Is Shaklee A Scam? A Review Of Its Pros And Cons

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Is Shaklee A Scam

Welcome to my Shaklee review!

Today we’re going to uncover the decision-changing truths about Shaklee no one should ever miss!

We’ll also answer the question of whether it’s a scam or not. 

The health and wellness MLM fad never seems to miss its place in the make-money-online sphere. If you’re thinking of signing up with Shaklee to earn an income, here are facts you should know first before you start knocking on your family and friends’ doors. 

Shaklee Review At A Glance

About: Shaklee is a 64-year-old health and wellness MLM. Their products include nutrition supplements, weight-loss products, and beauty products.

Price: The entry-level membership is free but the highest level costs $599 plus $49.95 a month.

Pros: Has lots of products, a long history and offers tools and support.

Cons: Low success rates, no income statement disclosed, products too expensive.

Verdict: Shaklee's industry is saturated with competition. It'll be hard to stand out from the rest and make a sale. Better invest your time in an opportunity with higher income potential.


0.5 Star Rating NEW

What Is Shaklee, Exactly?

Shaklee got its name from its founder Forrest C. Shaklee, together with his two sons, he built the company. Shaklee was a chiropractor and nutritionist, so I guess his interest in starting and health and wellness MLM is understandable.

An incredible trivia:

Forrest Shaklee is known to be the first one to produce a vitamin in the United States.

The company changed owners a couple of times since it was created. For a time, it became a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Currently, it’s already a private company owned by Roger Barnett. 

Like I mentioned earlier, it had its share of legal battles:

  • 1978 – Shaklee was sued by its former distributors for allegedly interfering in the business relations they had with Shaklee’s rival company. 
  • 1974 – Shaklee signed a consent pact with the FTC stating that they cannot fix wholesale and retail prices.
  •  2013 – Another former distributor sued Shaklee for being a pyramid scheme
  • 2016 – Shaklee was again sued for using the Healthprint mark without permission. 

These are just some of the charges, others we’re against distributors for manipulating and stealing their downlines’ money. Overall though, aside from the pyramid scheme accusation, I think they’re just flaws other MLMs also face, not really a complete deal-breaker to me. 

How To Join Shaklee

There are a number of levels you can choose from: 

1. Customer

  • No membership fees
  • Products are bought for wholesale price
  • Cannot make money for promoting products

2. Member (Premium Customer)

  • $19.95 membership fee
  • 15%-25% discount on products
  • No monthly order requirement
  • Cannot make money for promoting products

3. Distributor

  • $49.95 membership fee
  • Has order requirement, must maintain at least 100 PV each month to get commission 
  • Can promote products to make money

4. Gold Ambassador

  • $299-$599 membership
  • This level has two products: Gold Pak and Gold Plus Pak
  • Gold Pak costs $299
  • Gold Plus Pak costs $599
  • The higher the cost, the higher the commission
  • Still have to pay $49.95 every month
  • Still has monthly order requirement

Here’s one word to describe them: EXPENSIVE. Yes, you can join for free, but it also means there’s no opportunity to make money that comes with it. 

It’s just like any other pay to play. You have to spend in order to earn. 

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Shaklee Products

What can Shaklee offer? Just like any other health and wellness MLM, they have weight-loss products, nutrition supplements, and beauty products. An addition to the choices is household products. 

Shaklee Products

Some of its popular products include: 

  • Vita-Lea – a high-potency multivitamin
  • Shaklee 180 – a weight-loss program
  • Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate – an all-purpose cleaning concentrate which actually turned out to be a PTPA Awardee for being a natural, non-toxic, biodegradable surfactant. 
  • Astroade – astronauts’ rehydration product recognized by NASA

Shaklee is actually identified as one of the eco-friendliest companies. This is actually a good hint. It means they don’t just focus on recruiting people, but also in producing quality products they can offer to the market. 

However, here’s something to keep in mind:

If Shaklee was promoted to you as having more than extra exceptional products that can market self itself for being so good, don’t fall for it. 

No matter how great a health and wellness product is, because of the saturation in the niche, you also have to have extra good sales and recruiting skills. A product’s quality is important to sell, but that’s not all that it takes. 

Is Shaklee FDA Approved?

No, it it’s not FDA approved, but it’s not something you should be alarmed about. It’s actually a good thing they never claimed to be FDA approved. 

The truth is, the FDA never approves health supplements. The company itself is the one responsible to ensure their products are safe to take. 

How Does Shaklee Work?

If you want to full details of the compensation plan, you can check out this link.

If you prefer not to get lost in the sea of MLM jargon, here’s an easier way to explain how you can make money. There are 9 ways you can earn from Shaklee: 

1. Gold Bonuses

If you sell a Gold  Pak membership, you can earn $50 as a gold bonus. However, if you get fortunate enough to sell a Gold Plus Pak, you get twice the bonus you get from selling a Gold Pak, that’s $100. 

2. Power Bonus

You can gain a power bonus when you get to sponsor a member into your group in a specified purchase level anywhere during your first 3 full months as a member. If you gain 15 sponsoring points, you get a $150 power bonus. 

I think this is the bonus they give to drive you to make as many recruits as possible.

3. Price Differential

This is income you get for selling a product at a retail price.

4. Personal Group Bonus

You get this bonus If you reach a monthly group quota. 

5. FastTrack Bonus

This is a bonus you get for a business leader rank is a specified time frame.

