Product Name: Pampered Chef
Price To Start: $99 or $159
What Is It?
Pampered Chef is Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company that’s basically the equivalent of Tupperware for cooking products. The products you sell are related to the kitchen or cooking. You make commissions off of sales, and can also benefit from sales of people you recruit into the company to your “downline”.
Pampered Chef makes some pretty good products that a cooking enthusiast could really enjoy selling. However, to create a money generating business out of it, there's more to it than just selling products! To really take advantage of the business opportunity that they are promoting, you need to grow a ‘team' of people to also sell the cookware, and be able to find buyers outside your immediate circle of family and friends.
Getting Started With Pampered Chef
For new consultants, there is a package you can buy to get the basic materials for start-up. The cost is $99 for the basic kit, and $159 for a larger kit. This usually is enough for people to start practicing their sales pitch and ‘party' setup for promoting the cooking products.
Newbies will most likely just have friends and family over and show them the products, along with drinks and snacks. More advanced sellers may have a cooking demonstration ready.
If you run out of friends and family to sell to (as is often the case), you can then setup a website through Pampered Chef. Most network marketing companies don't offer this, so kudos to PC for offering this!
However, there’s an additional charge of $10 per month, and the website is not fully customizable. I run several money-generating websites, and based on what I've seen, the Pampered Chef website you get is not very effective at selling products. It's like a mini brochure for the products, and not a truly informational experience that can generate new customers from across the globe. Most likely, you'll have to refer people you already to your website, which defeats the purpose of getting online in my opinion.
This company offers no help setting up your website and no training on how to use it effectively. I actually teach people how to set up websites and run online businesses, so this is something I noticed immediately.
What I Liked About This Company
Professional Website And Presentation
You might be surprised to know this, but there are thousands of network marketing or MLM companies in the US that are all promising similar things to Pampered Chef. They say they have “great products” and can help you achieve financial freedom. However, what they deliver is NOT what they promise!
At least this company's website is easy to understand and navigate. I was able to find my way around without too much trouble. At first glance you would think you’re looking at just another cooking website, and not a ‘business opportunity'. Remember, although you find this opportunity interesting, not everyone will! They are just interested in whether or not the products are good.
The products are also displayed nicely and the information is well laid-out, which I’m sure is helpful for new distributors aiming for that first sale. As far as companies go, they do a lot better in this respect than most of the companies I review.
Discounts For You!
Many people are opting to become a consultant for Pampered Chef for the savings bundles that only representatives can get. The products from this company are by no means cheap compared to stuff you can get on Amazon, so getting a considerable amount of savings can be a huge bonus point for you, especially if you love to cook.
Selling the products at their marked up rate may not be easy, but you can reap in the savings. But, remember that there will be subscriptions on your credit card that auto-renew, so be sure you opt out of everything if you are not selling.
Cooking Is Something Everyone Understands
A lot of business opportunities or MLM companies are based on health/wellness and the products make some pretty crazy claims. Very often, products will be focused on one ‘super ingredient, like coconut oil, or acai berries. Products will supposedly make you look younger, feel better, lose weight, be smarter, etc etc. Selling this stuff makes you sound like a crazy person (and often the crazy people are the ones that sell them!)
But promoting cookware is simple – it works or it doesn't. You can see it with your own eyes. Everyone has to cook, and cookware gets replaced from time to time. This is something that people easily understand, and feel comfortable buying. There's no need to convince anyone that they need a daily shot of wheat grass to feel good! LOL
What I Did Not Like
I always try to make my reviews unbiased, so here are some things that I don't think are very good about this company.
The “Warm Market” Quickly Disappears
Just like other MLM companies, Pampered Chef tells you to get started by selling to your “warm market”. That means selling your friends and family.
How many friends do you have? Are you popular at work? You can expect that to change if you follow Pampered Chef’s advice. Unfortunately, selling stuff to friends and family can ruin your relationships. It's very easy to get excited about this business opportunity and forget that others will not be as excited as you!
Many people do have success selling and promoting products from network marketing companies, or growing teams and having a network of sales people. But there are some real dangers to over-promoting within your close knit friends and family. This is why you need to make sure your business is ONLINE…so you can reach people that are interested in what you are selling!
