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Green Girls Podcast | Episode 5 | Arbonne Deep Dive Part 1: Can Multi-Level Marketing be Ethical?

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Cults, pyramid schemes and MLMs oh my! We hope you are sitting comfortably because this one's a doozy!

Hey amigos! Welcome to Green Girls, the podcast that follows our journey (and struggles) to becoming green. This week, join Chloe and Mikaela as they discuss the cruelty-free, B corp-certified brand Arbonne, and dive beneath to discover why all is not as it seems.

If you liked this episode please leave a review, and connect with us on Instagram with @greengirls.podcast

Useful links:

Top 100 MLM Companies (2019)

Arbonne Arbonnecycle

Arbonne brand video

Arbonne exposed interview with ex-arbonne consultant


(Hey reader, a more accurate version of the transcript will be up soon, but Chloe ran short on time so this is the robot-generated version and we will go through and correct it this weekend. For now, hopefully, there aren't too many mistakes!)


Chloe: [00:00:00] We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in which we record this podcast always was

Mikaela: always, will be Aboriginal land.

Chloe: Hey Mikayla. Hey girl, how you going? Welcome back to

Mikaela: our podcast. Yes, this

Chloe: is very exciting. Um, dude, I'm I was actually late today because har was telling me about an encounter. He had. Ooh, um, he helped the police today. Squeeze me. Yeah. So there's, um, a property across from us. That's right now it's like a demolition zone.

Mm-hmm like, it's just a pit in the ground. And like weeks ago now, I think he saw like kids coming out of it. Oh. But today he was just telling me, he saw these two people, like from our house, you can kind of see mm-hmm if people go into [00:01:00] that property hole, whatever it's called right now. And they were wearing these like high vis jumpers, like not proper high vis, but as if like a trade would wear it.

Yeah. and so TA kind of saw them, you know, like slowly walking around, like near the gate and was like, that's a bit sus mm-hmm and like stayed really still inside in case they would like somehow see me and then like they turned around and instead of their faces, they were wearing ski mask. Oh no. So like what it's as if you're trying to blend in, but then like also I might Rob a bank.

That's terrifying. And so he like kept an eye on them and called the police. Yeah. And it they're the longer story than that. Like he like, um, kept a safe distance mm-hmm but I believe like at some point he drove and like saw where they were going. Oh yeah. Because the police like went in and tried to see where they'd gone, but this particular pit has like fences around it.

That lead to so many neighbors gardens. Oh, that's terrify. Terrifying. Yeah. You could use it to [00:02:00] try to get into so many places if that's what they were trying to do. I was like, wow. So around eventually, like they left, they changed out of their hi, his jumpers. Mm-hmm , andt saw what they'd changed into and like drove up the road and actually got some like incognito photos.

Oh my God. I love him. This is like of them like walking past. Yeah. And so I think that helped the police and the police like did get them. But I dunno if it actually results in anything. Cause I don't think they. Took

Mikaela: anything? No, maybe they were just scoping out like the neighbors, see if they can get into their houses through that property.


Chloe: like it's Ugh. Yeah. Cuz they didn't, I don't think the police or, or Tarrick saw where they went. Yeah. So it wasn't like they just went to the pit to have a drink or something and they didn't stick around. That's so great. Now that was really cool. Oh my goodness. Like it's not the first time he's been like undercover.

Yeah. In the neighborhood. I love it. I don't have any exciting news from my day. That's a shame. No, I imagine when it's the wintertime installing solar. [00:03:00] Is that better or worse than in the summer? Cuz it's not scolding, but I imagine it's really cold it's it depends

Mikaela: like normally we try and do it outside of like obviously if there's rain, we can't do it.

But if you get up like eight the morning at like 8:00 AM or whatever, where I am is so cold that you have to put gloves on. Cause if you touch the panels, it's like freezing cold metal. So, oh, I hate that. Like you gotta prep all the panels and get 'em on the roof in the morning and it's like, My hands are so cold.

They're almost sticking to the middle. Oh

Chloe: no, that's not the job for me. Yeah. It's um, I don't know if I prefer heat or

Mikaela: cold. Probably. I'd probably rather work in the rain than in, in the sun to be honest, like

Chloe: hot, hot sun. Yeah. The way Australia sun gets. Absolutely. Yeah. Like normal. If it was England, you'd change your mind.

Yeah. Like normal

Mikaela: sort of sun, you know, 20 ish, 20 low twenties is good. 30 and above. No. Put me in the rain.

Chloe: Melbourne doesn't know what you're talking about. It's like you want 30 in the rain. [00:04:00] Gotcha. Oh, yes. I can do this. oh dear. Oh, okay. I've opened my notes. Here we go. As I just sitting down, cuz this is gonna be a biggie.

I'm excited though. Hit me. Thank you. Well, in my head, I've already named this episode. Mm-hmm . and, uh, I guess we need to put part one because, oh my God, I have so many pages of notes. This is the closest I felt to a podcast host. Like, and that's how we drink. Yeah. Because I have so many notes. I love it. Oh my gosh.

So, okay. This episode is called. A on deep dive, can multi-level marketing be ethical or is it a pyramid scheme? Mm-hmm da, da, da, da, maybe I need to insert some like spooky music, I think, definitely add to that and beyond yes. On beyond . So let's, let's, let's kick in let's what do they say on, and that's how we drink.

Let's crack into it. I think let's crack into it. I can't shout out Christine, and then we love you a lot. Yes, we. [00:05:00] okay. So I won't try and get bitchy. Mm-hmm cause a lot of podcasts that talk about MLMs. You might not have heard, but they get a bit mm-hmm bitchy. Mm-hmm . So it's going to provide information about what an MLM is in general, if an MLM can be ethical.

