40 responses to “Melaleuca’s CDM Structure- Is Melaleuca A MLM In Disguise?”

  1. avatar

    You make no mention of the potential to earn commissions from developing directors and building a team who have directors to help in the organization. No in-fighting or squabbling !!

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      could you explain about maleluca

  2. avatar

    Just to be real clear on why Melaleuca is not MLM. The fact that Melaleuca pays people on multiple generations does not classify Melaleuca as an MLM. What defines an MLM is how the money flows. MLM’s money flows from recruiting large amounts of people with a high start up fee and charges large amounts of money for overpriced products that don’t compete in the real marketplace. They are overpriced by 100′s of % to pad the pockets of the movers and shakers in the MLM world. In MLM your only truly in it for the money or business opportunity not the products. MLM is legal money laundering.

    Melaleuca is built on every day customers that choose the brand over other large manufacturing companies. Melaleuca’s product truly compete for market share.

    1. avatar

      …and deep breath…

      Mike obviously works for Melaleuca. Hey Mike, GET A REAL JOB and stop trying to get my grandmother to buy dish soap online.

      Next thing you know Mike and Bianca are going to tell me every business is essentially a MLM or NLM. Good luck with that.

      What a bunch of deadbeat! You guys feed of the weak. Please don’t take this the wrong way but… go f*ck-yourself.

      I mean it.


      1. avatar

        Okay Joe, I’m trying to figure out how they feed off the weak? From what I am reading, they purchase products you use everyday, just as you would from the grocery stores, Walmart etc.and, according to Judy, they are a better value for your money? And, (no I do not work for Melaleuca- not yet anyway) how is it any different than shopping at Walmart for something you see advertised or something someone told you works great and only Walmart (using them for example only) carries it? You have a serious issue, not sure what, but your attitude towards people you have never met and the vulgarities you use, your grandmother probably slap you for it!

        1. avatar

          Hey Renee,

          I am not sure if you’ve decided to investigate further into the opportunity to partner with Melaleuca and be a marketing executive for this awesome company but I would love to share with you what I do working from home and helping educate consumers on saving money through purchasing safer for your home products. Please contact me if you’re interested. Thanks!

        2. avatar


          Well said!


          I have nothing against you, you go! :) However, I personally get so annoyed and wind up defending Melaleuca because others are trying to sponsor the way you have above. :/ It throws the MLM feel upon it and I have found that I do not even have a chance to tell possible members how well I have found Mela laundry products work. I will never go back to another laundry line regardless of how my sponsoring goes. I have 7 children – 5 of which are still home and 4 of them boys and 3 of them are ALL BOY. I was totally impressed that the detergent, stain remover and brightener removed all the mud one of my sons had mashed into his cotton shirt. I have had this happen before, and remnants have remained and it became a play shirt (dingy and splatted with stains). The shirt was “new” bright white and no traces of anything! Ok, just sharing.
          Awesome products – regardless of sour mouths opinions on the way the company may or may not work.


  3. avatar

    Melaleuca’s products are so wonderful that it is really easy to keep a customer for years and years. There are many customers that have been with Melaleuca for 20+ years. It’s difficult to keep a customer with one or a few products like with an MLM.
    With Melaleuca 1-7 customers = 7% commission, 8-19 customers = 14% and 20, 30, 40+ customers = 20% from then on. It’s called the 20/20 club 20% for 20 and beyond.
    Everybody in the down line to 7 generations the commission is 7%.
    I will be a customer for life. I haven’t found anything to compare…

  4. avatar

    I’ve seen plenty and heard plenty about MLM companies. If you can’t tell the difference between an MLM and a CDM campany just ask anybody who has been a part of a MLM company who has found Melaleuca. I know lots of people who have here, and they love Melaleuca, because it ISN’T a MLM like the one they were working before they found Melaleuca. And if their testimonies aren’t enough, just go work a MLM for awhile and then work Melaleuca’s CDM and you’ll soon gain your own.

