Is Usborne Books A Scam?(A Paperback Book Pyramid Scheme!?)

It’s likely that you have come across Usborne Books through an email list, on social media or got it recommended by a friend or family member.

Is Usborne Books a scam? The reasons why you’re here is because you have want answers right so, that’s what I’m going to provide for you within this Usborne Books review.

First and foremost I must commend you for actually doing a bit of extra research before committing to joining Usborne Books. For all you could have known, the product could be a major scam so the fact you’re here right now, researching whether or not that’s the case is a pretty smart move on your part.

To be fully transparent with you, I am personally not a member of Usborne Books so I can assure you that I will not attempt to sell you it unless of course it’s worth investing in.

What I will aim to do is provide you with an unbiased 3rd party look at Usborne Books that will hopefully help you to make the best decision you can in the end.


PRODUCT NAME: Usborne Books

OWNER/S: Peter Usborne

TYPE OF PRODUCT: book selling MLM

PRICE: $75+

SUMMARY: The good news is that UB is not a pyramid scheme or a scam, it’s a legitimate MLM company that has some high quality products and it’s longevity definitely adds credibility to it but, it is still a MLM so, it does have its inherent problems.

Firstly, you’ll still need to recruit a fair bit to eventually make a full time income otherwise you probably will fail just like the average of 70 – 80% within other similar business opportunities. Also the poor customer service which is as a result of the poor training is another concern you man need to consider.

The last negative I have is that paperback books are getting much harder to sell in this digital age so by joining UB, you’d probably be joining a dying market.

All in all I don’t think UB is a bad MLM company but, I also don’t think it’s a good business opportunity to pursue either therefore, I personally wouldn’t recommend joining it.

FINAL RATING: 2.5/5

RECOMMENDED: No


WHAT IS USBORNE BOOKS?

Usborne books logo

UB is a fairly unique MLM in the sense that it doesn’t delve into the more common niches within such as a health, cosmetics or even travel based niche but, instead focuses on having its affiliates sell books to others. It doesn’t seem like the best niche to get into considering most books are digital but, it’s unique nonetheless.

The company is very old having started all the way back in 1973 by Peter Usborne but, it was only in 1981 when a direct sales department for the company was formed.

UB is currently owned by a different institution, namely Education Development Corporation (EDC), which is regarded by forbes as being one of the fastest growing small businesses multiple times in the past however, none of this really qualifies as UB being a good opportunity to pursue today.

That’s why in this review I’ll break down the company’s core business opportunity so that you can make a fairly informed decision on whether UB is a MLM worth joining.

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USBORNE BOOK PRODUCTS

As should be pretty clear by now, UB pretty much only sell books. These books are made for the following age ranges :

  1. 0-2 years
  2. 3-5 years
  3. 5-7 years
  4. 7-11 years
  5. 11-13 years
  6. Young adult

The books that are sold are mostly for a younger audience so, this may limit to whom you’ll be able to sell to.

As for the type of books sold by UB, they include the following :

  1. Flip books
  2. Spanish titles
  3. Season titles
  4. Touchy Feely
  5. History of Britain
  6. Discovery
  7. Look & Say
  8. First Picture Books
  9. Phonics Readers
  10. Farmyard Tales
  11. True Stories
  12. Classics Retold
  13. See Inside
  14. Fabulous Fiction
  15. Things to Make and Do
  16. Puzzle Adventures
  17. Beginners
  18. First Thousand Words
  19. Spotter’s Guides
  20. Usborne Reading Programme

It’s quite a lot to choose from no doubt.

The company also actually has a fair few awards for the books they’ve produced over the years, some of which include :

  • Children’s Publisher of the Year 2014
  • Independent Publisher of the Year 2014
  • Publisher of the Year 2012
  • Touchy-Feely That’s Not My Penguin nominated for Children’s Book of the Year 2008 at the British Book Awards
  • UK Times Literary Supplement Award
  • Touchy-Feely That’s Not My… series – voted Best Buy in the Toddler Book category of Prima Baby Reader Awards 2006
  • First Picture Action Rhymes – Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2006
  • Snuggle time Sleepy Baby – Practical Pre-School Silver Award 2006

The illustrations have been regarded as brilliant and eye-catching and of course as you can see from the awards, it’s clear to say that UB are primarily targeting parents who want to teach their younger toddlers or very young children to read.


HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY WITH USBORNE BOOKS?

As is the case with pretty much all MLM businesses there are 2 ways to make money with them, UB being no exception.

1. The first method is by directly selling the product to other individuals and in return make a commission for the sales

2. You make money through your recruits and downline, by getting residual income by following and meeting certain criteria as well as make money through bonuses and incentives due to meeting company set goals.


HOW TO GET STARTED

If you want to join UB, you’ll need to purchase one of their 2 starter kits.

