Hello! Welcome to my "Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?" review! (Updated for 2022)
For anyone out there who are trying their best to find a way to work from home, you have probably encountered Arbonne. Maybe you saw an advertisement about it. Or a friend probably introduced it to you and tried to recruit you!
Either way, we are going to discuss it in this review. What is it? How does it work? Will you earn money? Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? We will answer these questions right here, right now!
Are you ready? Well, without any further ado, let's get started.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme: Quick Summary
Name: Arbonne (Arbonne International)
Founder: Petter Mørck
Year founded: 1975 (Started in the U.S. in 1980)
Type: Health and Beauty MLM
Price to join: $79 for registration fee, $150 monthly auto-ship, $30 annual membership
What is Arbonne?
We shall begin this review by getting some background information about Arbonne. What is it?
Arbonne is a Multi-level Marketing company that is under the Health And Beauty industry. It was founded in 1975.
This MLM company offers a wide range of beauty and health products; from makeup to nutritional supplements.
In its website, Arbonne mission is to help transform lives through the use of pure botanically-based ingredients in the creation of scientifically tested products. It is basically a movement for having a healthy living, inside and out.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme: Owner
In 2018, Yves Rocher acquired Arbonne. However, the company was founded by Petter Mørck back in 1975.
In the year 1980, he moved to the United States and the company's headquarters is located in Irvine, California.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme: Products
Arbonne has a lot of health and beauty products. You can check it out in its website. In summary, its product line has 5 categories:
- Bath and body
In my point view, Arbonne is pretty similar to other healthy and beauty MLM companies. Furthermore, they offer the same kind of products. Some of these MLMs are the following:
However, what does make Arbonne unique and different from its competition. Of course, its flagship product.
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Arbonne Flagship Product
Arbonne's flagship product is the Arbonne Fizz Sticks. These are basically a supplement energy drink. You can get these for $55 with 30 sticks.
You can add it to either cold or hot water to create a tasty and nutritious beverage. Here are some of the benefits you can get.
- They give antioxidants
- Lessen fatigue
- Improve endurance
- Energy boost
The Arbonne Fizz Sticks are somewhat expensive ($55 for 30 sticks). Here are some comparisons to prove my point.
- The "fizz" that you get is actually from citric acid. However, you can buy this from Amazon just for $12 for 100 servings. Furthermore, you can just add stevia if you want flavor.
- Arbonne Fizz Sticks are just equivalent of half-cup coffee for the caffeine intake. Moreover, ginseng supplements are just like 5 cups of coffee. To add to that, they are natural. They cost $16 for 250 capsules!
But I looked at the Amazon ratings, it received quite a good one. You can also watch the video below to find out why Arbonne loves these sticks so much.
Where does Arbonne operate in?
Currently, Arbonne is continuing to expand its MLM company. For now, it operates in 7 countries.
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
How does Arbonne work?
Apart from offering products to people, Arbonne also has opportunities for anyone who want to earn money. How does it work?
Basically, Arbonne has "consultants" whose job is to market the products. They sell the products in order to earn commissions.
However, that is just a simple way of saying it. This explanation kind of look like it is a win-win situation. But the truth is that, ONLY THE OWNERS (ARBONNE) GETS TO BENEFIT.
I will explain later on why.
Can you make money with Arbonne?
To answer this question, I had to check Arbonne's precious income disclaimers. As you can see, 99% of the consultants earn less than $3,500 a year! Yes, I know that this disclosure is updated.
However, since I already know how MLMs work, I have to be honest with you, this is pretty much the case with this business model. Most people who are into MLMs are likely to lose money.
But to answer this question, yes you can earn money. Who knows? Maybe you will be one of the 1% who will earn more. But I highly suggest that you do not treat MLMs such as Arbonne, as a source of full-time income.
How to make money with Arbonne?
Arbonne follows the MLM business model. In MLMs, there are two ways to earn money.
- You sell the products and earn commissions
- You recruit people to join the MLM and earn a percentage of the commissions they make
Let me make this clear to you. You do not earn money directly by recruiting people. You will only receive a percentage of the commissions they earn.
This is commonly a way for some MLM companies to avoid being caught for being a pyramid scheme. We shall discuss more about this later on.
How much does it cost to join Arbonne?
If you have seen an ad or even on its website, it looks like it is very affordable and easy to become a consultant for Arbonne.
In fact, it is nothing compared to starting out a restaurant or other business.
To join, you must pay $79 for the registration fee. You will get a starter kit with some basic materials. Also, there is a $30 annual recurring fee.
