Is Arbonne International A Scam?ツ

Show some love...

Arbonne International Review

Name: Arbonne International


Price: $79 Registration, $30 Renewal Fee

Owners: Kay (Napier) Zanotti, CEO

Overall Rank: 2 out of 5 ツ

My #1 FREE Pick: Click Here

is wealthy affiliate for beginnersNOTE: It is critical for you to know I am not an affiliate of Arbonne International. Rich Artist Starving Artist gives truthful, genuine reviews. My top priority is providing you with quality, entertaining, and informative reviews and I am not influenced by anyone or anything.

Prior to choosing any multi-level marketing opportunity, read this article:

What Is An MLM?

Other Multi-level Marketing Business Opportunity Reviews To Read:

What Is H2O At Home About?

Becoming A Pampered Chef Consultant?

Is Amway A Pyramid Scheme?

Is Touchstone Essentials A Scam?

You’re looking for a legitimate online business opportunity, but more often than not you wind up purchasing a scam or a low quality product which is why you find yourself here asking “Is Arbonne International A Scam?” prior to buying into it.  Let’s take a look.

The Company

If you’ve bought beauty products online before, you might have stumbled upon Arbonne International.  Launched in Switzerland by Petter Morck in 1975 and later established in the USA in 1980, Arbonne offers beauty, skin and nutritional products (shakes, protein bars, teas).

The Products

Arbonne promotes its products as being “pure, safe and beneficial” and uses botanical ingredients whenever possible as demonstrated in this lip balm spec sheet below:

is arbonne international a scam

Products and prices can be seen on Arbonne’s website.  You can add items to your shopping cart; however, in order to complete the purchase, you’re required to work with one of their independent consultants.


Arbonne International is a multi-level marketing company that directly sells, at wholesale prices, to its independent consultants who in turn sell their products to their customers at the full retail price and then pocket the difference.

Also, consultants can boost their profits by recruiting others into the company to become consultants beneath them.  This enables the consultant to receive a percentage of profits from the people they recruit.  This is the multi-level marketing aspect of the business.

Arbonne Business Opportunity

is arbonne international a scamIn order to join Arbonne as an Independent Consultant you are required to pay $79 for the year.  This allows you to buy Arbonne products at the wholesale price – 35% discount.  So, when you turn around and sell these products at the full retail price to your customers, you’re making 35% profit.

Alternatively, you also can make 15% profit from sales on preferred customers.  These are customers who buy Arbonne products from you and receive a 20% company discount already.

Included in the registration fee is a personal Arbonne website allowing customers to order products from you online.

In order to continue at the company as an independent consultant and hang on to your website, you are required to pay a $30 renewal fee.

Commissions From Referrals

Independent consultants may also receive 6% commission on sales from the people they directly referred, provided those consultants attain a minimum personal qualifying volume (PQV) of 500 on their own.  This PQV is achieved by means of personal Arbonne product purchases and/or purchases from regular and preferred customers.

is arbonne international a scamNote, PQV doen’t have  a 1 to 1 ratio with dollars.  Actually, it represents the needed sales volume value, which may vary from item to item.  Arbonne’s PQV is approximately 80 to 85% of the dollar value on its products.  So, if you require a PQV of 500 a month, you will wind up paying around $600.

The next step up is district manager, who receives 8% commission or override on the sales of direct referrals.  The district manager can also receive a $200 bonus provided that s/he brings in five new preferred customers or consultants.  These enrollees must generate a minimum of 150 PQV each in their beginning month.

Area managers receive a 6% commission.  They also get a bonus of $400 cash provided they attain a 20,000 PQV and bring in 10 new preferred customers or consultants.  These enrollees must generate a minimum of 150 PQV each in their beginning month.

You can see how everything breaks down below:

is arbonne international a scam

According to the above commission structure, it is possible to earn decent money from commissions if you have a big enough PQV and a enough recruits.  So, based on theses specs, is it worth your money and time to get into the Arbonne business?

Pros And Cons


is arbonne international a scamMoney-Back Guarantee – Up to 45 days after purchasing Arbonne products, they may be returned for a refund, including products that the customer opened and tried.  This is a pretty decent guarantee and beats out a lot of personal care and cosmetics retailers.

High-Quality Products – Arbonne’s products are like posh Avon or Mary Kay products.  They are made with botanical ingredients and do not contain possible harmful additives like methylparabens.


Identical Websites – Arbonne does not allow its independent consultants to sell their products through private or third party websites.  Consultants may only sell products via a replicated website; however, this causes a problem when it comes to search engine optimization and search engine marketing.  Search engines frown upon duplicate websites that provide replicated content and usually do not index mirrored websites.  Therefore, the traffic that will visit your official Arbonne website consist of individuals you particularly told to go to your site.

is arbonne international a scamBankruptcy – Arbonne filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2010 due to being $800 million in debt.  This occurred because Arbonne’s net sales started to drop from a downturn in the economy and a loss of direct marketers according to Reuters.  This would seem to indicate that Arbonne was having issues attaining the revenue goals they desired making them an unsound long-term investment.

