One company many of you may have come across, either through invites on social media or by actively searching for opportunities to make money online, is Arbonne International.
A quick look at their corporate website might show you exactly what you’re looking for. Together with Arbonne, you can become healthy and earn money on the side. Hopefully, your skepticism meter is working overtime.
Before clicking that signup button, we should address one simple question: Is Arbonne International a scam? I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about Arbonne International and how it operates.
What Is Arbonne International?
- Name: Arbonne International
- Founder: Petter Mørck
- Website: arbonne.com
- Price: £70 first time (£25 annual renewal)
- Rating: 4/10
Arbonne International was founded by a Mr. Peter Mørck, back in 1980. The Norwegian entrepreneur had roots in the skincare industry before establishing Arbonne, but he was dissatisfied with the non beneficial ingredients that went into the products.
With a “green” mindset before going green was the norm, he created what he called skincare products of unmatched quality, safety, and purity. The only missing ingredient was a team of marketers who would help introduce the company and product across the world.
Arbonne is a multi-level marketing company headquartered in Irvine, California and has international offices in Canada, Australia, the UK, Poland, and New Zealand. Today, there are over 20,000 Independent Consultants. Their purposes are to recruit new members into the Arbonne family while also selling products.
Today, Arbonne’s product lineup has not deviated from the original dream. With clean formulas and plant-based ingredients that “offer real health benefits,” there’s little wonder why this company is doing so well in finding new consultants and selling products to their health-conscious demographic.
What Does Arbonne International Offer?
Arbonne’s product lines are pretty much the same as what you’d find from other skincare companies. There are five main categories, each with far too many products to mention individually, so here’s a quick overview:
· Skincare – moisturizers, de-stress powders, facial washes, sunscreens
· Bath & Body – shower gels, grooming sets, body lotions, charcoal soaps, essential oils
· Makeup – lipsticks, eye shadows, lip balms, mascara
· Nutrition – teas, protein shakes, snack bars
· Hair – curling creams, hair vitamins, shampoos, conditioners
By selling their products, you can earn a healthy 35% commission for each sale you help create. Assuming you can sell their $200-plus product regularly, you can make quite a bit from commissions alone.
But that’s not all. Remember how I said the company needed marketers to introduce their product? That’s where we, the regular folk, come into play.
When joining, you have the opportunity to become either a consultant or a Preferred Client. Preferred Clients get free shipping of Arbonne products for resale, resulting in a healthier profit margin. Consultants, on the other hand, have to do the heavy lifting.
Arbonne asks its Independent Consultants to focus on recruiting new members to create a team of hardcore salespeople. This is the far more promising way of earning through Arbonne as each sale generated from your recruits (downline) results in a commission for you and your upline.
What Does It Cost to Join Arbonne International?
When registering with Arbonne International, you can choose to become either an Independent Consultant or a Preferred Client.
Independent consultants pay a $49 registration fee to cover a 12-month term and starter kit. After the year is up, you’re asked to pay a $29 renewal fee for the following year. Independent Consultants get a 35% discount on their purchase, which basically translates into the 35% commission you can earn from sales. When selling to a registered Preferred Client, the commission drops to 15%.
Preferred Clients pay a $29 registration fee for a 1-year membership and get the opportunity to upgrade their membership to Independent Consultant by paying an additional $59. They receive 20% discounts on Arbonne products and 40% discounts on value sets, as well as free shipping for orders over $100 SRP. The renewal fee is also $29.
There are also special offers where consultants can receive a complimentary product upon registration when the order exceeds a certain amount. Arbonne will waive the registration fee if you order a minimum of $500 SRP.
Admittedly, there’s a lot of information to swallow here, but in a nutshell, it boils down to this:
1. Pay a $29 or $49 fee to join Arbonne for one year
2. If you purchase more than $100 of product upon registration, the fee is waived
3. Sell products and earn a commission (between 15% and 35%)
4. Renew your membership by paying $29
Why I Like Arbonne International (Pros)
Now, let’s take a moment to analyze the pros and cons of Arbonne International. It didn’t take much digging to figure all of this stuff out.
