Welcome to my Rodan and Fields review where I will share my opinion whether or not Rodan and Fields, in particular, the business opportunity, is a scam.
A lot has been said on the internet about this MLM company which sells high-end anti-aging skincare products. So I wanted to check Rodan and Fields out for myself.
I have been involved in the direct selling marketing industry for a few years (not anymore though) and know what to look out for to identify scams or companies that are not worth your time and money.
It became quickly clear to me that Rodan and Fields main focus is on recruiting so chances are you are reading this article to find out more about the business opportunity.
And yes, you need to do your due diligence and do your research before joining any MLM company.
Read more about my #1 recommended business here. No sales and no recruiting required!
Here are twelve facts you need to know about Rodan and Fields before you decide whether or not to join them
I hope it will help you in making a decision if it is worth getting involved with this MLM company.
#1How It All Started – Some Background Info
Rodan and Fields were initially launched in 2002 by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathie Fields as an anti-aging skincare range to be sold in department stores.
A year later, in 2003, the R+F company was purchased by Estée Lauder, only to be bought back by Rodan and Fields four years later.
For various reasons, they transitioned their brand from being sold in department stores to the Multi-Level Marketing business structure.
Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathie Fields are hugely successful and reputable dermatologists who also had developed the Proactive skincare range way before bringing their anti-aging skin care products on the market.
I wished I could say the same about the Rodan and Fields business model. But too often their business model has been criticized as very close to a pyramid scheme. (source: Wikipedia) More about it later.
Rodan+Fields expanded their business and has been available in Canada since 2015, and Australia since 2017.
#2 All Natural Products – Say What?
If you are looking for natural products that don’t contain any nasty chemicals than R+F is not for you.
There is a long list of ingredients that can be found in all of their four different skin care regimes which by the way are expensive too.
The products are aimed at women who face skin care challenges like dark spots, acne, dry skin, fine line, and wrinkles.
It seems like that a lot of their customers are also women whose skin has changed due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The skin care regimes are called: Redefine, Reverse, Soothe, and Unblemish.
According to Euromonitor, R+F is the most popular skincare brand in North America in terms of sales, beating Neutrogena and Olay.
Well, in order for the products to work as promised, you are strongly advised to purchase the whole regimen so therefore the sales will be higher than just ordering a set of day and night cream.
#3 Headlines For The Wrong Reasons
Lately, R+F has been making headlines for the wrong reasons. One of their popular products, the Lash Boost serum which sells for $150 contains a chemical called isopropyl cloprostenate.
This chemical is used to treat glaucoma and the R+F failed to disclose this key ingredient to their customers. As a matter of fact, this ingredient isn’t allowed in cosmetics in Canada so therefore can’t be sold and marketed over there.
Isopropyl cloprostenate can cause serious side effects like loss of eyelash hair, itchy eyes, and eyelid dropping.
R+F is facing now “a federal class-action lawsuit accusing it of violating state consumer protection laws and engaging in fraudulent and unfair marketing of its Lash Boost eye serum.” (source: CBSNews)
My advice is to be very careful if you wish to try out the Lash Boost serum. It might be better to invest in a high-quality mascara,
#4 The Satisfaction Guarantee
R+F offers a 60-day money back guarantee and offers a full refund if you are not fully satisfied with the product.
#5 Who Wants To Be A R+F Consultant
You can become an R+F consultant for as little as $45 by purchasing a Business portfolio that basically gives you an overview of the companies mission, the doctor’s mandate on skincare, and a guide on how to start your business.
But if you are serious about the business opportunity, there is no way around in purchasing one of their product business kits.
You can choose from three.
The first one is called the Personal Results Kit and costs $395 (as seen on the picture above). The kit contains
- The business portfolio
- The REDEFINE regime plus one regimen of your choice
- ESSENTIALS daily body moisturizer
- Body Sunscreen SPF 30
- REDEFINE Eye clothes
- ESSENTIALS Maximum D3 Vitamin D supplement
If you’d like to spend $695 you can get the Big Business Launch Kit which includes all four regimens plus one more of your choice.
The last and most expensive one is the RF Express Business Kit for $995. You can read the full list of products here.
#6 Any Additional Costs
To be counted as an active consultant, you need to have at least a $100 Sales volume per month which can easily be reached by purchasing $80 worth of personal products each month and paying for your personal website and back office which costs an additional $24.95. It is called the PULSE subscription.
