What Is Arbonne International? Legit Opportunity Or A Complete Scam?
If you’re wondering what is Arbonne International, you've come to the right place. Let me guess, you were approached by an Arbonne Independent Consultant, and now you want to know if this is a worthwhile opportunity or waste of time.
In this in-depth Arbonne International review, we will talk about Arbonne International's history, products and if their income opportunity is right for you.
Arbonne International Review Summary:
Product Name: Arbonne International
Product Type: MLM
Price: $79 with a yearly renewal fee of $30
Best For: No one.
Summary: Arbonne International is one of the more transparent multi-level marketing companies in the skin-care and cosmetic niche. They've got low entry fees and requirements, but low income potential too. Not worth the trouble, this one's a pass.
Recommended: NO. If you're looking into Arbonne International for the money making opportunity, even if you're dead set on promoting them, you should consider my top recommended training program instead. It's got 10 Free Classes to get started without any RISK.
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What is Arbonne International?
Arbonne International is a multi-level marketing company in the cosmetics and beauty niche. They offer a wide range of cosmetic products, as well as a rewards plan for people who want to make a bit of cash promoting the products.
Some reviewers say Arbonne is one of the most transparent multi-level marketing companies out there. Today we'll dig a little deeper to discover what Arbonne International is all about, and if you can actually make money working with this company.
In 1975, Arbonne International was founded by Petter Mørck and chemist Pierre Bottiglieri. Mørck then moved to America in 1980 to establish their headquarters in South Laguna. Since then, it has expanded to six countries; United States, Poland, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and Taiwan, making it one of the MLMs that has an international presence.
The company sales in 2004 reached $200 million and in 2005, has increased their number of consultants to roughly 612,000. Oddly enough, Arbonne lost more than 500,000 consultants between 2007 to 2009.
In January 2010, Natural Products Group LLC, the company who acquired Levlad Inc.-- Arbonne's parent company for $93 million in November 2004, filed for bankruptcy protection in order to reduce the companies growing debts.
Finally, in February 2018, Groupe Rocher acquired Arbonne International from Natural Products Group. This is a little unsettling, to be honest. After a brief success in 2004, a mass exodus took place which started in 2007.
What Actually Happened?
We’ll find out later.
But first, let’s talk about their products, because if you want to make money with Arbonne than you need to what you'll be selling!
Arbonne International Products:
The company claims that their skincare products are unparalleled in quality and effectiveness. Of course, every company says the same about their products.
Petter Mørck, along with a group of industry-leading biochemists, herbalists, and biologists, developed their products in Switzerland in 1975.
Their skincare products are claimed to be based on botanical principles and started circulating in the US in 1980 and now have gone global.
After the successful launch of their initial products, they have expanded their product line and now includes both inner and outer health and beauty products.
But do they really work?
Arbonne Products, at a Glance:
So what is it that you'll be promoting as a Arbonne distributor?
Arbonne has an extensive product catalog but there are only a handful of core products that make up most of the sales.
The following are some of the Arbonne product categories: skincare, bath & body, makeup, hair, anti-aging, and nutrition.
Another MLM that is almost identical is Monat, neither of the two are good opportunities!
One of the Arbonne's flag ship products is called RE9 Advanced. It's a starter set which contains several Arbonne products.
The package includes the following products:
- Smoothing Facial Cleanser
- Regenerating Toner
- Intensive Renewal Serum
- Corrective Eye Cream
- Night Repair Cream
- Day Cream
- And several small samples.
This set goes for $327, but you'll be able to buy it at a discount once you become a distributor. As far as MLM packages are concerned, this one is not too expensive, and from the looks of it, the products are not bad, either.
Other best sellers worth mentioning:
- Intensive Renewal Serum
- Corrective Eye Creme
- Restorative Day Creme
- Energy Fizz Sticks (Energy Bars)
- Daily Fiber Boost
- Vanilla Protein Shake
- Digestion Plus
Of course, there are many other sets and individual products you can choose to promote to earn some commissions. But this should give you an idea of what to expect from their products.
Consumer Product Reviews:
Take a look at some customer reviews below.
As you can see, not of all of them are positive. Granted, it's pretty much impossible to receive perfect reviews, but it's also worth taking note of people's complaints.