Yeah. And so for this we're focusing one that really intrigues me and that is a bond mm-hmm so Mikayla mm-hmm have you heard of Avan? I have, yes. I feel like, what do you know about them already? I feel like they've been around for a

Mikaela: little while. Cause I, I feel like I've been. I've had things try to be sold to me.

And it's on the premise that it's like, you know, sort of naturally like natural beauty and, you know, good products. But I don't know why I didn't, I haven't bought anything from them. I feel like I do have a little bit of an insight into, like you said, it really nicely. And it's also all I can say now is like M it's like an M

Chloe: Yes. Oh my God. So I feel like I'm. [00:06:00] Yeah. Maum so

Mikaela: I feel like I have a little bit of knowledge. I haven't bought anything from them and I probably wouldn't, but please enlighten me as to why.

Chloe: Well, you are pretty on the money about what Avan. In case anyone doesn't know, they sell skincare, beauty products, nutritional products, um, like supplements, protein powders, mm-hmm um, everything is cooly free.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think most of it's vegan mm-hmm and they promote heavily like a natural and clean living. Yes. Um, their products are pretty pricey if you've ever looked online. That's probably why I haven't bought any yeah. Super pricey. And I think at some point, like 10 years ago, 15 years ago, they went through like a huge.

Change advertising wise. Mm-hmm where like they used to appeal to women like older than yeah. You know what? It reminds me.

Mikaela: I feel like it's like, um, Clinique when it first started or there's this company called Mary Kay and it's, I think it's American. And I actually got sucked into that with a friend and we went to like a consulting thing and they tried to get us to sign up and we panicked and walked away with like a [00:07:00] free lip gloss and something else for like

Chloe: three hours of our time.

You did the right thing. Yeah. Mary Kay is on my list. They are also in, there you go. Yeah. Yes. So it is actually really similar to Mary Kay. Mm-hmm I think our bond is probably at least marketed as like a more natural or the rest. I think their target market used to be more like 40, 50 year old women, but they did a total shift that, so that they're now in like the twenties and thirties.

You and I range. Yes, we're right there. Bang. Gosh, in the middle. So we. Potential praise , um, da da, da, da. Um, yes, the kind of pricey the target market is now us lucky us. Um, but the only way to purchase from them is online via their website or through an independent consultant. You'll never find them in a store.

Mm-hmm . That's where the, a MLM park comes in. Mm-hmm so do you know anything already about S

Mikaela: yes. Well, like I said, I had my experience with Mary Kay. I feel like someone [00:08:00] I knew got really sucked into, I wanna say it's like, Herbalife or like one of those, like the shakes, nutrition shakes and stuff. Mm-hmm and I was kind of like, uh, and she was like posting all of this stuff that she had like huge boxes of product that was like, I'm selling all this.

And I was like, oh my God,

Chloe: did you have to buy all of

Mikaela: that? Cause so my understanding is, you know, you there's different. Levels. You've got the bottom people who are like the consultants and they buy a bulk product to then on sale and they get like points and stuff and they move up, I think, into the next level.

But there's always

Chloe: that one at the top. Yes. You're you're on the money. MLM, MLM stands for multilevel marketing. So you're completely right. That there's these levels to it. Mm-hmm and it's often likened to a pyramid scheme. Yes. It's also often likened to cults. Oh yeah. But. And a pyramid scheme. I'm guessing, you know, a bit about pyramid schemes cuz of what you just said.

Mm-hmm cool. And so what I know, because talking, [00:09:00] talking the language like this, if you are in an MLM or if you know someone in an MLM saying. It's a pyramid game. That is a one way ticket to putting them off. Mm yes. So I'll go into a bit more detail because there is, there are technicalities to it. Mm-hmm and from the research I've done it.

They sound so similar. And I wish I could say it's like, there's one that's illegal or one that's legal, but that might not be technically correct. So I'll, you know, I'll just leave that where it is. So a pyramids game, or at least in a legal pyramids game looks very much like you'd expect there's one person at the.

Let's say they recruit five people into the business that are going to invest. They in turn recruit five new people, each of who invest. So now there's 25 new people. Mm-hmm each of these 25 people. Um, they also recruit five people get cash from them. Now there's 125 people. If those 125 people also recruit five new people, each, each, do you wanna guess how many of that is already?

No, maths

Mikaela: is not my [00:10:00] skill, but I imagine

Chloe: it's a lot. I'll just go ahead and tell you. It's 15,625 people. Holy shit. right. That one, much that went from 125 to 15,000 far out. So you can see how quickly this grows. You can see how, if you were the person at the top, you'd get a whole hun of cash, absolutely. To every single one of these levels.

And so you can see why you would want to be at the top because as long as there are new people investing, it can actually work out fine. The people at the top keep getting higher, but unfortunately there isn't an infinite amount of people. Mm-hmm . So in this example, that was just three tiers of the pyramid.

Let's say all you would need to go through is 13 more. And then there's no one left on earth to invest. Whoa, that's it. My mind just exploded. so that's, that's it for the math section today, guys, you can have a drink calm down now. Sure. And so, yeah, 13 tier later, there's no one left on earth to invest that money can do nothing.

You've you've got no one else there. And so the [00:11:00] later you. This scheme, the less it is the worse. It is the less money you're gonna make from it. And the less profit there's gonna be for the person at the top. They're sitting pretty. They've been there all along. Wow. So an MLM is similar to this. Mm-hmm from the outside.

It could look the same. Um, indeed they have the same shape but instead of just saying, Hey, random person, here's my business idea. Give me. there's products involved. Mm-hmm so instead of directly getting giving money to someone, um, and that someone is known as your upline, you're selling product. For those products, you earn a commission and your upline also earns some commission.

