Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme? No, But There is a Better Way to Make Money Online!

Vanity in women is an integral part of their being. Today more than ever, they are much  more interested in trying out different kinds of anti-aging beauty products. Yet, they are still hankering for chemical free items. If you resonate on this, then Arbonne products might be your product of choice.

What is Arbonne about? Arbonne is a direct selling multilevel marketing firm and they are involved in the production, marketing and selling  of natural skincare and cosmetic products. If you are familiar with Mary Kay products, you can think of this company as its little sister. They are always out to catch up but they are always one touch behind.

Arbonne, being an MLM company that they are, are trying to attract as many number of people as possible. The million dollar question here is should you get yourself involved in this opportunity?

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Are MLM companies pyramid scheme, too? Some people out there are on the assertion that Arbonne operates under the guise of a networking company. Is there any truth in this? Let us find out in this review.

But before doing that, I want to reiterate that joining an MLM company is not the best way to make money online. I suggest that you consider the Wealthy Affiliate opportunity. They offer us a much easier, more effective and satisfying way to earn money online, right from the comfort of your home.

Arbonne Summary Review

Website:  www.arbonne.com 

Founder:   Petter Mørck

Price:  $79 registration fee + $30/year + Monthly Autoship

Best For: Anyone good at recruiting people and can sell Arbonne merchandise. 

What is Arbonne about?

Summary: Arbonne has been sitting in the industry for a span of 4 decades and still counting, indicating that they might be doing something good to stay that long in business. But that should not be the sole reason for you to join this network. The company is a typical MLM business, where you need to recruit people to the business, sell their products, etc. If you are not okay with this kind of life, this opportunity is just not the best for you. 

Rating: 20/100

Recommended: No


What Is Arbonne?

Arbonne is yet another MLM company that caters to the needs of the skincare industry. Established in 1975, its founder Petter Mørck used to work as the division head for another makeup and skincare company in Norway.

During the time he was working for this company, he detested the chemical nature of the products he is trying to market and sell. His strong aversion to this practice prompted him to put up his own line of green skin care products.

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme

One good thing I commend about Arbonne is that they are not in the practice of over-hyping the perceived benefits of their products. They are pretty much very straightforward about it and if they need to make a high claim about something, it is always fair and reasonable. This is in complete contrast to what other companies do, talk up their products and create a buzz about it. Not only to heighten up sales but also to justify the high price tags their products come in.

Currently, Arbonne is enjoying an extensive reach in the following markets from different parts of the world, as follows:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Poland
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan

The Arbonne Products

Much like the other MLM type companies, the product range of Arbonne does not come cheap. The high price tag of Arbonne products has something to do with how they compensate their members, with bonuses and downline commissions. This is the reason why all MLM products are always expensive.

The following are the major categories of Arbonne products:

  • Skincare - Sunscreen, eye cream, facial cleanser,  toner, etc.
  • Makeup - Makeup primer, eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, etc.
  • Personal Care - Hand wash, essential oil, hand lotion, mask, lip balm, etc.
  • Nutrition - energy sticks, protein shake, immunity booster,  snack bars etc.
  • Hair Care -  hair serum,hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
What is Arbonne about?

Did you notice? The Arbonne product offering is pretty much the same as any other MLM companies out there. This presents difficulty to consumers, rendering them to have a hard time figuring out which product range is the best and which ones are just hyped up!

As earlier stated, Arbonne products are quite expensive. This works to the disadvantage of both the company and the network members who are trying to market them and sell them to their circle.

From the consumer point of view and from a business perspective, an extremely pricey product would present major problems in terms of selling them. Like for instance, why would anyone choose to buy a $100 Arbonne product when there are cheaper alternatives in the market?

What is Arbonne about?

If you are a member of the Arbonne network and you find to yourself that the products are just way too expensive to buy some for yourself, then how would you expect others to receive the same? Certainly, there is a better money-making opportunity than this.

If there is one thing that is working to their advantage, it is the fact that Arbonne products are made from natural ingredients. From the consumer and the seller point of view, this factor will always work to the advantage of the company, Arbonne.

How to Get Started with Arbonne?  

Arbonne, as an MLM structured business, offers us 2 ways to earn money.:

We can choose to market and sell Arbonne products and eventually earn money from our retail commissions.
1. Bring in people wanting to join the business opportunity and become your downline. These downline teams under your name will help you earn bonuses and overrides.
2. Earning your commission though is not as easy as one might think, because there are prerequisites that you need to comply with first in order to qualify for them.

How much will it cost you to join the Arbonne team? You will need to shell out $79 as the registration fee and this is for a 12-month term. Renewing your membership will cost you $30.

