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Green Girls Podcast: Episode 6 | Arbonne Part 2 | The dirty truth behind the clean beauty brand

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 for PART TWO 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

James Jani on MLM's and cults:


Chloe: [00:00:00] Okay. All right. I'll podcast now. Beautiful.

Mikaela: Do we need to say like, hello, welcome to Green Girls. Cause I feel like we just have started talking every other time.

Chloe: Uh, you know what, you saying it just then, that's the intro.

Mikaela: Done. It sounds probably a little bit staged, but that's fine. It's fine. Still good.

Chloe: That's fine. Yeah. We're good. We're good. We're good.

Mikaela: Lovely.

Chloe: Hi guys. Welcome back. Today's episode is episode two from the Arbonne, episodes. Wow. Well, now that I know that we are recording, I can't talk obviously.

Mikaela: English.

Chloe: My English accent today, children we're returning to Arbonne, episode one, well, for you guys was two weeks ago. For me. It was a solid month ago.

So bear with me while I remember what the heck Arbonne is.

Mikaela: Me also,

Chloe: And wewe're gonna quiz Mikaela about it, so,

Mikaela: oh dear.

Chloe: I know, we hope that you took notes. I have it written in front of me. What do you have? Ha, ha ha.

Mikaela: I'm not sure. [00:01:00]

Chloe: It's okay. I won't ask you too much. Okay.

Last time. Little teeny tiny refresher. We discussed pyramids schemes and MLMs. Do you remember what MLM stands?

Mikaela: Uh, yes. Multilevel marketing or mlmlm.

Chloe: You're dead, right. Well done. 50 points.

Mikaela: Thank you.

Chloe: We found out a little about Arbonne's founder.

Do you remember his name?

Mikaela: No, but I remember that he is a, he.

Chloe: I'm not sure how he, I,

Mikaela: I remember his origin stories and he did have a background in makeup or skincare, and he didn't like all the nasties that were being put into it. But unfortunately I don't recall his name.

Chloe: Okay. I'll give you some points for that.

Mikaela: Thank you.

Chloe: His name is Petter Mørck and yes, you're right about the, the rest of it. And he had a wonderful quote that I don't have in front of me.

But it was something about, if you make women millionaires they'll change the world or something like that.

Mikaela: That sounds vaguely familiar. Yeah.

Chloe: His spiel was basically, I want to make mm wow. [00:02:00] I want to make women millionaires. It'll be the best thing ever. That's a bit of a, a lol as to what he actually did. Uh, anywho we discussed a friend of mine who was involved in the lower levels of Arbonne. And we went through a few of the sort of pros and cons of the company.

So today I want us to chat about the kind of culty things that Arbonne does, and also whether you can actually make decent money and I want to chat about the catch behind the coveted Arbonne Mercedes.

Mikaela: Oh yes. I do remember that.

Chloe: Vaguely touched on it. It like, oh, it kind of grinds my gears a bit.

Mikaela: Yeah. Yep. Yep. Tell me more.

Chloe: All of my links for this episode will of course be in the show notes, but I do want to add a disclaimer right now that I am not a professional or an expert in psychology or Cults. I'm just an observant person that has a bit of an interest in marketing. And I don't like to be misled and I don't like people being misleading.

Mikaela: Mmhmm.

Chloe: So I want to stop that from happening. That's pretty much it.

Mikaela: Lovely.

Chloe: All I can say is I'm trying my best, [00:03:00] but I don't want people to take what I say now as gospel. Um, but if anyone does really like this content and wants us to keep diving deeper into things like this and psychology I'm down for it, and I am keen to contact experts. And perhaps that could be some extra content on the YouTube channel. Something like that.

Mikaela: Sounds good.

Chloe: But for now, I hope this is a good guide. I honestly hope that if anyone is sitting on the fence wondering about joining Arbonne or a similar MLM, that this episode can kind of help tip you over to the other side, and you can invest your time in a more ethical company or look into starting your own small business.

And if you do let me know, I will be so keen to support you if you do.

Mikaela: Absolutely.

Chloe: Uh, so in case you are like Chloe, stop telling me what to do. I'm really keen on becoming an Arbonne consultant. Uh, fine. You know what, I'm gonna help you. This first section is dedicated to you and let's see if this model can actually even work.

So Mikaela, I have sent you an image. If you can go back to Skype, I've sent you...

Mikaela: I think I [00:04:00] opened it.

Chloe: It's like a greeny bluey orangey.

Mikaela: Oh, that's right. I opened it Skype and then I couldn't figure out how to get back to the, okay. Success. I have a tier.

Chloe: So this is the basic information that Arbonne has on their website.

It's a bit of a pain try to get to, but it's been nicely designed, nicely structured to show you what is the Arbonne business opportunity, how you can earn an income and then what to expect. And I'm guessing you're having a quick squizz at it right now, but I want us to look at the what's typical section, what you can expect to earn.

