I remember my friends and I needing money when we were younger. Lemonade wasn’t actually as easy to make as those American movies made it out to be; it usually ends up tasting like shit actually. So that was out. We tried walking the streets of Whangārei, knocking on people’s doors asking if they needed help around their section. Considering one of my friend’s would always try to wear his dad’s patch, that didn’t turn out too well either. My other mate nearly pissed himself with excitement when he got a FB message saying that his long lost relative from another country had just died and wanted to leave everything to him; all he had to do was send him X amount of cash. Thank the Lord his bank account was emptier than a middle aged man at the strippers.
As long as there is money, there will always be someone trying to hustle. And as time goes on, the hustle evolves, it changes; it reads the population and adapts to try and beat the consumers like a subpar Terminator villain. The latest iteration of this hustle has swept through the world of social media and it calls itself “Arbonne”.
It started with my aunty talking about spending A THOUSAND dollars on my cousin’s latest health venture. But she had money to spare and it was for a good cause, right?
It then began seeping into my Instagram feed: one moment I’m watching someone’s boring video of their kids at the park, and by the next tap I’m slapped with smoothies and discount codes. Every social media post becomes an inspirational quote or story. And they’re never alone. They have an army of “yasss” people flinging love reacts at every move they make.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about people wanting to better themselves and gassing our friends the fuck up! But there’s a line between trying to do better for yourself and when you have to stop and think “have I turned into one of those ‘Nigerian princes’ that sends out chain emails trying to scam people?”. Arbonne reps may not be wanting to hack our computers, but as the old saying goes, if you roll shit in glitter, it’s still a piece of shit.
If you talk to any Arbonne rep and question what they’re up to, they act like you’ve just murdered their parents. You may have even seen multiple videos by reps declaring “this is not a pyramid scheme” which screams out overcompensation. The company uses flash titles like “CEO of your own business” to make people believe they’re living some Wolf of Wall Street dream. That’s called false hope, kids. And it’s dangerous to try and prey on people’s hope like that. The reality is that most CEO’s have worked fucking hard to get where they are. They’ve put in hours on hours, probably neglected their kids and most likely even done some sketchy stuff too, but they’ve earnt their title.
Call me old school, but I believe that business should not be achieved where your friends and whānau are your main customers. I’m sure you can all agree with me that Arbonne reps are annoying. You can be mid convo with a friend and then suddenly they’re telling you that you should do a cleanse, but it’s ok they have a sale on. You leave the convo feeling awkward, a little violated and the sudden need for a shower. Reps may be doing well in sales, but in the end it’s us, their loved ones, who have to fork out heaps of hush money to stop the constant sales requests. And despite the discount, that shit is still expensive.
It’s clear that Arbonne is here to stay, for now. It isn’t the first hustle we’ve seen (don’t get me started on that loom scheme) and it certainly won’t be the last. We all want to make a quick buck; you’ll probably even find me on the pokies with this logic. But If any Arbonne reps out there are reading this (I’ll be expecting some salty DM’s) I hope something in my rant has resonated with you. And I speak on behalf of most of the world when I say…