Is Pampered Chef a Scam? Kitchenware MLM or Kitchenware Pyramid Scheme?

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Welcome to our Pampered Chef Review!

Has someone told you that you could make some money selling kitchen products?  Are you wondering if it is for real or whether it is possibly a scam or even a Pyramid scheme?

In our Pampered Chef review, we will reveal all you need to know.

First off, it is great to see that you are doing your research for buying into a “seemingly good” product.

It is the best way to avoid scams and find only legit ways to make money online!

To be completely transparent with you, we are not associated with Pampered Chef in any way. 

So, relax!  We are not here to pitch or sell you anything.

Instead, we are here to reveal all you need to know about Pampered chef, including their product line, pros and cons, their compensation plan and ultimately whether it is a worthwhile business opportunity.

Let’s get started with a product overview…

Pampered Chef Review Summary

Product Name: Pampered Chef

Founder: Doris Christopher

Product Type:  Kitchenware Products MLM Company

Price: One-time payment of $109 for Starter Kit, $159 for Deluxe Kit, $249 for Ultimate Kit

Best For: More Experienced Network Marketers interested in Kitchenware

is pampered chef a scam

Summary:  Pampered Chef is not a scam, it is a legit MLM company that sells Kitchenware and cookery books, etc.  Their company provides a unique business opportunity within the MLM industry, but they have issues with meeting the expectations of their customers.  Their products receive high complaints about product quality and their service is questionable, with numerous complaints around billing or shipping issues.

Their reliance on out-dated marketing methods also make this something we would not recommend…

Rating: 40/100

Recommended? No!

Table of Contents

What is Pampered Chef?

Pampered Chef is a Kitchen Product based MLM or Multi-Level Marketing company.  It was founded back in 1980 by Doris Christopher.  She was a home economics teacher who thought of providing quality and functional kitchen products.  That was the basis for her company Pampered Chef.

Fast forward to today, Pampered Chef is a global company that operates in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Canada.

They provide a range of kitchen tools, cookbooks and food products.

Pampered Chef has its HQ is Addison, Illinois.

When the company first started out, they began selling their items to housewives through their part planning system, or simply a cooking show.

This is where you host a social event where products are shown and demonstrated and then taking orders before the event concludes.

Pampered Chef gained popularity in the 1990’s and started expanding their global reach in 1996 when they went to Canada.  They expanded into the UK in 1999, Germany in 2000 and then into Mexico in 2009.

Pampered Chef is the most famous in network marketing circles.  In 2002, the company was acquired by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, which made the entire company look more legitimate and gained authority in the MLM circles.

The Pampered Chef Product Line

Pampered Chef sell kitchenware products and they have pretty much anything you want to stock your kitchen with.  They market their products as affordable and high in quality.

They offer bakeware, cutlery, appliances, grilling accessories, dishes, holiday sets, the list could go on and on.

Here are a list of the favourites…

  1. Emoji cookie cutter set: $10
  2. Kids pizza making set: $45
  3. Herb infuser: $10
  4. Soups, stews and chilli cookbook: $8.50
  5. Manual food processor: $52.50
  6. Small bamboo knife block set: $165
  7. Beer bread mix: $11
  8. Dutch oven and cookbook set: $139

Do the Pampered Chef Products Work?

To answer these questions, we need to look at two different angles to do with Pampered Chef products – their products and their service.

When I was looking through more recent product reviews, their “quality” is put into question a lot.  Reviews from like 2015 would be really positive about their products and the quality.  But reviews that were more recent, were saying that the quality was not up to the standard they were expecting.

It makes me believe that the quality of the product is not is not as good as they claim.

Here are some screenshots of the reviews about their products:

is-pampered-chef-a-scam-review-1
is-pampered-chef-a-scam-review-2
is-pampered-chef-a-scam-review-3

We were under the impression that their cookware would last at least a few years before they start to show wear and tear, but their products seem to decline in quality faster than man other commercial (and cheaper) brands out there.

Then we turn to their service.  There are a number of factors here.

First off, their lifetime warranty is riddled with fine print.  It turns out the lifetime warranty is not as simple as it is made out.

is-pampered-chef-a-scam-warranty-complaint

When you start to look at the different warranty-related reviews, it made us think about two things:

  1. Their consultants need to be better educated in what their lifetime warranty actually covers. This is more likely down to their consultants misinforming clients
  2. For the price they pay for these products, we would expect the company to just honour the warranty and replace the broken products.