So what are you seeing?

Mikaela: So what's typical, the text during 2020?

Chloe: Yes.

Mikaela: Okay. So I've already read it three times. Cause my brain was just like what? During 2020 Arbonne paid in excess of 567 million in preferred client commission. So, don't even know what that is?

Overrides and awards. Together earnings to [00:05:00] independent consultants globally and 33 million in earnings in Australia. Oh, there you go.

Chloe: So that's a pretty hefty number. It's actually pretty good.

Mikaela: Yeah, that's a lot.

Chloe: So preferred client refers to lets say I'm a consultant, Mikaela you can become a preferred client of mine.

It I believe comes with a price, it's like $50 or $30 or $25, something like that. But it means that you then get a discount on anything you order with Arbonne.

Mikaela: Right.

Chloe: It does mean that I get a lower percentage from you. So I get less percentage of commissions when you buy something. But, because you're a preferred client, it is quite likely that you will buy a lot.

Yeah, because you get a, a mega good discount

Mikaela: gotcha.

Chloe: Compared to normal people. So that's a preferred client. So if we zoom into these numbers and I got like, really into these for the sake of the podcast, because Hey, no one else can see this. Let's let's zoom through a few of these numbers.

So the first thing I will [00:06:00] mention is that they've got five levels here, five tiers, which I suppose relate to where you sit on the pyramid.

Mikaela: Oh my God. Wait, what? Sorry. I just realized the number of the median annual earnings for independent consultants. And that is so low.. Okay. Sorry. I'm, I'm jumping ahead.

I'll let you go.


Chloe: Yeah. So, uh, independent consultant being the lowest that's where you begin your Arbonne journey. If you level up, you become a District Manager, then Area Manager than a Regional Vice President, which you might hear referred to as RVP. And the highest level is National Vice President or NVP

So as you rank up, of course, the median annual earnings and things go up here as well. So Arbonne has kept tabs or at least shows us the annual average earnings. The, what the median is as well. What the top 40 average is and what the bottom 40 average.

Mikaela: Oh my God. Bottom 40.

Chloe: So the top and 40 of each [00:07:00] level is there and that's pretty good. Cause you can kind of then work out. Okay. If I were to be in Arbonne, this is pretty much what I can expect to earn, uh, Mikaela seeing these numbers. If you became an independent consultant, could you live off that?

Mikaela: No freaking way. Couldn't even buy a coffee, like if I was in the bottom 40. Geez.

Okay. So for the average annual earnings to an independent consultant, $215.

Chloe: Wow.

Mikaela: Median earnings is $113. Beautiful. The top 40. So top 40 of the independent consultants is still only $2,191. Yep. But if you're in the bottom 40 it's $4.

Chloe: Yeah. You wanna know what the, the biggest smack in the face is about all of this. That is only counting consultants that earnt money.

Mikaela: Oh, shoot.

You're so right. Oh my gosh

Chloe: There is a much bigger [00:08:00] percentage of

Mikaela: people who just earned nothing or lost essentially. Cause they would've had to buy all the product

Chloe: Correct. Or made a loss. So anyone in that category just isn't here. I cannot tell you what that number is.

Mikaela: Oh my gosh. Also, I'm just looking there at the average time to position.

Chloe: Yes, yes.

Mikaela: Far out.

Chloe: Yes. So also along the, along the, wow. I can't say anything along the grid, along the levels, it says the average time to reach a position. And so to get from an independent consultant to a district manager, roughly about seven months, actually, my friend did it within I think, two months.

Mikaela: Oh, wow.

Chloe: Which I think is just, if you've got enough friends that are keen. You just sign them up. And I think you have to make a minimum amount of money through selling products, yourself to rank up. Oh, but I'm not 100% on that.

Mikaela: Sorry. I was just looking at the note.

Chloe: Yes.

Mikaela: Oh my God.

Chloe: Go ahead and read it.

Mikaela: Okay. So note, these figures do not represent Arbonne independent consultants profits, as they do not include expenses such as renewal fees, event registration, [00:09:00] travel, office supplies, insurance premiums, etcetera, incurred by Arbonne independent consultants in the promotion of their business. There are no guarantees regarding earnings and the success or failure of each Arbonne, independent consultant, like any other business, depends on your own skills and personal effort. You should not rely on the results of other. I'm gonna skip that and just say consultants to indicate what you could expect to earn.

Oh my gosh. What about the bottom 40 people who earn $4, but not really cuz they had to pay all these fees.

Chloe: Yeah, that's exactly right as well. To join. I think it's like $75. So I don't know if that means that after spending that $75, these people then made $4 or if it means in total, they made $79 like they got back the initial fee, but I'm assuming they're just counting, like, no, you're, you're a consultant now.