Support For Your Business
As a newbie, you are going to need some help getting your business off the ground. I needed a lot of help when I started my first websites, and anyone new to any industry will be the same. Don't feel bad! You just need some direction – everyone does 🙂
But that means you'll need to find someone to help you. Because I do not have any friends in Pampered Chef, I had to investigate things on my own, so I called customer support. I spent over an hour on the phone with a representative that could not seem to understand my questions or give me direct answers to what I was asking. Unfortunately the representative seemed more focused on selling me products than solving my problems.
If you are signed up under an enthusiastic and helpful leader, then you have the advantage. They can show you how to run your first party, and even talk about mistakes they made early on so you can avoid them. But without this mentor figure, it's going to be a bumpy road!
One of my issues with MLM in general is that for a lot of folks, their success depends more on the person that signs them up, than the actual product they are selling. In joining any network marketing company, it's vital you join under the right person, and hard to succeed on your own.
The Cost of Parties And Events
Pampered Chef offers a tiered compensation plan. They offer some pretty good commissions actually!
Your first tier is for all sales under $749 per month. Commissions on this first tier are 20%. So if your Mom buys a spatula for $10.00, you get two dollars. That doesn't sound like much, but 20% commissions is actually a good place to start compared to other programs I'm involved in. Some places offer 50% or 100% commissions, but there's always a catch. For example, your first few sales may go to your upline, or they only pay high commissions on certain product packages.
However…and this is a big issue – since the average first “party” costs the host a minimum of $200 you’d have to sell a lot of stuff just to cover your costs! This is a HUGE thing that people forget. To gather ‘prospects' you often need to have an even with food, drinks, entertainment, and products to show.
Net Profit = Gross (Total) Profit – Expenses. Keep an eye out for those expenses, because you're not being compensated for time either. Even if you make $100 profit for an evening, was it worth the time to set things up, give a presentation, and clean up afterwards? Unless you are planning to go full time from the beginning, it can be hard to put in this kind of time after a full day's work, or with kids around.
Quality of Products?
Unfortunately there certainly are a lot of complaints around the web, including on the BBB (30 is a lot for that website), Pissed Consumer, and a laundry list of complaints from this lady. Still, their products have some good reviews on Amazon. The #1 complaint is that the products are too expensive for what you get. Whether or not that is true – you will have to decide for yourself. There are plenty of customers that say the products are good quality, but I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the reviews are shills by network marketers or their family members.
If you are not familiar with network marketing, it's quite common in the industry for new IBOs/distributors to get really excited about the opportunity and have a strong positive bias towards their products. What also happens a lot, unfortunately, is that they take personal offense to people giving (honest) negative reviews of the product, which can stifle honest feedback.
My suggestion is just that you read each product review with a grain of salt.
Sparse Starter Kits
. According to current consultants, “to get started you either buy the mini kit for $99 or the full kit for $159. Supposedly they contain between $500 and $600 worth of products, but here's a picture of the min-kit for $99. To me, that certainly DOES NOT look like a value of $350!
And here's the regular kit for $159. In my opinion, just because Pampered Chef's items are expensive, it doesn't make them more valuable. I could buy a LOT more stuff for $600, so I really have to wonder if a cheese grater, pizza cutter, and muffin tin are really worth that much money.
Final Product Review
As far as the products go, I think they can compete decently in the open market. From looking on Amazon there seems to be some satisfied customers, and some high end cooking equipment is just really freaking expensive these days. As far as a business opportunity goes, I would steer clear of any MLM business.
Overall, I think that if you love cooking, and have a decent network of family and friends to start with, you could make some money with Pampered Chef. They have pretty good products, and promoting cookware is (in my opinion) easier that other products from other network marketing companies.
However, if you don't have a strong leader to show you the way, or you don't have a group of friends that you think will potentially buy what you are selling, it could be difficult to get your business off the ground.
If that's the case, you need to do some outreach, and find people online that are looking to buy cookware. Though Pampered Chef does offer a website for $10/month, the type of website you get, and the lack of training on how to properly use it means I can't recommend their website!
I recommend building your own website and starting and independent cooking website. It means you'll be able to promote a wide range of products from a variety of companies. You'll be able to give unbiased, honest reviews, which potential customers can really respect and respond to! Best of all, you won't have to bug people you know to buy stuff so that you can make money. Advertising online means you reach customer that care about what you are selling.
I sell computer software online through my websites, but the principle is the same. I started in 2010, and now work full time for myself doing that, as well as helping people just like you get their businesses online. See how I did it and how I can help you do it for a cooking website (or anything else).