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Network marketing business opportunities are presented as great ways for you to make money and gain your freedom from a job. Most claim to be a unique opportunity.  I have not found this to be the case for the companies that I have had a chance to look into.  My subscribers have requested I take a look into Arbonne.  Here is what I have found.

I want to get this out of the way from the start. I was not sad, negative or jealous when I created this video or post.  Many Arbonne representatives claim that these are the reasons why people are critical of their business opportunities.

Arbonne Scam Claims

You are in business for yourself, but never by yourself.

Through sales incentives and rewards, travel opportunities, a generous SuccessPlan and great products, Arbonne offers a unique opportunity that can help make anyone’s vision for the future a reality.

Imagine the freedom to live the life of your dreams by starting your own successful business. That’s the beauty of our business model. So many of our Independent Consultants have done just that, and have transformed their careers, their lives … themselves. They have created a better work-life balance because they choose when to work and when to play. With the right leadership, tools and effort, you can too.

Born in Switzerland and raised in sunny California, for almost 35 years Arbonne has transformed lives through premium products, unparalleled leadership and a family-like community.

The Truth about Arbonne Scam!

Arbonne is a network marketing company that operates in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Poland with a network of approximately 242,000 Active Independent Consultants and 530,000 Preferred Clients as of the end of 2014. Arbonne was founded in 1975 and their skincare products became a reality in the United States in 1980.  The company went though bankruptcy in 2009.

Arbonne Headquarters
9400 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618

In the their promotional videos they will tell you that everyone should join the Arbonne business opportunity.  There is no better time to join than today.

In my opinion, it is incredibly difficult to make any significant amount of money selling skincare products directly to your friends and family.  Very few people are good candidates for making money in this type of business. Arbonne is not a good money making opportunity for almost everyone that becomes a representative. I believe the income disclose for Arbonne shows my opinion is accurate.

Here is what one representative had to say about their experience with Arbonne:

I wasn’t told that I’d have to maintain a QV of 150 every month to get commission or the truth about how much time, money and effort it requires. I’m also a Beauty Therapist I have my own business with product that I already sell without having to jump through all the hoops or get hounded by my sponsor. I’m down about $2000 now but feel happy I got out when I did before I invested anymore of my own money to make sure I meet my QV points at the end of the month.

 – Source

You will have a hard time selling the products without samples, which you have to buy from Arbonne.

If you do fail to make money in this business opportunity and complain about losing money, this is an example of what you will be told by other representatives:

“…make no bones about this, this is not a business for everyone, no business is and to think otherwise is naive….”

It sure would be nice if they actually presented the opportunity to the right type of person in the first place instead of taking money from anyone.

Read also about: Rodan + Fields

I’m sure it’s possible to start at the bottom in Arbonne and become wealthy but it’s also possible to win the Lottery. The question is: What are the odds? Most people simply don’t have the personality to continually pester friends, neighbors, knock on doors, etc. Anybody with that amount of passion for selling a product or service is far more likely to make more money working in sales for a traditional company or as an independent entrepreneur.

Arbonne Sued For Being A Pyramid Scheme!

In a lawsuit by Cynthia Dagnall and Michael Dagnall from Texas, Arbonne has been sued for being a pyramid scheme. There are some very powerful statements made in this lawsuit.  Many of these companies make you use arbitration if you have a problem with them.  Arbonne is no exception.  This couple does not care.

Participants in the Arbonne scheme are its so-called independent consultants (the “Consultants”). 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 into the Arbonne program (and the more payments those new Consultants make), the more money a Consultant can make.

Unlike participants in a classic pyramid scheme, the Arbonne Consultants receive health and beauty products, which the Consultants can theoretically sell. But that fact makes Arbonne no less a pyramid scheme. As a group, the Consultants may sell a limited amount of products at retail, but the bulk of the money paid to the Consultants comes from other Consultants. Just like a classic pyramid scheme, Consultants are feeding off the money paid by other Consultants.

