Usborne Books Review (2023): Scam or Legit MLM?

Are you considering joining Usborne Books but not sure if it’s worth your time and money? As someone who’s reviewed countless online programs and MLMs, I’m here to give you my honest opinion on this particular opportunity.

At its core, Usborne Books is a program that promotes selling children’s books through home parties and wholesale purchases. The promise is that you can become a “6 Figure Network Marketer,” but the reality is that most members struggle to make any significant income from promoting the product.

Why is this the case? Well, for one, the commission structure only offers a measly 25% cut, which isn’t enough to build long-term wealth. As someone who’s been successful in the online world, I know firsthand that a sustainable income requires a more substantial commission or revenue stream.

In this review, I’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of Usborne Books, discussing the pros and cons, and ultimately answering the question: is it worth your time and money? And let me make one thing clear: I’m not affiliated with Usborne Books, so you can trust that my words are unbiased.

What is Usborne Books?

Usborne Books is a company that’s been around for over 40 years and is owned by Education Development Corporation (EDC).

But what sets Usborne Books apart from the rest? For starters, they offer a variety of books, including traditional ones, sticker books, and 3D cut-out books. So whether you’re looking for a classic bedtime story, an interactive sticker book, or a unique 3D reading experience, Usborne Books has got you covered.

And if you need more reasons to check them out, Usborne Books has also been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the 200 best small companies and by Fortune Magazine as one of the best fast-growing companies. So you can trust that they know what they’re doing when it comes to creating engaging and informative books for readers of all ages.

Who is the founder of Usborne Books?

Peter Usborne, the founder of Usborne Books, started his career in the world of children’s books in the early 1970s. He was motivated by the fact that he was going to become a parent soon, and he wanted to create something special for his child. In 1973, he founded his own company, which he called Usborne.

Peter Usborne

Peter Usborne’s vision was to create high-quality books for children that were both educational and enjoyable. He was a pioneer in the industry, and his illustrations for children were unmatched. He created a new line of publications that featured popular and contemporary subjects, which appealed to children and parents alike.

After nearly 50 years of parenting, Peter Usborne still considers being a parent the best experience of his life. Writing children’s books has played a major role in that, and he still looks forward to going to work every day.

Today, his duties as a publisher and parent have become increasingly intertwined as he runs Usborne Books with his daughter, Nicola, who is the Managing Director of the company. Peter’s son, Martin, has also followed in his father’s footsteps and started his own publishing company called Hoxton Mini Press.

The Usborne family is involved in philanthropy as well. Peter manages The Usborne Foundation with his children Martin and Nicola. This charity focuses on health and literacy issues, using design technology to create innovative solutions. The foundation has created a series of games called “Teach Your Monster To Read”, which are enjoyed by children all over the world.

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Is Usborne Books a pyramid scheme or MLM?

So, you’re probably wondering if Usborne Books at Home is another one of those pyramid schemes that seem to be popping up all over the place, right? Well, to be considered a legitimate MLM company, consultants need to be able to earn money not only through recruitment but also by selling products to the public.

Now, you might be asking, “Do Usborne books actually sell to the public?” The answer is yes! Anyone can buy these books. So technically, Usborne Books at Home is not a pyramid scheme. 

But here’s the thing – the key to success in this business is by hiring consultants. They are the ones who will help promote and sell the books. So, while the company itself is not a pyramid scheme, consultants are a crucial part of making money through Usborne Books. That’s why it is a typical MLM company.

Usborne Books MLM Business Model

Get Started as an Usborne Books Consultant

For a $65 investment, becoming an Usborne Books consultant comes with a range of benefits. These include a 1-year consultant status, ten books, a 6-month e-business package, and essential business supplies. There are no monthly sales minimums, and you’ll earn a 25% commission on all sales you make, plus bonuses for exceeding your quotas.