And from zero you've made $4.

Mikaela: Oh my gosh. Like it's so funny that they even put that on that table there with all that data. [00:10:00] Like, I feel like there's a fair amount of numbers and stuff in there that you could easily skip the bottom one and just look at the top and be like, oh my gosh, I can make this much.

But like, really?

Chloe: Yeah.

Well, this isn't necessarily like 100% transparent. There's a lot more that I would like to see.

Mikaela: Absolutely.

Chloe: Arbonne, at least in MLM standards is better because it shows you something. The the, the stakes are that low. Yeah. That this is really good.

Mikaela: Wow.

Chloe: So I want to actually look at the very top the national vice presidents.

The average annual earning for them is $221,760 wows. Can I read?

Mikaela: You're close 221,776.

Chloe: Thank you. My brain. Couldn't say that 70 and the medium being 194,300 at 11. That one, that one came out. Great.

Mikaela: That came good.

Chloe: Um, you might notice that the two columns next to that [00:11:00] are empty. Indicating that there aren't even 40 people in Australia at this level.

So there is no top 40 or bottom 40, therefore that's just blank. And it took an average of 60 months to reach that position.

Mikaela: That's too much time.

Chloe: It's, it's a lot of time and who knows how much they made every single year and month before that to get to this point where they earning 200K a year and that's a really great income.

Mikaela: Oh yeah.

Chloe: But it's not exactly what

Mikaela: That's five years though.

Yes. I just had to calculate, sorry.

Chloe: Good job.

Mikaela: Five years.

Chloe: Yeah. Oh, like if I had to keep working in my job and thought in five years time it'll be worth it. Cuz I'm making 200,000 that sounds okay. Yeah, but only because I currently have a job where I'm earning.

You know, still 50,000 or 60,000. Like not, oh yeah. You'll get there in five years, but for now you're gonna make $4. And be like, oh great. That's fine. I'll leave

Mikaela: Exactly. How are you gonna be able to do anything for $4? That means too, that like, yes, [00:12:00] you might have your own small business, but you're also gonna have to work a different job to be able to live, which means that you don't have enough time to necessarily put in all the work and the time and the effort to be able to grow to that figure.

Chloe: Yeah. Yeah. So if you don't have all the time in your life to dedicate to that, you are much, much, much less likely to get there. You're absolutely right.

Um, yeah, so it takes 60 months to get there five years well done on that maths. Cause I hadn't followed working that out. But I want to take you back to that quote from Petter saying making women millionaires is going to change the world. Uh, Mikaela is $221,000 a million.

Mikaela: No, also, no, it may be even less than that because it does not includ expenses.

Chloe: No, it doesn't include tax true. Doesn't include paying into your own superannuation. If you're in Australia, doesn't include any of that. And it might be that Arbonne, it gives you some sort of education [00:13:00] about that process, but I've heard that a lot of MLM's kind of leave that out. So I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna go one way or, or the other , but I really, really hope anyone who has their own business.

Please look into your own taxes. Yeah, it will. Bite you, they will find you.

Mikaela: No, tax time actually makes me anxious. I'm just like, please help me accountant please.

Chloe: yeah. Well, how were you with your small business before?

Mikaela: Uh, yeah, I went to an accountant.

Chloe: Good.

Mikaela: I paid and like last year I did it myself online because I hadn't really sold anything.

I wasn't actively working on it. And I feel like I got like a $7 refund or something and I was like, I did something wrong.

Maybe I paid every, all of my taxes correctly. I don't know.

Chloe: Anyway, you did. Yeah. Good for you getting that.

Mikaela: That was $7. It's more than the that's more than an independent consultant.

Chloe: Yeah, girl. You're raking it in.

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly.

Chloe: So, you know, note to self, just start your own small business. You'll you'll make heaps more. Look that [00:14:00] whole, like when you make women millionaires, you change the world. That was the quote, uh, Petter for one, it will take someone five years to maybe get there.

And then five more years to actually make a million. And that's if they don't spend anything.

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly.

Chloe: So that's why I kind of chortle at that little quote. Good idea. Good idea, mate.

Mikaela: It's a nice thing in theory.

Chloe: Yeah. Precisely. So look, I want to look at the everyday earnings cause I've done a bit of maths on this.

I'm very proud of myself. Uh, I might have gone a bit wrong, but we're recording a podcast right now.

Mikaela: Right. It's just every, every step makes a difference every little bit.

Chloe: Okay. So I did the maths. Let's say you wanna do this full time. Not everyone wants to do that. Of course. But you, do you want to earn a full-time salary selling Arbonne.

Mikaela: Sure do.

