I Joined a Multi-Level Marketing Company: My Experience with Arbonne

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This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain links to my Arbonne shop . If you make a purchase from my shop, I will make a small commission.

I never thought the day would come when I would decide to join a multi-level marketing program. I have received countless messages from pushy people telling me what a great opportunity I could have with Arbonne. Every time I would I roll my eyes, delete the messages, and move on with my life.

Flash forward to today when I received my Arbonne Welcome Kit in the mail. No, I’m not quitting my day job. Read on for what drew me to Arbonne and why I decided to take the plunge.

What is Arbonne?

Arbonne was founded in 1980 and is an international multi-level marketing company with headquarters in California. They sell a range of products, including makeup, skincare, and nutrition. All products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, contain no artificial flavours/sweeteners, and are free of a whole list of ingredients like phthalates and parabens. Arbonne is a certified B Corporation, which means they meet certain social sustainability and environmental performance standards. The company has a goal of becoming zero-waste by 2030.

Arbonne’s business model uses multi-level marketing. Every sales representative (called “Independent Consultants” in Arbonne-speak) makes a commission from any products that they sell. They can also have their own team of sales reps and earn a commission from the sales that those team members make.

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What drew me to Arbonne

I am going to focus on the Nutrition line, since that is what I have the most experience with and what got me hooked on the brand.

Recently I have become much pickier about the products I buy and who I buy them from. Especially if I am buying frequently, and especially if I am going to talk about it on the internet. On a basic level, I need things to taste good. Beyond that, I look for clean ingredients and also want the company I am buying from to make an effort to reduce waste.

I have been vegetarian since 2013, and in the last few years have leaned into a plant-based diet. Knowing that all of Arbonne’s products are certified vegan makes it so much easier for me to shop. They also have an extensive list of ingredients that are not found in any of their products – The NOT ALLOWED List™ . Some of these items seem a bit extraneous (good to know I will never find Clonazepam in any product, which is used for treating seizure disorders), but many of them are common allergens or may be linked to health. Better safe than sorry, right?

arbonnecycle envelope

As much as zero-waste is my goal as a consumer, I am also realistic. I was excited when I learned that the ArbonneCycle program had made its way to Canada. Most of Arbonne’s packaging can be put into your household recycling bin, but there are some components that can’t – that is where ArbonneCycle comes in. Arbonne will take back any hard-to-recycle pieces and turn them into new things, like park benches. You just have to order a free ArbonneCycle Recycling Envelope , stuff it with all of the eligible items you have, then ship it back to Arbonne using the pre-paid label included with the envelope.

Products I actually use

I use these two products every. single. day.

FeelFit Pea Protein Shake

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If you have ever tried vegan protein powder, you know just how real the struggle is to find one that is actually good . Most have an awful chalky texture and never seem to fully dissolve, and on top of that they tend to taste a bit like dirt. I have also come to realize that I just cannot stand the taste of sweeteners, from sucralose to stevia. I would find myself chugging protein shakes after workouts, just trying to get them down ASAP (not recommended, often would make me feel a bit sick).

Arbonne protein powders taste amazing. No joke. I use the vanilla flavour in my morning smoothies, and drink the chocolate flavour mixed in just water (can you believe it!). These protein powders contain cane sugar rather than stevia or other sweeteners. Initially I was hesitant about this (sugar in my protein? why?), but I had a light-bulb moment as a I realized that if it tasted good in its own, I could stop adding so many other things to my shake palatable.

BeWell Superfood Greens


Greens powders have become a safety-net product that I turn to every day. I am a firm believer that we can get all of our nutrients from eating whole foods, but I will be the first to admit that I am not always perfect when it comes to my diet. Adding a scoop of powder to my daily routine ensures that I am covering my bases when it comes to those important micronutrients.

Unfortunately, greens powders taste like dirt. I’ve tried a few brands, and usually have to go for a half-scoop in order to not taint the flavour of my smoothie. The BeWell Superfood Greens (previously called Arbonne Greens Balance) is the best I’ve tried. I won’t lie to you, it definitely has a grassy taste (unavoidable with all those green ingredients), but is overall not at all unpleasant. I add a whole scoop to my smoothie or my chocolate shake (in just water! I swear!) and it goes own easily.

Why I decided to become an Independent Consultant

Everyone involved with Arbonne will tell what an amazing business opportunity this can be. You can work from anywhere, set your own hours, and do as little or as much as you want to make your business grow (success, of course, +/- proportional to the amount of effort you put in). That’s not why I did it.

I did it for the discount.

Like I said, I use the protein powder and greens powder every day. My husband uses the protein powder every day. For two people, we are high-volume users of these products. I was already receiving a 20% discount as a “preferred client”, but as an Independent Consultant the discount jumps to 35%. All I had to do was pay a small fee to upgrade my account, which netted to zero when I factored in the additional discount on my first order. The decision was pretty easy for me.

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Is it worth it to become an Independent Consultant?

To me, it is worth it. That is why I did it. The math is not completely straightforward, but for anyone who is considering becoming an Independent Consultant for the same reason I did (i.e., the discount) I think it is worth going through the breakdown.

There are three types of customer with Arbonne:

Client – Regular clients who pay full retail price.

Preferred Client – Registered clients who receive a discount.

Independent Consultant – Sales reps

*QV = Qualifying Volume. Explained in more detail below.Note: All numbers applicable in Canada, but should be around the same in other countries.

*QV = Qualifying Volume. Explained in more detail below.

Note: All numbers applicable in Canada, but should be around the same in other countries.

The factors to consider are the discount, shipping, taxes, and the annual fee. To figure out how “worth it” this is, I did my calculations based on how much I would have to order as an Independent Consultant in order to get free shipping.


One of the things that gets confusing is these “QV” points, which stands for Qualifying Volume. These are points attached to every product and is not quite dollar-for-dollar the same as retail price or the discounted price – it is somewhere in between the two. The good news is that when you add an item to your shopping bag, you can see the retail price, discounted price, and QVs for each item (I love that transparency!). Since my main products are the protein powder (QV: 77) and the greens powder (QV: 52), I would have to order 4 of each to have 516 QV and therefore hit the minimum 500 QV for free shipping.

Here is the breakdown for the same order of 4 x Greens Balance and 4 x Protein Powder:

Price difference breakdown for the same order (4 x Greens Balance and 4 x Protein Powder), depending on type of client.

Price difference breakdown for the same order (4 x Greens Balance and 4 x Protein Powder), depending on type of client.

tl;dr if you are a repeat customer, you will save money as an Independent Consultant. I expect this order to last me 4-5 months, which means that in a year I will save at least $150. If I decided not do a big order like this, the shipping cost for an Independent Consultant is $9.95 which means it would still be worthwhile to have the larger discount after a couple orders.

Is Arbonne a scam?

It is not a scam.

If you did want to do this for the business opportunity (and not just for the discount), it is very easy to get started. You pay a small fee to get set up ($59, or $24 if you are already a preferred client), which covers your Welcome Kit, a personal website, and other online resources. The Welcome Kit includes the full product catalog and the Arbonne “SuccessPlan” which outlines all of the nuances of their multi-level marketing model. The investment is minimal and you do not have to carry your own stock. You do not even have to buy anything yourself (apart from the registration fee) if you are not interested in the product.

It is not a scam, but it takes effort to actually make any money. This is essentially a sales job, and your compensation is directly linked to how much you are able to sell, how many Independent Consultants you are able to recruit to your team, and how motivated your team of Independent Consultants are to make sales.


I will admit that I dismissed Arbonne for a long time. But once I actually tried (and liked) their products and dug deeper into the company values, I realized that it was a pretty good fit for me.

I became an Independent Consultant to benefit from the discount. I promise that, as always, I will only recommend products I actually like. Oh, and I will never send you unsolicited requests to join my team :).

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I Tried SmartSweets Candy: My Review (and Discount Code!)

Milestone run.

Shit you should care about

Cults, Cancer, and Covid-19: Welcome to Arbonne, hun!

“hey babe,” “hey hun”.

If you’re a woman and you’re on social media, you’ve probably already had the awkward experience of a long lost high school friend messaging you this on social media, followed by some sort of generic compliment about your life.

You begin thinking ‘this is kind of nice’ , but something doesn’t feel right… Has she been hacked? Is this a robot? And then bam! “I think you would be a perfect fit to join Arbonne!” (or any other multi-level-marketing scheme) quickly accompanied by a script about all its benefits. 

If this has happened to you, you aren’t alone. The internet is filled with horror stories of people being harassed by MLM (multi-level-marketing) reps, anti MLM pages, memes, and forums full of family members and friends asking how they can save their loved ones from the cult-like grips of a multi-level-marketing scheme.

During the times of Covid-19, it seems that the Arbonne “huns” are particularly active and MLM’s like Arbonne are having a resurgence. But what are they? And are they as bad as they feel? 

What is an MLM?

An MLM (multi-level-marketing) scheme uses its representatives or ‘consultants’ to sell products.

They use word-of-mouth to get consultants to bring on additional people who they then also turn into consultants.

By doing this they can distribute their product to a wider audience. Consultants earn monetary rewards for the sales made by their ‘downline’, or the people they recruited underneath them.


The structure of MLMs like Arbonne means that in addition to selling products, each consultant can earn money off of every sale made by the recruits below them, and they continue to earn more as they recruit more people, forming a kind of pyramid structure…  

Arbonne has been around for around 40 years and sells a wide variety of health and cosmetic products including those fizzy strawberry sticks that you might have seen a whole load of skinny white women crying over at Arbonne’s recent product launch. 

A report by the Federal Trade Commission looking at the business models of 350 MLMs (including Arbonne) found that 99 percent of people who join MLMs lose money. 74 percent of people in MLMs are women. 

So why do people, specifically women, join them? 

MLMs have been around for decades. They originally started by employing housewives to be sales consultants, as women had little opportunities to work outside the home. MLM reps had the unique advantage of being able to enter other women’s homes in the way that men couldn’t. It was easy for housewives to sell and market their merchandise via word of mouth as they could endorse products to their friends and inner circle. A lot of women found MLMs a great way to gain a sense of independence by having their own side income which would fit around childcare. 

MLMs appeal is also social. They allowed often isolated stay at home mothers to create a sense of community by hosting ‘parties’ and becoming friends with other consultants. You hear time and time again how women have made friends, found a community etc. 

Unfortunately, most don’t realise that this sense of community is built on manipulation and sales tactics. As the MLM system heavily relies on your social network of friends, consultants often pester their loved ones to become their clients, and unsurprisingly, this creates some obvious issues. In the end, many women end up losing friends due to the constant pressure to promote the products to everyone and anyone who will listen.

A slide from the Australian Arbonne Conference… culty

A slide from the Australian Arbonne Conference… culty

It’s a game of tactics

The structure of MLMs has not changed greatly in the last 100 years. Today they work in much the same way but instead of knocking on doors, consultants are sliding into people’s direct messages.  


Social media has drastically changed the way MLM’s operate and no doubt contributes to their current ‘success’. Consultants now use Instagram and Facebook to pressure friends, family members and complete strangers to buy their products or join their team. 

Arbonne posts buzz words on their social media and packaging like “empowerment, pure, natural, transparency, grow, family, amazing”. Consultants post photos posing with a white Mercedes they don’t own, boasting about how they made $10,000 today. They flash carefully curated expensive-looking lifestyles to make themselves appear more successful than they are so that other women will want to join them. The term “boss babe” is synonymous with female-driven MLMs like Arbonne , along with the typical recruitment slogans like “Work your own hours. Be your own boss. You can do this from home, from your phone! It requires as much energy as you want to put in”. 

Those higher up in the company consistently tell their downline consultants that when approaching prospective clients, no doesn’t mean no , it simply means try again later.  And consultants are advised in their online coaching sessions that if someone still doesn’t want to buy from you or join you then they’re not supportive of your business or your ‘journey’ and you’re better off without them. 

Religious affiliation?

If you watch Instagram stories by an Arbonne consultant about how to make money or succeed at life or how life-changing Arbonne is, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are preachers at an evangelical church. 

That’s probably because MLMs and conservative Christian religions are often closely linked . Amway, Mary Kay and Younique are all Christian based MLMs and if you take a look at the profiles of the consultants it seems most of the Arbonne women promote Jesus just as much as their chocolate protein shakes.  

One of the most prominent and successful of those women is Kiri Tamaki , the daughter of NZ’s money-hungry Destiny Church creators Brian and Hannah Tamaki. Kiri is an NVP (National Vice President) for Arbonne in Australia. 

In an obscene display of wealth, she posts photos on her Instagram page of her sitting in her (leased) Arbonne Mercedes (much like the one her parents pose with) with a Gucci bag on the console and a branded Arbonne drink in her hand.  Her Instagram stories detail how she makes her Arbonne shakes in the morning, then walk us through every curated Arbonne themed moment of her life. 

In one of her Instagram posts, she poses in a hot pink dress, perching on the roof of her leased white Arbonne Mercedes surrounded by palm trees and motorbikes. “This white Mercedes represents hundreds of lives being transformed through financial freedom, time freedom and personal growth! A phenomenal industry and incredible company giving me the vehicle and platform to connect with hundreds and thousands of people around the world.  Everywhere, every arena, every platform the sole of your feet tread, God has given you!! Know him and you will know the True You and be fearless enough, courageous enough and bold enough to walk through it!”

In another post, she states that she and her team made over $100,000 of sales in a month. She goes on to say, “Who’s here to work with me?… I’m here to breathe belief into you that you were destined for more, you have everything in you to fulfil a purposeful life and I can play a lil [sic] part in you believing that you can I am blessed to be a part of that! Come follow me!”


This bizarre hybrid of preaching and promising a dream life not only sounds like a religion determined to convert people, but it borders on cultish. And that’s exactly the vibe I got from Arbonne reps in my own experience with the company. 

My experience with Arbonne

A couple of weeks ago, I received a bizarre, overly friendly message from a stranger in my inbox making sure that I was okay during this “difficult time”. Feigning sympathy for me, she said that she had the intention of spreading love and light via social media. Immediately, something smelled fishy to me, so I clicked on her page and discovered she was an Arbonne consultant. I replied asking if her intention of messaging me was to convert me to Arbonne. She denied it and persisted in telling me that she was only messaging strangers to spread positivity. “Sure”, I said and ignored her as she continued to assure me of her genuineness. 

About a week later I received almost the exact same message word for word from a different Arbonne stranger. The proof was in the fizz sticks . Arbonne consultants were sending mass copy and pasted scripted messages under the guise of providing a listening ear for those who were suffering insurmountable hardships during Covid-19. 

I decided that this was a bit off, so I left a comment on the Arbonne Instagram page asking them to cease using Covid-19 as a conversation starter to attract people to their company. I immediately received several aggressive replies from Arbonne consultants, accusing me of wanting to “tear people down” and also received messages in my DMS telling me how I have “hurt them” by speaking out against the company. 

It quickly became apparent that consultants’ self-worth and identity have become so entwined with the culture of the company they find anyone speaking out against it to be personally targeting them…. And they got offended. 

About an hour later I received a deluge of abusive comments from an unidentifiable private account on my page calling me fat, ugly, unlovable etc. I couldn’t convince myself to believe that this was just a coincidence.  

But unfortunately, my weird experience with aggressive Arbonne consultants was golden compared to what Australian model Kimberly Valetti recently experienced. 

Targeting cancer victims

Kimberly is currently suffering from stage 4 cervical cancer. After posting a photo opening up about her battle, using the hashtag #fuckcancer on her Instagram page , she received a private message from an Arbonne sales rep. 

“Hey babe! So sorry to hear about your battle with cancer. Seeing as you might be dying soon I think it’s a really good idea to get involved with Arbonne as it’s such a good income and you won’t want to leave your son with nothing right??? That would be so selfish! The money you can make from it will be enough for him to go through school and Arbonne look after your family after you die. I think you have a lot of followers who will by our amazing products off you because they know you are dying so they feel sorry for you so its a really good marketing platform. Let me know your thoughts and when we can get this journey started! “ 

And then it got worse. After sharing the message on social media in outrage, Kim was then sent comments made by Katharina Cser an NZ Arbonne Regional Vice President (RVP) accusing her of faking her cancer. 

From Kim’s instagram highlights about the entire Arbonne saga.

From Kim’s instagram highlights about the entire Arbonne saga.

Kim sent several messages and emails to Arbonne asking for an apology, which were all largely ignored. Eventually, Arbonne released a statement:

“Recently it came to our attention that someone, who claimed to be an Arbonne Independent Consultant, contacted a member of the Instagram community with a hurtful and distasteful message. Arbonne has privately reached out directly to the impacted individual to let her know we are equally appalled and saddened by the messages she received and the hurt they caused. We have a strict code of conduct that prohibits and directs against such abhorrent behaviour. At this time, we are working with Instagram to identify the person(s) responsible for the message so that appropriate measures can be taken.”

Kim claimed that Arbonne had only contacted her once with a brief Instagram message saying that they would call, and they hadn’t. 

Sound recordings were then leaked from an Arbonne chat group where another Arbonne RVP accused Kim of sending the message to herself and said that Arbonne was claiming that she made it all up. She then went on to say that it was all a big scam and “it was from a person trying to get clout”. 

However, it was later revealed by another Arbonne consultant that the original person who sent Kim the message had been identified and was known for her unethical marketing tactics. Despite public outcry on their social media, Arbonne has yet to release an apology or publicly acknowledge the incident or any of their consultant’s comments. Instead, they have been deleting negative comments on social media and restricting accounts who criticize the company. 

After her story began to go viral, Kimberly said she had also received several messages from other people who had dealt with belligerent consultants feigning sympathy for cancer sufferers. 

She said that one that stuck out to her was about a man who got a tattoo of his mother on his arm and posted it with the hashtags #ripmum #fuckcancer 

“He then received 3 messages from independent consultants saying they noticed his post and were so sorry about his mum passing away. They then told him that signing up to Arbonne would be a gift and a blessing and that he would make his mum proud.

…it had been one week since his mum passed. He declined politely and said no. One of them then said ‘I’m sure your mum left you something in her will? It would be a great idea to invest that back into something as beautiful as Arbonne’”

And the stories don’t seem to stop… 

Only yesterday, when I thought that Arbonne was starting to chill.  I was forwarded a message sent to someone whose father was suffering from cancer . The message was sent by an Arbonne consultant in response to a public post asking for donations to her dad’s Givealittle page. It started with sympathy then went on to explain how she could use this “social marketing opportunity” to pay his medical bills and spend more time with him.  

Guess what? She had also used the hashtag #fuckcancer… 


On Twitter, others have begun venting their frustrations with Arbonne consultants. One woman shared a message she was sent just after her sister had died. In the message, an Arbonne consultant starts off with sympathy for her loss, then ends the message by asking if she wanted to purchase some fizzy sticks for $55 along with her bank account details.

Another person talks about how an Arbonne consultant brought and tried to sell fizzy sticks at her grandmother’s funeral.

