Melaleuca Review – You Dare Call It an MLM?

Have you already heard of Melaleuca?

You probably have not. Or if you have, you may have read about it somewhere or have been asked by a colleague or a friend or a neighbor to be a part of the Melaleuca team.

I may be a little bit hesitant to represent the company, and I know you should, too. At the end of the day, it’s your money that we’re talking about here; money, time, effort, you know the drill.

Well, if you’re a bit hesitant, then good! This is because before you decide on such things, you need to at least get to know the company you would, later on be a part of (or not).

And so here I present my honest to goodness Melaleuca review that’s sure to be a good basis for your decision whether or not you join (or purchase from) the company.

In this review, we will look at the Company itself; check out Melaleuca product reviews, complaints, praises, and all the works! 

So here goes.

The Company

So, Melaleuca had been in the market for many years now. Started by CEO Frank VanderSloot in 1985, the company has proven that it can withstand the test of time. It has grown into a company that’s internationally-recognized, with loyal ( and not so loyal) customers the world over. With more than 500 products and still thinking of innovating and adding a few more, it promises to continuously provide the consuming public with its non-toxic (that’s why it’s always known to be green), superior-quality products.

As I mentioned earlier, Melaleuca has a wide variety of products for sale. Their website would show you all of them – from medicine, cleaning supplies, pet care, home necessities, skin care, and a lot more – one just does not run out of products to buy. Suffice to say, Melaleuca has an answer for every need for everyone.

The annual sale figure for Melaleuca is $2 billion. Comparing to Amazon’s figure of $136 billion sales figure in 2016, $2B for an MLM company is awesome!

As a matter of facts, if you don’t want to be part of an MLM but still want to try the products, you can buy Melaleuca products from Amazon itself.

How Does it Work?

To summarize it all up, you have to create an account with Melaleuca before you can start shopping.

According to the Melaleuca website, once you have created an account and password, you will be given access to exclusive online content which includes product specials, tools and information that could help you manage your business, special offers, incentives, motivational and informational training audios and videos. Well, that’s a lot of benefits you gain just by creating an account. Besides, the last bullet says, “And lots more” which promises more benefits in store.

And so finally, you have already created an account and were given access to all those perks. You have also made your first and second and your nth purchase from the online store. So, how do you earn?

To earn, you build your team by recruiting people to join the Melaleuca family and have their names placed under yours. Of course, just like you, they also become Melaleuca customers themselves. And when your recruits start to buy and have customers of their own and they start building their own teams, this is when you start earning.

Well, reading through the varied comments and feedbacks of consumers online, there seems to be a mix of them. While there are happy and satisfied customers, there are certainly a number of pissed ones as well; with negative comments ranging from the products themselves being overly priced (more of that later) to bad customer service, to even issues about their return policy. We will get to the comments later.

Anyway, as for the customers themselves, especially the happy and satisfied ones, most of them purchase Melaleuca products month in and month out. This could be an indication that these customers are really satisfied with the way the products work. Or this could also be because they have to retain a certain amount of sales per month for them to continue earning from Melaleuca. Whatever the reason may be, people purchase products and it has grown the company for more than three decades!

How Do You Earn?

This is a very common question that’s always asked. How do you earn?

First and foremost, when you sign up to represent Melaleuca and support Melaleuca products, you are baptized with being called an independent marketing executive.

As with all MLM companies or companies with the same or similar business model (more on this later as Melaleuca marketing executives press that the company isn’t an MLM), you start earning once you are able to successfully invite and enlist another person to join the team. As for the case of Melaleuca, income is affected by the following factors:

  • How many customers you have; and
  • How much your customers purchase every month.

By looking at the two above, it would be enough to say that your income depends mostly on the number of your customers and the amount they purchase. If you have a lot of customers who regularly purchase month per month, that’s a lot of money. Or if you have a few customers below you who would purchase huge amounts of products, that’s also good income. This is because every time a customer pays Melaleuca for a product, you get something out of the purchase – a commission.

The Melaleuca Compensation Plan

Now, we all know that for us to earn from Melaleuca, we have to have a balance of the number of customers and the amount they purchase, but that doesn’t give you much information as to how much you’re going to earn.

