Forever Living Products (FLP) was launched in 1978 out of Scottsdale Arizona. Today it is an international company and is one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of Aloe Vera products. There is now a wide range of FLP products which includes weight loss, nutrition, Bee products, essential oils and more.
Forever living sell their products through network marketing. They have a network of around 9.3 Million 'business owners' selling their products in over 150 countries. With annual revenue of over US $2.5 Billion, there is no doubt that the company is very profitable.
We aren't here to review the company, we want to know if everyday people can make money from the business opportunity. We believe you can't make money with network marketing. However we're happy to be proven wrong in this full review of Forever Living Products.
What Is the Forever Living Business Opportunity
According to the Forever Living mareketing plan, making money as an FBO is simple. All you have to do is share the products and business opportunity with others and you will make enough money to achieve 'financial freedom for life'. They even offer a simple process for guaranteed success with FLP
The information on the FLP website is a bit vague. We managed to find more detail in their 12 page explanation of the Forever Living business opportunity, or as they call it 'the greatest opportunity in the world'. We've heard others make that claim then turn out to be just another MLM.
According to the business opportunity, multi-level marketing 'allows you to achieve tremendous financial gains'. All you need to do is recruit one person per month, and have them 'duplicate' the process. In a little over a year you'd have a network of over 4,000 FBOs. The commissions from their Forever Living purchases will give you 'financial rewards that you've never before dreamed possible'.
They imply that this opportunity is suitable for people with:
Little or no Formal Education
Unhappy at Work
While helping these people may seem noble, we see this as a red flag! Forever Living is targeting people who are quite possibly in financial distress, and probably have below average financial literacy. In our opinion, they are focusing on people who would believe their claims without doing further research
How do you Make Money With Forever Living
Like all MLMs, Forever Living has a complex compensation plan. There are 10 ways to earn with FLP. As you order more product and sponsor more people, you can qualify for more income. This is explained in the video below:
The first thing we notice is that there are 2 ways to make money with Forever Living.
1. You can sell to everyone you know, then sell to strangers
2. You can build a ‘downline’
‘Building a dowline’, is MLM speak for sponsoring others to become Forever Living FBOs. If you start doing this, then you can earn commission from your own sales as well as sales from all the FBOs in your downline.
Your downline isn’t just limited to the people you sponsor, it also includes any FBOs they sponsor. In theory you can earn commission from friends of friends of friends who you’ve never even met!
The video tells us that at this point your business will be on autopilot, but we think that in reality building a downline is much more difficult. One thing the promotional presentations never mention, is that all MLMs have an extremely high rate of attrition. This means that it is normal to expect more than half your downline to quit every year.
If you are very good at recruiting, and can grow your Forever Living downline faster than the FBOs quit, then you might climb the ranks. The video explains that the bigger your downline, (and the more profit they order), the more you can earn. The commissions available at each rank are shown in the diagram below:
Each Forever Living product you buy will have a specific Case Credit (CC) value. The video explains that 1 CC is equal to around US $140 worth of FLP products at wholesale price. To achieve each rank with Forever Living you, and your downline, will need to generate the qualifying CC.
For example, when you first join, you will be able to buy products at 15% below the Suggested Retail Price (SRP). If you purchase 2 CCs worth of product within 60 days, then you can qualify for wholesale pricing. Wholesale prices are 30% below the SRP.
To qualify for any commission, you must remain active and personally order at least 1 CC of product per month. In other words you can't get paid unless you spend US $140 per month
Once you are 'wholesale qualified', you can earn 30% retail commission when customers order from your Forever Living FBO website. You will also qualify for personal bonuses of 5-18%. All you have to do is find customers!
To find out more detailed information, we looked at a copy of the Forever Living compensation plan. This document explains all the ways FBOs can earn income, as well as what they need to do to earn it.
We learned that Forever Living pays differential commission. For example if you qualify for the full 48% to SRP discount, but someone you have sponsored only qualifies for 35%, then you get the 13% difference!
The earnings potential doesn't end at the 48% to SRP commissions. If you continue to grow your FLP network and reach the level of 'manager', you will qualify for leadership bonuses.
Leadership bonuses are paid on any FBO's who reach the manager level in your down line. These bonuses are paid on 3 generations of managers. You will earn 6% on 1st generation, 3% on 2nd and 2% on 3rd generation.
If you continue to grow your Forever Living business, then you might qualify for some of the incentives which are reserved for the top performers. These include:
Fully Paid Vacations
Can You Make Money With Forever Living
Before you join Forever Living, you should make an effort to read the Candice Kiddle Forever Living experience. Like millions of others, she signed up with the hopes of solving her financial problems, but it didn't take long for the dreams to turn into nightmares.
Candice joined as a single mum lured in by the possibility of earning some extra cash using nothing more than the internet. Within a few months she realised that she'd made a horrible mistake. This was not her path to financial freedom. With Forever Living, she struggled to break even and was damaging friendships.
Candice's story is far from an isolated case, in fact there are some which are claiming that Forever Living is a Scam!
