access to member perks, which include a 15% discount on every subsequent purchase and free delivery for products of over $150. You will have to pay a flat $8 shipping fee for purchases under $150.
How Do You Make Money with Shaklee?
As a member, you can make money by reselling products at the MSRP. Since you’re getting a 15% discount for purchasing large kits or multiple items per checkout, you can expect to make at least 15% back per sale.
As a distributor, you need to be prepared for the MLM side of Shaklee’s business. Here’s a quick rundown of the eight ways you can make money and win prizes for your marketing and recruiting efforts.
- Success Bonus – get paid $25 for every 3 preferred members you recruit in 3 months. An additional $50 bonus is awarded for every preferred distributor you bring in.
- Direct Sales – your personal commission, same as regular members. You’ll get up to 15% commission for every product you sell at the retail rate.
- Personal Group Bonuses – monthly bonuses awarded for each time you and your group recruit new members and meet a certain sales volume.
- FastTRACK Bonuses – a bonus program to show appreciation to New Leaders for reaching a certain sales and growth milestone
Shaklee also offers lucrative lifestyle rewards to the top-performing go-getters. These rewards include:
- Car bonuses – receive a brand-new vehicle after reaching a PGV (personal group volume) of 3,000 (based on sales and recruits). You can receive a luxury vehicle once every three years.
- Leadership Bonuses – a monthly monetary bonus for Directors. The prize amount depends on the volume of each Business Leader as far as six generations.
- Infinity Bonuses – an 8% commission based on the entire sales volume of every Leader in your team. No limit here; the more Leaders there are, the more you’ll make.
If you’d like to see your earnings potential by working together with Shaklee, the company is kind enough to publish its annual earnings statement for 2019.
73.4% of all Shaklee MLM members earn an average of $685-$1,230 per annum. Like most MLM businesses, you’ll need to climb the ranking to get better earning.
Things I Like About Shaklee (Pros)
Below are the reasons why we like Shaklee.
1. Long history
Shaklee has been around for 66 years since first opening its doors in 1953. For an MLM company to exist for that long, it must be doing something right. Pyramid and Ponzi schemes usually collapse within the first three years of operating, so we’re certain that Shaklee is nothing of the sort.
2. High-quality health-focused products
As you’d expect from a wellness company, Shaklee’s product lineup consists of health-focused products. However, they don’t just stop at making morning protein shake powders and snack bars; Shaklee ensures that every product that leaves the factory are up to high standards.
The R&D team behind Shaklee’s innovative products are on top of the game. They’ve been known to use high-quality ingredients and put their products through rigorous tests to assure the consumers that the company’s claims are as close to the truth as possible.
3. A+ rating on BBB
If the BBB says good things about a company, you can rest assured that the company is a trustworthy one. The BBB is a private organization that focuses on advancing trust between consumers and companies. Customers can review companies on the BBB platform, leaving either good or bad comments based on their personal experiences in dealing with the company in question. Shaklee’s BBB rating is 4.25/5 or an A+.
4. Excellent training and online support
What we really like about Shaklee is that it doesn’t keep its key to marketing success a secret. Upon joining the company, you’ll gain access to all sorts of training materials. The company will even help you establish an online store with all of the tools you need to sell products, retain customers, and recruit new members.
Thinks I Dislike About Shaklee (Cons)
However, just like any MLM company, Shaklee isn’t free of faults.
1. Too late to join now
Since Shaklee is so old, it’s practically too late to make it as a top-tier MLM partner. Competition can be tough between members of the same MLM company, especially if you aren’t a direct part of some else’s bottom line. The company is far too established, at least in the US, to allow new entrants to climb the corporate ladder.
2. Slow returns
Since it can be difficult to get promoted, it becomes increasingly more challenging to make a return on your initial investment. Even those who paid the $599 fee for the Gold Pak Plus membership have had difficulties making their money back. It all comes down to how your team is and how motivated they are to sell and recruit.
3. Slower payouts
This applies to low-level marketers. So, not do you have to jump through hoops to break even, but Shaklee will hold onto your money for months on end before paying you what’s rightfully yours.
Verdict: Not a Scam
However, as you can see from this review, joining Shaklee 66 years after it opened its doors to the public isn’t the smartest way to invest your money and time since it can take years (if ever) to break even.
Instead of joining a company led by old folks, why not dive into the fascinating and promising world of affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is basically promoting a company’s products and earning a cut of the profits for every sale you helped create.
I’ve tried my luck in a couple of MLM organizations and figured out that recruitment and making sales pitch are not my style.
Since then, I’ve turned to affiliate marketing and I like the freedom I’ve got in deciding what I’m doing with the business.
Here’s where I got started as a total newbie.
Hey, it’s Kenny here. I’m a single dad, freelance writer, an affiliate marketer. I have been making a living online since 2016, after quitting a 10-years engineering profession. When I’m not on the laptop, I’ll be in the kitchen experimenting with new cuisines.