Is Melaleuca A Pyramid Scheme? (Is It Actually A MLM Scam?)

It’s likely that you have come across Melaleuca through an email list, on social media or got it recommended by a friend or family member.

Is Melaleuca A Pyramid Scheme? Is it actually a MLM although it’s members and the owner say that it’s isn’t? Is it a business opportunity worth getting involved in?

These all questions that I’d be asking as well and is also the main reason why your skeptical about Melaleuca right? Honestly I’d be skeptical too so the fact that you’re, in my eyes, is definitely a good move on your part.

First and foremost I must commend you for actually doing a bit of extra research before committing to purchasing or joining Melaleuca. For all you could have known, Melaleuca may very well be a scam and rob you of your money so this review could help you find anything peculiar about it.

To be totally transparent with you I haven’t used Melaleuca so I can assure you that I will not attempt to sell you on it unless of course it’s worth investing in.

What I will aim to do is provide you with an unbiased 3rd party review of Melaleuca that will hopefully help you to make the correct decision in the end.


OWNER/S: Frank L. Vandersloot

TYPE OF PRODUCT: health and wellness MLM

PRICE: $29 to start + $19.90/year + overpriced household products

SUMMARY: Melaleuca is not a pyramid scheme or a scam, it’s a pretty legitimate company being 34 years old, being valued over 1 billion dollars and also having some good quality products that customers genuinely like. However, it is still a MLM and MLM’s just aren’t the best way to start any kind of business venture in my opinion.

Firstly, the recruitment aspect is going to kill off a lot of individuals who start and either don’t know how to recruit or just aren’t good at selling an idea to join to an individual. Secondly and probably the deal breaker against joining this company is that on average 90% of all members are barely breaking even, only making $174/month.

The issues regarding cancellations are also a pretty big problem and even though I can’t say Melaleuca is a bad MLM to join, I just don’t think it’s worth pursuing when there are cheaper and in my opinion other better options to be making money online.





Melaleuca logo

Melaleuca is a health and wellness MLM founded by Frank L. Vandersloot in 1985 so it’s definitely been around a while and has a fair bit of credibility just due to its age.

Moreover, because of it’s longevity, Melaleuca has managed to become a billion dollar company that’s basically a global company with it being active in over 20 countries.

They basically sell herbal life products so I can’t say that they are necessarily distinct in the way that they conduct their business, Melaleuca is pretty similar to many other MLM’s I’ve reviewed like Amway, Nature’s Sunshine, Nerium etc. Mostly because they’re essentially in the same niche.

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Melaleuca has a very vast product line that spans over 400 different products within a multitude of different categories, some of which includes :

  • Nutrition
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Beauty
  • Household
  • Bath & Body
  • Essential Oils

As I’ve said previously there’s nothing really different or innovative that Melaleuca does unlike World Global Network or Voxxlife.

The prices also aren’t very cheap but, that’s just how it is with MLM’s in general, they tend to charge 2-3 times the prices of other cheaper alternatives acting as if they’re a genuinely trusted brand.

Although it’s pretty tough to actually see what products Melaleuca sell because they don’t show the pricing of the products, I’m fairly certain that they’re likely as expensive as I’ve stated if not more so. Supposedly they sell toothpaste for $80!? If so that’s close to robbery in my eyes.

Of course, the fact Melaleuca is a little more credible due to the company being a lot older and in turn more established over its competitors does give it a little bit of leway for charging higher however, it doesn’t mean you have to like it right?

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I’ve never tried any of Melaleuca’s products so I can’t speak for their quality personally, that’s why I did a little research to see what others thought of them and this is what I found.

Within bbb it seems that for the most part people genuinely do like the products although, there are still issues with customer service here and there which you should be wary of.


Melaleuca review


There are a few people who don’t really like the quality of the products but for the most part customers, who aren’t independent distributors, actually like what Melaleuca have to offer.


As is the case with pretty much all MLM businesses there are 2 ways to make money with them, Melaleuca being no exception.