Then the second point to discuss around the service at Pampered Chef is the sheer number of complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website around billing or just lack of contact after being charged.

Check out these complaints on the BBB, there are from this year and are not something you want to be seeing from such an established business:

is pampered chef a scam - bbb complaint 2
is pampered chef a scam - bbb complaint 3

This is also one about one of their consultants not playing by the rules:

is pampered chef a scam - consultant complaint

How to Make Money with Pampered Chef?

Pampered Chef is an MLM, so like other MLM’s like Young Living, Forever Living and Tranont, they offer the usual ways of making money with this business model.  This is based on a commission-based sales structure.

As a consultant for Pampered Chef, you can earn money by:

  • Selling their products for retail commissions
  • Building your team to sell their products, to increase your earning potential

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme?

Many Legitimate MLM’s get incorrectly labelled with being a Pyramid Scheme.  I feel like many MLM’s have not done enough to move themselves away from this label,

But there is an easy way to tell an illegal Pyramid Scheme and a Legitimate MLM company.

The similarity between the two is with regards to their recruitment-based structure.

As you build up a team of consultants, who in turn build up their own team, it does start to look very much like a Pyramid.

If you look at the image below that shows a typical MLM structure through the recruitment side, you will see what we mean.

pyramid-scheme-graphic

If you can build up an effective team underneath you, you can be at the top of the pyramid.  In MLM, that is the only real way of earning a decent amount with MLM.  But it does look like a pyramid, that is why people think they are automatically a Pyramid Scheme.

But like I said there is an easy way to spot a legitimate MLM company and that is seeing whether they have any products or not.

With Pampered Chef, you don’t need to recruit people to make money, you can sell their products.  That is why they are a legit MLM.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right business opportunity for you, but at least we can tell you it is not a Pyramid Scheme.

But if you take another look at the graphic above, you will also see that the people at the bottom, of which you will be one of them when you start out are not the ones that are making money, in fact they are losing money.  73% of people who join an MLM actually lose money and this is just one of the difficulties of success with MLM.  MLM is relying on outdated marketing methods and they are not keeping up with people’s shopping hazards.  So, this will only get harder.

Getting Started with Pampered Chef

To become a consultant for Pampered Chef, you must first purchase a consultant kit.  There is a choice of three kits to choose from, and this will depend on your knowledge and enthusiasm with selling kitchen products.

  1. Starter Kit $109 – This gives you products and business tools worth $450
  2. Deluxe Kit $159 – This gives you products and business tools worth $650
  3. Ultimate Kit $249 – This gives you products and business tools worth $1,000.

It is worth noting that they are not giving your products worth that much (e.g. kitchen products to sell worth $450 for only $109).

If you want to host a party, Pampered Chef will offer you host credits.  This can give you anywhere from $25 to $50 off of your kit.

Everything in the kit is designed to convince your friends and family that cooking is great with Pampered Chef and that they really need a new set of spatulas for their kitchen.

Pampered Chef Compensation Plan Explained

Having a look through their compensation plan, there isn’t anything particularly worth noting about.  It is very similar to many other MLM compensation plans.  If you want to look at it in more detail, here is their comprehensive compensation plan.

We have detailed the most important aspects below:

You can earn money through commissions based on your monthly sales.  The commission rate will depend on your monthly sales:

  • $1-$749 in monthly sales gets you a 20% commission rate
  • $750 -$1,249 in monthly sales gets you a 22% commission rate
  • $1,250 -$2,499 in monthly sales gets you a 23% commission rate
  • $2,500 -$3,999 in monthly sales gets you a 24% commission rate
  • $4,000+ in monthly sales gets you a 25% commission rate

There are then these extra bonuses from:

  1. Recruiting a team, you will earn 3% of each sale from each member
  2. Discounts on products
  3. Free products and points towards vacations

Most consultants only make that 20% commission rate, which is pretty low and shows how difficult it is to make sales in MLM.

You need to hit the $15,000 mark in career sales to increase your commission rate by a further 2%, and once you have a decent team size, your commission rate goes up to 31%, which doesn’t sound bad.

But you will need to build up an extensive team if you want to make a decent income out of their business model.

Here is a video that explains their compensation plan further:

What We Liked About Pampered Chef

Here is what we liked about it:

Easy to Understand Compensation Plan

We have reviewed many MLMs and they all seem to make their compensation plan as complicated as they can make it.  This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to work out how they will actually make money.  It was quite refreshing to see such a simple model with Pampered Chef.  Based on sales, nice and simple

Great Discount on Kitchen Products

If you like to cook or bake, the discounts on their kitchen products on top of being able to make money by selling them may seem very appealing to the right person.

