|Illustration by Colin Livingstone|
This article highlights a few key points that I want to emphasise:
- It looks and behaves like an illegal pyramid marketing scheme but Herbalife insist it is a Multi Level Marketing scheme (MLM).
- While the success of a MLM will benefit from selling products that actually work, this is secondary to the model. You can sell anything from crap to top quality via a MLM. The key to MLM success is the hype and the ability to pull in new recruits with fresh money into the bottom of the pyramid.
- The people who make the money are the ones at the top of the pyramid, or the agents who start a new territory (a new pyramid within a larger pyramid). 90% of those who are sucked into these schemes end up losing more than they will ever make.
- With regards to the vitamins being sold by agencies like Herbalife, a disproportionate percentage of the cost goes into the flash marketing. The ingredients may end up being the cheapest synthetics available from wholesale sources and of dubious benefit.
- If you are going to take vitamins and other health supplements it is advisable to enlist the advice of a trained nutritionist and one that tests scientifically for nutritional status (sadly, very few do!). Otherwise how do you know you need extra of this or that? Its hardly any surprise then that most research shows that taking these supplements is usually without benefit.