This Arbonne review clears the air on whether Arbonne is a pyramid scheme-ish scam or a good business opportunity. There is a strong case for both arguments and this review discusses everything.
Arbonne in a nutshell
Did an Arbonne consultant invite you to a “home party” or did they already tell you how this company could help you increase your income quickly?
My ex-neighbours invited me to a party they were hosting and me being the curious cat that I am, I decided to do some digging into the company.
By the way, I did not attend the party. I did not have a few hours to make a long commute to the venue only to hear a bunch of jibberish or a presentation on products I’m not remotely interested in.
Congratulations on taking this wise step of looking into the company before joining. This review is intended to provide in-depth information on Arbonne, including the parts the consultants would not tell you. Then, you can make an informed decision on whether to join the company or not.
I understand that you may not want/need to sit through this long detailed review. To get an overview of the company without having to sit through the entire review, you can read the following bullet-form summary of some important things to know about the company:
- Arbonne is a real company that sells health and beauty-related products
- The company operates a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model
- To become a consultant of the company, you need to pay a $79 registration fee
- After 12 months, you will have to pay a $30 annual renewal fee
- In order to earn commissions, consultants must earn a minimum of 150 PQV each month
- To keep their status as consultants, they must accumulate a minimum of 1200 PQV within a 12-month period
- Consultants get a 35% discount on product purchases and keep profits made on retail sales
- Consultants do not have to keep inventory
- The average annual revenue of their active Independent Consultants is $788
- Based on the extent of training they offer, this is not a work-from-home opportunity.
Arbonne is one of the many MLM companies that operate within the Beauty niche. I have reviewed a lot of companies in this niche and have noticed most of them have the same problems: Overpriced products, auto-ship costs if the rep is unable to achieve a certain sales quota, low average earnings and lack of in-depth training on how to get leads to make sales to.
For me, the biggest problem is the lack of proper training because reps tend to lean towards the recruiting side of things when they are not able to make sales to regular customers. And reps selling by recruiting other reps almost always indicates a pyramid scheme.
Fortunately, my favourite system offers you in-depth training on how to get regular leads promoting absolutely anything you want, including Arbonne products. Did I mention it’s FREE to join too? 🙂
What is Arbonne?
Arbonne is an MLM-based company that sells beauty and nutritional products. It was founded in 1975.
The company went through bankruptcy in 2009.
Arbonne has a variety of products which fall into the following categories:
- Bath & Body
I have not tried the products and therefore I cannot tell if the products are great or not. What I can tell you are some of the issues I reckon you would run into if you decided to become an Arbonne consultant:
- Beauty and nutritional products are everywhere, including regular stores. Why should they purchase from you instead of going to a regular store?
- If somehow they wanted to purchase Arbonne’s products, why would they purchase from you or through your link when they could easily just head over to the website and purchase from there?
- Their products are too expensive. Good luck persuading a bunch of people to get a 30ml cream for $85 when they could get a 175ml cream for $5 at a regular store. Arbonne products are available on eBay by the way.
- You can bundle all the above issues into one grand issue – getting targeted leads to sell to. If you are able to solve the grand issue, you wouldn’t have to worry about the other ones.
Here is an eBay listing for Arbonne’s $85 cream…
Whenever I see these eBay listings, my first thought is how consultants are struggling to find leads to make face-to-face sales to. This is not a good sign for you as a prospective consultant.
The Business Opportunity
Based on training and resources the company gives you, you probably wouldn’t want to focus on the products if you want to make a killing in this business.
Like most MLMs, the real business opportunity lies in how many people you are able to recruit to become consultants of the company.
The cycle is typical: Start by hosting a party of family and friends in order to try and recruit them. For those that do sign up, you pray they get to recruit other people and so on. For those that do not sign up, you can hope they host a party at their place but they let you handle the presentation.
At these “parties”, you gather people to make sales and/or recruit. It is in the best interest of both the consultant and the host (if they are not the same) to invite as many people as possible to these parties. The more people that show up, the more likely it is to have more sales and recruitment.
Here are some of the problems I reckon you would face if you decided to actively recruit people into the company:
- How do you find people to recruit? When you’ve exhausted your friends and family, what next? To be successful in any business, you need a system of finding regular leads.
- There aren’t a lot of positive reviews about this company online. If people do their due diligence like you are doing now, you’re going to have some explaining to do.
- If they look online, they will also find that this company went through bankruptcy in 2009. This hardly looks encouraging to someone who is being sold an opportunity.
- To make a real income off this, you will have to recruit people and those people will have to recruit more people and so on. Every recruit in this cycle will go through the challenges in 1-3.
The common problem consultants will have with either selling products or recruiting people is the same: finding targeted people to promote to. Arbonne does not offer training on how to go about this.
Another thing you have to remember is the 150 PQV minimum requirement you have to meet each month. If you fail to achieve this minimum in sales or recruiting, you will have to purchase products worth that volume in order to remain a consultant.
Basically, if you are not equipped to start making sales or recruiting people off the bat, you will stop being a consultant of the company or you will have to pay money to remain a consultant.
The Compensation Plan
Instead of having me put the compensation plan in writing, I will just you hear an in-depth description from an Arbonne consultant in the video below.
**The person in the video is an Arbonne consultant and is obviously biased. I do NOT endorse the video. I’m sharing this solely for educational purposes.
