Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme?

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? – Read This First Before You Join It! [Honest Review]

Hey, and welcome to my Pampered Chef review! If you like cooking then this Pampered Chef business opportunity might interest you. What a better way to make money if not by doing what you love to do the most? Maybe somebody has already approached you with this business opportunity but you’re not sure if it worth diving in or Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme?

And that’s the reason you’re here right now, looking to get answers to your questions. Well, you have come to the right place, my friend! Every time I write a blog post, I spent hours researching a topic I’m writing about.

So rest assured, you’ll find here the most accurate and trustful information, and you don’t need to endlessly browse the internet trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle together. You’ve got everything you want to know about Pampered Chef in one single place.

That being said, let’s start this unbiased Pampered Chef review together!


Pampered Chef Overview Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - The Logo

Full Name: Pampered Chef

Type: MLM Business Opportunity

Website: https://www.pamperedchef.com/

Founder: Doris Christopher

Year of Establishment: 1980

Price to Join: $99

Recommended? No


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What is Pampered Chef?

Based in Addison, Illinois, United States, Pampered Chef is a multi-level marketing company that is selling a line of kitchen utensils, food, and cookbooks for home cooking. It also offers some products to help transport gardening products and tools.

The company operates in only three countries like the United States, Germany, and Canada but it gathers around 35 000 sales representatives from all around the world.

In 2002, Pampered Chef was acquired by billionaire entrepreneur Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation.


Who is the Founder?Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - The Founder

Doris Christopher is the businesswoman who has founded Pampered Chef company in 1980 in the basement of her suburban Chicago home.

She also was a Chief Executive Officer of the company and was a member of the board of directors within the Direct Selling Association.

Christopher has also worked with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and as a high school home economics teacher.

She has appeared on various television programs, including Oprah and NBC Weekend Today, and is an author of several publications where she shares the secret of her success, as well as educates American women about kitchen tools.


What is Pampered Chef’s Financial Situation?

Throughout the years of operation, Pampered Chef managed to see some great success in business. But in the last 5 years, according to BusinessForHome.org, its revenue has been constantly declining.

It dropped from $320 mln in 2015 to $280 mln in 2018. Thankfully, in 2019, it remained at the same level as in 2018.

I’m not sure what could be the issue but most definitely there’s something going wrong with this company.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Financial Situation

 

But I don’t want to be that negative here and I understand that every company has its ups and downs. And this is not the worst financial situation I’ve seen in the MLM industry.

The worst I’ve seen since I’m reviewing MLM business opportunities on this blog was at Zija International MLM.


What Are Pampered Chef Products?

Pampered Chef offers a line of kitchen tools, food products, and cookbooks for preparing food in the home.

Basically, everything you need in the kitchen is included here: from kitchen appliances to vinegar, oils, and proteins.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - The Products

 

They also offer some products to help transport some of their products and gardening tools.


Does Pampered Chef Products Worth the Price?

The whole mission at Pampered Chef is to help customers create a better experience in the kitchen using modern kitchen appliances and utensils that are made to last and of good quality.

First of all, let’s see what are the price points at Pampered Chef.

Taking into consideration that Pampered Chef has a variety of products for the kitchen, the prices are different, starting from $20 for kitchen accessories like, let’s say, cutting boards, and all the way up to $496 for a knife set.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Pricey Products

 

Could you find the same quality product at a better price? I bet you can!

For example, this 7-piece knife set from the renown German brand Wusthof which anyone can buy from Amazon costs only $150:

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Industry Competitors Have Better Prices

 

As long as industry competitors are offering the same quality products for a better price, it’ll be difficult for you to sell Pampered Chef products. 

Now, let’s check out if Pampered Chef products are as good as they claim them to be? The best way to find this out is to see what people are saying about them.

One thing that caught my attention is the average customer rating posted on the Pampered Chef’s official website:

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Average Customer Rating

 

If we sum up the number of people who have voted 4 and 5 stars, we’ll get only 767 people.

But when we sum up the number of people who have given the lowest rating – 1, 2 and 3 stars, we’ll get 1581 people. So, it’s obvious that the majority of people aren’t that satisfied with Pampered Chef products.