Every Pampered Chef consultant has access to exclusive discounts on products and the ability to earn free products through their bonuses.

What We Didn't Like About Pampered Chef

Here is what we didn’t like:

MLM Products Are Expensive, Question Marks About Quality

You cannot get away that MLM companies seem to think it is ok to charge more for their products, even if there are cheaper and better products already on the market.

This is where MLM’s have not kept up with the times.  Most people can now access the internet and look for alternatives online.  Why am I going to pay more for your products, when I can get a cheaper product with better reviews from Amazon?

This is a problem you are going to face with this business model.  Home parties are so 80’s or 90’s.  They are not in keeping with how people shop these days.

Then you have to factor in the that there are some serious question marks about the quality of their products.  We showed you some complaints here, but here is another.

Any problems with quality or billing will come back on you, if you are the one who sold the item.  You will need to deal with the complaints about this.

Hosting Parties Can Be Exhausting (& Expensive)

Hosting parties may seem like fun… when it’s the first time.  Getting your friends together to show them your product range and sharing a bottle wine.

But there will be a point when your friends and family will not want to sit through your presentation every week.

You will need new groups of people every week to keep this a viable opportunity.  Some people can make this happen because they may have a wider reach or a bigger circle.

Let’s go into more detail for this.

You’re hosting a party to sell the products, but you have to remember you are still spending REAL money for the venue, utensils and food for the guests.  Pampered Chef will not sponsor your party.  The best they could do is give you credits, but that is just about it.

So, in theory, you will probably spend $300 per party, so that is the minimum you need to make at each party just to break even.  You will not be gaining a profit before you hit $300 in sales.

This is an outdated marketing tactic in my view, as selling to friends and family is the reason why 65% quit MLM.  They felt it was too awkward selling to friends and family.

It Will Be Difficult to Turn into a Full Time Income

The MLM business model is extremely difficult to break into, especially if you lack sales or recruitment experience.  We haven’t found a single MLM where it shows that the majority of people are actually making money with them.  IN fact, most of their income disclosures show that the vast majority of consultants are not even earning above minimum wage.

An income disclosure statement is important to read if you want to see if an MLM opportunity is worthwhile.  But we cannot find one to show you as to whether Pampered Chef consultants are earning money or not.

This is a big disappointment for a company like Pampered Chef.  It also tells me that none of their distributors are earning a decent wage.  They don’t want you to see it, as they still want you to hand over money.

The only document we could find was their earning potential document:

is pampered chef a scam - earning potential document

If you based your decision on this chart alone (and we strongly advise you not to), it say that you can spend an average of 8-15 hours a week to get a decent income stream.  This could be a minimum of $1400 all the way up to $18,000.

But this is simply not realistic.  It will take you much more than 15 hours a week to do the following:

  1. Build a team
  2. Training a team
  3. Sell more products

With this kind of returns, people are better off with other means of making money online like affiliate marketing.

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

Can You Make Money with Pampered Chef?

Honestly, I think you could make money with Pampered Chef…. However, without an income disclosure statement this makes it a bit of a gamble.

You have to really ask yourself how passionate you are about kitchenware.  There are many difficulties you are going to have to overcome if you want to make this work.

We have already pointed out there is no income disclosure to give you a realistic idea of how others are getting on.

But there are also a couple of other factors to consider.

First off, the commission rates are below average, and you need to hit the mark for career sales to get a higher rate, plus recruit a lot of consultants to make it worthwhile.

Pampered Chef products are not exactly what people consider to be top-tiered brands of kitchen products.  People trust what they know, so people will still go for Tupperware or KitchenAid products.

You have the same argument with their line of kitchen appliances.  What is stopping people from just buying the best brands like Samsung or LG, where quality is not normally questioned?

Indirectly, Pampered Chef is putting their consultants up against the best brands in the market, without anything unique to provide that will make people want to look at their product line instead of these others.

Then there is the fact that their products are more expensive.  MLM products are more expensive, but when home parties were all the rage and people didn’t have access to the internet, they didn’t have many other alternatives.

Now, a lot of people can just dig out their phone and search on google for products and get tons of products to look at.

They can choose by price, quality, previous reviews.  You name it, they can search for it.  That is why MLM is getting so tough and is not keeping up with shopping trends.  That is why we prefer Affiliate Marketing; you have so many choices and a lot less restrictions.

