The Internet is not short of brands when it comes to health and beauty products. Many ventures into the online space for sales expansion and one such company is called Arbonne. Like most MLMs, one can build an independent business with this company, but that one question always lingers – is selling Arbonne worth it in today’s consumer trend? We shall find out.
Arbonne Business Opportunity At a Glance
Founded in 1975, the headquarter of the company is based in California. All their health, skincare, makeup and hair products are formulated at the Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD) in Switzerland and produced in the United States.
Products are distributed through a network of independent consultants who are mostly based in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and Taiwan. Ranked as one of the top 20 in the DSA (Direct Selling Association) Hall of Fame, the company has reported over $540 million in revenue in 2017.
As a long-standing brand, the company has a lot to offer for the market;
- Their health and beauty products are made from premium botanical ingredients that are formulated without animal products, parabens, formaldehyde and appear to meet the standards of vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and soy-free labels.
- They claimed to work closely with scientists around the world and at their facility to ensure that they meet the EU and US product standards. In addition, they also go through a strict endorsing process by an independent third-party certification body.
- The targeted market is health and beauty which is an evergreen niche so there’s a constant demand whereby consumers would replenish these products on a regular basis.
- Lastly, it offers the opportunity to work from home or create a side income without the need for inventory. Some people may be attracted to the product, but most are in it for the business, oftentimes, aiming to achieve passive income in several years.
- To get started, you need to register as an independent consultant with Arbonne for $79 and get the Starter Kit which contains product samples, training materials, and even a personal eCommerce website. For an upgrade of $49, you’ll get to become a Preferred Client. All registrations are subjected to a 12-month term.
Can You Make Money With Arbonne – A Reality Check
Theoretically, you can. With a retail purchase, you’ll make 35% in product commission while with preferred clients (customers who registered with the Arbonne reward program), you’ll make 15%. As you ascend to higher positions within the network – there are 5 levels altogether – the earning potential includes, overrides which are commissions paid based on the product sales volume within your team, bonus incentives, and travel opportunities.
All these opportunities are attractive at first sight, but many newbies soon face the challenging situations that are so often overlooked;
Remember this – in order to grow your income through direct selling, you’ll need to build a bigger team each time and this can only be achieved through recruiting. Even if this is something that you aren’t comfortable doing, you’ll need to bite the bullet and go with it.
The typical approach of most MLMs is to promote to family, friends, and colleagues, but let’s be honest here – it’s horribly awkward. People might buy an item or two with the intention of helping out (just that one time) but in worst-case scenarios, they are likely to slam the door in your face. (speaking from personal experience here).
In today’s modern marketing, you need to go beyond your comfort zone and penetrate a wider audience. The good news is, there are billions of people out there who are interested in good quality products. The question is – where do you find them?
If you follow the traditional MLM strategies like leaving your business card at beauty shops in your neighborhood, passing samples to the potential candidates or even organizing home parties, you’ll spend a lot of time hustling despite having a so-called ‘flexible’ working schedule.
On top of that, you also need to attend meetings and training to grow your network, groom your image quality and truly, embrace the company’s motto as your personal goals to keep up with the motivation.
Now, if you DO follow the plan, this is what the estimated income projection would look like, based on past performance. According to Arborrne (you can actually find this chart right on their website), the average annual earnings of active Arbonne consultants for the year 2017 (for the US) range between $700+ to $250K+.
Obviously, as someone who is just entering the scene, you need to analyze from the lowest hierarchy onwards. For new independent consultants, you are looking at earning a measly amount of $65 per month ($788 ÷ 12 months). If you want to live a substantial income, you actually need to be in the position of a Regional Vice President and above which will pay around $5,600 per month ($68,110 ÷ 12 months). And how long will that take you? Arbonne says an average of 3 years.
But there’s a short note below the chart that says – “These figures do not represent Arbonne Independent Consultants’ profits, as they do not consider EXPENSES INCURRED by Arbonne Independent Consultants in the promotion of their businesses…”
The expenses we are looking at here are the sum of purchasing/printing promotional materials, organizing events, traveling costs and most importantly, buying the products for your own use. All these figures add up on a monthly basis, so if you don’t climb up the earning hierarchy, it’s going to be difficult to cover the cost of operating the business for the long term.
Also, if you look closely at the distribution of these levels, only 3% will make it to the top two positions. The rest of the 97% (Area Manager and below) can expect to be slogging over a period of close to two years, just to earn an average of $1,400+ per month. All of a sudden, this figure is such a far cry from the much-desired residual income goal that everyone is talking about in the MLM world.
So, Is Selling Arbonne Worth It?
In recent years, we have seen many consultants (not only from Arbonne) attempting to promote their networking brands online, whether it’s through social media or blogging. The way I see it, the efforts have very little traction because online marketing was never their core channel, to begin with.
They are merely funneling the online audience to the traditional MLM way of doing things. For me, that’s not worth the effort.
In reality, people who buy things online have many product choices to choose from nowadays, in terms of quality and affordability. And if they are interested in creating a long term income, there are smarter choices that don’t involve huge expenses (or recruiting for that matter) such as drop shipping and affiliate marketing.
The alternative routes are obviously less pressuring and people don’t have to go into debt just to operate a small business. In a more or less similar time frame as the hierarchy levels in Arbonne, most people can achieve bigger profits with very little investment.
This is not to say that it’s easy because online marketing has its own learning curve that is still foreign to many people. At the very least, the systematic approach is not hyped and the knowledge can be easily obtained and implemented in any type of niche without overspending.
So if you are still serious about joining Arbonne, I would advise you to read up more about their products and operation before committing to the business. However, if this article has triggered you to think differently, then I would like to invite you to start an online business through this robust learning platform. The starter program is free to join so do check it out.
Question – Have you been part of Arbonne or any MLMs for that matter? What are your thoughts about them? Please share in the comments below.