Hosting Parties to Sell Books

Most consultants use Facebook to book online parties or host home parties, similar to Pampered Chef. You’ll display some books, but customers will order online through Usborne, with books shipped directly to them. Hosting a party yourself means you can choose from over 20 books in the Fuss Fish Library as a reward, plus receive free gifts and reduced-priced books from the Usborne hostess based on the party’s sales.

Insider Tips for Success

While Usborne offers hourly consultancy pay, it may not be life-changing. However, you can enjoy perks like consultant book kits without minimums and a 25% discount on books to build your child’s library. New consultants should dive in and get their library and business up and running quickly. Usborne encourages you to stay focused even during seasonal fluctuations.

More Than Just Selling Books

Success as an Usborne consultant involves more than just selling books. You’ll need to be creative and sell books in various ways, not just from your home. Some of the most successful consultants focus on building a team of consultants in their downline rather than solely selling the most books.

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How much money can you make as an Usborne Consultant?

According to Usborne’s website, consultants usually earn around $100 per book party. But how does that translate to an hourly wage?

Well, consultants earn an average monthly income ranging from $150 to $4,100, with the midpoint usually around $550. And it typically takes a consultant 18 months to several years to reach this level.

Book parties are usually held at least five times a month, with an average of three hours spent at each party. So, in truth, Usborne consultants earn around $40+ per hour on average, and $17.50 per hour on the low end.

But if you’re interested in making even more money, consider becoming a team lead and recruiting consultants. According to one consultant, you can earn $600 per hour just by building your team.

As a team lead, you’ll earn a 25% commission on your sales and a sign-up bonus for each consultant you hire. Plus, in addition to your 25% commission, you’ll receive a 25% commission for your team’s sales.

Is Usborne’s team leader position worth it?

If you’re looking to be a team leader at Usborne, you should know that it comes with some incentives that could be appealing. However, before you jump into the opportunity, let’s break it down and see if it’s worth the effort.

Advancement Bonus and Personal Team Bonus

As a Team Leader at Usborne, you will receive an advancement bonus of $120, and if you can achieve it in 4 months, you will receive a double bonus of $240. On top of that, you’ll receive the “Personal Team Bonus,” which is a 5% commission every month on all of your team’s sales as long as certain requirements are met.

What Do You Need to Qualify for the Personal Team Bonus?

To qualify for the Personal Team Bonus, you must achieve a monthly sales quota of $120, your team’s total monthly sales should be $1,800, and there should be four active Organizers who make at least $120 in sales one out of every three months.

Income Potential

If you meet the above requirements, here’s what you can expect to earn:

  • $22.80 from one party of $120
  • $90 commission on team sales
  • $28.80 if 4 of your team members sell $120

So, you’ll gross about $238.80, which isn’t bad for working part-time at minimum wage, which would only require you to work 6 hours a week.

However, before you get too excited, remember that you must maintain your rank and be paid this for three rolling months.

MLMs and Profitability

It’s important to note that MLMs have a track record of being unprofitable for their participants. According to the FTC, nearly 99% of MLM participants usually lose money once their business expenses are deducted.

While the idea of making some extra cash as a Team Leader at Usborne may be tempting, it’s worth considering whether the effort and time involved are worth it.

MLMs have a questionable reputation when it comes to profitability, so it’s crucial to be realistic about your potential earnings.

How much does it cost to join Usborne Books?

Interested in joining Usborne? Well, let me tell you, the process is simple!

First off, there are two consultant kits to choose from. The first one is $65, while the second one costs $125.

Both kits include a 6-month online business package, catalogs, business supplies, and amazing books. But, and here’s the kicker, the $125 kit comes with even more books than the $65 kit.

So, it all comes down to how many books you want to start off with. With the $125 kit, you’ll get a bunch of extra books to showcase to your friends and family.

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8 Reason Why I Don’t Recommend Usborne Books

1. Hosting Parties is Challenging

Let’s face it, hosting parties to sell Usborne Books can be tough. It’s not easy to convince someone to host more than one party, and even book fairs can be a struggle to set up. While other companies like Scholastic can make bank at these events, it’s not always the same for Usborne consultants.