  5. avatar

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  6. avatar

    If 7 uplines can make a commission on Henry, then Adam , Beth, Carl, Denise, Ed, Fran, and Gloria all make 7% totaling 49% of Henry’s purchases. Melaleuca needs to make a gross profit margin to cover operating expenses, corporate profits and profit sharing bonuses. If the approximately 3% bonuses paid out this year is any indicator, this gross margin would need to be 20 to 30% of gross sales. Plus Henry needs to pay for shipping costs. Combine all of these and there needs to be at least an 80% of final selling price gross margin over the cost to produce the product. So, the $45 purchase per month by Henry can only cost $9.00 to produce. I bet the shipping costs add at least $15 to the $45 so Henry spends $60 to purchase products that cost $9.00 to produce.
    It is hard for me to imagine that this $60 represents a good value compared to the products it replaces from the supermarket.
    I would like to see some testimonials of hours spent developing ‘referred customers.’ The attrition rate of customers would need to be overcome with new customers. Downlines will need to be encouraged.
    I guarantee that nobody can prove to me that the hours spent developing a business with a worthwhile residual income pays more than minimum wage for the first two or three years. These systems are built on the failure rate of the customers who are trying to build a business. Those downline customers who fail to purchase the monthly quota still pay profits to Melaleuca and leave the uplines out of the commission structure. A big boon to Melaleuca. I bet the $45 monthly quota is just above the average monthly purchase. The larger families support the uplines. The smaller families support Melaleuca.

    I’ll be waiting for responses.

    1. avatar

      Idadho –

      It is truly comical to listen to the naysayers on here. Not because I think you guys are stupid – I used to be you guys, had the same assumptions. Melaleuca is not something that can be explained in a couple paragraphs or a 5 minute conversation. It’s so different than an MLM and any other opportunity out there that it actually requires someone like you to pay attention for more than 5 minutes to truly grasp the value, understand the compensation plan, and realize that it really isn’t anything like an MLM. You former MLMer’s keep using terms like upline and downline…stuff that doesn’t exist in a Melaleuca business. The author of this article doesn’t even have a clear idea on what Melaleuca is about, which is evidenced by the fact that he thinks commissions are paid based on the dollar amount your customer purchases.

      Here’s my suggestion to everyone who second guesses Melaleuca. Go find yourself someone who has been working with Melaleuca and clearly understands the business – sit down and listen to the 1-hour overview and jot down your questions/arguments on a piece of paper. LISTEN carefully to the responses and you should understand why this is not an MLM…why there is incredible value to being a customer…why the company has a DOCUMENTED 95% REORDER RATE…why the business is a NO BRAINER for just about everyone…why the company is a Better Business Bureau Torch Award winner (multiple times)…etc etc etc.

      1. avatar

        Thank you for your perspective, Kevin. Critical feedback is always appreciated.

        It is truly comical to listen to someone in MLM try to say they are not in an MLM. MLM’s are great – wonderful – exciting. I have no idea why Melaleuca fans are so embarrassed/frustrated by the fact that they are in an MLM, it is truly mind boggling.


        You get paid on MULTIPLE levels of compensation.

        You get paid to MARKET your products and opportunity.

        Multi. Level. Marketing.

        If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

  7. avatar

    For the last 2 years a friend of mine in Lexington, Mich who lives on Food Stamps and mow ing lawns & shoveling drives for a living has been paying +/- $50 per month to meet his Melaleuca minimum point quota. ($1,200 over 24 months). So after observing my friend’s financial decline coupled with this pipe dream of a future MLM fortune – I’m also inclined to agree with Joe & tell Mike & Renee & the whole Melaeuca cult to (and I quote Joe) “” Please don’t take this the wrong way but… go f*ck-yourself. “”

  8. avatar

    I am in a amazing MLM company that has been around for 25 years. We do not stock anything. So what I wanted to say was not all MLM’S are the same, just do your homework. But I do believe that MLM/DIRECT SELLING is the New economy. Co-operative business model and is very empowering. But it is not for everyone.

