It’s yet another MLM (also known as network marketing) program designed to persuade you to join, buy a product kit, and then recruit your family, friends, and coworkers to do the same.
Basically, it’s promoted by many high-level MLM members who earn the majority of their income from the program by recruiting others to join as well.
It’s supposed to show you how to become a successful “Network Marketer,” but most members barely make any money promoting their products.
That’s just the truth…you won’t get rich off a 25-30% commission from over-priced Shakes, Shampoo, and Body Lotions.
If you want to build wealth online, (at an average of $1,500 per sale PER MONTH), check out my #1 recommendation here.
Now, I do want to be completely transparent here, so…
MLMs like Arbonne are a bit of a mixed bag. They CAN be a legitimate way to make money, but some have a reputation for literally ruining people’s lives – so it’s important to know what you’re getting since each one is unique.
Like most of my readers, you were probably introduced to this one via a friend or some influencer you trust online.
And it makes sense why so many people recommend them:
Making money outside of a 9-5 can be… life-changing, to say the least.
So in this article, I want to help you explore two things:
- If MLMs are actually a worthwhile business to pursue
- If Arbonne is a worthwhile MLM
Before that, I want to clear the air on something.
There are A LOT of people out there who bash all MLMs in any form. I am not one of those people.
Instead, I want to genuinely educate you about them so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
If you’re unfamiliar with what MLMs actually do:
They’re businesses in which you pay money to a company for the ability to sell their products.
Sometimes the products are actually kind of decent (I still remember my mom throwing pampered-chef parties when I was younger).
Other times the products are really poorly made and come with a high price tag.
Typically, the only way to really make money is to get people (mostly friends & family) to sign up with you for a recurring subscription.
If the product is 100% legitimate & valuable, it’s entirely possible to get people to sign-up and continue paying you.
If the product is subpar, you’ll usually burn those bridges kinda quickly and end up with $0 coming in each month.
The biggest issue I’ve seen is that this puts significant stress on your personal relationships, as you’re reliant on selling to your “network.”
Think about it: if you KNEW that every time your friend Sally called, she’d be trying to sell you on one of her products… you’d eventually stop answering Sally’s calls.
Now, this doesn’t mean MLMs are outright bad… it means you need to know what type of MLM you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.
Again, some MLMs provide real value to people, but MOST don’t – and so in this article, I’m going to explore what the case is with Arbonne.
But before that, I want to ask you a question: what if there was a way to build actual recurring, semi-passive income?
- Doesn’t have inventory
- Doesn’t make you sell to your friends & family
- Doesn’t force you to recruit people onto your “team”
Something that you could make anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 with consistently, month after month?
A stream of income that you can build as high (or low) as you feel like building it?
If that sounds interesting, you might want to think about becoming a Digital Landlord.
If you wanna see what Arbonne looks like on the inside, keep reading.
MLM Review: What Is Arbonne?
Petter Mørck, a Norwegian businessman, started Arbonne International, LLC in Switzerland in 1975. In 1980, he brought it to the United States. It uses cutting-edge technology and research to produce personal care, health, and beauty products. The company’s personal care and nutrition products are all vegan-certified and follow a strict Policy on Purity and Safety.
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 Company History: How It All Started
For the past 50 years, Petter Mørck has worked in the skincare industry in Norway. After deciding that the ingredients used by the companies he worked for were bad for the skin, he moved to Arbon, Switzerland, in 1975 to work on his own skincare line with Pierre Bottiglieri, who worked at Laboratoires Cosmetiques Arval.
According to the story published by Arbonne, Bottiglieri and Mørck worked together to make a line of products that do not contain harmful chemicals like petroleum or animal products. Another version of their story says that Mørck bought the formulas from Laboratoires Cosmétiques Arval, which sold formulas that could be rebranded.
Mørck continued to be active in the company until his death in 2008. Stian Mørck, his son, is the current VP Brand Ambassador of Arbon.
From 1991 to 2011, Rita Davenport served as the company’s first president.
Around 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 a company’s social and environmental performance, as well as its transparency and accountability. Businesses are certified by the nonprofit B Lab for their measurable impact on people and the environment. They are required, unlike traditional corporations, to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders: customers, workers, communities, and the environment.
As of 2017, they claim to have nearly 320,000 Consultants selling their products worldwide.
