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Arbonne / unprofessional procedures

1 Huntsville Texas, TX, United States Review updated:
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When I was placing my first order the rep at the end of placing my order asked for my social security number. I asked why she had to have that information. Her response was that she should have told me up front but in order to place an order you had to sign up to be a consultant. I told her that although I might be interested in the future it seemed premature to sign up to consult on a product you had not even tried. However, I had heard that the product was excellent so I went with it. I also paid an additional amount to receive a 35% discount on furture orders. My original order was made l/8/08.

Last night I attempted to purchase more product on line at with the 35% discount and a red information communication stated that although I would be getting the 35% discount I would be taxed on the full retail price of these products. In other words I will be taxed at the full price not the discounted price. Isn't this fradulant. I have never purchsed anything on sale and had to pay taxes above the discounted amount.

Due to the feeling that this company is obtaining peoples ss# and taxing on retail price instead of sale price there have been all types of red flags mentally popping up.

What's up with this?

Judy Boyer

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  • Pa
      28th of May, 2008
    0 Votes


    I, like you, was surprised when I saw the bill and they had charged me sales tax on the retail amount. This does not sit right with me.

    I haven't tried any of the product yet (haven't recvd it) but if I do really like it, I'm apprehensive about having to pay tax on retail rather than sale price.

  • La
      10th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hi Judy,

    I too have tried Arbonne. I have excema and have able to completely stop using my medication thanks to Arbonne's body care set (hooray!). Plus the scrub has really cleared up my skin (stupid adult acne...)


    They need your SSN in case you start to sell and generate a profit (tax purposes). You will only generate a profit if you try to!

    Because the 35% discount is not offered to everyone that purchases online (only those who paid the $29 for an ID), the company is required by law to charge full shipping, despite your discounted cost.

    Don't worry, it is legit.

    Just so you know, I am a law student with a background in Bank Security, so I have dealt with this stuff before.

  • Jb
      4th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I too questioned the sales tax procedure and was given that answer but it still doesn't make sense. To my knowledge Mary Kay, Avon etc. do not practice this so why Arbonne? It has changed my thinking toward the company, that is for sure.l

  • De
      15th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    This is also how Tupperware charges. You have paid the fee to become a consultant and to be able to buy at wholesale presumably to resell at retail price. You pay the tax on the retail amount and sell at the retail amount and charge the customer the full price and full tax. This is how you get your money back and make a profit. When you just buy for your own use, you still have to pay the full tax amount. The company isn't selling at sale price to you. You have become a "consultant" or business and are buying at wholesale price.

  • To
      2nd of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Thank you for the heads up on Arbonne. I was close to signing up as a consultant just to get the 35% discount. However, when I learned that they wanted my birthdate and Social Security Number, I had doubts. This message board confirmed that signing up as a consultant is not worth it. I'll stick to Aveda products.

  • Mo
      14th of Nov, 2008
    -6 Votes

    Hello All!
    Just so you know the total will equal the same whether or not you do the tax on the full retail price then give the discount or if you give the discount first then do the taxes.

    For example lets say an item is 10.00 retail.
    add the taxes which are 10 percent.
    which gives you a total of 11.00 then minus the 35% discount which equals 7.15

    OR you can take the 10.00 item minus the 35% discount which equals 6.50 then add taxes which is .65 plus 6.50 which is 7.15

    the government will instruct arbonne to charge taxes on full retail amount so the government gets as much as they possibly can. This is not arbonnes fault - its the gov't.

    arbonne really is a wonderful company with great people, great training, and a great compensation program.
    I"ve had nothing but great experiences with them and looking forward to getting my new MERCEDES BENZ! Curtousy of Arbonne International. If anyone has any interest in becoming debt free - I"LL HELP YOU THE WHOLE WAY! And the complimentary mercendes doesn't hurt either! I promise I can help you get there!

    I was just an average girl too with a crappy desk job. Now i have a great life style, am debt free and manage my own time. It does take work - don't get me wrong - but its worth every minute. And you make great friends along the way.

    If anyone is interested just give me a shout - I'll set you up with the opportunity of a lifetime.

    Its costs too much to miss an opportunity like this.
    :) Have a Happy Day!

