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Melaleuca MLM or not?

The Truth Behind Melaleuca, The Wellness Company

According to the Experts

Of course, it’s one thing to ask a man on the street if he believes Melaleuca is a MLM company or those who "claim" to know, but it’s something else to talk with people who are professionals in the knowledge of legitimate work from home business opportunities. Instead of relying on Melaleuca's perspective or the layman’s view, the question was taken to six business experts, legislators and others, to learn what the experts have to say.

After taking a look at the company and doing a little homework, these individuals essentially all arrived at the same conclusion surrounding the MLM question. Their conclusion? "Melaleuca does not meet the MLM definition, and it should not be called a multi-level marketing company." 

In terms of how the company operates, a few of them also point out that Melaleuca more closely resembles a direct-marketing company rather than a direct sales company. They highlighted the company’s non-store marketing tactics and discussed that after prospects had been referred, Melaleuca communicates directly with them to sell its products. Purchases are made from the customer’s home and then delivered right to the doorstep. 

And Jeff Sayer, Idaho’s Department of Commerce Director, actually credits this factor as a major reason why this Idaho company has been successful. 

Will Jenson, a former regional economist at the Idaho Dept. of Labor and an economics professor at two major Idaho universities, also reviewed Melaleuca’s work from home business opportunity model. You’ll find that Idaho journalists dial his number when they need a source about Idaho businesses.


Jenson sees “little similarity between Melaleuca and businesses involved in multi-level marketing. It’s unfortunate that misinformation leads some to lump Melaleuca into a category of companies that participate in multi-level marketing. MLMs are characterized by features such as multiple levels of distribution, product reselling, and inventory loading, none of which are found in Melaleuca.” 

Business Experts Sound Off

Dale Dixon, President and CEO of the region’s Better Business Bureau, explains why the “BBB categorizes Melaleuca as a retailer” and not as a MLM. Dixon notes that “Melaleuca does not have multiple levels of distribution, which means its independent agents do not distribute inventory from one agent to the next.

Melaleuca Better Business Bureau rating

He added that “incentive-based sales approaches are common across nearly all industries, and a compensation model should not be what ultimately defines a company as a multi-level marketer.” 


“Performance based salaries and commissions are effective tools for businesses to ensure those who are willing to work get their reward, and using this compensation structure does not make a company a multi-level marketer.”

The Legislators’ Position

In addition to Dixon, Sayer and Jenson, three of Idaho’s elected officials responded to the question at hand. Their written statements showed consensus as they reached comparable conclusions with the other business leaders. 


Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter took a moment to put his cards on the table. He wrote, “Melaleuca is a direct marketing company with a customer referral business model that has enabled it to bypass traditional marketing channels without multiple levels of distribution that are typical of a MLM.” 


Although Idaho’s top elected officials don’t always agree, they did in this case. 


The Governor’s thoughts were supported by U.S. Representative Mike Simpson, who wrote, “I’m convinced that operational differences in its [Melaleuca’s] business model make it a direct marketing company, not a multi-level marketing company. Based on my experience with Melaleuca, it would be inaccurate to call it a multi-level marketer or a MLM. Melaleuca has earned its excellent reputation by delivering quality products, keeping its promises, protecting its customers and independent marketing executives, and offering a genuine home-based business opportunity with no risk to thousands of people.”


And Idaho Senator Jim Risch, who has closely reviewed the company’s practices, wrote, “Occasionally, people have wrongly referred to Melaleuca as a multilevel marketing company. It is clear that Melaleuca’s model is not multilevel marketing, and is indeed distinctively different.” 


“People do not lose money with Melaleuca,” wrote Sen. Risch. “I know because if they did, I would hear about it. Melaleuca is, by every measure, a direct marketer and online retailer of health and wellness products, not a multilevel marketing company. Overall, Melaleuca’s track record in Idaho has been extremely positive, earning it a reputation as a clean company that takes good care of its customers.”


Sen. Risch added, “Melaleuca’s business operations have been reviewed by State Officials, the Better Business Bureau and legal experts on marketing practices and uniformly all declare that Melaleuca is not a multilevel marketing company.”

In order to make an informed decision about whether or not to open a shopping account, start an at home business, or both, arrangements for a free official Overview can be requested directly from Melaleuca Head Office at The Overview includes details about the company, products, price comparisons, and compensation plan for those interested in the referral income business model.

Alternatively, the easiest way to make contact is by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

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