Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme? No, But I Prefer Making Money Online with Wealthy Affiliate!

Arbonne review
Is arbonne a scam or legit

Welcome To My Arbonne Review!

You might have heard of those lovely people from Arbonne selling the stuff of dreams. And they are lovely because these people dress to the nines for their various events.

There is a high-pressure push from your local consultant to join the team. And while Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme, which is illegal in many countries, the question arises why their products are so expensive.

It raises the big question, "Is Arbonne a scam or legitimate business opportunity?" Is it even closely as good as our #1 recommendation to make money online.

In this 100% unbiased Arbonne review, we are going to take a look at their program as a business opportunity. Reading this article will be helpful if you consider joining their program.

The information is gathered by Justine. I (Roope) have added my own notes to the article.

Arbonne Review - Quick Summary

Name: Arbonne

Founded: 1980

Type & Industry: Multi-Level Marketing. Wellness & Cosmetics.

Best for: People who love recruiting and selling Arbonne products.

Summary: Arbonne has experience for almost 4 decades. To remain so long in the business means that they have done many things right. However, their experience shouldn’t be the only reason to join their MLM-system.

Their products are expensive, only a few people earn money in the system and most Arbonne consultants actually spend more money than they ever earn in the system. If you absolutely love their products and you have a hard-working character, joining Arbonne could be a reasonable option.

However, if you want to have more flexibility and still work from home, have a look at my #1 recommendation for making money from home. That will also help you to make more money with Arbonne if you eventually decide to join them.


Arbonne MLM Review 2019

Before you go and read my original Arbonne review, I want to give you an opportunity to watch my updated review that was just published on my YouTube channel.

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What is Arbonne?

is arbonne a pyramid scheme

Arbonne homepage

Arbonne is a multi-level marketing business that was first established in 1980. The founder, Petter Mørck, was a former division head of a skincare and makeup company in Norway.

He didn’t like the chemical nature of some of the products he sold. So he told his wife that he wanted to found a green company in this line of sales.

Petter garnered a team of consultants and released catalog of 19 products. He wanted to them to have a strong botanical base and be “pure, safe, beneficial”. This trademarked slogan lead to an international operation with over 200,000 consultants. The products are currently sold in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Poland and there are plans to expand to other countries.

Arbonne values and system resemble another Norwegian MLM-system called Norwex. Most likely the founders of these systems know each other. However, they have a slightly different industry. Network marketing systems like Mary KayPerfectly PoshThirty-One Gifts, etc. are in the same industry with Arbonne.

Arbonne Products – “Typical MLM-Stuff”

Arbonne sells many kinds of products and they are regularly bringing new products to the market. Here is a list of categories they have:

  • Skincare
  • Nutrition
  • Cosmetics
  • Haircare
  • Baby products
  • Essential Oils
is arbonne a pyramid scheme

Arbonne offers also essential oils. Can it compete with other MLM-giants like MelaleucadoTERRA, and others? What do you think?

They market these products as premium products that are world class. While back in the 80’s this might have been a more novel approach to cosmetics, now many competitors sell botanically based products. And dermatologists continue to emphasize that natural doesn’t necessarily mean better.

The RE9 products are the anti-aging line. The RE9 Extra Moisture set costs $364 in American dollars. This is not something that the average woman can afford. The advanced set for men costs $122. This clearly shows the discrepancy between what the company estimates that men and women will pay for anti-aging skin care sets.

In the beauty industry, there are major names that have their own lines for anti-aging. Many of these top end brands have products that are over $100 for a single item. However, their claims are backed by the latest rigorous scientific research. And the Arbonne formulations continue to remain relatively static over the years in comparison.

is arbonne a pyramid scheme

To be honest, my heart stops beating for a second when I see Arbonne pricing.

People might find that their local drug stores have far more reasonable products. For example, many people can find their favorite cream geared to anti-aging on sale for $15.

These creams are backed by some of the most famous celebrity names, like Jennifer Aniston’s backing of Aveeno products. Whereas the Arbonne Advanced Night Repair Cream costs $88, and on discount is still $70.40.

How Much Does It Cost to Join Arbonne?

You might wonder how much you will be put back by when you join this MLM. It is a $79 registration fee for a 12-month term. The renewal fee is still $30, so it looks like the 35% discount on products is only really applicable to people who spend more than $100 a year on the merchandise.

If one is a preferred client, they can upgrade to become a consultant for $59. This is a confusing way of saying that if a friend manages to get someone to buy their Arbonne wares, then the friend can offer preferred clients a 20% discount. Basically, the consultant will profit a little less of their friend until they convince the friend to sign up to become an Arbonne consultant.

People who are signing up for Arbonne will have to choose between buying 500 QV worth of products or paying the registration fee.

