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.
In this 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 and I (Roope) have added my own notes to the article.
Type & Industry: Multi-Level Marketing. Wellness & Cosmetics.
Short Review: 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.
What is Arbonne?
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 Kay, Perfectly Posh, Thirty-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:
- Baby products
- Essential Oils
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.
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
- District Manager
- Executive District Manager
- Area Manager
- Executive Area Manager. Finally, if you sign up enough new people, you will become a
- 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:
ArbonneReviews & 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.
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?
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