Nature’s Sunshine is a multi-level marketing company that specializes in selling health supplements, homeopathic remedies, and a variety of other products. It’s a family-owned business that was founded by Gene and Kristine Hughes in 1972. Nature’s Sunshine now has a presence in over 30 countries, doing most of its business in the United States and Europe. The company’s biggest claim to fame is being the first to encapsulate herbs.
The company has been in business a long time and has plenty of stability. However, Nature’s Sunshine has seen its share of problems, and the company’s growth may have leveled off, so it’s future may not be as promising as its past.
Sign-Up Cost: $40
Global Revenue: $366.37 million
The Good: Provides lots of support to distributors; high rating from Better Business Bureau; large and affordable product line.
The Bad: Charged with bribery in 2009; compensation plan puts pressure on distributors to recruit others.
Nature’s Sunshine has over 600 products that can be used to address a number of health issues and enhance several key body systems. All of the company’s products fall into one of the following categories:
- Children’s Health – A set of half a dozen vitamins and minerals to help supplement a child’s diet.
- Enzymes – Eight different enzymes that can assist with natural bodily functions.
- Essential Oils – More than a dozen natural oils.
- Fiber – Six different types of fiber to aid in digestion, among other bodily functions.
- Flower Essences – Liquid infusions made from flowers that promote emotional and mental health.
- Herbs – Dozens of Liquid, Chinese, Bulk, and Ayurvedic herbs that all promise various health benefits.
- Personal Care – Lotions, gels, ointments, creams, and various other products geared towards hair and skin care.
- Pro-biotics – Five different pro-biotics that offer various health benefits.
- Vitamin and Mineral – Dozens of vitamin and mineral choices.
- Women – Five supplements specifically geared towards women’s health.
The company’s website also features a health assessment to help you determine which areas of your body may need assistance and which of the company’s products may be helpful.
Nature’s Sunshine offers two different compensation plans for those who would like to join the company as a distributor. The Classic Compensation Plan is designed for people who own retail stores or are professional health consultants, while the Legacy Compensation Plan is for individuals who would like to start their own business by selling Nature’s Sunshine’s products. Each compensation plan is distinct but offers four ways to earn income:
- Retail Profits – Distributors can buy products at wholesale cost, up to 33% off the retail price.
- Sponsoring – Earn a 40% sponsoring bonus for sponsoring new members.
- Personal Rebates and Group Commissions – Rebates of 10-20% on orders of a certain volume.
- Successline Commissions/Overrides – A system of bonuses and incentives based on the sales volume of your sponsors and others they have sponsored.
After paying a $40 sign-up cost that must be renewed once a year, distributors for Nature’s Sunshine receive more support and direction from the company than almost any other multi-level marketing firm. The company hosts two conferences a year to help educate its distributors on the direct marketing business and update them on the latest tricks of the trade. Members are also privy to monthly webinars that offer training and tips, including techniques on using social media that can be invaluable in this day and age. Nature’s Sunshine also gives each distributor their own professional website to use for business purposes. All of the training and support the company gives its distributors makes the $40 yearly well worth the cost.
In addition to providing great support for its distributors, Nature’s Sunshine has received great reviews from both inside and outside the company (1). The company is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau, who gives Nature’s Sunshine an A+ rating. A majority of the reviews from employees are also positive, reflecting positively on the company’s upper management.
Perhaps most importantly, Nature’s Sunshine has a product line that is conducive to distributors being able to make sales. Not only does the company offer a wide array of products, but also most are offered at affordable prices. Nutritional supplements can often be hit and miss with regard to their effectiveness, especially those sold by MLM firms, but Nature’s Sunshine makes their products at their own facility, puts them through quality control testing, and has had most of them certified by a third-party that has no stake in the company. Although the products are not FDA approved, they meet all standard regulations for supplements, so users need not worry.
One of the few downsides of the Nature’s Sunshine compensation plan is the quota to either purchase or resell $100 worth of products each month. This is potentially problematic for casual distributors selling items on a part-time basis. Also, the way the compensation plan is set up, distributors have to recruit a significant number of new members if they hope to make a meaningful amount of money, which again is not something all distributors are going to have the means to accomplish.
The biggest issue with Nature’s Sunshine throughout its history is the legal trouble it ran into in 2009 when the SEC accused it of bribing officials in Brazil so the company could import unregistered nutritional products. Then company then hid evidence of the illegal payments. Nature’s Sunshine settled the case by paying $600,000 worth of fines, while many upper-level managers resigned their positions. In the grand scheme of things this isn’t a huge deal and won’t impact most distributors personally, but it’s certainly a black eye in the company’s history.
Legal issues aside, there’s a lot to like about Nature’s Sunshine. The company has a strong reputation and a long track record of success after being in business for more than 40 years. The company has quality products to sell, offers plenty of assistance to its distributors, and has a compensation plan that can be quite lucrative for the right kind of person.
The company may be at a point in its history where there’s not much room left for growth, but that doesn’t mean new members can’t achieve success with Nature’s Sunshine. Anyone who has an interest in the company’s products should consider a membership, especially those with a background in networking and the skills to recruit, as someone like that has a chance to excel with Nature’s Sunshine.