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 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 products fall into six categories:
Nutrition (Protein Shakes…)
Skincare (Cleanser, Toner…)
Makeup (Mascara, Lip Serum…)
Body Care (Body Wash, Body Lotion…)
Hair (Shampoo, Conditioner…)
Accessories (Makeup Brushes…)
Are Arbonne Ingredients Safe?
You’ll see complaints about side effects when reading Arbonne reviews. The components in the formulas, not the products themselves, are the reason behind these side effects.
For example, glucomannan can cause gas and bloating because it’s a fiber. You should seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing a severe adverse reaction.
“Glucomannan supplements (3.99 g daily) were well tolerated,” according to a study published in the Journal of Obesity. Additional studies to assess the safety and efficacy of this widely used alternative weight loss approach are needed, given the growing obesity epidemic.”
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.
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 many 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 at unacceptable levels in the products.
In October 2017, The ACCC recalled many 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.
Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?
Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme. It is a direct selling company.
But Arbonne is much more than a direct selling company. In addition, it is a multi-level marketing company (MLM).
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a business model that generates revenue from products and new distributors’ recruitment.
It’s entirely possible to build a profitable, successful MLM business.
And unlike Arbonne, it actually provides real proof of real success from real people as recently as a few days ago.
But, when it comes to building a business, you have plenty of options.
And even if you’re dead set on becoming a Network Marketer, you’ve got way better options than Arbonne.
Keep in mind, I don’t get paid to promote any of the programs I review. I personally think MLM is a great business model, but you could end up leaving way too much money on the table.
An Arbonne consultant can make money by selling Arbonne products and persuading other women to join.
MLM distributors can now sell to – and recruit from – people all over the world, thanks to social media. Sales tactics promise “rocking” income, “instant” pay, and the chance to “be your own boss” in social media posts.
MLM companies are similar to a pyramid scheme in that once someone joins under you, you receive a percentage of their earnings. If they sign up people below them, you get a cut of the profits as well. Like a pyramid scheme, an MLM has a few people at the top getting rich off the backs of thousands of people at the bottom.
MLMs and pyramid schemes are distinguished by the fact that MLMs have products, according to Daryl Koehn, a professor of business ethics at DePaul University in Chicago. “All you’re selling in a pyramid scheme is the chance to make money.”
But even if MLMs have products, according to Koehn, they can become a pyramid scheme if there is a high entry cost or if distributors lose money by building up inventory they can’t sell.
Jon Taylor, a US Consumer Awareness Institute employee, compiled a short ebook on MLMs for the Federal Trade Commission in 2011. “After reading these chapters, the reader may question whether it is appropriate to refer to MLM as a ‘business at all, given its inherent flaws,” he wrote. “Some people who are familiar with MLM’s dismal statistics believe it is more appropriate to call all MLM pyramid schemes.”
Anyone, in theory, can join an MLM. In practice, according to Koehn’s point of view, the model appeals to “people with fewer opportunities.”
According to Rachel (not her real name), a former Forever Living rep in her late 40s, many who join are encouraged to target women: a stay-at-home wife, someone who has lost a job, a new mother, or a single mother. She was recruited to Forever Living in 2016 as a “newly single mother willing to try anything to provide for my children.”
How Does An Arbonne Consultant Make Money?
Arbonne Consultants do not earn compensation for recruiting or sponsoring other Arbonne Consultants. They only earn compensation when products are sold:
These are your profits from personal sales to Preferred Clients & Clients.
– Full Retail Value (RV) = 35% commission on sale!
– Preferred Client Discount = 15% commission on the sale!
– Consultant Discount = 0% commission on sale!
These are your earnings from the sales of your team.
Arbonne Consultants may be eligible for awards, incentives, and recognition programs in addition to the business opportunities:
District Manager = $200/Month
• $5000 Group Volume + 5 NEW Independent Consultants with $150 PRV order in their start month in your CENTRAL District.
Area Manager = $400/Month
• $20,000 Group Volume + 10 New Independent Consultants with $150 PRV order in their start month, in your CENTRAL Area.
Regional Vice President = $600/month
• $60,000 + 30 New Independent Consultants with $150 PRV order in their start month, in your CENTRAL Region.