  9. avatar

    Wow Joe, I’m sorry but you obviously have NO idea what you are talking about when it comes to Melaleuca. It appears to me that you probably have had a a bad experience with one of the typical MLM’s. Do your research, because Melaleuca is not one of them. I agree, there are some similarities, but there are also some huge differences!! I have used their natural products in my home for over 20yrs. They have saved me thousands of dollars because I could treat my kids at home instead of running them to the dr for everything. Am I associated with Melaleuca?? YES!!! I am very proud to be a part of this
    magnificent company which is now the largest home based business in N. America!!! Honestly, i would be crazy not to be!! Do I “sell or distribute” product? No, the UPS man does that. I just show people how they can be wholesale members just like being a Costco member, only better. If anyone has a desire to learn more you may contact me, however, Joe, you will need to contact someone else. My organization does not have room for people like you….sorry

  10. avatar

    Lol, it seems like a lot of Melaluca people are trying to call themselves different words for the same thing. Are you guys embarrassed by what you do?

    If you are a Melaleuca rep – then you’re a distibutor, promoter, sales rep, whatever. You sell Melaleuca, and you get paid by selling it, and recruiting others to sell it.

    Melaleuca’s compensation plan pays out on multiple levels. And it’s a marketing company. Multi. Level. Marketing.

    Get real!

  11. avatar

    I love the laundry detergent. Have you tried the dishwasher detergent? That is my favorite product right now!! Prior to being a wholesale customer, I used several others but the one from costco was ruining my pans, & the cascade was leaving a residue on the dishes. It made me wonder what chemicals I was eating off those plates. I LOVE how my dishes look & feel after using their detergent, they are squeaky clean & soft even with dried on food, with absolutely no residue!!! And No rinsing needed. I haven’t been a member of melaleuca for all those years, but I have always had at least some of their products in my home. I wouldn’t ever be without the mouthwash, it helps sore throats or any sores in your mouth. The hot shot breath spray, same reason, sore throats. The pure oil, because of the healing properties, & pain-a-trate for sore muscles, it is much better than anything on the market. There are many more that I just love, those are some of the ones I would never be without.

  12. avatar


    We don’t “sell” anything. Melaleuca sells their product. What is so different about Melaleuca from Costco or Sams Club?? They “sell” memberships so that their customers can save money; payable once a year regardless of how much one purchases (there have been times that I had not purchased from either on for a year, and still had to pay just in case) and people have no trouble with that. Melaleuca has no advertising except for their customers. Am I “rep” because I tell people I shop with Sam’s Club? We do not receive commissions. We do; however, get referral fee’s. There is a problem with this? If so, then when I recently opened an account with a local credit union then you should have a problem with the friend who referred me getting a $5 referral fee deposited to her checking account, right?
    I could care less about the title: Rep., sponsor, marketing executive. . . . it’s no different that my husband calling me by my name, sugar, honey, etc. My children calling me mother, mommy, MOM!. . . I am still me and I will answer to any of those. Call me what you will, but what it comes down to is that I could care less about the possible income more than I care about the environment, the health of myself and my family and the fact that I am able to purchase items that care about those things, too. I also love the products themselves and have since before I became what ever it is that you want to refer me as.
    Melaleuca offers a variety of items and services, MLM’s offer a thin line of products. For example, in case you need them, Mary Kay only sales makeup and a few years ago added fragrances. Avon. . .the same thing: makeup and fu-fu. They have a catalog that has kids items and some clothes, but still limited. Party Lite just smell good candles, and Scentsy has scented bars, room sprays, and recently personal scents, Tupperware. . .well, I think you get the idea -hopefully-. I have “consulted” for many of those. I have lost an arm and leg with “start-up” fees and “kits” (all I ever wanted from any of these was to order their products at a discount not to make a dime). I have had instances where I did not get a ‘commission’ check because a “down-line” did not recruit that month, or I did not have two “active” recruits (which happened often because I don’t sell, remember, I just wanted the product) and I have “lost” down-line to up-line because I did not recruit. With Mary Kay, I had to put my “business” on hold due to a challenged pregnancy. They charged me for ALL awards and pins I had “won”, gave me pennies on the dollar for $1000 worth of WHOLESALE product and they ‘black listed’ me. ALL because I had to take a leave past what I could recruit actively per month. Scentsy, I signed up for because I love the wickless candle idea. They have changed, recently, in that “old” consultants only have to order once every six months, or a year, I can not say for sure because I do not sell the products, I just order for myself. With them, I only got paid once I sold to myself. . . I got a commission for what I bought payable the following month and I received NO discounts to begin with. Anyway, with Melaleuca, it is much different than all of that and I am NOT out any money, no inventory, etc.
    Hope you have received a little insight.