Sales-based Commissions – Commissions or overrides are not paid to consultants unless they’ve attained 500 PQV.  So, every month, you will be driving your recruits to keep selling, selling, selling …or you will never see a penny of the 6% commissions.

Competition From eBay – If you do a simple search on eBay for Arbonne products, you will soon discover that many of their new products are being sold really cheap by ex-consultants and even current consultants of the company.  This isn’t good at all for those consultants trying to get their 35% or just 15% in profits.  Why would anybody pay more for your products when they’re being sold at a 50 to 90% discount somewhere else?  They wouldn’t!

The Final Verdict

Arbonne has high-quality products with botanical ingredients at its core which are free of possibly damaging additives.  However, Arbonne’s business opportunity is rather challenging because independent consultants are required to meet a monthly set sales volume.

Also, consultants aren’t permitted to just go off and market their products anyway they want to.  Yet, ex-consultants go out and sell their remaining Arbonne stock super cheap on sites such as eBay.  Why would anybody pay more to buy Arbonne products from you when they can buy them at a fraction of the cost on eBay?  They just wouldn’t.

If you are a current or former Arbonne independent consultant, I’d love to hear about your experiences with the company.  Please leave your comments below.


Before you go, I need to ask you a few very important questions …

Are you searching for a GENUINE Online Business Opportunity?

Are you tired of struggling online and want to once and for all succeed by receiving first rate, step-by-step training along with everything you could possibly need to succeed wrapped up in a complete package? …And, did I mention that it’s FREE? Yes, FREE!


Click Here To Learn More About This Amazing FREE Opportunity!

Here’s to your success!



Wealthy Affiliate

Arbonne International
  • Tools & Training
  • Support
  • Price
  • Earning Potential


Although Arbonne International offers high-quality products, their business opportunity isn’t so great. The set monthly sales volume is rather challenging when ex-consultants are selling their remaining stock super cheap on eBay. Nobody is going to buy from you and pay significantly more than what they can buy it for elsewhere.


  1. Amit Misal

    Hi Barb, Just visited your site while surfing the internet.
    I read your review about Arbonne international.
    Though I have never heard the name before the opportunity looks like a scam.Also, it is very much difficult tasks to build an MLM business, you need to take it as a full-time job.I also noticed that you are also promoting Wealthy Affiliate program too.I myself am a member at Wealthy affiliate since 9 months now and I have successfully setup my own online business.Wealthy Affiliate is Good and better than Arbonne.

    • Barb

      Hi, Amit!

      Yes, to be successful with a multi-level marketing opportunity, you do have to go at it pretty much full time, but you have to make sure that whatever company you choose has a good compensation plan.  It’s not enough that they have a great product.

      I’m so glad that you found Wealthy Affiliate.  As you know, it is the best online business opportunity out there hands down.


  2. Andy

    Hi, Barb.

    You know, I have heard of Arbonne International, but I didn’t really know what it was about. What hurts many MLM companies is that the prices tend to be high in order to pay the commissions at several levels. People looking at these opportunities tend to focus only on the commissions without realizing that they may have a hard time selling products that are priced higher than their competition.

    I do think Arbonne does justify its higher cost by the fact that the products do use all natural botanicals, but the fact that the exact same products are being sold at a discount on eBay is definitely a negative.

    Thanks for giving out this information and helping us decide if this opportunity is right for us.

    • Barb

      Hi, Andy!  I’m so glad I was able to help.

      I’ve seen this before.  A lot of people come across a product and like it so much that they want to become an independent distributor.  The problem is that, just because you have a great product, doesn’t mean the the business opportunity for that product is so great.  I’ve seen this quite often where ex-distributors – even current ones – are selling off their leftover product significantly cheaper on eBay.  Why would anybody want to buy the product from you when they can get it cheap on eBay?  They wouldn’t.

      There are so many legitimate business opportunities out there that do not involve selling or recruiting.  Check out my #1 pick here.


  3. Pamela

    Although I myself is not a MLM person, I am, into the skincare products…not into big names and as I progress in age, I tend to go with “natural” skincare remedies.

    With that said, knowing the fact that Herbal life has gone south and with Arbonne International filed chapter 11 both flash the “red alert.” I could be one of the distributors whose commission be in jeopardy. Glad I did not and will not.

    I personally is cautious about the MLM. Regardless how good the product is.
    Two thumbs down on Arbonne Int’l for filed chapter 11…the impact is bigger than you can I can imagine.


    • Barb

      Hi, Pamela!

      I agree.  I am not a big fan of MLMs in general.  You have to be comfortable with direct selling, recruiting and managing a team.  That’s a lot to undertake when there are so many business opportunities out there that don’t require any of that such as my #1 pick.

      You can check them out here.

      Yes, I’d say bankruptcy is a mighty big flag, but they seem to have recovered from it so I don’t think any distributors were affected.  Still, if they filed once, who’s to say it won’t happen again.


Leave a Reply to Amit Misal Cancel reply

I'd Love To Hear From You!

Thanks! I appreciate your input.