What was the title? Sorry, offline or up upline. Upline, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm so the person that's up from you. Sure, sure. Makes sense. in what shape that goes. I have no idea. I'm already pissing people off. Let's see. no,

Mikaela: we are

Chloe: neutral. We are neutral, neutral parties. I wow. So it sounds like you've already listed one.

Mary Kay mm-hmm but I wanted to share a [00:12:00] few mm-hmm big MLMs. I let you know if I know any yes. Let me know. Amway. Nope. They are health, beauty and homeware products. Mm-hmm I think they're to called American way, so, oh, okay. Probably. Yeah. Like what it stands for American way. So I think they're just in America.

Mm-hmm Herbalife. Yep. Avon. Yep. doTERRA vaguely sounds familiar. They do essential oils. Oh, that's a whole nother ballgame. Oh, yes, it is. Yes, Tupperware. Oh, I know them and I love

Mikaela: them with my

Chloe: whole life. um, team beach body don't know that one. I think that might just be American mm-hmm they're they're interesting to say the least, but that's health, food and nutrition.

Food. Mm-hmm are bond. Yes. Okay. I know that one LuLaRoe. Mm. I feel like my vaguely sounds familiar. Not sure it might do because there's been a documentary about them now. It's not active. Where is it? They began. Leggings. Oh, that like semi close, really jazzy prints and stuff. And I think they then went on to do dresses tops and like everything.

[00:13:00] Sure. But there's a great documentary in them. If you wanna get real deep mm-hmm uh, the last one. So all of them were actually on a list of the current top 100 MLMs. Right. But this last one I wanted to put on the list just to see if you knew the body shop. Oh,

Mikaela: no, I did not know.

Chloe: Dude, I keep forgetting. Oh my God.

So that one, I honestly could maybe do a whole lot, the podcast episode on yeah. But I don't want this to become the on them podcast. I dunno.

Mikaela: Maybe we've got a tiger audience for that. Who

Chloe: knows? it's a rowdy group. Wow. But yeah, the body shop kind of is, and kind of isn't because the body shop still has physical shops.

Yeah. But there is a whole other side of it called the body shop at home. Oh. And that. The MLM part of it where you can get consultants a lot of the time they do body shop parties. Yeah. He, the at home part. So it might be like a, I don't know, someone's 17th birthday or something like that. [00:14:00] They come over and show you heaps of products.

And I think that if enough people buy stuff, then the friend that hosts, it gets like a free, do you know

Mikaela: what so funny? I remember my mom having an inter Mo party and it's like bras and stuff. When. Probably pretty young, like first sort of bras. And I remember they did fittings and I got two bras, the most basic boring bras, I shit, you know, and I still have both of them.

And I'm talking that is like so old, like teenage years. So they're, they're probably, well over like 15 years old, they're

Chloe: still work.

Mikaela: They're one is getting a little bit sad. I'm gonna just like, I think I need to get rid of it, but one of them is still going. Wow. What the Frick I'm, I'm probably, I'm probably grossing a lot of people

Chloe: out, but honesty.

Oh good. And I'm pretty sure

Mikaela: bras. Yeah, pretty sure. It was like, oh, buy a bra, buy a bra because if you get a bra, my mom bought it for me. But if you get it, that means I get this, this and this. And I was like, okay, I'll take a free

Chloe: bra. So there you

Mikaela: go. Cool. You could do, I definitely [00:15:00] would get sucked into those home

Chloe: parties.

yeah. And I, I know that I went to one in the UK. Maybe not a body shop one, but I remember at university someone. Hosting an Anne summers party. Mm. And Anne summers is the UK as close as we get to sexy land that shop. Ah, yeah. So it was like an all-girl party, uh, with like sweets and stuff shaped, like, you know what?

Yeah. Yeah. And like, my God. Very random fact. That's so funny. Maybe this doesn't make it to the main part. Oh, we can decide later. maybe this is on the Patreon special. Yes. So like there. Handing out the different vibrators and like DDoS and stuff. So you could like feel them and stuff. And the woman that was presenting, it said like, if it's a vibrating one, turn it on, put it on your nose.

And if you sneeze, it means that it's gonna do good things for you. Mmm. That is so

Mikaela: funny. [00:16:00] Imagine that just sitting around with all your friends, like just putting them on your nose

Chloe: and being like, ah, shoot, like, wow. Like I have to, I buy these, all of them please. That's that's right. I'm using all night. it was like, yeah.

I just took that with me. I've got no idea if it's drawn or yeah. Who cares? That's a great conversation. Fun. Now. I know. That's so funny. Fun fact. Oh my goodness. Maybe not fact, but

Mikaela: Hey fun. There we go. Funds maybe fact

Chloe: fun may be fact mm-hmm yeah. Um, Hey, another fun fact. Um, and I don't have the Australian stats, sorry, but according to the direct selling association, which is kind of what, um, the legal practice comes over under, if it's multi-level marketing, that's legal and not a pyramids game, then the direct selling association kind of represents it.

There are 18.6 million Americans involved in direct sales. So like, and I assume a lot of them is this multi-level marketing. Yeah. [00:17:00] 74% of them are women. Ooh, actually that, I feel like that doesn't surprise me. Mm. Well, if we look at the brands that I just listed, Amway Herbalife, Avon, doTERRA topware mm-hmm team breach, body up and Lula wrote the body shop.

They're very, a lot of them, very feminine focused towards health body skin care cosmetic. So, yeah, that is like the target audience. And so that target audience is the one that's most likely to get involved. Absolutely. Makes sense. And then there is that 26% that's men. Um, there's actually something really fun in the LuLaRoe documentary and stuff that I watched.