If you want to avoid making personal purchases you can always, of course, sell products to customers.
The next step from being an active consultant is to qualify as an Executive Consultant. But if you want to receive commissions on team sales etc. you need to achieve at least $ 600 Personally Sponsored Qualifying Volume. Well, that is quite a mouthful.
Which brings me to the compensation plan.
#7 Show Me The Money – The Compensation Plan
I have to be honest with you. As much as I tried to understand the Rodan and Fields compensation plan I had to give up in the end. It is way too complicated – just looking at all the lingo they are using gave me a headache.
All up, there are 11 ranks one can achieve, starting as a consultant, active consultant, and Executive consultant. Moving up the ranks depends on how many consultants you sponsor and if they also qualify for a certain rank.
Rodan and Fields claim that you can earn money in five different ways.
These five ways only apply only to higher ranks e.g. from Level II Executive.
Read the full compensation plan here.
The essence of the compensation plan for me is that it is hugely excessive in terms of how many levels (or generations) deep one can get paid.
Climbing up the ‘ladder’ depends not only on the numbers of people you are recruiting but also on the performance of your downline.
#8 Can You Earn Money With R+F
So here are the commissions you can earn at a glance:
- 25% – 30% on direct sales
- 15% on your direct consultants, but only 10% if you don’t reach $100 SV and $600 PSQV
- 5% on your team beneath your direct consultants depending on the level you are at
Looking at the income statement from 2017 it doesn’t look like there is much money to be made even though the percentage of possible commissions looks impressive.
Consultants who have started years ago with R+F may have been able to reach the higher ranks. But with most MLM companies’ only a small percentage make it to the top.
There are just so many people one can recruit into their downline. According to the companies income disclosure statement, only 50% of active consultants earned more than $654/ annually.
These numbers don’t take any expenses paid by the consultant into account.
#9 Lead The Way And Spark – Get A Fast Start
Yes, there is a fast start program called ‘Spark’ where new consultants are encouraged to qualify in the first three months from an active consultant to a Level II consultant and earn cash bonuses along the way.
While doing so the consultant can earn miles and exchange them for gifts they can choose.
Here is a video that tells you more about these incentive programs.
# 10 Is There Any Training?
Well, that is an interesting one. There is not much I have found about training for new consultants. It looks like you getting thrown into the deep end here.
You may be better off signing up with Arbonne, EVER Skincare or Mary Kay if MLM is what you’d like to do.
Unless you have had experience in an MLM company before, you may know a few things about direct selling and how to recruit new consultants.
But with Rodan and Fields, there is not much to be seen in terms of providing training to their sales force.
All I could find was that consultants can listen to weekly training courses provided by high achievers in the company.
What puzzled me also was that if you qualify to a Level II consultant than you get access to certain training modules. Really?
But what if you are a new consultant who has never heard of sales techniques, overcoming objections by customers, etc, etc?
Without proper training, failure and not reaching your goals is nearly inevitable for most people.
#11 How Do You Even Sell The Products?
Rodan and Fields offer a reward program for customers which they call PC Perks short for Preferred Customer Perks. This is basically an auto-ship option where customers pay a one-off fee of $19.95 and receive their chosen products every 60 days with a 10% discount.
The minimum subscription order is $80. Apparently, you can cancel at any time. But that is another story. See #12 common complaints.
Anyway, so a new consultant should try to get as many preferred customers enrolled as possible because that means commission payments on a constant basis.
But how the consultant is supposed to do this is not clear to me.
Do you hold presentations? But what are the rewards for the hostess?
Do you share via social media? But what are the tools R+F provides?
Do you talk to friends, family, neighbors, and hope for the best?
#12 Common Complaints
When I research an MLM company, one of my resources to get a good overview of a particular company is the Better Business Bureau.
At first glance, everything seems to be okay with a business rating of A+ and zero complaints about Rodan and Fields.
Until I had a closer look at the 103 customer reviews. Why these ones are not rated as complaints is a miracle to me.
There is clearly a pattern to see on what people are complaining about. Most concerning is the fact that in many cases the credit cards of people were charged with huge amounts of money for orders they have never placed.
We are talking about lumps sums of around $700 and more in most cases.
