Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme or a Legitimate MLM?

Multilevel marketing is not illegal. When you have some good and real products, you can create a multilevel marketing system to enable people to promote your products to earn commissions. On the other hand, pyramid schemes are different and are usually illegal all over the world. However, multilevel marketing is not the same as pyramid scheme. Most of those who ask whether Arbonne Pyramid Scheme exists, they still don’t know that multilevel marketing is different from Pyramid Scheme.

In this short article, I am answering all your confusions to enable you to make the right decision, if you are after joining Arbonne and you are doing your due diligence. You will learn that something that may prevent you from joining a program is not necessarily their marketing system. A California-based company  like Arbonne that has been working since 1980 cannot be illegal or illegitimate. But the questions is, can you really make money with them? Is it easy to make a living with promoting products of a company like Arbonne? Is it worth spending time and money on Arbonne?

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Please make sure to read this short article entirely because it will change the way you think and you will live. It will change your future because it will change your point of view.

Is Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme?

Arbonne is not a 100% pyramid scheme. They just have a multilevel marketing system to promote their products. But this doesn’t mean that you can join Arbonne and become an independent consultant, now that you know they are not a pyramid scheme.

You want to make money with them, right? Being legal and legitimate is not all a company has to be, when you want to join and make money with them. When you make sure that they are fully legal and legitimate, the other important question that has to be answered is whether you can make money with them. Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme, but is it easy to make money with them?

Before I go ahead and clarify this, I’d like to describe the difference of pyramid scheme and multilevel marketing systems. Make sure to read the rest of this article very carefully.

The Difference of Pyramid Scheme and Multilevel Marketing

Pyramid Schemes are illegal because there is no real product in these systems. Members make money through the membership fees that their downline or referrals pay. Either they have no real product, or they have some fake products, just to pretend that they have products, and so they are not a Pyramid Scheme. However, their main source of income is the membership fees that their members or affiliates pay, not the money they make through selling their products because almost nobody buys their products.

Pyramid Schemes

In Pyramid Schemes, only the top level members make money. However, if the lower level members stop paying the membership fees, the top level members won’t make any money too. This will happen in all Pyramid Schemes. All of them will collapse eventually because most members will come to this conclusion that they won’t make any money and it is stupid to keep paying the membership fees. They lose a lot of money on paying membership fees or buying packages for a while, and so they quit. That’s the time that the top levels’ income will start going down gradually, and the whole system will stop working after a while. That’s why Pyramid Schemes are illegal.

Multilevel Marketing or MLM

Multilevel marketing or MLM is a strong marketing system to promote real and strong products. While you earn commissions through selling products as an affiliate, you can recruit affiliates to receive commissions from their sales too. Additionally, you can earn commissions from the affiliates that your referrals recruit, in multiple levels. As long as the affiliates’ source of income is not the membership fees that their referrals pay, and they make money through the products that their referrals buy for themselves or sell to others, the multilevel marketing system is fully legal and legitimate.

However, when there is a monthly, quarterly or yearly membership fee, or when affiliates must buy some special packages to upgrade to special rankings and levels, any paying the membership fees and buying packages become the main source of income for the top level members, the apparently multilevel marketing system becomes closer to a Pyramid Scheme and looks illegal.

Why Isn’t Arbonne a Pyramid Scheme?

I don’t think Arbonne is a 100% Pyramid Scheme because they have strong and real skincare, antiaging, nutritional, and so many other products that many people like to buy. Their products are not fake. They are real products that people want to pay for.

Above all, Arbonne affiliates’ source of income is not just the membership fees that their referrals pay. It is based on selling the Arbonne’s products. These factors make a longer distance between Arbonne and being a Pyramid Scheme.

Arbonne Pyramid Scheme

What Does Make Arbonne Look Like a Pyramid Scheme?

Although Arbonne has real and strong products, there are a few things that make their multilevel marketing system similar to a Pyramid Scheme somehow:

Consultants have to pay a registration fee that becomes a yearly fee. Although it is not that much, still it is a membership fee that has to be paid. Additionally, consultants have to maintain a certain level of sales and activities every month, otherwise they won’t receive their monthly override check.

Consultants have to maintain 500 Personal Qualifying Volume or PQV each month. This makes money for their higher levels. That’s why I said this makes Arbonne closer to be known a Pyramid Scheme, although it is not a 100% Pyramid Scheme yet.

There are four other levels higher than Consultant:

  1. Distinct Manager
  2. Area Manager
  3. Regional Vice President
  4. National Vice President

Members of these levels also have to maintain the monthly minimum of 150 PQV while they must maintain 2500, 10000, 40000 and 160000 Central QV to maintain their ranking. Maintaining these qualifications also makes money for their referrals and higher levels. Therefore, Arbonne looks like a Pyramid Scheme when considering these factors, although their products still make them different from pure Pyramid Schemes that have no real product.

In spite of this, Arbonne is legal and legitimate in the United States and other countries like Canada because they offer multi real and strong products. Therefore, having multi levels and even some membership and maintenance fees and activities doesn’t necessarily mean that a program is a Pyramid Scheme and illegal. However, now there is a more important question that has to be answered:

Can You Make Money with Arbonne Pyramid Scheme?

Yes, you can but it is not that easy. These kinds of businesses are not for everybody. You have to generate sales and recruit members at the same time. You won’t get paid if you cannot maintain certain monthly qualifications. Selling beauty products is not that easily because it is so competitive and you have to be a great sales person to be able to generate enough monthly sales.

Therefore, although I respect Arbonne and their business, I must tell you that if you think you can make a living through promoting Arbonne, most probably you are wrong. Your success in Arbonne Pyramid Scheme or their multilevel marketing system is strongly dependent on two important factors:

  1. Your own activities that include selling products and recruiting active members who can sell products and recruit members too.
  2. Your rereferrals’ and downlines’ activities.

It is really hard to sustain the number of the active and qualified referrals while generating enough monthly sales on your own. Most members will quit because they don’t make any money. You will always have to fight with this problem, when you join a system like Arbonne. You may succeed to recruit members, but sustaining active members is a harder.

What Is the Solution?

Arbonne and their multilevel marketing system or Pyramid Scheme is not your bread and butter, although you can always enjoy their skincare, antiaging, nutritional and other products for your own use. If you are after generating some income to make a living or to get rich, then Arbonne is not the solution. You must  join a program that makes money without having to generate sales, refer and recruit.

It is a while that I am working with a program that starts making money from the next day that you join. You will get paid more if you recruit members, but you don’t have to. The most important factor that makes it different from all other systems like Arbonne Pyramid Scheme is that not only members will never quit, but they will get involved and work more after they join because they make money and they can easily increase their income.

Everybody, even a 90 years old grandma can make money with this system, without having to know anything about computer and the Internet and without having to generate sales, refer and recruit. Learn how this system works here.

Published by

Vahid Chaychi

Vahid Chaychi is an experienced web developer and internet marketer since 2002. He has been able to become the top seller/earner and affiliate with several different companies. He has launched his own affiliate programs as well. He is a blogging and WordPress expert with lots of enthusiasm in blogging and vlogging to share his knowledge and experiences. He is also a serious Kyokushin Karate warrior and a good snowboarder. Follow him if you like to become a financially free online entrepreneur.

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