Mm-hmm they had this whole thing about retiring your husbands. What? Like that was a saying within it, it was like very family focused, like be the bread. I say be the, be the breadwinner, but I'm not sure if they said that they distinctly said retire, your husband retire your husband, but then the idea was to then bring them into your business.

So like, so you, your husband retiring them. You're just then bring them yeah. Straight out of retirement and make them sell leggings for you online. What that is so [00:18:00] funny. I

Mikaela: think you should definitely link that documentary. I would like a bit of viewing. I think that would

Chloe: be interesting. if I can, I will.

I know that it's on Amazon prime. Mm-hmm I think it's like four episodes. Okay. So like sink a teeth in for a good four hours. Mm-hmm I watched it in one day. Didn't mean to they're the best though. I know. I got a little bit hooked. Yeah, you watch it in

Mikaela: shock.

Chloe: Like what? Oh, all that leggings. What. Um, oh, and Tupperware is one of the oldest MLMs Uhhuh and in fact it was so successful that Tupperware is now just what we call food containers.


Mikaela: Right. Oh, have you seen that funny video? I feel like it might have been a podcast and the guy's like, oh yeah. I went and got my Tupperware and, and the other guy's like, wait, what? Say that again. Would you say right? He's like tab. He's like, no, wait, what? No tub. Oh, wear he's like, dude, it's Tupper.

Tupperware. It's

Chloe: not what its he's like, oh my God. I'm just gonna call all of my containers. Tabo wear Tubo wear. That makes sense. Why [00:19:00] didn't we do that? Taboo wear yeah. Tuber. I don't know. Okay. Petition to change it. yeah. It's just crazy. That that is crazy. It made its way into being a household name. Yeah, absolutely.

Um, but yep. It did really well. Honestly, I think it's because of this marketing plan and it's because women could hold Tupperware parties yeah. In their homes hanging out with friends and they could make some money. For sure. So that was probably one of the like first one. Yeah. At least one of the ones that did really well.

I think that Amway has also, I think that's been around for a long time. Uh, but Aban has actually also been around a while. Been going since 1975. Wow. That's way longer than I. Yeah, me too. It's been through a few little makeovers, I think the next time. Yeah, that's crazy. I think my key word of today is wow.

wow. I feel like I've said it so many times already. that's good. We need to make t-shirts one day. Wow. It's like, yeah. Get what the catch phrase is now. Yeah. Wow. I notice in everyday life, I say yikes so much. But I don't think I've brought that into [00:20:00] the podcast yet. That's good. I've

Mikaela: noticed that. I keep saying, oh, that's depressing.

Like when something, like I drop say I drop something off the roof or I dunno, something's I don't have a tool or whatever. I'm just like, oh, that's depressing. And I've noticed that saying it. And same thing I've said to people, I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm sorry. I need to stop saying that. As soon as you realize it's something you say it's

Chloe: ruined, it's fine.

We're gonna stick it on a pin. You can say, Y. No, you,

Mikaela: I can say yikes. And you can say, wow, we'll just change it up a

Chloe: bit. wow. Yikes. oh, okay. After that short intermission. Yeah. Sorry. I get distracted really easy. Where are we? So it worked really well because these women could hold topware parties in their home, hang out with their friends.

And while they did that, they could make some money mm-hmm and with the other ones as well, like with beauty products, skincare. Like weight products, I guess it was all usually around ways to better yourself. They were all like air quotations, good products. And so like, [00:21:00] there's nothing that's like inherently wrong.

Yeah. About any of them. It's like, it's all gonna make your life a bit better. Mm-hmm . And so if you can earn a living while improving people's lives, selling these products that make people's lives up. Sounds like the dream sounds amazing. Yeah. The absolute dream. So that is like the. The MLM side. Right?

Mm-hmm so like it's not just your business. You're also trying to bring people in yeah. To the business. They're selling a lifestyle, they're selling an easy way to make money, helping others. They're selling you hope that you can afford a better future while working from home. Mm-hmm and really just in your spare time, whenever you want to, they always say you can work as little or as often as you like.

Yeah. And so you can imagine if you're a student or working part. Even if you're a full-time parent, the idea that you can make money selling products that you love, it sounds easy. It sounds like it makes sense for sure. And. MLMs also often surround you with like a super positive community. Yeah. I've seen that.

Yeah. Mm-hmm were any of your friends, has that been the case? Uh, with, yeah, a

Mikaela: girl that I used to work with [00:22:00] and, um, I think she went to like a, I want, I wanna say convention, but that's not the right word. Like a interstate. Seminar show or whatever. And, um, there was heaps of people there. It was like out like a stadium and there was people on stage and they were like wearing sequins.

And like, I, it, it looked really good it looked like so much fun and they were super positive, really like good reinforcement. And I was like, oh, okay. Like, yeah, I don't think she is doing it now. But at the time I was kind of like, I was a bit judgey, not gonna lie but then once I saw that I was like,

Chloe: That actually looks pretty good.

Yeah. It looks like it's a really fun time. Yeah. You're surrounded by people that support you, that you support creativity, likeminded. Absolutely. And a lot of them, them MLMs, MLMs will holes like huge conventions like that and like festivals. Yeah. And you can get giveaways. You can get holidays if you do well in your

Mikaela: I'm pretty sure there was like a, um, a car give.

And it was like a noise car. [00:23:00] I was like,

Chloe: what? I don't think I'll get to it in this part of the ABO deep dive, but yeah. ABO has a thing about white Mercedes that if you get to a certain rank, yeah. The white Mercedes is what everyone is real keen beans. For. Another thing that they often say to you is that you are now a small business owner despite.