The vast majority of Arbonne’s Consultants lose money. The only people who make money from the Arbonne pyramid scheme are the very few at the top of the pyramid. These few— including Defendants Donna Johnson, Cassandra House, Tarrah Brandsma, Iain Pritchard, and Deborah Carroll Neal (collectively, the “Individual Defendants”)—actively participate in the Arbonne pyramid scheme and profit from the payments to Arbonne made by the many thousands of other losing Consultants.

Arbonne’s Own Promotional Materials are Misleading

Arbonne’s own website boldly reinforces the message portrayed by the Individual Defendants—that anyone can get rich with Arbonne, just as the Individual Defendants have. Arbonne entices potential new Consultants with promises of the dream life:

Imagine the freedom to live the life of your dreams by starting your own successful business. That’s the beauty of our business model. So many of our Independent Consultants have done just that, and have transformed their careers, their lives … themselves. They have created a better work-life balance because they choose when to work and when to play. With the right leadership, tools and effort, you can too.

This message is obviously misleading, and Arbonne knows it. Arbonne’s own income statement shows that over 86% of Consultants lose money with the Arbonne business model. Certainly, a Consultant’s success or failure depends to some degree on “leadership, tools and effort,” but the clear implication from the message is that any person willing to put in effort to Arbonne will be financially successful. Unless 14% of Arbonne Consultants have the “right leadership, tools and effort,” the implication from Arbonne’s website is belied Arbonne’s own disclosures.

Background with Arbonne for Cynthia Dagnall and Michael Dagnall:

Between February 2014 and May 2016, Cynthia Dagnall spent approximately $2,500 in fees, product purchases, promotional materials and costs related to attending Arbonne’s annual convention in Las Vegas. Her last payment to Arbonne was May 31, 2016. Over the course of her association with Arbonne, Cynthia received approximately $30.00 in payments from Arbonne.

Michael Dagnall joined Arbonne a few weeks after his wife in February 2014. He never ended up making money on Arbonne’s business opportunity. Michael paid Arbonne $340.00 in fees and product purchases between February 2014 and May 2015. His last payment to Arbonne was May 2015. Over the course of his association with Arbonne, he received $0.00 in payments from Arbonne.

– Source Cynthia Dagnall and Michael Dagnall v. Arbonne International LLC, et al.

There are three main ways you can start with Arbonne:

  1. Client – This just means you are a customer and purchasing products at retail.
  2. Preferred Client – The cost to join this level is $20 and you get a 20% discount off retail.
  3. Independent Consultant – The cost is $79 for this starter kit, but now you get a 35% discount off retail. Plus, you now can get paid in their compensation plan. This is the level you need to be at if you want to build this business.

Here is one representative laying it out clearly that direct retail sales of products generate only a small amount of money. Recruiting others is where the real money is.

Arbonne Scam Compensation Plan Video2

District Managers have a clear incentive to have their Independent Consultants purchase at least 150 QV of product in their first month:

“$200 District Manager Cash Bonus with Central District sales of 5,000 Qualifying Volume (QV) and minimum five new Independent Consultants or Preferred Clients with an order of at least 150 Personal Qualifying Volume (PQV) each in their Start Month.” – Source Arbonne SucessPlan

Why are their only about 2x as many Preferred Clients as Independent Consultants?  You would think there would be many times more Clients as Consultants in a booming retail business. In my opinion, the reason is you can purchase Arbonne products easily for 20% below retail on Ebay and Bonanza.

Here are two Ebay examples:

RE9 Advanced Age-Defying Neck Cream Retail $82 + Shipping

Arbonne Scam Ebay 1

Cellular Renewal Masque Retail $65 + Shipping

Arbonne Scam Ebay 2


Preferred Client $20 and a renewal fee of $20 for each additional year.

Independent Consultant $39.50 registration fee and a renewal fee of $30 for each additional year.


The Arbonne product line contains more than 200 items in skin & body care, cosmetics, health & wellness, anti-aging, and nutrition.


Compensation Plan

To participate in the management qualification programs and in the bonus and override programs, Arbonne Independent Consultants must accumulate a minimum of 150 in Personal Retail Volume that month.