Is Pampered Chef a Scam?

Pampered Chef is not a scam.  That is the easy part.  The hard part is answering whether this is a good business opportunity and the simple answer is that we would not recommend this to someone wanting to start out in kitchenware.  We have a much better option for that…

My Pampered Chef Review - Final Conclusion

There are a number of factors stopping us from saying this is a good business opportunity.  But the chief amongst them is the lack of an income disclosure.  It is the most important thing to review for an MLM.  If it shows that many of their distributors are making money, it could be a good thing to join.  But the complete lack of one only confirms our suspicions that this MLM is past its best.

The complaints on the BBB website show a lot of issues that are not getting resolved and product quality is a huge problem.

As a consultant your own brand is tarnished by these issues and it makes it harder for you to sell anything.

But with stats that show 73% of people who join an MLM lose money and 65% quit because they feel awkward selling to friends and family, it shows a worrying trend for MLM.

Like I said, shopping trends are changing.  People are using the internet to shop more – they can get a better deal and can check out reviews before they buy.  Where does that leave these MLM companies?  Either they need to catch up and target online marketing or they will start to disappear from the world.

That doesn’t mean that you cannot make money online, but we would just recommend you choose a different direction.  We recommend Affiliate Marketing.

If cooking and kitchenware is your thing, then choose a way where you can promote any and all kitchen related products without spending a huge amount of money.

Affiliate Marketing has so many benefits over MLM, and it is how we are earning regular money with.  No recruitment, no face-to-face sales and it is free to get started.

Learn how you can learn from the best training provider in the world and follow a proven step-by-step guide…

How We Make Money Online

We are not a fan of MLM, not because it is illegal or that it isn’t profitable, but because it is really restrictive, and the expensive costs involved.

That is why we recommend Affiliate Marketing.  It is our top recommended business model for anyone wanting to make money online.

The reasons are simple…

  • You don’t have to recruit anyone to make money
  • You have the freedom to promote any products or services you want and not get restricted by only promoting products from one MLM company
  • NO face-to-face Selling is involved
  • It is FREE to get started

In fact, with affiliate marketing we are close to earning a 4-figure monthly passive income stream.  With the right help and guidance, you can too.  Click Here to find out about our top recommended training platform for learning affiliate marketing:

thanks for checking out our Pampered Chef review.  If you have any questions or any experiences to share with us, then please write them in the comments section below.  We would love to hear from you and will get back to you as soon as we can. 🙂

Pampered Chef

$109 for Start Kit, $159 for Deluxe kit, $249 for Ultimate Kit
4

Overall Rating

4.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to Understand Compensation Plan
  • Great Discount on Kitchen Products

Cons

  • MLM Products Are Expensive, Question Marks About Quality
  • Hosting Parties Can Be Exhausted (& Expensive)
  • It Will Be Difficult To Turn into a Full Time Income

4 thoughts on “Is Pampered Chef a Scam? Kitchenware MLM or Kitchenware Pyramid Scheme?”

  1. Oh so glad I read this review. I love cooking and gadgets and at first selling Pampered Chef products with the added advantage of commission on other’s sales is enticing but I’ve found that I’m RUBBISH at selling products I don’t believe in and the quality issues with Pampered Chef have completely put me off. I also prefer affiliate marketing to MLM anyway so this one’s out for me and I’ll stick with affiliate marketing. 

    Reply
    • Hey Emma,

      thanks for checking out our review.  That is the pivotal thing that will make it work – being able to sell products to people.  I agree, affiliate marketing is a much better option as you make money from helping people and not selling to people.

      All the best

      John

      Reply
  2. Well, I would not join Pampered Chef because I was in a MLM for 10 years, and know how much work it can be.  That being said, this company would be a fun company for me to join because I love kitchen gadgets.

    The company has an A+ grade with the BBB. Therefore, they must be doing something right.  I know they have had complaints, but that seems to be the case with most businesses — someone is unhappy with them.  I do feel that since Warren Buffet is now the owner, the company has to be pretty good.  I’m sure he investigated very thoroughly before taking on Pampered Chef.

    Reply
    • Hi Fran,

      thanks for checking out our review.  Any MLM that can last longer than ten years, is definitely doing something right.  But that still doesn’t mean it is the right business opportunity for people to join.

      Any business will have its own mixture of positive and negative reviews.  But, still I am not convinced it is as good as they make out.

      thanks

      John

      Reply

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