Is Usborne Books a Scam or Legit? We Review the Children’s Book MLM
Usborne Books is a children’s book MLM that has been around since the 1970s. The company is unique in that it sells over 1,800 titles of children’s books through a network of “independent consultants.” Usborne Books has faced some complaints and lawsuits, but we’ll let you know what we think in our Usborne Books MLM review. You’ll also learn who launched Usborne Books and when, what types of books it sells, how Usborne Books works, how to join Usborne Books and the company’s compensation plan, whether the company has faced any other complaints or lawsuits, what we like about Usborne Books and what we don’t like, and alternatives to Usborne Books.
History of Usborne Books
Usborne Books was founded in 1973 by Peter Usborne. Where is Usborne from? Usborne is from the UK. The Usborne Books company is headquartered in London, England.
The company originally only sold children’s books in the UK but soon expanded to sell books in the U.S. as well. Usborne Books has been operating as an MLM since the late 1970s.
U.S. headquarters for Usborne Books is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it sells its children’s books through a network of independent consultants in the United States and Canada. Usborne Books is a member of the Direct Selling Association.
Usborne has a degree in economics from Oxford University. After Usborne graduated from college, he worked for a London publishing house where he specialized in children’s books. He then started his own company, Usborne Publishing Ltd. Usborne Publishing Ltd is Usborne Books’ parent company.
What type of books does Usborne publish?
Usborne publishes fiction and non-fiction books for children of all ages. The company’s mission is to “increase the interest and enjoyment of reading among young people.” Usborne Books specializes in educational, entertaining, and beautifully illustrated books.
Books the company publishes are divided into various categories:
- Picture books
- Baby and toddler books
- Activity and novelty books
- Reference books
- First reading books
- Chapter books
- YA fiction
- Foreign languages
- Growing up and mental health
- Geography and environment
- Science and technology
Usborne buys the rights to publish certain books from other publishing companies. Usborne also commission new titles. The company has a team of in-house editors, designers, and illustrators who work on Usborne books.
How does Usborne Books work?
Usborne Books operates as an MLM, which stands for multi-level marketing. Usborne Books consultants can earn commission on the books they sell as well as bonuses and rewards.
To become a consultant, you must purchase a starter kit from Usborne Books. The starter kit includes training materials and books to help you get started selling Usborne books. Starter kits cost $75.
As a consultant, you will earn 25% commission on the retail price of Usborne books that you sell. You can also earn bonuses and rewards, such as free books, based on your sales volume.
To be eligible for commissions and bonuses, you must maintain an active status with Usborne Books. To do this, you must sell a minimum of $250 worth of Usborne books every three months.
Usborne Books also has a host program where consultants can earn rewards for hosting Usborne book parties. When you host an Usborne book party, you’ll earn free and half-price books based on your party sales.
Usborne Books has ranks for its consultants. There are five ranks.
Here are the ranks and how they work:
- Usborne Consultant: To reach this rank, you must have an active Usborne Books membership and sell a minimum of $250 worth of Usborne books every three months.
- Usborne Senior Consultant: To reach this rank, you must have an active Usborne Books membership, sell a minimum of $500 worth of Usborne books every three months, and have two Usborne Books team members who are also active Usborne consultants.
- Usborne Executive Consultant: To reach this rank, you must have an active Usborne Books membership, sell a minimum of $1,000 worth of Usborne books every three months, and have four Usborne Books team members who are also active Usborne consultants.
- Usborne STAR Consultant: To reach this rank, you must have an active Usborne Books membership, sell a minimum of $2,500 worth of Usborne books every three months, and have eight Usborne Books team members who are also active Usborne consultants.
- Usborne Leadership Consultant: There is no rank requirement to reach this rank. You must simply sponsor two Usborne Books team members who reach the Usborne STAR Consultant rank.
As you advance in rank, you'll earn higher commissions and bonuses. You'll also be eligible for additional rewards, such as free books and trips.
Usborne Books consultants can earn commissions and bonuses by recruiting other consultants to work under them.
When you sponsor a new consultant, you'll earn a percentage of the starter kit they purchase as well as a percentage of their future sales.
You can also earn bonuses when your team members advance in rank.
Is Usborne Books a pyramid scheme?
Usborne Books is not a pyramid scheme because it sells products (children’s books) rather than recruiting members. Usborne consultants make commission on the books they sell, not on the number of consultants they sponsor.
Under a pyramid scheme, members make money by recruiting others into the scheme. There is usually no product involved. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States.
How about complaints or lawsuits?
Usborne Books is a direct selling company, so it’s not surprising that it has received some complaints. The majority of these complaints are about Usborne’s MLM structure.
Some consultants have accused Usborne of being a pyramid scheme, while others have complained about not being able to earn a profit due to the high cost of Usborne books.
Usborne has also been accused of being a cult. These accusations were made by former consultants who claim that Usborne’s recruitment tactics are similar to those used by cults.
Usborne has denied all of these accusations and has never been charged with any wrongdoing.
What we like about Usborne Books
There are a few things we like about Usborne Books:
- Usborne Books sells children’s books, which is a unique product for an MLM company.
- Usborne Books has a host program where consultants can earn free and discounted books.
- Usborne Books has a low starter kit cost of only $75.
- Usborne Books offers a website for consultants to sell books online.
- Usborne Books has a solid reputation and is not known for being a scam or pyramid scheme.
What we don’t like about Usborne Books
There are also a few things we don’t like about Usborne Books:
- Usborne Books is an MLM company, so there is always the risk of being recruited by friends or family members.
- Usborne Books books are expensive, which makes it difficult to earn a profit.
- Usborne Books requires consultants to maintain an active membership and sell a minimum amount of books every three months, or they will be charged a $10 “maintenance fee.”
- Usborne Books is only available in the United States and Canada.
Alternatives to Usborne Books
If you’re interested in selling children’s books but don’t want to join Usborne Books, there are a few other options available:
- Scholastic Book Clubs: Scholastic is a well-known publisher of children’s books. Scholastic Book Clubs allows individuals to sell books directly to schools and parents. There is no membership fee, and you can sign up online.
- The Book Fairies: The Book Fairies is a UK-based company that sells children’s books door-to-door. There is no membership fee, and you can sign up online.
- Usborne Books at Home: Usborne Books at Home is a UK-based company that sells Usborne books through home parties. There is no membership fee, but you must purchase a starter kit of Usborne books.
- Better World Books: Better World Books is an online retailer that specializes in selling used and new books. You can sign up to be a Better World Books affiliate and earn a commission on every book sold. There is no membership fee.
Usborne Books is a legitimate MLM company that sells children’s books. Usborne consultants can earn commission on the books they sell, as well as bonuses when their team members advance in rank. Usborne Books has a solid reputation and is not known for being a scam or pyramid scheme. However, Usborne books are expensive, which makes it difficult to earn a profit. Usborne also requires consultants to sell a minimum amount of books every three months or they will be charged a $10 “maintenance fee.” Usborne is only available in the United States and Canada. If you’re interested in selling children’s books, there are a few other options available, such as Scholastic Book Clubs, Usborne Books at Home, and Better World Books.
Thoroughly research before joining any MLM
The most important step you can take if you’re thinking about joining an MLM is to thoroughly research the company. Here are some things to look for in a multi-level marketing company:
- A solid reputation.
- A low starter kit cost.
- A variety of products.
- A simple compensation plan.
- An active membership.
One of your best sources of information when researching MLMs is I Buy I Review. Our goal is to review these companies and other online money-making “opportunities.” We then let you know if we think they’re legitimate or a waste of your time and investment.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.