This won't work without having any products, right? Since you will be selling them. With that, being a member, you can get discounted value packs that cost between $270 to $500. This includes a nice range of products that you can sell.
But that's not all... There are more things that you need to pay for.
Arbonne Monthly Cost
In my research, I found out that there is such thing called "Qualified Status.
To do this, you must reach at least 150 PQV (Personal Qualifying Volume). It is also in the compensation plan. So how much is this in terms of money? Well, Arbonne does not really make it simple and easy to disclose any information regarding this.
However, there are some YouTube videos of Arbonne consultants who set u pand auto-ship order. Moreover, I have found out this in my research. Basically, her order of $463.20 gave her 502 QV.
Arbonne Monthly PQV to stay active
Based on that information above, we can deduce that 150 PQV = approximately $150!
What does that mean? It simply means that in order for you to have the Qualified Status, you must spend at least $150 per month! With that, we can put this into perspective.
- $79 for registration fee
- $30 annual recurring fee
- $270 for the packages
- $150 x 12 months
All in all, your total costs in a year sums up to $2,179! If you do want to sell products only, you don't need to spend this much.
However, Arbonne recommends all consultants the auto-ship to stay active to participate in those management qualification programs.
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Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme: Compensation Plan
Over the years of reviewing MLM companies, I still can't figure out why most of their compensation plans are made to look so complicated.
So let me give a brief information on some key terms that you need to know.
After reading that, you will understand that there are 4 ways to earn money with Arbonne.
- Client commissions (35% for regular clients on SRP or 15% for preferred clients
- Overrides (commissions of the team you have made. This increases as you rank up)
- Cash bonuses (for personal and team sales)
- Mercedes-Benz Cash Bonus Program (hire a white Mercedes if you are a Vice President)
There are most stuff about the ranks. However, we should not go into detail, especially if you are still a beginner. If you do want to know, you can watch the video below or check out the compensation plan here.
Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?
This is a commonly asked question regarding Arbonne and other MLM products. But before we answer it, let's try to find out what a pyramid scheme is.
What is a pyramid scheme?
A pyramid scheme is a business model in which the only way to get paid is when you recruit people. There are no products involved.
It is illegal in most countries because it is almost impossible for everyone to earn money. The only ones who can benefit are the people at the top.
So, is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?
Obviously, Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme. You do not just recruit people into it to earn money. You can also earn commissions by selling products. Moreover, there are products involved!
But... even though it is an MLM, it is also possible to be a pyramid in disguise. Some MLM companies are too.
You will find out in a while if Arbonne is a pyramid in disguise or not. If you want to know more about pyramid schemes and how to spot it, you can watch the video below.
Is Arbonne a scam?
Another common question about Arbonne is this one. But no, Arbonne is not a scam. It has been operating for a long time already. If it was a scam, it have been shut down already.
Arbonne provides products and pays commission to the consultants for any products they sell and people they recruit.
However, it doesn't mean that if an opportunity is legit, it is the right one for you! This is because, like I said earlier, success is very rare with MLMs, especially Arbonne.
Success is rare with Arbonne and other MLMs
Did you know that research studies found out that between 73% and 99% of ALL MLM representatives or consultants lose money?
We also already discussed this earlier. 99% of the consultants earn less than $3500 per year. And how much yearly costs did we calculate? $2,179 or more!
Selling MLM products can be really hard; however, imagine selling products from a company that has been shown in negative light numerous of times. They have been mentioned in huge news outlets such as The Guardian and Daily Mail.
Plus, the scandals they were linked to were pretty horrifying.
Arbonne Cancer Scandal
This scandal was about a sales rep targeting a person with cancer. Kimberly Valleti, an Australian model, posted a photo on Instagram about her battle with stage 4 cervical cancer.
She received a message from a random person who happens to be an Arbonne sales representative. However, instead of receiving words of encouragement and sympathy, the sales rep tried to recruit Kimberly saying that she might be dying soon. You can read about the message below.
What a pretty horrifying and tone-deaf message to send to someone battling cancer. Kimberly tried contacting Arbonne to ask for an apology; however, Arbonne just released a general statement about how "appalled and saddened" they were by what happened.
You might think that would be the end of it; however, leaked audio recordings from an Arbonne group chat showed that an Arbonne RVP accused Kimberly of faking it all up and only doing it for "clout". Talk about being sorry.
In addition, more people stepped up with their own Arbonne horror stories. If selling Arbonne products are this hard that you have to target people going through a tough time, then maybe you should rethink your life choices.
Arbonne is no stranger to lawsuits. In 2009, they were sued by Lisa Wilson for denying her a job because of her disability. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The lawsuit ended in a settlement where Arbonne has to pay Lisa Wilson a $30,000 settlement. Furthermore, they have to implement anti-discrimination training and policies.
