Is Usborne Books a scam? There’s a lot of speculations about Usborne Books, mostly because it is one of the few publishing companies with a twist of multi-level marketing to its sales strategy. With that being said, I think it is only fair that we look into this company!
Could you really join Usborne Books and make this your primary business opportunity? Is there a possibility you can earn decent money with this? Well, lucky you, that’s exactly what we’re going to find out in this Usborne Books review!
As I did my research on this publishing company and its MLM elements, I found something else interesting that may make you automatically stay away from Usborne Books. It sure is a crazy world!
Anyway, let us now delve further into this!
Usborne Books, also called as Usborne Publishing, is a publishing company particularly producing children’s books suitable for 0 years old to young adults. This company is founded by Peter Usborne back in 1973. It is founded in the United Kingdom and is still currently primarily based over there.
With a seemingly successful business venture within UK, it has expanded to the United States back in 1989. You can find them in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Usborne Publishing is apparently part of a larger company named Education Development Corporation (EDC) and a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA).
Interestingly enough, Usborne Books has incorporated multi-level marketing into their sales strategies. If you are familiar with MLMs, you would know how it is always related to pyramid schemes and most of the time labeled as a scam. While there are numerous MLMs out there, this is not always necessarily true.
Taking this into consideration, is Usborne Books a scam? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that part later on. It is also fairly important to describe first how this company works in the first place before diving right into speculations.
Just like any real and actual MLM, there has to be actual products written in the equation of the cash flow. Of course, being a publishing company, it is only natural for them to have products to sell.
Usborne Books sell children’s books suitable for kids ranging from 0 years old and even to young adults. The company’s target markets are said to be schools, libraries, and individuals.
It offers every children’s books you could imagine like flip books, fiction, and even non-fiction, Spanish titles, and season titles! Usborne Books’ website has seemingly divided the books they sell based on particular age groups as seen below.
- 0-2 years old
- 3-5 years old
- 5-7 years old
- 7-11 years old
- 11-13 years old
- Young adult
They have published at least 3,000 books in total ever since year of inception. I would not be surprised by these numbers if I were you since Usborne Publishing has 35 fantastic writers and more than 50 book designers.
Plus, the staff in charge of book production, accounts, sales, marketing, and everything else is at least composed of 250 people.
With such dedication and passion in producing books for children, they have scored multiple titles and awards and have built a remarkable reputation in the niche of children’s books publishing companies.
To get started with Usborne Books, you will join as a consultant by initially purchasing their Educational Consultant Kit. This would cost you $125, plus taxes. Comprising this kit are 20 books, 6-month website membership, and business supplies worth $22.
That’s only the first kit, though. Usborne Publishing also requires you to buy a second kit which costs $75. It’s contents are pretty much the same as the first kit with its difference being mainly due to the amount of books you’ll be getting. This one only provides you 10 books.
As if you haven’t already had enough of all the startup costs, there are also recurring fees you have to take into account. Apparently, there are subscriptions you would have to pay for. If you are wondering what kind of subscriptions these are, it is mostly just tools you would need in placing and processing orders.
Most MLM companies usually have a high start-up cost, so it is no surprise you would have to spend a lot just for getting started with Usborne Books.
Once you have done all that, you are now considered a consultant of Usborne Books. I have to give a round of applause for this company due to the fact that their attention tends to lean more towards the direct sales rather than on the recruitment aspect.
One of the reasons why MLMs are constantly linked to pyramid schemes is because some companies only use their products as a cover up when in reality, all the money comes from the recruitment aspect.
We are on the right track since just from this observation alone, we could say with confidence that Usborne Books is not a pyramid scheme.
With that being said, you have the duty as a consultant to sell their books directly to individuals, schools, and libraries. Unfortunately, you can not sell their books to bookstores as indicated by their disclosure statement.
The rule here is you are eligible to earn 20% commission for every book sold to schools and libraries. Whereas a sale made to private individuals will earn you 24% commission.
What’s great about Usborne Books is you can also hold special programs to reach out to more potential buyers such as home shows, e-shows, book fairs, and many more as seen in the table below. You will also see the commission percentages you are able to earn.
Now onto the best bits of this post, the compensation plan. Usborne Books’ compensation plan is actually pretty straightforward. I suggest you take down notes since their compensation plan contains substantial and equally important information.