1. Does not make fake claims/unrealistic promises on income earnings
So, here’s the thing with MLM organizations in general. They typically try to lure in non-savvy investors by dangling promises of riches in front of them.
Arbonne does not take that route. Instead, with just a tiny bit of digging, I was able to uncover this truth:
So even though there is an average income you can earn, Arbonne clearly leaves your earnings up to you. The harder you work, the more you can make, just like in real life.
This, in my book, is a major weakness in MLM companies that Arbonne deserves full credit for disclosing.
2. An established company founded in 1980
I’ve seen MLM companies come and go in my lifetime, and very rarely are there such organizations that stay afloat for longer than 10 years. The fact that Mr. Mørck’s dream turned into a reality and still exists nearly four decades later is astonishing by any business standard.
Seeing as how Arbonne manufacturers and distributes products to a market that actually exists, and with several decades’ worth of experience under their belt, I foresee the company standing strong for many years to come.
3. Is actively responding to complaints at BBB
The following screenshot speaks volumes about Arbonne International as a company.
The Better Business Bureau exists to advance marketplace trust. Customers are free to leave complaints about any company they conduct business with, and businesses can either ignore or address the complaint.
It’s clear that Arbonne has put in the effort to protect the company’s good name by having an online presence in all sorts of platforms.
4. Online tools to manage the business
If you have time, take a quick look at this site, and you’ll see how Arbonne is a model MLM company.
Basically, upon signing up, Arbonne provides its members with a wide range of business tools, including a mobile app, quick-access to online shopping, and training seminars. There’s even an awesome 45-day money-back guarantee.
What I dislike about Arbonne International (Cons)
1. 57% of Independent Consultants are making £519 or less
Here’s a sad fact I came across almost immediately: over half of registered Arbonne Independent Consultants are earning less than £519 annually. You can easily make more doing what I do on a part-time basis.
To make matters worse, this figure takes into account the vast number of people who register with Arbonne for their discount benefits, not to market and sell. So, 57% of the people not earning a living wage with Arbonne are those who have access to the business tools but can’t sell enough or recruit enough people.
2. Recruitment is the only way to earn high income with Arbonne
True to MLM fashion, the more people you recruit, the more money you earn Arbonne. A portion of every purchase that comes through your downline will end up in your pocket, so the more people you have working under you, the higher your income.
3. Expensive products
If you can earn a 15 to 35% commission for every sale you help generate, surely that should keep your lights on and stomachs full every day, right?
This is based on the assumption that the product you’re pushing actually sells. The harsh truth about Arbonne products is that they’re far too expensive for the average person to entertain.
A 1.26-kg of an Arbonne protein shake costs £64.
I fully understand that MLM products carry heftier price tags to cover the multi-tiered commission promised to their members, but c’mon… There are way cheaper alternatives by non-MLM manufacturers.
Verdict: A Legit MLM Business
To answer the initial question, “Is Arbonne International a Scam?”, no, it’s not. Huzzahs are in order!
Suppose you’re passionate about plant-based skincare products and take their training seminars seriously. In that case, you might make quite a bit with Arbonne. However, keep in mind that your earnings depend on how much blood, sweat, and tears you put in. Even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll beat the 57% making £519 or less.
I won’t just leave you hanging there. Before signing up with Arbonne, here’s an alternative. Why not try your hand at affiliate marketing?
Like Arbonne, you can decide your own working schedule and earn commissions for sales. However, you don’t need to deal with the frustration of finding a team of go-getters/downline. The products you can market can be inexpensive and easy to sell, and there’s no ceiling on your income potential.
Hey, it’s Kenny here. I’m a single dad, freelance writer, an affiliate marketer. I have been making a living online since 2016, after quitting a 10-years engineering profession. When I’m not on the laptop, I’ll be in the kitchen experimenting with new cuisines.