  • Sm
      17th of Dec, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I am an ex Arbonne rep. I live in Ontario Canada. We have a tax rate of 13%. So the whole taxing on the Retail price thing REALLY hurts. Especially when you are, many times, getting approx. 50% off of the retail price when using your bonus products and your hostess gifts and when signing someone up with their $900 for $450. So it's like great...I'm going to get $900.00 worth of product for $450 right? are going to get $900 worth of product for $450 plus $117 tax plus about $28 shipping...(and don't get excited about getting 1/2 price product either - the retail price of arbonne products is absolutely rediculous and no one in their right mind will pay it...especially when you add their tax and shipping ontop of an already INSANE price)... I actually wrote to taxation Canada and complained. They advised me that this was termed the 'alternate collections method' and that it was quite legal. I asked the taxman who got the extra money. Why..the government of course...I told him, 'no wonder you allow this'. ... As for the entire ARbonne experience HORRIBLE !!! I was told that if you want to promote quickly you will buy several PUPS...I ended up with 10...cause heck...i wanted to promote quickly..doesn't everyone? And I was also told that once you handed one of these pups out...the person will love it so much..they won't want to give it back and they will keep it and pay for it...WRONG...not ONCE did anyone buy a kit...and to be quiet honest...not once did anyone even buy one of the products out of the what did I end up with...10 USED pups that were good for nothing...and a huge debt on my credit card...but hey...I had promoted to DM...whehew...ya right...SCAM SCAM SCAM...and after I realized what the whole deal was...I obviously couldn't continue to try to could I do that to people...but let me tell you...MY RECRUITER KNEW...OH SHE KNEW... but she was put in the position of trying to sell herself out of debt... So I'm in full agreement with all on this message board who have stated that Arbonne rips people apart and makes relationships awkward... Me..older and now affiliated with a conservative and honest company, and, wait for it...MAKING (instead of spending) money!!!
    I wish I'd never heard the word ARBONNE.

  • Ne
      18th of Feb, 2009
    +3 Votes

    And how i see it is Arbonne collects that tax from us then collects interest on it before they make their tax deposits. Arbonnes not complaining about making extra money on our money. I like the product but the whole operation seems like a rip off.

  • Ju
      6th of Mar, 2009
    -1 Votes

    This is the explanation of why tax is charged on full retail.

    Arbonne charges full tax on the retail cost of products because Arbonne is a "Network Marketing" Company that operates under different laws that have been created for such companies. A Network Marketing company is a company that allows persons to become "consultants" who will represent and sell their products. Even though those consultants may purchase the products at a discount, this is not the same as purchasing products on "sale". Arbonne is not a retailer of product. Arbonne is a provider of product for the opportunity for consultant to create a home-based business. Arbonne has an agreement to collect the sales tax from each consultant to send it to the state in which they live so that consultants are free from the paperwork that comes with retailing products to their clients. The government assumes that the consultant charged her client full retail cost for products sold and has also charged her client full tax based on that sale.

    Because Arbonne has over a million people buying products directly from the company, there is no way for the company to know what each consultant is doing with the products they purchase (ie. retailing or personal use.) The law has been created for Network Marketing companies like Arbonne, and this is the law that Arbonne abides by.

    An Independent Consultant may choose to sell products at different prices than the suggested retail and deal directly with sales tax at that dollar amount, and may do so by applying for and obtaining a Business License and a State Sales Tax License, and submitting these to the Business Application department in Arbonne. In this case, the consultant will not pay sales tax to Arbonne at the time of purchase but instead will be responsible to pay those applicable taxes directly to the state. As it is, Arbonne pays the sales tax to each state for the Consultants as a service so that they do not need to handle that paperwork.

  • Po
      25th of Mar, 2009
    -4 Votes

    Ha its no wonder SmileyFaceShop didn't succeed in Arbonne, who wants to buy from a negative minded person. I don't...the secret. I am a man who uses the men's line. Its the best product I have ever used on my face. In this day age where other known products contain harmful chemicals, its a treat to know that I found a company that believes in creating products that are safer than whats out there, well what do you expect from a swiss copmany. Oh yeah I am a tax accountant, this is all legal. Network marketing models are not made for everyone, only those who cease the opportunity and have the motivation to succeed in life. Anyhow I'm not here to sell the product just here becuase I believe in what companies like this offers individuals, opportunity.

  • Op
      5th of Apr, 2009
    -1 Votes

    After trying the product, I really liked it. My skin looks clearer and healthier than it did before. The new FC5 hair care is exceptional (I was using biologe before). So, I signed up to be an Arbonne Consultant because I wanted to get the 35% discount. Of course, you have to pay taxes and shipping, (which is with anything online, or in life). I am not sure if I am going to sell the product yet. I love the thought of financial freedom, and the flexibility to spend more time with my family. But, I know that it is hard work, and it is not a quick fix. My biggest reason for using Arbonne is because I know that it is healthier for my skin. It is just as good as Estee Lauder or Clinique, (and I was using Estee Lauder before, which has tons of parbens and talc) Even after paying taxes and shipping, I still save more than if I would buy my makeup or skin care through Estee Lauder. That is huge for me, because even though the economy is down and money is tight, I have to buy my makeup and moisturizer!

