Is Pampered Chef a MLM?

Pampered Chef is a MLM (Multi Level Marketing) company that sells a range of kitchen products and housewares. Like with most MLM companies, such as Tupperware, Amway, Herbalife, Nu Skin, the products are often higher priced than you will find in shops, and the income is stated as exceptional, with most consultants making no money.

If you are wondering how to make money with Pampered Chef, we will look at the Pampered Chef’s compensation plan and also Pampered Chef business model.

What is Pampered Chef?

This review about is Pampered Chef a MLM, is about the Pampered Chef business opportunity, and not about the actual products. These are the aspects that I will cover: Pampered Chef MLM party

  • Overview of Pampered Chef
  • What is the Pampered Chef business model?
  • Pampered Chef products
  • How much does it cost to buy a Pampered Chef consultant kit?
  • How to make money with Pampered Chef
  • The Pampered Chef’s Compensation plan
  • How much can I earn with Pampered Chef?
  • Do I get training with Pampered Chef?
  • What I like about Pampered Chef
  • What I don’t like about Pampered Chef
  • Is Pampered Chef a MLM pyramid scheme? is it legit?
  • Is this a good way how to make money with Pampered Chef and final thoughts
  • My #1 recommendation – click here if you want to see it now.

Overview of Pampered Chef

Pampered Chef was started in 1980 by Doris Christopher, a home economics teacher who became a stay at home mum. Pampered chef MLM logo She started by selling cookware and doing kitchen parties in her home in Chicago, and the homes of her friends. It is based in Addison, Illinois and it was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2002.

Pampered Chef distributors are called independent consultants. For more than 40 years, the range of house wares and kitchen products, have been sold by an international network of consultants. It is based on home party sales, but now also online.

Network Marketers are switching from MLM to Affiliate Marketing and this is the platform they are switching to.

What is the Pampered Chef Business Model?

The Pampered Chef business model is Multi Level Marketing (MLM). The Multi Level Marketing business model, is a model in which the company has a contract with independent distributors to sell and promote the company’s products. At the same time, the distributor has to recruit customers, and sign them up to also become distributors.

When you buy a Pampered Chef consultant kit and become a distributor, you are not an employee, but an independent consultant. So there is no base salary and you have to sell through a MLM system, which means constantly having to recruit team members.

If you are already wondering is Pampered Chef a MLM, yes, it is, and you can read more about the MLM business model in this related post on How to avoid Multi Level Marketing scams.

I don’t think you can make money with MLM, so let’s have a look how to make money with Pampered Chef, or is it just another MLM money trap.

If you enjoy cookware and kitchen products and want to sell it, you can do it with affiliate marketing and build your own website, so that you are not limited to selling products from just one brand.


Pampered Chef Products

Pampered Chef products are selected after extensive in-house testing (so not third party testing) and has a reputation for quality, although expensive. The product range is anything you need for the kitchen. Is Pampered Chef a MLM?

  • Cookware and Bakeware: pots, pans, baking dishes, skillets and sets of these.
  • Entertaining: bar ware, serving ware, outdoor, kids etc.
  • Kitchen tools: utensils, baking and cooking accessories, cutlery, mixing and measuring, food preparation etc.
  • Pantry: mixes, sauces and oils, seasonings etc.
  • Small appliances: air fryer, grilling, blender, slow cooker, pressure cooker and ice cream maker.

Many products, like cutlery and cookware, carry a lifetime guarantee, otherwise a guarantee of 1, 3 or 5 years, depending on the product.

Lifetime guarantee is always misleading, because if Pampered Chef deems the lifetime of a product to be one year, then the guarantee will only be one year, even if you think it should be longer.

Products can be returned for an exchange or refund within a year.

If you do not want to waste your time with a MLM, then look at my #1 recommendation – click here if you want to see it now.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Pampered Chef Consultant Kit?

You pay to join Pampered Chef and have a choice of two starter kits. You choose it according to your investment budget and the type of parties you would like to have: Pampered Chef starter kit and deluxe kit

  • Starter Kit: Pay $99 for a kit that is valued at more than $400
  • Deluxe Kit: Pay $159 for a kit with a value of over $700.

Kits include products and business tools, everything you need to start your own business.

To get started, you sign up with an existing Pampered Chef consultant, or sign up online. Choose your starter kit and pay. You get your own personal website, which is free for the first 90 days. After that, it will cost you $120 per year. Having a personal website, means you business is open 24/7.

You also get access to marketing emails and images to promote your business and personalized online training to help you launch your business and continue growing it.

Hostess qualifies for free products rewards, of which $25 or $50 can be used towards your own starter kit when you join.

How to Make Money with Pampered Chef

There are three main ways in which you can make money with Pampered Chef:

  • Hold parties: this can be done in person, or online. A Pampered Chef party is a cookery demonstration. So it is similar to the Tupperware model of inviting friends. The consultant does the demonstration and sells products, as well as try to recruit more people.
  • Share your favorite products and recipes on social media, and people can place orders on your website.
  • Start recruiting and build a team of your own.

Pampered Chef products are also available on Amazon, which makes it even harder to sell the products. And remember that as soon as you buy the Pampered Chef consultant kit, you are out-of-pocket.

The Pampered Chef’s Compensation Plan

There are several ranks within the Pampered Chef hierarchy:

Pampered Chef Career PathConsultant: as soon as you sign up and buy a Pampered Chef consultant kit, you are a consultant and you can start selling and recruiting and earning commission.

