Is Shaklee just another diet scam?

Shaklee is a popular wellness MLM company that has been around forever.

Nutrition MLMs with their magic berries and mystical herbs may be a dime a dozen now, but Shaklee is the Godfather when it comes to hustling supplements and shakes.

Based in Pleasanton, California, they opened shop way back in 1956. They’ve now got an annual revenue of $844 million and international operations in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, China, and Indonesia.

They’re well on their way to joining giants like Mary Kay and Amway in the $1 billion club.[1]

So should you get involved?

I’m not saying it would be impossible to make money with Shaklee, but there are certainly more sustainable income opportunities out there…

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Either way, here’s the full review on Shaklee.


Shaklee is ranked #10 on DSN’s top 50 North American MLMs list, and #21 on their global list. [2] [3]

The Shaklee formula, “Shaklee’s Vitalized Minerals”, was actually founded way back in 1915 by Forrest C. Shaklee. It wasn’t until 1956 that he formed Shaklee Corporation with his two sons, redeveloped some nutritional supplements, and started to market them via direct selling.

Over the years, they’ve changed ownership many times. They were a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange for a good while, during which Shaklee was changing hands every few years. Now, they are a private company owned by American billionaire Roger Barnett, who purchased the company in 2004 for $310 million. [4]

They’ve even snagged a real industry vet with over two decades of experience in MLM as their new President. Heather Chastain has not only been a very successful VP and Chief Sales Officer at another MLM, but she also has an impeccable record serving as the Chair of the Direct Selling Association’s Ethics Committee. [5]

Of course, like any big MLM, they are not without their scandals. They’ve butted heads repeatedly with the FTC and been accused of being a pyramid scheme and making false claims multiple times. [6] [7] [8]


Nutritional products are almost always a little shady, but overall, Shaklee has some of the most established and trusted products in the industry. They’ve sold to NASA (they created Astroade, a rehydration product for astronauts). That’s about as legit as it gets. [9]

They’ve got a reputation for being one of the greenest, most eco-friendly nutrition companies out there, and it’s not without reason. They were the first company to officially offset their own carbon footprint, making them completely carbon neutral, and they’ve won numerous awards for sustainable business practices and green design. [10]

Shaklee started with nutrition and weight management, but they’ve also been rocking beauty and home products for quite a while.

Healthy Nutrition

Their nutritional supplements include a range of products that offer extra essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins for every day consumption. They help with everything from aging to heart health to digestion support to cleansing.

Healthy Solutions

This product line is geared toward addressing specific health concerns. They offer a SmartHeart blood pressure regimen, a MindWorks supplement designed to increase brain function, Vivix, an anti-aging solution, and supplements to help with everything from liver function to joint pain to immunity.

Healthy Weight

Their weight management products include bars, shakes, teas, smoothies, and supplements. They’re designed to promote fat burning and muscle growth as well as suppress hunger and boost energy.

Healthy Beauty

Shaklee’s beauty products include body, skin, and hair care products that are all natural and designed to nourish your skin and promote healthy hair.

Healthy Home

Shaklee’s home products include household cleaners, kitchen cleaning, and laundry products. All of their home products are green and eco-friendly.

Compensation Plan

Shaklee offers three different levels at which you can join their business opportunity.

Member: $19.95

This is less of a distributor level and more of a “premium customer” type level. Unlike many MLMs, which require premium customers to be on monthly autoship, Shaklee only requires a one-time fee of $19.95 for you to receive a 15-25% discount on all products. It’s a pretty good deal.

Distributor: $49.95

To become a distributor and start qualifying for bonuses and downline commission, you need to pay $49.95 and maintain a minimum of 100 monthly PV. This start-up fee is pretty standard (see: Kairos, Norwex, or Longaberger).

Gold Ambassador: $299-599

Hitting this level qualifies you for GOLD, FastTRACK, and International bonuses. These are some solid bonuses, but they come at a hefty price.

On top of the distributor fee, you have to buy the $299 GOLD PAK or the $599 GOLD PLUS PAK to qualify for these bonuses. The difference between the two is that members who purchased the GOLD PLUS PAK make more money off these bonuses than members who purchased the GOLD PAK.

Their compensation plan itself, called the Dream Plan, offers 9 ways to earn.

  1. GOLD Bonuses, available only to Gold Ambassadors, pay distributors $50-100 for each GOLD PAK they sell.
  2. Power Bonuses offer $150 bonuses for every 15 points you accrue from sponsoring people who purchase enough in monthly autoship for a certain period of time.
  3. Price Differential is your personal commission. You make retail profit on the difference between your distributor discount (15-25%) and retail pricing.
  4. Personal Group Bonuses are monthly bonuses offered each time your group of recruits and customers generates a certain volume of product sales.
  5. FastTRACK Bonuses, offered only to Gold Ambassadors, can rake in some good cash if you’re able to reach the higher ranks within a short time period. You can make up to $34,000 in a 15-month period off these bonuses alone, but you’ve got to hit the ground running.
  6. Incentives get you lifestyle rewards such as luxury vacations and other prizes.
  7. Car Bonuses are offered when your team hits 3,000 in Personal Group Volume and you’ve personally promoted a First Generation Director. Car Bonuses are only valid for up to 3 years.
  8. Leadership Bonuses kick in once you’ve hit Director level.
  9. Infinity Bonuses get as high as 8% on the volume of all Leaders in your organization to infinity.


Shaklee is, without question, one of the MLM giants. They have their controversies, like everyone in this industry, but they’re definitely not a scam. Their products are well-established and reputable.

That being said, the compensation plan at Shaklee is nothing special. While there’s certainly room to earn, the chance of you becoming a millionaire is very, very slim.

They’ve created more millionaires than most MLMs though – 2,000 to date. [11]

But they’ve also got over 750,000 members and distributors. [12]

Do you got it in you to outshine the top .03%?

Like I’ve shown throughout the review, I’m not a Shaklee hater at all. In fact I think the company has done many things well. But to build a passive income stream, I don’t think this is the best opportunity.

I’ve been involved with network marketing for over ten years so I know what to look for when you consider a new opportunity.

After reviewing 200+ business opportunities and systems out there, here is the one I would recommend:

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Meet the Author


JP teaches network marketers how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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