    I read these comments, hoping to find a reason to sell the product, or to sway me away from it. The gal that signed me up, has the Car, and is making 5, 000 a month. Now, she has a very outgoing personality, completely different from mine. Nonetheless, I like what positivethinker stated " it offers individual opportunity".
    I like to believe that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. If I decide not to sell the product, I don't want it to be because I didn't believe that I could.

  • Mi
      20th of Dec, 2016
    +2 Votes

    @optomist You could be more obvious that you work with the company and are trying to sway people away from the fact that this is business is ran very shady greedy and just hoping you atrack all those impulsive complusive people who just believe everything and follow the trend and put no research of there own in to anything people . They don't like questions and if you ask one they don't want to answer or hear something negative there tactic is not answer just give positive information, change their train of thought

  • Lo
      13th of May, 2009
    +5 Votes

    Attention arbonne reps!

    These postings are from ladies/gentlemen expressing their "complaints" about arbonne.

    You reps are snakes and vultures ! ! ! ! Why??? Because at the end of an "innocent" comment, you all put information about how to succeed with arbonne and how to contact you for details !!!

    Not very professional, do you think !!!??? If you say yes, than you are a snake and a vulture!!!

    Also, for everyone's information !!!

    Arbonne does not sell swiss products.

    Arbonne products are formulated in switzerland, end of story... Formulated in a nutshell: which means arbonne hires a chemist in switzerland. He/she comes up with a "formula" for skin products and then gives arbonne the instructions on how to mass produce the skin care product, etc at a usa based manufacturing plant... End of story.

  • Ma
      29th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    First let me say that I DO NOT SELL ARBONNE. I have been using the products for a year now and have made NO MONEY!! However, I get compliments on my skin like crazy. Bad skin days are nearly nonexistant, everything I used the last few years caused me severe skin reactions and nothing I took could clear it up. Until Arbonne, after a few months of using the product my skin rashes, acne, etc... are nearly completely gone. It's wonderful so who cares if they make a profit the product is good.
    Arbonne, Mary Kay, Avon, Oil of Olay, Walmart, etc... are in it to deliver products that people like so they can make profits.
    People do have a right to sell their products and promote them if they believe in them. If they did not take every opportunity they potentially lose profits.
    So what, people who work do so for the money otherwise they would NOT BE WORKING!!! And if you would read all the information about selling Arbonne, it does not lie, I have read it due to some of your statements and if you take the time to read, it is pretty plain how it is when you sell.

  • Mi
      20th of Dec, 2016
    -1 Votes

    @Mary Lee i think we all know when people tell you well I'm/wasn't "lying " is a pathetic excuse for being a ####### and selfishly gaining because your purposely with holding information

  • Cm
      3rd of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    One of my best friend recently "started her own business" (ha)
    and totally scammed me on the 35% discount. Granted I was in a hurry and trying to get somewhere else, so maybe I didn't quite ask the right questions, but she initally positioned it as she was giving me "her" 35% discount...AND, she didn't mention that $29 was being baked into the price. When she asked for my social, I questioned it and she told me the real story about it meaning I was a consultant, but that she would just change the numbers around so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable. Now, I get emailed all the time from arbonne...

    Then I had to host a party...which involved me creating a list of my friends that she would "gladly" send out a follow up email about the party. (I was really just giving her a list of prospects to bug about buying arbonne)

    Another thing that really bugs me about arbonne is how the consultants totally drink the kool aid about how WONDERFUL arbonne is. PH balanced etc... (all products are) it's not any worse or any better, but they are so much better and other products are bad and evil. Their products are very similar, but are marketed as "natural"

  • Lu
      31st of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    No kidding! To the person that thought they made a statement nobody knew! It says right on Arbonne's packages that it is formulated in Swiss labs and made in the USA!!! So, bring something educational to the table!!!

  • Sw
      12th of Oct, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I'm not sure what everyone is complaining about. If you didn't like the tax charges, then why did you complete the order? If you don't like the product, then don't buy it. It's the same as buying any other product - you stick to what you like & let the others alone. People have obviously done well in this company, and I would hope ethically, but even if there are some people that aren't doing it the right way - well guess what, that's in every single company out there. It certainly doesn't make it right, but there are always people that will brown nose their way to the top. It's up to you to choose not to do it that way. If you follow your morals and integrity, then you will also do well & your customers will see that. I don't think Arbonne is run any different than any of the other "at home" type of businesses - Tupperware, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia (which I also love), Avon, etc...