If you are a preferred client, you can choose to upgrade and become a consultant yourself after paying a fee of $59. People who wanted to join the Arbonne team are usually presented with two options, buy for themselves 500 QV worth of products or they can the registration fee instead.

Arbonne Reviews

But there is a catch here, even when you paid for your membership it does not come with a product. So, in that case, how would you market and eventually try to sell something that you haven’t tried or used yet.

Therefore, you need to buy some of the products for yourself first. If you are a starter in Arbonne networking company, you can choose to buy product value packs that are valued anywhere between $270 to $500.

Soon after you become a member, the next thing that you need to concern yourself about is making your profile active. An active profile qualifies you to receive bonuses and commissions from your sales. To do this, you need to maintain a designated monthly sales volume which the MLM industry calls as autoship.

Arbonne Compensation Plan

The vast majority of people who decided to join the Arbonne networking team say that one thing attracted them to this MLM company is their compensation plan. Internally, Arbonne refers to it as “The Success Plan”.

There are 4 ways in which we can earn a commission from Arbonne product sales:

1. Overrides - This refers to the commission income you are entitled to receive based upon the sales volume output of your existing downline teams.

2. Client Commissions - This refers to your earned retail commissions after directly selling Arbonne products to your circle or clients. You will earn a 35% commission from your sold items to normal clients and 15% commission rats from your preferred customers. 

3. Cash Incentives - Much like any other MLM company, you may be offered with a gamut of cash-based incentives and bonuses. All this may have to depend upon your own personal sales performance or your downline team’s.

4. Mercedez-Benz Cash Bonus - This is a year-long lease of a white Mercedez Benz and is offered only to distributors with a “Vice President” rank. On top of that, the deciding factor to avail this is personal and team sales volume. 

Please note that Mercedez Benz Cash Bonus is offered only as a lease. If you have been into other networking firms, you will be surprised that they are offering dream car rewards instead.

Arbonne compensation

The most lamenting thing about Arbonne is that almost 97% of their independent distributors are unable to make for themselves a sustainable income. By sustainable income, I mean to say that the person should be receiving a decent amount between $2,500 to $3,000 a month.

Based on the income disclosure statement of Arbonne for 2017 found below, what can you really, honestly make of their independent distributor’s income?

Arbonne Review

Don’t you find the Top 50 Average figures attractive? They are, right? And are put in there on purpose. But the presence of mind tells you that the figures are on a yearly basis, and not monthly. In a way, it is kind of deceptive trick.

Additionally, these figures don’t constitute the independent consultants’ net profit. Also, pay attention to the “Average Annual Earnings”, particularly from the Area Managers and the two rows below it. Area level manager’s average annual earnings are $17,129 or $1,427 per month.

Imagine that you are a full-time independent distributor for Arbonne and you are receiving this amount as your monthly salary, would you take it? If you have dependents or raising a family of your own, how would you stretch out that amount to make ends meet?

Arbonne Review

This point clearly answers the enigma, why a vast number of Arbonne independent distributors are eventually leaving the business opportunity they have worked on. It leaves them no opportunity to really earn for themselves a sustainable income.

You may want to watch Arbonne’s full compensation plan for its members through this video I source from Youtube for you:

The Ugly Truths About Arbonne Finally Revealed!

The Arbonne Business Opportunity Renders You To Spend More Than You Earn

If you have prior experience with a multilevel marketing company before, you will agree with me when I say that one of the most glaring problems that come with involving oneself in an MLM company is they will have you purchase their products, mostly on a monthly basis.

This practice in the MLM industry renders the independent distributors not just to fail in the business, but is also rendering them to be in great debt. How would you make of the screenshot image below:

Arbonne Product Reviews

MLM companies are in the habit of encouraging their members to spend so much more, more than what they are capable of. All that because they offer it to you as an investment.

While this strategy is often presented to newcomers as a way to motivate them, you should always be on the pragmatic side of things. To do that, assess the level of success rate which members of that MLM company are having.

Puts Your Personal Relationships on the Line

In their earnest intention to recruit as many people as possible to the business opportunity, members of the Arbonne networking company are putting their personal relationships on the line. Traditional recruiting is jeopardizing friendships and family connections.

Unless you want to join the so-called “NFL Club”, then I would encourage you to go ahead and make yourself part of the Arbonne network. (NFL Club, short for No Friend Left Club).

You Need to Recruit and Refer New Members to Arbonne Network. 

One of the main reasons why Arbonne is always suspected of being a pyramid scheme company is because they focus so much on recruiting interested parties to the business opportunity. They require you to recruit more people and have them sign up as members, to become your downline.