It seems that cancer patients, Covid-19 and those who have lost loved ones are the targets-du-jour for Arbonne consultants. Fortunately, some consultants are starting to see through unethical marketing tactics and have started speaking out against the company.  

Seeing the light

From Arbonne’s Glassdoor page.

From Arbonne’s Glassdoor page.

On Glassdoor, a recruitment website where people can rate and review their employers, the site is full of complaints by disgruntled employees who had felt scammed by Arbonne. The company has a total score of 2.8 out of 5 for employee satisfaction. As a comparison, McDonald's has a score of 3.4. 

One of their most recent reviews titled “ Run from this cult as fast as you can ” stated: 

“They tell you which people to prey upon and what cues to look for. It’s sick and happens from day one. This is why I refused to work for them almost immediately after starting. They will tell you to stop speaking to family and friends, to leave your spouse or partner, just because they say they “don’t support you”. Arbonne is your REAL family now!! (can you say cult?) When the whole time, all these people are trying to do is to protect you from yourself, and you should listen to them. They want you to give everything to them in hopes of someday making money.”

When I asked questions on Arbonne’s Instagram page about how it works and the logistics of making money I wasn’t given any answers. Instead, I was called uneducated, and ignorant, and was accused of trying to tear people down. This seems to be a common theme in the retort from the consultants where obedience is encouraged and critique is silenced. 

Anyone who questions the company appears to be seen as the enemy and it’s not just outsiders that get this treatment. One woman I spoke to who was a current consultant and wished to remain anonymous because she didn’t want to be harassed said “I love the products but hate the sales tactics. Not all consultants are that way but some just make me sick. Anytime I question anything they get rude and ugly because I question… I argued the donations to healthcare works… I had so many hate messages and comments. “  

The “donations” to healthcare workers is another whole kettle of bad fish... 

Arbonne consultants had been organising donations of Arbonne products to donate to healthcare workers during the Covid-19 crisis. Which might sound sweet, if it weren’t for Arbonne and its consultants making a profit off the “donations”.

Again, when facing public backlash Arbonne consultants took a defensive stance and the company again, ignored the problem. A leaked message in an Arbonne group by National Vice President said; 

“We need to lay low on social media regarding this, do not post that you are raising money…do not post under any circumstances how much you have “raised” We all know our hearts are behind this but “haters gonna hate” and not everyone who follows you on social media wants you to succeed. Now more than ever people who have no purpose are looking for people to take down… especially if they are jealous of our success” 

Oh and also, in 2009 Arbonne was sued for refusing to hire a deaf person. 

Under any other normal circumstances, in any normal company, the people overseeing these wayward consultants would be taking responsibility for their employee's behaviour- but because Arbonne reps are not technically employees but “Independent Consultants”, Arbonne washes their hands of all responsibility while continuing to incite a toxic culture that puts profit before people. 

If it walks like a pyramid scheme and quacks like a pyramid scheme…


We must question why the women working for Arbonne feel the need to use such aggressive and unethical marketing tactics in the first place. Who is encouraging them to send these copy/paste scripted messages targeting vulnerable people? Who profits from such a toxic culture?

It’s hard to get exact figures on how many people succeed with Arbonne but a review by the website The Finance Guy showed that at least 88% of people who join Arbonne as a consultant earn nothing or lose money.

Another report by the talented ladies which was verified by mlm expert robert fitzpatrick showed that in the uk 99.6% of people earn less than a living wage with the company. .

Arbonne consultants claim that many people join the programme just for the discounts on the product - that’s why the numbers of income loss are so high.  But there is no evidence showing where the majority of the income comes from, no selling or profit numbers are disclosed. Do the sales come from outside customers or is it from the consultants themselves? It’s one of the questions that leads many to accuse Arbonne of being a pyramid scheme. 

According to Peter Vander Nat, a senior economist at the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) “an organization is deemed to be a pyramid scheme if the participants obtain their monetary benefits primarily from recruitment rather than the sale of goods and services to consumers”. A 2014 article in the European Journal of Marketing by Van Nat and William Keep defines the underlying theme of a pyramid scheme as "a money-transfer scheme in which the foreseen losses of the vast majority become winnings for a small minority at the top of the recruitment structure.”.

The company was sued in 2017 with a class action lawsuit, accused of being a pyramid scheme and a settlement was reached.

However, if anyone dares to call it a pyramid scheme Arbonne babes quickly retort “it’s not a pyramid scheme because I don’t make anything when I get people to sign up and you don’t have to do a monthly minimum spend.” Except neither of these things is entirely true.

Consultants receive a cash bonus when they get two or more people to sign up as consultants. Plus, they make money when their recruits sell something or buy products for themselves, therefore they are encouraged to recruit people to work below them so that they can get commission from their downline. 

And to collect this commission from those you recruit, you need to be earning a minimum 500 points (roughly $500NZD) a month to qualify. 

So, if consultants are converting all their best customers into consultants in order to receive residual income how do they keep up with the $500 sales each month? Those who can’t make their quota often end up buying the product themselves. At each level you move up the more minimum sales you have to make, so people can often end up spending $1000s a month just to make their target.  Arbonne’s best customers often end up being the consultants themselves. 


Another sign of a pyramid scheme is that the company requires you to invest a large amount to join. When registering to be an Independent Consultant Arbonne requires you to purchase a Welcome Kit package at $75NZD which has some samples and basic info about the company. Not bad. However, if you are wanting to sell the stuff you need to know what you are selling, so you have to purchase the products. Arbonne has a wide range of products stretching over skincare, nutrition and makeup and even with the 35% discount, none of them are cheap. For example, their Nourishing Facial Oil retails at $127NZD… that’s around $101 with the discount, so not exactly a cheap investment once you start adding those products up. If you were to purchase their business pack which the website claims will give you “an amazing opportunity to start trying and sharing our products” it would cost you $1,700NZD.  

On top of this, Arbonne adds to its catalogue yearly, so consultants would be expected to update their kit with new products too. From what I could find online, these kits with the latest products cost around $299USD. And if you think that their learning materials were free - well, you’re obviously crazy. Our anonymous source said it was $99USD for an online conference which was just people speaking about how successful they are. She said she has spent around $2100 USD on products alone. 

The probability of financial success

Mathematically, the probability of individual financial success declines as more people join MLMs. Why would a company encourage its individual “business investors” to create competition for themselves in an already heavily saturated market? That goes against any logical business model. 

Those at the top of the pyramid structure benefit, while those in the bottom tier end up losing money. Arbonne has an entire army of women working for free and they’re bringing individuals into the business knowing full well that they will probably fail. When consultants do inevitably fail, they’re often told it’s because they didn’t work hard enough while completely denying the structural faults and societal inequalities that have set them up for this failure. 

It seems the goal of Arbonne is clearly not to make consultants money, it’s to sell more Arbonne. And they don’t seem to care what moral or ethical issues get in their way.

If you’re privileged enough to have a couple of grand spare to invest and have a wealthy network of friends and family willing to buy overpriced products and get sucked into becoming consultants underneath you,  then maybe you’ll get lucky and be in the very small minority who earn money. 

But why would you start a job, either part-time or full time knowing that there was an almost 100% chance that you would walk away without payment?

Since writing this story, arbonne was issued with a stern warning letter from the ftc with regards to the health and earning claims that their consultants were making in relation to covid-19. .

Arbonne consultants have since been sent warnings by their uplines telling them to go dark on social media and not post anything about Arbonne. Stating “we need to be very cautious about what we are sharing right now”. Most Arbonne reps have changed their profiles to private , including Kiri Tamaki. Maybe we will get a break from the relentless, unscrupulous messages and claims that Arbonne will save the world?

Arbonne has still not publicly apologized or acknowledged any of the issues mentioned. Which means that new prospective consultants are unaware of all the shady shit going down right now. If you’re like me and find this irresponsible and unethical, there are a few ways we can help:

Complain! Let your voices be heard. Complain to Arbonne (not like they’ll listen), complain to the FTC, complain to your government, complain to your gran. Make their shady dealings be known far and wide.

Send this article to any Arbonne rep who tries to recruit you or sell to you. Their behaviour needs to be discouraged. 

Do not buy any of their products. There are plenty of comparable (or better) vegan products that actually are organic available locally. 

Remember the golden rule: Friends don’t let friends join MLMs. 

Ainsley Ds is a travel blogger and photographer. You can find her on instagram at @ainsleyabouththeworld .

This piece was originally published in April 2020.


But as you all know in this world, shit doesn’t come for free - so if you want to keep seeing this page grow & help us to spread the good shit, here’s your chance. If you can (and if you want to), feel free to “shout us a coffee” AKA donate a couple of bucks to a pretty bloody worthy cause.

Travelling Jezebel

Anti-MLM , Issues · May 23, 2020

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Business Opportunity? A Deep Dive Into Arbonne

If you’re under 30 and on social media, chances are you’ve come across Arbonne. The Arbonne MLM company is one of the most popular multi-level-marketing schemes in the world right now , and hundreds of thousands of young women are taking to Instagram and Facebook to promote this incredible ‘business opportunity,’ with promises of ‘financial freedom’ and being able to ‘be your own boss’ and ‘make money from your phone.’ Sound familiar? Many multi-level marketing companies like Arbonne use phrases like these in their sales pitches social media posts all the time, and it’s easy to see why – who wouldn’t want to own their own business, work from anywhere in the world and never have to worry about money? It sounds incredible. It also sounds too good to be true, and you know how the saying goes – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

BTW – make sure you stick around until the end of this post because I have a freebie to share with you!

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I have written before  about MLM schemes (if you are unsure of what multi-level marketing is then you should definitely check out that article out before this one) and why I believe that they are a crappy business model, but the most common question that I see online is ‘Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?’ (or whichever company they’re interested in) which is often met with defensiveness and frustration from people working in MLM schemes. With this in mind, I decided to do a deep dive into Arbonne, one of the most popular MLMs, in order to find out whether or not Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and just how much money you can make selling Arbonne. As I always say, this one will be a long one so I suggest you make a coffee (or pour yourself a glass of wine) and get stuck in.

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Business Opportunity? | A Deep Dive Into Arbonne

What is arbonne.

Before we dive in any further, let’s start by establishing what exactly Arbonne is. Arbonne International is a multi-level marketing company (also called network marketing) that sells cruelty-free beauty products . It was founded in Norway in 1975, but by 1980, Arbonne co-founder Petter Morck set up its international headquarters in Irvine California. Since 2018 it has been owned by worldwide health and beauty brand, Yves Rocher. Arbonne markets itself as a health and beauty company and sells products including makeup, nutritional supplements, haircare products and skincare. It claims that all of its products are totally vegan and use the best ingredients that money can buy. They say that these high quality ingredients are the reason why Arbonne products are so expensive (they actually have a section in their FAQ titled ‘Why is Arbonne so Expensive?’ which I find a little odd). Arbonne do not have brick and mortar stores selling their products. Instead, the products are sold online through their ‘distributors,’ who advertise on social media, using the products themselves and making videos showing off how well the product works.

arbonne hun

In addition to making commission from selling products , the distributors make money by recruiting others into the scheme . Every person that they recruit becomes part of their ‘downline’ (with the recruiter being known as the ‘upline’), and the distributor also receives bonuses for every person they recruit, as well as for every person that their downline recruits and every item that their downline sells. Thus, the more people you recruit, the more money you make as you begin to reap the benefits of the passive income generated by your downline. In theory your income source can just keep on expanding, the more people you have in your downline (hence, multi-level marketing). Popular MLM companies include Avon , Monat , Beachbody and It Works!

arbonne business model

What is a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits its members by taking an initial investment from them and promising to pay them for enrolling others into the scheme , rather than supplying investments or selling products. As members of the scheme increase, recruiting quickly becomes impossible and so most members are unable to profit from the scheme or even make their initial investment back. The Wikipedia diagram below illustrates just how unsustainable this business model is – after just a few levels of recruitment, the scheme would have recruited everybody on the planet and there would simply be no-one left to recruit!

Why are pyramid schemes bad?

Isn’t it obvious? Pyramid schemes are designed to benefit those at the top while making it impossible for those at the bottom to succeed. They sell people a dream, promising that ‘anyone can make it!’ even though statistically this is impossible. The more people ‘pay to play’ (invest money into the scheme), the richer those at the top of the pyramid get, while the others never end up making their initial investment back. You actually have better odds of making money gambling than you do investing money into a pyramid scheme. As a result, pyramid schemes are illegal.

pyramid scheme

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Let’s take a look.

Arbonne distributors often find themselves having to defend themselves against the accusation that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme. Many people who are anti-MLM like myself flippantly refer to ALL MLMs as pyramid schemes, provoking defensiveness and even anger from those in the companies. Now, I’m going to start by being petty and saying look – if you are constantly having to defend your company against claims that it is a pyramid scheme, it’s probably a pyramid scheme. I don’t know anyone in any other line of work that has to continually say ‘hey – my company isn’t a pyramid scheme!’ because, well, they aren’t trapped in pyramid schemes. But enough of the sass. Let me be serious. It is easy to look at Arbonne on a surface level say, well how can Arbonne be a pyramid scheme? First of all, pyramid schemes are illegal. And second, they sell products! Arbonne are just a beauty company who believe in a different way of marketing! Not so fast. While Arbonne’s rules may be carefully crafted to appear like a totally legit multi-level marketing company, it is possible that they may still be operating an illegal pyramid scheme in practice, exploiting loopholes in order to skirt around the law. When you are trying to figure out whether an MLM is a pyramid scheme in disguise, you should always follow the money.

is Arbonne a pyramid scheme

Investigating whether Arbonne is a pyramid scheme

How much money can you make with arbonne.

Arbonne reps often brag about their lavish lifestyles and ‘ financial freedom ,’ and the Arbonne website itself promises to give you the ‘freedom to live the life of your dreams’ and ‘your own successful business.’  However, is this really attainable with Arbonne? I had a look at Arbonne’s income disclosure statements to see for myself, and the numbers paint a pretty grim picture.

Arbonne in the UK

arbonne income disclosure

In 2018, Arbonne had 21,000 Independent Consultants in the UK but according to Arbonne themselves, only 12% of Arbonne Consultants each month earned any money from Arbonne. This means that out of 21,000 people, only 2,600 made ANY money with Arbonne. The income disclosure statement below shows only the 12% of Arbonne reps who made any money at all. These reps are known as ‘active consultants’ by Arbonne, but that term is misleading as it implies that the person is not actively trying to sell products and work rather than the truth, which is that this person probably is putting in the work but is not making any money. Let’s break these numbers down.

Now, these numbers alone are pretty shocking, but let’s dissect this even further. The 88% of people who made no money in Arbonne would have actually lost money because you have to pay to be an Arbonne consultant. Now, while most people would (quite rightly) say – ‘huh? You have to PAY to work? What the F?!’ Arbonne reps would point out that actually, they own their own small businesses and any small business owner has to invest money into their business.

mlm or business opportunity

Now, it may be true that small business owners invest money into their businesses, but not only do people working in an MLM do not own their own businesses , but only 39% of small businesses owners lose money compared to 88% of Arbonne reps. What’s more, according to the Office for National Statistics, a person aged 25 and over who works 37.5 hours a week on the New Living Wage will earn £265 a week after Income Tax and National Insurance. This means that only 88 Arbonne Consultants in the UK earned above the National Living Wage in 2018. 88 people. The other 99.6% of Arbonne reps either earnt less than the National Living Wage or actually lost money due to the amount that they invested in Arbonne (more on that later).

Arbonne in the US

arbonne income disclosure

In 2018, there were 174,385 Arbonne Consultants in the US.

Unfortunately, Arbonne has not provided full income disclosure statements from 2019 (I wonder why), but they did say ‘A typical Arbonne participant in the United States earned between $120 – $502 in 2019 in earnings and commissions.’ This is $2 – $10 per week , not taking into account any money that they have sunk into the business. You can read a more thorough analysis of Arbonne’s 2019 Income Disclosure Statement here. On their website, Arbonne feature testimonials from Arbonne consultants raving about how Arbonne has changed their lives and helped them build ‘global businesses.’ However, in the small print, Arbonne admits that ‘The Arbonne Independent Consultants featured have achieved the rank of Executive Area Manager, Regional Vice President or National Vice President.’  In other words, these success stories are from people who are part of the top 1% of all Arbonne reps. Not exactly representative of the experiences of 99% of reps, is it? Taking all this into account, perhaps the original question should really be ‘can you make money with Arbonne?’ rather than ‘ how much money can you make with Arbonne?’

Arbonne mlm

How much money does Arbonne cost to join?

As I mentioned above, the figures in the income disclosure statements do not take into account money spent by the consultant on expenses and products. In the small print they say ‘ These figures do not represent Arbonne Independent Consultants’ profits, as they do not consider expenses incurred by Arbonne Independent Consultants in the promotion of their businesses…’

So, how much does it cost to run your own Arbonne business work for Arbonne?

It is difficult to work out the exact costs of working for Arbonne because they tend to keep them hidden. I almost drove myself mad trying to figure out how much I’d need to initially invest to work for Arbonne. Arbonne say that the first thing you need to do is pay a registration fee of £30 and place an order of Arbonne products that totals 150 QV. This registration fee buys you a ‘Welcome Kit’ that includes a ‘Product Lookbook (presumably a catalogue of Arbonne products, which you can see for free on the website), Welcome Letter, Success Plan (this is Arbonne’s compensation plan which you can see for free online), a Discover Arbonne Brochure, Consultant Resource Guide and a Healthy Living Brochure. ’  Now, I don’t know about you but to me that seems like quite a lot of money for a product brochure and some pamphlets. As for how much 150 QV is, it remains a mystery. The general consensus online seems to be that 1 PQV point ( Personal Qualifying Value) is the equivalent of 1 USD. If PQV is the same as QV then, you’d need to spend 150 USD on Arbonne products in order to join. That said, I couldn’t find anywhere whether PQV equates to the same amount as QV, and even the PQV that I could find was only for Arbonne US. I couldn’t find  Arbonne UK figures anywhere. Ugh.

is Arbonne a pyramid scheme

Not only must you must create an Arbonne account (give Arbonne your contact details) before the price of the Welcome Kit is displayed, but even then , the amount of product that you must buy to reach the 150 QV target is not revealed.  I went as far as creating an account and filling up my basket but even then, I was not shown how much QV the products in my basket added up to – in order to see the final amount that I would have spent, plus shipping costs, I had to enter my card details – now, I didn’t do this of course but I’m including this just to show you that Arbonne are shady as hell and will do anything to keep their costs a secret. In fact, I didn’t even get to see the Terms and Conditions of shopping with Arbonne until I’d given them my email address and home address. Yikes. If you’re confused at this point then trust me, I FEEL YOU. The bottom line is that it seems impossible to find out how much money you must invest into Arbonne in order to be a distributor for the company. If all of that isn’t enough to put you off, then just know that your costs don’t end there.

anti mlm

You are encouraged to purchase ‘business tools’ such as sample kits and marketing packs. The prices for these are not listed anywhere on the Arbonne website but I did find an Arbonne US promotion online that said that the ’Share Arbonne’ pack (a pack containing catalogues and product samples) was 49 USD if purchased with the Welcome Kit and 56.90 USD if purchased separately. You are also given the option to add two ’Special Value’ packs at £170 each, a ‘Cosmetics Pack’ at £511 and a ‘Business Pack’ at £999. You do not get to see what these packs contain.

arbonne mlm

How much does it cost to run an Arbonne business?