The first kit is the new consultant mini kit which will cost you $75 and will come with the following resources :

  • Display set of books which includes two featured titles plus additional 8 titles from various popular series (totaling to 10 books at $100+ in retail)
  • 6-month e-business package
  • A 5-pack count of Usborne Books catalogs
  • A 20-pack of mini catalogs
  • Customer order forms
  • Host guides
  • Monthly e-business package which includes 6 months of your website for free
  • And a branded Usborne Box where available

The other kit is the new consultant kit which will cost you $125 and comes with these resources :

  • Three featured titles plus additional 17 titles, totaling to 20 books valued at $200 in retail.
  • 6-month e-business package
  • A 5-pack count of Usborne Books catalogs
  • A 20-pack of mini catalogs
  • Customer order forms
  • Host guides
  • Monthly e-business package which includes 6 months of your website for free
  • And a branded Usborne Box where available

In short, joining the company and becoming a consultant is reasonably affordable for a MLM.

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COMPENSATION STRUCTURE

The compensation plan is arguably the most important document a potential affiliate will need to go over which is why in this section I’ll briefly go over it.

If you just want to watch a video on the plan, watch the video below but, I’ll also be breaking down the more crucial components in written form if you’d rather read.

Retail Commissions

The first way you can earn with UB is by selling their books directly, primarily through a pop up shop.

Usborne books retail commissions

The commissions you’ll make per sale will depend on how much you can sell. The image above shows that you’d need to sell $85 worth of products to qualify for a 30% commission rate.

According to UB, the average amount of sales the average consultant makes is $400 so you should expect to make a little over $100 in profit if you meet the average sales amount.

Residual Commission

This is the way in which you’ll make money from your recruits and their recruits until the 3rd level of the plan.

Usborne books compensation plan

The image above basically outlines the benefits you’ll be eligible for depending on the 3 ranks you qualify for.


THE NOT SO GOOD THINGS

Poor Customer Service

According to bbb, although their books are award worthy, the customer service on the hand is not

Usborne books bad

Usborne books bad

Considering most people are purchasing products from self employed consultants, it does make some sense that certain individuals will provide poor customer service but, this issue also means the training provided by UB isn’t good enough.

Therefore, this area is definitely an issue because potential customers may not buy from you due to the reviews of poor service from other consultants.

Most People Will Fail

Even though UB isn’t as heavily focused on recruiting as other MLM’s, it still is one of its major focuses and one that you’ll need to master otherwise, there’s a good chance you will fail.

This is because I’ve seen many income statements from other MLM’s so, even with the lack of one by UB, I’m certain the success rate will be really low.

Generally I’ve found around 5% of members make $1k/month whilst only 1% of members are making $2k+/month.

Maybe UB consultants might be doing a little better than this but, i doubt the figures will much better than what I’ve stated.


THE GOOD THINGS

It’s Been Around A While

The company has been around since 1973 making it nearly 50 years old so, I don’t think you need me to tell you that UB is a very well established company and its longevity certainly gives it a ton of credibility.

It’s More Focused On Retail Sales

I do like the fact UB focuses on retail sales more than recruitment. This makes sense considering the books are regarded as being good quality.

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IS USBORNE BOOKS A PYRAMID SCHEME/SCAM?

The good news is that UB is not a pyramid scheme or a scam, it’s a legitimate MLM company that has some high quality products and it’s longevity definitely adds credibility to it but, it is still a MLM so, it does have its inherent problems.

Firstly, you’ll still need to recruit a fair bit to eventually make a full time income otherwise you probably will fail just like the average of 70 – 80% within other similar business opportunities. Also the poor customer service which is as a result of the poor training is another concern you man need to consider.

The last negative I have is that paperback books are getting much harder to sell in this digital age so by joining UB, you’d probably be joining a dying market.

All in all I don’t think UB is a bad MLM company but, I also don’t think it’s a good business opportunity to pursue either therefore, I personally wouldn’t recommend joining it.


MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION

I personally will always recommend against using a MLM business model to make money, not because you can’t make money through it (you totally can) but, the system has always seemed shady to myself and is kinda synonymous with the likes of a pyramid scheme or scams (MOBE and Digital altitude).

Instead I prefer working with something created through ones own means and is ultimately dependent on yourself and your work ethic alone.

This method I’m talking about is affiliate marketing.

The reasons as to why I recommend it over MLM based structures are because

– there is no need to recruit constantly

– it is a legitimate method that has been working consistently and continues to grow as more businesses want individuals to promote products

– and because it is free to start up, no unnecessarily large start up funds needed.

The service I recommend is Wealthy Affiliate. It’s free to sign up to and will get you set up and ready to start your affiliate marketing journey within minutes, as it did for me when I begun my journey.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask me regarding UB, feel free to do so in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. If you have your own thoughts about UB and would like to talk about it, again feel free to do so in the comments below!

Thanks

Amhil

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