Well, I appreciate the fact that, at least, Pampered Chef doesn’t try to hide what are the real ratings for their products. Some of the other MLMs don’t even have a form on their website where people could fill in their real opinions about the products while posting fake reviews. 

You can find plenty of negative reviews with regards to Pampered Chef products. Here’s just one of them:

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Negative Reviews


How Much Does it Cost to Join Pampered Chef?

Most of the MLMs usually have start-up costs that you have to pay when you join them. These come in the form on an annual registration fee, and a set of products called “Starter Kits”.

Speaking of Pampered Chef, they’ve saved you the registration fee but don’t forgive you the Starter kits. There are 3 options you can choose from:

  1. The Starter kit – $99
  2. The Deluxe kit – $159
  3. The Ultimate kit – $259

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Consultant Kits

 

Even though I’m not a fan of paying companies for the right to promote their products (did you know that in affiliate marketing, you’re free to promote many companies’ products completely free of charge?), still I believe the price for the Pampered Chef’s Starter kits is not that high, taking into consideration that these goes as an investment in a business.

Again, I’ve seen MLMs like Matilda Jane, or Enagic Kangen Water that have way too higher start-up costs.


How to Make Money With Pampered Chef?

The way the selling process is organized at Pampered Chef is representatives coming directly to customers’ doors to educate them about such tools and equipment that could make cooking easier.

Most of the time though it’s made through in-person cooking parties and online or virtual parties.

If you wonder what a cooking party is, then according to the Pampered Chef official website: “A cooking party is a consultant-led, in-person party held in someone’s home (your host).

You share how Pampered Chef products and recipes make cooking quicker and more enjoyable (often in less than 30 minutes!)”.

So, that’s a kind of party with the main aim to showcase and hopefully, sell the product. You and your host should typically provide the party location, groceries, and guest list, as well as the cooking experience and the fun.

A virtual party is a convenient alternative to in-person parties since lots of people have busy schedules nowadays to have time to meet in person.

Like in the case of in-person cooking parties, during a virtual party, which usually takes place on Facebook, you share products, recipes, and tips, and sometimes offers fun giveaways.

To give you an idea of what it takes to organize a virtual party on Facebook, watch this Youtube video from Pampered Chef:

 

 

If you manage to sell any product during these parties, you are going to earn 20% commissions on every sale.

Your commission can increase based on your sales volume. The biggest commission you can get at Pampered Chef is 27%.

Hosts are rewarded as well. Here’s a list of perks they get, but only if a party has met a minimum of guest sales:

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Host's Perks

 

If you decide to build your team of consultants (your downline), you can earn an additional 3% commission from your team sales.

This is where it helps get the structure of a pyramid: it always starts out with one person and spreads down to more.


Does Pampered Chef Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?

In a few words, yes, it does.

When you buy one of the Pampered Chef’s Starter kits, you get a business in a box with everything you need, such as catalogs, starter recipes, your apron, and your website.

But before you get excited about the opportunity of having your own website that sells products people need and use every day, I’d like to make you think critically and see what kind of website you are getting.

Having a business that is live online 24/7 is vital nowadays but not all websites are created equal.

What you’ll get with your Pampered Chef membership is only a replicated version of their main official website.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Replicated Website

 

What this means is that visually, it will not differ at all from the main website, or from other Pampered Chef consultants.

These replicated websites are created automatically and the only thing that differentiates these websites one from each other is a little snippet of code that you’ll see in your browser. And that’s basically it.

The big question is how your replicated website is going to stand out from the rest of the replicated websites created for people who have signed up before you?

Why do people need to buy from you and not from millions of websites out there?

Your replicated website will not explain this to anyone, and it will not reflect your personality, nor will tell a story.

People tend to buy from trustful sources and if your website is not creating trust, you are going to face hard times online.

Another question is how your replicated website is supposed to drive traffic? You’d better ask this question your mentor but I assume that these replicated websites aren’t optimized for SEO, or might be, to a very insignificant extent.

In this case, you’d need to constantly drive traffic to it either manually (which is a lot of work every day), or through paid advertisement (which could be very expensive if you aren’t sure how to do it right).


Is Pampered Chef Legitimate?

