Arbonne International provides an independent contracting opportunity to sell skincare products created through botanical principles. The organization began its first push toward sales in 1980 in the United States, then pushed outward to the rest of the world. Founder Petter Mørck developed the line of products in Switzerland to maximize their effectiveness and quality to help his vision come to fruition.
What makes this sales opportunity unique is Arbonne’s commitment to an eco-friendly solution for skincare needs. The organization is carbon neutral, uses zero animal byproducts in their items, and does not do any animal testing. They use soy inks, FSC-certified renewable resources, and recyclable product packaging.
Since 2013, the company has even conserved 67% of the water per product batch in the manufacturing of their items.
If you’re thinking about earning a side income by becoming an independent contractor, then here are the pros and cons of selling Arbonne to review.
List of the Pros of Selling Arbonne
1. There are four ways to earn an income when you sell Arbonne.
There are several ways that you can generate an income for yourself when you become an independent consultant for Arbonne. The first is through direct commissions that come from personal product sales. You will also earn “overrides” from the product sales your team earns. If you reach the rank of Vice President, then you qualify for their Mercedes-Benz cash bonus program. You will qualify for a bonus at every level of management based on your team’s performance too.
2. You can automate your income with the Pure Pay option.
Arbonne pays their independent consultants in the United States and Canada every week when they earn client or preferred client commissions. The overrides and cash bonuses are paid once per month. This payment comes directly through the Pure Pay portal. You’ll receive a Visa card branded with the Arbonne name to shop with it like it’s a debit card through this service. You also have the option to transfer your money out of Pure Pay to your bank account, while U.S. residents have the additional option to send the money to PayPal.
You can also request a paper check or send the money to a prepaid debit card of your choice.
3. It offers a lucrative commission-based system of compensation.
When you decide to start selling skincare products as an Arbonne independent consultant, you’ll earn a 35% profit on the personal retail sales that you generate. Another 15% commission comes from the purchases made by your Preferred Clients. You can then earn additional wages based on what your downstream earns as part of your team structure.
4. You receive a two-month building period for each promotion.
One of the unique disadvantages of selling Arbonne as an independent consultant is that certain positions receive a deduction of qualifying volume each month as part of their “maintenance” of a specific role, such as an area manager. When you receive a promotion, all of the current QV you have travels with you to the new position. The company will also give you 60 days to build up your role in the new position without requiring a maintenance deduction.
5. It allows you to work your own hours.
Your level of self-discipline will dictate the amount of money you earn as an independent consultant with Arbonne. With the flexibility it offers you, however, there are opportunities to flex your hours in ways that other people are unable to do. You can be around to take your kids to the doctor, take time off without consulting with your supervisor, and build your business to the scale you feel is most appropriate. If you’re willing to take the necessary steps to get there, then the income offered by this opportunity will support you when you need a little help.
6. It doesn’t require you to carry inventory.
When you become an Arbonne independent consultant, then you become a direct sales representative more than a contractor with this opportunity. Your customers will place orders for items through you, then the company ships the items directly to their preferred location. You can work globally with this opportunity too, with approved markets including Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Poland, and the United Kingdom besides the United States and Canada.
If you wish to maximize your income, however, then you must purchase products through the company with your 35% discount. This purchase gives you a way to sell the items at a higher commission. That can sometimes be a challenge since some ex-consultants sometimes offer the products on eBay or Amazon at discounted rates as a way to make back their initial investment.
7. Your initial investment is rather low.
Because Arbonne doesn’t require you to carry inventory like other skincare companies, the initial investments you are asked to make are rather low compared to other opportunities. You’ll receive access to a CRM that helps you to manage your contacts, sales and marketing training, access to a knowledgebase, and the chance to offer customers a comprehensive guarantee.
8. The products you sell are guaranteed.
The products you sell come with a 45-day money-back guarantee if someone is not happy with the results achieved. Customers are able to see a refund for their purchase through the 45th day after purchase, even if they’ve opened the product and used it. You won’t find this option available for most companies like this, much less one providing sales through independent consultants.
List of the Cons of Selling Arbonne
1. You are not permitted to create your own online presence.
When you decide to sell Arbonne as an independent consultant, part of the agreement you sign takes away the ability to develop your own website to sell the products you represent. You cannot promote on any site other than the one you purchase access to having as a rep through the company to sell products either.
