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Last updated on March 2, 2020

Is Usborne Books a Scam? 3 Major Flaws!

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 Review

Product Name: Usborne Books
Founder: Peter Usborne
Logo: usborne books logo
Product Description: Publishing company with MLM
Best For: No one

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.

Product Currency: USD

Product In-Stock:

Editor's Rating:
Recommended: NO


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 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.


How Does Usborne Books Work?


usborne books collection


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.


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 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.


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 which is 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 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.


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 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.

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

If you manage to go up the ladder and become a team leader, you may earn even more.

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 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.


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


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.

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.


Senior Leader

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.


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 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!



What I Don’t Like About Usborne Books

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.


usborne books complaint


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.


usborne books complaints


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.


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 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, even though they are not accredited by the BBB they have a 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 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!

If you are looking for a real make money online opportunity, check out my Wealthy Affiliate review!

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



I joined Wealthy Affiliate back in 2015 with no marketing experience whatsoever. In a couple of months, I got my own website running, driving traffic, and sales daily.

I am now self-employed and run my online affiliate business from the comfort of my home or wherever I want to.

All I did was follow Wealthy Affiliate training, believe me, it works! Come on in, and I will show you how you can actually start making money.

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About the author  Pedro

Hi, my name is Pedro glad you are here! 

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  1. Usborne is a scam. By the way, consultants cannot sell to schools and libraries unless they pay more money to become an educational consultant. They are then assigned a territory. However, that doesn’t stop other educational consultants from trying to take the assigned territory away from another consultant.

    1. Hey! Thank you for your feedback! Anything goes in this world these days 🙁 people just have no values when it comes to making money :/

      As for the product itself, can’t say just off the bat that Usborne is a scam… but they have some “shady” things 😉

      I wish you the best!

  2. I didn’t even read your whole article. It’s obvious you are just creating click bait so you can promote your business opportunity at the end. From the part I did read, I can tell that you have never been involved with any MLM company. You don’t appear to know much about them and how UBAM compares to other companies. I will agree with you that the books are a bit pricey. But the startup cost is lower than most other direct sales companies. And consultants do not have to carry an inventory at all. In fact, all sales can be made online. It’s also true that consultants don’t make a lot unless they build a team. But it is still a good opportunity. And awesome books that are worth sharing. The successful team leaders do train their recruits, and train them to recruit people. That is how they make their money, when their business grows. It takes time and effort to recruit and train people, and that’s why team leaders are rewarded. Direct sales can also be hard to keep your business going. Sales is hard period. But can also be rewarding. For me, the benefits of running my own business on my time make it worth it.

    1. Hi Andrea, first let me thank you for your time.
      Second, let me tell you that it’s quite obvious that you are defending your turf… didn’t even have to read your whole comment!

      I’ve been dealing with MLM’s (cosmetics mostly) for almost 20 years. I’ve not been directly into them but I’ve built a couple of websites for Herbalife and LR Beauty team leaders.
      I can tell you that one of them was making around €25.000 and got a Cabrio SLR Mercedez Benz as a yearly prize, so yeah I know from the inside that you can make lots of money in MLM, it’s just not for the regular “John Doe”!

      I know how these sorts of “schemes” work.

      As for my “Is Usborne Books a Scam” review, it’s was based on web research, I have no affiliation with Usborne books whatsoever. I can’t join every company that I review.
      Is not the first time that I edit this post about something that is not right base on feedback from “inside” people.

      As for my business orientation, I’m an online marketer so I can’t hide that I prefer any sort of online business over MLM, direct sales, or brick & mortar business.

      Wish you the best!

  3. "Start up" cost is $30 which gives you 8 books and a $15 gift certificate to buy more books… For your other commenter, Yes you must pay extra to become Educational Services certified and that is because it includes an FBI finger printing and background check (because after all you would be going into schools, where children are!) Dude, do a little better on your research, Smh!

    1. First, let me personally thank you for your comment.

      Dude, as far as I can tell, that company looks shady, and it’s not just me saying…

      Check Better Business Bureau, they have a “great-looking” rating of 1.33 STAR’s OUT OF 5.
      People mostly complain about double charging and not getting what “you” purchase…

      Anyways, with the same product/service one person’s experience can be good others can be bad!


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