We applied Dr Jon Tayolors 5 Step MLM evaluation to Forever Living, and found that it raises all 5 red flags. This would suggest that new FBOs have a less than 1% chance of turning a profit with Forever Living. We'll look at each of the flags below:
Red Flag 1 - Constant Recruitment of New Members
As we saw from the FLP marketing plan, you will achieve tremendous gains if you build a team that 'duplicates' your regular recruitment activities.
Red Flag 2 - Promotion Through Recruitment
Your success in FLP is linked to the CC volume generated by you and those you recruit. You can't reach the higher management ranks unless you have a large downline team
Red Flag 3 - Pay to Play
If you don't buy 100 cc (US $140) worth of product per month, then you won't get paid any commission. The 'remain active' requirement is a common strategy used by MLMs to ensure that you keep buying product even if you don't want to
Red Flag 4 - Most of the Rewards go to your upline
As we saw from the compensation plan video, there is a total of 59% of commissions included in the retail price of Forever Living products. This does not include any of the additional benefits paid to high performers such as cars, luxury holidays, and more.
Red Flag 5 - More than 5 levels in the payout plan
Forever Living has done their best to be as vague as possible with the information we can see. However based on the depth of leadership bonuses paid, we are confident that they pay commission to more than 5 levels
We are not alone in our assessment. Dr. Taylor's evaluation of Forever Living, estimates that less than 1% of FBO's turn a profit.
How Good are Forever Living Products
The Forever Living business opportunity explains that the products 'bring the remarkable properties of Aloe to the whole body'. It goes on to tell us that the 'health properties of aloe have been known for centuries', however the medical and nutritional industries ignored aloe. FLP credit themselves with reintroducing Aloe to the world.
On the Forever Living website, they tell us that aloe is the 'lifeblood of the company'. It goes on to describe the 'magically soothing abilities' it provides, along with other 'proven health benefits'.
Forever Living does make good quality aloe products, and there are many claims about the benefits of aloe vera. FLP is making good quality products, but could be over priced. One review of FLP products found that they were no different to cheaper products offered by their competitors.
A FLP review by one more cup of coffee, had similar findings. They explain that the products are good, but are too expensive. They go on to note that the business opportunity will turn you into an 'annoying aloe' person.
Is Aloe Vera Really Good For You
A study by the University of Maryland found that Aloe Vera is useful for treating skin conditions. They do not recommend oral use because if ingested, Aloe Vera can cause severe side effects. They go on to note that there is insufficient proof that Aloe Vera can help conditions such as diabetes
Another study by the National Centre for Integrative and Complimentary Health, had similar findings. They were able to isolate chemicals in the plant which were responsible for causing intestinal tumors. Fortunately these chemicals are already removed as part of the extraction process. The NCICH study echoed the findings from Maryland. They found that Aloe Vera is a laxative and can be helpful in treating skin conditions, but there is no scientific evidence that Aloe Vera is helpful for any of the other purposes it is used for.
Is Forever Living an Illegal Pyramid Scam
Even though they closely resemble a pyramid system, MLMs are legal as long as there are products or services attached to them. This does not mean that network marketing is an ethical way to sell products. An investigative reporter in Sweden recorded her experiences from a Forever Living recruitment seminar. She learned about using social media to share the 'Forever Living lifestyle'.
The presentation taught them about 'relationship capital' and how to see all your friends and family as 'opportunities for sales'. There was even advice on how to promote the products without personally breaking the pharmaceutical laws. Forever Living has been warned by the Swedish Medicines Agency that FBOs have made false claims about the health benefits of FLP products.
This would explain why Forever Living speaks vaguely of the 'magical' and 'proven benefits' of aloe, but doesn't really give us much detail. It seems that most of the positive benefits of aloe are being shared by enthusiastic FBOs who are eager to make sales. In their quest for commissions, they may overlook that fact that there is no scientific evidence to support their claims.
Should You Join Forever Living
Before you sign up for Forever Living, or any MLM, we recommend that you do thorough research. Make sure that you try the products yourself and compare them to competitors. Try and find independent information about the products. Remember active members will earn commission if you join. Their incentive is make money, not to help you.
As we have seen there are lots of promises made about Forever Living products. There is also no shortage of promises about the financial success you can achieve as an FBO. The problem is that we have not found any evidence that either the products or the business opportunity actually work as promised.
There's no such thing as a 'secret to success'. We don't believe that you can make money by simply 'duplicating' what others have done. No matter how successful someone has been, there is no guarantee that you will achieve any results even if you follow every step they took.
In our opinion, it is unlikely that you will make money from network marketing. The main reason is because of saturation. As more members join the system, they will be competing with existing members to make sales. The internet makes it easy for you to reach people all over the world. Unfortunately this also means that all the other Forever Living FBOs can also reach your target market. Unless you are doing something unique, it's unlikely that you will make significant sales or generate any profit.
MLM is a structure designed to sell you products. It's not designed as a franchise business opportunity. The company doesn't care how many members join, to them it just means more products are being bought. These are just our opinions, we'd love to hear what you think. Let us know what you think in the comments section below, especially if you can share your experience with Forever Living
For more posts like this, have a look at our list of mlm reviews. If there’s a MLM we haven’t reviewed yet, then let us know in the comments section and we’ll add it to our list.