So, we’ve established that the costs of even signing up to Arbonne can be pretty high, but of course that’s not all – this is an MLM of course. Something that any anti-MLMer will tell you is that the best customers of any MLM are the distributors. MLMs manage to avoid being identified as pyramid schemes because they sell products.  HOWEVER. Who is buying the products? Is it the general public, or is it the distributors themselves? With Arbonne, every consultant must spend a certain amount of money on Arbonne products every month in order to ‘remain active’ and earn any commission. In other words, you pay to play.

pyramid scheme

Sure, you don’t HAVE to buy the products. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head. But if you don’t spend the allotted amount of cash on Arbonne each month, you will not be eligible for any commission from your sales , and so you will be working for free. And how much is this minimum amount? Well my friend, I’m glad you asked! In order to remain active with Arbonne, you will need to generate 150 PQV worth of product with your Arbonne account each month. PQV is basically a points system, and in the US, for every $1 you directly spend on Arbonne products, you will earn 1 PQV. Thus, you need to spend $150 on Arbonne products every month to earn any commission on sales you make.  You can even set up a standing order of $150 per month to ensure you keep your active status. I’m not sure that I know anyone who spends $150 per month on beauty products. While I’m sure that those people do exist (and it is very possible to spend so much money if the products you buy are as expensive as Arbonne products!), it certainly isn’t the norm to be spending that much. This answers the above question then – Arbonne’s biggest customer is their own distributors! Now, there is a way to reduce your spends – by signing people up. 


For every person that you sign up underneath you, their purchases also count towards your PQV.  If you don’t manage to recruit anyone into your downline then tough cookie Karen, you’re going to need to flash that cash.  This is also another sneaky loophole that Arbonne exploit – pyramid schemes pay people to recruit others. Arbonne gives you ‘cash bonuses’ and increases your commission.  You also get promoted by recruiting others. Not a DIRECT cash reward, but definitely a financial incentive to focus on recruitment rather than selling shampoo.  So, while it isn’t technically doing pyramid schemy stuff, it’s also definitely doing pyramid schemy stuff if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.


Living the Arbonne life

In addition to the required amount that you HAVE to spend to remain active in Arbonne, there is also a whole lot of money that you are ‘encouraged’ to spend.  Arbonne encourages all of its consultants to ‘live the Arbonne life.’  This means use Arbonne products, showing your audience how great your Arbonne makeup is, how energised you feel using the Arbonne ‘fizz sticks,’ how your morning skincare routine looks when using all of your Arbonne products etc. Your upline will encourage you to make Instagram or TikTok videos of you using the products, and from a marketing perspective, this makes sense – social media influencers sell products by showing themselves using the product. Celebrities get paid millions to endorse products because if we see someone we know and trust recommending something, we are more likely to buy it. The catch is that influencers, brand ambassadors etc. actually GET PAID to do all of this AND THEY ARE NOT PAYING FOR THE PRODUCT.  Arbonne Consultants must purchase the products in order to advertise them and ‘maybe’ earn some money. I cannot roll my eyes enough at this – what person in their right mind would do this?! 


You should also know that Arbonne products are not cheap. An Arbonne eyeshadow pallet retails for £50. A can of hairspray costs £24.  Of course, Arbonne reps get a discount (35%) on any products that they buy, but when the markups are so high, are they really getting a discount or are they still paying over the odds for what many reviews claim is a mediocre product? In fact, Arbonne actually tells its reps not to go bankrupt (gee, how generous), but to ’spend enough that you feel uncomfortable’ which they say will be a great motivation to work and earn your money back. The technical term for this is the sunk cost fallacy. This means that the more money you sink into something, the longer you are likely to stick with it to make it worth your while. This roughly translates to:  ‘I can’t quit now – I’ve spent so much time and money building my business!’ And this is how they get you. The more money you invest in Arbonne, the longer you stick around, investing more time and money and so on.  It’s an endless cycle.

is arbonne a pyramid scheme

Earnings vs. Investment

Remember earlier when I outlined the shocking lack of earnings for Arbonne Consultants?  Do you remember how, in 2018, 83% of Arbonne Consultants earned nothing and 11.4% earned $839 for the entire year? Let’s take a look at those people who were actually earning anything with Arbonne. If we take the minimum amount that an Arbonne Consultant has to spend each month in order to earn any commission from their sales, we get the following: 150 per month X 12 months = 1800 So, therefore every Arbonne Consultant must spend AT LEAST $1800 per year to make any money. So then, the largest percentage of people who ‘earned’ ANYTHING with Arbonne (Independent Consultants) made an average of $839 for the year. 839 – 1800 = – 961 So these ‘earnings’ are actually a LOSS. The people in the bottom of the chart did not MAKE A PROFIT of $839. They LOST $961. District Managers earned an average of $3851 in the year 2018. With the above maths, 3851 – 1800 = 2051, so 4.1% of active consultants earned $2051 in a year or $171 per month.

Don’t forget that NONE of these take into account additional expenses such as:

You get the gist.

arbonne mlm

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme in disguise?

The number one argument made by people in MLMs against pyramid scheme accusations are ‘but pyramid schemes are illegal! My MLM would have been shut down by now if it was a pyramid scheme!’ And yes. Pyramid schemes are illegal. However, what many MLMs manage to do is to carefully word their terms and conditions in a way that skirts around legal loopholes. They end up functioning as a pyramid scheme and either evading the law entirely, or bamboozling people for long enough that they can avoid running into lawsuits. In order to work out whether or not I believe that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme in disguise (I don’t want to get sued so I must stress that all of this is my opinion), I am going to try and answer four questions: How do you make money with Arbonne? (Is there a focus on recruitment?) If the answer is yes then Arbonne meets one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme. Do you have to pay to work for Arbonne? If the answer is yes then Arbonne meets one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme. Does Arbonne use loopholes that allow it to function as a pyramid scheme? If so, what are they? The answer to this will be my opinion based on the research that I have conducted. Has Arbonne ever faced legal issues related to this issue? Self-explanatory. So, let’s dive in.

 How do you make money with Arbonne?

The main thing that sets pyramid schemes apart from ‘legitimate MLMs’ (I have doubts as to whether any MLM can be legitimate but that’s another story), is the product. This dates all the way back to the 1979 case of Amway vs the FTC. After 4 long years in court, Amway was found to be operating a legal business rather than a pyramid scheme. This ruling came down to technicalities in some of the wording in Amway’s paperwork, which has come to be known as the 70/30 rule. The 70/30 rule means that 70% of a company’s profits must be made through retail sales of a product selling rather than recruitment . If the scale is tipped then the company could be accused of being a pyramid scheme. This means that as the company’s focus is not purely recruitment, they can flirt with the idea of being a pyramid scheme without ending up in any legal trouble. A big focus with Arbonne is definitely on recruitment, or on signing people up to the ‘Arbonne life.’ This video by Emily Leah shows two Arbonne babes bragging about how ‘people think we sell makeup – have you guys ever seen us sell makeup? Has anyone ever bought any makeup from us? Probably hardly anyone.’ They go on to say ‘you guys CAN buy products, it is [sic] there as a second income stream […] but what we do is bring people in, share a business concept and mentor people in their business. We’re business mentors basically.’ If this isn’t admitting to being a part of a pyramid scheme, I don’t know what is.


Arbonne reps get huge bonuses and promotions from recruiting other people to join their downline , and the more people they recruit, the more passive income they stand to make. If you can get a one-time commission from someone buying a lipstick from you or a lifetime of commission from another person’s sales (and recruits), it’s a no-brainer. Why would you even bother selling products when selling the ‘business opportunity’ is so much more lucrative? Now. That isn’t to say that Arbonne reps don’t sell products at all. You can make money selling Arbonne products to the general public. Whether or not you choose to is up to you.  Arbonne does not release any of its data as to how much of its profits are derived from selling products to the public , and so we cannot say definitively how they square up on the 70/30 scale as far as retail sales are concerned. What we can say is that if every Arbonne consultant is spending at least $150 per month on product, it is highly likely that it is the consultants themselves and not the public, who are Arbonne’s main customers. However, a company cannot worm its way out of pyramid scheme allegations by pointing out that it does still sell products, even if they are to its own distributors. You must be making 70% of your profit from retail sales to the general public, NOT interior sales from your workforce. But ah! Arbonne doesn’t have a workforce – they have independent contractors who are not ‘employed’ by Arbonne. I don’t know about you but this certainly sounds like a loophole to me… It sounds like Arbonne likely does make the bulk of its income from sales…to its independent contractors. Sneaky, sneaky. So, Arbonne has met one of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.

mlm or pyramid scheme

Do you have to pay to work for Arbonne?

YES, YES, and YES again for anyone at the back. You have to pay well over a thousand dollars every year to work for Arbonne. What other job actually makes you pay to go to work?!  Even a salesperson who works only on commission is not paying to go to work. Sure, if they don’t sell anything then they don’t MAKE money, but they aren’t losing money.  A car salesperson doesn’t have to purchase a certain amount of cars each year to be allowed to sell cars!  If you’re keeping count, this means that Arbonne has met two of the criteria for being a pyramid scheme.

arbonne meme

Does Arbonne use loopholes that allow it to function as a pyramid scheme? If so, what are they?

I cannot say with absolute certainty that Arbonne exploits legal loopholes in order to function as a pyramid scheme in disguise. I am not a lawyer. HOWEVER. Do I believe that Arbonne use loopholes in order to get around being labelled a pyramid scheme? Yes, I do. Here’s why: Loophole #1 MLMs have to make the majority of their profits based on retail sales to the general public. This does not include sales to people employed by the company. If Arbonne employed its distributors, chances are we would see that the majority of product sales are going to Arbonne distributors, not Becky Smith from down the street. However, Arbonne distributors are not employees of Arbonne – they are independent contractors. This means that in the eyes of the law, they are not working FOR Arbonne, and can thus be considered members of the public when looking at product sales. Loophole #2 Loophole #2 – MLMs have to show that they do not have a ‘recruitment focus.’ If Arbonne were directly paying distributors to recruit then we would probably see exactly that they do indeed have a recruitment focuses. What they actually do is give their reps ‘bonuses’ and promotions instead. Hmm… There are probably more intricate loopholes that Arbonne is exploiting but you see what I am trying to say. Just because something cannot technically and legally be defined as a pyramid scheme doesn’t mean that it isn’t operating in exactly the same way as a pyramid scheme does in practice.

pyramid scheme

Has Arbonne ever faced legal issues related to this issue?

Yes.  In May 2017, Cynthia and Michael Dagnall raised a lawsuit against Arbonne in the Orange County Superior Court. They alleged that the company was an illegal pyramid scheme. Part of the lawsuit stated that ‘ Arbonne requires them to purchase start-up packages and pay annual dues, and the Arbonne system makes it a virtual necessity that the distributors purchase Arbonne products– lots of them. In return, the Consultants receive the right to receive compensation based in primary part on their recruitment of new Consultants (who pay fees, pay dues, and purchase product). Just like a classic pyramid scheme, the more new Consultants a Consultant brings in the Arbonne program (and the more payments those new Consultants make), the more money a Consultant can make.’ In  the end, a settlement was reached and so the lawsuit was dropped.  This doesn’t mean that Arbonne was found not to be a pyramid scheme. It means that Arbonne paid money to the couple to get them to drop the case. Similar to how other totally innocent people like R Kelly and Harvey Weinstein reach settlements with their accusers…

r kelly meme

In April of 2020, Arbonne also came under fire from the FTC, who spoke directly to them, saying ‘Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff has reviewed social media posts made by Arbonne International, LLC, (“Arbonne”) business opportunity participants or representatives that unlawfully advertise that certain products treat or prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) and misrepresent that consumers who become Arbonne business opportunity participants are likely to earn substantial income.’ So ignoring the fact that Arbonne reps are claiming that Arbonne can treat Coronavirus (wow…just…wow), what the FTC is saying is that Arbonne representatives are making false claims that people are likely to earn a substantial income with Arbonne when, in fact, they are not.  The FTC goes on to say that ‘Express and implied earnings claims must be truthful and non-misleading to avoid being deceptive, which means that claims about the potential to achieve a wealthy lifestyle, career-level income, or significant income are false or misleading if business opportunity participants generally do not achieve such results.’  This isn’t regarding whether or not Arbonne is a pyramid scheme, but it is definitely food for thought if, for some unknown reason, you are still considering signing up with Arbonne.

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Final thoughts

I think it’s pretty clear what my feelings are regarding whether Arbonne is a pyramid scheme or not. Do I think that Arbonne meets the legal definition of a pyramid scheme and could be closed down by the FTC?  No, I do not.  Do I think that Arbonne is still functioning as a pyramid scheme by the manipulation of legal loopholes?  YES, without a shadow of a doubt.  Do I think that eventually the law will catch up to companies that are using these loopholes?  Yes, yes I do. While Arbonne at present are not an illegal pyramid scheme, I firmly believe that the FTC and other relevant authorities are catching onto their tricks quickly and that the day will come when the law is changed so that companies such as Arbonne are no longer able to do what they are doing. I believe that Arbonne’s days are numbered, and that if anybody is working for Arbonne and feeling smug that they are not part of an illegal pyramid scheme, know that you will not be feeling so smug forever.  Lastly, and perhaps the only question we need to be asking ourselves – is Arbonne ethical? Arbonne may well be operating under the law right now, but that doesn’t mean that it is an ethical business model. After all, if you knew that less than 1% of people would generate a real income, would you still feel comfortable selling Arbonne as a ‘business opportunity’ and recruiting them? My guess is that no. You wouldn’t.  

An alternative to joining Arbonne

So then, how the hell do you make passive income online?! Well, a much more viable alternative to network marketing is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is very similar to network marketing, but unlike multi-level marketing, you actually stand a chance at making a substantial amount of money from the comfort of your own home! Just like multi-level marketing, affiliate marketing involves promoting products you love and making a commission every time you make a sale. However, unlike MLM, there are no monthly quotas, no sign-up fees, no recruitment involved, and most importantly, the money that YOU earn will be going straight into your pocket, NOT trickling up the pyramid. You can learn more about affiliate marketing here.

Affordable Affiliate Marketing Courses

If affiliate marketing sounds like something you’re interested in then look no further, because I rounded up some of the best introductions to making an income with affiliate marketing on the web. Below are a few recommendations of courses and other tools that may be useful if you want to build a blog, grow your social media account and make money with affiliate marketing. The best bit is that if you use my discount code to sign up, you can save as much as 70% , meaning that you getting all of the material at a fraction of the price! Here are my picks for the best affiliate marketing courses. Affiliate Marketing Diploma – This Centre of Excellence course will teach you all you need to know to get started with affiliate marketing and build your own successful affiliate marketing business. The usual price is £147, but if you use code TRAVELLINGJEZEBEL466 you will get 70% off! Blogging Business Diploma Course – This is another Centre of Excellence course that will help you turn your blog into a business. This course is usually £127 but you can get 70% off using the code TRAVELLINGJEZEBEL466. Travel Blog Prosperity – This is a fantastic selection of blogging courses that you pay for monthly access to, with new material being added all the time. You can get your first month for only $9 (usual price $59.29) when you use code JEZEBEL.  Social Media Marketing Diploma Course – Want to create a successful affiliate marketing business using only the power of social media? Turn your socials into money with this course. It is usually priced at £127 but you can get 70% off with code TRAVELLINGJEZEBEL466.

Blogging Tools You May Find Useful

If you decide that you want to start a blog and attract customers that way, you may find the following tools useful. GoDaddy – I used GoDaddy to buy all of my domain names (website names). I’ve been with them for years and I love their low cost and user-friendly interface. You can get 30% off GoDaddy with this link. Ezoic – An ad network that will enable you to make money based on how many people visit your website (even if they don’t click on your affiliate links!). There is no minimum traffic requirement to sign up, so you can start running ads and making money on your website from the very beginning. Ezoic is free to join. Siteground – This is a great web hosting company. They offer so much to their publishers, including a free business email address, site speed tools, caching tools and 24/7 customer support.  Hostinger – This is another web hosting company. Hostinger is more affordable than Siteground, but still offers excellent features and is perfect for new bloggers. Bluehost – This is another popular hosting company favoured by many new bloggers. Mailchimp – Having a mailing list is invaluable as it is a direct way to contact your biggest fans and let them know about your favourite products! Mailchimp is free up to your first 2000 subscribers. 17th Avenue – 17th Avenue is where the website theme for Travelling Jezebel is from.  Keysearch – if you want to be a successful blogger, you need to learn SEO, and if you’re learning SEO, you need a paid keyword research tool. Keysearch is by far the cheapest on the market for the quality service it provides. Get 20% off your Keysearch subscription with code KSDISC.

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secret sister pyramid scheme

May 24, 2020 at 7:31 pm


I would never have been interested in joining something like this even before reading this. What I probably would have done is buy some product from some poor backpacker trying to make some money from selling this stuff. After reading this, I would never buy anything from that company no matter who is selling it because would’t want to help fund and encourage the brain washing. I probably would wonder too if I should try to talk sense into the girl selling the stuff but like all other situations where I see some backpacker doing something very unadvisable I would wonder if I would be listened to at all. Fairly recently I was called a gossip for trying to warn somebody about something and told that it only happened to me because somebody didn’t like me. I know for a fact it happened to a lot of people. That had the emotional impact of being kicked in the stomach. Sticking your head up to tell the truth sure leaves a person vulnerable. It is very courageous of you and others who write protest articles like this and put them online.

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July 8, 2020 at 2:28 pm

I totally agree Melissa, often you are met with hate for trying to warn people. I am not hating on people who are part of MLMs in this post – I am just trying to give them the facts so that they can get out before losing any more money, or better yet, not sign up at all!

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December 20, 2020 at 8:28 am

Many things you have stated in this article and false. I have made $15000 CAD since starting my Arbonne business 8 months ago. There are no monthly minimums that you need to spend yourself, if you sell 3 $50 CAD items a month to other people that is all your min PQV is to be paid commissions. You also DO NOT get paid when you recruit someone. You clarified that alter in your article, but at first you make it sound that way. Arbonne does not make any claims that their products help with covid – like others stated, that was individual consultant who were tapped on the wrist because of it. Bottom line is many sign up as “consultants” to receive a better discount when buying items, and never have the intention of ending the business. That is why there is only 12 % working consultants. They are only spending $59 CAD to save 35% year round on products, and for many who are purchasing lots of product it’s just better than paying full price. Not impressed by all the false info you have provided here.