Chloe: You're not relying on recruiting anyone. So I'm not taking into account teams at this point, just product sales. If you want to work basically a nine to five, Monday to Friday for your, Arbonne [00:15:00] business, you need to sell about $600 worth of product every single day. So about three grand per week, and you don't get that three grand of course Arbonne does, but you get a 35% commission on anything you sell.

Mm. So that brings you in $1,050 per week before tax, before superannuation. You need to do that bit yourself, but that will earn you enough. That'll be, you know, around $25 an hour.

Mikaela: What's the, um, do you know what the average product price is? Like roughly if you had, or are you going into that?

Chloe: Arbonne is a little bit pricey.

I think things are usually between like $20 and $50.

Mikaela: Okay. That's a lot of product then.

Chloe: Yeah. That's a lot that it's, it's a lot to sell every single day. Good news though. Arbonne has this very nifty product it's called the 30 days to healthy living kit. You might have seen this around. This is, I think it's actually what they kind of use as like the first [00:16:00] step.

So if you become a consultant and this is what my friend did, actually, I believe she was really into the idea of improving herself, her body, her mindset. She bought herself the 30 day to healthy living kit and it comes with a whole bunch of protein powders, fizz sticks, and some other stuff.

And I think it also gives you some sort of meal plans and things. That's as much as I can say about it really the kit itself costs $678.

Mikaela: Holy crap. That's a lot.

Chloe: Right. Cause it's meant to give you enough of all of this stuff to last you for a month. Well, 30 days. But you do still have to buy groceries and like feed yourself in this time.

Mikaela: Yeah.

Chloe: Unless you want to spend extra and get another lot of like protein powders, so you miss another. meal. I think that's the gist of it. Not the healthiest kit.

Mikaela: No,

Chloe: I'm gonna say right now, in my opinion, not a dietician. Anyway, that kit is $678, so if you sell five of those a week, You're done.

That means if you do it yourself, that sort of marketing that you can do [00:17:00] on Instagram, be like, Hey guys, I'm feeling so happy and healthy and fresh and fierce. Oh my God. It's all thanks to the 30 days healthy living kit, you can get it yourself for only $678. You sell five of them, you'll make enough.

You'll make $1,100 for yourself. And I think it's like three grand for Arbonne more than that. Now, if you have preferred clients, They actually get a great deal on these kits. Um, I'm not trying to, I feel like an advert now.

Mikaela: Yeah, you're all over it.

Chloe: But wait, there's more.

Mikaela: I might buy a healthy living kit.

Chloe: So they actually get a huge discount. So usually it's $678 preferred clients. Get it for $406 that however, if a preferred client buys it, you only make 15% commission on them. So, not only is it less commission, but it's less commission from less money, which means instead of those, what was it? Five kit. There's a lot more.

Mikaela: Yeah. Five. Yeah.

Chloe: I have not done the math on how many more, cause I wrote down 50 before, [00:18:00] but I feel like I'm wrong.

Mikaela: I don't know, yeah. I'm not really a math minded person, but I feel like that's a really big jump.

Chloe: It's a huge jump from like 5 to 50. Like if you were just relying on that, how would I do this math?

Do you know maths?

Mikaela: No. Not at all. Well math makes me anxious.

Chloe: So, well, look, we're gonna leave it at that then, but it's, you'd have to sell a lot more.

Mikaela: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chloe: Cause you're jumping from making 35% on a $600 sale to 15% on a $400 sale. So you have to sell a lot more of them. And of course, if you are a person that likes a deal, of course, you're just gonna sign up as a preferred client to save yourself 250 bucks.

You might not ever want another Arbonne product again. But you will do that to save 200 bucks.

Mikaela: Absolutely, I would.

Chloe: Yeah. And then if that person's a preferred client, of course, then you only make 15% of them for the rest of their Arbonne life, I suppose. So it suddenly gets a lot harder to make money. It seems like a really weird set of [00:19:00] scales where Arbonne's like, yeah, you incentivized people to join and then they pay less, but then you get less.

Mikaela: Yeah. It doesn't really make sense.

Chloe: It doesn't really work out for you. But 100% works out for Arbonne.

Mikaela: That's true. It does make sense. That sense.

Chloe: well, I want to quickly go back. I think I mentioned this last week. Arbonne, I sound like a bitch when I say this, but honestly, it's Arbonne being the bitch.

They have made it so they really do not care about you. Not as a customer, they care about you as a customer, but as a consultant, as someone basically working for them, they make it so that they do not have to care about you one bit, you can be a massive failure and they won't lose anything.

Because you get, I believe a 35% discount on products as a consultant, which is the exact amount of commission Arbonne expects you to get from a product, which look, I might not be explaining that that well, but Arbonne knows that they will basically never get 35% of what that product's price is. So it's already worked out in their business plan that, that's money they [00:20:00] don't get. The product is basically 35% cheaper in their mind cause that's the money they get.