 Either way, Arbonne wins with close to $500 of profit in their first month. The starter kit is a good way to convince the person signing up that spending near this amount of money is important to begin a successful business. The friend who has signed you up will get a 6% kickback from this initial sale.

Arbonne Compensation Plan

Of course, any savvy business owner will want to know the benefits of signing up for Arbonne. Well, it basically revolves around two types of profit- you get money for the sales you make (see above), and you are also paid a certain amount from those you sign up under you as your downline.

A consultant will earn $100 Independent Consultant Cash Bonus with SuccessLine sales of 2,500 Qualifying Volume (QV) and minimum two new Independent Consultants or Preferred Clients who accumulate at least 150 PQV each in their start month.

So basically to get that bonus, a consultant must sell around $2500 of product and sign up two new people as preferred clients or consultants that spend at least $150 in their first month signing up. This is a lot of pressure for new beginners.

The hierarchy goes up to

  1. District Manager
  2. Executive District Manager
  3. Area Manager
  4. Executive Area Manager. Finally, if you sign up enough new people, you will become a
  5. Regional Vice President who gets $800 a month towards leasing a Mercedes Benz as long as you continue to hold your rank at RVP.

The titles continue to crawl from Executive Regional Vice President to National Vice President and then Executive National Vice President. At this point, a person is making percentages off of the people they signed up, and also the people who signed up under those individuals.

These two ladies have collaborated on YouTube to help break it down for the average consumer:

NOTE: This YouTube video is promotional by nature. Be careful because the ladies try obviously promote the system. I have embedded it here just for educational purposes.

Arbonne Reviews & Complaints

Now for the fun stuff. If you look online for reviews of this company, you will see two types. There is the first set of people that bought a lot of products from Arbonne but didn’t manage to make any money off of them. Then, the second group of individuals is consultants that are happily touting the party line.

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It is not easy to read the complaints of the first set. These are people whose friends stopped buying Arbonne, probably because it is just so plain expensive and not novel, or their friends chose not to sign up.

However, they have still invested at least half a grand in products that they can find compatible substitutes for at the local drug store for a mere fraction of the price. These people view Arbonne as a scam.

The other people are hopefuls that want to make money with Arbonne. They feel the online attacks will hurt the business that they are so invested in.

They need to defend Arbonne from any negative reviews because they are afraid their own revenue source will be hurt. These people need Arbonne to seem exceptional to others so that people will buy from only this company

There are people who have invested thousands of dollars in the system but only receive “a couple of bucks” back because they didn’t recruit many new members. That raises an important question:.

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme?

Recently Arbonne has been accused being a pyramid scheme in the lawsuit. Only less than 5% of all distributors earn money that is considered as a full-time income in the U.S. So, only those who are on top of the pyramid system good money.

Most Arbonne members spend more money on fees than they never earn in the system.

Yes, you heard right. The biggest part of Arbonne consultants spend much more money on fees and other costs than they will never earn from the system.

Only those people who have large downlines make really big money. Does it mean that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme? Not exactly. That’s just a normal MLM-program.

They provide real products and don’t solely depend on recruiting. That’s why it can’t be considered an illegal pyramid scheme.

On the other hand, you may now understand one reason why I am not so big fan of network marketing. They advertise a dream life and fulfilling your dreams but only very few will ever make it. I always depend on the individual.

By the way, the following video will help you to spot a pyramid scheme:

Conclusion – Is Arbonne Business Opportunity Worth It?

If you are already using Arbonne products and enjoying them, it can be worthwhile to join this program. However, I want to remind that success in network marketing requires lots of work and persistence.

You need to recruit tons of new people if you really want to be successful. If this sounds like something you would like to do, then Arbonne could be a great program for you.

Still, I want you to think about a few questions before you buy the starter kit and become a consultant. 

How will you convince people to buy expensive products when they can find much cheaper ones? How will you find new prospects over and over again? Do you have a passion for Arbonne products? Answering these questions will help you further when deciding whether you should join this program or not.

For most people, Arbonne business opportunity is not worth it. If you belong into that category, I recommend saving your time and looking for better opportunities.

If you are interested in working from home, you probably would like taking a look at my #1 recommendation for earning money online. It’s completely free to check out. Creating a free membership takes 10 seconds and you’ll get some cool resources right away. If you have any questions, you can always ask me in the comments below. I answer all of them personally.

What do you think about Arbonne and other similar MLM-opportunities?

Are you interested in working from home and becoming your own boss?

Let me know in the comments below!

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

By Roope Kiuttu

Hello! I am Roope "Robert" Kiuttu, the founder and owner of I created this website back in 2015 to help you to make money online. You can ask me anything and I'll be happy to help you out. I help people daily to make more money online and I love seeing people succeeding. If you want to get my 1-on-1 support and help to make money online as well, get started HERE.