Realistically, like in my own opinion, you're a sales rep for a huge company. Mm-hmm and it makes becoming your own boss sound like the most stress free, easy thing in the world. It's not the case. yeah. Realistically like in my head, yes, you can choose your own hours. Mm-hmm but it's more like you're an Uber eats driver of like the sales rep world.

Yeah. It's more like that than a business owner. Becoming your own boss. I'm sure you can talk to, it's not easy. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm, there's so much to do. And on top of all of this, well, the closest it is to being your own business is the fact that you're suddenly dealing with your own tax. Ooh, right? Doing your own schedule and only owning money.

If you make a [00:24:00] sale that is very stressful, super stressful. So like, it all depends on the amount of time you have to work on the business and the amount you want to make from it. So depending on the amount of time you have to work on this business and the amount you want to make. Be careful. A great tip I heard is to note down every day, how many hours you work on the business, how much you spend on it, be that buying products from the MLM itself, or just office supplies, whatever mm-hmm and write down how many sales you make, like how much money you're making from it.

For sure. If you can look back at your own data or as the rest of the world says data, , you'll see pretty quickly. If the business will actually make you a profit. That's a good point. So any questions about general MLMs before I plunge into Arbon? I don't think so. I think plunge away, plunge away all the plunging shelf begin.

So I am strapped in. Whoa, where did that seatbelt come up? oh my God. If you guys could see, wow, I've got a full harness safety. How I, God, it's all sequined. I expect nothing less for [00:25:00] you. Oh, of course. . Ah, okay, good. Sorry. My chair's squeaky. Yeah. I have one of those too. So Aban was founded by Petta Mor and now I have not made a spelling error.

It is P E w T E R Petta P E w T E R.

Mikaela: Is that a lady or

Chloe: a male? It is a gentleman founded by Petta Mor in 1975 mm-hmm before that, uh, Petta worked in the cosmetics industry and he wasn't happy with what he saw being put in them. So that's why he founded ABO and from pretty early on, they started using direct sales method for selling mm-hmm

This is pet's mission statement. And I should mention, um, I don't think Petter is with us anymore, but I believe his son. Still works with Arbon, right? But his mission statement is to develop, produce and market Arbon, skincare and wellness products that are unparalleled in quality, purity, safety, and beneficial results to create and organized, meaningful, and challenging opportunities for people seeking financial professional circle.

[00:26:00] Wow. Sorry. I shouldn't laugh. I'll start that whole sentence again. That's cool. . To create an organized, meaningful and challenging opportunities for people seeking financial professional, social and cultural rewards. That's kind of where the MLM part comes in. Mm-hmm. and to contribute locally, nationally, and internationally to the improvement of our ecological, social and cultural environment.

Wow. But like that actually sounds pretty good. Sounds damn good. Hey, yeah. There's nothing wrong. No, nothing's gone wrong. I think that's great concept to like start of business. There's actually a quote that of hiss that I think is one of his most famous mm-hmm and I believe it's along the lines of when you make women millionaires mm-hmm , they're going to change the.

Yeah, I think that's also valid. Sounds pretty great. Yeah. Um, unfortunately it kind of stops there. So despite that first one, uh, despite his mission to make skincare and wellness products that are unparalleled equality, purity safety [00:27:00] ABO has had to recall products, uh, in two thousand sixteen thousand seventeen and 2020.

Uh, in fact, since 2009, there have actually been seven product recalls or won't go into it for using harmful levels of certain ingredients. Whoop see, oh, bit of a change

Mikaela: from

Chloe: 1975. Oh, don't worry though. Um, a Bond's been fine. in the past, I think between 2001 and 2002, this stat was like in the past year mm-hmm so I'm just gonna guess it was that they actually experienced 26% growth rate.

Right. So they're fine. I think it doesn't matter. Yeah, totally fine. Um, and I'm not surprised, honestly. That was during a pandemic that led to us all spending way more time at home. And I'm, I'm not surprised if a few people thought,

Mikaela: Hey, why not give it a go if I can work from home. And I think too, is people, um, get sort of excited at the idea of having.

Product at their disposal. Like, I feel like you think you're getting all these free goodies and obviously you're trying the stuff you're selling, but it can definitely sort of twist in your brain a little bit that you're like, oh, I'm getting this for free, [00:28:00] but it's like, no, you paid for it. Yeah. Easily sucked in I'm I would do that a hundred percent.

Chloe: We've got you on board. When are you joining? Yes, I know crap become a hun . Uh, I actually had a friend join up on oh, thank. And that was during the pandemic mm-hmm and so that's kind of where my fascination for ABO in particular yeah. Came from. So at that point I did a whole heap of research and at first glance, most MLMs looked okay from what they're selling.

Mm-hmm , you know, that whole. Clean living stuff. Yep. And Aban looked like it was the best of, of the whole bunch of them. Um, so I'll start with the cons of Aban mm-hmm because there are some great things to mention, including Aban is actually certified a B Corp. I actually dunno what that means. Um, basically means they have a very high level of ethics.

Oh, well, there you go. That's good. It's great. It confuses me a little bit. Yeah. There's a lot, um, a few. Discussions. I believe there's a Reddit for like B CORs mm-hmm if that makes any sense. And there were a few people saying, how come Arban got this certificate because multi-level [00:29:00] marketing isn't looked on as ethical, nicely.

Yeah. As ethical mm-hmm . And there were a few people saying like, well it's because the business itself outside of that is great. And they give a lot to charity, et cetera. They've got really high standards, their staff not. Multilevel marketing stuff. Mm-hmm other like in office stuff. Yeah. They are all paid really well treated really well.

