From May 2013 to January 2014 I was an Arbonne Independent Consultant and you can find various Arbonne-related blog posts here on itsneecola. However, now that I am no longer a consultant it seems right to explain why, as I shared so much about Arbonne on my blog, at events and with other bloggers. There are various factors as to why I didn’t renew my consultancy status with Arbonne about a year ago, including the price of Arbonne products, the cost of the business, my upline and lifestyle changes.
Price of Arbonne products
Arbonne products are fantastic, but they come at pretty steep prices. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain products that I would repurchase and that my friends and family have loved trying and would be prepared to pay Arbonne prices for but I don’t know anybody who would or could purchase products on a regular basis, at least not enough to successfully grow a viable business based on the Arbonne business plan.
Cost of the business
Due to both my enthusiasm and naivety I put the majority of my savings into launching my Arbonne business. I was encouraged to do so by my upline, who were under pressure from their upline (and so on) to get a certain amount of orders through by the end of the month so that their businesses would move to the next stage. This meant that my business order had to go through ASAP and thus left little time for questions and thinking it over on my part. There is also a certain level of products which need to go through your business a month (which I was told was compulsory to remain a consultant, although I am now sure that this is not the case) – this meant that every month I had to put money in to my business so that these standards were met.
By ‘upline’ I mean everybody ‘above’ me in the Arbonne team I joined. While I still stand by the fact that it is not what people think of as a ‘pyramid scheme’ there is definitely a hierarchy due to the way the business is structured.
Through Arbonne you are encouraged to think positively, take chances and step out of your comfort zone – all good things! However this means that some people take on an overwhelmingly ‘positive’ attitude and they cannot and will not tolerate anything that they regard as negative. I had various questions about the business model and nobody in my immediate circle knew the answer so suggested I go to those further up the chain. When I asked my questions I was constantly told not to focus on the practicalities and simply to throw myself into the business, that my understanding would come in time and that I should not be negative. I can tell you that to this day I never received a straight answer about the business model, precisely how it works, how pay is calculated etc.
Passion which led to irresponsibility was another thing apparent in my upline. In my opinion there shouldn’t have been as much pressure put on my first business order. While this was the way to build a business quickly, it was not the right thing for me to do based on my age, my network and my financial situation. Secondly, there were various trips and training days that all consultants were encouraged to attend. One of these trips was to Vegas and in order to go I would have had to purchase flights, event tickets and accommodation – things I did not have the money for. In a casual meeting with one of my upline, she asked if I was going to Vegas and when I told her I wasn’t, she told me to “just get a credit card!”
Various lifestyle changes happened in 2014 that meant that both mine and Josh’s continuation with Arbonne wasn’t something we could (or wanted to) try and fit into our new life together. I started University in late September but we had spent the summer working on the major project that was our new home. This meant that we didn’t have the money, time or energy to continue with Arbonne even if we had wanted to.
I also felt that student life wouldn’t be something that Arbonne would fit well into either, due to the price of the products and the time and commitment it takes to successfully grow a viable business with Arbonne.
What do I think about Arbonne now?
When I first decided to stop being an Arbonne Independent Consultant I felt so worried that I had lost my integrity. However, I still stand by the things I said: all the products I promoted are fantastic quality (a ‘best of’ post will be coming soon!) and Network Marketing is a great business model, if you have the right network of people around you.
Two things I would like to address are the claims that Arbonne products are ‘chemical free’ and ‘vegan approved’ – two things that I was told from the start were absolutely true. However, as I understand it now: all Arbonne products are natural, yes, but that does not necessarily mean they are free from naturally-engineered ‘chemicals’. I was told towards the end of my Arbonne journey that Arbonne were actually in the process of seeking vegan approval, meaning that while the products are (most likely to my knowledge) vegan they did not have an actual certificate of vegan approval while I was a consultant.
Want to try Arbonne products or find out more about the business opportunity?
If you have any questions about my Arbonne experience please feel free to contact me. If you are interested in trying Arbonne products or finding out more about them or the business model, my friend and fellow blogger Emily is an Arbonne consultant, her twitter handle is @theglittervixen and her Arbonne shop can be found by clicking here.
Have you had any experiences with Arbonne? What are your thoughts on my experience?