  13. avatar


    If you say that Melaleuca is an MLM because of those terms, then every company in America is… Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, Kimberly Clarke, etc. They all operate that way! (a distibutor, promoter, sales rep) I got news for you, they are NOT an MLM. You really should do your research before typing. I did mine, and, no, I am not on the sales end of Melaleuca (although I thought about it), just a customer. It is no different than a BJs Wholesale Club membership when you buy their brand- Berkley and Jensen.

  14. avatar


    Sorry – but I don’t think I’m the one that needs to do homework :)

    All the companies you listed (P&G, Kimberly Clarke, etc) do not have an army of singular distributors, working from home, selling product on their behalf. In fact, none of those companies have a business opportunity associated with them. They have retail models – not MLM models.

    So, if you did your homework, I suggest you do more.

    For example, the guy that started Melaleuca, Frank Vandersloot, is listed in Wikipedia as owning and running a multi-level marketing company – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_L._VanderSloot

    BTW, I’m not saying that it’s not a great company – tons of people love it, that’s great. But – call it what it is! MLM!

    1. avatar

      I’m just a little confused I just clicked on — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_L._VanderSloot and didn’t see where it stated “the guy that started Melaleuca, Frank Vandersloot, is listed in Wikipedia as owning and running a multi-level marketing company – ” I read the whole article and just missed it I think.

      I think everyone has there own perception of what they think a MLM is by all I can find on the internet. All I know is Melaleuca is the best thing that has happened to myself and my family and I want to share it with the world. I am very proud to be a part of such a great company!! Thank you Melaleuca!!

      1. avatar


        Melaleuca must also be selling Kook-Aid for their ‘customers’ to drink. Just because Wiki does not say it is MLM does not mean it isn’t. Wiki is a open contribution web site. Anybody can add or delete information.
        The 7 level commission structure means Melaleuca is an MLM. Just because they have a better commission structure than Amway or Shaklee does not negate the fact that they are a MLM. The issue regarding having a buy in cost some have mentioned just means they are not a Ponzi MLM. Believe me when I say that Melaleuca has attorneys and accountants that designed the commission structure to avoid violating the laws. MLM’s have strict limits on how they can set up new customers/dealers/directors/distributors or whatever term the MLM uses to describe the position in the downline.
        If you think the products are a good value without regard for whether you get commissions from downlines, that is OK. You have a freedom to spend your money any way you wish. You have to be sold on their claims of ‘value added’ because on a dollar to dollar comparison, Melaleuca is very expensive. But, if you think it is a reasonable way to make an income, you are lying to yourself and those you promote Melaleuca to.

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    @ Jimmy

    You are aware that Wikipedia is put together by individuals, don’t you? Not necessarily scholars. . . Even my college professors will not accept works cited from Wikipedia. ANYONE can post anything, add to it and take away from it. :)

    Anyway, those companies do have people who do the same thing. I know of many people who work from home that market companies like Sysco and such, these people also make ‘cold calls’ and visits in hopes to sell the products that they offer and that their suppliers offer. I do not sell anything for Melaleuca. I do; however, introduce others to the products. I have NO inventory, NO kit or any thing else that has me sell anything. We educate people on the hazards of the chemicals that are in most households and that is it. It is up to the person to decide whether or not they want to shop somewhere else that is environmental friendly and safe for the entire household, including our pets. If you have met a pushy person trying to push a membership, I apologize. Trust me, I know they are out there and those are the ones people are shying away from; therefore they keep trying to ‘push’ the ‘sale’ (in my opinion). I educate, NOTHING more. I guess you could say that I am no different than a commercial on TV, Radio, internet and whatever vehicle companies use to advertise. They give us information, we choose to take it or leave it.
    Well, I seriously am off to complete my purchase with Schwans Foods to have it delivered by Tuesday to my house. Speaking of which. . .are they an MLM?? They do not advertise, they advertise out of a catalog and they work from word of mouth and referrals. AWESOME products. . . hmmm, I’ll have to google them to see, I guess. :)


  16. avatar

    Excuse me, they sell from a catalog.

