Is Tupperware A Pyramid Scheme Scam?
If you found this article searching the web, chances are you may have been considering joining Tupperware as a consultant, but were concerned that it may be a scam or a pyramid scheme.
Tupperware is a multi-level-marketing business, or an MLM. Often MLM’s are compared to pyramid schemes and in some cases, they can become indistinguishable.
When an MLM becomes a pyramid scheme, legal action can be taken to shut them down.
However, this legal process can be complicated and revealing an MLM to be a pyramid scheme, can also be a complex process.
As such, many MLM businesses do slip through the net, even when they are little more than recruitment schemes.
While many MLM’s can be critiscised on many levels, I wouldn’t personally brand them all pyramid schemes, (although vocal critics certainly do).
Many MLM’s have tried to escape the controversy of multi-level-marketing by choosing to refer to themselves in other ways, such as “network marketing.” Or sometimes changing the typical MLM structure.
I wrote a post discussing the difference between an MLM and a pyramid scheme here.
Is Tupperware a pyramid scheme? No, it’s a long withstanding multi-level marketing business. But that doesn’t mean you should necessarily jump at this opportunity and I will explain why as I go on.
- For an alternative to joining an MLM company – try this instead.
What Is Tupperware About?
Earl Tupper founded this company all the way back in 1946. It’s a Wordwide recognised brand and a multi-million dollar company.
By way of distribution, they sell their Tupperware products via home parties. This is where consultants can throw parties in their homes, or in other peoples homes and sell Tupperware products for a profit.
As this is an MLM business, they may also choose to introduce other people into the business and can make some profit from each recruit they bring in too.
I haven’t seen much regarding Tupperware parties myself for many years – actually, I remember it was something I heard of more frequently when I was a child.
More recently, I hear more of parties selling cooking products more generally, such as another MLM that become popular called pampered chef.
kitchen supplies can be bought so easily everywhere and so cheaply online, but the home party does have a different appeal.
If something is being demonstrated well and people have gone to a home party intentionally to see it, people will feel more compelled to buy something.
These kinds of prodcts will have plenty of appeal to many people and I imagine particularly housewives and parents who are looking for good food storage solutions.
Who Is Tupperware For?
This company would primarily appeal to mothers at home who are looking to make a bit of additional income and increase their social circle.
Thankfully, the products would also appeal to people in this category.
This business would appeal to someone who is very social in nature and enjoys talking to people.
If you’re a natural communicator and thrive being around other people, then this could be something you’d enjoy.
Some multi-level-marketing companies try and sell their “opportunity.” as one that will bring you wealth and financial freedom.
There can be considerable hype involved. However, thankfully this isn’t so much the case with Tupperware.
Certainly, some of their consultants do talk about how you can potentially make a six figure income selling Tupperware ….and this is misleading.
since the mass majority won’t even be making a part-time income joining this business, (I will explain further in a moment!).
Primarily, this business is about sharing and selling products that you use yourself and have a passion for – by sharing these products with others, you can make a profit.
By bringing other people in to do their own home parties, you can also make a small amount from their sales. If your recruits bring in more people, you can also earn a percentage of THEIR sales too, several levels deep.
However, if you’re not a super extroverted type that would love hosting Tupperware parties, Tupperware have recognised the power of social media and the internet in general when it comes to sales opportunities and you can also create online social media parties, such as on Facebook.
How Much Does It Cost?
Tupperware only costs $99 to join. Some MLM’s cost hundreds, or even thousands to get started – as well as ongoing monthly, or quarterly orders and payments.
So, this is a very small amount to invest to get your foot on the ladder.
They also give you the opportunity to only pay $39 initially. If you manage to make $1000 within your first 60 days as a Tupperware consultant, they will pay that additional $60 for you.
In order to remain an active seller with Tupperware, you will need to be making $250 worth of sales minimum every quarter.
But if you aren’t making more than this, there is very little motivation for you to continue. This is a fair and acheiveable target for anyone starting out.
That $250 target can also include Tupeprware that you buy for yourself. So, it’s not something I’d be concerned about.
Tupperware Products And Cost:
Tupperware have a decent range of products. Browsing their website, I can see a large range of storage products, (as expected) but there were also products that I did not expect Tupperware to sell – such as mandolins, tumblers and baking sets.
