MLM Reviewed

Shaklee Pyramid Scheme Review

Table of Contents


What is Shaklee about?

 Long before “environmental” ever became a buzzword — Shaklee has been there. And according to this multi-level marketing company, they aren’t blowing their own trumpet. In fact, it’s the naked truth, they say. And that’s not the only thing they are showing off — they claim to be the first company to launch the Earth Day product. The company asserts that nature is rooted in everything. Shaklee holds the highest standards in the environment, claiming to have canceled out their carbon emissions and impacting the environment with a solid net zero.

Is Shaklee a legit MLM?

 Shaklee Corporation is a manufacturer based in Pleasanton, California, and was established in 1956. That’s a pretty long time. Shaklee is a multi-level marketing distributor of — as mentioned earlier, natural Nutritionals, beauty products, weight-management products, even household commodities.  The company has global operations in Canada, Asia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Forrest C. Shaklee founded the Shaklee company, along with his two sons. He was 62 years old at that time. Its first flagship product is Pro Lecin Nibblers — the first multivitamin manufactured and put together in the United States of America. The multivitamin was made from a mixture of vitamins, protein, and lecithin. A year later, they formulated VitaLea, a multivitamin with various minerals, and was sold in tablet form. Shaklee still sells VitaLea to this day.

Shaklee Multi+

Shaklee Review: Company Overview and History

As mentioned, Shaklee Corporation was incorporated in 1956. Currently, it has about 1,850 employees. It has other direct selling establishments and mail-orders houses.

Shaklee’s interest in nutrition began when he decided to know about the rich soils and grow quality vegetables and herbs for his vitamins. From Oregon, he relocated to Oakland, and he continued studying the connection between human health and nutrition.

Forest Shaklee obtained three different degrees: Doctor of Naturopathy, Doctor of Divinity, and Professor of Chiropractic. Shaklee opened the Shaklee Clinic in California in 1935. At the same time, he was one of the professors of biochemistry at the California Chiropractic College.

The power of One Man's Dreams

“Thoughtmanship” was the philosophy that Forrest Shaklee, “thought” about while he was mourning for the untimely death of his wife in a car accident. The ethos of “thoughtmanship” was centered on “becoming more aware of one’s emotions, surrounding and the moment.” If the idea seems to ring a bell to you— it’s because you’ve heard that concept from “mindfulness.” He was ahead of his time as he lectured about this concept and published books regarding this philosophy.

Shaklee’s belief in “thoughtsmanship” was the basis of his creation of his sales team and corporate operations.  He signed up independent contractors who were compensated through a percentage of the sales they generate.  The company’s initial recruitment was through an ad that they placed in the newspaper. Six people took the ad and signed up as distributors.

In the 1970s, the company experienced amazing growth. Its company sales have risen steeply to more than hundreds of million dollars. It ventured out of the United States and set up two subsidiaries in Japan and Canada.

But it wasn’t Shaklee’s happily-ever-after ending. The 1980s were hard times for the company. There were negative publicity and bad reviews that came out, profits have declined, and many Shaklee distributors preferred secure employment rather than joining the MLM company. And in 1985, the company lost Dr. Forrest Shaklee when he died at 91 years old.

The company slowly began to get out of the struggles after the mid-80s. It drew the investment community’s attention as Irwin Jacobs, a Minneapolis-based investor, began to acquire Shaklee stock. A few months later, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical, a huge Japanese drug company, acquired Shaklee. And little by little, Shaklee was able to recover from near ashes. And through Yamanouchi, Shaklee expanded outside the United States and began operations in Mexico and Taiwan in 1992 and 1994.

The entity received some negative reviews in the mid-90s; there has been frequent suspicion and skepticism regarding its nutritional supplements’ efficacy.

Things began to look upward again for this MLM company when it reached its $4 billion mark in 1996. It also partnered with Stanford University in building a new research center that specialized in developing and commercializing technology for nutritional and pharmaceuticals, and healthcare products.

Shaklee then introduced its skin care product line, and then at the turn of the 21st century, they began marketing a new anti-aging treatment product to add to their lineup of beauty products, as well as Shaklee Basics, a nutritional system that opened the door for e-commerce.

100 Years of Innovation

Today, social media has played a major role in Shaklee’s sales and marketing techniques. Distributors share informative posts and positive results with their audience. This method entices people to know more about Shaklee products.

As with other ML companies, this MLM company employs social media to market its products. Shaklee has a trademarked practice term for that Social Marketing. This focuses on sharing and mentoring.

The headquarters was also opened in Pleasanton, California, in 2000. Through it all, their distributors and sales force remained loyal and enthusiastic about Shaklee products. And Shaklee’s network marketing model continued to flourish.

Is Shaklee Corporation a multi-level marketing business?

Shaklee picked out the network marketing model to sell their products. In the mid-50s, Shaklee has already started to market organic and biodegradable cleaning materials.

As early as the mid-50s, Shaklee has believed that independent distributors were requisites for Shaklee’s success. And it was proven true. Less than five years after the company was established, Shaklee’s independent distributors were marketing the products all over California. The father and sons traveled across California and personally met with their distributors. Around this time, the company persisted in establishing new products.

Shaklee Nutrition Body Home

Shaklee was ahead of the curve in natural environmental-friendly products.

 That’s right, Shaklee’s laundry detergent was the first to remove the ingredient, phosphate. They started the trend of phosphate-free laundry detergents across the country. To this day, Shaklee boasts of its quality standards that go beyond organic. They make sure that their products are pure, potent, and free from chemical impurities and contaminants.

Can you make money selling Shaklee?

