Is Rodan and Fields a Pyramid Scheme? Exposed!

Rodan and Fields is an MLM company that sells skincare products. It is not a pyramid scheme, and it is one of the legit MLM companies.

There is a good chance that you heard about Rodan and Fields through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home by joining Rodan and Fields as one of their independent distributors.

However, as I’ll discuss in this review, there are some reasons why success with Rodan and Fields is unlikely. Experienced salespeople and well-funded recruiters are the only ones I can think of to have real success with this MLM program.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Rodan and Fields. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to the Rodan and Fields MLM program that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What is Rodan and Fields?

Rodan + Fields was founded by two Stanford-trained dermatologists, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. The duo had previously developed Proactiv, a skin care line designed specifically for acne-prone skin.

The product was a milestone because it was sold through infomercials and it worked. The two licensed Proactiv to Guthy-Renker, a company that sells products directly to consumers through commercials.

In 2003, the duo sold Rodan + Fields to Estée Lauder. In 2007, they reacquired the brand and relaunched Fields and Rodan as a multi-level marketing company, where consultants can earn a commission on their own sales and on the sales of people they refer.

According to EuroMonitor International, Rodan + Fields is the number one skin care brand in North America in 2017, based on total sales. However, its business model has been criticized by consumer advocates as a pyramid scheme.

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What Products Does Rodan and Fields Offer?

Rodan and Fields has a wide range of products that all fall under one of the following product categories:

  • Redefine – cleansing mask, toner, eye cream, etc.
  • Reverse – sunscreen, exfoliation, toner, etc.
  • Recharge- mask, cleanser, sunscreen, etc.
  • Unblemish- Acne treatment, toner, etc.
  • Spotless- acne wash, clearing treatment, etc.
  • Soothe- Replenishing cream, gentle cream wash
  • Enhancements- lash boost, serum, SPF makeup, etc.
  • Essentials- Vitamin D supplement, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.

As you can see, there is a lot to choose from, but the majority of it is about skincare, specifically acne treatment.

Is Rodan and Fields An MLM?

Rodan and Fields is a legit MLM company. Since Rodan + Fields distributes its products through multi-level marketing, it has been criticized by consumer advocates as a pyramid scheme.

Rodan and Fields consultants usually focus on social media, phone and in-person presentations to sell products and invite others to join their team.

However, before you can become a sales representative, you must first purchase Rodan and Fields products. You can then use them for personal cares or resell them to your customers.

However, it is unlikely that you can make a good income selling Rodan and Fields products. As in the case of most MLM programs, your business relies on recruiting new members to work under you. You will earn a commission on the sales and new recruits generated by the people you hire once they begin producing results.

This is complex on a number of levels (hence multi-level).

Let’s imagine a triangle. Since everyone in this triangle is part of your direct downline (in an MLM, the people below you are called your “downline” and you are their “upline”), you receive commissions from everyone who made sales in this triangle.

If you can bring in more people, you’re likely to earn more commissions. 

Most people in your MLM would rather earn passive income from recruiting others who work for them than a one-time commission from selling products, even if your MLM offers a wide range of products.

Due to the way the money flows, those at the top of the triangle have the most financial success, while those at the base have the least.

Having a large number of people in one’s “downline” is essential for success in a multi-level marketing company like Rodan and Fields.

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Is Rodan and Fields A Pyramid Scheme?

Rodan and Fields is not a pyramid scheme. It is a legit MLM company that allows members to make money by selling their skincare products. As a member of Rodan and Fields, you don’t have to make money solely through recruitment.

In contrast, a pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them money or services in return for recruiting others. It is unsustainable and often a scam because members at the bottom end are doomed to lose money.

Those who want to join must pay a membership fee to the company that runs the pyramid scheme. The company would share a portion of the funds raised from each additional member they recruit as a reward.

Rodan and Fields consultants, on the contrary, are not paid to recruit new members. There is no direct financial incentives. 

A pyramid scheme is profitable only for the directors of the company, i.e., those at the top of the pyramid, since they can receive a portion of the payments from every newly recruited member. The scheme continues as long as members recruit and funnel money to the top of the pyramid.

Such companies almost never sell valuable goods or services. The scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members.

A pyramid scheme would have to grow infinitely to make money for everyone who participates. This is impossible due to the finite population of the planet.

The scam will fail if there are no new recruits and other sources of income. Since the majority of members are at the lowest level of the pyramid, most of them will lose their money.

A good example of pyramid schemes is Vemma, a producer of energy and weight loss drinks. The FTC accused Vemma of operating a pyramid scheme in August 2015 that paid more to recruit new members than to sell products.

New members, who were typically college students and other young people promised high compensation, were required to pay $600 for starter packages and hundreds more for monthly products. According to the FTC, the majority of participants lost money.

Rodan and Fields Compensation Plan

There are 2 ways you can make money as their consultant:

  1. Sell their products to earn commission
  2. Recruit more people and earn bonuses from their sales

The best way to make money with this company is to try the products and recruit more people to join your downline so you can make money without doing anything.

When your “downline” makes a sale or purchases something, you receive bonuses and commissions. Another way Rodan and Fields avoids being labeled as a pyramid scheme.

So far, the Rodan and Fields Compensation Plan has been simple to locate, which has not always been the case with other MLMs. You’ll learn about the benefits that this company offers to people who join at various levels.

Independent Consultant (with discount and retail selling only)

  • Active Consultant (with 10% commission, discount and retail profit)
  • Executive Consultant (Perks of Active Consultant + 5% Commission from Team)
  • Level 1 Executive (Perks of EC + 5% Commission from the first downline of EC)
  • Level 2 Executive (Perks of L1E + 5% Commission from the first downline of L1E)
  • Level  3 Executive (Perks of L2E + 5% Commission from the first downline of L2E)
  • Level 4 Executive (Perks of L3E + 5% Commission from the first downline of L3E)
  • Level 5 Executive (Perks of L4E + 5% Commission from the first downline of L4E)
  • Premier Executive (Perks of L5E + 5% Commission from the first downline of L5E)
  • Elite Executive (Perks of PE + 5% Commission from the first downline of PE)
  • R+F Executive (Perks of EE + 5% Commission from the first downline of EE)

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Rodan and Fields MLM Program

1. Rodan and Fields has received many customer complaints

Rodan and Fields has received a lot of customer complaints on Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs. A large proportion of these complaints relate to the products and services offered.

This customer Vanessa said the Rodan and Fields skincare product she bought wrecked her skin and whole body.

Rodan + Fields customer review

Another customer Christine said she couldn’t get a refund for the auto ship product that she didn’t order. 

Rodan + Fields customer review

As a sales representative, it’ll be difficult for you to sell Rodan and Fields products because many customers have had dissatisfactory experiences.

2. Very Few People Can Make Money With Rodan and Fields

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like Rodan and Fields.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

3. Losses From Rodan and Fields MLM Program Are Reframed As Investments

Rodan and Fields MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

4. Rodan and Fields is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for Rodan and Fields if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

5. You May Need to Purchase Rodan and Fields Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like Rodan and Fields. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

6. Rodan and Fields Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, Rodan and Fields offers overpriced products. There are many other brands that offer similar products but at lower prices.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell Rodan and Fields products because your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price. This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

7. Rodan and Fields’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like Rodan and Fields is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider Rodan and Fields to be a legitimate business opportunity.

8. Exaggerated Claims Of Income

Rodan and Fields, like any other MLM company, makes exaggerated income claims, but in reality, very few people make a good living by promoting Rodan and Fields.

Rodan and Fields’s low retention rate can also be discouraging, as less than 41% of its distributors are active.

According to Rodan and Fields’s payouts to distributors, over 99 percent of Rodan and Fields distributors never make a profit.

9. Rodan and Fields Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

Rodan and Fields is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

10. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like Rodan and Fields put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with Rodan and Fields require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this Rodan and Fields review.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Rodan and Fields MLM Program?

If you want to become a Rodan and Fields consultant, you must pay $75 just to enroll in their program. After that, you’ll be asked to purchase a few different business kits, which range in price from $395 to $995.

Rodan and Fields MLM Program Feedbacks By Real Users

Positive Feedbacks

  • Rodan and Fields is owned by real doctors.
  • Proven Track Record.
  • Low startup costs.

Negative Feedbacks

  • The failure rate is extremely high.
  • You are trading your time for money.
  • Google Trends is declining.
  • You must sell to friends or family.

Can You Make Money With Rodan and Fields?

Yes, you can make some money with Rodan and Fields. But it’s not likely that you can earn a living. Only 2% of active vendors earn the annual minimum wage or more, and most use Rodan + Fields as a supplement, not a substitute for other work.

In 2015, the average annual income for a Rodan and Fields consultant was only $3,182.

According to the 2016 income disclosure agreement, 90% of Rodan + Fields members earned less than $200 per month and 96% earned less than $500 per month.

In 2016, 125,348 (representing 44% of all recruits) recorded zero income and are therefore no longer considered active. 

Who Is Rodan and Fields For?

You may be considering joining Rodan & Fields after being approached by a sales representative.

You may be an experienced rep with a team who’s considering whether or not to continue in your current role. Let me assure you, you aren’t the only one.

That’s because working in network marketing is challenging.

Although I’m a persistent person, I understand how frustrating this feeling can be. After two years of tirelessly knocking on doors for Amway, I finally realized that the business wasn’t right for me.

I also didn’t see any “new” people succeed in those two years. Given that, how could I honestly assure others that they’d eventually succeed?

I couldn’t encourage them by saying that they’d become rich if they just worked hard. At that time, I was sincerely trying to make a fortune… and to make matters worse, I wasn’t making a fortune.

Others I knew who worked hard and played by the rules didn’t make big financial gains either.

If you’re asking yourself, “Who’s Rodan and Fields for?” know that it’s for you if you’re someone who’s incredibly driven, who enjoys interacting with others, and who’s confident that they can help others succeed.

In my opinion (and based on my time at Amway), there’s no room for compromise, and you can’t just “try it out” to see if it works. You’ll likely fail miserably if you try it on your own.

You must be 100% committed if you want to succeed with Rodan & Fields (or any other multi-level marketing company). 

However, that does not preclude you from joining, exploring the site, socialising and having fun. Many people identify with this type of engagement, and there is significant value at this level.

I want to be clear that it’s not just about MLMs. Whether your goal is to advance in your current job, become a better parent, or simply get in the best shape of your life, the following advice will help you achieve your goals. You need to do your best.

Is Rodan and Fields a Scam?

Rodan and Fields is not a scam. It is a legit MLM company. A scam is defined as “a dishonest scheme; a fraud” by the Oxford Living Dictionary. 

However, Rodan and Fields blatantly makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members.

In April 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a cease-and-desist letter to Rodan + Fields for making unlawful and misleading earnings statements in connection with COVID -19.

We already know that a majority of Rodan and Fields consultants did not earn any money. A few people do make money but only if you put in a lot of effort. And usually, the way they make a lot of money from Rodan and Fields is by recruiting aggressively.

Therefore, some people do consider Rodan and Fields a scam or pyramid scheme.

My #1 recommended platform, however, has seen a lot of beginners earn four figures a month after joining it for a year.

I will tell more about my #1 recommended platform at the end of this review.

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Final Verdict: Rodan and Fields MLM Review

Here comes the conclusion of my Rodan and Fields MLM review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining Rodan and Fields MLM to make money.

You will have a tough time in the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your Rodan and Fields commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your Rodan and Fields business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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Best Alternative To Rodan and Fields MLM Program

If you’re beginning your online business journey, you deserve a programme much better than Rodan and Fields MLM.

My #1 recommended platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

Is Rodan and Fields a Pyramid Scheme

Compared with Authority Hacker, Wealthy Affiliate has a much longer history, which has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade. Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership. The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny.

So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

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