Herbalife, a lesson in small business

I'd like to make this information available to as many people as possible.

This is the story of how Herbalife works. I've never actually been an herbalife distributor, but I've interviewed a couple of them to get this information. If you know more about it, or find any errors, please email me.

1) you call a toll-free number of one of their current distributors, (not the herbalife company itself), leave your name, address, and phone number. 
2) That distributor sends you a free 14-page booklet.

This booklet is red, yellow, blue or green. It has NO information about what the home-business actually is besides "Mail-order". It contains eight "success stories" from happy people that make $8,000-$15,000 per month.

 It seems to concentrate on the fabulous vacations that this kind of money can buy. Interspersed with the success stories are paragraphs of text that challenge you to buy into this scheme, like "Choosing to succeed can be frightening", and "Success is our birthright and we cannot allow our fears to keep us from it.", and "only desire and determination matter".

3) If you call the number on the back, you will be given the option to pay $36 for the first information packet.

If you decide to pay this, you will get a "decision kit" package. It will have one videotape, an audiotape, and another booklet. Still, no mention of Herbalife, just "success stories". If you want to take the next step, you will call another phone number, and really talk to your real, human, independent distributor. 

4) He or she will send you a second set of tapes for free.

One audio tape and one video tape. These are more success stories and motivational speeches. If you call your Mentor back, he or she may tell you it is Herbalife at that point. To get started in the actual business, you have to spend more money for an "IBP".

5) The IBP, International Business Packet is $195

The packet contains the manual, notebook with forms, procedure, some actual products and books to get you started. This is where you first hear the name "Herbalife" if your distributor didn't tell you already.

Once you purchase the IBP and complete the Distributor Application, you qualify for a 35% retail discount. 

(The IBP contains a catalog, order forms, 3 manuals (Success Starter, WelcomeSales and Marketing plan), samples of 1 Thermojetics bar, 1 peach mango drink mix,1 chocolate shake mix, 1 vanilla shake mix, 1 herbal concentrate, 1 herbal aloe, 1 balancing system, 1 "lose weight now ask me how" button, price list and other various forms)

You are now ready to proceed as an independent herbalife distributor.

6) Then, you have to decide how dedicated you are to the Herbalife business, which is based on how much product you buy for resale.

When you get the IBP and sign up for your HAP, you qualify for 35% below retail, but if you want to get a better price on your products, you need to become a "Supervisor".

HAP stands for Herbalife Advantage Program, and it is a package of stuff that you are required to buy every month. They want you to be using the herbalife products, so that you can accurately describe their qualities to potential customers. It is not to be sold, just used by you. It is $80 worth every month. The HAP can be set up to automatically charge your credit card or checking account.


7) To become a supervisor you must have 2,500 VP.  VP stands for "value points", and are awarded for goods that you buy from herbalife. Some information indicates that you must recruit 3-5 people under you to become a supervisor, but others say you simply need the VP. If you leap into Herbalife determined to start at that advanced level, you need to buy $4,000 worth of products. 

This allows you to get the products from Herbalife at 50% below retail. (the $4000 worth of stuff costs you $2000).


To help you with your big purchase, they send you a list of the top 100 credit card companies in the country.

You may also be encouraged to buy a website to sell Herbalife diet and skin products for $315, and a site to promote the "work at home" business for another $315.  And it doesn't stop there.  I downloaded a PDF which describes Silver, Gold and Platinum E-Commerce Business Packages from $952.90 to $1994.22.

You can subscribe to a toll-free number for $6.95 a month plus the price of the calls. You can expect a $25 bill each month.

TouchFone is the company recommended in the IBP.


Please Read part 3 of this article, entitled Trying Anything to Sell

Home | How much is inside? | write Rob@Cockeyed.com
Last updated March 28, 2002.

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