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December 29, 2020 at 6:52 am

That is simply not true. I have several Arbonne reps on my social media and they all claim several of the products help with covid-related problems. Maybe they are more careful to say “building back up your immunity” or good “for calming down during this crazy year” or to “protect yourself and your loved ones” but they are absolutely referring to Covid. I won’t rat out the individuals, but I know as a whole the company is being sued by multiple people, you can look it up anywhere.

January 8, 2021 at 4:07 pm

Amen to this.

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February 26, 2021 at 5:20 am

Maybe you should rethink the people you follow in social media as we are told daily that nothing should be referred to as any kind of help for COVID, and to any sane person that claim would seem absurd.

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November 14, 2022 at 11:41 pm

Thank you! You’re so right. This isn’t 100% accurate with arbonne at all. People think this is some scam and it’s like no you get what you put into it. If the person recruits you makes it sound like there’s some magic want to make money then that’s not a good coach. If you work at it and sell products you make money just like any other retail position with commission except you can work it from your phone which is awesome. PLUS like you said, no monthly mínimums and i never had to buy a start up kit. It’s encouraged to buy the products because they’re great but nothing is ever mandatory and no monthly minimums.

When I was a realtor I HAD to pay monthly fees despite income AND give away a portion of my commission to my brokerage to hold my license there. This is normal in real estate but nobody is out there saying realtors are in a scam type business because it’s “normal”

Plus in arbonne we NEVER take anyones commissions. Arbonne pays us from their profits and consultants from their profits. Do we benefit growing a team? Sure. But I also worked for a cooperation that had a business development team and the more reps they had sell business and bring on accounts, the better the company did and the more the CEO made.

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June 1, 2020 at 8:27 pm

This is an excellent, thorough, and balanced account of an unethical business model. Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive account – I only hope it is as far-reaching as the constant, awful social media posts that aim to prey on people’s supposed ‘friends’.

June 1, 2020 at 11:38 pm

Thank you so much! I put a lot of work into this one so your comment means a lot! 🙂

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December 11, 2020 at 7:16 pm

Well done on your research and analysis of the typical MLM structure. This brings the BS all back to me with my own experience in my younger days when I was conned into being a consultant for a MLM company selling perfumes.. I was sickened by the number of people I roped in because of my passion and enthusiasm trying to make it to the top to win the world trip and live like the successful images they flashed you in every meeting, the so called “top liners or up liners” that had made it, standing next to their Lamborghini in some far away luxurious resort that most could only dream about while “I”, according to my up liners was reaching the door of Sublime heavenly rewards and that I had a responsibility to encourage my down liners to come with me by buying more, expanding my and their teams,tell all their mothers friends, grandmothers.. The list went on.. And yes, I spent way more than I care to admit cos I was nearly there.. And I lost friends and nearly my own values.. Well done on putting this out there for the naive unsuspecting “victims” who will never know they are until they are done like a dinner making the people at the top wealthier, cos that’s all we did. Finally, I have had the opportunity to vent my own experience.. Thank you,

December 15, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Thank you so much! Really interesting insight.

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June 2, 2020 at 4:45 am

So well done and SO true. Companies like this are totally unethical. They trick young women into dumping a bunch of money into a fake business with no promise of returns. I also found it interesting that at a certain level you can get a Mercedes. I read the contract, and actually you don’t just get a brand new car. They make you apply for the lease (has to be a new Mercedes brand) and if you continue to make number above that threshold then they will take care of your monthly payment. So if you dip below one month, you’re stuck with the hefty payment of a luxury car. And if you quit Arbonne, you’re still stuck with it. So really it’s another sunk cost tactic to imprison people into their scheme.

June 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Yeah, I was horrified when I heard about the Mercedes deal! The fact that they market it as a ‘free car’ is such BS! Another thing that made me laugh about is the fact that it HAS to be a white Mercedes with the Arbonne logo emblazoned all over it – Arbonne should be PAYING YOU to drive around and advertise their business, not the other way around! Monat do the same ‘deal’ with a Cadillac.

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November 28, 2020 at 8:08 am

Actually, it’s a cash bonus that you can put towards the lease or purchase of a white Mercedes or you can just keep the cash and use it for whatever you want. You choose the car and make the monthly payments. Let’s say the bonus is $900 a month. The car payment doesn’t have to be the exact amount. The rest can be used on gas and insurance for example.

It’s definitely not free, you have to earn it. And yes, you have to continue to earn it. It’s a monthly cash bonus. A reward for hitting certain sales targets. Every level of management has their own bonuses. This is one of them.

As for being “stuck” with it if you leave the company or stop earning the amount of sales needed for the bonus… It’s the same as anyone buying or leasing a vehicle. You’re signing a contract with Mercedes-Benz for the lease or purchase of one of their vehicles. Just as you would for any other car.

Also, the reason for the Mercedes cash bonus was because the founder of Arbonne wanted to reward his top sellers with a safe car to use to drive to and from the presentations they were doing. It’s a 40 year old company and at the time of its inception the main way to earn sales was by doing home presentations and parties. Mercedes-Benz is known for their safety features. And it’s always a white Mercedes to symbolize the purity of the ingredients in the products. The founder was a botanist and he believed in using nature and science to make safe and effective skincare.

December 11, 2020 at 7:22 pm

That’s hilarious.. It’s also meant to depict a successful image of someone doing so well in the business.. Visualise, a network meeting and 30 Mercedes are parked outside… Who wouldn’t want to sign up.. Very clever orchestrated manipulation.. Yuk!.. Having been a victim.. Never again..

December 15, 2020 at 4:28 pm

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January 20, 2023 at 8:49 pm

That is exactly what the consultant said when I was being recruited for Arbonne!

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July 8, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Read the book Rich dad poor dad. In any business you have to invest to make money. Its a fact. If someone opened up a new physical shop lets say a new clothes store would they not have to invest by first of all buying the clothes to sell? Pay out for the rent of the actual shop? Pay the staff etc? And its ongoing as they have to keep paying out these expenses to keep up with the stock, management and to keep the business running. Also with many businesses the start up is high risk where you have to invest 1,000’s of pounds! Also 150qv isnt just based on what the consultant buys personally it includes any sales they generate from direct preferred clients. People who are just clients and buy the products when they need them. Also it would be ridiculous if a consultant didnt use any of the products how are they supposed to recommend or promote it to anyone? I certainly wouldnt buy a product from anyone if they didnt use it themselves?! The products are actually around the same price as clinique, estee lauder etc and they are actually clean without the cheap fillers, toxins etc also they actually last a lot longer as you dont need to use as much product because its more concentrated. Skincare I use lasts 4-6 months! Also every business is shaped like a pyramid with ceo at the top, managers below, then supervisors and then the employees. Arbonne just choose to do a different way of marketing and thats through the consultants and cutting out the middle men. Its like having an amazon prime account, online store with discounts etc. People who do arbonne who spend ridiculous amounts that ends them up in serious debt are not doing the business any justice and are fools. There is no need to spend ridiculous amounts. They can just buy products they use anyway like shampoo, deodorant etc that they would buy from a supermarket, beauty store etc. Arbonne isnt for everyone, but its great for people that have grit, a strong work ethic and willing to put the work in. People like Richard Branston, Robert Yiosaki, Alan Sugar, Jim Rohn highly recommend it, thats if you do it right. Also they are now a B corporation which means they put people and the planet over profit. If you dont know what B corporation means then look it up and you will see. Its peoples persepctive that makes the difference. If I focused on all busineses being shaped like a pyramid scheme, which in fact pretty much every business is then I wouldnt buy anything! You get what you work for. Many people fail because they quit too soon and stupidly spend too much money on products that they dont use.

July 8, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Hi, thanks for commenting.

Yes, a person opening their own shop WOULD have start-up costs, but first of all, they are paying to have their OWN BUSINESS, where they have complete control over what products they sell and for how much, what the name of the shop is etc. People working for Arbonne are paying to work for somebody else (contrary to what many people in MLMs say, you are an independent contractor if you are in an MLM, not a small business owner) and have no control over the products they sell, how they are priced, product design, company name, returns policy etc. You are paying to work for somebody else’s business, not to start your own.

Second, 40% of new businesses fail in the first year. 99% of people in MLMs make no money or lose money. 40% is a LOT less than 99%, which shows me that it comes from a flaw with the business model itself, not with the people in the business just ‘not trying.’

I agree that the consultant should use the products that they are advertising – however, in influencer marketing or even traditional advertising (with celebrity endorsements etc.), the person is PAID to use the product, or, if they are a smaller influencer, they are gifted the product. They are not BUYING the product, thus paying the company to do their advertising for them – that’s crazy to me!

Yes, many businesses are shaped like a pyramid but if you read my article, you’d know that I address this. People in a traditional job at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ still earn a salary, get sick pay, are entitled to holidays and other benefits like health insurance. People at the bottom of an MLM are entitled to nothing, and the business model is also based on recruitment. MULTI-LEVEL marketing cannot exist without recruitment, whereas most people in office jobs don’t have to recruit other people into the same job as well as doing whatever their usual tasks are. I explained it better in the article so I suggest you go back and re-read it if this comment doesn’t make sense.

If the Arbonne products are so great then why does the business have to focus on recruitment and reward your growing your downline? I would have NO problems with Arbonne if it were a commission-based sales company WITHOUT the recruitment side of things. The fact that some people seem to like the products is great (although I do question why Arbonne products are more expensive than high end brands like Estee Lauder), but it is the fact that you must pay to work and recruit other people that I have a problem with.

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August 15, 2020 at 9:34 pm

WAIT. Is this not what Mary Kay has been doing for many many years now. They are known to work as a pyramid scheme but they have never been shut down because they broke the law. Also, does it not also seem like a cult? People who are making money (Large or small) with this are convinced that it is good for all. It seems they have support groups, all of them being recruiters trying to get more recruiters. They become your best friend and mentor you through the process to get you hooked then drain you dry. If Mary Kay can continue to do this, why not Arbonne?

August 16, 2020 at 12:10 pm

100000000%, Mary Kay, Arbonne, Monat etc. are ALL THE SAME, they alllll operate as pyramid schemes with a very cult-like following. It’s disturbing.

November 28, 2020 at 8:38 am

Very recent former consultant here….Just want to say that bit about the Coronavirus was not the fault of the company itself. It was because of some idiots who were trying to make sales by promoting how healthy the products are and trying to use the pandemic to do so. Some consultants were also stating that people should join them because they can earn money with Arbonne if they couldn’t work their regular job because they had to stay home or they got laid off. I think they had good intentions but it was obviously in poor taste!!! And not condoned by Arbonne at all.

The company doesn’t take this stuff lightly and reprimanded people right away. Emails were sent out to every consultant to make sure everyone understood that this was not to be done. The higher up consultants were informed of how to retrain their consultants on their team.

We were never allowed to make medical claims and Arbonne doesn’t encourage the type of social media posts that were brought to the attention of the FTC. Arbonne does not encourage using the pandemic or any tragedy to make money and they made it very clear that consultants who continued to make these false claims would have their consultant status revoked.

I remember at one time many consultants were falsely advertising that the Mayo Clinic endorsed our products or something like that which wasn’t the case. Arbonne used the Mayo Clinic for research and some consultants were mistakenly saying they approved of the products and were recommending them. It got to the point that the Mayo Clinic contacted Arbonne and said we’re getting a lot of questions about endorsing your products. Please make it clear to your consultants that that isn’t the case and they cannot make these claims. So Arbonne sent out documents for everyone to read and made sure that we all understood that we couldn’t use the Mayo Clinic to endorse the products or even use their name at all in our posts. It wasn’t something that the company was encouraging, it was based on not having the correct knowledge.

Something you need to understand is that there are hundreds of thousands of consultants in different countries and sometimes some of them go rogue on social media. When they are found out the company definitely deals with it. These issues never come from the company itself. It’s always consultants who are trying to make a quick sale and doing it in a way that Arbonne doesn’t approve of or encourage/teach their consultants to do.

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November 15, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Just wanna say that this is very beneficial, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

December 7, 2020 at 4:05 pm

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November 20, 2020 at 6:34 am

I just wanted to add in the perspective of someone who technically is an Arbonne rep but who has never tried to recruit anyone and has only sold the product to 4 people and has made money…

I was introduced to Arbonne a few years ago and fell in love with the products. I started with the nutrition products and then tried the skincare and makeup too. I decided to become a rep purely because I wanted to be able to purchase the products I loved at a bigger discount.

Yes, there is a $50 startup fee and you have to make a purchase with that as well, but for me it was products I was already using so the purchase was no big deal. There are also no longer any monthly minimums required for selling Arbonne. I am never pressured to recruit others or sell more. I have never tried to recruit others because honestly I can make a little money just selling product to anyone I know who is interested, and that’s good enough for me.

My goal was never to make it to the top or make a ton of money, I just wanted to use the products and maybe introduce them to friends who might enjoy them as well. Altogether I’ve sold products to only 4 or 5 people over the last couple years and I make a few hundred dollars a year doing so, which I consider a profit because I don’t consider the money I spend on products that I consume to be an expense of “running my business”. They’re just products that I want to use, and products that I would be buying from some other company if I wasn’t a part of Arbonne. At the 35% consultant discount, and if you take into account free gifts and deals, they’re not more expensive than a lot of other brands.

Arbonne is also now a certified B Corporation, which I saw was mentioned in another comment as well. Other companies that are certified B Corporations include Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Allbirds. It is very hard to be B Corp certified and it means that they balance profit and purpose and make a positive impact on their communities. I’d highly recommend looking at the B Corporation website if you haven’t already, it’s actually very cool and I’m trying to do more of my shopping at companies that have this certification.

Honestly, in my opinion, anyone who loses money as an Arbonne rep is simply doing it wrong. Either they’re purchasing unnecessary product or they’re being obnoxious on social media to their friends and family or they’re not following Arbonne guidelines. For example with the COVID claims, I remember when that happened and Arbonne sent out an email to all consultants saying that it was NOT okay to claim that Arbonne nutrition products could prevent or cure COVID, and that any consultant who did so would have their consultant status taken away. It was rouge reps making false claims, not the company itself making those claims.

Anyway, just wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix and give another perspective.

November 28, 2020 at 7:27 am

Ok, so I used to be an Arbonne consultant and I have to tell you most of what you have written is not correct. One thing you kept mentioning was this…. “With Arbonne, every consultant must spend a certain amount of money on Arbonne products every month in order to ‘remain active’ and earn any commission.” This is completely untrue. One of the reasons I even considered starting a business with Arbonne is the fact that you don’t have to spend a certain amount on products each month to remain active. You don’t even have to spend anything every month to remain active. It was one of the first questions I asked when I was looking into the company because it’s really common with a lot of “MLMs”. It makes me question your motives for writing this article since you got something so basic so completely wrong. Either someone gave you the wrong info to mess with you or you are trying to mess with people by sharing the wrong on purpose. I’m also curious if maybe you’re being paid by another company to bash Arbonne?

I will share the correct info mainly so your readers know the truth as I don’t think it’s fair to spread false info about a company just because you don’t like the industry as a whole. And again, I’m no longer a consultant with Arbonne.

All you need to do to remain a consultant is renew your consultant status once a year. That’s it. Same as a Preferred Client, they must also renew their account once a year to continue buying at a discount. (Just like a Costco membership) Consultants get whole sale pricing which is the 35% you mentioned in the article and Preferred Clients get 20%. And as a consultant you get 15% commission on every PC order. 35-20=15. 20% of your discount goes to your PC and you get the remaining 15 as a commission.

I think maybe what you’re referring to is that in order to get a paycheque you’d have to get 150 QV in sales (from actual clients) That was when we were getting paid once a month by cheque. Now consultants are paid out weekly by direct deposit. When you reach the first level of management then you get paid on a certain percentage of your own purchases so you really are getting paid to shop from your own online store at that point, which is really amazing. There are bonuses at every level of management but only if you hit the targets needed at that level. Again, it’s based on sales. You sell a product, you get commission. You sell a lot, you make the company happy and you get bonuses. It’s common in the industry. There are no repercussions for not selling. There is no quota.

All the haters like to say that as an Independent Consultant with Arbonne you’re not really a business owner but in actuality you are. I’m in Canada and here to have a business you need to be registered with a GST number which you receive when you start the business with Arbonne. (You also get a website your customers can shop from) You need that for when you file your income taxes- yes, as a business owner. As an Independent Consultant you’re more like a franchise owner, except it’s not as expensive. You have to follow the rules of the company, you’re using their products, their materials, etc…just like a franchise owner does. Are there expenses? Yes. Because you’re running a business. It’s just not a typical business. You’re both salesperson and owner of your own business. You get paid by selling like a typical salesperson but there are many more perks then working regular retail. For example, when you reach the 3rd level of management you are able to pass on your business to your kids or whoever you want in your will.

I think Network Marketing is a difficult concept for many people to understand because we’re so used to the traditional sales companies and their methods. The whole idea behind NWM is that anyone has the POTENTIAL to get to the top of the company. It’s not a promise or a guarantee that you will succeed. It’s a risk for sure! Anyone who gets into it should know that. You are not punching a clock and getting paid for the hours you work. You only get paid if you sell the products and you get bonuses for teaching others to do the same. Which by the way, you don’t have to do. You can just sell products and earn commission that way. Just because not everyone who joins is successful doesn’t make it a scam. Not everyone can be a doctor, does that mean being a doctor is a scam? A lot of people try and flunk out of med school, again that doesn’t make it a scam.

Another thing that a lot of people are baffled by is the “recruiting” that goes on which helps you move up in management levels. When you sign up another consultant, you put in the time with them, you are training them, showing them the ropes, answering their questions, sharing your knowledge and experience with them, etc… And thankfully you get rewarded for that hard work by getting a percentage of their commissions as well. Does it take away from that other consultants commissions? No, absolutely not. It’s funny because with traditional business models a company will hire less people to make more profit and in NWM companies want more people in the business and they share the profits with everyone who is willing to do the work.

If the company is profitable, why is it seen as a negative thing to share the profits with the people who are doing all the advertising and the actual selling? The ones who spend their days making contacts and keeping those contacts on behalf of the company. The ones who are sharing the products and product knowledge with their clients that they worked very hard to get and keep relationships with. And yes, the ones who are constantly being attacked by people who don’t understand how it all works. Those people are the Independent Consultants and believe it or not it takes a lot of work to be successful in this business. And when you sign someone up, you don’t just sign them up and run away, that’s not how it works and you’ll never be successful if you were to do that. They are now on your team and your job is to guide them, much like a manager would in a store.