  17. avatar


    Yes, I know that Wikipedia is created and edited by people – unbiased people, people who can look objectively at something and call a spade a spade. It’s interesting that you didn’t post anything to refute the info listed in wikipedia?…

    I find it fascinating that all the Melaleuca reps out there think I’m hating on Melaleuca for calling it MLM. I think Melaleuca is fine, I have nothing against them. But the way that reps like you get paid is by selling product and recruiting resellers of product.

    Cisco, Apple, and all the other examples that you guys are giving in “corporate” America don’t work like that. The accountant in a business doesn’t earn a commission off of the CEO. The admin staff doesn’t earn commission off the accountant. That is a fundamental difference, completely different than an MLM. Multiple levels of AUTHORITY is not the same as multiple levels of COMPENSATION, in which every level gets commissions from an above-listed level of recruitment.

    A chain of command is not the same as MLM at all; a General in an Army does not get commissions off the sales production of his subordinates. And in the army, there is authority, whereas in MLM, you can’t order anyone in your downline to do anything, they are their own business owner and can do whatever they want. It’s comparing apples to zebras; just not the same.

    So call it CDM, MLM, OPM, or MMJ – you get paid on multiple levels of people you sign up. And you’re paid to market their products and opportunity. Multi. Level. Marketing.

    So Leslye, if the Schwans man trys to recruit you to become a reseller of Schwans, and he gets commissions off you when you do that, and he gets commision when you recruit other resellers of Schwans, then yes, Schwans would be MLM. The fact that he’s there to simply sell you ice cream and frozen chicken indicates that you prolly don’t need to worry about searching Google for an answer ;)

  18. avatar

    I recently signed up as a Melaleuca Marketing Executive. I like the products but I do have one complaint about the company. It doesn’t allow you to openly advertise the products or the company name. I don’t understand that. They say that they are there to help the “little guy”. Well, I’m a little guy who makes a meager living selling items on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon or however I can sell my stuff. Melaleuca products are great and more people need to know about them and how the products work. It would make it a lot easier to build a business if we could simply sell the products online and then recruit those customers to become preferred customers with Melaleuca. If anyone from Melaleuca is listening: PLEASE remove this restriction and let us sell openly. Why keep such a good thing a secret or restrict it to “face to face” selling. With the price of fuel at $4.00/gallon, it doesn’t make sense to drive around all over the place giving presentations. There is a reason that there is such a high failure rate with marketing executives. People only have so many family members and friends that they can present the products to. After that it’s door to door and nobody but nobody wants to do that. I actually had a district judge knock on my door today. The first thing he said was ” I’m not selling anything.” (he was running for office and looking for votes). I thought to myself afterwards “wow…that takes some guts” because I immediately had my guard up before I even opened the door! I was ready to tell him I didn’t want what he was selling without even knowing who he was or what he wanted.

  19. avatar


    Melaleuca likely restricts advertising because of their lawyers. When you look at the executives of a network marketing company, you will find they have vast experience with the legal ramifications of network marketing. Postal regs can come down hard on a few words in a mailed flier and there are other problems with advertising. It is difficult to prosecute based on word of mouth.

    When someone 7 levels from the selling referral makes as much as the person making the selling referral, there are lots of laws and regulations to follow. The various levels also do not like seeing someone edging in on their ‘territory,’ especially if it is someone from miles away.

    You can run into anti-trust and fair-trade laws when your down lines start to get aggressive with their marketing.

    Then add to this whole mix the top down totalitarian structure of businesses owned and run by members of the LDS organization, and you have a strict system designed to make money for the owners so they can give their tithe to the LDS organization.

