If You Believe

by louabbott on October 11, 2004

Forbes – Published October 11, 2004

Frank L. VanderSloot sells items like Classic Tooth Polish ($3 a tube), Replenex (90 glucosamine pills for $10) and Nicole Miller Timeless Age Defying Serum ($18 a bottle). He doesn’t hit the road himself to ring doorbells. At 56, his sales days are far behind him. He leaves the pitching to an army of part-time hucksters who sell these and 350 other household and “health” products for Melaleuca, his privately held firm in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Melaleuca is a pyramid selling organization, built along the lines of Herbalife and Amway. Vendors get commissions on the products they sell and also on products sold by vendors they recruit. From a near-standing start 19 years ago, VanderSloot has built his firm up to an expected $620 million in volume this year, roughly half of that to be paid out to the vendors as commissions. A few of them make a very good living off Melaleuca; most do not. Enough of the money lands at the top that VanderSloot’s 50% share of the business, we estimate, is worth $700 million.

Read the entire article at Forbes

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