Below are some highlights of their income disclosure statement released in 2020:
- Based on team sales volume, Arbonne Consultants at the Vice President level were eligible for the VP Success Award (a monthly allowance starting at $200 to be applied toward the purchase or lease of a white Mercedes-Benz). The VP Success Award was given to less than 2% of Arbonne Consultants.
- The NVP Leadership Meeting incentive trip to Wailea, HI, was open to 577 Arbonne Consultants at the National Vice President level, with 565 earning the trip.
- The NVP Challenge trip 40th Anniversary Adriatic Cruise was open to 549 Arbonne Consultants at the National Vice President level, with 28 earning the trip.
- 13,331 Consultants applied for the Arbonne Incentive Trip to Atlantis, Bahamas, and they only chose 1,161.
- In 2019, 357 Arbonne Consultants at the National Vice President level were eligible to earn paid round-trip travel and a hotel suite at Arbonne’s annual meeting (GTC) in Las Vegas, NV. This event was canceled in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions.
Can You Really Make Money With Arbonne?
Yes, you can…
But there’s a lot that comes along with Network Marketing that many people struggle with.
In fact, check out these Top 5 Reason Why Most Network Marketers Fail.
Now, don’t get me wrong…
You can certainly make money with Network Marketing, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to do this business (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money while you’re learning the ropes.
The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $40,000+ per month is so simple that making money really does become second nature.
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.
Arbonne Success Stories
“For the first time in 19 years, I weighed under 200 pounds! And it’s still going!”
“I feel better than I have in years in just a few weeks!! I’ve dropped 13 pounds, and my mood and anxiety have both improved! My mind is clearer, and I have a lot more energy! It’s been incredible and not as difficult as I anticipated. This week marks the beginning of a new month for me!”
“The meals are a hit with the kids! I’ve lost ten pounds! No more acid reflux or joint pain!”
Are There Alternatives To Arbonne?
Yes, there are plenty of other business models to choose from if you want to pursue this making money online. Here are just a few:
Is Arbonne A Scam?
So, time for the $1,000,000 question: is Arbonne a scam?
No, not technically. They aren’t going to run off with your money and not give you what you paid for. It’s 100% possible to make money with this program.
That being said, it’s not nearly as simple as they want you to think it is.
There’s A LOT of work to be done upfront and no guarantee that you’ll be successful. The commissions are also fairly small.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing hard work now, so that I can reap the benefits later.
But if you’re going to work really hard for 3 months, and your reward is a $100 check… it’s not really a great opportunity.
If I’m gonna do that, I want the rewards to be HIGH and virtually guaranteed.
I’d rather put in that same 3 months of work (in my spare time) & build a handful of Digital Rental Properties that each produce $500-$2,000 checks every single month afterward (AKA recurring income).
And the cool part is that you can do it in a lot less time than 3-months (I personally did it in my first 2 weeks of being a Digital Landlord).
Unlike with MLMs, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so it’s a genuine “laptop-lifestyle” business.
All you need is an internet connection.
Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:
- Camping trips at national parks
- Beachfront in Hawaii
- On the road in a camper van (with a pet pig!)
They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program.
They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.
Living happily is the top priority.
If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!
What Is My #1 Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2022?
I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:
- I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
- I’ve dropshipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
- I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing
And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.
I’ve also been on the other side of old friends trying to sell me their fancy new MLM products.
That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord.
Whether you’re a complete newbie or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.
Time: If you’ve got a spare hour or two each day, you can do this. If you want to drop everything and go all-in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.
And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring.
That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.
But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.
Ownership & Control: With MLMs, you don’t really “own” anything – everything belongs to the MLM.
If you read the contracts, they can kick you out or change your commission at any time (it’s happened in a few high-profile MLM cases recently).
Why pour your soul into a business that could be taken away from you at the drop of a dime?
When you’re a Digital Landlord, you literally own all of the assets, which means you have ultimate control.
Big Margins: With MLMs, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to have a VERY large network to make serious money. This usually entails spending A LOT of money on ads and other methods for recruiting members.
Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.
Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.
Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.
It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…
If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you would need to sell twice as much inventory. And I can guarantee you, that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.
You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with MLMs is that you’re likely going to ruin your personal relationships.
The MLM may have convinced you that you’re actually helping people, but it’s often not really true.
But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:
Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.
You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.
Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.
So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other MLM programs like Arbonne, which might make you money 12 months from now.
You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.
OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.
Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.
If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.