Though there are a couple of good reviews out there, there is also an equal amount of bad reviews present and these reviews are disturbing.
To summarize, it looks like the main downsides to these products are the...
- Small sizes.
- Wrong expiration dates.
- And allergic reactions.
You should always be careful when using new skincare products, and if you have a negative reaction, immediately stop using the products and visit a doctor.
Complaints Posted on BBB:
This customer was struggling with refund orders, and while the customer support responded, but they didn't solve the issue.
Complaints ranging from returns not being processed and Arbonne giving them the run around when asking for a refund is a clear business malpractice.
Who does that when you clearly have a "Money Back Guarantee" badge on all your products? Besides that, there are also complaints about the quality of the product that customers purchased.
With all the bad reviews and clear business malpractice, maybe their compensation plan works. Let’s go ahead and see if you can make money with Arbonne.
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Arbonne Rewards Plan Requirements:
To become a consultant you need to pay the annual registration fee. Included in the fee is a welcome set which contains samples you can show to your friends. You don't have to buy a set for your own use to become a distributor, which is nice.
- Cost: $49
- 12 Months
- $20 Upgrade for Preferred Client
But before you jump on the plan, there are a couple things you need to know. For one, the entry free is not the only requirement.
You'll also need to meet a minimum of monthly sales or purchases to maintain an active status. The minimum is 150 QV (Volume). To reach this you either have to sell 150 QV worth of products or buy the difference. 150 QV comes to about $150 worth of products. So if you can't get anyone to buy from you, you'll have to buy $150 worth of products for yourself, to stay active.
Arbonne Rewards Plan:
Staying true to tradition, Arbonne rewards you every time you and your team make a sale. Yup--your team.
That means the fastest way for you to earn a higher income is to keep on recruiting and have them recruit as well.
So how exactly do you earn?
Commissions and Overrides:
There are a few ways you can make money promoting Arbonne:
1. Retail Profits:
As usual, members can make money purchasing at discounted prices and selling for a higher retail price. Members earn a profit of 15% of suggested retail price.
You will be able to purchase products at a discounted rate then re-sell it to Clients at SRP for a 35% commission and to Preferred Clients for a 15% commission.
Overrides are based on sales volume. The more volume you and your team make the more overrides you can earn. Essentially, it's the same as team bonuses, but with a different name.
You earn 6% every time your team members make a sale. The income you get out of these overrides depends on your rank in the Arbonne ladder. As you go up, more overrides become available to you, giving you more opportunity to earn.
The same goes for Arbonne bonuses and commissions. The more you rank up, the bigger it gets. Now, let’s talk about the higher ranks and the potential earnings that you can get from reaching that rank.
3. Mercedes Cash Bonus:
Naturally, a MLM compensation would not be complete without a car bonus. With this bonus (only at Vice President level) members have a chance to earn a free Mercedes car, if they meet the Volume requirements.
There are a couple of ranks that an Independent Consultant can shoot for.
These ranks, though few, will take you time to achieve. It will grant you added bonuses and commission increases, but it would require a lot of sales and recruiting to do.
Arbonne's Income Disclosure:
Sounds good. How much can you expect to earn?
Thankfully, Arbonne does have an income disclosure on their website that will give you an idea of what to expect. Let's take a look at some of the details.
Percent of members in each rank:
- National Vice President - 1%
- Area Manager - 2%
- District Manager - 7%
- Independent Consultants - 62%
Now, how much do they earn?
Fun fact: only 12% of all members received earnings.
In Arbonne's income disclaimer, they divided income into Bottom 50 and Top 50 to make it look like people are making a lot of cash. At the Independent Consultant level, the Bottom 50 average comes to a grand total of $17 for the whole year.
It's unclear how many people are in the Bottom average and how many people are in the top average, but I'll guess and say most of the people are in the bottom average. The top average is probably reserved for the owners and inner-circle.
Keep in mind, these numbers are not the net profits. It's just total gross income. Remember you have to move $150 worth of products every month to remain active? And this income disclosure is for annual earnings, not monthly.
So you can clearly see money is going out but not much is coming back.
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Products, Recalls, and Lawsuits:
The company stated that their products are formulated at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD) in Switzerland and are produced in the United States.