  1. Even though Arbonne have been in business for over a decade, that a very huge number of years in business which most other MLM companies aren’t anywhere close to, it’s a good part on the company to show that they have something worth it to offer the public but thr the high cost of their products is not encouraging, it’s probably why their consultants are finding it difficult to make money from it.

      1. You are very correct about pointing out that lack of determination adds to no success in the project. In fact, all human endeavors require determination and persistence to succeed, nothing good comes easy and the moment one isn’t persistent enough and well determined to sacrifice one’s time, efforts and energy in the business, it’s definitely going to crumble.

  2. I want to share with you my response to another blogger who’s view about Arbonne was less than rounded. Considering you’re not a consultant, you don’t have access to the same information that I do.

    First, I am a consultant, yes. Second, I love Arbonne and am proud to be a member and consultant. Third, I’d love to help you get a more rounded perspective of a company that has been around for 40 years because in your attempt to provide an unbiased review, I feel like you are missing out on some pretty relevant information that is available to you (and it’s unbiased information).

    Your claim is that you need to recruit people to be successful. I was a corporate sales trainer and sales manager. Do you think that those jobs could be done without having people on your team? The answer is no. In corporate sales, one of our top priorities was to always keep our team staffed and constantly have a rotating portfolio of prospective hires in case someone leaves. What is the difference between that and Arbonne? As a sales manager, I made sales off of my teams sales. In Arbonne, I only make sales when products are sold. Sure, you can get bonuses for recruiting people or getting higher sales but in corporate sales, I got bonuses for getting higher sales on my team too. Again, what is the difference? The definition of a pyramid scheme is that the original recruiter gets paid by a fee when they recruit someone. I do not receive anything when someone is recruited. I don’t receive their sign up fee and they are not REQUIRED to purchase anything to join or have an inventory.

    You claim that the products are expensive. I would be curious to see what your comparisons have been. If you are comparing to drug store brands, then you are right. However, if you are comparing across the broad market and looking at everything from drugstore, to medium to high end, what you will find is that Arbonne prices are very comparable. Which leads me to my next point about getting what you pay for.

    Arbonne has a very strong product. Arbonne has 3rd party certifications and accreditation for being vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and more (this process to get legal and valid certiications is extremely expensive – thus another reason why the products are “pricier” than drugstore brands). This is extremely important when considering skincare and makeup. If you want crushed beetles, estrogen from pregnant horses and whale fat in your cosmetics, take a chance and buy non-vegan, cheaper products. If you want clean products (I have taken a lot of time to study the ingredients and do research), you’re better off buying vegan and clean, like Arbonne and other brands (which are are similarly priced). In most cases, you get what you pay for.

    If you’d like to have an open dialogue and get a more rounded perspective, I’m more than happy to spend the time doing so with you because it’s important to have a full picture of the company before throwing out a harsh review like this (public for people to see). NO company, corporate, small business or MLM is perfect. All have pros and cons. However, I do feel like you are doing the industry a disservice because you are missing some key information.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Stella,

      You have certainly good points.

      If we talk about recruiting and making money with it in Arbonne. How big role does it play in your opinion? Could somebody make a big income without recruiting new people to his/her downline if we are honest?

      I am just not a big fan of this kind of MLM-systems.

      I know that there are many kind people also who are involved with MLM-companies but personally I prefer doing something else. That’s why I can’t fully recommend MLM-systems like Arbonne for other people.

  3. It’s going to cost the poor soul who gets suckered in a lot of money for more “inventory”. How these companies profit is selling the product to people who on average pay a bunch, but never sell the majority of their second or third big purchase.

  4. From the looks of things, they offer good quality products which I believe that are very excellent and potent in taking care of the users body.

    But as much as I would desire to work with them, the high cost of there products is definitely going to make it almost impossible for one to succeed easily in there program, as it’s going to extremely difficult for one to make reasonable sales and meet his or her expected target.

    1. Yeah, there’s so-called “MLM-extra” in their prices. Usually MLM-products have something too much on their prices. They explain me that they are making bigger profits because they sell them for a more expensive price than others. Then I ask, “But do you care about the customer at all?”

  5. Arbonne is not the perfect job for me. I don’t plan to join them also. Maybe I try to find first some sites out there that pays me on what I do for them. I have my own reasons why I don’t like to join Arbonne.

    First is, I need to pay first the registration fee and I don’t like this kind of stuff. Second is, the renewal fee if you want to continue to be with them. Third is, the products of Arbonne are overpriced. Only few people can buy the products of Arbonne. It is hard to find customers who are willing to buy the products. So it’s a no for me.

  6. I can’t really tell the difference between this company and other similar to it selling natural and eco friendly skincare. The idea behind them is alright – everybody needs cosmetics and to take care of themselves and natural products are definitely popular, but the prices are too high for people to buy many products. If the company isn’t well-known I would rather pay 25 dollars for a product that is more popular.

    1. Yeah, there are so many MLM-programs in cosmetics and wellness industry that many of them really seem similar. They have also almost exactly similar marketing speeches about their systems. They show sports cars, mansions, holiday destinations and explain how you can live the life of your dreams.

      For people who want to be involved with MLM-systems it would be good to pick one or two and stick to them to become successful. With a great focus and persistence success is possible. Also, the Internet opens many new opportunities because you can effectively reach thousands of people. Then people may also consider several MLMs and market different MLMs for their email lists, for example.

  7. $79 registration is good enough to start but selling their products is hard. Like what in the review said their are lots of competition nowadays so no wonder why most of sellers are failing and regretting something what they have started. I know this is an opportunity but if you could only imagine about the prize you will definitely find some alternative ways to earn for living.

    1. Yes, it’s not easy to make big money with MLM-systems unlike their sales representatives always try to make you believe. It requires discipline, good habits, persistence and a strong character.

      In my opinion, Arbonne is not even one of the most interesting systems because there are several better alternatives out there.

  8. $75 for a palette? Wow, that pricing strategy is just outstanding. No wonder not many people are able to make money from this program. Because of how the prices are, you will find it extremely hard to then sell on to your customers which makes it almost impossible to make a profit. The only plus I can see is that their products are natural and green, but the problem is that there are probably products that can boost the same thing but at a much cheaper price.

    1. Yeah, the pricing is at least “interesting”. They probably say to their representatives that you will make more money because it’s much easier to sell 1 product for $75 than 10 products for $7,5.

      I like doing business as long as it provides great value for the client but ripping off other people like this isn’t my thing. That’s why I prefer sticking to other opportunities even though it would mean that I would earn a bit less for a while.

      It’s also true what you said. It can be challenging to sell these products because prices are so high. You need to find specific people who are interested in their niche and ready to pay a bit extra.

  9. These are products that despite their high end quality would be too hard to sell to normal folks. Yes, they offer organic skin care products, but as someone who strictly uses commodities such as these, I use Korean beauty products which pride themselves for being 100% natural too, but with an array of different brands where one can choose from and also offer affordable prices.

    Nowadays, organic products are becoming the trend in skin care industry and unlike before when this company was just starting out, they have too many competitions that I feel like if they don’t get those prices down, they would not be able to survive for too long.

    1. Yeah, the competition is tough. However, tough competition usually means that some people are making lots of money in that industry and there are huge opportunities. Beating the competition requires hard work and persistence and everyone aren’t willing to do that work.

      1. Yes, I agree. I’ve read in a magazine that the skin care industry is worth billions of money which I believe is why more and more companies get interested in venturing in this kind of business.

        That’s why I think that even though Arbonne has been in the market for quite a while if they don’t decrease their prices, not only will their product sales suffer, people might eventually lose interest in being members and selling their stuff.

        I guess companies survive for a long time if they have the ability to adapt and compete with both old and new competitors and adjust to what the majority of the population want and need.

  10. Arbonne might be a legit multi-level marketing firm that deals on wellness and skin products, but their pricing of those products is going to be a turnoff for those of us living in the not that wealthy part of Nigeria. If I can see those ready to buy such products in my city, then it is good to try. Although, it comes at expensives which will affect those starting out.

    1. Yes, pricing is a big factor. Another thing is that it’s good to pick one thing that you love and concentrate on that until you master it. I’ve seen people who try millions of MLM-programs. They always try a new one because they believe it will the answer for their financial needs. However, a better strategy to pick just one program and work your butt off with that and move up in the pyramid.

  11. I think as long there is a product to sell and everything is listed i mean legal then its all good. Like robert kiyosaki said’s that networking is a legit thing to do since he has seen people thrive in this kind of business model and there’s a lot of people that improved their lives thru this. So i think it will boil down to the question if you can sell it and make an adjustments to deliver what it takes or not.

    1. Hi Penslinger,

      I know also many people who have succeeded with network marketing. It’s possible to make big money with some of those systems especially if you leverage the power of the Internet. Acquiring prospects online can be extremely effective.

      There’s one MLM-opportunity that I’ve been considering for a while. I’m sure I could make quite good money with the system. However, the system itself is a bit suspicious. I think it’s created to provide more value for top-earners and founders than for the customers. That’s why I haven’t joined it even though it’s a promising money-making opportunity.

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