Nature’s Sunshine Products is a multilevel marketing company that focuses on high-quality natural herbal supplements.
Founded and still based in Utah, Nature’s Sunshine is best-known for its custom-made probiotic and herbal extracts and Chinese herbal medicine supplements, as well as its chlorophyll extract.
Did I get on board? This explains everything:
Nature’s Sunshine is a company that’s been a stable market performer for a long time. Unlike many of the new MLM startups on the market, Nature’s Sunshine has been around in its current incarnation since 1972.
The company was founded by a husband and wife team with the initial goal of selling only a few supplements. Over time, it has grown into a large, publicly-traded company that manufactures dozens of different types of supplements.
Search engine traffic is stable over the past several years, indicating that it has a steady stream of interest and isn’t a fad that will rapidly drop in popularity. On the flip side, however, it’s also been around long enough to reach a fairly high level of market penetration, so it’s not likely to rocket to any higher peaks of popularity, unless the company comes up with a major, innovative new supplement that gets a lot of press.
The products offered by Nature’s Sunshine Products range from standard vitamin and mineral supplements like zinc, calcium, and B complex supplements to special blended supplements with various herbal extracts.
Several of these basic standards are the top sellers for the company: products like their probiotic blend, their CoQ10 supplement, and their EPA Omega-3 fatty acid supplement are all present among the most popular products sold.
The probiotic blend from Nature’s Sunshine Products is interesting because it combines eleven different probiotic strains. A number of competitor products only include one or two different bacteria. The probiotics in Nature’s Sunshine Probiotic Eleven are almost entirely of the Lactobacillus genus, which is a heavily-studied genus of probiotic bacteria.
According to a scientific article published in 1999 by Gregor Reid at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, Lactobacillus strains have a strong ability to affect everything from your immune system function to your cholesterol levels to your body’s ability to fight inflammation.
The strains identified by Reid as being of particularly good clinical use include L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. reuteri, and L. fermentum—three of these five probiotic strains are among the eleven included in Nature’s Sunshine Probiotic Eleven.
Recall that this article was published nearly twenty years ago, so there has been a substantial amount of research into these and other probiotics since its publication.
Bifidobacterium longum, for example, which is not mentioned in Reid’s article but is included in Nature’s Sunshine Probiotic Eleven, has been shown to help with both chronic inflammation and stress: research published in 2005 found that a Bifidobacterium longum probiotic reduced chronic inflammation in patients with active ulcerative colitis, while another study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a probiotic containing Bifidobacterium longum reduced stress, anxiety, and psychological well-being in both rats and in humans.
By and large, many of the other top-flight supplements from Nature’s Sunshine Products are supported by scientific evidence.
Given that they offer over 500 different kinds of supplements, there’s sure to be many that are not, but a key part of their business model is partnering with medical professionals who want to recommend supplements to their patients—given that, there’s sure to be a fairly solid selection of the kinds of supplements that doctors routinely recommend (hence the popularity of probiotic supplements and omega-3 fatty acids).
To become a Nature’s Sunshine Products distributor, the process is fairly easy. The initial signup fee is a $40 order from Nature’s Sunshine Products’ online store. However, a simple membership does not qualify you for commissions—it just gives you wholesale discounts, which scale according to your product volume.
To start earning commissions, you need to bring on at least one distributor underneath you. After this, adding additional distributors increases the number of levels that you may earn commissions on.
Because of the structure of the distributor requirements (reaching three levels of manager commissions requires only four total distributors underneath you), the system rewards creating a “vertical” structure below you instead of a horizontal structure with many first-line distributors.
You’ll see a lot more profit if your first distributor recruits a distributor underneath him or her, instead of building a large first line of distributors at the level immediately below you.
Unlike a lot of less scrupulous MLM companies, Nature’s Sunshine is pretty up-front with their business model. There isn’t a mandatory auto-ship, or hidden fees and costs. They also proudly feature their average earnings statement on their website.
Of all active distributors, slightly over half earned a commission in 2014; the average amount per distributor was $312 per year. As you might guess, this scales up tremendously as your seller level increases—with a few distributors underneath you, the average earnings for an active distributor spikes sharply.
The high quality and wide range of supplements available from Nature’s Sunshine Products make it a pretty good bet as far as MLM opportunities go. It’s a fairly stable market—it is neither trending up nor down, so it’s likely you can secure a moderate revenue stream.
The company’s partnerships with medical professionals also provides a good avenue for selling the most popular products, like probiotics and fish oil. The low cost of entry and fairly transparent earnings procedures make it easier to get on board with.
The incentive structure is such that the compensation plan rewards highly organized distributors who can set a plan in motion to get several tiers of distributors underneath them fairly quickly, instead of just moving a large volume of product.
If you’re doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling overpriced products to your family and friends.