Product Type: MLM
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Rating: 5/10
Forever Living is a company that focuses on selling aloe vera-based products along with some other nutritional products that are supposed to help boost health and wellbeing.
The first thing to understand about Forever Living is that it is a multi-level marketing company (or MLM, for short). This business model is a fairly common one and there are probably thousands of companies that use it. Some of them do well but many don’t.
A conventional business model tends to involve selling products to customers or other businesses. However, a MLM takes a different approach. Essentially, MLM companies focus on getting members and then those members are responsible for selling the products and recruiting other members.
That pattern has a few different implications.
For one thing, it means that the products from a MLM tend to be more expensive than the average market price for the same types of products. After all, the distributors have to get paid and the company still needs to make a profit.
At the same time, you often see companies like this hyping up their products and making them sound better than they actually are. That’s especially true for companies that focus on health or nutrition, probably because of the sheer amount of competition.
But, the biggest reason that people tend to talk about a Forever Living scam isn’t to do with the products. Instead, it’s to do with the ‘opportunity’ that the company offers and the way that it is promoted as way of making money.
Before I go into that though, I need to briefly touch on the products that the company offers. A key aspect of making money through the company involves promoting the products and getting others to do the same thing. So, the quality of the products will have a major influence on how successful people can be through the company.
In general, the products from Forever Living focus on health and wellbeing. For example, one key product is the Clean 9 pack, which is used for the Clean 9 diet.
Some of the other products include makeup, sunscreen and various aloe vera products.
In general, the prices for the products are pretty high – much higher than you would see for similar products in stores. At the same time, there is little to suggest that the products are any better than what you can find elsewhere.
The company does make a range of claims, especially about aloe vera:
But, they offer little support for those claims. It wouldn’t surprise me if the company actually got in trouble for the claims at some point.
Based on the prices and the lack of proven benefits, I imagine that you would have a hard time trying to convince anyone to actually buy the products from Forever Living.
Making Money Through Forever Living
In general, the process of making money through a MLM can be broken down into two components – and Forever Living is no exception.
The first of these is simply selling the products. In general, you can make money selling the products from any MLM. However, how effective this approach is will vary considerably. But, regardless of the company, selling products is never the main focus. Instead, the emphasis is on recruitment.
Structurally, the concept is similar to a pyramid scheme.
So, you recruit people, who recruit people, and so forth. The more people that are under you, the better bonuses you have access to and the more commission you earn. In fact, your success is also tied to how effective the people you recruit are at making sales and recruiting others.
One aspect of this is progressing through the different ranks of the company. Higher ranks mean more bonuses and better income overall, but the ranks also have their own criteria. Those criteria are often tied to how big your team is and how much money you make.
Benefits and Advantages
I will admit that some parts of the compensation plan for Forever Living are better than other MLMs that I’ve run across.
One positive thing is that when you obtain a rank in the company, you keep it. That’s unusual. In most MLMs, your rank can change month-to-month, based on your performance and your team. The fact that Forever Living lets members keep their rank is pretty cool and it would help to keep the income of distributors more consistent.
Another good thing is that the commissions for selling products range from 35% to 43%. That’s higher than most other MLMs. In fact, many MLMs give you a 30% commission at the higher ranks and much less than that when you get started.
That level of commission makes it more likely that you could make money just selling the products. It is also free to get started with the company and the first two ranks are easier than most companies and you don’t need a certain amount of sales.
In general, these benefits make it easier to get started in Forever Living than in most other MLMs. Likewise, they make earning lower levels of income easier. However, if you want to try and earn an income through the company or get enough money to significantly help with bills, these advantages won’t help all that much.
Issues with Forever Living
The biggest issue with Forever Living is simply the MLM model itself. Forever Living might place more emphasis on product sales than most companies but recruitment is still a significant component of the money making approach.
This means that if you want to make a decent amount of money with Forever Living, you would have to rely on recruitment. This process is much more difficult than it first appears, especially as you don’t really get all that much training in the field.
More than anything, the MLM model means that there are a lot of different hoops to jump through and a wide range of requirements if you actually want to earn any money.
One final issue with the company is its products.
Many of these are based on the concept that aloe vera promotes health benefits, but, for the most part, this idea is largely hype. In fact, it isn’t a topic that has been researched much at all.
At the same time, the products are pretty expensive, which would make them pretty difficult to sell.
I also want to note that as a distributor for Forever Living, you would face some pretty steep competition. For one thing, there are a lot of other distributors out there.
In fact, you would even end up competing against the people you recruit, especially if they living in the same physical area as you.
To make matters worse, people can also buy the products in other places. For example, there is a range of Forever Living products on Amazon. To me, that’s a major issue. After all, buying off Amazon is pretty easy and may even be cheaper than buying from a distributor.
So, what motivation do people have to buy from you?
Is There Really a Forever Living Scam?
The word scam gets thrown around a lot – and it’s not always accurate. For example, if you look online, it’s fairly common to find people calling any MLM a scam.
Personally, I disagree.
I find that MLMs are exceptionally misleading and extremely manipulative but I wouldn’t classify them as scams per se. After all, it is actually possible to make money the way the companies say you can. There are even some people out there that make a lot of money this way.
At the same time, MLMs like Forever Living do tend to be fairly honest about what you need to do to make money.
The catch is that they majorly underestimate just how difficult it is to make money under a MLM model. Realistically, most people don’t have the skills or the connections to be successful in this type of business.
Think about it.
To make money with a MLM you have to be able to talk people into buying products and (ideally) signing up as distributors themselves. Often the people you’re trying to sell to and recruit won’t have even heard of the company. Even if they have, there’s a good chance that they won’t be interested in your pitch.
Trying to get people to buy something they aren’t interested in isn’t easy.
I mean, people like cars salesman and salesmen at stores still struggle getting sales sometimes – and they are dealing with customers that are actually interested in the products they are selling.
How much more difficult would that be when you have no experience and little training, and when you are selling products that people don’t really want to buy?
Forever Living does have a commission scheme that is a bit better than most other MLMs that I’ve come across. Nevertheless, you are still trying to make money under the MLM structure, which will always hamper your income potential.
So yes, it is possible to make money through Forever Living, but I suspect that most people wouldn’t achieve it.
Realistically, if you want to make money selling products, the first step is to choose products that people want to buy.
If you wanted, you could even pick health and nutrition products like Forever Living does, although I’d suggest that you pick ones that have more scientific backing and aren’t as expensive.
Regardless, selling products for others is an effective way to earn money but the MLM model isn’t the answer. Instead, you can achieve a much better outcome through the process of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is different because it takes advantage of the online environment. So, you don’t have to directly sell to anyone. Instead, you can use the internet to reach a wide audience, including people who are actively searching for the products you are promoting.
Because you don’t have to worry about directly selling to people or recruiting, the growth potential of an affiliate marketing business is much higher. Additionally, with affiliate marketing you’re not stuck if the company you are promoting ever goes under.
People sometimes avoid affiliate marketing because it feels like it would be complicated and confusing. But, it actually isn’t as bad as all that. In fact, with the right training, affiliate marketing can be surprisingly easy to get going with.
Now, I’m sure there are a lot of different options for training out there, but the best that I’ve found is a site called Wealthy Affiliate. As the name suggests, the company strongly focuses on affiliate marketing and it is designed around the idea of teaching people to be successful in the field.
Wealthy Affiliate does a great job of that goal too – providing members with community support and all the training they need to be successful affiliate marketers.