    As one who lives in a 40% LDS community, I see this totalitarian and authoritarian structure daily.

    Be warned and good luck with Melaleuca.

  20. avatar

    Thanks guys for all the insight. My mom is getting involved in this and I told her it is obviously MLM. I told her that this doesn’t make it bad, but she should not mislead people because it will make the company and herself look bad. Call it what it is. Anyways my GF just got involved “under” my mother as a customer at first and I am getting some products through her to test the quality and see it it’s truly worth the price. If so…and you can make a residual income of a few hundred after selling part time for a yr or two then cool. But we shall see how much the average person working 10hrs a week at this is making after a few months. If it’s almost nothing then prob not worth it. But if she truly likes the products and can JUST refer some folks here and there. As she normally would when she believes in something. and profit from it, then why not? But Im not so into all the presentations. Why are these presentations necessary?? Anyways I know I’m rambling and exhausted but any thoughts??

  21. avatar

    MLM means multi level marketing. period. if you have multiple levels in your compensation plan. YOU ARE AN MLM. call it whatever you want. but the standard defintion of MLM is just that. Just because the vast majority of MLM’s recruit “distributors” instead of “customers” doesn’t change it. here is the two prong acid test.

    1. Does melaleuca recruit.
    Yes. You recruit CUSTOMERS. (in a way, it’s actually just a more honest mlm…since the vast majority of the customers of MLM’s are actually it’s distributors)
    2. Does it pay on the referals of referals.


    there you have it folks. If it talks like a duck, and quacks like it duck …it must be.

    a duck.

  22. avatar

    Sorry, I have done many different mlms. I do believe Melaleuca is a mlm no matter how y’all want to put it. However, they have a very negative view on any chat boards I go on. Mostly because of the secrecy. I do believe that if your company wants to change that, they will need to adapt to the times.

    With that being said. I’ll stick to my mlm. I spent years finding a good one and then it only took months to start earning thousands.

  23. avatar

    Heather is either an outright liar, ripping off hundreds of down-lines or she is personally selling thousands of dollars of product. There is not a legitimate MLM that makes big money for anybody. If Heather is selling promotional products and empowerment/you can do it CD and DVD’s to down-lines, she is in violation of federal law.
    There is no legitimate MLM that makes up-lines big money.
    Maybe she will post the name of her good MLM company to try to prove me wrong.

  24. avatar

    MLM???? i’ve been in Amway for a few years now, i’ve seen many Melaleuca distributors/sales people (or whatever you choose to label them as) quit and join my business, i’ve seen some of mine leave and join other MLMs. Multilevel means just that, multi-level.

    you get paid on ‘multiple’ levels of ‘downline’ purchases. I dont make a dime when i sign someone up in the AMway business, only when they and myself ‘purchase’ a certain amount of product. And i get a % of my downlines purchases for infinity and beyond!:)

    also, you get bonuses for the different ‘levels’ of growth ‘upwards’. That is also ‘multi-level’. Melaleuca is the same way, just they stop paying you (the way i was shown) at 7 levels. I could be wrong there and i’m sorry if i am.

    Amways products are more ‘costly’ than any other store out there. But, in a recent ‘cost’ comparison with Melaleucas similar products, Amway is cheaper. Melaleucas products therefore are MORE COSTLY than any store out there INCLUDING the high priced Amway products.

    I signed up under my sister, she made over 500,000$ last year. SHe is in the .001% group. Melaleuca has the same ‘success’ rate as Amway. Less than 1% of Melaleuca distributors make 2k per month, after 25 years of business. Half of 1%, (.5%) make 3k/mo. It’s the same figure for every single MLM! But they keep this in the background.

    I’ve averaged 2-4k per month, with some months over 6k. I’ve got 6 personal downline with a total of around 400 downline. There are NO vitamins that even come close to Nutrilite. People get hooked on products, it happens in all MLMs.

    it cost 50$ to become an IBO in Amway. No recruitment/product ‘packs’ that cost 2-300 dollars as i’ve been shown in Melaleuca. No inventory at all! No recruitment mandate at all. THey pay on PV off of products and size of downline PV, that is it.

