IS Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?

Is Arbonne A Pyramid Scheme?


Arbonne pyramid scheme? You decide after hearing the facts

Arbonne International was founded in 1975 in the USA. Some say it was founded in 1980, but we are close enough for this article. It is a skin care, cosmetics, and nutrition company. All of the usual suspects for an mlm company.

Their story is like most other mlm companies in that they have a concern for you and the environment. They use buzzwords like empower, flourish, and many others.

Getting past all that, let’s just dive into the nitty gritty of the Arbonne compensation plan and how you can sign up with Arbonne.

How To Get started

Preferred Client:

Here it is from their website:

By joining Arbonne as a Preferred Client, your startup fee of $25 (free with orders of $225+ RRP) gives you access to exclusive deals and special offers on clean products that support a healthier mind, strong body and beautiful skin — and overall healthy living. Plus, all orders of $225+ RRP earn you free shipping and a free gift!

So really, just to get a 20% discount, you have to buy $225 worth of products. Based on the prices of their products, that is easy done.


Independent Consultant:

• Earn up to a 35% retail commission on your personal product
sales to your Clients
• Earn up to a 15% retail commission on Preferred Client
(PC) sales
• NO mandatory minimum purchase requirements and
NO inventory requirements
• Place orders for your Clients directly from
with no need to keep inventory on hand
• Run your business from your phone wherever you are, in
person or virtually
• Weekly commission payments on your sales (monthly
commission payments on your team’s sales)
• $65 AUD / $75 NZD sign-up fee (annual renewal fee is
$39 AUD / $45 NZD) And if you change your mind, call us for
a 100% refund on your sign-up fee and no-hassle returns on
any unopened product!
• 35% discount on personal product orders and 45% discount
on personal orders that are over 400 Qualifying Volume

These are all of the features per their website. It’s not a bad start. The sign up fee is less than $100USD and no inventory requirements!

Let’s look at the compensation plan in detail.

The first thing I notice is a contradiction between their website “selling” of becoming an independent consultant and what a consultant must do to get paid. Of course there is the difference between wholesale and retail and a commission on all of your preferred clients. Most people don’t even get 10 customers in reality.

The contradiction is that they say no minimum purchases to get paid, but in their “Success” plan, they state you must purchase 150PQV or 500 PQV to get overrides!

PQV = Personal qualifying volume

Personal Qualifying Volume (PQV): PQV equals the QV from
products sales through your Arbonne account and the product
sales to your personally registered Clients and Preferred Clients

I took that right from the site. After really reading it in depth, they do encourage retail and preferred clients. Although, I do believe most would just buy their own items through the website!

One of the items that is key to NOT being a pyramid scheme is “can I make more money than the person who signed me up”.

Looking at the first level of the Arbonne compensation plan, they almost lock in that you can make more money than your sponsor!

If I would enroll my aunt, for example and she would get promoted to a higher level than me, all of her volume does not count for me! My personal opinion is that that is “wrong” in one sense, but on the other hand, it creates a situation where my Aunt can definitely make more!

This was one of the longest compensation plans I’ve ever seen. You get promoted to more levels than I’ve ever seen.

Each level is more complicated than the last!

But overall, I see nothing that points to a pyramid scheme here.

Arbonne was sued in 2017 by two of it’s distributors claiming the Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and many other similar things. The suit was dismissed and settled out of court.

Like I said, I see no pyramid scheme here. What I do see is a lot of people that that do not understand the game of MLM. You can read more about that by clicking here



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.