Shaklee: The original health MLM isn’t what it used to be [Review]

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]


1. What does Shaklee sell? Shaklee sells natural nutrition supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products.

2. What are Shaklee’s most popular products? The high-potency multivitamin, Vita-Lea, is one of Shaklee’s flagship products. It supports optimal health, including the heart, bones and joints, energy, and healthy skin, hair, and nails. Another flagship product is Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate. This all-purpose cleaning concentrate is a 2008 winner of the PTPA Award for being non-toxic, natural, and superconcentrated, with biodegradable surfactants and no phosphates. Also popular is the Shaklee 180, a clinically proven program with meal replacements, support, and tools to help you lose weight and keep it off. It includes the meal-in-a-bar, snack bar, snack crisps, and energizing tea.

3. How much does it cost to join Shaklee? To become a qualified distributor, you need to buy a Distributor Welcome Kit + Success Pack. The Welcome kit is $49.95 and includes 3 months of access to a personal website and digital tools that will train you and encourage you. Success Packs range from $298 to $1,000. While this is pricey, you do save 30% off SRP and earn full PV. Be aware, the company recommends buying three packs to start your business with, which is going to be a big investment to start your business.

4. Is Shaklee a scam? No, Shaklee is a legitimate business that genuinely believes in its mission to live in harmony with Nature. The compensation package rewards you for sales more than for recruiting, which is rare among MLMs. Add to that: It ranks #10 on the Direct Selling News Top 50 list of MLM companies for 2015. According to Daniel Esty, Yale professor and co-author of Green to Gold, no other company is “doing more to make environmental stewardship part of its core business and its commitment to the public.” [2] In 2007, it was recognized for being the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral, certified to totally offset its CO2 emission to achieve a net zero impact on the environment. [3]

5. What is Shaklee’s BBB rating? A+

6. How long has Shaklee been in business? Since 1956

7. What is Shaklee’s revenue? $844 million in 2014

8. How many Shaklee distributors are there? 1.25 million

9. What lawsuits have been filed? In 1978, the company sued former distributors for defaming the products and interfering with business relationships after signing on with a rival company.  In 1981, Shaklee won the lawsuit but was awarded a judgment too small to cover the company’s legal fees. In that case, it was discovered that Shaklee learned in 1973 their alfalfa tablets were tainted with salmonella bacteria — but didn’t discontinue them until 1977, after trying to treat the alfalfa with a fumigant that was suspected of being carcinogenic. [4] In 1974, Shaklee signed a consent pact with the FTC, stating it would not fix prices or engage in other anticompetitive practices. [5] In 1982, the FTC asked to be given access to records of a case that involved Shaklee and two former distributors. Shaklee opposed the bid, calling it a “fishing expedition.” [6] In 2013, Elizabeth Dopf, her fiance, and the group Shaklee Victims United, received legal warning from Shaklee Corporation to cease their defamatory tirade. Dopf responded by suing Shaklee for being a pyramid scheme. [7] In 2014, a high-ranking Shaklee distributor was arrested for stealing $6 million in investments from friends and Shaklee business associates. [8] In 2016, Shaklee was accused of trademark infringement for its Healthprint product. [9]

10. Comparable companies: Herbalife, Amway, Isagenix

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 one of the oldest and most respected MLMs out there. They were green before it was cool to care. And they seem to be more committed to their mission of health than they are to ranking in Top 100 lists or recruiting more distributors.

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 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. [10]

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. [11]

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. (See lawsuits above.)


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. [12]

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. [13]

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 everyday 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 (aka Business Builder) 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: Norwex).

Shaklee Business Leader

When you reach more than 2,000 PV, you become a Director. Your bonus goes up, and you’re eligible to qualify for the New Directors Conference in San Francisco.

Senior Director

Ad your team grows, and you begin to lead other Directors and business leaders, you become a Senior Director or higher. That’s when you begin to make a decent side income.


Their compensation plan offers 8 ways to earn.

  1. Success Bonuses offer 25 when you sign up 3 preferred members in 3 months and $50 each time you sign up a preferred distributor. Sign up 3 distributors and earn an extra $150.
  2. Price Differential is your personal commission. You make retail profit on the difference between your distributor discount (15-25%) and retail pricing.
  3. Personal Group Bonuses are monthly bonuses offered each time your group of recruits and customers generates a certain volume of product sales.
  4. FastTRACK Bonuses, an incentive program to reward New Leaders for achieving rapid growth.
  5. Incentives get you lifestyle rewards such as luxury vacations and other prizes.
  6. 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.
  7. Leadership Bonuses kick in once you’ve hit Director level.
  8. 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, last we’ve seen. [14]

But they’ve also got over 750,000 members and distributors. [15]

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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