1. The first method is by directly selling the product to other individuals and in return make a commission for the sales

2. You make money through your recruits and downline, by getting residual income by following and meeting certain criteria as well as make money through bonuses and incentives due to meeting company set goals.


If you’re planning to join Melaleuca and becoming one of their independent distributors, all you’ll need to pay is a one time fee of $29 and you should be good to get started.

You will however need to pay another $19.95 in yearly fees as well as aquire around 35 ponits in order to be eligible for the commissions, which is roughly equivalent to purchasing $80 worth of products a month. 

This will give you the rights to sell the products as well as earn the commissions for then and hopefully, eventually make some decent income. On top of that, it’s not really breaking the bank unlike so many other MLM’s out there.

Although, if you don’t manage to rack up the sales you may find yourself in a fairly poor financial position because of the monthly requirements. All in all the getting started fees are definetly better than most MLM’s but, the investment to me, isn’t necessarily cheap either, it’s just about an acceptable amount to invest in a new business venture in my opinion.

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Yes, Melaleuca does have a compensation plan just like any other MLM after all, it is an MLM company itself despite all the controversy saying it isn’t.

Anyways, the company has 3 different ways through which you can make money, I’ll just go over them briefly :

  1. If you personally sell the product line to customers, you’ll earn a specific amount through retail commission (7% + a 30-40% discount for the products you purchased yourself. This means that the retail commissions can total up to a maximum of 47%)
  2. Enroll downlines and coach them to make sales on their own (You earn based on the product sales, not the enrollment)
  3. Earn BONUSES (e.g. Advancement Bonus, Mentoring Bonus, Leadership Growth Bonus, etc.)

The reason why so many say that Melaleuca isn’t an MLM program is because you don’t ever earn any money for recruiting people, commissions are only based on the amount of sales your team generates.

This is a pretty shallow argument in my opinion as that’s basically the premise of an MLM and in its compensation plan, you still earn more money the more you recruit and the more these recruits of yours. manage to sell but, that’s just my two cents.

If you want a more in depth look at the compensation plan, check out the video below


You Need To Recruit To Succeed

I know that members of Melaleuca for some reason can’t seem to accept that the company is using a MLM company eventhough it literally is using the pyramid like system.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is bad if it’s an MLM but I guess it is what it is.

Anyways, the reality of being a distributor within the company is that in order to really make the most out of it and eventually succeed, you will need to do a lot of recruitment.

This is so you can build up your team who will eventually start paying divdends down the road and allow you to reach your full earning potential within the company. There are also other ways you can go about recruiting too, whether it be through ads online or through social media but, these methods are also equally as hard or as costly as face to face recruiting.

Of course if you’ve got the drive to make it with Melaleuca, I’m talking giving it like 110%, then there’s probably a chance that you’ll be able to succeed but, the reality is that your personal direct sales are probably not going to cut it.

Cancellation Issues

The only way to cancel a membership or any orders that you’ve made are through writing only. On top of that they must been done with a specific date in the month otherwise you’d risk having to pay for another months autoship costs.

Maybe this kind of procedure would’ve been alright 30 years ago however, in this day and age, this whole process of printing out actual paperwork and posting it to cancel membership or orders is ridiculous!

Considering how easy it is to sign up to Melaleuca, it’s ridiculous how the whole cancellation system isn’t as easy.


Melaleuca complaint

Melaleuca bad

Melaleuca complaint



As you can see it’s not even a case by case kind of situation, its more akin to actually being a massive problem that Melaleuca need to get sorted out ASAP!

The Founder Is A Little Dishonest

The founder claims that Melaleuca isn’t a MLM when it clearly it is! He goes on to call it a direct marketing program and what not but, for some reason denies the claims of the company being a MLM.

He probably marketed it in this way just so that the negative connotations that come along with MLM’s aren’t present but, by doing what he’s done, he comes off as a little dishonest in my opinion.

Melaluca has a pyramid like structure which encourages distributor to recruit, by showing them how they can make money for themselves through these recruits and the whole plan is outlined in a compensation plan, which I might I add is also something only MLM’s have.

Check out this video below and you’ll understand why I think the founders a little bit dishonest with his members and would be members.