MLM’s in general are always going to have products that are more expensive and in the age of Amazon and online stores, it can be a challenge for consultants to sell products that can easily be bought elsewhere for a cheaper price.
What Tupperware does have as an advantage is it’s reputation and quality products.
It also makes a big difference when you’re actually at one of these home parties and someone is putting on a good demonstration.
They’re not going to be there checking on their phone whether they can pick up a better deal, (well, probably not anyway).
How Much Can You Earn With Tupperware?
The first thing to note is that you get a 25% discount on any Tupperware products that you buy for yourslef.
You will also get a 25% commission on any of the products that you sell. 25% is really decent, so many MLM’s will offer you considerably less than this and you can imagine that you would not have to make an unrealistic amount of sales in order to make a healthy profit here.
You can also earn an additional 5% on top, if you exceed $1,500 in a month and even more if you go way beyond this.
You can check out the video below to watch a consultant talk about how much you could potentially be paid. Naturally, this lady is hoping you’ll join her team, but the video is clear and to the point.
Depending on what rank you are within the company, you can also expect to achieve some additional bonuses.
But these will all depend on you bringing others into the business too and building your downline.
There are many additional levels you can strive for if you want to progress in the business, including the director rank and the star director rank but I won’t confuse you explaining all the details of this now and it’s unimportant getting started – simply, the higher your rank, the greater benefits you will ultimately achieve.
Tupperware Income Disclosure:
If you take a look at the Tupperware income disclosure for Canada, which was released in 2016 – you will see that 49% of all active consultants made LESS than $500 in the previous year.
A further 47.88% are inactive and made little over $20 between 2015/2016.
You can see further details in the table below and you can see that it’s only the top 1% that are really making any reasonable money.
While this doesn’t mean that you cannot do well as a Tupperware consultant, it does show that the mass majoirty of people that do sign up – do not make even a part-time income, let alone full time wage.
The above disclosure looks very similar to every MLM income disclosure I’ve seen before, with only a minute percentage making a good amount of money.
However, Tupperware don’t promise you riches and fortune for signing up with them, (which is the style with many other MLM’s out there) and there is some good feedback from consultants.
In reality, a majority of peope sign up for these things on a whim and don’t really end up taking it seriously, or figure out that it’s not just not their thing.
It is extremely hard work to be successful within any MLM and harder to still to maintain it once you’ve built a downline, because the drop out rate is so high.
This means, you’ll need to constantly be on the look out for more people to join your business.
MLM’s just aren’t for the majority, but a very small percentage can do very well.
PROS VS CONS
PROS – What I liked!
- Well established brand.
- Quality products.
- Could be a fun way to make some extra money, for the right type of person.
- Large emphasis on direct product sales, not just focussed on recruiting others into the business.
- Lifetime warranty on products.
CONS – What I didn’t like!
- A majoirty of people that join this business will not make either a reasonable part time, nor full time income. It’s the case with any MLM that the top 1% are making money, the rest are not.
- I couldn’t see a full compensation plan via their website.
- As with most MLM’s, they teach you to approach your firends and family first. I dislike this approach; as this can alienate you from the people most important to you and has put a strain on many a relationship.
- Big emphasis on home parties, perhaps should be more of a transition to online.
Conclusion: Is Tupperware a Pyramid Scheme Scam?
Tupperware is not a pyramid scheme. They are a well trusted brand and a good company.
As a mother who is somewhat obsessed with food storage…. (I know I’m not alone) I have no doubt that a highly driven and motivated individual, could do well in selling these products.
Anything Kitchen and cooking related is very much my thing. So, this is something I can relate to.
But if it’s not something that you can imagine selling to others and being passionate about, then this probably isn’t the business opportunity for you.
I’m not a big fan of multi-level-marketing businesses normally, but I do rarely come across MLM businesses that I can appreciate and this is one of those.
The problem is, most people that get into this business won’t have any internet marketing experience and this could make ALL the difference in terms of making this a profitable business.
For example; I can imagine that having a niche blog based on kitchen equipement/cooking and a related YouTube channel would be a good way to drive sales.
Throwing home parties is never something that I could do personally. I’m an introvert at heart and largely, prefer working on my own or in a small group.
I also prefer working from home, (but wouldn’t want to be throwing home parties in mine!).
That’s why I decided that working online from my laptop was what would suit me down to the ground. Get started here.
Do you have any experience selling Tupperware? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below!
All the best,