Pampered Chef: Behind The Scam Headline

by Martin Russell on March 2, 2011



There has been a lot of discussion about joining Pampered Chef as a way of making some extra income. Let’s set some things straight. In this article I’ll review the background of this business, and then go through the pros and cons of what the company offers. Then you can make up your own mind whether the “Pampered Chef scam” claims hold water.

About Pampered Chef

Pampered Chef Ltd. was founded in 1980 by Doris Christopher. Doris was a home economics teacher who had the idea of providing quality and functional kitchen products, and so was the beginning of Pampered Chef.

Today Pampered Chef is a global company operating in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Mexico. It is a direct seller of kitchen tools, cookbooks and food products, currently headquartered in Addison, Illinois.

Pampered Chef began by selling items to housewives through the party plan system or “cooking shows”. It is done by hosting a social event where the products are displayed and demonstrated, with orders taken before the gathering’s end. Pampered Chef products began to gain popularity in the 1990s, started its global presence in 1996 in Canada, and further expanded in the UK (1999), Germany (2000), and then into Mexico (2009). Most famously in network marketing circles, in 2002 the company was acquired by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation which added legitimacy to the whole industry.

Anyway now it’s on to…

The Pros

First, the distributor (the Pampered Chef term is Consultant rather than representative or rep) gets sales training included when they join. This is a way to enhance one’s networking abilities and social skills. It is an advantage when you are looking for not just professional but also personal development.

Second, you can sell the cookware, kitchen and homeware items with marketing backup of a well-established company. It is easier to market when there is company support and strong brand recognition already established.

Third, bigger earnings come from assisting others to succeed. This multi-level compensation system means you earn not only on your personal sales, but also on the sales of others you refer to the business, so your long-term earning potential is far greater.

However unless the claims are overblown, the pro side of Pampered Chef isn’t going to be the thing that makes people think of it as a scam, so let’s review the other side too.

The Cons

Firstly, Pampered Chef products can be more expensive than similar products sold in retail stores. The value relies on the quality and efficacy, rather than discounted pricing.

Second, it takes time to grow a successful network of customers and particularly distributors because most people aren’t wanting a business, let alone a Pampered Chef business. It also takes a while to train people and you need to build your own leadership skills to keep their commitment to the business.

Third, there the fees. The Pampered Chef starter kit costs $155 for the New Consultant Kit or $80 for the New Consultant Mini Kit. After that there are requirements for doing shows, and purchases to stay active in the business and hold onto your “career sales”.

The Pampered Chef scam tag probably often comes from the fact that these investments are not always clear to people before they begin and this can lead to big headaches later.

The Verdict on Pampered Chef?

The Pampered Chef scam headline can be too easily thrown around. Naturally what Pampered Chef offers in high-end products is certainly not for everyone, and nor is the business system, but that isn’t the way to decide if it’s a scam or not.

Of course there are no guarantees of any return on your investment let alone a big one, but then again no start-up business guarantees success either. You are taking care of the advertising, the marketing, and selling for the company so it is important to appreciate the value in their products, as well as how to get other people to experience the benefits too.

You will probably start with people who already know you, but for a big business which can give you a steady, passive and building income you must also expand your network of contacts and connect with others who could become part of your business too. So do you have all the marketing skills you need to do this?

If you’re are wanting to market online I’d recommend you follow the proven methods of 6-figure+ network marketers for generating MLM prospects that will actually buy from you.

PS: This is a drop dead simple, paint by numbers system to help you get more leads, traffic and signups into your MLM, get your $2 trial here (while it is still available!)

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