But an article was published in 2006 by The Virginian-Pilot highlighted questions as to whether or not AIRD have their own facilities.
Arbonne voluntarily recalled some production lots of branded peanut butter cups in January 2009. This was due to the risk of possible Salmonella serotype Typhimurium contamination of peanut-based products consigned from a Georgia processing plant.
In September 2009, Arbonne voluntarily recalled a production lot of branded foaming sea salt scrub, due to the risk of contamination with the Pseudomonas aeruginosa organism.
Health Canada advised Arbonne in January 2013 to voluntarily recall one batch of branded facial moisturizer for men. Based on Arbonne’s testing, the batch contains the bacterium Aerococcus viridans.
Arbonne recalled multiple lots of branded liquid eye liner in June 2016. The products were said to contain unacceptable levels of bacteria: Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus xylosus, and Staphylococcus lentus.
In October 2017, the ACCC recalled one lot of branded body wash due to unacceptable levels of Staphylococcus cohnii bacterium.
The U.S District Attorney Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled in November 2009 that Arbonne International LLC violated federal law by refusing to employ Lisa Wilson on the grounds of her disability. Arbonne paid a $30,000 settlement to Wilson.
They alleged that the company was an illegal pyramid scheme. The case was dismissed roughly a year later in March 2018.
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Like in all things, there are positive sides. This applies to Arbonne as well.
1. Low Entry Fees:
Most MLM's have high fees to join. This is refreshing that Arbonne's kept this in check.
2. Positive Product Feedback:
We found mostly positive reviews about the products that Arbonne produces.
There are a good amount of authentic testaments that their products works. Some of the side effects that customers experience when using the product can easily be attributed to a personal allergies and individual skin reaction to these products. It does not in any way represent the overall effectivity of the products in my opinion.
3. Eco-Friendly Products:
Too few companies pay attention to creating environmentally friendly products. In 2012 Arbonne relaunched some of their products to be more environmentally friendly by slashing the materials they used by 50%. Most of their printed material is also based on soy-ink which is much better for the environment than regular ink.
Though Arbonne does get a couple things right, it still has a lot of issues.
The Cons with Arbonne:
Of course, there are cons.
1. Poor Customer Support:
Based on our research, most of the time Arbonne's customer support is not helpful. Refunds are rarely processed, or they take many months to produce results. Products can arrive in poor standard, etc. Plus, getting a response from Arbonne can be a hassle.
2. Expensive Products:
Once again, these products are rather expensive. For example, there's one facial mask that costs $60 - for one mask only - that's a lot of cash. Most people don't have the money to spend on these products. Considering you can find the same - if not better - products from other brands for a fraction of the price, it's not really worth spending so much money.
3. Consultants are Aggressive:
Most MLM companies have aggressive consultants, but it seems like Arbonne's consultants take it to a whole new level. Which some claim borderlines on harassment. You'll receive the same messages over and over, with promos and discounts, trying to get you to sign up under them by any means possible.
4. No Free Shipping:
Another complaint people have with this company is they don't offer free shipping which is strange for such a worldwide company. Surely they should have warehouses near you? For such an expensive product you would think the shipping is free. Not so. Expect to pay quite a bit for shipping fees.
When a company is charged with being a pyramid scheme and is involved in numerous lawsuits, that's probably a sign it should be avoided.
The lawsuits mentioned earlier are pretty big red-flags.
Is Arbonne International a Scam?
No, Arbonne International is not a scam. Though it falls in the same recruit-to-earn category as other MLM’s, they have an extensive line of products that Consultants can sell for a profit.
But for you to make decent money promoting Arbonne, you have to recruit people into your fold to get access to the bonuses.
And we all know how hard it is to convince someone to join an MLM company.
If you're tired of MLM's and shady programs, consider affiliate marketing to make money online, worked great for me.
Conclusion on Arbonne International:
Arbonne may offer decent products, but the fact still remains that your odds at achieving financial freedom by working with them are slim to none.
You can market their products and sell it for a profit, but for you to earn a significant amount of money, you need to recruit people.
On top of that, the various complaints that Arbonne receives from customers who purchased their products is not good.
In the end, it’s just not worth it.
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Hopefully, you now know what is Arbonne International and you make a well informed decision. Thanks for taking the time to read this Arbonne International review.
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions.