Multi-level marketing companies come in all sizes and formats.
Some have a complex offer, while others are a straight up pyramid schemes.
Rodan and Fields MLM is a type of a business that stirs much controversy.
But is it legit to call Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme and write it off?
Well, give it a moment before you pass judgment.
Initially, I thought it might be a scam and my first impression is wrong. Rodan and Fields is not a scam. There are people who have negative things to say about it, which truth to be told, is the case for any business out there.
But, Rodan & Fields, in reality, is a legitimate business.
It is, however, a business with very limited earning possibilities and certain false advertising claims. That is why it has such mixed reception.
Let’s get into more details.
Rodan And Fields Company
Rodan and Fields company dates back to 1995.
Back then, two college graduates, Rodan and Fields, decided to start a line of dermatology products.
During the 90s, they came up with a bunch of unique skincare products, and have done fairly well in that department.
In the next seven years, they went on to create even more products and start a company.
That’s how Rodan and Fields company was born. Back then, there were no claims about Rodan and Fields’ being a pyramid scheme.
However, pyramid schemes were not well recognized back in the 90s and 00s. Only in the last couple of years, people have started uncovering them and placing blame on the creators of such companies.
I’ve tried to do my part in uncovering a bunch of scams like Home Profit System or Cash For Patriots Program, which you can read on my blog.
Aside from that, Rodan & Fields scam claims came much later once they established the MLM model of the company.
Foundation & Company System
There is no mistake about Rodan and Fields’ MLM model of operations. It is something they advertise and show as their competitive advantage.
However, that doesn’t necessarily make Rodan and Fields a scam.
Rather than a company built on MLM system, the problem lies in their commission structure as well as overall earning possibility.
Same like any other MLM (and we all know a bunch like Herbalife, Juice Plus, Cutco), the only people who get rich or even making a decent income are the ones close to the top of the pyramid.
It’s also a well known fact; Rodan & Fields program offer one of the lowest sales commissions in the MLM game.
Thus, your earning potential comes with limitations from the moment you start working with the company.
Another pressing issue is that you have to make an initial investment in packages and a starter kit.
That’s never good news; if someone offers you an opportunity to make money, there shouldn’t be an upfront investment required from you.
Besides that, there are a lot of bad customer reviews on the Rodan and Fields products.
These issues reduce your capability of earning money, and you have no ability to control the quality of the products you are selling.
All of this puts them very close to being dishonest and not an ideal business to work with.
However, eveything that company does is legal. At the moment of writing this, there is not a single illegal action against Rodan and Fields company.
That puts them in the clear, at least regarding some stuff. Money that people do make through their company is being paid out. There are no known class action lawsuits.
While it is legal, Rodan and Fields could do lot more to help their members increase revenue.
Is Rodan And Fields A Pyramid Scheme?
Quite frankly, yes, Rodan and Fields is a pyramid scheme. It is not an illegal pyramid scheme, but the operational business model leaves a lot to be desired.
How do they operate?
Same as any other MLM, Rodan and Fields operates based on members entering the company through invitations and recruitment received from other members who joined the company before them.
When a new member joins the company, he/she is instructed to purchase a specific line of skin care products and a kit. A member that invited them gets a small percentage of that sale.
Most people do not see the real problem behind MLM; and I am not saying that this way of doing business is illegal (hence why Rodan and Fields is not a scam).
Most common logic is that if you are already a buying a line of products, like skincare, you might as well buy it from a friend.
But you should know that those products will come at a significantly higher markup due to having members taking sale commissions.
Even though you might be happy to buy a line of products and have your friend make a living, you should know that only 25% of all MLM sellers turn a profit. And the tiniest percentage of them come close to making a decent living.
According to the report from 2018, 90% of Rodan & Fields members had a negative income report.
There is a reason for that outcome and you need to be well aware of it before you start doing any type of work with this company, be it as a member or a customer.
MLM Dreams & Downsides
The core of any MLM business is the dream of making passive income.