Hmm. Nice offices. So that part of it is all B Corp certified. And I feel like they just don't take into account this side, but still it means the ABA itself is like an upstanding business. Yeah. It's great that they're all cruelty free. If you do want to become one of the consultants, there are perks to it being there's bonuses depending on your tier.

Trips your own white Mercedes, like I said before. Um, and there's Aban cycle. Have you heard of that? No. You know, TerraCycle?

Mikaela: Yes. Do they recycle their packaging or products?

Chloe: Pretty much. That's cool. So yeah, the packaging that Aban has, um, there isn't like a huge incentive, but I know that there's some marketing behind it saying, Hey guys, for sure.

whatever your Aban products are, [00:30:00] you can send it to us or to a certain location and they will be recycled with TerraCycle. Oh, that that's good. It's pretty good. Um, but me being me , uh, I, my personal opinion is if you want to reduce waste, produce that in the first place. Yeah. If that's like your highest thing.

Yeah. Oh my gosh.

Mikaela: On this note, I think it's in relation to our.

Chloe: Ethos. Yeah.

Mikaela: I saw in the UK that Coca-Cola was introducing new, um, bottle caps to assist with recycling. So they're permanently attached to the bottle, so they don't come off. And I was like, interesting. Oh, so I clicked on the article. It's literally like a ring pool, so it's got that little, um, plastic bit at the bottom, so right at the neck of the bottle and then the bottle top screws on top of that, normally it snaps off and then you have the bottle top separate.

But it's actually permanently attached at the side to that little ring. I was like, no way in hell. Are people gonna twist that off and leave it attached? They're just gonna pull it off. I was like, why don't you just [00:31:00] stop making crap like that

Chloe: for anyone? Yeah. I was like, why don't you just switch to the tins?

Go back to glass. Well, I don't know. Yeah. Anyway, sorry. Distracted. Silly. Coca-Cola one day. They'll hear this. Well, they'll totally change. That's right. This is all I needed. Yeah. Two green girls. That's correct. Uh, so. Yeah, the, the whole cycle thing, I feel like if they really care, they wouldn't use the plastic bottles to begin with for.

So in the words of sh Twain, it don't impress them me much. you really don't. There are so many amazing businesses that like we know in Melbourne that use reusable containers, jars, they offer glass aluminium, which is heaps easier to recycle than plastic, for sure. And then there's ES like AIG, which is global by the way.

That make solid bar products love, and they just use cardboard packaging. I love them. So yeah, it it's

Mikaela: possible. That's the thing it's possible. Why it's

Chloe: possible. We can see from these bins that you can do it and you can make, yeah, I [00:32:00] think it's it added

Mikaela: cost initially, or I don't know, add, feel like plastic is just so cheap and that's why people are so.

Keen on it, but it's like, there's all these alternatives,

Chloe: I think, um, it's lighter, which also makes it cheaper. Plastic, I think is cheaper juice. Sure. It's definitely lighter than glass that's yeah. Yeah. And I believe products potentially keep better or longer in plastic. So there are reasons I understand.

I know there's reason why they would do it, but also stop. Um, so anyway, I'm already getting tucked into the cons. Yes. Here are some more , um, ABOs, pretty pricey. That's like the most obvious thing mm-hmm . But if you compare it with really similar products, uh, with similar ingredients, often Aban is more expensive mm-hmm but I suppose this is a bit of a pro if you join Aban as a consultant discounts, um, you get a 35% discount.

Oh yeah. Um, and if you're a preferred client, which means you're not a consultant, but you also get a discount mm-hmm I think. 25. [00:33:00] I think it depends what you're buying. Like the discount goes up and down. If you did want to be a rep. Well, I, I think it's technically called a consultant. Mm-hmm if I'm, if I'm getting right, consultant sounds much fancier precisely.

So you're an ABO consultant and it's actually really cheap to do. I suppose this could be a pro. If you're looking to join a multilevel marketing company, uh, this one's only $65 to join and that's Australian dollars, one off fee pretty much really. Uh, you don't get much for it. They. Make you an Avan website mm-hmm or they just give you the, a website link, but it's got, yeah, it's got your link to it so that anyone that shops through it, of course you'll get commission from them.

Mm-hmm and I think they give you like a booklet and they connect you with people and groups so that you are interesting. You're an Aban gal. Yeah. Well, Aban P except for that. so, yeah, because joining Aban as a consultant is that cheap though. I think there's a lot of people that just become consultants for that discount and the, the preferred client membership, which gives you whatever discount that's only in $25 per year.

So it's pretty shit. Yeah. You can do that. And then [00:34:00] heaps, heaps of money off everything. Like it makes things a much more manageable amount for sure, for just 25 bucks, if you really like our bond. That sounds great. And I think if you spend enough money, On like a single order, then you kind of get it for free anyway.

Mm. Um, that's really clever. Like from a marketing standpoint from Aban, this is a huge incentive. It dips your toes into the Aban world. And suddenly you've got a really great reason to stay loyal to ABO like marketing wise. It's so smart for sure. People love getting a great deal. Like if I said to you right now, two identical dresses, one is a hundred bucks.

One is one was 150, but it's on sale right now for a hundred. Yeah. Which one are you gonna choose? A hundred dollars. We whip, which $100? The, the sale one. Okay. There we go. but in my mind,

Mikaela: I'm like, oh, well it used to be $150. Like that's a bigger discount. I'm gonna get that

Chloe: one. It's on sale. Yeah. You got a discount.