Below is the breakdown of how much:

  • When you enroll a preferred customer, you get a commission of $25.
  • If your customer purchases a Value or an Essentials Pack, you get anywhere from $50 – $100.
  • From the second month, any of your personal customer’s purchase would earn you anywhere from 7%, 14%, or 20% of product points. Make sure these are your personally enrolled customers.
  • If your customers have already enrolled their very own customers, a 7% commission is given to you on product points if your customer’s customers purchase Melaleuca products.
  • You also get a bonus for the achievement of a new status like going up the Director ranks or whatever.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to earn when you are with Melaleuca (and there certainly are more ways than what I have mentioned).

Is it something you need to go for? It depends on you. If you regularly purchase products and if you believe in the products themselves, you can go ahead and go for Melaleuca; but if you do not believe in the products or if you are not able to recruit as much as you want to, then you may have to think about it first.

You have to remember that when in these types of companies, your commitment to work, together with your convincing skills would determine your fate on whether you will or will not succeed.

As you can see, companies that require you to recruit to earn may be lucrative at times but this is no walk in the park. It always requires your time and lots of convincing powers for you to enroll friends (and even strangers) to join the company. And again, if you can do it, this may be the company for you so you can go ahead and try.

The Products

As earlier mentioned, Melaleuca has a wide variety of products that seem to be the answer to all of your daily concerns. Just like pictured below (photo from the Melaleuca website), their products are further divided into Nutrition, Medicine Cabinet, Beauty, Household, Bath and Body, and Essential Oils.

Melaleuca products

There’s one thing though that you have to know before anything else. And I have to reiterate what I said earlier that you have to have an account with them before you can purchase.

So, what are their products? There are medicines, bottles of shampoo, pet care, skin care, everything.

But what sets them apart from the others, say, another bottle of shampoo? For sure, they would claim to work really well and would give you a mane of oh so beautiful hair.

But what sets Melaleuca apart is the price. It seems like 1) Melaleuca is not so much into revealing the prices of their products, and 2) forums portray that the products are priced just too high.

Although number 2 is not really proven as these are comments from forums made by Melaleuca users, number 1, however, is really true. Looking at their websites, you’d see this:

And when you click on a specific product, say, for example, the Bronze Glo Age-Defying Self-Tanning Lotion, you will be brought to this page:

I was hoping that I would be given the price once I click on the “add to cart” button but it only led me to a sign-up page where it is asking me to sign-up and create an account. Perhaps, when I have my own account I would be able to know the prices?

But why the secrecy? Probably a marketing tactics to get me signed up? 

On the other hand, Melaleuca complaints say that their products are way too expensive. I’m pretty sure it is the case for this one person here below:

On a different note, one comment stuck. This one Melaleuca consumer mentioned that the products may seem expensive but that they are shipped concentrated and so when you mix it with water, you can use it for a long time. In the end, it is not as expensive as it seems.

Anyway, I leave it to you to judge. At the end of the day, the word “expensive” is just subjective. Hah!

But if you are here for my opinion, MLM products are always little expensive than the usual products that we buy from shops, thanks to the multi-level commissions.

Melaleuca in Forums

Well, aside from the above-mentioned feedback on their secrecy on the prices and the company’s allegedly high-priced items there are varying feedbacks revolving around Melaleuca.

Like this one:

While this one person above posted about having difficulties in cancelling orders, the next user didn’t seem to have any problems with the cancellation at all:

Perhaps we can attribute this to some consumers not fully understanding everything before the sign-up? This is actually one of the reasons that have been raised by one of the users about something that says the consumers did not fully understand how the membership worked before signing up.

Whatever the reason may be, I should point out that it is wise to always ask. Before signing up for Melaleuca (or for any other company), make sure to list your questions and concerns down and always, always ask these questions to make sure that everything is clear before you decide.

Melaleuca Pyramid Scheme – The Truth Behind the Allegations

A pyramid scheme, first and foremost, does not have any product to sell. That point alone is enough to prove that Melaleuca is not a pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is usually an illegal operation in which participants pay to join and profit mainly from payments made by subsequent participants. This just means that the “income” you are supposed to get from these pyramid schemes are from the payments made by people you or somebody else have recruited to “invest”.