I’ve worked in a traditional sales setting and in Network marketing and I can tell you that network marketing is a thousand times better. I was not a salesperson, I worked in an Admin position in a store with traditional sales people and what I learned from the sales people about their job was shocking to me. They worked 12 or more hour days and didn’t get paid for their time. They could spend 2 or 3 hours In the store with one customer and if the customer walks away without buying a thing they don’t get paid. If they don’t sell consistently, they get fired. So they actually have to sell to “remain active” if you will, which was one of your untrue arguments against Arbonne. Their pay is based solely on commissions and they only received 4% of their sales. So imagine making a $400 sale and getting just $16. Now imagine that’s the only sale you make that day or that week. (With Arbonne a $400 sale from a Preferred Client would get you $60) At certain times of the year when business is slow they get paid anhourly wage HOWEVER, when business picks up again and they start selling they HAVE TO PAY IT BACK! Imagine having to pay back money that you earned to the company you are working for. When they train a new hire they don’t get rewarded in any way for it but the company does profit from it. They have to pay for their business cards. They are not given to the salespeople. They have to pay for their uniforms. Once a year the top sellers are treated to a dinner with the CEO. (In contrast, Arbonne sends their top sellers to Hawaii once a year) Now this is not a company that is suffering in any way and they can definitely afford to pay more then 4% commission to their hard working sales people. They just choose not to. And because people need jobs, they choose to accept it. If there was a better way to do the same type of job but with more benefits why not take a chance and try it out? Why is it considered shady when a company appreciates their employees or independent consultants and actually rewards them for a job well done?

Back to Arbonne, I love the products and I think the company itself is amazing and I met a lot of wonderful, kind hearted people. I never saw or heard of the company doing anything illegal in the years I was with them. In fact, it was quite the opposite. We were constantly reminded to avoid shady sales tactics at all times and to be authentic and truthful in all of our dealings. This company does not encourage bad business practices at all. I am actually amazed at how ethical they are. That’s why I stayed for so long. It’s rare to find a company like Arbonne. A company that encourages lifting people up instead of bringing others down is such a foreign concept for many people and that’s just sad. If you don’t like the concept of Network Marketing that’s fine, just don’t work in that industry. No need to spread false information especially when you don’t even have first hand experience.

December 7, 2020 at 11:47 am

Hey, thanks for your comment.

Yes, I was referring to the fact that you have to get 150 QV in sales to qualify for commission and remain active, and that if people DON’T hit that, they will often buy products THEMSELVES in order to remain active. Also when you said ‘When you reach the first level of management then you get paid on a certain percentage of your own purchases so you really are getting paid to shop from your own online store’ – it rang massive alarm bells for me. If you are being paid/financially rewarded to BUY ARBONNE PRODUCTS then surely it isn’t such a leap to say that the DISTRIBUTORS ARE THE CUSTOMERS. I would bet that the majority of revenue from product sales in Arbonne comes from the distributors THEMSELVES rather than random ass people buying Arbonne. If this is the case then Arbonne is dangerously close to being a pyramid scheme.

Also, you are not a business owner if you work for Arbonne. You are an independent contractor. The two are totally different things. You said in your coronavirus comment that Arbonne sent out emails to all the reps telling them what they can and can’t say with regards to Arbonne products – if you owned a business then you wouldn’t have corporate higher-ups telling you what you can and can’t do. You also said that people can have their distributor status revoked by Arbonne if they break the rules – again, if you owned a business then nobody would be able to fire you.

As an Arbonne rep, you are not in control of anything in terms of product design, logo, COMPANY NAME, the price of the product, the ingredients of the product, the packaging, the commission structure, the compensation plan – nothing. Arbonne make the rules and Arbonne can fire you at any point. You are being paid BY A COMPANY for selling the company’s products. As somebody who is currently a small business owner, and someone who has also worked as an independent contractor, the two things are WAYYY differently, and I find it super offensive that MLM reps call themselves small business owners when they don’t actually do 90% of the things that are involved with running a business. Franchises and MLMs are also not the same things, haha. I suggest you Google that one because other people have explained it better than I could, but being part of Arbonne is NOT the same as, say, having a Starbucks franchise.

And no, I am not being paid to bash Arbonne 🙂 just wanted to put the numbers out there.

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December 7, 2020 at 11:34 pm

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February 1, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Sad gal, get out Allison before it’s too late.

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July 12, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Wow, you need to update your info. We are NOT paid when new people sign up. We only receive commission on product sales. We DO NOT have a monthly minimum order. For all of those people not receiving income it is because they are not selling any products. Why would a company pay you if you are not working? Like any business, you have to WORK to receive commission.

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March 10, 2022 at 11:12 pm

Brilliant and sooo very well said !! Agree with all They area Brilliant company ! I haven’t met anyone yet who signed up and enjoys the whole ethos ….feel anything bad about them. Alsorts of fabulous people are growing and changing lives and making themselves a lovely life too among great people ! and sharing the love of brilliant products natural ingredients with real results – Only a positive in my eyes ,,, The community also changes lives … xx Ive been involved for 2 years and the expansion is huge ..

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November 29, 2020 at 9:31 pm

This is one of the best written and well researched articles I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing your brilliant work. After a video appeared in my social media feed of a beautiful young mother of 4 heavily promoting this brand and how it pretty much made her life perfect (provided her motivation, money, friends, community, a reason to live, an ethical framework etc..) I had to learn more, driven by how convincing her pitch clearly would be to many, many women. I watched another of her videos where she appears with another young beautiful woman, the two go on to extoll the virtues of the company and explain (while laughing at the implausibility of the very suggestion) how it isn’t a pyramid scheme, because by definition “a pyramid scheme doesn’t sell products” and it is, in fact, a “Rectangle” with equal room at the top for everyone to exist. These kinds of business structures blow my mind. There is a way to make a, short term, decent income from Arbonne: follow the lead of the Californian couple.. sign up, then take them to court a few months later (best done if you or your partner is already a lawyer specializing in this field, to keep time and costs to a minimum). I’m sure the profit/settlement would equate to something more than minimum wage!

December 7, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Hahaha, so true, and so tempting!

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December 6, 2020 at 2:51 am

I did not read the whole thing. But you do not have to purchase a certain amount every month to remain active. That is not true information being given out

December 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm

So if somebody does not make their PV in sales, they wouldn’t have to purchase products themselves to remain active, hm?

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February 22, 2021 at 4:43 am

There is no minimum amount that you need to buy. It would be foolish and pointless to purchase just to get to 150 qv. Your article is full of misinformation that shows you lack clear understanding of your subject.

February 22, 2021 at 2:15 pm

But most people are not selling that much and so buy the products to make the 150QV themselves in order to qualify for commission.

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December 18, 2020 at 12:53 pm

I encountered some “Arbonne Consultants” on a video call last week. The amount of pseudoscience they were spouting about their supplement and detox products was truly alarming. These are people with NO nutrition qualifications (whereas I do have some, albeit not degree level) dishing out dietary advice that has no proven scientific backing. No doubt the training they receive makes them believe that what they’re selling does have legitimate benefits, but if we’re still looking at reducing the number of bogus health claims out there in the marketplace, we could do a lot worse than look at Arbonne.

December 20, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Ughhh, so so true!

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December 19, 2020 at 8:51 pm

My friend’ wife joined Arbonne, he said it changed her personality for the worse, she became fixated on recruiting people into the scheme. He described Arbonne as a cult and their marriage soon failed.

December 20, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Oh no, that’s so sad 🙁 Unfortunately not a unique situation, which makes it all the more sad

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January 4, 2021 at 11:11 am

I agree with you

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February 17, 2021 at 4:15 am

Thank you for sharing this article. I really was thinking of joining this company. I mean I had a party and everything, but was skeptical throughout this whole thing. I will be letting the consultant know that I don’t want to move forward with it.

February 17, 2021 at 4:41 pm

So glad I could help and that you did the research before losing money!

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February 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Found this page after reading a BBC news article discussing the same question whether Arbonne is or isn’t a pyramid scheme. A friend of my wife claims to be in that desirable top fraction of a percent that have achieved the premium level and all the perks that come with it and it always smelt a bit fishy to me. So sad to think of all the poor naive folks suckered in on the promise of a better life without seeing the cold hard facts laid bare here. Hopefully those with even a modicum of sense find this article before it’s too late and realise it’s a big con. Even if it stops one person falling victim I’d say you’ve done a good job! Great work, keep it up!

March 4, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Thank you so much!!

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May 3, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Iv not read many full articles as usually they can get boring. This I loved and read it to the end! Was so well written. I wanted to know more about Arbonne as I had a woman trying to recruit me so wanted to know more. Jeez!!! I feel like like telling her all the truths but I imagine it wouldn’t work well. Great article!!

May 3, 2021 at 8:57 pm

Aw thank you so much, it means the world to know that you read the whole thing and enjoyed it! Yup, the truth rarely seems to work on them, but you can try! So glad you didn’t get sucked in.

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May 23, 2021 at 9:25 am

It amazes me that you did all this poking and digging around through Google and other internet sources instead of getting some facts from a legit source. Your ignorance is mind blowing and hilarious at the same time. And as we’ve heard it before ignorance is a bliss. I can’t help but wonder how do you make a living of this? If you truly would like to help people (your followers) I suggest you find resources that give you actual facts rather than trying to figure out how to present those numbers in a dramatic way to help people buy into your closed minded stories. Wow.

May 23, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Is Arbonne’s own income disclosure not a legit source?

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July 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm

I loved reading the comments because it showed exactly what you said in the beginning. People who are called out for being in a pyramid scheme REALLY hate being told they’re part of a pyramid scheme. Lol. I think this article was great. I have a friend that is flooding my social media pages with her Arbonne stuff and I really wish she would realize how much of an absolute scam it is. Thanks for the great read!

July 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm

It’s sooo true hahaha. Thanks so much for your comment!

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October 8, 2021 at 5:05 am

So many of your statements in this article are completely false. For one, Arbonne constants DO NOT have to spend a certain amount each month to remain active, ever. Never ever. That is not a requirement. And, for anything a consultant sells, whether they purchase good themselves or not, they get paid a commission. It’s funny how you use the word scheme throughout. It’s an effort based business. You sell, you earn. You’re hilarious. So miss informed. Do you know what a B Corp is?

October 9, 2021 at 11:41 am

You don’t HAVE to make your own purchases but many people DO to ensure that they meet their QV/PV and qualify for commission. The numbers speak for themselves, most people lose money.

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July 13, 2022 at 2:36 pm

Hi there. I am a consultant currently. I have been against selling anything at all my whole life – because it’s just not me. And I’ve been particularly turned off by all of the pyramid schemes I’ve seen out there. I hate pressure. I hate manipulation. I hate social media for the most part. I hate it when people are different in real life than when they are trying to sell something and promising things they can’t deliver. But now I’m 50. And as I’m a teacher I get gifts from students’ families. One of the families does sell Arbonne and have given me many products over the years. My husband and I both didn’t have problems with weight and health when we were young – but life happened and we had become so unhealthy. The extra weight was a burden and caused us both to have much less fun in life. We have always eaten healthy for the most part. Lots of veggies. Not eating out much at all. We had tried many plans – free ones, apps, counting, expensive ones. And they were all so very hard. When we did have any weight loss success it was so hard and we would eventually come to the conclusion, “I’d rather be fat than feel like this.” Some pills I had bought from a tv commercial caused me to have such terrible heart palpitations that I nearly passed out. Another plan messed with my hormones and made my hair fall out. An elimination diet that we tried was helpful – but we had so many headaches and it was not sustainable. So we thought we’d give the 30 days to Healthy Living a try. We only started the last day of February and though it’s a little up and down – especially with wonderful life events (like a son getting married) my husband has lost 36 lbs and I have lost 20 lbs and it is the very easiest time we have ever had. (We’ve still got further to go.) I appreciate that they do not gaurantee any results and it’s not even advertised as a weight loss plan. It’s just healthy nutrient dense shakes and drinks. We are able to bike again, have played tennis for the first time in years, and… lots of things are more fun. 🙂 I know it won’t work for everyone because we’re all different. I did sign up to be a consultant so I could get the cheapest price I could. I even told my friend that I do not plan to sell it. I have never felt any pressure from her. And I have appreciated that the company does not require anything of me. They do not have any autoships… I would never do it if it was autoship. Autoship is a scam. I had started with the skin care and so only ordered it and then didn’t order anything for several months until wanting to try the nutrition line. Noone gave me any pressure. No one even asked if I wanted to order more. Well, even though I didn’t intend to sell it, friends have been asking me what we’ve been doing to loose weight. And honestly, if someone hadn’t told me about this – I would be sad to not have found something that is working. I know it’s not going to help everyone. We all have such different needs and problems. I have listened to several of the training sessions and have found that there are some consultants that I never want to be like and there are some that are really great. But that’s true for every business and group of people. I don’t expect to get rich. I just want to buy the products. I searched and searched for comparable products at Walmart and even searched for how to make my own from scratch. And so far I have found nothing that has compared when I look at the labels. That is one reason Arbonne is good is that they have banned about 2,000 ingredients which the FDA allows. I would like to go to their plants and see how they make things because I think it would be fascinating. I wish I could be a biochemical expert and see how they make things and what everything does. I don’t like hype. Hype feels manipulative to me. All I know is what I have experienced. And I completely see what you are saying in general about pyramid schemes, etc. I’m not in it for $ or for the pyramid. I just like the products. And I do appreciate the opportunity to share/sell as it feels natural. I like a lot of products and promote lots of businesses I like – like our local Peterson’s Automotive – best mechanic ever. But I never get the opportunity to make money off of that. So I appreciate the opportunity here – even though I never ever thought I would do something like this. And I still never want to be “THAT” person. I just want to be me and be honest.

[…] MLM company which has come under recent public scrutiny for allegations it’s operating an illegal pyramid scheme. It’s known for selling expensive products like face washes and energy fizz stick powder with the […]

[…] marketing or direct sales companies.MLMs have been around for years, and popular MLMs include Avon, Arbonne, Herbalife, Monat and even Tupperware!  You don’t receive a salary in an MLM. Instead, you […]

[…] no stranger to doing deep dives on this stuff. I’ve already explored whether Monat, Beachbody, Arbonne and It Works! are pyramid schemes, and so I figured that it couldn’t hurt to take a closer look […]

[…] Arbonne – very overpriced makeup and little chance of making money, this MLM scheme preys on women, with 75% of its consultants being female. […]

[…] Read more – Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme? […]

[…] has been around for years, and popular Network Marketing companies include Amway, Avon, Arbonne, Monat and It Works!As of February 2020, 60 million people worldwide were working as Network […]

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‘It’s Desperation’ – The Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Using COVID to Attract Recruits

Wearing a pink sweatshirt, her hair tied up in a messy bun, a young woman speaks into her camera at a kitchen table. 

“With everything going on with coronavirus and the way that the world is being impacted,” she says earnestly, “if you have any doubt in your mind about your future or any concern that you might not be able to make a payment or that your health isn’t the best, and you’re worried that this is something that is going to seriously affect you, then just reach out to me and let’s just have a conversation.”

As the COVID pandemic swept the globe early last year, videos like this began to appear across social media. Individuals involved with network marketing companies were leaping on job insecurity and rising unemployment to entice potential recruits. While we all locked down, they promised furloughed and laid-off women that they could make money without leaving the house. Multi-level marketing rapidly became an unexpected symptom of a devastating disease – one that thrived on mass unemployment and stay-at-home orders. 

Multi-level marketing (MLM) companies are direct sales organisations that operate on a dual model – members are expected to both sell products and recruit others into the business. Salespeople receive a cut of their recruits’ profits, creating an incentive to attract more and more people to the company. Sellers are also encouraged to regularly purchase products for themselves, either to try out new lines or to make up for not meeting targets. The model has led to many comparing multi-level marketing companies to pyramid schemes , and an estimated 99 percent of participants operate at an insignificant or zero net profit. 

The Girlboss Has Evolved into an Even More Powerful Form

Multi-level marketing companies are not a new invention – Tupperware and Avon are two examples of more benign, highly successful companies that have followed a network marketing model for decades. Yet the rise of social media has breathed new life into the industry. Platforms such as Instagram allowed MLM participants (who are overwhelmingly female ) to target potential recruits on a massive scale and paint a picture of a luxurious lifestyle reportedly funded by the profits of network marketing.

At the same time, the rise of hustle culture – a fetishisation of working multiple jobs fuelled by the soaring ascent of gig economy work – saturated social media. MLM recruits hashtagged #bossbabe and #hustlehard from their front rooms and discussed side hustles and multiple revenue streams in their comments sections. Working in your free time was beginning to be seen as an aspirational lifestyle, and MLMs were at the forefront of the trend.

Dr Máire O Sullivan is a lecturer in marketing and international business at Munster Technological University in Ireland. She was targeted by an MLM member whilst recovering from COVID in April last year, and was specifically asked whether she was secure in her current job. She says that this is a tactic that many recruiters are using in order to prey on the challenging circumstances that many in insecure work currently find themselves.

“I would say that it’s desperation, but really I think that it’s hope that drives people to MLMs in a time like now,” she says. “It’s very seductive. Even when you know the numbers, and you know that 99 percent of people make no money, there’s always a part of you that thinks, ‘Maybe I could be that 1 percent.’”

O Sullivan believes that the rapid rise of MLMs is part of a broader neoliberal deification of entrepreneurship. Being a business owner or working for yourself is often held up above being an employee – even when working for someone else means access to benefits and labour protections. Early on in the pandemic, when we were all being encouraged to support small and local businesses who might be struggling, MLMs (who refer to their participants as “business owners”) were able to thrive.

“There’s a huge section of society who don’t see anything wrong and feel like by criticising an MLM you’re attacking small business owners, but that isn’t what you’re doing,” O Sullivan says. “You’re attacking multi-millionaires who are running a loss-making enterprise for many people who believe that they are small business owners.”

Jemimah Freeside, a 22-year-old freelance actor from London, reports being bombarded by MLM recruiters during the pandemic. She has long been targeted by consultants involved in Arbonne , a prominent beauty MLM, and believes that as a self-employed individual working in an insecure industry she is seen as an ideal candidate. She says that she saw many of her peers being successfully recruited by Arbonne consultants during the COVID crisis.

“Being self-employed has meant that this has not been an easy year financially,” she says. “The glamorisation that Arbonne and other MLM representatives spout could be really tempting… I’ve seen a huge rise in Arbonne pushing since the pandemic. They use the idea of several income streams and the fact that people have lost work. I think that all of the techniques that Arbonne are using are exploiting people’s vulnerable financial and mental state.”

Arbonne told VICE in a statement: “Arbonne upholds the highest standards of integrity, and we do not condone deceptive, unethical, or illegal practices of any kind.” The company added that each Arbonne rep must sign a “comprehensive business agreement and adhere to a strict internal Code of Ethics.”

Dr Maja Golf Papez , a marketing lecturer at the University of Sussex, says that “MLM firms have seen a big surge in UK sign-ups since lockdown”.  The Direct Selling Association – whose members include Arbonne, Avon and The Body Shop at Home – has revealed growth in many of these companies’ figures as a result of lockdown.

“The main promise of MLM initiatives is being able to work at home whilst juggling other responsibilities,” Papez adds. “Pandemic-related challenges such as financial difficulties increase the pool of people likely to join these schemes. At the same time, MLM participants are becoming much more efficient with using platforms like TikTok to present MLM initiatives as a way of becoming financially successful in a very short space of time.” (TikTok banned MLMs in December of 2020.)