You are most likely encouraged to climb to higher ranks from being a consultant if you want to earn more profit. This will always be the case with MLMs because commission flow always goes upward the pyramid, meaning that the ones who most benefit from marketing strategies like these are those at the top, leaving almost little to nothing to the mass of people accumulated at the bottom.
Listed below are the ranks higher than consultant level together with the requirements you have to satisfy in order to achieve it.
To become a team leader, you need to reach a personal sales worth $1,000. Here’s the interesting part, you have to reach this amount within two months prior the date of promotion. Seems pretty achievable for such a short period of time, right?
Not really. Although it is not really impossible to achieve these numbers, you would have to hustle all day and market the books in a way that everybody will want to buy from you. From an economical standpoint, children’s books isn’t always at the highest demand.
What I have mentioned above is just the requirement for your personal sales. What about the group sales? Usborne Publishing requires you to gather group sales worth $2,750 two months before promotion, as well.
You are also required to recruit at least 3 people earning $500 each in the last 3 months and 3 personal success bound recruits.
There are loads of bonuses you can earn with Usborne Publishing depending on your rank. One of the many bonuses you could earn is a Promote Out Bonus.
All this basically means is when a consultant from your downline gets promoted to the rank of Team Leader, you and this particular consultant will equally share the bonus to be received. According to the website of Usborne Books, you’ll receive $250 Promote Out Bonus in this case.
The requirements to be a Senior Leader are mostly likely the same with Team Leader. The main difference is by this time, you should already have 1 second level Team Leader and 2 first level Team Leaders. You are eligible to earn $500 Promote Out Bonus when a Team Leader of yours get promoted to Senior Leader, as well.
The requirements are still the same as Team Leader, only with the additional requirements of having 1 third level Team Leader, 1 second level Team Leader, and 3 first level Team Leaders. Earn a Promote Out Bonus of $500 when someone from your downline becomes an Executive Leader.
Same old, same requirements – just make sure to have 1 Executive Team Leader, and a total of 6 first level Team Leaders within your downline. When one of your members become Director too, you can receive $1,000 Promote Out Bonus.
Is Usborne Books a scam? You may find the answers you are looking once you have read the next section below!
Low Success Rate
Apparently, this is one of the most common cases when it comes to MLMs, so you should start getting used to this fact by now. In Usborne Books’ case, members are testifying how you can only earn so little selling their books. Of course, with a business opportunity in the field of books, it will definitely be hard to get leads.
Hosting parties are only worse, too. Yes, the parties are only usually just for an hour. However, the preparation period could take a lot of time, calls, effort, and patience. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
You can pour all your effort into this party, but there also the possibility no one wants to attend your party (reminds me back when I was a kid). Plus, the time spent in preparing is not worth the amount of money you can earn with it.
Good news, though, there’s still a recruitment program. Bad news, it is hard to recruit others in a business opportunity like this.
Expensive Startup Cost
What makes it worse is the expensive startup costs, oh, and don’t forget the recurring fees too! There is no guarantee that you can earn this back and you would have to sustain a possible loss. That’s one thing to take note of.
No Extensive Training
Usborne Books provides training to their consultants. Unfortunately, this isn’t of much help since it only introduces the basics of business and not much on what you need to know to succeed in this opportunity.
Of course, you’re going around selling books, naturally you have to carry the books when you’re on duty. It’s like having a heavy cloud above your head all the time.
Great Quality of Books
Usborne Publishing has been in the books industry even before the early 2000’s. With such a long history and experience, it is no doubt that they have picked up a lot and is now constantly producing books of amazing quality.
Set the Pace
There are no pre-determined schedules, your schedule is mostly just up to you! You don’t have to worry about due dates and waking up before 8 am!
Reliable BBB Rating
If you are familiar with the Better Business Bureau, you know that a business must be accredited with it and rated with an A to know if it is legit or not. Fortunately for Usborne Books, they are accredited by the BBB with an A+ as seen in the screenshot below!
No, Usborne Books is not a scam. It is definitely a legitimate company selling children’s books and they publish really great books. However, I can’t recommend it to you. I simply think it is not a great business opportunity at all.
Startup costs are expensive, and even if you spend all your money on the kits, this does not guarantee that you can earn this money back. As you have seen from the reviews of customers, you can only earn so little despite all your effort, time, and money.
I think it’s best not to get involved with their MLM program, or any MLM ever in fact, but you could buy their books for your kids if you like!
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