Arbonne Product Reviews

Soon after you sign up with Arbonne as an independent distributor, they will have you come up with your 100 person list. The purpose of which is to have you pitch to your immediate circle (friends, family members, colleague, neighbors, etc) whom you think will likely have a need for a particular Arbonne product and try to sell it to them. 

Many People are Failing in the Arbonne Business Opportunity

There is no way to deny this, the facts and figures speak for itself. The vast majority of Arbonne independent distributors fail in the business.

What is Arbonne About

What I Do Like About Arbonne?

Arbonne Has Earned BBB Accreditation

Earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau will work to the advantage of any business organization, including MLM companies.

A positive rating from this agency indicates that Arbonne has been providing good customer service and that they are not receiving so much of a complaint about their products or services.

Better Business Bureau

To answer the question of whether or not Arbonne is a scam or a pyramid scheme company, they are a member of the DSA or Direct Selling Association. This clearly shows that Arbonne is not classified as a scam and it also takes out from the equation that they are a pyramid scheme company.

Arbonne Products Are Made from Natural Ingredients

Personally,  I like the fact that Arbonne has deviated from the traditional use of chemical-based formulations in their product line. Being a pro-environment that I am, would patronize any product that is promoting the protection of nature over profit. This is a plus point from me for Arbonne.

Is Arbonne a Scam?

From how I see the Arbonne MLM setup is, their independent distributors are spending so much more on their fees as opposed to what they can possibly earn from the system. Take note that I emphasized on the word possible, meaning to say there is no certainty to it yet.

Only those with vast downline team have a good chance of earning bigtime from Arbonne. But this does not make Arbonne a pyramid scheme company. This is just one of the normal things to see in any MLM company.

I have these 3 points that disqualifies Arbonne as a scam:

  1. They are a recognized member of the Direct Selling Organization.
  2. They have been given a positive rating by the Better Business Bureau.
  3. They have been involved in the industry far longer than any other MLM companies, 40 years and counting.

How I Make Money Online?

I must admit that I don’t have any propensity towards any MLM business. Not because they offer us a low-income opportunity or they have high membership costs.

I am veering myself away from this business opportunity simply because I know of a better way to earn money from home. Literally from the comfort of my own room. If you are keenly interested to have another stream of income, my strongest recommendation is to try affiliate marketing instead.

My reasons are simple:

The Wealthy Affiliate program will not require me to recruit people face to face. 
You don’t need to pay to get started. (Try the program first before you decide). 
Allows you to only promote the products you are most passionate about (this ensures your greater chances for success.).


This program helped me and others Make A living Online and some of it even quit their Full Time Job. You will learn how to build a Thriving Online Business step by step so stop making excuses and Join Me Now

Don't you think that Arbonne products are making a difference in as far as their products not making any harmful impact on the environment is concerned? I think other companies should emulate their example right?












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Edmon Gonzales

Edmon has worked as an SEO content and creative writing for the last 3 years. He has extensive experience in writing content for SEO purposes and started work as a freelance since 2011. He currently joined as a writer in How To Make Genuine Money blog and is dedicated to digging into the world of MMO niche with Maxx.

  • Ilaisaane Tuakalau says:

    I am so glad that I read your article first about Arbonne. I have a very close friend who has just joined and she is quickly becoming my annoying friend. She is constantly asking me to look at her links or videos and after watching them or reading all the information, I am still not hooked. I agree with what you researched the products look no different to any other MLM products and theitr claim to nautral is great. However, my friend is forced to look for buyers face to face and try to hoax them into buying. You also mentioned that a large percentage never make it and it is a shame about the leased Mercedes too. Thank you again, your research has given me what I needed and will send your link to her, as my response.

    • Maxx Tan says:

      Yes, this is how MLM works and they are trained approached aggressively surrounding them to buying, to support them. They will target their friend surrounding them and family as a buyer first. Slowly, they then expand their network to their potential next target downline as a lead. 

      You may share this to your friend and it may change her mind into better opportunity and work on her niche (Affiliate Marketing) instead of targeting in one particular product.

  • Mary says:

    Wow! Your review about Arbonne is so comprehensive and self explanatory, I like the fact that Arbonne products are made from natural ingredients without chemical, which is very good for the skin. The compensation plan is also great, that can be another stream of income, where we can earn a living online from the comfort of our home too. Thank you for sharing!

    • Maxx Tan says:

      Hi Mary, good to hear that and I appreciate your comment here. If you would like to earn income from the comfort of home I would highly suggest you go for Affiliate Marketing

      Let me know if you need more explanation.

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