Let’s skip past the semantics and talk a little bit about what’s going on:
- Your earnings and rank are dependent on the sales volume of your downline
- The attitude and participation of members in your downline is what determines your success or failure in this business
- Recruiting is necessary but not sufficient to make a killing in this business. To remain successful, you have to follow up on your downline and make sure they remain active consultants
- While you might know your own direct recruits, you might not know their own direct recruits personally. Therefore, your fate largely depends on people you might not know personally
- Each rank has its own minimum recruiting and PQV requirements a consultant much achieve to maintain their rank
- Since you are not taught how to get leads in person or to your website, most consultants would end up having to pay for products in order to maintain their PQV
- This implies you are paying to remain a consultant of the company, which is basically being exploited by Arbonne.
This is an image of the official Arbonne Income Disclosure Statement for 2017:
Here are a few things to note:
- Arbonne had an average of 227,400 independent consultants during 2017
- Of all these consultants, only 27,300 (12%) received any earnings from the company during the year. These are considered active consultants.
- This leaves 88% of all consultants that did not earn a single dime
- Every figure in this income disclosure statement is based on active consultants only
- Based on the figures on the above chart, 90% of all active consultants earn an average of less than $3,500 per year (less than $300 per month)
- This does not reflect any possible expenses incurred by the consultant
What I liked
- The company sells real products
- You can make your business web-based
- Compared to most MLMs, this business opportunity is cheap to join
- You wouldn’t have to purchase the products yourself if you are able to meet the minimum PQV
What I didn’t like
- The products are so darn expensive! This is terrible for any face-to-face marketer
- Customers could simply bypass consultants and purchase products directly from the company’s website
- There is no in-depth training on how to get leads
- Even though it is cheap to join, you will have to make extra investments in order to be successful as a consultant. You will need things like paid advertising, proper marketing training, etc.
- Without these investments, you may end up having to purchase products to match the PQV requirement due to not being able to make sales. This makes the opportunity expensive all of a sudden
- The income disclosure statement is deliberately scanty
- Abysmally low average earnings
How to Make Money as an Arbonne Consultant
I don’t recommend joining Arbonne but a consultant could make money if they knew what they were doing.
Leverage the power of the internet to boost your Arbonne business. I realize this might be beyond the scope of training you’ll receive as an Arbonne Consultant but this way gives you a good chance of being successful.
This single article gets over 5000 visitors in a month. So imagine a scenario where I was a strong believer in Arbonne products and the business opportunity. Wouldn’t that be enough to make money as an Arbonne Consultant?
The products might be hard to sell when you have to actively go out and seek people but the fact remains that there are people everywhere in the world willing to purchase these products, even at their absurd prices.
One important requirement is for you to truly believe in the quality and value of the products. You have to approach this from an angle of providing a solution to someone’s problem instead of looking for a way to make a lot of money.
Arbonne offers beauty and nutritional products. What kind of people are looking for these products? Why are they looking for these products?
A 25-year old lady looking to lose that last troublesome layer of belly fat might be interested in Arbonne’s nutritional products. An athlete who is looking to get in shape for an upcoming tournament might also be interested in these products.
Build a website and write useful information addressing the problem of this lady or athlete and recommend the Arbonne product you think is appropriate for them. When they purchase, you earn your commission. This useful information will get ranked on search engines and people who are actually searching for you will come and find you.
Plot twist! They are now coming to you instead of you going out to look for them. How much more convenient is that?
Notice how I only talked about the products? Well, if they click through to your Arbonne link and decide to become a consultant of the company, they will be added to your downline.
This process means you would be able to make sales and even recruit people out of the comfort of your home. No parties, no bugging family members, none of that stuff.
Another interesting perk of internet marketing is you actually own the business. Regardless of what happens to Arbonne, you will always have the website that you built. All you need to do is start recommending another product.
You might be wondering “Well, you’ve said a lot but where can I learn how to do all this?’. You can follow the exact same system that taught me how to do all this in the first place. The system is pretty easy to follow but I’ll be more than happy to help you if you need my help.
best second best thing about the system is you can promote just about any kind of product you want. If you don’t have a real interest in beauty or nutritional products, move on to something you actually love.
The best thing is it’s FREE to join.
I just might have given better training in this section for free than Arbonne would actually give you.
Here is a comment from an Arbonne consultant that I found…
Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme?
From a legal point of view, they are not. They sell real products and this is enough to keep them on the good side of the law until they publish figures to show that they make more money from consultants than they make from regular customers.
However, it could easily be argued that they are a pyramid scheme. Based on the marketing methods they preach, you are not going to have much luck selling these overpriced products. It becomes a recruiting game and when an opportunity becomes more about recruiting that it is about sales, it is a pyramid scheme.
You could have success with this company if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, Arbonne does not help you know what you are doing. You will have to learn that elsewhere.
Doing MLMs the traditional way leaves you with a very high chance of failure, mostly for reasons not down to you. Doing it through internet marketing gives you a much better chance of success.
If you would like to build your own successful online business without having to recruit or even leave the comfort of your home, you can check out the system that allows me do exactly that.
Product Name: Arbonne
Price: $79 registration fee + $30 per year renewal fee
Founder(s): Petter Mørck
Overall Ranking: 40/100