Is Melaleuca a scam? A filthy pyramid scheme that you should run away from? Or is it a legitimate business opportunity that could be very lucrative to you? If you are into going green, using organic products, and helping save the environment, then Melaleuca might be something you are considering. In this review I’ll be going over a few important things you should know before you decide to sign up or not.
Before I get started I would like to point out that Melaleuca has been in busines since 1985 and they are a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+. If you are familiar with the BBB, then you will know that an A+ rating isn’t something you see too often. That is darn good and honestly I was surprised when I saw this. My guess is that they stay on top of their BBB rating and comply with every customer complaint as much as possible in order to keep their rating up.
But don’t get too excited for this opportunity. I do have complaints that I will be going over that you need to be aware of.
Melaleuca In A Nut Shell
Melaleuca is a wellness company that sells all sorts of products in the categories of nutrition, personal care, home cleaning, and cosmetics. Their products are all geared toward being better for the environment, better for your home, and better for your health. And as you can imagine being organic is important… and expensive.
Melaleuca has a membership program where you need to purchase a certain amount of products each month in order to stay a member.
Once a member, you have 2 choices. You can pay for and use their products as a normal customer, or you can enroll other members into Melaleuca, in which you will earn commissions based on their purchases. And that is a big part of this company. Anyone can create their own home-based business with Melaleuca and make money enrolling customers, and this is going to be the main point of this review.. to give people a better idea of what Melaleuca is all about and whether or not they should take advantage of the home-based business opportunity.
The Products You Get With Melaleuca
I can’t complain with Melaleuca’s products. Being an eco-friendly type person myself, I recognize the importance of organic products and often try to purchase such as much as possible.
Of course with buying Melaleuca’s organic products you will be paying higher prices than their synthetic counterparts that most people are used to buying. But hey.. sometimes you just have to pay the price and its worth it.
Like I mentioned above, Melaleuca offers products in 4 distinct categories: nutrition, personal care, home cleaning, and cosmetics. There are lotions, laundry detergents, essential oils, vitamins, dental floss, and pretty much anything you can think of in these categories. I believe they have over 400 products at this point.
If you do some research on their products you will find that most people like them. Their products are very high quality and I can’t complain here. Sure some people will complain about their laundry detergent not cleaning as intensely as they would like and things of this nature. But this is just the way organic cleaners are. They are gentler without all the harsh chemicals you are used to.
But anyway, enough about their products. If you are reading this review you are probably interested more in the potential home-based business opportunity that it has. So let me get to the heart of this review…
Is Melaleuca A Pyramid Scheme?
Nope, to put it simply. But they are considered by many to be a pyramid schemes close relative… the MLM (multi-level marketing) opportunity. MLM opportunities often leave a bad taste in your mouth because companies that use this business model are often focused more on recruiting people into their system and selling products more than they are with the actual products themselves.
But hardcore Melaleuca members will fight you to the end telling you that this is not a MLM. But the facts say otherwise. The truth of the matter is that Melaleuca’s business structure resembles MLM in a lot of ways and it can without a doubt be considered an MLM opportunity, although there is one important thing to note.
Why Melaleuca Is An MLM
If you look up the definition of an MLM on Google you will come across this from the BBB…
In MLM you are an independent salesperson selling a companies products on your own. You make money from that and you also make money from recruiting others and earning commissions on what they sell. Your recruits are called “downlines”, and the amount of levels of downlines there are depends on the MLM.
Melaleuca is pretty much the textbook definition of an MLM. If, when you become a member, you decide to sell Melaleuca to others (enroll members), you can do so as well as you can recruit other members and make money off of what they sell. There is really not much of an argument here for anyone saying that its not MLM.
But anyways, there are people that will fight you to the end over this and here is what they say.. along with Melaleuca themselves..
Melaleuca Is Not MLM
Melaleuca says they are “consumer based marketing”, which is a marketing structure that they seemed to have made up in order to distance themselves from MLM.
Their argument for this is that most of their income comes from customers that purchase their products because they actually like them, not because they simply become a member to sell to others. According to their 2014 income statistics 64% of the people who bought their products are strictly customers.
This proves that Melaleuca is not overly focused on getting people to recruit others for them to make a profit. They put a lot of focus on their products and make sure they are of the best quality.
So… Is It An MLM Or Not?
According to the definition of an MLM by just about everyone there is, YES Melaleuca is MLM. But this doesn’t mean they are “bad”.
MLM’s get a bad reputation because of all the scammy MLM’s out there that ruin if for everyone. The truth is that there are some very good and reputable MLM’s that offer products of value. Not every one you come across is just out there to make money and recruit as many people as possible.
Melaleuca knows darn well that they are MLM, they are just saying this “consumer based marketing” stuff to create distance from scam-filled MLM industry.
Seeing complaints about the Melaleuca products isn’t something you will come across much. Like I said, their products are pretty darn good and I can’t complain. But one of the most common complaints you will come across with Melaleuca is that it is hard to cancel your membership.
If you go to Ripoff Report you can see a long list of people who are complaining about Melaleuca.
Hard To Cancel Membership
I am sure I am going to be getting some hasty comments because I am saying this. Some die-hard Melaleuca members have a a cult-like mindset and will tell you that this is a lie. But the truth is that MANY people have experienced ridiculous problems when they have tried to cancel their membership. And this has lead to them receiving and paying for products that they no longer wanted.
First off, they make it hard to do so. You have to fill out an online form. And then.. instead of submitting it right then and there online, you have to print it out and then fax it to them. This doesn’t really make much sense and the only way I see it is a way to make it harder to cancel.
There are many stories out there that you will find just searching the web from people who have been overcharged for months for products when their membership should have been canceled. People claim their bank accounts have been charged even when they don’t have the adequate funding, which causes overdraft charges. The amount of people who have had to cancel their credit cards just to stop being charged is no joke and cannot be overlooked.
Forced To Buy Products
Another common compliant is how with Melaleuca you are forced to buy a certain amount of products each month. They have a point system. And in order to keep your membership active you have to purchase and earn 35 points each month. The amount of money you have to spend to earn the 35 points each month is somewhere around $80.
A lot of people are against this because they are often left purchasing products that they don’t even want just so that they can stay a member.
I don’t really agree with this business practice, but then again, you knew that you had to do this when you signed up and you still went through with it. Its not like they don’t tell you this. They make it very clear before you sign up.
Final Thoughts On Melaleuca
Yes they are a MLM, no doubt about it. But they are on the better side of the MLM industry because they do focus on the product quality and not just recruitment and making as much money as possible.
That being said, there are plenty of complaints about people having trouble canceling their membership which would be something you would see on the shady side of the MLM industry. This makes me wonder where their priorities lay. Is it really necessary to make it so difficult? Are they just trying to make money and that is why its so hard? I don’t know.
There are some shady MLM practices mixed in with reputable and legitimate business practices. All in all I will leave the decision to sign up or not up to you. Overall I think they are a good company and their products are of good quality.
Something else you may be interested in is doing what I do to make money online. You could create your own online business around “green living” if you would want to. There are many possibilities and paths you could take. You can read about how I make a living working for myself online HERE.
Also click the link below and you can read a post I wrote about how it all works and how you can get started doing the same.
Do you have anything to add to this review? Any questions? Concerns? Let me know in the comment section below…