Mikaela: Yeah. That's essentially the, like they've worked in the cost of the product so that you can get that payment commission without them affecting, without it affecting their, their bottom line.

Chloe: There we go. That, that was a much better sentence. Thank you.

Mikaela: No, well I got it from your explanation, so.

Chloe: Oh, good. Good, good, good, good. But yeah, it means like you can totally. And it just doesn't affect them. Not one bit. Totally fine. They don't have to care about you. But look, I feel like if Arbonne were to completely do over with the whole MLM side of their business. Because apart from that they apparently have decent products. I think they're all vegan, but I could be wrong. Definitely all cruelty free, like they could do okay. They're a B Corp. They look fine apart from the MLM part. Yeah. But I feel like it's only the consultants that are buying things.

Mikaela: Well, yeah. I mean, I feel like, I don't know anyone who's [00:21:00] actually just bought product themselves. I only know of people who have tried to sell it.

Chloe: Or people that have bought from the sellers. Because it's a friend or family member.

Mikaela: They're like, oh, I'll support you. I'll help you out. And then they're like, hmm

Chloe: Yeah, well, this is probably a great time to jump into some Facebook comments that I got. So I asked Facebook what, what they thought about Arbonne specifically. So I'll read out just a quick, a few of the really quick ones and then I want you to dive into the long ones, cause I'll lose my voice.

Goodness. There's one that just says friends don't let friends join MLMs. I like that.

Mikaela: I like that too.

Chloe: Great products, shit scam for sellers. They're pretty good products. But agree with others saying it's just another MLM. I used to use their mascara, but then I was constantly harassed to join. Oh see.

Mikaela: So yeah. You could like the product, but it's like, I don't necessarily wanna join.

Chloe: Yeah. If you're gonna be badgered about it that much, I'm not surprised.

Especially, it's a very [00:22:00] stereotypical opinion of British people, but as a British person, I agree with it. We don't want to be bothered. Like the lush stores in the UK are like the most hyped place, honestly.

And it makes you uncomfortable to be there because people are really friendly and

Mikaela: Yeah, it's like almost too much.

Chloe: We don't like that. Can I help you? Like, please don't help me. Like, look when I need you. I won't ask then either, but please don't come over.

Mikaela: I'll hide in the corner and wish that I could come and ask you a question, but just don't don't come near me.

Chloe: Don't come over. I'll leave a terrible review that you were really friendly and I don't like it.

Okay. So I would like you to read, the one that I've got in green here. This is actually a comment from the admin of the group I posted in.

Mikaela: Okay. Yes.

So they say it's a scam. People think they have a business and will be successful.

I had some friends get involved with this year and it was like a cult. They were young in their early twenties maybe, and were convinced that they would be able to retire in maybe 10 years as [00:23:00] this business was gonna make them rich, trying to tell them otherwise cost us the friendship. And she was always trying to sell me.

Once I asked for recommendations on skincare either here or in another group. And I had two people offered to send me samples, I took them and although one was fine, the other harassed me to buy, I said, I couldn't afford it. And was offered a payment plan. She was so pushy. I have a very negative view of any multi-level marketing. Sure. Some people can make a few bucks from it, but people get sucked in and buy expensive kits and demo products. Then just harass their friends and family to buy the stuff.

I'm not the only person I know to lose friends because I didn't wanna buy products from them. We have actually banned any promotion of MLM products in this group.

So if anyone even recommends Arbonne the comment gets removed, all of the admins hate MLM's. Damn what? I can't believe they have a payment plan. That's so no, that's so wrong.

Chloe: Plans are so [00:24:00] common now,

Mikaela: But not for skincare or makeup that you can't afford. And you blatantly tell 'em that you can't afford it.

Like, I mean, I guess it's like zippay Afterpay and stuff. They're essentially payment plans, but.

Chloe: Yes. And I believe Arbonne even uses them now,

Mikaela: There you go.

Chloe: At the time, maybe not, but I believe I've seen videos where, you know, these people from higher up talk to those below, you know, big video call conference things.

And I've definitely heard the phrase of like, no doesn't mean no. And like to keep pushing and be like, everyone does have enough money. It's not that much for a lipstick, if it's not from this, can your, can your husband, like, can you ask for it from your husband or from your mum?

Mikaela: Oh, my god.

Chloe: It's okay. Cause we can offer a payment plan. That sort of thing. So like even if the person, even if the consultant feels awkward about it, they've been told don't worry. It's fine. No doesn't mean no, these are these other ways. And then you're much more likely to get a sale and they'll be happy with their product.

You'll be happy with the commission. It'll be great in the end.