An Independent Consultant will maintain their rank and receive all of the benefits associated with that rank when they achieve 1,200 PQV during each 12-month period with Arbonne.  If an Independent Consultant does not meet this requirement as of the end of any such 12-month period, Arbonne will assign the Independent Consultant to the Preferred Client rank.

When one of your Independent Consultants reaches the level of District Manager, then that Arbonne Independent Consultant (new DM) and all Arbonne Independent Consultants beneath him or her promote out from your Central District to form their own Central District — they are then considered a promoted 1st Generation District.

To get paid on a 2nd Generation District Manager (that’s two levels deep) in your organization, you need to have two District Managers at the 1st Generation level (two wide). To get paid on a 3rd Generation District Manager (that’s three levels deep), you must have three District Managers at the 1st Generational level
(three levels wide).

Override Volume, on which overrides are calculated, is 65% of Retail Volume.

Once promoted to Manager or Vice President, Independent Consultant Maintenance Requirements above are replaced with:

District Manager 2,500 QV in Central District
Area Manager 10,000 QV in Central Area
Regional Vice President 40,000 QV in Central Region
National Vice President 160,000 QV in Central Nation

At the highest levels of the compensation plan you can be paid for the work of people six levels deep in your organization.

Many levels of compensation only further enriches those at or near the top … of distributors. Excessive levels in a downline is another sign participants are expected to sell primarily to their downline, rather than to the general public. 

–  Source

Any online sales media, including independent websites, online retail stores, e-commerce sites, online malls or auction sites, such as, but not limited to eBay and Amazon, are prohibited. Sales of products on eBay, Amazon or other auction sites shall result in immediate suspension followed by disciplinary sanctions. – Source Arbonne Policies & Procedures

Income Disclosure

In the United States, Arbonne had an average of 175,500 Arbonne Independent Consultants during 2014. Only 13% of all U.S. Arbonne Independent Consultants earned a monthly commission check and were considered active.

For the 13% that were considered active 90% averaged $3,391 per year or less. 64% averaged $561 or less.

– Source Arbonne Income Disclosure

Arbonne is a great way to make less than part-time minimum wage.  Almost no one is able to replace a full-time job being an Arbonne representative.

Return Policy

A 45-day money-back guarantee is offered on all Arbonne products to Clients (including Preferred Clients). Clients not completely satisfied may return the purchased products to their Arbonne Independent Consultant for a replacement or full refund within 45 days from the Client purchase date. A completed Product Return Form must accompany a product return. Shipping fees are non-refundable.

Arbonne Independent Consultants may return Product and Business Aids that have been purchased within one year from the date of termination and are returned at termination must be in Re-saleable condition and will be repurchased at 100% of the Arbonne Independent Consultant’s original purchase price. Shipping fees are non-refundable.

You may CANCEL your Independent Consultant Application transaction, without any penalty or obligation, within THREE BUSINESS DAYS from the date on which it was executed (FIVE DAYS for Alaska residents; 15 DAYS for Montana residents).

If you are unsuccessful in your Arbonne business, you will not be able to get a refund on the expensive products you let people sample and you have used after 45 days.

Final Verdict

In my opinion, Arbonne is yet another recruiting scam. It is incredibly difficult to make any significant amount of money selling skincare products directly to your friends and family. They pay commissions to six levels deep in a distributors downline. Only 13% of all U.S. Arbonne Independent Consultants earned a monthly commission check. For the 13% that were considered active 90% averaged $3,391 per year or less.  You can purchase their products easily for 20% below retail on Ebay and Bonanza. Recruiting others is where the real money is in this business opportunity. Why are you paying them to sell products for them? I would avoid the Arbonne business opportunity.

2.5 Total Score

Arbonne is a big recruiting scam! Their pay is lousy, they have no customer support and their products are extremely low quality. It is strongly advised to avoid Arbonne!

Help & Support
  • Possible pyramid scheme
  • No customer support
  • No reliability
  • Low quality products
  • Pathetic compensation packages
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