Here is what Rodan and Fields have to say:
“It appears you were the victim of credit card theft and someone outside the company attempted to create an account in your name. We closed the account and removed all information. Rodan + Fields does not engage in fraudulent activity and takes each complaint very seriously. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.” (source: BBB)
Wow, and this happened over and over again! How scary and frustrating for the victims. How can it be that credit card theft just seemed to be happening with Rodan and Fields?
Another common complaint is that people who ordered a regimen or other products did not know that they had signed up for the preferred customer program which means receiving an order every 60 days.
It was difficult for these people to cancel the auto-ship order. They also reported bad customer service.
Last but not least, there were also complaints regarding the Lash Boost Serum with reports of itchy eyes, and loss of eyelash hair.
So again, how Rodan and Fields got an A+ rating with such serious complaints is unclear to me.
Overall, I am feeling totally underwhelmed with the Rodan and Fields business model. There is nothing new or exciting about this company. It’s about squeezing as much money out of consultants and customers as possible.
I strongly advise not to get involved with the Rodan and Fields business opportunity. SCAM alert!
Here are the reasons why at a glance.
Many customers have confirmed that the products work but the business opportunity looks like a scam to me.
Why? The commission payments on team sales don’t just go down a few levels deep instead R+F pays out on excessive levels/generations.
That to me looks like a pyramid scheme. Just look at the screenshot from Rodan and Fields compensation plan overview. I think it says it all.
Even though a consultant doesn’t get paid for sponsoring or recruiting team members, as outlined in the income disclosure statement, the only way to earn a decent income and climbing up the ladders with Rodan and Fields is through sponsoring and recruiting.
Who earns the big bucks?
R+F had a network of nearly 400 000 independent consultants in 2017. 56% were paid /active consultant.
Only 1% of these active consultants were paid more than$30185/annually. The top 10% earned more than $5272/ annually and the top 50% earned more than $654/ annually.
It doesn’t take any expenses for the individual consultant into account.
The only ones who earn big bucks here are clearly the company itself.
Serious Complaints About Rodan and Fields
Not only faces R+F a federal class-action lawsuit because of their fraudulent marketing of the Lash Boost Serum but there are also serious complaints against the company on BBB.
These include fraudulent charges of credit cards and unauthorized placing of orders. Customers also reported that it is nearly impossible to get out of the preferred customer program.
No training for new consultants
There is nothing to be seen on what kind of training a new consultant will be receiving.
It takes a strong mindset and quality training to build a successful business in the MLM industry.
Have you noticed that most MLM companies are mostly targeting women as potential recruits? Women join these companies for so many different reasons.
Quite often they look for ways to supplement the household income, find something that offers flexible hours, and the chance to make a career.
Also, the thought of being part of a sisterhood is appealing to many women.
The truth is ‘the overwhelming majority of MLM participants (most sources estimated to be over 99.25% of all MLM participants) participate at either an insignificant or nil net profit.’ (source Wikipedia)
If you do love the products and feel they are worth the money, then, by all means, go for it. But I do think that with Rodan and Fields the chances are very high that you don’t make any money at all.
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Is There A Better Business Model?
When I look at the Rodan and Fields business opportunity, I can wholeheartedly say, ‘yes’ there are better business models out there than selling, recruiting, and doing home parties.
I had been a consultant with a direct selling company for over three years so I speak from experience when I say it takes a lot of hard work to be successful with the MLM business model.
The initial enthusiasm rubs off pretty quickly if other people don’t share the same love for the product you are trying to sell.
I’ve learned that selling stuff to people is not my strong point even though I loved the products.
Ringing potential customers, dealing with return and refunds, traveling for hours to do presentations without sometimes getting any sales was tough going.
I know of people who were super successful but they were working consistently for around 40 hours or more a week.
Well, looking back I’d say it was a huge learning curve but not what I was looking for in an ideal business. In reality, the hours weren’t exactly flexible, instead, I had to work in the evening and on weekends.
For the past three years, I have been building my online business that doesn’t involve recruiting or calling people at all. Now I can truly work whenever and wherever I want to work with only a laptop and an internet connection.
I have to be honest though: my recommended business model is not for everyone. It takes at least 6 to 12 months of consistent work to see the first results aka earning money.
If you are able to invest between 10 and 20 hours of work a week then you will surely succeed.
Once you get the foundation right, you will earn passive income for years to come. All it takes is good training, consistent work, and taking action!
I am now earning around $1000/month in passive income with little effort.
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