Arbonne has been sued twice for their products causing liver problems, which has resulted into liver failure and even a liver transplant. It has been shown that their '30-day Feeling Fit Kit's' have dangerous and defective characteristics and that Arbonne has failed to put warnings on their products.
In 2017, they were sued in Orange County Superior Court for being a pyramid scheme; however, it was dismissed in 2018.
Arbonne COVID-19 Scandal
Arbonne consultants have made donation drives of their own products to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a nice gesture to do; however, it was found out the the consultants was profiting off their "donations".
Instead of addressing the issue, the National Vice President of Arbonne stated in a leaked message that they should just let things blow over because apparently "Haters gonna hate". Arbonne seems to not take responsibility of any bad thing that their "consultants" do. However, they are more than happy to profit off their consultants.
Arbonne has also been sent a warning by the FTC about the health and earning claims their representatives was making in connection with COVID-19.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme : Pros
#1 Social Media Marketing skills
Every consultant of Arbonne gets to receive a "ready-made" website. With this, you can enhance your social media marketing skills as you use your website to promote and sell the products!
#2 Personal Development
Most MLM companies, including Arbonne encourage their consultants to work harder, transform their selves and improve their skills.
In fact, Arbonne had an even in Las Vegas to provide entertainment and training to its consultants. It really just looks like a huge party.
Furthermore, this trip is already paid for you once you reach a certain sales quota a year.
#3 Has a proven history
Arbonne has been operating in the United States since 1980. With that long years, it says something about the credibility of the company!
If ever Arbonne was a pyramid scheme or a scam, it would have been already shut down by the FTC a long time ago.
Moreover, Arbonne does not have much complaints in the past. In 2010, their former holding company, Natural Products Group LLC went bankrupt. That is just a slight concern.
Moreover, there were small lawsuits against them that are already resolved. We will talk about that in the next section.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme : Cons
#1 Hidden monthly costs
Like we discussed above, you need at least 150 PQV a month to stay active. If not, you will be removed from the commission structure, thus won't be making any money.
However, Arbonne has a solution to that; its Arbonne monthly Auto-Ship order.
So, what this means is that you make a standing order of $150 worth of products every month so that you maintain your active status.
Is that actually beneficial to you? Well, read that again. That's right. The main reason why Arbonne is making money is because of their CONSULTANTS! They are the company's biggest customers.
#2 Arbonne is actually a pyramid in disguise!
In 2017, Cynthia and Michael Dagnall sued Arbonne for being a pyramid scheme in disguise. Not just them, a couple of other people did the same thing too.
However, in 2018, this lawsuit was settled, sweeping out the lawsuit against Arbonne. Here is a screenshot of the Arbonne training.
If you read that whole thing, you will find out that Arbonne is telling you to recruit a lot of people. Together with the hidden truth about monthly costs, Arbonne looks like a pyramid scheme in disguise!
The only way for consultants to avoid losing money from the auto-ship program is to recruit people and earn commissions from the sales they make! See the pattern now? Sounds like a pyramid scheme already!
#3 The products are expensive
This is actually one of the main red flags of most MLM companies. If they sell products that are expensive when there are a lot of cheaper alternatives, there is something odd. Why is that?
It is because it means that the company typically pays its consultants to recruit rather than selling the products! With that, there is high chance of the company being a pyramid scheme in disguise.
Arbonne does not need to worry if people will buy their expensive products or not since there are cheaper alternatives. This is because their main source of income is of course, their consultants!
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#4 Only 1 in 256 consultants earn $18k or more every year
Like I said earlier, there is a very small chance of being successful with Arbonne and any MLM company.
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#5 Arbonne is on a downward trend
I check Arbonne's Google trend, and unfortunately, it is having a downward trend. It has been around for a lot of years, and sadly, it is losing a lot of people searching for it and actually interested in its products.
There are newer MLM companies that are still growing such as Farmasi. But for Arbonne, it is difficult to make sales and get customers when there are already a lot of cheaper products out there.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme: Verdict
To conclude this Arbonne review, it is time for my final verdict. Arbonne is legit company with a proven history. It does offer products too. If you do love health and beauty products, then you can try it out.
But I do not highly recommend you to depend on it as a full-time source of income. If you really trust that you can do excellently with it, who knows? Maybe you will be one the 1% who are successful.
If not, then you can always try out the best way to earn money online! Continue on the next section to find out how.
Thank you so much for reading my "Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?" review! If you have any comments, questions or experiences with Arbonne, feel free to share them below in the comments section!
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