One such individual who was swept up in Arbonne’s dream-peddling rhetoric is Paige Skinner, who is 30 and based in the US. She joined the company as an independent consultant after being enticed in by a work colleague. After she signed up, she says that she was surprised by the heavy emphasis on recruitment and found that she was often pressured to purchase expensive products. Arbonne did not respond specifically to this claim, but urged those who had a negative experience with the company to reach out so they could “investigate further and respond, as necessary”.

Paige soon quit the company after being shocked by attitudes towards the pandemic that she saw from others working within Arbonne, and now runs an anti-MLM platform on YouTube.

“When COVID hit, people were offering a ‘COVID care box’”, she says. “Consultants would ask people to Venmo them $20 or $30 so that they could buy products from their Arbonne stores to send to doctors or nurses. It immediately made me uncomfortable. I realised that they could rank up or make commission or get new recruits from this. It was clearly a way to promote Arbonne and themselves. To me, that isn’t philanthropy, it’s exploitation. That’s when I quit, because I didn’t feel like I could associate with people who were exploiting the pain of others.”

The 'Get Rich Quick' MLM Schemes Targeting Gen Z During Lockdown

Arbonne has put strict protocols in place in recent years that police the rhetoric that consultants use around recruitment, sales and the health benefits of their products, and Paige notes that the company did send out an internal communication urging members to stop this particular “charitable effort”. But O Sullivan adds that the hierarchical structure of most MLMs means that there are many layers of liability, and she believes that rule-breaking has been frequent during the pandemic, including individuals promising that their products have unproven anti-COVID health benefits. 

Arbonne told VICE that it is a “public benefit company whose stated purpose is to create innovative products and entrepreneurial business solutions that integrate principles of social, environmental and sustainable business practices to help people and communities flourish and thrive around the world.” 

It added that business ethics standards team “conducts regular training sessions with Arbonne independent consultants, continuously monitors their business practices to ensure compliance with our policies, and takes immediate action if questionable activities arise.” It also urged people to immediately report any unethical or improper behaviour and said that it is “are committed to investigating each complaint we receive through this channel”.

Twenty-four-year-old Aubree Mantei left Arbonne in 2020 after growing increasingly uncomfortable with the company. “At the beginning of last year, corporate rolled out a bunch of conditions saying that we couldn’t use certain words because they were concerned that people were portraying a false impression of the company,” she says. “At first I thought that it was weird. I didn’t understand why it mattered.

“But then I realised that there were people who were spending thousands and thousands and getting into debt. I knew a girl who opened up a credit card just so that she could purchase products to earn rewards. That’s when I realised that the whole thing was crazy.”

Whilst working within the company, Mantei spent hundreds on products, and she believes that Arbonne ramped up their tactics during the pandemic.

“They try and make you think that you’re doing a good thing by supporting local, but you’re really not,” she says. “They’ve played off that idea, and I also think that they’ve played off the unemployment rate . They’ve targeted people by telling them that they don’t have to go back to work, and that they can start working for Arbonne whilst in quarantine .”  

O Sullivan hopes that some of the challenges of the past year will guide the industry towards becoming more ethical, with much more openness towards finances, but she also admits that seems to be little appetite for change amidst MLMs. For now, she warns strongly against getting involved, and encourages those at the top of MLMs to think carefully about the structure of the companies that they work for, particularly during the pandemic.

“Even if you’re in the 1 percent, you need to think about where they money is coming from,” she says. “If 99 percent of the people in the business are losing money, then all you’re doing is transferring wealth from people below them up the list… I can understand that to someone who has lost their job , or perhaps has children at home and has no opportunity to go out and get a job because of caring duties or because you can’t expose yourself to COVID, MLMs feel like a lifeline.

“But that lifeline might have a weight attached to it.”



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The Best & Worst of the Marketing World

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme?

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Arbonne International, LLC is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that produces beauty essentials, personal care needs, and health & wellness products through research and scientific innovation. It was founded in 1975 by Petter Mørck, a Norwegian entrepreneur. They claim that their products are organic, vegan and particularly worth buying than any other health and wellness products out there. They are based out of California USA while operating internationally in the UK, Poland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Taiwan. The company is also following a comprehensive Purity and Safety Ingredient Policy, making them one of the most patronized MLM institutions in the world.

How it all started

Since 1965, Petter Mørck had been in the Norwegian skincare industry. He then moved to Arbon Switzerland in 1975 to start his own skincare line together with Pierre Bottiglieri, an employee in the same industry. They collaborated and decided to formulate products that were cruelty-free and with no harmful chemicals. Another side of the story was that Mørck bought the formulation from the company Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval where Bottiglieri first worked for.

Rita Davenport, the first president of the company, served from 1999 to 2011.

It was the year 2004 when Levland, Inc. became Arbonne’s holding company, which later on became the primary manufacturer of their products.

In 2005, established private equity firm Harvest Partners, bought both companies, and renamed it Natural Products Group, LLC.

Mørck was hands-on with the business up until his death in 2008. He is survived by his son Stian Mørck, who is currently the VP Brand Ambassador of Arbonne International.

Fast forward to February of 2018, Natural Products Group sold Arbonne to Groupe Rocher together with Nature’s Gate.

Demonstrating high social and environmental performance and meeting excellent standards, Arbonne achieved B Corporation certification in January 2020.

As of today, Arbonne has more than 300,000 beauty consultants marketing their products worldwide.

Product Line

Arbonne’s product line is categorized into 5:

Arbonne does not only sell products to people. It has business opportunities as well that can make one earn money from it. How do they do it?

“Consultants” are the ones marketing the products and they earn commissions for doing so. Sounds familiar, eh? That’s the basic concept of the MLM business model.

There are two ways to earn money here:

Members will only have to pay for the membership fee and then they will be given discounted product packages to start selling. Sounds simple but here’s the catch: a certain quota each month is needed to maintain membership. They call this “Qualified Status”. Members must reach a minimum of 150 PQV or Personal Qualifying Volume monthly. More about this can be found in their compensation plan .

We can simply refer to these earnings as commissions and overrides. Commissions are the profits you earn from your personal sales to your clients, while overrides are the percentage you receive from the sales made by your team.

Arbonne consultants may also receive awards and recognition on top of these business opportunities. They can be eligible for incentives depending on their performance. These can be in the form of a monthly allowance or sometimes, paid vacation trips.

Now you might be thinking…

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?

This question always comes up when we talk about MLM businesses. To answer this, Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme. You won’t earn money without doing anything. There are products involved here and one needs to make a clear sale before the commission is earned.

Arbonne has been in the market since the mid-1970s. If it’s a pyramid scheme or scam, then chances are it must have already ceased its operation a long time ago. Up until today, it continues to circulate to different parts of the world and even expands more. It has also conquered the social media world, making it way easier to reach out to a wider audience.

However, it is inevitable to think that MLM companies can also be pyramid schemes in disguise. How can we tell? You can easily spot one if they happen to sell their products at a very high cost when there are lots of alternatives out there that you can purchase at a much lower price. This may mean that the company is trying to pay their consultants to recruit more people rather than just producing sales.

Is Arbonne worth a try?

While MLM businesses may not be for everyone, it is still safe to say that Arbonne is a reputable company given its proven history and legitimacy over the years. That said, if you think you’re good at marketing or have a particular interest in beauty and wellness, then this can be a perfect way to get that extra income you’ve always been thinking about.

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I failed at multi-level marketing. It taught me a lot about my priorities — and myself.

Hi, my name is Brynne, and I was raised in the Mormon church. And like many women of my faith, I joined a multi-level marketing company. 

Growing up in the Mormon church immersed me in conversion culture

Being raised in a devout family within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or "LDS," for short), I was perfectly primed for MLMs. It's no secret that the church places a heavy emphasis on conversion, and the culture was similar: As children, we would often be asked to brainstorm several friends we could invite to church events, with the end goal of redeeming their souls through baptism. 

This behavior comes from a place of genuine love for most church members, as they want to see everyone enjoy their own brand of spiritual happiness. They think they've found "the" way, and they want to share their joy with others.

Sometimes this spiritual desire morphs into something more transactional, though. For example, many young missionaries who go out into the field hold a belief that the more people they baptize , the "hotter" their future wife will be . You won't find this belief in any scripture, but it is a culturally normative meme that proliferates in most LDS youth groups. 

Whether Mormons are motivated by pure intentions or misogynistic rewards, they're encouraged to put people in awkward positions on the regular. Your friends either risk hurting your feelings by telling you no, or they'll disingenuously engage in your spiritual practices to maintain their relationship with you. 

This makes a transition into MLMs natural for members of the LDS church. Inviting people to your parties and converting them to share in your supposed monetary abundance is no far leap from convincing people to come to church with you to share in your spiritual blessings. 

MLMs served as an acceptable business model for homemakers

MLMs are prolific among women of the church in particular. As Mormon women, our holiest calling was that of mother and homemaker. We weren't allowed to hold the priesthood, and our greatest spiritual power and blessings came from supporting the men in our lives who did. 

In the past couple decades, the church has progressed — no longer demonizing women who work outside the home quite as heavily. But if you can afford it, the ideal is still to be a Molly Mormon homemaker .

The MLMs I was exposed to allowed participants the flexibility to still be viewed by the community as a homemaker first. Every last one was directly related to an LDS woman's wifely or motherly duties, making it even more palatable within the church's social mores. 

As a child, I watched my mother attend parties for kitchen gadgets — falling right in line with MLMs like Pampered Chef and Tupperware. It was also acceptable to join Discovery Toys and sell children's wares to other stay-at-home moms. 

Finally, there were beauty companies. Mary Kay. Melaleuca. Jafra. And the one I ended up joining: Arbonne. 

Arbonne will argue that it is not an MLM because you can technically outearn people above you in the pyramid. But the fact remains that in order to make a serious income, you have to add a significant number of new people below you in the pyramid, making it akin to every other MLM I've ever encountered.  

Why I joined a multi-level marketing company

I was exposed to Arbonne at a confusing point in my life. I had no funding for college, so I'd dropped out. I was working two jobs at a pizza shop and a computer repair store to make ends meet. On top of that, I was providing babysitting services to a family in my LDS ward, which is akin to a parish or congregation in other religions. 

It was through the babysitting gig that I was converted to Arbonne. The mom of the family sold the beauty products, and she offered to let me try them. She knew I was in a bad economic state and suggested I become a consultant. 

She won me over quickly. The training I'd been through as a Mormon child trying to convert my friends to the church made me a great salesperson. I could get a discount on the products I purchased as a consultant. Plus, the inspirational training CDs in the consultant package provided me with positive affirmations during a challenging period of my life. 

She helped me pay for my initial consultant package, which saved me from shouldering the entire $250 investment on my own. The package included those aspirational training CDs, demo products to use at parties, and some product to sell directly to my future clients. She pitched in because she believed in me, but in retrospect, I'm grateful to her for saving me from losing the whole $250 myself. 

Predictably, my experience with MLMs didn't work out

I initially sold a lot of high-end product to other members of my LDS congregation. But much like LuLaRoe with its moldy leggings , I ended up unknowingly selling a batch of skincare products that had been contaminated with shampoo during the manufacturing process. 

It made everyone break out. I offered apologies and refunds out of my own pocket. (I didn't ask Arbonne to reimburse me, but the company didn't offer, either.) But I still lost my entire client base before I'd even really gotten started. 

I kept trying to believe I could achieve. That God would bless me with monetary riches if I just prayed and kept at the sales and recruitment formula contained on my CDs. I threw a couple parties after I got married and moved to another state, but they netted me less than $100 and never fully made up for the initial product investment. 

What my experience helped me do was part ways with conversion culture

My story doesn't have a climactic ending. As my faith in the Mormon church waned, so, too, did my drive to pursue my path forward with Arbonne. I found other ways to be entrepreneurial and support myself without exploiting my closest friends and family members, putting them in positions where they felt like they couldn't say, "No." 

Perhaps most importantly, I learned to build a business that didn't perpetuate the need for a woman to pack on layers of makeup in an attempt to become the trophy wife of the returned missionary with the most logged baptisms.

arbonne business model

Wealth of Geeks

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Business Opportunity? A Deep Dive Into Arbonne

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme

Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?

Yes, Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and should be avoided at all costs.

Continue reading this Arbonne Review to find out why.

What is Arbonne?

Arbonne defines itself as a health and wellness company with a focus on people, planets and profits. It was founded in the U.S. by Petter Mørck in 1980.

Arbonne derives its name from Arbon, a historic town in Switzerland with typical natural features. Petter Mørck, states that when he founded the company, he had a vision of establishing a place where people flourish.

Arbone defines itself as a botanical product-based company that deals in plant-based products for wellness; skin-care and body nourishment.

The company states that it is aimed towards producing products that give consumers a healthier mind, stronger body and a beautiful skin.

You can check out this video by Ashley on what a sample day looks like in Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living program!

The Diversification

The company started out as one providing skin-care products but has over the years diversified to make an array of products including beauty products, nutritional supplements, hair care products and baby products.

It is typical of a pyramid scheme to diversify the range of its products to increase its relevance and also achieve a larger community of consumers.

“Become a Product of the Product…”

As a matter of fact, most of Arbonne's sales representatives are the primary consumers of these products. They are naturally enthusiastic about the products and in the long term become Arbonne's devotees.

Most Arbonne independent consultants are health and wellness enthusiasts. Arbonne's favourite slogan encourages the independent consultants to buy the products, use them for some time to “ become a product of the product ” and then recommend the product to friends and family.

Many of the testimonies made for the products by the sales distributors are lacking in validity but are aimed at attracting purchases because as a sales representative you earn a commission from each sale made through your custom link.

These distributors are always excited whenever the company expands their line of products and they are the first to publicize this news all over their social media platforms.

Expensive Consumables.

The company offers consumable products rather than durable goods to ensure frequent repeat sales that will provide a niche to new recruits.

Definitely, in every disguised pyramid scheme there is a legal product or products that the company claims to offer to avoid attracting the legal action which would have occurred if the payment to join was merely in form of cash.

Additionally, Arbonne’s products are over-priced. You could purchase a similar quality product from top companies at a price lower than that which an Arbonne product costs.

This is actually due to the business model of a multi-level marketing company.

The products have to be over priced to accommodate for the commissions the sales representative and their uplines receive.

Additionally, this also serves to keep you in the same position in the scheme since expensive products generate less sales.

You remaining at the beginning level as an Independent Consultant is profitable to the company since you stay longer in the company in hopes of achieving your promotion to the next level.

Do Not Be Left Behind, Join the Revolution…

It is wiser that a pioneer establishes a pyramid scheme in a profitable industry, one that both will generate may sales and also boasts of having a large percentage of millionaires in the country.

Many people will be attracted by this, to become a part of the scheme (disguised as a company). Arbonne is a company that deals in health and wellness.

While attracting new recruits, it is accentuated to the targets that the health and wellness industry is a profitable one. Such statements are followed with statistics whether valid or invalid to stress the point.

“I will mentor you on how to make money quickly and at your comfort..”

In multi-level marketing language, there are two terms that you will encounter much often and they have also been used in this article.

These terms are antonyms of each other and they are; ‘downline' and ‘upline'.

The pyramid in a pyramid scheme represents a temporal hierarchy with the members that joined the scheme earlier in time (uplines) occupying the apical top of the pyramid while those that join later in time occupy the pyramid's bottom (downlines).

The uplines recruit the downlines and each downline that recruits a new member becomes that member's upline. To avoid raising attention, pyramid scheme companies replace the terms ‘upline' and ‘downline' with safer, more appealing terms like ‘mentor' and ‘team member'.

Like similar schemes of its kind, Arbonne is founded on a network marketing basis where downline distributors are encouraged to recruit more downline distributors and also sell the products.

This is basically done through referrals and word-of-mouth passed on by a downline member of the scheme to people within their sphere of influence, like close friends and relatives.

We're still asking, “Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme or it's legit?”

There are two ways to become a part of Arbonne. You can join either as an independent consultant or a preferred client.

As an independent consultant: You can start your online business with Arbonne as an independent consultant for 49 dollars.

You are then given a personal website that carries your personal link through which clients can purchase Arbonne products.

For each client that you convince and successfully buys products through your link, you earn a percentage commission. Unlike other similar schemes, with Arbonne you don't need to stock inventory in your home.

All you need to do is add products to your cart on your independent consultant website. The company has it's shipping and delivery team that reaches the products to the customers who have purchased through your link.

It must be noted that what you get for your initial 49 dollar sign-up is a catalogue, a welcome letter and a copy of their compensation plan. In addition to this, you have to purchase the products you want to sell, try them out and become a ‘product of the product.’

An independent consultant earns 35 percent commission when a normal client makes a purchase through their personal link while when it is a preferred client who purchases, the independent consultant earns 15 percent discount.

A preferred client, on the other hand, is one that enjoys the discounts the company offers by paying yearly subscription for this status and repeatedly buying in bulk. Becoming a preferred client requires that you subscribe for this status by paying 29 dollars per year.

A preferred client enjoys a 20 to 40 percent discount each time that they shop. The commission given to an independent consultant when a preferred client shops is less than that they receive when a normal client shops.

You're Both “Independent” and a “Consultant”.

You will agree with me that the phrase ‘independent consultant’ does not mean literally here. It is a shield to the company ownership from the legal liability the scheme entails,

Any adult with $49 can become an independent consultant. In the unfortunate case that an independent consultant causes any form of damage while fulfilling the company obligations, the company cannot be held much accountable, since this is an ‘independent’ personnel and additionally, they are a ‘consultant’.

They should be knowledgeable enough about what they are doing.

The second point to note is that, in the position of an independent consultant. You are definitely not working independent from the company but closely with it.

This just gives an illusion that you are operating your own business and just offers the pride feeling of having flexibility and total control.

This is like an incentive to join and ‘fulfil’ the American dream of the 21 st Century of owning your personal business.

Truth is, you remain under the umbrella of Arbonne. The word consultant is actually misappropriated here, because not all Arbonne independent consultants qualify to have the literal title of consultancy.

Arbonne offers health and wellness products that are made for people's health and wellness.

It is rather crucial that in health matters, consultation is made with well-trained health and wellness practitioners because in most cases health and wellness issues are not a one-size-fits-all but require professional assistance.

How You Can Earn As An Independent Consultant

While working with Arbonne as an independent consultant, you can earn in three basic ways:

arbonne mlm opportunity

a) Through Personal Sales

Whenever you convince clients to buy the products and make the purchase through your custom website, you earn a percentage commission.

b) Overrides

The person who inspires you to join Arbonne becomes your mentor who trains you in ways to effectively speak about Arbonne so that you can convince friends and relatives to join, guides you in scheduling online calls with your people in any part of the world, trains you in handling objections and provides any other kind of support a beginner needs to stabilise.

Basically, the mentor trains you in the recruitment process. As you become more conversant with the setting, you also recruit more people and become their mentor.

The group of people below you in the pyramid scheme, those whom you have recruited become your team.

When each member of your team makes product sales or recruits other members you earn a commission termed as an ‘override'.

Therefore, to earn from this scheme, you have to make sure you recruit a large number of people.