Mikaela: Oh, do you know what it kind [00:25:00] of reminds me of like, I don't know the guy's name plus I wouldn't wanna give him any, any attention, but it is that guy who was going around doing like dating, workshops and they were like super aggressive and like all these one liners and stuff that like trying to pick up people in the streets and it was like hectic.

But I don't know who it is, so I'm not them the attention, but like, I, it just reminds me of that. And it was pretty much I think, cause of no means no doesn't always mean no.

And I was like,

Chloe: no means not yet.

Mikaela: Yeah. Yikes

Chloe: Ask me another way.

Mikaela: Goodness me.

Chloe: So that, this one from the admin that goes over so much of like the, the norm of what I've heard when people have had a bad experience of they've lost friends over it and honestly like me and my friends that were.

We didn't talk much. Yeah. While she was an active part of Arbonne, she kind of dived in and had a great time. And then when she kind of was like ok I'm bored, yeah. Then was like, Hey,

Mikaela: Hey girl, how [00:26:00] you doing?

Chloe: Hey girl, how was it over there?

Mikaela: Oh my gosh.

Chloe: But yeah, I feel like there was a decent amount of in indoctrination, but like not, you know, not deep. Not awful. But still you could tell that there was a change within her and that she sort of was a hun for a bit.

Mikaela: Oh yeah. Hey hun.

Chloe: Hey hun.

Mikaela: Oh, no.

Chloe: And that whole saying of, they thought they'd be able to retire in 10 years. Uh, oh, we've just looked at all the money, financial side of things. No, you won't

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly. That's crazy. But it's such, it's like such a common thing. Like people, even nowadays, like people are like, oh, I'm gonna become a YouTuber and I'm gonna become famous. And then I'm gonna be able to retire, but it's like, realistically, The amount of people who can succeed in that career, of course, people can succeed.

You might not necessarily become a millionaire, but you, you could potentially make a lot, a decent amount of money, maybe. As much as you're making in your normal day job. But the very select few who do make the millions, it's [00:27:00] like. Minimal.

Chloe: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Mikaela: I just, Ugh. And there's also people who just make like me, like I just make videos for fun.

I haven't even got like a thousand subscribers, but it's something I enjoy. So I'm like, eh, yeah. So then there's people like that who spend more money on, on things than actually make money. That's fun.

Chloe: And we, yeah, we just do it because we enjoy it. Uh, great. If you did earn money from it, but it is a stupidly small amount of people that like are an overnight success.

There's a larger percentage of people who look like it's an overnight yeah. Thing. But they're like, excuse me, I've been doing this for five years. Yeah. Suddenly something went viral and I'm here now.

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly.

Chloe: Like there's a small amount of that and fantastic. That it finally happened for people like, um, Simply Nailogical.

I believe she exploded in popularity because of like a, she did like one hundred coats of nail Polish.

Mikaela: That's the one I think I was watching her before that.

Chloe: Polish mountain?

Mikaela: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chloe: Ah, she's be, she's so good. And now that I kind of send me have nails [00:28:00] now. Yeah. I'm thinking about buying some of her nail Polish.

Mikaela: I have it.

Chloe: Cause it's all vegan.

Mikaela: I have it. It's so good. Yay. It lasts forever. I mean, here's just like a little plug for Holo Taco.

Chloe: Love you, Cristine.

Mikaela: so I'm like, I've bought a few sets and now I'm like, now that my hands are so gross and stuff from work. I can't really wear that nail polish that much. Cause it lasts like a couple days if even, but yeah, I would highly recommend.

Chloe: So the comment that was directly underneath the one from the admin said, you reminded me of the nail stickers, selling person. She was so pushy awful. And that reminded me of the fact that all these MLMs usually have a really good message. And they target people that want to either spread, I guess, like clean beauty, like this, or like nutrition, like things that make people's lives better, healthier.

And therefore it's really easy to think. This is an amazing thing that I'm involved in. Therefore it's communities like ours. That see a lot of it, and that it's aimed at. [00:29:00] And if you don't have yourself screwed on, then it's like, oh wow. This is just another really cool brand.

Mikaela: Why not? Yeah.

Chloe: I didn't know what Arbonne was first.

Mikaela: At a glance, you're like, oh, this is great.

Chloe: Yeah. And the fact that, oh my gosh, they're saying I can be part of their business. How cool is that? They've done the hard yards they've made all these products. I can just make money selling them. Yay.

Mikaela: Exactly. no.

Chloe: Did you go through any of the other comments and see if there are some others?

Mikaela: So, the next person says the product itself is irrelevant when you are the actual product. MLMs aren't about empowering women. Only exploiting. I've seen a few friends gone down that road and none have done anything, but burn relationships and buy product that they can't sell absolute sham and shame on the people who run this and ruin people's lives in the name of profit.

Chloe: Damn. Yeah. The more I learn about it, the more. I agree with like shame on the people that run this.