Yeah. Even if it's like the same and if that's beauty products, it could be the exact same ingredients. Mm-hmm might [00:35:00] have slightly better looking packing. But suddenly you feel special cuz you've got a discount. Exactly. You

Mikaela: can tell your, your friends. Ooh, I

Chloe: saved so much. Yeah. And I think a lot of this appealed to my friend, um, for a tiny bit of background she's in her, she's in her twenties.

She's got two young kids. Mm-hmm really awesome people, person she joined during COVID. And I think at that time she wanted to earn a bit of money. She wanted to be a little more healthy mm-hmm she wanted a positive community. Aon gave her all of that. Yeah. Boom overnight. And once you join, I learned these things from her.

I suppose, once you join, there are certain things these companies ask you to do that. I keep seeing time and time again. Now they tell you to make a list of 100 people. So friends, families mm-hmm , um, that could become your customers or that you might be able to share the opportunity with mm-hmm and they give you templates as well.

And this is often referred to as, Hey hun messages. You might have even actually got some of these yourselves, I'll say, Hey, hun, um, it's been so long. How are you? I've just started this [00:36:00] really amazing business. And I think you would be perfect for it too. Mm-hmm, et cetera. Emojis. . And my friend knew that I was into cruelty free and healthy living.

So guess who she sent? Hey hun message too. I was the hun I got honed oh, no. And I won't read what she sent out, but I'm pretty sure it was a template. Yeah. And I remember thinking like, she has never called me hun before. Yeah. You're like, that's just, she's never used. This many emojis. So like, I just felt kind of laugh and picky.

Yeah. From the get go. Um, I like, I wanted to see what, what was going on mm-hmm and she invited me to a call with her upline. Mm-hmm at least, I assume it was her upline. Maybe it was just someone that knew a lot about up on. Yeah. And I thought the call was going to be about the products and what we might be interested in buying or this, what the ingredients were, that sort of thing.

But really, it just explained what Aban was, what my friend was signing up for and letting us know that we could join her team if we, uh, if we wanted to. Right. So they're trying to [00:37:00] poach you. Yeah. Yeah. It felt pretty icky. Mm. Um, I had to like, think like why Aban looks really great. Why do I feel really icky?

Yeah. And at that point it was because like, they're relying on people to. Straight to their family and friends. Like they might not come. It's manipulative, really manipulative. It's playing on their trust for you. Yeah. And that they want to support you. Well, that's

Mikaela: exactly right. Cause I feel like if you came to me and was like, Heym, I've just started selling this really cool stuff.

Like it's cruelty free. I think you'd really like, it I'd be like, oh yeah, great. I'll I'll support you. Like I'll, I'll give you video.

Chloe: Yeah. I'll do a little purchase or whatever. I'm not surprised she thought of me either. Yeah, because I, because of having B kind cocoa, like as small as it is, it's still very much a target audience for the sort of products on sell.

And if I was on her team, then she would get commission from whatever I sell. Right.

Mikaela: So then she's essentially like

Chloe: above you now? Pretty much. Yeah. Right. If I had joined. I would join her team. She [00:38:00] would be my upline mm-hmm and she would get, I think it's 15% commission from anything. Shit I sell. It might be less.

It might be eight still. So all that all adds up. Yeah. So she'd be getting 35% from anyone that directly sold from her. Mm-hmm . I think, oh, I think it's 15% from anyone that becomes a preferred client of yours. Mm-hmm and yeah, maybe 8% of sales that someone in her team. So I suppose that's why the,

Mikaela: um, pricing is, it seems more expensive because then they're taking off this extra cut to give to their.

I guess consultants, but the company is still making a profit too. So they've marked it up.

Chloe: Yeah. It's kind of, um, it's sneaky. Good on your ABO. You've worked this all out. Yeah. There's definitely some thought behind it. Consultants get a 35% discount, but they also get 35% commission. Yeah. If people buy through them.

So it means like that 35% our bond doesn't see. Anyway. So they've already worked out. They

Mikaela: don't care. It's fine.

Chloe: [00:39:00] They don't care. Yeah. Like of course you could buy products for 35%. We don't care about it. Yeah. We didn't see that anyway. Don't feel like if you were a consultant, honestly, I'd want way bigger discount.

Yeah. That's I sell your products. Interesting. You should let me use them. Yeah.

Mikaela: You should get like freebies or I don't know, like trial products, obviously. You wanna know what you're selling.

Chloe: Yeah. I think once you get higher up, for sure you would get some freebies, but low down because anyone can join. Mm.

And that's, it's just that one off fee. It's a one off fee. , they don't really want to invest in you because it's just like sure you have the pleasure of selling our products. We'll see how you go. Mm-hmm you can make some money. Um, that made me feel icky. And actually, after looking into all of this, I started feeling icky about earning money with beacon Coco through affiliate marketing.

Why in the end, I sort of made peace with it, but there's a lot of people that use affiliate marketing when they don't use for

Mikaela: sure. That product. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So they're just paid to have a banner on the side of their page or whatever, but yeah, with your affiliate stuff, [00:40:00] it's um, is it things that are tailored

Chloe: to.

Mikaela: You your ethics, like you won't put anything on your site that's I? Yeah. Yeah. Well, so

Chloe: that's better. Yeah. I won't put anything on there that I don't agree with that I haven't tried. Yeah. And if I haven't tried it because it's like really expensive or something, then I would absolutely try it. Mm. For sure.

Pretty much. But right now I think I don't represent many mm-hmm I think I've got referral links that I don't use right now, but I'll put them in somewhere.

Mikaela: Yeah. Well, I mean then there's people as well who have like Amazon. if you buy something through their Amazon link, they get money for it. Yeah. Yeah.

So true. And then, and I

Chloe: guess. The fact that you can be one person that's kind of representing multiple brands. Mm-hmm it's not the same as just selling for one for sure. And of course then pushing that one. Yeah. Cause that's where you get money and Aban as well as I think Amway, they basically sell everything you could think you need in your house.

