Is Usborne Books a Scam? 3 Major Flaws!

Last Updated on February 8, 2023

Is Usborne Books a scam? There are 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 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!

The trademarks within this article are those of the respected proprietary propriety owners (Usborne Books). This website is not associated, endorsed by, or affiliated with Usborne Books in any legal contracts or agreements. The content provided on this page is for informational and educational purposes only; it is based on facts obtained by online research or in-person by the author. NOTE: This article is the sole opinion of the author.

What is Usborne Books All About?

usborne books homepage

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 was founded by Peter Usborne back in 1973. It was founded in the United Kingdom and is currently primarily based there.

With a seemingly successful business venture within the UK, it 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 Direct Selling Association (DSA) member.

Interestingly enough, Usborne Books has incorporated multi-level marketing into its 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.

usborne books collection

How Do Usborne Books Work?

Usborne Books sell children’s books suitable for kids ranging from 0 years old and even young adults. The company’s target markets are schools, libraries, and individuals.

It offers every children’s books you could imagine, like flipbooks, 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

usborne books age groups

  • 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 the year of inception. If I were you, I would not be surprised by these numbers 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 for producing books for children, they have scored multiple titles and awards. They have built a remarkable reputation in the niche of children’s book publishing companies.

How To Make Money With Usborne Books

Getting Started

To get started with Usborne Books, you will join as a consultant by initially purchasing their Educational Consultant Kit. This can cost you $75 for the new consultant mini kit or  $125 for the New consultant kit, plus taxes.

The main difference between the new kits is the number of books they have, the mini kit includes 10 best-selling titles, and the new consultant kit 20.  

There is an upsell for both starter kits, a full catalog of all their products that you can get for plus $12 + taxes.

As if you haven’t already had enough of all the startup costs, there are also recurring fees you must consider. There are subscriptions you would have to pay for. If you are wondering what kind of subscriptions these are, they are mostly just tools you would need to place and process orders.

Most MLM companies usually have a high start-up cost, so it is no surprise you would have to spend a lot just to get started with Usborne Books.

Selling Products

usborne books direct sales

Once you have done all that, you are now considered a consultant of Usborne Books. I have to give a round of applause to this company because their attention tends to lean more towards direct sales than the recruitment aspect.

One of the reasons why MLMs are constantly linked to pyramid schemes is that 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 can 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, as indicated by their disclosure statement, you can not sell their books to bookstores.

Usbourne gives 25% commission on sales, but it’s based on the sale volume. The more you sell, the higher your percentage can be.

You may earn even more if you go up the ladder and become a team leader.

They also have compensation plans for direct sales companies.

usborne books host a show

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.

Base Commission for Selling Usborne Books

Usborne Books Compensation Plan

Now onto the best bits of this post, the compensation plan. Usborne Books’ compensation plan is pretty straightforward. I suggest you take 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 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 the consultant level and the requirements you have to satisfy to achieve it.

Team Leader

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 also requires you to gather group sales worth $2,750 two months before promotion.

usborne books downline

You are also required to recruit at least 3 people earning $500 each in the last 3 months and 3 personal success-bound recruits.

Depending on your rank, you can earn loads of bonuses with Usborne Publishing. One of the many bonuses you could earn is a Promote Out Bonus.

All this 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 a $250 Promote Out Bonus in this case.

Senior Leader

The requirements to be a Senior Leader are similar to Team Leader’s. 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.

Executive Leader

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 6 first level Team Leaders within your downline. When one of your members becomes Director, too, you can receive $1,000 Promote Out Bonus.

Is Usborne Books a scam? You may find the answers you are looking for once you have read the next section below!

What I Don’t Like About Usborne Books

Low Success Rate

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 about how you can only earn so little selling their books. Of course, with a business opportunity in the field of books, it will be hard to get leads.

usborne books complaint

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Hosting parties are only worse, too. Yes, the parties are only usually just for an hour. However, preparation could take time, calls, effort, and patience. A lot is going on behind the scenes.

usborne books complaints

You can pour all your effort into this party, but there’s also the possibility that no one wants to attend it (it reminds me of when I was a kid). Plus, the time spent preparing is not worth the amount of money you can earn with it.

The good news, though, there’s still a recruitment program. Bad news: recruiting others in a business opportunity like this is hard.

Expensive Startup Cost

What makes it worse is the expensive startup costs, 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.

usborne books training

Bulky Inventory

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.

What Makes Usborne Books Worth It

Great Quality of Books

usborne books review

usborne books positive review

Usborne Publishing has been in the books industry even before the early 2000s. 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 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, even though the BBB does not accredit them, they have an A+ rating, as seen in the screenshot below!

usborne books bbb

My Final Judgement! Is Usborne Books a Scam?

No, Usborne Books is not a scam. It is a legitimate company selling children’s books and they publish 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 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, but you could buy their books for your kids if you like!

Just keep one thing in mind, this won’t happen overnight! But if you are the type of fella that can follow a blueprint and willing to take action, then you can turn your passion into a thriving online business!


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