    WE ARE ALL MLMs ! swallow it and move on. By denying it, you are making ALL OF US look like brainwashed cultists!!! grow up!

  25. avatar

    david mccary must also be good at lying. Neither he nor his sister is making the money he says. I dare him to post supporting information. It is a very unlikely than the commissions mentioned are real. In the event they are valid amounts, they do not include the monthly business expenses needed to maintain such a large downline structure. 400 downlines do not keep up with the sales volumes needed without a massive support and encouragement structure that eats up commissions with those expenses.

  26. avatar

    When I buy food at the grocery store, the cashier, the lead cashier, the store assistant manager, the store manager, the owner and stock holders (if any) ALL get a percentage of what I spend there. Same when I buy a car, the sales guy, sales manager, service manager, owner and share holders all split my cash I pay in. This is how commerce works in the free market. Calling people “levels” and claiming a pay structure where multiple people share from the end customer’s purchases is somehow MLM is simply naive and incorrect.

    MLM is a business model that has nothing at all to do with pay out because again, every real business (small or large) takes the money from the end customer and pays everyone else. So that leads to the million dollar question here, what exactly is MLM?

    MLM is actually two different things. One, it is a distribution model where you have multiple levels of distribution. Amway, Avon, Mary Kay are all examples of successful MLMs. The second thing MLM has become over the last several decades is a concept. This concept is what you see being debated here in this thread. Since a concept cannot be clearly defined, people will always argue and debate over their opinion of the concept (just as we see here). This MLM concept is generally seen in a poor light by the majority of the population while the MLM distribution model is perhaps one of the most misunderstood things in all of business.

    As a model of distribution, Melaleuca has no distributors. In fact, you get in trouble with them if you try to publicly sell any of the products so in fact not only are they not a MLM distribution model, you will get in trouble with them if you try to operate that way with it. Because of that, on the business model piece, Melaleuca is clearly NOT an MLM in any way.

    That leaves the concept of MLM and as I said, most have a very bad taste in their mouth about their personal perception of the term “MLM” so Melaleuca wisely puts distance between themselves and it. If you have the opinion (despite facts proving otherwise) that Melaleuca has an MLM distribution model or that paying several people from the end consumer is somehow MLM, then for you Melaleuca will be seen as an MLM even though it is not.

    As has been said many times here, Melaleuca has removed what most people perceive to be the trouble and problems with a business model that requires you to personally reach out to others. They call their solution CDM but at the end of the day, no one else has CDM so there is no one else to compare them to. This is why all the comparisons don’t ever seem to resolve the question, especially for those who have been in MLMs.

    This may help too… Its only MLM companies that view Melaleuca as competition. To Melaleuca, their competition is Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and the major manufacturers. Melaleuca has no desire to get in the “MLM mud” but instead they have the goal of creating better PRODUCTS. This focus in both spending and research over the decades is perhaps one of the biggest differences between Melaleuca and everything else. See, when I talk to someone about Melaleuca, I’m not trying to “sign them up in a business”… people that come to the table with that attitude usually do poorly. Instead I want to have an honest conversation with them about their shopping habits. I want to compare quality and pricing of Melaleuca’s products lines vs what they buy from Wal mart and other retailers currently. When a person or family sees the differences and decides they want to try the products for themselves, then i happily help them open up their own shopping account so they can do just that. As a thank you, Melaleuca lets me earn ongoing commissions. That is a decent summery of CDM… and really is a far cry from the pubic perception of MLM.

    So in summery, the real question for those I talk to is never about Melaleuca being an MLM or not… it’s always about where they shop, what they spend, quality of products and how Melaleuca’s products or revenue sharing can help them. There is no hype in Melaleuca… no one (at least no one is supposed to) goes out selling anything or promising to make overnight millionaires. That is exactly what MLMs do and that is exactly what Melaleuca is not.

    There are dozens of other very strong differences between CDM and MLM but again, for those who have their mind made up, no amount of proof will convince them otherwise. For those of us who simply have switched stores and now save money by using better, safer products, we understand it completely.