Mikaela: Exactly. Oh, this next one, I bought Arbonne vegan protein powder [00:30:00] twice from a friend then discovered it in Aldi for one fifth of the price. She kept messaging me, telling me I was the perfect person to join because I was so interested in health and wellbeing.

When I said no to that idea, I kept getting messages which always started with, I love your adventure, travel with your family and it always ended with, do you need more protein powder?

I haven't heard from her since she realized I stopped ordering.

Chloe: Whoa, don't you just love those friendships that are just them trying to sell you protein powder.

Mikaela: Yeah. What the hell? But it you're right. It always starts off with something like, oh my gosh, like how's, how's this, how's your, I don't know. How's your family, or I saw you did this. By the way, here's a link to purchase my product, that's not mine.

Chloe: There was such a good comment. I was like, okay, so last time I got so deep into the world of MLMs and Arbonne, I was watching all these videos and someone posted a screenshot because [00:31:00] someone from a MLM, I don't know which. Basically posted a comment to someone saying, Hey hun, and then if bracket just said,

Mikaela: oh, insert name,

Chloe: YEah. Insert name, ask them how they are like something to do with them. Then say a bit about you and the fact that you've started your like new business opportunity and then like go into the spiel and the person who replies like, Hey, uh, I think you were meant to delete that part.

Mikaela: Oh no.

Chloe: And then the person literally is like, oh, whoops. Lol didn't mean to do. Anyways, how are you?

Mikaela: oh my gosh. But then now, you know, it's so empty. It's so empty.

Like they don't care. They don't care. How are you? They're just messaging all their friends lists, hoping to get someone to catch a bite.

Chloe: Yeah. I've heard of a certain system where they ask you to make a list of 100 people that, you know, and to basically just go down that list and to ask anyone of on that list, be like, hi, how are you? Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I've started this business.

Mikaela: you just brought something up in me that I totally forgot about.

It was years ago now, like [00:32:00] probably maybe eight years ago I joined the gym.

Chloe: Yeah. Revelation?

Mikaela: No, like they were so shit and they were so rude, but I joined the gym. I won't say the name of it, but they're a big chain and bad. And, they were like, oh, fill in this list. I think it was five people or 10 people.

Stop getting distracted by your lovely lava lamp.

Chloe: Sorry. It's really nice.

Mikaela: I saw you just gaze, into the distance. And I'm like, Hey,

Chloe: Guilty.

Mikaela: But yeah, they had this list and they were like, if you fill it out, It must have been five people's contacts, their name and their phone number, we'll give you this free goody bag. And it was like a backpack and a towel and like a drink bottle or something.

So I signed up my friends and they didn't know that I signed them up, but they all got calls and it actually happened to me probably a year ago. My friend had just moved back to the town that I used to live in. And she joined the gym and I get a call from this gym. They're [00:33:00] like, oh, Hi, Mikaela.

We're just checking now if you'd like to, you know, join the gym. And I was like, I don't live anywhere near that area anymore. Like, you're wasting your time. They're like, oh, oh right. Oh, okay. Okay. Oh, I was like, leave me alone.

I was like to my friend, did you get free stuff?

Chloe: oh, the things we will do for free stuff.

Mikaela: Oh, I know

Chloe: I tagged you in a competition today.

Mikaela: Yeah. But they don't have, they just have my Instagram handle. They don't have my phone number.

Chloe: That's true. And they're not gonna message you afterwards being like, join my gym.

Mikaela: Yeah, exactly.

Chloe: Buy my stuff. It, it totally is different. Cuz a competition on Instagram is like you tag your friends and yes, there are friends that will not be interested.

We all have them. and our, you know, ourselves

Mikaela: yes,

Chloe: Because we each have three Instagrams. Each let's be real.

Mikaela: Is that allowed then? Actually. And can we tag ourselves?

Chloe: Ah, say it shouldn't be allowed

Mikaela: It's fine, I'll just tag your 3 accounts and you can tag my 3 accounts

Chloe: there we go. Deal done. Technically that's [00:34:00] fine.

Mikaela: Yep.

Chloe: Green girls. Maybe not.

Mikaela: No, that one's staying out of it unless we're running a competition ourselves.

Chloe: oh, true. Yeah, but we can't win it.

Mikaela: No, no, but we can tag people in it and hope that they share it with their friends.

Chloe: Yeah. Okay. All right. We'll do that.

Mikaela: It's okay. We're not signing you up to anything. Don't worry.

Chloe: Well, if someone gets a call from the gym now. Shit. Its those Green Girls. I feel like I was going someone with that, but I'm gonna totally leave it where it was. Yeah,

Mikaela: It does look like going through, sorry to cut you off. Um, there is a couple of good good-ish comments.