Finally, we have come to the main question of this post, right? Here’s the truth.

Pampered Chef is not a scam, or by any means a pyramid scheme.

It’s a legitimate business since they are offering real products for sale. So, if you join Pampered Chef, you’re going to sell physical products to your customers, in other words, offering some value for the money. 

But the problem is that it’s extremely difficult to make money in an MLM. Usually, they offer overpriced products and you can definitely find analogs on the market for a fraction of the cost. 

Speaking of Pampered Chef, like any other MLM, it has a pyramid structure at its core and this brings a flow of commissions from the bottom to the top.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Only Those at the Top Are Happy

 

There are always going to be more people at the bottom of the pyramid than at the top.

And these people will be having potential commissions sucked away from them, which end up in the pockets of those above them.

This is the reason a small percentage of people make good money while most fail.


How Much Money Can You Make With Pampered Chef?

Or, put it another way, can you make any money at all, with Pampered Chef?

Taking into consideration that there were plenty of studies made which showed that, instead of making money with MLMs, most people lose money.

To answer this question, it helps a lot to have a look at Pampered Chef’s Income Disclosure Statement. This is a document that shows how much money actual Pampered Chef representatives are making, on average. 

Unfortunately, no document of this kind is publicly available, as of the date of writing this post. If you eventually find it, please share it with me in the comments section to this post. 

The unavailability of this document is a red flag for me. If Pampered Chef business opportunity would be that great as they want you and me to believe, why wouldn’t they show us the income potential?

I assume that in reality, most people aren’t making a decent amount of money.

I doubt that Pampered Chef is any different from the rest of MLMs, where less than 1% of consultants are making a full-time income. 


The Good and The Bad

PROs

#1. Good Warranty Periods

Pampered Chef is proud to offer products that are backed with a lifetime warranty (cutlery and cookware), while some of the other products are coming with a warranty period of up to 5 years, including a free 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy.


Recommended Read: What is Royal Prestige? – Can You Make Money Selling Kitchen Appliances and Cookware?

Is Cutco a Scam? – Can You Make Money Selling Kitchen Knives?


#2. No Inventory or Delivery

You don’t have to deal with stashing inventory in your basement or closet. Pampered Chef will take care of delivering the products directly to your customers.

#3. Easy to Understand Compensation Plan

I believe this is what makes Pampered Chef stand apart from the rest MLM companies which tend to make you lost when you go through their business plans.

No translator is needed to read and comprehend the Pampered Chef Compensation Plan which they’ve managed to fit into 2 pages only.


CONs

#1. Lots of Complaints

What I learned about Pampered Chef when preparing to write this review is that the company and the products used to be better.

I don’t know what happened but nowadays, Pampered Chef receives a ton of complaints from dissatisfied customers.

You can find different reasons for people to complain about like poor customer service, products out of stock too often, delayed delivery, and even unauthorized payment (bank account charged but the person didn’t order anything from this company).

Here’s a screenshot of just one of these complaints:

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Complaints

 

When a company is having such issues, there is no guarantee that if you become a business representative for Pampered Chef, your customers will not face the same problems.

And when they do, they are more likely to switch and buy from another company (thank God nowadays we have plenty of choices), which means for you losing your customers, and respectively, revenue.

#2. Monthly Sales Requirement

In order to maintain your status as a Pampered Chef consultant, there’s a minimum sales quota you’d need to meet.

If you can’t do that, there’s nothing in it for you, sorry.

 

Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? - Minimum Sales Requirement

 

#3. Expensive Products

With the abundance of products available to us on the market, we as customers have plenty of choices within any budgets.

Given the fact that Pampered Chef offers way more pricey products than its competitors, it makes the selling process more difficult than it really is. 


My Final Opinion About Pampered Chef + A Better Alternative

To conclude all I have said in this post, Pampered Chef is not the worst MLM out there but I can’t recommend it as a worthwhile business opportunity.

There’s a lot of effort to put in it, for a return you don’t even know what to expect. 

In fact, it’s already clear that only a few people who are at the top of these companies are making money, off of the efforts of those who are at the bottom. 

Let me tell you that building your own business shouldn’t be that frustrating if this is something that you are looking to.