As for Melaleuca, it is a different story altogether. Melaleuca, as mentioned numerous times, offers a wide array of products for sale. You may or may not agree with claims of how effective their products are but the fact remains that they are selling something to their customers.

If you believe Melaleuca is a pyramid, too should be a pyramid scheme. Because they pay thier promoters (affiliates) 1-8% per sale generated. Now, would you call Amazon a pyramid scheme?

OK, and so if somebody asks you about Melaleuca and on whether it is a pyramid scheme or not, the answer is no. Melaleuca is a legit company that operates legally. Besides, it’s been there for more than 30 years. You can’t expect a pyramid scheme to last that long!

Melaleuca as MLM

Now, this is a different story altogether. Many of Melaleuca customers often react when they are called a multi-level marketing (MLM) company.

First, let’s see what an MLM company is.

According to the Urban Dictionary, an MLM company adopts a business model in which marketers are paid commissions on the sales of other marketers that they recruit, as well as on their own sales. Urban Dictionary further states that for a company to qualify as an MLM, the business plan must actually focus on selling a marketable product or service.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines multilevel marketing as a company where individuals sell products to the public – often by word of mouth and direct sales. And as per the FTC, distributors earn commissions, not only for their own sales but also for sales made by the people they recruit.

If we look at how MLM is defined, one thing is consistent – it is that in MLM, individuals sell to the public and earn commissions from their sales and the sales of their downlines or recruits.

And by the way I look at Melaleuca, they have distributors, they earn commissions not just from the products that they purchase but also from the products that their recruits purchase. Isn’t this enough already for Melaleuca to be considered as an MLM? Unless the Melaleuca distributors have a different definition of MLM, for now, I would have to park it here. Melaleuca is an MLM.

But what is wrong with an MLM? Why deny?

What I Think of Melaleuca

I think Melaleuca is a nice enough company to work with, taking into consideration that it’s an MLM.

I mean there may be Melaleuca company reviews that bash them from start to finish but there are also good things to read about the company.

Earning from the company may not be a walk in the park but that’s just normal. Like all kinds of jobs take effort, focus, and determination. You can’t just expect to sit there and sign contracts and papers and earn a lot… like a lot! You have to work hard for it. I know those people in Melaleuca who are earning thousands of dollars have had their share of hardships in the beginning. So, if this is something that you think you can do, go for it.

But what if this is something that you cannot do? What if there had already been an experience in the past when you did an MLM and never succeeded in recruiting and selling (in this case purchasing)? Then this is something you have to think about. You may want to explore your options first and see whether this is something you’d invest your time and effort to.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Meleuluca is MLM scam. The person who signed me up made no mention that I would be charged month after month. I this would have been disclosed to me up front, I would have NEVER signed up. I was told ” it is just $20, and you can shop online when ever you like”
    Now I am stuck with $250 worth of certificates. This is how the force you to buy their crap. I will be telling the next 20 people about this. I attempted to reach out to the person who signed me up. No where to be found. Imagine that.

    1. its the rep that scammed you not the company, this is the problem with amateurs, and non entrepreneurs, they always blame on someone.

    2. Thanks for the info. I am gonna have an information session tomorrow regarding this and I wondered about the fact that they said upon contact that there was no initial investment.

    3. Ouch. It sounds like an issue with the person who signed you up. The lady who convinced me to join Melaleuca was very open and clear with me from the beginning. Been a happy customer since :).

    4. I just wanted to clarify because someone is offering to help me set up an account. You are required to automatically buy $20 of certificates each month?

      1. Hello Nathan,

        So Melaleuca, has a membership fee of 19.00, this only chargeable when you signed up. The 19.00 you will see in free products. What really nice that this company paid you 100.00 in loyal shopping dollars to learn about there company and products. Who company does that!!! When you leave out of Walmart you just a receipt right! This company is set up on a point system. If you are preferred customer it’s 35 points. I would love to talk with you about the company. Here is my email: My name is Tosha!