Chloe: All right. Show me the goodish.

Mikaela: Now I've lost it.

Chloe: Was it good? And then promptly not good.

Mikaela: No. Okay. So there's like one, I once bought a few skincare things. And once won a few in a contest, they were fine to use, but it's better to stay away from MLMs. I guess. That's not great, but it's like fine. They were fine.

And then someone else says, I love the products and they agreed with my [00:35:00] skin, but they are ridiculously expensive. MLM model is awful and cult-like so I won't buy it. And then,

Chloe: There you go,

Mikaela: Go on to say, I did at one point because I felt sorry for the jobless person I purchased from, but eventually I just noped right out of it.

Chloe: Just noped right out of there. I love that. That seems to be a really common thread about look, I felt, I felt bad for the person, so I bought it then they bothered me and I stopped buying things or the product was good, but I hated being hassled. Yeah. And it's really frustrating knowing that they basically have this like 35% wiggle room on all their prices. They could take that away and be more affordable products and not an MLM.

Mikaela: Potentially sell more products just to the general consumer. Like not have this whole level of marketing.

Chloe: At this point. Arbonne I, I would love if you did do that.

However, I think that in the boycott culture that we have now, [00:36:00] every single Arbonne consultant who would've had their business stripped away from them because they'd realize, oh my goodness, I actually never had a business. I got to sell products on behalf of this one. Everything they were earning would be gone overnight.

They'd be at square one again. And I could see a massive boycott of Arbonne happening. Like all of their main customer base would be totally gone because they would not want to stay loyal to that brand anymore.

Mikaela: Not at all. That's a very good point.

Chloe: I'd say Arbonne's between a rock and a hard place of, just, it doesn't sound like you can be an ethical MLM.

And if they stop, they'll probably. Crumble.

Mikaela: Yeah, no, absolutely.

Chloe: That's my current verdict. Okay. I wanna quickly touch on the car and then we're gonna get into the culty goodness.

Mikaela: Okay.

Chloe: Here's the catch behind the Aborn Mercedes number one, you need to have reached a certain rank within Arbonne. And I believe in the list it's like either the MVP or [00:37:00] the one just below it, like the top two ranks. You need to hit you also then number 2. Have to get a very specific Mercedes that's white and has the Arbonne logo across it in I think, three different places. So you need to be wrapping Arbonne 24/7. Number 3, you then have to have met pretty high sales targets every month. And if you fail to do that, Arbonne will not pay for the car that month.

Mikaela: What. Oh.

Chloe: Yeah. So the car is in your name, but if you meet your quota, Arbonne will pay a certain amount of money to you. I dunno if it even covers the full cost of the car each month. But they, they'll foot the bill a certain amount.

Mikaela: Right. See, I always thought it was like, yeah, you did this. Wow, amazing here's a car, but it's like, now we've just put this. I don't know how much is a Mercedes, like $60,000 dollar car in your name. And you have to make the payments. And if you don't meet your sales targets, we won't assist you. Is that how I gathered correctly?

Chloe: That's, that's it. [00:38:00] And it's not like you get a month to sort of make it up or anything.

It's, you've done worse this month. You have less money this month and now you have even less because you have to pay for the car yourself.

Mikaela: That's stressful.

Chloe: It's like one thing on top of the other. And that's what I really don't like about this car, but there's so much status attached to this car.

Status is a great word for it, actually, because you've probably spent five years apparently to get to this point where you can get the car. You've seen people on Instagram being like, oh my goodness, I've worked so hard. I've got the car. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. So you want that car as well, that is sign to everyone that you've made.

You can do that post saying like such and such for marketing didn't believe in me. Screw you. I've got, I've made it, you know? Yeah. Like that car is like, hello world. Here I am. You can make it as an Arbonne representative and they're like, haha. Yeah, but Arbonne won'thelp you the minute you don't make any money.

Mikaela: But that's terrifying. So then what if, if your, I mean, I don't know how I assume it's like a car lease or it's financed or [00:39:00] something, which means you're locked into a contract. So if you then default on that or can't pay the rest of your loan, then what?

Chloe: Yeah. It sounds like a really stressful situation to be in. And if you are locked in that locks you into Arbonne as well, by pretty much default.

Mikaela: Yeah. I don't want Arbonnen car. Fuck that.

Chloe: So that's, that's, that's all I'll say about the car. That's all you need to know is that it's a terrible idea. Okay. But if you are in Arbonne, I totally understand why you want it, but, but please don't get it.

Mikaela: No, goodness.

Chloe: Okay, welcome to the cult section of today's podcast.

We've made it well done guys, and I'm kicking off with this great quotato that I found in a YouTube video. The guy that made this.

Mikaela: A quotato?

Chloe: Yes. Look it's a the thing. Now from James Jani. He had a really