    1. avatar

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Network marketing companies have all sorts of creative names they call themselves. “Oh no, we’re not network marketing – we’re consumer direct marketing!” or “we’re peer-to-peer relational ecommerce market”…or whatever.

      With Melaleuca (and just about everyone other networking company), you are not a category-creator. You are an MLM. You get paid to market. And you are paid on multiple-levels of compensation. Multi. Level. Marketing.

      Why so many people have a challenge calling it as it is, I’ll never know. Call it whatever you want guys, but you get paid to market, and you get overrides and commissions on other resellers. That’s MLM. Nothing wrong with it…but that’s what it is. A grocery store is a grocery store, although people call it all sorts of things. Lots of words don’t offer “proof” to the contrary. And Melaleuca still advocates marketing to friends and family members. That is classic MLM.

      Then, you look at their prices – http://www.melaleuca.com/ProductStore/Content.aspx?Page=Compare You’ll find that many of their “comparisons” aren’t actual comparisons. They either redefine the volume (saying you need less of our product because it’s “concentrated”) or it’s just not true. Wal-Mart is simply the low-priced leader, and if specialty mom and pop stores can’t under-sell them, what makes anyone think an MLM company can?

      If you want to market Melaleuca, and love their products – great! Go for it, it’s a solid company and they provide a solid opportunity. But saying they have the cheapest products, or that they are some sort of newfangled 21st century new marketing model isn’t the case. They market to friends and family, and they pay out on multiple levels of compensation. You recruit customers, and you recruit business builders. MLM all the way.

  27. avatar

    More people spouting false definitions of MLM. Common Sense takes the cake. “Amway, Avon, Mary Kay are all examples of successful MLMs.” Amway is an MLM. Mary Kay and Avon are not. The only way people make money with Avon and Mary Kay is by selling product. They may have a manager but that manager needs to sell and train to stay in the income loop. The saleswomen can make a reasonable income for their efforts.
    The comparison to “When I buy food at the grocery store, the cashier, the lead cashier, the store assistant manager, the store manager, the owner and stock holders (if any) ALL get a percentage of what I spend there. Same when I buy a car, the sales guy, sales manager, service manager, owner and share holders all split my cash I pay in. ” The various people listed do not “split” the cash. They get paid a wage. The sales guy and manager may get a split of the profits above ‘card’ from the sale and the service manager and mechanic may get a split of the service invoice but none of these people get residuals. The grocery store does not splits the sales either. They all get an hourly wage or a salary.
    The numbers show that the income made in Melaleuca is based on the underpaid efforts of the lower levels of downlines. Those lower levels can not make a reasonable wage for their efforts for there to be enough margins for the uplines. The turn over at these bottom levels of underpaid ‘partners’ is the source of the income for the uplines. It is numerically IMPOSSIBLE for it to work any other way.
    The reason Melaleuca does not allow direct sales is due to the laws regulating MLM businesses.

  28. avatar

    Here is great info on MLM’s you make the decision if they are, I say they are here is the link

  29. avatar

    Hello my name is Laura and I recently joined Melaleuca and am very excited. I have been a little skeptical but willing to give it a try! The customer service has been FANTASTIC….they are open 6am to 10pm mon thru Fri and on Sat 7 am to 10 pm! I have had to call several times with various questions and have always received fast and friendly sevice! For this is alone Melaleuca gets an A+++. And I am sure if I wanted to cancel my membership ..wich at this point I don’t …i think they would be just as helpful!
    As far as the products go I have only tried the Renew Lotion ..I love it and am looking forward to trying others. Concerning the 35pts …I don’t see any issues as long as I am conscious and only order the products I need when I need them! Hummm…heck of an idea btw!
    Yes I am going to tell people about this company so why not receive some benefits…ie preferred pricing…a check..no matter how big is still money in the bank!!
    I found out that it easy to join and with a no risk guarantee why not try it to see if it work for you! If anyone needs more infor or has questions please feel free to email me at moc.o1397666101ohay@1397666101arual1397666101rehsa1397666101v1397666101 for information. And for A limited amount of time in Jan 2014 you can join for $1….

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