The more you recruit, the more you earn since overrides make up the largest percentage (65) of the revenue contribution to the members of the scheme compared to the small 35 percent commission gained through direct product sales.

These range from 100 to 600 dollars. These are extra earning in addition to the commission.

They are based on sales performance. As you climb up the hierarchy of partnering in the activities of the company as an independent consultant, each high level has higher money rewards.

Recruit and Earn.

There's a false claim made by Arbonne to stir people's minds from the pyramid scheme nature of the business. The company claims that “ Arbone Independent Consultants do not earn compensation for recruiting other Arbonne Independent Consultants. They only earn compensation when products are sold.”

This is not true. Arbonne Independent Consultants earn through overrides whenever they convince other people to join the business under their referral.

The only difference with certain other pyramid schemes is that Arbonne does not explicitly give direct compensation for recruitment but does this through the overrides the members get by getting themselves downlines.

In a nutshell the Arbonne business models comes down to something like this;

axx3ay2kuee21 800x247 1

The Hierarchy.

There are four levels in the hierarchy of the independent consultant category. You start out as an independent consultant.

The next step in the hierarchy if you graduate from being an independent consultant is becoming a District Manager .

This transition takes an average of 8 months but it could happen in as fast as one month if you are ferociously ambitious in your recruitment.

If your recruitment circle (team, as they call it) gets noticeably large in a short time.

The next level is becoming an Area Manager . This transition takes an average of 21 months.

It comes with a raise in the earning and 6 percent commission. At this stage, your business becomes willable.

The person whom you have included as your next of kin continues to earn the commission if you pass on, as long as people keep shopping through your custom website or through the websites of your team members.

Definitely your next of kin can take on your business in the advent of your death.

When you graduate from being an Area Manager, you become a Regional Vice President. This transition takes an average of 38 months. By becoming Regional Vice President, you will have joined the top 2 percent league of the company.

The company claims that you are given an additional cash award of 800 dollars to buy a Mercedes Benz. If you can purchase your Mercedes at a cheaper price, good for you, you can keep the change.

The ultimate position in this hierarchy is that of a National Vice President . The average time required to make the transition from being a Regional Vice President to becoming a National Vice President is 58 months.

By this advancement, you join the top 1 percent league of the company.

You then qualify for yearly business trip to Maui for a leadership meeting and a 1000 dollar cash award towards buying your Mercedes Benz.

Below are their annual earnings for Active Arbonne Independent Consultants  for 2018.

Screen Shot 2019 03 11 at 13.40.11 768x177 1

Is it Really Easy?

Most, if not all Independent Consultants would love to make the transition to ultimately becoming National Vice President.

However, this entails a lot of effort and input. You have to invest in terms of money, time and effort.

Probably, it is attainable but the opportunity cost of the achievement is really high.

At the end of the day, about 99% of people lose money.

mlm Pyramid min 1 2

Most independent consultants cannot make it to this top most level that is why it is called the top one percent of the company.

As you strive towards achieving hard targets of hierarchical advancement, you continue to work for the company and above all recruit more members who also go ahead to recruit more and the pyramid continues expanding at the base.

The Mercedes Benz ‘Vice President Success Award’ as Arbonne terms it is not a free gift from the company as they claim.

You actually pay for most of the car bill yourself. Arbonne just contributes a comparatively small amount.

On top of this, as a requirement from the company, you have to make a car presentation.

You have to give people the impression that as an Arbonne Vice President, you have achieved through the company. You even have to fix the Arbonne emblem on your car.

To What Extent is it Sustainable?

Arbonne boosts itself in being comprised of a diversity of people from all parts of the world. Pyramid schemes thrive on exponential recruitment of members by current members.

However, the system cannot be sustained indefinitely as the recruitment ‘market’ becomes saturated, making it impossible for the company to pay the downline members.

The scheme collapses and in most cases the top proprietors run out of the country making a large number of people to lose their money.

The image below shows just how unsustainable this business model is.

Don't You want Financial Freedom?

As you are lured to join Arbonne, you will be convinced with phrases like “I was introduced to an opportunity that could allow me to earn more income as a side hustle by a friend..” and “Arbonne is an opportunity I would love you to take up.

It has given me the financial freedom to leave my corporate job and fully concentrate on earning more, while working in the comfort of my home.”

And who honestly doesn't want financial freedom? Who doesn't want that free new Mercedes Benz?

Who won't believe what their friends are telling them?

Be wise and don't end up like Karen, LOL……

arbonne business model

Still confused about how pyramid schemes work

Here is a video on how to spot a pyramid scheme.

Conclusion: Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?  (The Reality Beyond the Claims)

The actual truth is that, according to Arbonne's yearly income statement, independent consultants and district managers earn just a few hundred dollars annually.

If is only when you rise to the top ranks that you can earn a liveable pay.

Most of the money is funnelled to the top of the pyramid as the people at the bottom are actively losing money. Is that really legit?


Check Your Wallet for These $1 Bills – They May Be Worth up to $150,000

The meaning of mlm and 8 reasons why mlms are the absolute worst.



Freelance Writer for B2B SaaS Brands

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme? Everything You Need to Know Before Joining Arbonne

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme? Good question. Since I write about ways to make money from home , and indeed work from home myself, I am always coming across MLM companies in the many ‘work from home’ Facebook groups I am part of. It’s scary. One company I have been hearing a lot about recently is Arbonne. If you’re thinking of joining Arbonne, you should read this article first, it will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about joining this company.

I recently wrote a blog post on MLM’s vs Pyramid Schemes , which touched on Arbonne, and questioned whether the company is a pyramid scheme or not, so today I’m going to dig a little deeper.

Analysis of Arbonne (Arbonne International LCC)

What is arbonne.

Arbonne, or Arbonne International LCC to give the company its proper title, was founded in 1980 by Petter Mørck in the United States. It is a cosmetics and skincare retailer which promotes itself in the ‘natural’ market, selling Swiss-formulated products.

Arbonne’s structure is a direct sales company or MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), this means it produces growth by continuously recruiting new people into its company to sell its products, as consultants rather than employees. Consultants make money via a complicated system of commission – both from sales they make themselves and sales made by those they recruit personally to the company.

According to their website, the company currently has offices in 6 countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Poland. Arbonne currently has around 21,000 consultants in the UK, all selling Arbonne products on behalf of the company.

Arbonne has been at the centre of a number of controversies during its history including several lawsuits in the United States and the bankruptcy of its parent company Natural Products Group LLC in 2010. However, this has not stopped the company from enjoying enormous commercial success, the company in 2018 reported payments to consultants in excess of £10 million in the UK market alone.

What does it mean to be a consultant for Arbonne?

There is a significant amount of promotional material on Arbonne’s website which describes the recruitment of consultants – not as simple employees – but as members of a growing community of like-minded and supportive (mainly female) entrepeneurs, promoting empowerment and health.

The company’s communication material describes joining as financially beneficial through earning commission, with exciting benefits such as discounts, cash and car prizes and trips overseas for those who meet targets. However, Arbonne uses the word ‘consultant’ rather than ‘employee’ with care, because those who sign up to sell through them do so without any guarantee of any income, as Arbonne acknowledges in the recruitment section of their official website.

Before we discuss the pros and cons in more detail, the process of joining Arbonne goes something like this:

arbonne business model

Arbonne sells itself as a leading provider of skin care and cosmetic products, which it describes as pure and natural. The products are luxury, with products such as foundation retailing at around £35. While it is not a ‘designer’ brand, it is a health-conscious brand, recognised by PETA for avoiding animal testing and containing vegan ingredients and celebrating a “plant-based” approach. However, its products do not seem to be particularly natural and have come under some public scrutiny regarding the ingredients of products which were not originally publicised.

It is clear from researching Arbonne online that the company has put a great deal of effort into managing its online presence. The company and its affiliates dominate Google searches. Although there have been many, well-publicised criticisms of Arbonne (in traditional media, blogs, review sites and social media) they rarely feature highly in Google searches as criticism is, seemingly, being deliberately lowered via extensive SEO by the company.

What criticism has Arbonne received?

Thanks in part to social media, Arbonne has been openly criticised across social media platforms, blogs and forums, particularly by current and former consultants. For example, there are significant numbers of YouTube videos made by Arbonne consultants, with criticisms of the business putting them under extreme pressure to sell products to family and friends and detailing how they were not able to make money from their involvement. Arbonne responds by saying that it is upfront about its offer to consultants and operates within the law in all territories.

One issue is the manner of their recruitment as consultants. Arbonne promotes and encourages recruitment from among its current consultant base. It operates a high-pressure strategy to encourage consultants to enlist new consultants from among their family and friends.The company hires people as ‘consultants’ but they do not have a fixed wage or any benefits. All earnings are made purely on a percentage of an individual’s sales, plus a percentage of the sales of consultants they have recruited. The difficulties of making money are myriad and leave Arbonne open to accusations it is a pyramid scheme.

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?

A pyramid scheme is an illegal business under UK law, they are defined as organisations where participants are financially compensated by other people paying into the scheme rather than by the selling of a product or service. The result of this is that the vast majority of participants are likely to lose, rather than make, money through their involvement.

Typically, pyramid schemes thrive from a highly compelling and sophisticated marketing pitch which encourages participation and does not reveal the true nature of the enterprise. They tend to assure potential collaborators that they are offering a unique opportunity to make money, quickly and easily, but providing very little detail of what is actually involved.

To state that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme is difficult to say with certainty. There is an ongoing debate between policy makers, business leaders and academics as to what exactly constitutes a pyramid scheme and how it differentiates from a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) which is Arbonne’s business model. This topic has been investigated more thoroughly in the United States, where MLM schemes operate with less scrutiny and greater scale than in the UK. The American Consumer Awareness Institute published a paper in 2011 attempting to analyse the available evidence of the legality and fairness of MLM schemes and found that across the sector MLM organisations were structurally unfair and that loss rates were around 99% for those recruited.

However, “the main distinction between MLMs and pyramid schemes is MLMs actually have a product,” says Daryl Koehn, a professor of business ethics at DePaul University in Chicago. “In pyramid schemes, you’re just selling the opportunity to make money.” However, most specialists agree that MLM organisations are de facto pyramid schemes if there is a significant cost of entry or if participants build up inventory they can’t later sell.

So, the question becomes, is the cost of entry and the build-up of inventory required to become a consultant with Arbonne sufficient to class it as a pyramid scheme, i.e. something that should definitely be avoided? There are definitely plenty of examples of individuals online who seem to fit this criteria.

Even Arbonne’s own data shows that in 2018, it had 21,000 consultants in the UK and of that number only 2,600 received any earnings at all. The vast majority of Arbonne consultants in the UK in 2018 (88%) made nothing, and Arbonne states that the figures do not include any payments made by the consultants as part of their membership of the company. Less than 20 Arbonne consultants received more than £20,000 from Arbonne , and we do not know how much of their revenue was profit, as that is not included in Arbonne’s figures (Fig. 1).

This seems to fit the overall picture of MLM schemes in the UK. As all Arbonne consultants in order to sign up must have spent at least the £54 registration fee, plus many will have purchased products, then it seems self-evident that there are many more people losing money than making money. It also implies that Arbonne are being deliberately manipulative with their information, as Fig 1 implies that an average Arbonne consultant is making £503 a year, but these figures do not include the vast majority of consultants who earned nothing. Statistically, you are unlikely to make money, but some are able to do so.

There are hundreds of testimonials from those with first-hand experience of Arbonne online, a typical example quoted from the Guardian newspaper in its 2019 article describes the story of Fiona, who was encouraged to take out a credit card to pay for Arbonne products (a debt which she has not being able to repay). Arbonne’s promotional materials encourage women to spend more than they can afford to motivate them to sell to make back their money. Consultants are given training to aggressively target customers, who are her network of friends and family.

Fiona’s description of “working” within the company seems to suggest that Arbonne encourages consultants to sell themselves on social media as more successful than they are, so as to encourage others to join up.

Women are told to focus on the positives, so most advertising online do not reveal the reality that they have not made back the money they have invested. Arbonne representatives continue to maintain that the business structure is legal and that unethical or improper behaviour should be reported via BEST.Arbonne.com, although it is unclear to what extent this procedure is communicated to Arbonne consultants.

While the UK government has not certified Arbonne as a pyramid scheme, because it does have a legitimate product, it does appear to have the other key characteristics. Unfortunately, there are also other issues with Arbonne.

Many former Arbonne consultants report problems they experienced working with the company ranging from lack of transparency from Arbonne on what was involved, feeling under pressure or bullied to carry out aggressive direct marketing and selling techniques on people within their social circle and being presented with an unrealistic picture of how much money they could expect to make. Arbonne does not openly present the facts to prospective consultants, so it is easy to see why many assume they will automatically make money and are disappointed when this proves not to be the case.

At its most serious, there are even accounts of consultants being instructed to target vulnerable individuals (such as single mothers or those with disabilities) and involvement with Arbonne having a devastating impact on personal relationships, as people take offence to being harangued to buy products. Some people report that when they reported to their team leader that they had a negative response from a family member, friend or partner, that they were told that individual was not being supportive and to not associate with them in future. Because of this more extreme behaviour, which is commonly associated with cults, many investigations by journalists, including by the BBC and VICE, have concluded that Arbonne uses manipulative tactics.

Still thinking of joining Arbonne?

For those considering joining, please do your own research prior to joining and remember the old advice – if it seems too good to be true, that is probably because it is.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out my recent article on whether or not Monat is a pyramid scheme !

Privacy Overview

Arbonne Review: Is Joining Arbonne A Scam? Find Out In Our 2023 Update!

Updated: february 10, by: scam risk - expert reviewer.

arbonne review scam or legit

It’s another one of those MLM (aka Network Marketing) Programs whose main purpose is to sign you up, buy a product kit, then get you to sign up your friends, family, and co-workers to do the same thing.

These kind of things are promoted by high level MLM members who make most of their money in the program by getting other people to join.

It’s supposed to show you how to become a successful “Network Marketer” but most members barely make any money actually selling their product.

That’s just the truth …you won’t get rich off a small commission from over-priced shakes, shampoo, or body lotions.

If you want to build wealth online – at an average of $1,500 per sale –  check out our #1 recommendation here.

In the meantime, let’s see if there are any redeeming qualities to Arbonne…

DISCLAIMER: This Arbonne review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

Table of Contents

Pros: what i liked.

Cons: What I Didn't Like

This economy already has people worried for their wallet – whether it’s the  price of groceries , used cars skyrocketing in value, or being priced out of homes (with a potential impending collapse), financial uncertainty is aplenty.

This goes double for  entrepreneurs .

So, what’s the answer ?

passive residual income

Everyone knows you can’t force an entrepreneur into a cubicle. …but we also have to build a life for ourselves. Luckily, I did stumble onto something the other day that I’m going to let you in on when we’re done talking about MLMs.

At the end of this review,   you’ll see the exact system many others have used to build their own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month  in passive income.

Sounds pretty cool, huh ?

But first, let’s dig into these guys and see what their  pitch is all about.

MLM Review: What Is Arbonne?

arbonne consultants scam multi level marketing

Arbonne International, LLC, an MLM company founded by Norwegian entrepreneur Petter Mørck in Switzerland in 1975 and brought to the United States in 1980.

It creates personal care, wellness, and beauty products using innovative science and research.

Arbonne products are available through an extensive network of Independent Consultants in the United States, Canada, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, as well as at arbonne.com . Arbonne is a private company based in Irvine, California.

Arbonne Business History: How It All Started

How Arbonne Started

Petter Mørck worked in the Norwegian skincare industry from 1965. In 1975, he moved to Arbon, Switzerland, to work on his own skincare line with Pierre Bottiglieri, a Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval employee, after deciding that the ingredients used in the companies he worked for were harmful to the skin.

Bottiglieri and Mørck collaborated to create a line of products that did not contain any petroleum or animal products, according to the story published by Arbonne .

According to another version of their story, Mørck purchased the formulations from Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval, which sold rebranding formulations.

Mørck continued to be active in the company until his death in 2008. Stian Mørck, his son, is the current VP Brand Ambassador of Arbonne. 

From 1991 to 2011, Rita Davenport served as the first President of the company. 

Around the year 2004, Arbonne became a subsidiary of Levlad, Inc., which became the primary manufacturer of Arbonne products.

Harvest Partners bought both companies in 2005 and renamed the new acquisition Natural Products Group, LLC. 

Natural Products Group agreed to sell Arbonne and Nature’s Gate to Groupe Rocher in February 2018.

In January 2020, Arbonne earned the B Corporation certification . The only certification of its kind, B Corp assesses the social and environmental performance of a company, as well as its transparency and accountability.

Businesses are certified by the nonprofit B Lab for their measurable impact on people and the environment and are required, unlike traditional corporations, to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders : customers, workers, and communities, and the environment.

As of 2017, they claim to have nearly 320,000 Consultants selling their products all over the world.

Arbonne Social Media Selling

Arbonne Social Media Selling

Social media is an important tool for Arbonne because it is the world’s biggest nutrition and cosmetics company, with more than 300,000 independent consultants worldwide.

The company gathered together its finest members to collaborate on personal branding, original content, and coordinated marketing techniques that raised individual leads and combined intelligence with a new customer relationship management system.

The company extracted social media data at the individual consultant level to determine the true effectiveness of each consultant’s social performance. With minimal input from sales teams and minimal interference in day-to-day activities, they could tailor social strategies for each individual and across teams their custom tool.

The company calculated overall reach , engagement, and supporting audience data using simple code and repackaged it into simple directives that a consultant could use immediately.

“Custom Tool: The S4DC Social Media Performance Predictor (SMPP)”   

The S4DC SMPP starts with a standard social data collection module that uses Facebook Graph API and Pages.

This information is then uploaded to a cloud-based module , allowing real-time access. They calculate insights in a graphical format using this internally shared module.

The data is then exported to an easy-to-use dashboard to help with marketing, technology, sales, operations, and finance decisions.

Over 1 million social media interactions were analyzed across Arbonne ‘s top 25 competitors. Based on these findings, they created weekly reporting for their top sales team.

As a result, Arbonne was able to gain actionable best practices for their unique market position, which they were able to pass on to each individual consultant.

They worked with each consultant to create personalized branding statements that complemented the corporate direction.

Arbonne Business Practices

Arbonne Business Practices

Arbonne takes pride in being a B Corporation.

The B Corporation certification of “social and environmental performance” is a private certification for for- profit businesses that are separate from the legal designation of a Benefit Corporation.

B Lab , a global nonprofit organization with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and a partnership in Latin America with Sistema B, confers B Corp certification.

Conversely, Arbonne has a “ Green Will Call ” shipping option. Orders are placed in Arbonne recyclable cloth bags rather than boxes, and they can be picked up either at their Irvine Will Call Center or their Indiana Will Call Center.

