How to Become a Shaklee Products Distributor

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A woman is using her laptop in her table. (Image: Trevor Lush/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Shaklee is a direct sales company that primarily offers health products, such as vitamins, supplements and nutrition shakes. It also has a line of skin care, hair and home products. You can purchase Shaklee products online through the Shaklee website or through a distributor. Distributors earn commission from products purchased through them and also earn commission on the sales of distributors who sign up underneath them. You can become a Shaklee distributor rather quickly, in just a few steps.

Locate a Distributor

To sign up as a Shaklee distributor, you must be sponsored by an existing distributor. If you don’t know one, use the “Locate a Distributor” search function on Shaklee.com. Meet with the distributor in person or talk on the phone to determine if he can help you achieve your goals as a distributor. Since you will be assigned to that person for the remainder of your distributorship, make sure he can provide the support you need.

Choose a Participation Level

Shaklee offers several levels of participation. While there is a specific “Distributor” level, there’s also a “Member” level for those seeking a lifetime product discount but don’t want to sell. There are also “Gold Pak,” “Gold Pak Plus” and “Super Gold Pak” enhanced distributor levels if you're dedicated to a full-blown venture. A regular “non-pak” distributor is a middle point if you want a discount and plan on selling but do not plan on working your Shaklee business full time.

Purchase a Kit

As of October 2014, to become a Member, you either pay a $19.95 fee to receive a lifetime product discount or purchase a special product kit. The products in the qualifying bundles vary and range from $66.95 to $269.95. When you become a Member, you also receive a kit that contains information about the products. To become a Distributor, the welcome kit fee is $49.95. You do not receive any products in the kit, but it does contain more marketing materials than the Member kit. If you purchase a Distributor Pak, you’ll receive a variety of products, online tools and free event registrations. The value of your kit depends on the Pak level you purchase. The Gold Pak kit costs $349 and is valued at over $900; the Gold Pak Plus kit is $699 and valued at over $2,100; and the Super Gold Pak kit is $999 and valued at over $2,300.

Additional Start-up and Operating Costs

If you sign up as a Distributor, you are officially entering into a business for yourself. This potentially opens you up to other obligations as a business owner. Shaklee will consider you an independent contractor, which means you are required to report your commissions for the year to the IRS on Form 1099-MISC, if they are more than $600. When you report your 1099-MISC income on your tax return, you can write off your expenses associated with operating the business, but if your net profit (income after expenses are subtracted) is more than $400, you’ll have to pay income and self-employment taxes on your profit. Each state operates differently and may have other requirements for independent distributors, such as a requirement to obtain a sales tax ID number and report and remit sales tax or other taxes. Check with your state Department of Revenue to verify your obligations. Other costs to consider include additional marketing materials, such as catalogs, brochures and business cards, and the cost of your personal Shaklee website. As of October 2014, the cost for your Shaklee site is $29.95 for the first month and $19.95 per month thereafter. Business supplies, Internet and cell phone costs are also common, as well as postage for mailing products and catalogs to customers, and transportation costs for visiting customers and traveling to meetings.

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