    5. Craig,

      The website and presentation are both very clear about the fact it is a “monthly shopping club” monthly meaning every month. It’s also explained that if your a preferred member you must shop every month, regular customers do not have to. That being said it is possible the person who signed you up failed to relay this information. However, that in now way makes Melaleuca a scam. No one stole your money, you received goods in exchange for it. And had you sent back the box and told the company of your Siri they would have refunded 100% of your money. I only know this because they gave me all my money back after I cancelled with them the first time I joined up.

    6. That’s very odd – because when you sign up to become a member over the phone, the operator actually asks you to explain the monthly commitment and back up order – in your own words. And you would have had to select to have certificates instead of an emergency back up order/ select pack – which again is odd because most customers don’t even know about this option. You would have had to ask for it.
      Sound more like some shady Melaleuca customer duped you, because all the company policies are set up to prevent this from happening. The good news is – you don’t need to find the person that introduced you. Just call customer service and explained what happened (please due – because they are very good at closing the accounts of people who pull this kind of crap – and they are giving a great company a bad rap)

    7. Very unfortunate that you had this experience. Unfortunately as with any business or social experience there will be at least 10% of the individuals who are less than integral and are trying to get something for nothing and are just in it for themselves. There are no ‘corporate’ sales people. Melaleuca is a company who is selling products to everyday individuals who are either using the products or choosing to build a business using/selling Melaleuca products. So unfortunately you came across a less than honest human who took advantage of you. Shame on them. It’s really a statement about the human and not the company in my opinion.

    8. Happy Melaleuca customer here! Meeting the monthly point requirement for me personally is no problem and I’m more than happy to shop each month as I love the products. It seems to me that the person who enrolled you did not tell you everything like they are supposed to when giving you an overview (this is general information and common knowledge to us in the Melaleuca world). This was a bad move on the enroller’s part. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience!

    9. Craig,
      Melaleuca is not a scam, but if person that enrolled you did not show a complete overview to allow you to make clear decision i greatly apologies!!! I understand that is little comfort to you is this point but i hope to help remedy that. It is our job not to sell but to educate customers so they can make informed decisions about what they want to buy from Melaleuca not from us. You are welcome to contact me to gripe me out and then together we can find the answer best for you. And no i will not get commission from it, but hopefully a friend.

    10. Wow, this is really too bad, because Melaleuca really is a good company, with good products and a good marketing policy. But you definitely ran into the wrong person! You should have been told about the monthly commitment, which is not hard to make with over 400 great products. Also, canceling your account is as simple as downloading and signing a form. There is no hassle and their customer service is better than I’ve ever experienced with any company. And with your new account you got lots of free products and should have had lots of support. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience.

    11. People will tell you anything to make a buck. Always read what is on their website before making a decision with a shopping club

      1. I could not disagree with you or Craig more. You can’t paint with a wide brush and say everyone is this way, because that is simply not true and overgeneralizing.

        When I signed up, I was presented with all of the information regarding what becoming a preferred member of Melaleuca entails, and what my commitment would be once I enrolled. In fact, I knew from the very beginning of the overview what to expect. In the time I have been with Melaleuca, my enroller has been upfront with me about all of it. Most of the other comments match more closely with my experience, so I would have to bet his enroller was absolutely not representative of how Melaleuca operates.

  2. It was probably that kyle Dietz or that slime ball Chris Winik. Scam.

    1. They have a “scripted” answer for every complaint. Like a robot.

  3. Craig it sounds like your account was set up by someone who gave you absolutely no information about the Membership. I have shopped here for over 14 years, great products reasonable prices, control of the margin, JIT manufacturing hence small redirected shopping with lots of perks to be preferred monthly, no distributors. It is a month to month membership, I am not sure why you would have so many certificates, the phone number for Melaleuca is on their receipts, and also on their boxes. They answer the phone in less than 15 seconds when you call, and they would have shared how to cancel your account. It is a very simple process. You can call the company and they will provide with the name of someone who you can talk to in your database,. There are so many great options for you to redeem your certificates, sorry that you had a bad experience with the person who set up your membership, it sounds like it gave you a bad taste in your mouth with a company that has great products.