    I have a friend that is in business with Arbonne. I was one of her first parties, to help her get started, and was glad to do it. The orders didn't pile up that night, but at no time did anyone present feel any pressure to buy 1 single thing. Since then, I have purchased other products from my friend, and again, have never felt pressure to add on to the sale or "just try this". Although I have tried things my friend suggested, I have always been fully satisified & was glad that I did follow her suggestion. I am attending a get together at her house tonight for more information on becoming an Arbonne Consultant. I'm not looking to get rich, replace an income or really even work (I'm a stay at home mom), but I would become a consultant to give to other people the satisfaction that some of the Arbonne products have given me. True, there are natural products on the shelves, & I thought I was using a good one before I starting using Arbonne, however there has been an amazing difference in my skin since using Arbonne. If nothing else, that alone is worth it.


  • Mi
      20th of Dec, 2016
    +1 Votes

    @Sweetpea7397 Honestly they don't itemize it or tell you and have hopes your distracted and having a good time hangout out with some family and friends having a few drinks .
    They can't stress enough, " no pressure, just relax and have fun. If you need a refill I will grab it for you blah blah."
    It is a really fricken good product but this little ponsy scheme they got going on with the tax and shipping oh and no receipt #### makes them seem reall dishonest. I don't care for that . There's no way I would be a consultant and straight up Jew my friends and family or anyone for that matter .

  • Je
      22nd of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    What I would like to know is how they get away with charging you for a product that they don't ship? Because it's easier for the consultants? Bull ###. So that people don't get multiple charges on their cards for each thing they send out separately? I called and complained that one of the 2 items I ordered wasn't shipped but I was charged for it and they told me that it shipped the day after the first shipped. Bull ### again! It's still showing up as Billing Information Received.. meaning they created the shipping label. It hasn't left and it's been 5 days since the first one shipped. I don't even want the damn thing anymore. This is ridiculous.

    No one charges you until the items ship. This is a rip off. Who knows if it will ever even get here?

  • Mi
      20th of Dec, 2016
    0 Votes

    @JennSav They charge you as if they are placing just your order and shipping it to you. The rep said it gets sent to her then she sends them out .?? When really they give them to your party hostess or maybe your going to (having a party of your own ) from the one you ordered from.

  • El
      29th of Nov, 2009
    -1 Votes

    When it comes to self employed businesses, Avon is only one out of a handful that does not require you to host a party. You can, but most representatives just need the catalog to sell from. I believe this to be a big portion of Arbonne's and other similar companies problem.

    Many people who are becoming a consultant for the first time with Arbonne do not completely understand the mentality and personality that is required of them. A lot of people do not understand that you actually NEED to read the fine print, UNDERSTAND the fine print and that THIS IS A BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY, not a social hour. These self employment opportunities cannot seem to communicate how hard it is just to get a constant stable customer and they cannot teach you how to manage your time. It is assumed that this information is already known and accepted. It takes months of hard 60+ hour weeks with little sleep to pull off any adequate sales in your first 6 months as a consultant or a representative. I have been with Avon for almost a year, and because I lost the flexibility of 60 hours a week that was dedicated to Avon, due to college, I have lost almost all of my customers. I have gone back to a traditional job while selling Avon on the side. I rarely ever place an order any more and Avon is easier to sell and spread the word about than Arbonne or Mary Kay, Tubberware or even Pamper Chef. All of these other businesses have to work twice as hard in order to get a one time sale because none of these companies can manufacture their products at a cheaper price, thus driving up the price for the customers and consultants/representatives.

    Yes, there is an earning opportunity with any of these companies but before you sign up, do consider whether you have any of the qualities mentioned earlier. If you do, use them to your advantage, make enough money to go back to school for a Business degree. These self employment opportunities are only stepping stones in teaching the average person how to run a business and how to succeed in making money. Remember: You are in business to MAKE MONEY.

    -Elisabeth (Business Management Major)

  • Ha
      6th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I was told by Arbonne to contact my local tax office for rules and rates. I did this and I was told that i should be taxed on total paid, not retail. I can not find a positive way to explain this to customers. I personally can not find anywhere in writing that this is legit. I even asked Arbonne to provide this in writing or point and i was told to contact my local tax office. I did this and it wasn't what Arbonne said. Arbonne says the government makes them do it!

  • Ha
      6th of Jan, 2010
    Best Best Advice +5 Votes

    How does Morgan Wall think you get the same product if taxes are taken on retail or discounted? 10.00 product at 10% = 1.00 tax added to discounted price of 6.50 = 7.50. If taxed on actual purchased price it would be 6.50 at 10% = 7.15. Not sure whose calculating her tax, but wished mine was done that way!

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