6. Incentives

This is somewhat similar to a power bonus, however, this involves rewards and trips sponsored by Shaklee. Personally, I’m not interested in this type of bonus because I always have this mentality of getting the chance to choose how I should enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I mean, if this is a perk they give for members to enjoy, I’d rather decide how to spend it so I can truly enjoy the bonus. Does Shaklee know I’d enjoy a house and a lot better than a luxury trip?

This type of bonus is usually hyped-up so they can somehow make your mind over to think this is something you would really want to have, even if you didn’t even have an idea about it in the first place. 

7. Car Bonuses

This is a bonus they give for a 3000 personal group volume and for promoting a first-generation director.

8. Leadership Bonus

This is a bonus you get for developing other directors in your group. You’d only get this though if you have a director-level yourself. 

9. Infinity Bonus

This is an 8% bonus from the volume of all the Senior Director and higher in your group.

Shaklee Members' Area

If you want more details on each way, you can check out the compensation plan, but a little warning, you’ll be in for a mystifying maze!

The thing is, a  lot of compensation plans are made so complicated so it’ll be hard for you to recognize that making money with it as hard as understanding the whole compensation structure! 

In summary, you’ll only see the list of bonuses you can earn from, but in detail, you’ll see how hard it is to qualify for each bonus!

Another thing, did you notice how the more expensive membership levels have an order requirement? This means if you can’t sell enough to reach the requirement, you’ll have to buy the products yourself. 

There’s an auto-ship option where you’ll automatically purchase a list of products every month, this will ensure you reach the quota (by buying the products yourself) and that you won’t get your account suspended. 

If you haven’t realized it yet it’s just their way of making sure they get something from you every month. 

So here’s an idea of how much it’ll cost you to “make money” from Shaklee:

1. $49.95 for membership

2. $150(120) for autoship

3. $299-$599 for Gold membership

Total amount lumbered from you: 2,148.95 – 2448.95!

This still doesn’t include the training cost you’ll need to learn to sell stuff, live events tickets, and transportation cost you’ll have to get to potential clients.

There’s a little perk in store for you though, they’ll provide you with an online store to reach people through the internet. It’s hard to do face-to-face selling especially with a pandemic going on, so this can look like a good thing at first glance.

However, you’ll only get a generic website they also give to all their distributors, have fun devising a strategy to stand out in the saturated market!

Not just that, even the website has some cost, you’ll have to pay for hosting and traffic so people will notice your store!

Bottom line: it’s way too expensive for anyone to handle!

Still, I’d say this is a bet I’ll take if the ROI is assured, sadly, it’s not. There’s not even an income disclosure provided by Shaklee!

Pros Of Shaklee

  • Long track record
  • Lots of products
  • Has tools and support: Sponsor Guidance, Shaklee University, and Live Events (more costs though, yikes!)

Cons Of Shaklee

  • Costs a limb!
  • Autoship
  • Low success rate
  • Bothering people to earn
  • No income disclosure

Is Shaklee A Scam?

I don’t think it is. The long track record itself is a great indicator it’s legit. The recognition they get is another check to their credibility. 

There’s the pyramid scheme charge but I don’t think there’s any truth to it given the fact they put so much focus on producing quality products that even earn rewards and recognition. 

Still, no matter how legit they are, the fact remains that the health and wellness niche is oversaturated and the chance to stand out is extremely low. In other words, you can only earn a dime from it. Not even enough to cover all the costs!

Shaklee Review Closing Thoughts

The chances of making money from Shaklee is very slim, slimmer than a thread in a needle. Shaklee did report making around 2,000 millionaires. But keep in mind that they also have a total of 750,000 members!

Here’s the truth about MLMs, even the legit ones:

You’ll only make real money from it if you’re in it first. If not, you just like be the rest of the 750,000 members, grappling to find their way to the top and never making it. 

Plus there’s the whole recruiting thing which will put you at risk of getting avoided by friends and family for the rest of your life. 

You don’t need to wave your towel up in knowing you can’t make money from MLMs, there are other more profitable ways to make money online!

Now there’s a way to make money online with a much higher success rate: affiliate marketing.

With affiliate marketing, you can make money online minus the hefty cost, the recruitment, and the low success rate.

You also get your training but for a much more affordable price of $49 a month. If you’re having doubts if it’s worth your money, you can always try the first 10 lessons for free.

The good thing about it is, you get to choose what you’ll promote. You can choose a niche you’re personally interested in and find products in that niche to promote. There’s also no need to recruit to make money!

If you’re interested in knowing more, you can check out this in-depth Wealthy Affiliate review:

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1 thought on “Is Shaklee A Scam? A Review Of Its Pros And Cons”

  1. After a little research, I uncovered a few items you failed to discover, or at least mention:
    • Shaklee conducts clinical trials and other serious studies on safety and efficacy with impeccable methodology using control groups, double blind administered, etc., on almost all of their products that are then peer reviewed and published in appropriate medical journals. this costs money, which is why their supplements cost more money.
    • Shaklee has over 100 Olympic atheletes that have collectively won 154 bronze, silver or gold medals. They are not given products in return for endorsements, they pay for them because Shaklee is in close contact with the certifying organization on performance enhancing drugs, so there’s no chance of testing positive for such a substance, plus the business opportunity allows atheletes to maintain their training regimines and still raise families, send them to college, own homes, etc.
    • in 2021, Shaklee pledged $500 million in pediatric catastrophic nutrition to Vitamin Angels, and have dispersed $125 million in the first year.
    • Shaklee was approached by Cal Berkeley School of Public Health to test their products against other supplement users and people that took no supplements as a control group. Shaklee customers did far better than the control group. Those who took other supplements fared worst. Shaklee customers were 10 years older on average than the other groups.


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