Every MLM promises the same; set up a network of buyers, and a network of members below you who will sell the product. At the same time, you will be making commissions from direct sales, as well as sales made by members you recruited.
In its essence, this business model does make sense, but it always fails to provide.
There’s only a tiny portion that you can control; people that you recruit are likely inexperienced sellers who will quit selling when they don’t manage to hit their goals.
There’s no stability, and the income you might be getting is very varied.
You also need a ton of sales experience, and you need to battle the reputation of MLM being a scam, which is well established among people. You also have no control of the product quality (which we will discuss as well).
Once you put all of that together, you realize that your efforts might be better spent elsewhere.
But if you are still not convinced, let’s look at Rodan and Fields even more.
How Do You Work With Rodan and Fields?
Through Rodan and Fields, you can buy portfolio (one time purchase) and product sets (ongoing).
The portfolio is the first purchase you have to make to start working with the company.
In it, there is elementary information about the company and the way they operate. You should use it to learn about the company and make your first step as a salesman.
Then, you start with the actual product sets.
These sets are the core of the business. In the sets are various skincare products you can order for sale. The company leaves it up to you to decide which products you want to sell.
Buying the portfolio kit is basically paying the company, Rodan & Fields, to teach you the basics of sales. You can get it for 45$ and it is a necessary purchase to start selling their other products (red flag).
If you have any sales skills in your arsenal, this portfolio has little to offer.
These documents aim to appease people with no experience or skills.
Product sets are the primary way to earn money.
They may differ depending on when you start working with the company.
However, there are an elementary set of products that you can find and sell.
The starting price of the product set is around 400$.
If you fail to sell the whole set, you pay for the products you didn’t sell.
So, it is a necessity to network with customers and recruit and immediately sell the products (another red flag).
The problem here is that you need more than a set of 400$ to make a living, as you can guess, and your margin will be extremely low.
Rodan And Fields Customer Reviews
Most Rodan and Fields reviews talk about the same issues I listed above.
Most reviews talk about the problem with the pyramid structure of the business.
Yet, no person can say that the company didn’t pay their money, so it remains a legal venture you can decide to try.
However, that positive fact is minuscule compared to other well known issues about the company.
Another well known problem with Rodan and Fields are the products and its quality.
There are now several claims that Rodan and Fields products contain cancerogenic chemicals. Luckily for you, I’ve done the research to find out some of the ingredients they put in their skin care products:
- Retinyl Palmitate
A bunch of these have been proven to be cancerogenic, and they’ve been banned from use in a number of countries.
Aside from products being overpriced, they are not proving to be safe to use.
Pros And Cons
The pros of working with the company are very few. If you have a built audience on social media, or you are a well known influencer, then you are likely to be able to make SOME money by selling Rodan & Fields products.
One could argue that, if you already have a built audience, there are much better opportunities and ways to make money than joining an MLM.
And if you lack an audience and a network, your chances to earn with Rodan and Fields significantly decrease.
You should also keep in mind a health part of it; using and selling products that contain certain cancerogenic properties might not end well for you.
There is also a financial risk in selling products of another company, since there are no fixed paycheck or a salary coming your way.
While you get to arrange your work hours, you have to calculate the risk and profit. If you think you can make it, you can always give Rodan and Fields a try.
But we also recommend looking for platforms that are legit, even if they seem like a lot more work. Try leveraging some of your actual skills, like a skill to write content.
You don’t need to be Hemingway to make money writing content online.
You only need to know the basics, and along with decent research skills, you can make a good buck off of platforms like Writers Work.
Bottom Line – Is Rodan And Fields Legitimate?
Rodan and Fields can offer you a chance to earn money, but your time is better spent elsewhere, likely with a company that doesn’t use an MLM system.
Investing money initially to earn money is just one of many red flags that I have pointed out in this article.
Joining Rodan and Fields as a member might have potential as a side hustle. You can also develop your sales, marketing, and networking skills, and have a peek into how this world operates.
But I’d love to make an argument you should do that with a company that is not built on an MLM model.