    1. You are correct. I was was not told that products would be charged to my account whether I wanted to or not. I would have not signed up if I knew all of this in the beginning. I have NEVER been contacted by the person who signed me up. Once they had my debt card number, they vanished. This MLM scam is disgusting. And if I didn’t buy products my account was charged $55 every month for useless certificates. I will tell everyone I run into for the rest of my about my experience.
      If your products/organization is that great, you should have to FORCE people to buy

      1. You seem like you are very upset. Just call customer service and get it resolved. SImple as that. The person that enrolled you is scum, not the company. I have been a customer for 5 years and love it. It is clear that the back up order is just for back up. Cancel the membership, simple.

  4. Just one small inconsistency about Melaleuca being an MLM – we don’t sell anything to anyone. We only refer people and help them open their accounts. The company sells products, but we (the marketing executives) don’t sell anything. So if we don’t sell anything, how can the company be classified as MLM? Also, take a closer look at the comp plan; it has changed.

    1. ACN doesn’t sell anything either. Stop with the whole they are not an MLM. I just had this argument today when a Melaleuca Director tried to recruit me and sell it as an “affiliate program”. Here is the thing with MLM or these types of companies. Just because you aren’t directly selling the products does not make it any less of an MLM. ACN “refers” people to AT&T, Ambit Associates do not sell anything either, they only “refer” the new customer to purchase energy from Ambit. Does that mean they aren’t an MLM? They are… It’s ok, there are plenty of people that can be successful at an MLM. Trying to use catchy phrases, hide the auto ship, or sketchy sales pitch just gives honest individuals and the MLM industry a bad name.

    2. MLM = Multi-level Marketing
      You may not sell, but you do market. And if you help anyone buy from the company, they company reward you when they purchase, just like practically every body in the DSA (which Melaluca was for a while, not sure any more.)
      If you quack, waddle and have web feet, you’re a duck. If you earn commissions and recognition for growing a team of customers or marketers, and you have to buy every month to be elegible, and there are multiple levels of you, your an MLM. Own it!

      1. Well said Eric. Thank you

    3. “So if we don’t sell anything, how can the company be classified as MLM?” You’re right Diane, sounds more like a pyramid scheme then.

  5. Before anyone reads this, known that I am writing this with as much to respect to the author of this blog as should be given to anyone we do not know in life. Anytime I may sound a bit harsh on what is said, I am not attacking the person’s character, I am aiming at flaws in the blogs argument, and flaws in the company. I will also say that the other commentators on this site have responded professional and I respect that, so my issue is not with you. What I do ask the person who wrote this blog, and those who have commented, to please read, think, and respond to my stance with an equally open mind. My goal is to point out major flaws I have encountered with this company, and also provide some suggestions that I feel could help better not only future salespeople everywhere but hopefully the company itself. Let me begin.

    First, Amazon doesn’t belittle, bully, nor take at least 45 minutes for you to cancel your membership, nor post a future charge that is not authorized, only to make you speak with them again, as a tactic to try and bring your business back. Not to mention, Amazon doesn’t bombard you with emails daily trying to get you to sign up for business. But this company and the representatives I have encountered, will blow your email up within minutes of trying to get you to sign up for products when you simply click on something that interests you. Now, let’s drop Amazon from this and move on to trying to cancel your membership and not get charged more money with Melaleuca, which is grounded in deception and ethically unsound business practices, that best is reminiscent of the practices of pre-socratic sophists, minus Isocrates and a few others.

    Canceling: Let’s say you want to cancel your membership, it is found in the help section I believe, but under ‘general questions.’ When you go to select the form to close your account, it is supposed to be emailed. It never showed up in my email. Mind you, this was the same email I was using to get all kinds of emails from Melaleuca and it’s associates when signing up, as well as when I took more than 4 hours to complete the sign-up process (First error on their part). You can argue that email can take time and they do say it can take up to fifteen minutes to arrive. But now, here we are even 2 days later and I still don’t have that cancellation form, how convenient.

    You then you have to call someone, and when you clearly and professionally state why this company will not work for you, they continue to use sales pitches. This is common, so I understand that method of trying to keep a customer, that’s in nearly every business you come in contact with. But it is ‘how’ it is done that people later become irritated by. Crafty sales pitches with key phrases like “I have never had someone cancel so soon before!” or “I can’t believe all of this is transpiring over a $1 membership!” Nice use of trying to make a customer feel like they are not keeping in accordance with the tribe; in an age where depression is on rising, shame on you.

