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Arbonne And The Direct Selling Association Code Of Ethics

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For a couple of days, I actually believed the information coming out of the Arbonne camp surrounding the ethics of asking an Arbonne consultant the following question:

"Are you keeping your options open outside of Arbonne right now?"

Arbonne VP’s and Kay Napier would have you believe that question is a violation of Direct Selling Code Of Ethics (although Kay is smart enough not to mention the DSA in her letter).  But the truth is, there is no violation of the code in that question whatsoever. 

There is an additional "guideline" in a letter from the DSA President that states the following:

Occasionally, direct sellers in the field will be approached by other companies or their sales leaders with solicitations to join those companies. Sometimes, these solicitors present misinformation and denigrate the company you are with. Those solicitations can be inappropriate, unethical, misrepresentative, or even illegal and may be at odds with the Proselyting Guidelines of the Direct Selling Association (DSA). Under those guidelines, it is considered unethical behavior throughout the industry for one company to target the salesforce of another company in an attempt to lure salespeople into their own organization and stop selling for their original company.

Note that the basics of this guideline (not part of the actual code) surround the concept of "misinformation".  In other words, when someone is lying to you in order to recruit you to another business. It has nothing to do with the ethics of simply contacting someone involved in Arbonne.

A friend of mine asked a very interesting question.  Let us know what you think.

"Would it be ethical for the captain and crew of a ship that is going down to hide the lifeboats from the passengers?"

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“Ty Tribble is an Internet entrepreneur, author and Work At Home Dad who lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Richelle and two children, Emma and Tyler. Ty has been featured in Entrepreneur and Success From Home magazine and is considered by many as the # 1 blogger in the world on the subject of Network Marketing. Author of the book, ‘Double Your Income with Network Marketing’, Ty teaches lead generation strategies through social media and blogging to tens of thousands of Network Marketers around the world.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. I think you’re right on the money here. If you can’t trust where you source your products, then alternatives logically present themselves and in the spirit of free trade trying to mandate against that doesn’t say much for those doing the mandating.

    I think I’ve come to understand lately that MLM is first a relationship business, then a product business. You leverage your relationships to sell a product you believe in, that has been the core of every MLM I have ever bought anything from and I’ve seen it over and over in MLM literature from many companies. It’s what the “Who’s your 100?” is all about. Leveraging your relationships.

    In my eyes, Arbonne is in trouble. I am worried about their product supply chain. They are not paying their creditors. I would guess their shipper and product suppliers have put them on cash terms, and the $20m operating capital loan won’t last long, if it isn’t already exhausted. It troubles me to read on other forums about ladies recently spending the weekend at Rita’s, receiving gifts from Tiffany’s, and not caring that Tiffany’s is a major creditor of Arbonne’s and is unlikely to be paid. That their fabulous gift is not paid for. THEY DON’T CARE THAT IT ISN’T PAID FOR. They got theirs.

    Those are not people I want to have relationships with. I have taken this time to rethink my relationships and my view on this industry, and I’ve come to believe that if you brand yourself first, when problems like this come up (the company you source your products from going through a bankruptcy), you can at least fall back on the relationships you have established to help shepherd those people toward well-reasoned decisions on their product choices. This type of thing happens in retail stores all the time. If L’Oreal stops making shampoo, there’s always Suave, or Garnier, or V05. One must have a fallback position.

    I’m not ready, but when I am, I’ll be branding myself first, and not locking my identity into a particular company or product. Products and companies come and go – I plan to be around for a long time. I’m not sure any of my relationships will translate well over to MLM anymore, but I’m open, researching, and trying to make reasonable decisions for myself.

    I want to thank you again for your blog, Ty. I stumbled in here on an Arbonne chase and found so much more than I expected. It’s helping to change my outlook, on myself and business in general. Nice job!

  2. As an employee, let’s say you are a nurse, is it wrong for another medical facility or headhunter to call you and simply ask if you are open to another opportunity?

    Human behavior is very interesting. When a relationship is ‘rock solid’, be it a marriage, a job or an MLM opportunity, the question, ” Are you open to looking”? is answered quite simply by stating, “no thanks”. The question is quickly forgotten. On the other hand, when the relationship is broken, “Are you open to looking”? , that’s a new animal altogether. It matters not where or why the chain is broken, broken is broken. In a rock solid relationship, does one side utilize scare tactics and ‘legal mumbo jumbo’ to FREEZE another in place. Hardly. Wake UP People.

  3. Kathy, I believe you are correct, though I see another perspective. It’s more than just shopping for a product you believe in. For a network marketing distributor, it’s your livelihood. if the company you worked for was losing money and sales and as a result was in some financial straights, yet they told you “don’t even think about looking for another job” would that be fair?

    Not saying that Arbonne IC’s should be looking to leave, but if their livelihood is at stake it would be worth keeping your eyes open and being healthily skeptical.

  4. All of life is sales, we constantly brand ourselves in each and everything we do. One thing that I don’t understand about Arbonne is the whole “lifer” thing. Why do IC’s need to treat their Arbonne job any differently that they would a regular job? When it no longer becomes a right fit it’s time to move on! Many in the MLM industry totally understand that, but it seems to have escaped the Arbonne world.

  5. Just know that when people have left Arbonne over the years. They have joined countless other mlm companies and have never been any more successful than when they were with Arbonne. Look if all your interested in is making money then aarbonne is not for you. There are other binary mlm companies out there that give mlm a bad name but go right ahead and make 8k in your first month. Just try and sustain that for the next 20 years. Arbonne has always been a family company and long term company. You don’t build it with the intent of being greedy and taking advantage of people. Its about helping others and having clients for life and taking care of people. Like I said if all you care about is money then go somewhere else. Arbonne has and always will be here and their products are so healthy and good people will still keep buying them and because their compensation plan is level playing field its fair for everyone. Not a binary get in now and buy your position. Companies like that give mlm the pyramid scheme name it gets tagged all the time. But I promise you those people who left. Where will they be 10 years from now? 2-3 companies later and they will never be any more successful.

    • Mickyblue., what Arbonne leader gave the “when people leave Arbonne, they are not successful” speech? Just curious because I have heard it a lot and I know that it is not based on facts. Also heard the “if all you care about is money” speech as well. Arbonne is supposed to be a business…of course people should be concerned about the money.

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