Mm-hmm like from toothpaste to your shampoo. Whoa. Right. Everything. Is protein powders, all these little, little things. Fist sticks is one. That's [00:41:00] like the top fellow.

Mikaela: Yeah. I have seen them. Is it like the it's a healthy, soft drink? They

Chloe: it's like a natural caffeine or something. Interesting. So I think they marked it as it's meant to replace your boarding coffee Uhhuh, but it's so expensive.

It's like 40 something dollars for 30 saches you meant to have one a day and no doubt. They probably taste great. They're a, probably one of the best sellers, but then you get addicted. You

Mikaela: buy more, you


Chloe: get addicted. Yeah. And I won't light, like I've been intrigued, but because I didn't know where I stood on ABO MLM.

Mm-hmm I. Dived into anything. Sure. So I guess I, I went through that icky stage with myself, came out the other end, like, no, it's okay. Cuz I genuinely love everything that I'm sharing that I'm offering a discount to mm-hmm there's heap of things. That'll have a discount to that. I don't even make money from mm-hmm it's just great to have discounts for people.

And on top of that, um, the biggest difference for me is that all these super successful MLMs they're often being like really culty. They've got a cult vibe about them. Mm-hmm and um, it kind of. The really nice [00:42:00] things about religion and like corrupts it mm-hmm and I'm saying that as someone that isn't religious.

Yeah. So. Shoot me down. I could be totally wrong, but the nice things I see about religion, the are like these close knit communities. They look out for each other, they have the same values. And so many of these alms, they try to embody that, like they have getaways and events that you seem to really care about you, but it's only for as long as you're the same as them.

For sure. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. You're spreading the good mm-hmm. good word. About a on . And so many of these religions, again, I could be totally speaking outta my ass, but things are sort of getting watered down. Like cultures are shifting, like, say. it used to be bad to drink coffee or to have sex outside of marriage.

Yeah. Like that's kind of accepted now. So like, there are certain aspects about them that are watering down. These communities aren't as communal anymore. I guess religion is sort of, maybe it's not, maybe I am talking at my as , but like, I don't notice it that much. Like people aren't praising the Lord all around me and I feel like [00:43:00] there's that sort of community dying down, but people still want it.

Yeah. Which means if anyone does want it, they can be really easily drawn into. Yeah, for sure. Something else. Anything else? It doesn't need to be an MLM. It could be a book club. Yeah. but really great book club. But if you see this, like if you've got a friend who's looks like they're doing really well.

They've been really positive since joining this business, they're going on trips. They're going to all these seminars that looks really cool. It looks really promising. It looks like you could have that too. They make it look easy. Absolutely. I can totally see why people are drawn to it. And I think when my friend joined Arbone.

So I think there was this group of supporting people. Yeah. They were rooting for her. They were helping her to succeed. She didn't really stick with it, honestly, like selling skincare and stuff. It just wasn't for her. So she was a hu for a few months, but she ended up not really focusing on ABO, like she used some products, but she didn't love all of them.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So she didn't endlessly promote them on Instagram mm-hmm but it kick started her [00:44:00] fitness. She eventually got into bouldering mm-hmm and so now, like I see her every week and it's awesome. Yeah. After drifting apart due to Aban. Now we're really close. Well, that's good. So thanks to Aban, I guess, for that kickstart.

Thank you. But she's by now. Sorry. Yeah.

Mikaela: so with your friend, um, did she say anything about it, like after the fact, or did she just basically. You can get out of it by no longer purchasing

Chloe: product. Pretty much. I think it's coming up to a year now and all she needs to do to not be part of it is not renew sure.

Like a, not quite a subscription, but like, that's see. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. It means that in a couple of months or something, her website will disappear. Sure. Yeah. She wouldn't make any conditions that she might, if someone still uses the link mm-hmm and then yeah, she loses her 35% commission now for all I know, then she gets heaps of emails saying, oh my gosh, come back.

Yeah. Where to go? Yeah. But I can, I can't speak to that. Oh, I don't know. I subscribe to so many

Mikaela: emails and I

Chloe: don't sell anything.[00:45:00]

stop, stop sending me style. Oh, okay. That is where we're gonna call it a night for right now. Mm-hmm . I already have enough research to cover part two, worry. Nice. We're gonna dive into the Arvin car. Um, I've had a few chats with people mm-hmm so that will be interesting to share with you. Now we can go over the payment scheme and more maths for you so we can look into if it's even reasonable mm-hmm to make money with ABO, for sure.

To see if this multi-level marketing can work. Huh? Wow. Goodness me. That's it for now. Yeah. Good job. I feel

Mikaela: like a lazy poo, this, this, this week. Just no research.

Chloe: That's just coming along for the rad. It'll be my turn soon. That's fine. better. Good. Alrighty, take it away. Mac, if you enjoy today's

Mikaela: show, we would love.

If you could leave us a review on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast. You can follow the podcast on Instagram [00:46:00] at green girls dot podcast. If you'd like to follow Chloe on Instagram, that's be kind cocoa. Or if you'd like to follow me Mikayla on Instagram, that is Mikayla Hoffman

Chloe: or retro kitty vintage.

Mikaela: If you want to email us to become a sponsor or actually for any reason, you can do this via green girls podcast, Gmail dot. And if you want to support us further, you can do this on Patreon. That's all folks that look out for new episodes every other Wednesday, because on Wednesdays we podcast, we hope you enjoyed listening to our ramblings today.

And until next time, remember, it doesn't matter. If you take it slow, it matters that you take a step.

Chloe: Woo.

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