What Products Does Arbonne Sell?

arbonne network marketing pyramid scheme reviews

Arbonne consultants and their products fall into 6 categories:

Nutrition (Protein Shakes…)

Arbonne Protein Shakes

Skincare (Cleanser, Toner…)

Arbonne Skincare

Makeup (Mascara, Lip Serum…)

Arbonne Makeup

Body Care (Body Wash, Body Lotion…)

Arbonne Body Care

Hair (Shampoo, Conditioner…)

Arbonne Hair

Accessories (Makeup Brushes…)

Are arbonne ingredients safe.

When you read Arbonne reviews, you’ll notice that some people complain about side effects. These side effects are caused by the ingredients in the formulas, not by the products themselves.

For example, because glucomannan is a fiber, it can cause gas and bloating. Any severe adverse reaction could indicate a problem, so seek medical help if you think you’re having one.

How Many Arbonne Consultants Are There Worldwide?

In 2005, there were 434,000 consultants , and in 2006, there were 612,000. So between 2007 and 2009, the company went from having 1.3 million consultants to having less than 800,000.

In 2019, a nutritionist who works as a freelance writer said in a blog post that there are over 250,000 Arbonne Consultants worldwide.

All the Arbonne Consultants (or “Arbonne Distributors”) have one thing in common: they make most of their income via the Arbonne compensation plan, which basically means they make more money recruiting friends and family than they do from the product itself.

This model draws the frustration of people like renowned author and MLM expert Robert Fitzpatrick, who does not believe in these nutrition products or the multi level marketing company behind it.

Is Arbonne Involved In Any Controversies Or Scandals?

A 2006 article in The Virginian-Pilot raised a question about AIRD’s lack of its own facilities, as well as the possibility that chemist Pierre Bottiglieri had worked for other companies besides Arbonne .

In January 2009, Arbonne voluntarily recalled some production lots of branded peanut butter cups. This was due to the possibility of Salmonella serotype Typhimurium contamination in peanut-based products shipped from a Georgia processing facility.

In September 2009, due to the risk of contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, the company voluntarily recalled a production lot of branded foaming sea salt scrub products.

In January 2013, Arbonne voluntarily recalled one batch of branded facial moisturizer products for men, according to Health Canada. Aerococcus viridans was found in the products, based on Arbonne‘s testing.

In June 2016, Arbonne voluntarily recalled multiple lots of branded liquid eyeliner products. The bacteria Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus xylosus, and Staphylococcus lentus were found in unacceptable levels in the products.

In October 2017, The ACCC recalled one lot of branded body wash products due to unsafe levels of Staphylococcus cohnii.

In November 2009, Arbonne International LLC was found to have broken federal law by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Lisa Wilson was turned down for a job because of her disability (deafness). Arbonne agreed to pay Wilson a $30,000 settlement and to implement anti-discrimination policies and training.

In May 2017, Cynthia and Michael Dagnall filed a lawsuit against Arbonne in Orange County Superior Court. They claimed that the company was a pyramid scheme. On March 20, 2018, the Arbonne Pyramid Scheme Class Action Lawsuit was dismissed.

Arbonne Online Reviews

arbonne business model

Let’s hear what some people are saying:

“A couple weeks ago, I went to a home show where an Arbonne Independent Consultant approached me. I was actually working as a vendor and she made a point to come over and talk to me. Perhaps I looked nice, approachable, vulnerable? Anyway, she starts talking to me about their products and if I had any interest in selling Arbonne products. Well, I actually was thinking about picking up some sort of side gig and a job from home sounded like a pretty cool idea. So she invites me over to her booth and starts talking about how their products are all natural, has me try a bunch of stuff from their nutrition line. It all seems pretty great. She also tried a foundation on me that felt really nice on my skin. So long story short – I give her my contact info and she says she’ll be in touch with me and that we should meet up for coffee sometime. Great. The next day I receive this very business-like email from her that seems like she is trying to sell me the products, but nothing about meeting up to chat. So I email her back and express that I am interested in the business and would like to set up a meeting.

Fast forward a couple days later. I posted a feeler on FaceBook about who has tried Arbonne products and what they think of them. Some girl who I didn’t really know but lives close to my home town messages me on FaceBook and says she is an Independent Arbonne consultant and invites me to like her page. She seems like a really nice girl so I tell her I’m interested in selling for Arbonne and that I had some questions about the business. She has really positive things to say about the products and the business and said to let her know if I needed help signing up.

A few days went by and I never heard anything from the lady I met at the home show. The girl on Facebook messages me again and wants to know if I’m still interested in the business. I tell her yes but I still have some questions. Then she says okay but I need you to watch this video first to give you some insight about Arbonne. So, being the nice person I am, I say sure no problem. It was a 12 minute long video of exactly what I thought it was going to be….some upper class suburban wife talking about how Arbonne changed her life and blah blah blah. She also kept mentioning that their products were “pure, safe, and beneficial”. I really wanted to believe that was true. Being she skeptical person I am, I spent a lot of time googling Arbonne product reviews and came upon a very well-written article by a lady who talks about the ingredients in Arbonne and how the company is basically lying about their claim to be all natural. What really disappointed me is that for the longest time, they refused to post their ingredients, which I think is super sketchy. Good news is they are now posted, but the ingredients are by far, not all natural. Each product has a huge list of ingredients and that’s never a good sign.

Here is the article: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/arbonne-pure-safe-cosmetics/

So back to my story…as I’m chatting with this girl through FB messenger, I’m doing my research on Arbonne and finding all these posts and articles that pretty much have me turned off at this point. She has some questions for me about after watching the video, mostly about my interest level and what I like about the products. I was responding very positively to all the questions, still trying to be optimistic. Then she hits me with this: “Can you think of anyone who might be interested in the business opportunity or products?” NO. NO. NO. I’m not getting anyone else roped into this. I soon realize that this is a pyramid scheme and that she would be making money off of me if I signed up and anyone else. So she starts talking about how she can get me signed up right away and at this point I’m thinking dear lord what have I done?? I politely tell her I need more time to think it over and discuss it with my fiancé. Then she says “Okay! How about I follow up with you tomorrow?” I’m thinking okay girl, you are being way too pushy.

The next day, I finally decide that I definitely do not want to sell Arbonne. I reach out to her to let her know and thank her for her time and again, being the nice person I am, let her know if I’m interested in selling/buying I’ll reach out to her. BUT THESE ARBONNE SELLERS DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORD “NO” MEANS. She’s still trying to get me to buy her products and find a friend who is interested. Ugh. I’m tired.

So in summary, DON’T GET ROPED INTO THIS. I was smart to get out of it before I even started, and even that was hell. I’m honestly starting to believe this is not much different than Mary Kay. I can honestly say I had high hopes for Arbonne and was super excited to think their products were actually what they claimed. Therefore, I think I’ll stick to my organic coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.

Also, if you read all the way up to this point, you must have a lot of patience listening to me ramble! So thank you! I hope this post served as some good insight to anyone who is thinking about buying/selling Arbonne products.”

“Okay, buckle in because this is all sorts of ridiculous. Back in university my friend and I somehow got roped into going to a “party”. I really didn’t want to go because it all felt off, and I was not acquainted with the girl the invite came from (but my friend worked with her. She was a military wife, vegan, actually a very nice girl, but I digress).

Our initial plan was to go out for dinner when all of a sudden we got this rando invite to this “party”. Now my mum did Mary Kay for a few years so I was pretty suspicious. Out went dinner plans ( I remember being ridiculously hungry by this point) and we made or say to a strangers house as the girl that gathered everyone was hosting this “party” at a consultants house. Now this complete stranger was surly and sour faced when no one was paying attention but was quick to put on a grin when she recognized the military wife chick and a few of their mutual friends. She did not seem to like my friend and I though which I found strange. This will be relevant a little later.

Well turns out it was a three hour sales pitch for Arbonne. The consultants own up-line was doing the entire presentation. All about how makeup is made with animal carcasses, how they are vegan and health orientated blah blah blah. It was long and tedious and at this point I was wishing we had just gone to dinner and by the look on my friends face, she was thinking the same.

Finally the presentation ends and we are given these papers with Arbonnes product that we would be interested in ( this was when it was clear that a few of us would not be signing up for Arbonne, which made the consultant chick irritated. Her up-line kept it professional though.) we were told that we’d be given a code from the consultant to order products online (which we wold receive directly I guess versus waiting for it to be dropped off?) now I’m vegetarian so vegan products did interest me and I was generally interested in the product (I know I know, blame the hunger and semi hope this wasn’t a really horrible scam like Mary Kay). So I ask the consultant about her order number cuz I would be willing to order and she kept giving me a run around

“OH I would want to meet up with you later and we can discuss what products would be best for you”

More like she wanted to try to convince me into her scheme. I expressed confusion and she suddenly got very mean and essentially called me dumb in front of everyone (it’s been 4 years so I can’t remember her exact phrasing, I do remember feeling my face go hot and immediately wanting to leave.) There was a slight stunned silence in the room, and then causal chit chat started up after a moment. Pretty sure no one knew how the fuck to react to that, I certainly did not.

Luckily for me the party was pretty much over at this point, and once about a block away I expressed my embarrassment to my friend, which she agreed the lady was out of line entirely and had been nasty to all her non friends all night. Military wife was with us too and she seemed embarrassed as well but kept quiet.

And that consultant NEVER contacted me about purchasing her damn product. So moral of the story is, Arbonne, HUGE scam and that was pretty much when I realized I was 3000% done with all MLMs. I refuse to support my friends Scentsy and whatever other bullshit they are into. Between the Mary Kay shit in my childhood and being demeaned by a stranger for no reason, enough was enough. I just hope any bots stuck in Arbonne get out fast… such nonsense.”

arbonne business model

So…that’s a couple of harsh reviews. Let’s try one positive spin from an insider:

“Hi Redditers,

I read above post and understand all the negative conations about MLM and that their pyramid schemes, not legit, etc.

I want to share a different perspective with you and clear up some misconceptions, in my view its actually  affiliate marketing  on steroids.

As you know with affiliate marketing you sell someone else’s product and get a commission, however with multilevel marketing, you can make $ off of other’s efforts.

With Arbonne specifically, I’m a Arbonne consultant, you actually are not obligated to buy / hold inventory, in fact you can simply send a prospect to your Arbonne’s ecommerce site and if someone decides to buy, you get paid, just like in affiliate marketing.

Now, if you get other consultants to sign up under you and they sale, you can potentially make extra income.

Another thing to keep in mind, if you work a corporate job the boss at the top makes the most while the workers at the bottom work the hardest make the least. With Arbonne one can actually out rank their sponsor and eclipse them. This alone debunks the myth its a pyramid scheme.

But like with anything else, to make a descent amount either you have to sell a lot or either train others to sell, either way its lots of hard work, there isn’t any shortcuts.”

What Do I Need To Do To Join Arbonne?

Become an arbonne preferred client.

Your  $29 startup fee  gives you access to exclusive deals and special offers on Arbonne products when you join Arbonne as a Preferred Client.

Become An Arbonne Independent Consultant

The sign-up fee  costs $49 . Annual renewal costs $29.

Is Arbonne A Scam?

is it a scam

So, is selling Arbonne products a scam?

Not technically – even if people online are saying otherwise . The Federal Trade Commission seems to give them a pass.

You  can  make money as an Arbonne consultant, but building a successful business is definitely not as easy as they make it sound.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with front-loading the work and making the money later.

But if you’re grinding it out for 3 months, and then your reward is being forced to grind it out for another 9 months before seeing any “real money,” well…that’s not a  great deal , is it?

Reminds me of those God-forsaken  MLMs  many of us have experienced…all hype and no substance.

What if, instead, you  could  do that same 3 months of work (in your spare time), and your reward was a $500 to $2,000 payment that came in every single month?

And what if you actually didn’t need to wait 3 months?  What  if you could get started today and have your first payment in a week?

And what if you could double it next week?

Well, that’s the  power  of  Digital Real Estate . 

And you can legitimately do this from anywhere. It’s a  true  lifestyle business.

Your  laptop  and an internet connection are all you need.

Some of the most successful students in  this program  run their entire 6-figure businesses from:

·         A camper in the middle of the woods

·         A beach chair laid out on gorgeous white sands

·         A small villa in the Mediterranean

quit your job

These people are able to travel around, living their lives first, and focusing on their  income  second.

Because even if they stop  working  for an extended period of time, the money keeps coming in – so adventure, memories, and experience are the top  priority .

And  they  never have to worry about how to pay for the next trip, or consider asking for time off.

If this sounds more like the type of life you want to  lead ,  just click here to find out more about Digital Real Estate.

Are There Alternatives To Arbonne?

alternative path financial independence

Yes, there are plenty of other business models to choose from if you want to  pursue  a path that frees your time and expands your wallet.  Here are just a few:

·         Local Lead Generation

·         Digital Real Estate

·         SEO

·         Real Estate

·         Website Building

Suppose you’re an entrepreneur looking to make some passive income. In that case, there are already a plethora of online courses available that will teach you a new business model for working from home.

Can You Make Money With Arbonne?

money from home

Sure, I  guess .

…there’s a lot that comes along with becoming an Arbonne independent consultant that many people  struggle  with.

Now, don’t get the  wrong  idea…

…it’s not impossible to make money if you join Arbonne, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to do this (which, trust us,  isn’t easy ), you might as well bring in some REAL money while you’re learning the ropes.

The program that helped  skyrocket  many online businesses to over $40,000+ per month is so simple that making money really does become second nature.

What Is Our #1 Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2023?

Take the Pen

Our review team has spent  months  researching, reviewing, and vetting dozens of business models and thousands of programs.

While there may be no “perfect business”, the research IS  conclusive :

Digital Real Estate is the #1 online business model for entrepreneurs.

Whether you’ve never made a  dollar  online, or you’ve been in this space for a while but never really “made it,” Digital Real Estate is probably your best bet.

Frankly, I don’t think you can afford to make the wrong choice when it comes to your  career  in this day and age.

Have you seen inflation lately? You know, that thing where your money is worth less but your costs of living keep rising? You must find a way to overcome this strain on your financial life, and you can’t rely on others to do it for you.

“Relying on others to do it for you”…where have I heard that  before ?

Oh yeah, it’s  Arbonne’s entire business model. Not good.

Whether you’re sick of living an average life, or a single mom seeking a new stream of income in order to stop the cycle of  barely getting by …it seems clear to me that  Digital Real Estate  is a great option to take control in today’s economy.

Let’s dig into the  details :

1) It’s Flexible:

Got an hour a day? You can do this. Ready to drop everything else and dive in full time?  You can do this.

Yes, the more time you put in, the faster you see results. But even with a little time each day, you can move the needle in a  Digital Real Estate  business.

And  because  this system is so flexible, you don’t have to constantly be working to make more money. It’s called  PASSIVE INCOME  because if you stop working, the money doesn’t.

Imagine taking 3 months off to just tour around Europe, rent a cabin in the woods to write a book, hike the Appalachian Trail, or live on the beach and surf  all day.

This is  only possible  if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.

testimonial BAM jump all in

2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING:

With multi level marketing companies, you don’t own anything. With Arbonne, you  REALLY  don’t own anything.

You don’t own the sales platform,  you don’t own a brand , and you don’t own the customers.

So…are you comfortable  trusting Arbonne independent consultants with your livelihood?

free time family online business

3) Little To No Startup Costs:

It’s possible to get into Digital Real Estate with  zero  dollars upfront. Because,  using the strategies outlined in this program , you can get a client to pay you  BEFORE  spending a penny out of your own pocket…even before you do any work.

That said, I’m not going to lie to you and say you’ll never have to put any work in. That’s a red flag. You don’t get anything for free in this life…however, you can absolutely put work in up front that frees up your time and lifestyle as you  stack success.

That’s the  life-hack  to sitting back and watching money roll in.

Even without getting paid in advance, you can have your first Digital Rental Property up, running, and generating profits for a much more  efficient  investment than any multi level marketing scheme – or even worse, taking out student loans.

winning big

4) No Wasted Time:

As mentioned above, spending tons of hours every day selling to your family and friends is a huge time commitment.

Plus, you constantly need to be dealing with a business ethics standards team if you want to maintain your business.

You need to spend even more money if you want to scale up . As an Arbonne rep, you’ll always have limits   on your time and freedom.

With  Digital Real Estate , a 100% online business, you never have to worry about that.

Testimonial leadgen marketing

5) Easy To Duplicate:

Ok, here’s the best part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up and running, you can literally  DOUBLE  your income with a few clicks, a couple keystrokes, and a single phone call.

Remember: each  Digital Rental Property  is worth $500 to $2,000 a month in semi-passive income (over 95% profit). Every time you decide to create another one and  increase  your income, it gets easier.

How does it get  easier ?

Because you have more knowledge, more experience, more  results , and more momentum.

If you wanted to double your income as one of thousands of Arbonne reps, you’d have to double your time investment OR your profit margins. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that’s a lot harder than a few clicks and a few minutes of your life.

done deal digital real estate

6) Make Money Helping Real People:

This part is what makes it all worth it.  Direct selling is a decent way to make  yourself  money, but it doesn’t improve anyone else’s lives.

After all, there’s always someone else selling shampoo. That might be fine in the short term, but in the long run you may feel like you’re missing a  purpose .

Don’t even get me started on  MLMs , where your friends and family become the product…I’m sure many of you reading have been through that sort of “bait and switch” nonsense before.

You know the type – they promise a living wage, then you’re only on  commission  for a sketchy product.

With  Digital Real Estate  though, you’re actually helping people by solving your clients’ biggest problem:

Small, local businesses  need  more customers, and with  Digital Real Estate , you are unleashing a flood of happy, paying customers for these businesses.

You make money by helping them make  money .

Not some big, faceless corporation either…a small business owner who’s using that money to put food on the table for their family, start a college fund for their  kids , or take care of a sick parent.

Once you see how  Digital Real Estate makes a real impact in the lives of real people , you’ll see what I mean.

take the pen

Now, the choice is yours. You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like  MLM which  could  one day make you money…

…you could continue researching, never making a  decision …

OR, you could take a look inside, consider what you really want, and join a program that  makes your dreams a reality.

At the same time, you’re joining a community of over 2,000 successful students that are living life on their own terms thanks to  Digital Real Estate.

A  consistent , reliable, semi-passive stream of income that doesn’t depend on you or your time to keep producing profits? It’s as good as it sounds.

All while genuinely helping real people who are grateful and  happy to pay for it.

If this sounds more like what you want out of  life  (or if you just want some nice side income),  click here to learn more about Digital Real Estate.

ScamRisk's #1 Online Business Recommendation:

You know deep down what you're meant for. now they will show you how to go get it..

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lol i almmsot put my money into this thing thx

I advise other ladies out there to DO YOUR RESEARCH…pretty much every makeup brand that labels you an “ambassador” is an MLM aka a Pyramid Scheme.

I can already tell that this Digital Real Estate recommendation is not an MLM – I can’t say if it’s any good yet, but your number one priority when trying to make independent income should be AVOID MLM AT ALL COST.

Oh, and unfollow anyone who uses the term #GirlBoss unironically…

products are okay, overpriced, its the recruiting thing i keep seeing everywhere – pyramid scheme!!

thank u for the review very helpful maybe save someone $$$

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