Making Money with Shaklee

Yes, one can likely make money through Shaklee. However, it is highly doubtful that you will see tons of them as purported by the Shaklee distributors. Like all other MLM companies, a tiny fraction of members has ever achieved decent revenue and income levels.

How does it work?

To begin, let’s check out where the money goes once you purchase Shaklee products. Once you purchase their so-called dream plan, a portion of that money goes to your upline, and there may be other levels as well. That’s around 20%. Then another 34% will go to paying the top-level leader. And then a little over half a dollar you spend for every Shaklee product will go to the levels up your upline. The remaining cents go to production and shipping, bonuses, etc. All of these are part of the price of the products that you buy.

Is it possible to make money with Shaklee?

The market for nutrition supplements is huge around the world. Yet, the Shaklee sales team seems to be declining in the past couple of years.

There are approximately one million distributors of Roger Barnett’s company, and money-making opportunities seem a little scant.

How much money are Shaklee distributors making?

Shaklee company does not show their income disclosure statement, making it somewhat difficult to know exactly the numbers. This, however, should send warning sirens up your radar. Around five years ago, some leaders were making an overage of around $4,000. You can guess from that amount how much a regular distributor makes. If you dig deeper, you will discover that a big percentage, if not almost all, members fail to earn profits at all. This is a sad reality in all MLM communities.

How to Join Shaklee?

Joining this community is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is complete an application and pay a fee. You can get your business ongoing for as low as $50. It is, however, necessary to enroll in a team because hierarchy is crucial in their business model.

Shaklee Compensation Plan

Dream Plan, this is how Shaklee calls its compensation plan. Of course, this is based on the premise that you want to make money to achieve your dreams. Initially, you get to earn commissions from your sales. Since it is also a direct selling company, that’s how some people earn some income.

Shaklee’s compensation plan differs from other MLM plans. The recruitment and signing up is very crucial in your general compensation. Also, you must maintain $150 as your monthly sales to get access to commissions. If you fail to earn that amount, you will lose all your points in their system. Some MLM companies practice this method.

Shaklee Review: Is Shaklee a scam?

Despite the company’s long track record in the nutritional industry, people still wonder whether Shaklee is a scam. Perhaps it has something to do with the MLM model. People often equate this type of business to a pyramid scheme. But before we go into that, let’s answer this question first.

No, Shaklee is not a scam. It’s a legitimate company. However, being in an MLM requires you to buy-in. All MLMs require you to sign up other people and make them your downline to make more money. You’re not just selling nutritional supplements or vitamins; you’re actually recruiting or signing up people to sell vitamins for you. Then they also need to do the same to make money. As in all typical MLM systems, only a few people achieve success at the top. And a whole lot of people never make any money at all.

Now, this brings us to the next topic…

Shaklee Review: Is Shaklee a pyramid scheme?

Again, the answer is NO. In this review, Shaklee is proven not a pyramid scheme. They sell legitimate products, and their members make money through commissions by pushing their products.

However, if you look into it closely, Shaklee could be an undercover pyramid scheme.

Most MLMs sell and market legitimate products or services. Essentially, they are not completely and outright pyramid schemes. Many MLMs, including Shaklee, have skyrocketing products and require their independent distributor to make a certain amount of money each month. The compensation plan is structured to move up the ranks and benefit from residual income if you sign up a new distributor and make them your downline. That’s how it works.

It’s not easy for distributors to receive a good income from Shaklee because first — their products are too pricey, and two — the distributor is required to hit a monthly sales quota. The best way to make decent earnings is by signing up people into the MLM business. Then that’s how Shaklee appears to be a pyramid scheme.

Are there positive reviews about Shaklee?

If we were to make a table of pros and cons regarding Shaklee, one of the positive things about this company is its proven history.

The company has been around since the mid-50s. What does that tell us? It’s doubtful that the company will vanish in a whiff like other recently developed MLM companies. If truth be told, only one out of three network marketing companies last longer than a decade. And Shaklee has been here long before most of us were even born.

That is Shaklee’s strong point — and a good sign that the company is not a scam.

Positive Product Reviews

Longer, Healthier life with Shaklee

There are several positive reviews about the Shaklee products and the “Prove It” challenge.

Do you know what makes this brand stand out from all the other similar wellness MLMs out there? It’s their flagship product —the Prove It Challenge.

The brand puts premium importance on their “Prove It Challenge.” This is primarily a 30-day challenge to lose weight and get in the pink! The product includes vitamin supplements, Shaklee cleanses for seven days, and two protein shakes.

There have been studies that found this product as:

1.       improving energy and focus —in as high as four-fifths or 80% of the participants

2.       supporting healthy digestion and detox

3.       enhancing moods and sleep quality — in about two-thirds of 60% of the participants

4.       jump-starting weight loss and helps reduce cravings in about 72% of its participants

This Shaklee review will look into what customers think about their products and this challenge later on.

Better Business Bureau Customer Reviews

It has a 4.31 out of 5 stars rating in Better Business Bureau or BBB. There have been many reviews there from customers expressing their satisfaction with the products as effective, safe to use, and responsible enough to notify them regarding backorders and when to expect them.

Their cleaning and laundry products are on top, and nutrition tops it as well.

However, it’s hard to tell if these people are just distributors trying to make their products sound great and amazing.

Conclusion: Should I Join Shaklee?

Join Shaklee Now

Shaklee has been here for more than half a century now. It has been through ups and downs, and yet it continues to have robust revenues. There have over a million distributors across the globe.

This entity is determined to provide premium all-natural quality products to improve the lives of its customers. This review shows that it is not a bad company and definitely not a scam or a pyramid scheme. Yet, it is not easy to make a decent income from selling their products despite their noble mission. It is quite thorny to make a profit – and recruitment and signing up members is its main emphasis.