You might be asked to pay $120 per year to get your own MyArbonne website. Then there’s a $39 fee per year to submit that site to directories and search engines to benefit from some basic online marketing. Since you have no way to create an online presence otherwise, you’re forced to either work offline or pay the fees. This structure minimizes your optimization benefits too because every site for each consultant is essentially a duplicate of every other one.
Note: This disadvantage comes from testimonials which do not reflect the information offered by Arbonne under its current structures.
2. You must pay to get started.
Even though you’re not holding inventory as you do with other skincare or cosmetics MLM opportunities, there is still a welcome kit you must purchase as part of your package. The current fee structure requires a $49 registration fee to become an independent consultant. You then have a $20 upgrade for their preferred client program, which offers you a 20% discount and 40% value packs. This term is then valid for 12 months.
3. You must use Arbonne Pure Pay to receive compensation.
There are no other payment options available to independent consultants when they sell Arbonne products. You must go through the Hyperwallet platform to access your earnings. New reps will not even receive an activation link until they receive their first payment. That means you must have a valid email address and access to the Internet to get paid. All earnings are disbursed to this account, even if you choose not to activate it. You can set up the account to automatically disburse the funds as you wish, but this process takes an extra step and may result in extra fees.
4. It caps your qualifying volume rewards.
As part of the Arbonne host rewards program, you must achieve a minimum of three orders with unique IDs from Arbonne, including clients, preferred clients, or ICs, as a guest for hosts to qualify for rewards. You’re capped at 1,250 of qualifying volume with this plan. The host rewards can only be used toward products at the regular price and cannot be used with promotional items with reduced qualifying volume. All host rewards must be redeemed within two weeks of your group presentation or all the rewards are forfeited.
5. You will be selling expensive products.
One of the most popular products offered by Arbonne is the RE9 advanced set of moisturization products. If you were to purchase the advanced smoothing facial cleanser, then the cost is either $35.20 for a PC or $44 as of January 2019. You can purchase the advanced set for extra moisture or the regular version for $261.60 as a PC or $327 otherwise. Even if you focus on bath and body products, a single bar of charcoal soap retails for $12.80 as a PC or $16.
6. The failure rate for independent consultants is 95%.
Becoming an Arbonne independent consultant requires you to find the best possible strategy for success. The skincare market is filled with competitors, some offering items that have better price points than what you’ll be selling, which is why it can be a challenge to find success. Even though the products are 100% cruelty-free and the company focuses on sustainable practices, there will be many households in your community which are unable to afford the products that you’re selling.
7. It offers a high level of bureaucracy to navigate.
You earn promotions through Arbonne based on the levels of qualifying volume that you earn. The startup products you purchase do not qualify for these points. You must achieve 1,000 points of QV within the first two months, along with 6,000 to 7,500 of SuccessLine qualifying volume to earn a promotion to district manager. Then you must earn a promotion to area manager, then regional vice president before you can start earning some of the advanced rewards available through this opportunity.
If you do not meet your qualifying volume as a paid-as district manager or above, then you are unable to maintain your title.
8. You lose previous balances with a demotion.
If you’re unable to maintain your qualifying value over a specific period, then Arbonne will drop you to the next applicable rank. A regional vice president unable to secure 40,000 QV would then move to an area manager as an example. You can re-earn your previous title, but the previous balances which you once had are not regained in the process. This system creates a complex series of steps to follow that may drive some consultants away from this opportunity.
9. It comes with a one-generation initial downstream.
When you get up into the higher ranks of Arbonne as an independent consultant, you can expand the commissions earned from your downstream up to three generations. A district manager earns 8% commission on their first generation, 2% on their second, and 1% on their third. Before you reach the higher levels, the overrides only apply to the values earned by your direct recruits. Anyone that they may bring onto the team does not apply to the overall commissions you earn.
10. You need a referral to get started as a consultant.
Arbonne does not allow you to join their group of independent consultants without working with a referral of some type. If you log onto the website to sign up, you’ll be asked to enter your zip code. Then a list of representatives in your area will pop up, giving you a link to join their team when you become a consultant. There is no way to avoid this process. You will always be part of someone’s team, as will others when they join your team as you start growing this opportunity.
These pros and cons of selling Arbonne offer a system which is similar to other MLM opportunities you can pursue. The cost of the products is generally higher, while the quality offered to consumers tends to represent more value for you too. If you have a network which is interested in these skincare products, then the low entry point for product access makes sense. You may not advance into leadership very quickly, but it can still offer you an income with some rewards.
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