    Another example is how my issue of canceling is somehow smaller than the $1 price to sign up, or the $19 annual fee. Guilting people into money is legal, sure, but also morally unsound and that is not a general perspective. It’s a shared perspective which spans across all cultures in our society today. Shame on you again for trying to manipulate minds in such manner.

    For anyone reading this, if you don’t cancel by the 25th of the month, you get charged a full month worth of products, that you have to establish on registration unless you just want to be a regular customer. Regardless if you spent some money, if you do not meet the 35 point quota (around 100 USD), you get charged the backup order on auto-ship. This is made known but only in font and lettering that is designed to make you not give much attention to it. Cancel auto-ship? Nope. No option on your site is known or is able to find easy for this method. You have to dig and that keeps you on the site longer. Thus increasing the chance you will go back and give up, and just buy more stuff, for things you don’t need and obviously don’t want because you would have already purchased them. (that is subjective, however).

    Another issue I found and also discovered that many other people have an issue with as well, is paying the shipping on basic products. Ok, this is understandable as it has to be delivered to your residence and yes, anything online has shipping costs. Unless a sale for the year is specified of course. But, when Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy (you name it), send you something you do not like or is defective, You do not have to pay return shipping! This is a key frustration with people! The companies just mentioned send you the means to return the product. To be fair, this is within legal rights of business practice. However, the ethical part is that you do not find out about this until it’s too late. I could not find where this is stated otherwise in their business model. If I have missed this, then I accept this as an invalid premise within the argument.

    Finally, I was told that since I did the $1 sign up, and it was the first day of the month following my sign up, I was going to be charged 19 bucks even though I did not buy anything and wanted to cancel! And this is not a scam? Charged 19 bucks because I decided not to shop with a company? Target, Walmart and even AMAZON do not charge you when you decide you don’t want to do business. Should anyone want screenshots of how my conversation transpired, I will happily send them to you. I will gladly also give you the name and phone numbers of both reps, along with the audio file of the recorded phone conversation as well. I am recording this to a stream of viewers as I type, should this comment be deleted. Many people are wondering why cancellation is a pain, and now I am hoping more of you can see why.

    Now before I finish up, I am going to let you know that the people I dealt with were HIGHLY experienced salespeople. Why? Because one of them I knew for years and true colors came out. She is also a realtor. The second was a director. Second, I am going to provide suggestions for this company, should they want to start doing things ethically. Because a lot of what is happening may be legal, but is ethically unsound. And that right there is why people are frustrated. When you do business and make a customer feel confident upfront when you want their money, but turn into Mr. Hyde when they try to cancel and that Mr. Hyde is supposed to be a professional representative of the company? That’s a moral and ethical red flag, because they are hiding something and original intent was not consistent with verbal dialogue throughout the whole process. Anyone who would like to reach me by email and have screenshots of my conversations sent, or audio files of the phone conversation, please email me at Now, to the suggestions.

    1.) Start taking debit/credit cards AFTER purchases are done. Taking them upfront reeks of shady business. By doing so, you will show that the company has reduced a redflag that makes customers not want to return, and also negate the impact of past negative reviews from pervious customers who felt this was shady as well.
    2.) Either be very clear prior to checkout about sending items back and paying for them, provide a credit, or prepaid deliver parcel when an item needs to be returned. This will attract further business and also build future customer confidence.
    3.) Cancellation is a huge issue across many review sites for this company. It is obvious the cancellation of account forms are intended to be delayed or never arrive in the email, thus buying the company more time for the customer to rethink canceling, or having their bank account charged just one last time. I

    t is mentioned by a few commentators about how canceling is easy and maybe some other commentators have a “bad taste” in their mouth. I assure you that canceling is not easy, you do risk getting charged additionally. I say it is not easy because I am going to define easy in a deductively sound method:
    There is a bold cancellation button in this section. That is how you cancel
    I go to bold button and hit cancel.
    Therefore, I have been canceled and at that moment on record, digitally and chronically, I will not be charged anything once that button has been hit.
    Deductive soundness established.

    Thank you and have a great day everyone!

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