2. Website Woes

Usborne’s website can be a headache for consultants. From technical glitches to inventory issues, it’s not always smooth sailing. Consultants get frustrated when customers want to order books that are out of stock or when deliveries get delayed. It’s a bummer when a company can’t keep track of their inventory and sales.

3. Not the Best Prices

Usborne’s CEO and owner of the U.S. division, Randall White, cut ties with because they sold the books at a lower price, which hurt independent consultants. While you can’t find everything on Amazon, you can often find the books at a lower price than what Usborne consultants offer. Other retailers like Barnes & Noble, Ebay, Half Price Books, and toy shops can also offer lower prices. As consumers, we tend to choose the lowest price whenever we can.

4. Being an Educational Consultant is Very Difficult

While it may be easy to sell books to your friends and family, selling to schools, daycare centers, and libraries is a different story. You’ll be up against competitors like Scholastic Books, which owns Usborne Books and More. This means you may see Usborne books at Scholastic book fair events. Convincing an educational facility to buy from you can be a challenge, and it requires jumping through many hoops.

5. Usborne Books is Not Competitive Enough

Children’s books are a competitive market, and it can be difficult for a product to stand out. Usborne Books is no exception. While their books are vibrant, colorful, and educational, the market for physical books is shrinking. Many publishers offer their books as apps or e-books, which are often cheaper than physical books. Usborne Books offers very few apps and no e-books, which can make them less attractive to consumers.

6. Earning Potential is Low Unless You Recruit and Build a Downline

While some Usborne consultants may make a decent income, it’s important to remember that the earning potential is low unless you recruit and build a downline. According to some estimates, a “good” month for Usborne consultants involves $400 in sales, one venue event, and one educational event. Home shows may yield less than $100. In saturated markets, some consultants sell their products at book fairs and other events for a lower price. Additionally, only 2% of people who join MLM companies are successful enough to receive a monthly paycheck.

7. You Must Purchase All Marketing Materials

As an Usborne consultant, you’re responsible for marketing the company’s products. This means you’ll need to purchase all of your own marketing materials, including flyers, catalogs, and other promotional items.

Unfortunately, some of these materials may be out of date, out of print, or out of stock. You’ll need to check the lists weekly to ensure you’re not promoting items that are no longer available. Plus, if you don’t adhere to Usborne’s branding guidelines, you could get in trouble.

8. Selling to Schools and Libraries Can Be Challenging

While selling Usborne books to schools and libraries can be profitable, it’s not always easy. For one thing, your commission on these sales will be lower than the usual 25%. You’ll also need to have at least six $160+ orders under your belt before you can open a library or school sales account.

Even if you can sell to schools and libraries, you’ll face competition from other vendors who can offer lower prices. To compete, you may need to lower your prices, which could cut into your commission.

Finally, Usborne corporate sells its books to schools without consulting with its consultants, which can be limiting. To make a consistent amount of money selling to schools and libraries, you’ll need to put in a lot of work.

Is Usborne Books a scam?

Usborne Books is a program that focuses on selling children’s book memberships and earning a 25% commission on sales. While the program offers some helpful information on how to make money online, it’s important to note that generating a substantial income on a 25% commission can be challenging. MLM businesses like Usborne Books tend to rely more on recruiting new members than actual sales.

So, is Usborne Books a scam? It’s tough to say definitively. While it may not be the easiest or most sustainable way to earn a decent income, some individuals may have success with the program.

However, if you’re looking for a legitimate and passive way to make money online, there are other options to consider. It’s important to thoroughly research any program before joining to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and values.

Is there a better way to make money online?

Looking for a simple and low-cost way to make a steady stream of passive income? Well, have you considered starting an affiliate marketing business online? It’s perfect for anyone new to online business and is actually the easiest and most rewarding online business model out there.

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You may read our article about the difference between MLM and affiliate marketing.

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