The Members Show Cult Like Behaviour

The active members show some cult like behaviour for Melaleuca, I understand how companies and products, especially big ones, will always have some kind of cult following however, the one that Melaleuca shows can be a little absurd I think.

A lot of these individuals throw around foul language or all other kinds of provocative language when someone calls Melaleuca for being the MLM institution that actually it is.

I don’t understand why they feel the need to bash this fact even though the writing is on the wall. MLM’s themselves aren’t illegal, there are many successful individuals who run very trustworthy and successful MLM’s and Melaleuca probably falls under this banner but, for some reason these members just can’t associate MLM’s with being good at all.

Most People Are Failing

This honestly does not surprise me, MLM’s in general don’t really have the best track record when it comes to having it’s members make good money.


Melaleuca income disclosure statement

In fact if look at the income disclosure statement it says that 90.2% of members are director/director 2 ranked members and in this rank most distributors only average $2093/year.

This only translates to around $174/month. This is probably only enough to breakeven as a distributor, which is decent I guess but, it’s a long shot from making that extra $1k-2k that you’re really looking to make.

The other 10% likely make a fair bit more but, from having seen multiple tens of other MLM’s disclosure statements, whether it be xyngular, max International, youngevity, only the top 5% tend to see gains in the $1k whilst the full time earners generally only account for 1% of all members.

The odds definitely don’t look to great in my perspective, I’m sure you’re probably thinking the same at this point too.


People Like The Products

The products that Melaleuca sell are genuinely liked by customers and these customers aren’t just people who are involved with the company, instead they’re just your average everyday consumers.

So yeah, at the very least I can say that Melaleuca actually make good products and in turn the products quality shouldn’t be the sole reason as to why an independent should flop.

It’s Been Around A While And Is Fairly Credible

The company has bee around a while, 30+ years isn’t something any company can acheive so the fact Melaleuca has managed to accomplish it really does give it a fair bit of credibility over other MLM’s.

The fact it’s acreedited as an A+ company in BBB and is also a billion dollar company definitely adds a bit of legitimacy to the company as a whole too.

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The good news is that Melaleuca is neither a pyramid scheme nor a scam, it’s actually a legitimate (which although isn’t described as such) MLM company.

There are a few things that make it a decent company to join and few things that should turn on a few light bulbs in your head. In terms of the positives, it’s a fairly credible MLM company having been around-the-clock for a pretty long 34 years and since, becoming a billion dollar company. The products are also genuinely liked too.

As for the negatives, it’s cancellation issues are very old school and should be updated, it’s an MLM company so you’ve got to be a very good recruiter or it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be making anything worthwhile as a distributor. In fact you’ll likely have a less than 5% chance of making anything decent through Melaleuca.

Despite all the issues mentioned within this review, I still do think it’s a pretty decent MLM to join although the founder has kind of lied about the company being an MLM.

However, I can’t personally recommend joining it as I do feel that there are better and more cost effective ways to make money online over a MLM such as the method taught within my #1 recommendation. Of course if you’d rather join Melaleuca and can look past its short comings, it’s not the worst thing you could go for.


I personally will always recommend against using a MLM business model to make money, not because you can’t make money through it (you totally can) but, the system has always seemed shady to myself and is kinda synonymous with the likes of a pyramid scheme or scams (MOBE and Digital altitude).

Instead I prefer working with something created through ones own means and is ultimately dependent on yourself and your work ethic alone.

This method I’m talking about is affiliate marketing. 

The reasons as to why I recommend it over MLM based structures are because

– there is no need to recruit constantly

– it is a legitimate method that has been working consistently and continues to grow as more businesses want individuals to promote products

– and because it is free to start up, no unnecessarily large start up funds needed.

The service I recommend is Wealthy Affiliate. It’s free to sign up to and will get you set up and ready to start your affiliate marketing journey within minutes, as it did for me when I begun my journey.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask me regarding Melaleuca  , feel free to do so in the comments section below and will I get back to you as soon as I can. If you have your own thoughts about Melaleuca and would like to talk about it, again feel free to do so in the comments.



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