All you need is a step-by-step training program that shows you the way and eliminates all the guesswork. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to build a profitable internet marketing business: 24/7 support, a keyword research tool, an affiliate programs research too, and even website hosting is included. 

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Here you have it, my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and it has given you an answer to the question: Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts or questions. If you have any, please leave them in the comments section down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll talk to you within my next post very soon!

Best Wishes to you,

Natalie

Pampered Chef

$99
5.7

Product

8.0/10

Support

6.0/10

Opportunity

3.0/10

Pros

  • Good Warranty Periods
  • No Inventory or Delivery
  • Easy to Understand Compensation Plan

Cons

  • Lots of Complaints
  • Monthly Sales Requirement
  • Expensive Products

10 thoughts on “Is Pampered Chef a Pyramid Scheme? – Read This First Before You Join It! [Honest Review]”

  1. I agree that it is so hard to make money with an MLM company. I’ve been there, and it was terrible.

    You put more money in than you get out. I agree that affiliate marketing is the way to go. It’s a great way to make money online.

    And while I would never say it is easy, I definitely think it’s easier to make money with affiliate marketing than with an MLM company like Pampered Chef.

    Thanks for the Pampered Chef review, I think it will really benefit those who might be considering getting a side hustle. Plus, thanks for offering a much better alternative.

    Reply
    • Hi, Erika, thank you for dropping by.

      I’m sorry to hear that working in MLM was an awful experience for you too. I also know how it feels. We are just one of many people who have the same experience and the same feelings.

      Luckily, it’s not the end of world where there are so much better alternatives.

      Wish you a lot of online success!

      Cheers,

      Natalie

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the post. Well done. I have spent too much time in the MLM world thinking I would find a way to make it work… always looking for a secret way that would be duplicatable. I always hated the way most of these companies expected you to recruit… inviting you to the no friends left club.

    This MLM, in particular, seems difficult. It would be tough to sell these products every month to get a small percentage.

    At least with supplements, you get people on autoship to help build your quota. I do know a company that doesn’t do quotas, but they are struggling to grow.

    Reply
    • Hi, Brian,

      Thank you for dropping by.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve spent too much time working in an MLM. At the end of the day, time is the most precious asset we have, and unfortunately, it’s not unlimited.

      Reply
  3. MLM is not for everyone. Even I tried my luck with it and failed. I realized you have to be a people’s person and a lot of persuasive skills to become successful.

    Money is another important factor. In many cases, the upfront investment is way too much and that also you are not sure whether will you get a return on your investment or not.

    I am happy that I realized it soon and didn’t waste much of my time and money on this. Affiliate Marketing is the best option to me.

    Reply
    • Hi, Neel,

      Welcome here and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I agree that there’s a need for certain skills in order to be successful in MLM. While some of them could be developed, still there are some that are connected to your personality which is most of the time difficult to change.

      Reply
  4. Ooooof. I’ve never been super into Pampered Chef, although I am one 🙂 I’ve always considered them sort of ..cheap quality? I guess.

    I appreciated your honest review, though, and also your consistency in your presentation of data. 🙂

    MLM’s are such a complicated thing – for some small few, they’re great, but for others, they’re a nightmare of manipulation and a money sink. 🙁 This was a much more fair article than I may have been able to write. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi, Hilary, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Indeed, the MLM business model is the one that’s super difficult to implement and make money off, for so many people around the world.

      Because only those at the top are making some good money, it creates the feeling that it’s beneficial only to those people. While the rest are struggling and wondering what’s wrong?

      Reply
  5. I have to agree that MLM is a very difficult model and only a few ever make big money from it.

    I joined an MLM company a few years ago, and while the products were first class, I received little support as a distributor.

    Pampered Chef doesn’t sound like a very good company, especially with so many negative reviews.

    I agree that affiliate marketing is by far the best option. Through consistent hard work and proper training, you can create a successful online business.

    Reply
    • Hi, Kathy,

      Thank you for dropping by and offering your opinion, I appreciate that.

      In order to be able to make money, you need to offer a good quality product available at a competitive price.

      While products in MLMs are most of the time overpriced and it’s difficult to make people switch buying from the shops they used to.

      Reply

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