  • The first level after becoming a consultant is a Senior Consultant. The requirements are to have
    • personal sales of $150 every month, and have
    • 1 active personal recruit. To be active the personal recruit also needs to have $150 personal sales volume.
  • The second level is Team Leader. The requirements are
    • personal sales volume of $750 every month, plus
    • 2 or more active consultants
    • each recruited consultant needs $150 in personal sales every month to be active, plus
    • the team of recruited consultants have at least $2,500 in team sales.
  • The third level is Director and these are the requirements:
    • need to sponsor 5 active Pampered Chef consultants.
    • You need personal sales of $750, and together you need to place orders to have
    • personal teams sales with a value of $5,000.
    • You then earn 3% override commission on the personal team sales.
  • Next level is Advanced Director: if one of your direct recruits make it to the rank of Director, then you promote to Advanced Director.
    • The minimum personal sales are $750 and sales requirements are $5,000 for the personal team, plus
    • $12,000 organizational sales.
    • You now earn 4% override commission on sales from your “first generation” recruits, and
    • 3% commission on the sales of your recruits, so “second generation”.
  • The next level is Senior Director:
    • you need 3 x “first generation” directors, so your personal recruits that you sponsor, plus
    • 1 x second generation director, so someone sponsored by your down line, to reach this level.
    • Everybody must spend to qualify, so personal sales of $750, plus
    • $5,000 personal team and
    • $24,000 organizational sales.
    • As an addition to override commission that you already get as an Advanced Director, you also earn 1% commission from second generation. Thus, if people 3 levels below you spend money on Pampered Chef products, you earn money.
  • Following level is Executive Director:
    • you need 6 x first generation directors, plus
    • 2 x second generation directors, to reach this level.
    • Everybody must spend to qualify, so personal sales of $750, plus
    • $5,000 personal team and
    • $48,000 organizational sales.
    • As an addition to override commission that you already get as Senior Director, you also earn 0.5% commission from your third generation.
  • The next level is Senior Executive Director:
    • you need 9 x first generation directors, plus
    • 5 x second generation directors, plus
    • 1 x 3rd generation director, to reach this level.
    • Once again minimum sales values are required, so $750 personal sales, plus
    • $5,000 personal team sales, plus
    • $100,000 organizational sales
    • As an addition to override commission that you already get as an Executive Director, you earn even more commission from those below you.
  • The top rank is National Executive Director and to reach this level you need:
    • 12 x first generation directors, plus
    • 9 x second generation directors, plus
    • 3 x 3rd generation directors in your down line,
    • As before, minimum sales values are required so $750 personal sales volume, plus
    • $5,000 personal team sales, plus
    • $200,000 organizational sales
    • In addition to override commission that you already get as a Senior Executive Director, you earn even more commission from those below you.

Pampered Chef ranks

So as you can see from the Pampered Chef’s compensation plan, you have to continue recruiting, and encourage your recruits to recruit, and so on, to reach the ranks and be paid override commissions.

How much can I earn with Pampered Chef?

You earn 20% commission on each product that you sell. This can move up to 27% after you establish your business, plus bonuses like free products, points towards a vacation and sales training.

Looking at the base level of 20% commission, you must sell $500 worth of products, to earn $100 in commission.

That is without any expenses, as remember, when you work for a MLM company, all your expenses have to be covered by yourself. So any expenses for a Pampered Chef party, traveling, petrol, telephone bills, monthly website fee, samples, FaceBook live sales etc. have to be covered by yourself.

Add to that standard business expenses like taxes, accountancy fees, internet etc. So the expenses add up and you are soon out-of-pocket. The only way to earn more, is to recruit.

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Why is it difficult to make money with Pampered Chef business model? Less than 1% of people that join a MLM company, will make a profit. With Pampered Chef you are not a business owner, you are a customer, and are encouraged to recruit more people who become customers.

So as a Pampered Chef consultant you are sharing the opportunity to sell their products. With Affiliate marketing you are not limited to selling cookware and kitchen products from just Pampered Chef, but you can promote several brands.

It is difficult to get an income statement for Pampered Chef, as MLMs are not required to produce income statements in the USA.

Do I get Training with Pampered Chef?

As soon as you buy the Pampered Chef consultant kit, you will be part of an active and supportive community. Your mentor and team are there to support you.

There is an online platform, which is available 24/7, where you have access to tons of training and resources. That helps you to grow your skills, your team and your business.

The tips, tools and training are designed that you can learn at your own pace and it is always available when you need it.

What I like about Pampered Chef

The Pampered Chef's compensation plan has other privileges and awards

  • You can work part-time to work around another job or your family commitments, or work full-time.
  • Work anywhere with online tools and website.
  • Get free products and discounts. You immediately get between 20% and 50% off products when you join. Every month you have the chance to earn products or gear with Pampered Chef logo.
  • Earn cash rewards and holidays when you promote.
  • Based on the sales value of a party, hosts can earn rewards, like discounts and free products. If guests or online customers place a minimum value order, they can get free products.

What I don’t like about Pampered Chef Business Model

  • You continually have to recruit new team members.
  • To remain a consultant, you have to submit a minimum of $150 in personal sales every month.
  • At the higher levels you need monthly personal sales of $750.
  • You only get override commissions if everybody in the down line performs.
  • Consultants do not get any employee benefits like pension, holiday pay, sick leave etc.
  • You are limited to only selling Pampered Chef products.

I worked for Usborne Books at Home, a MLM company, so I understand the frustration that distributors have when they no longer have family members or friends to sell to, and struggle to recruit another team member.


Is Pampered Chef a MLM pyramid scheme? is it legit?

Pampered Chef MLM borders on being an illegal pyramid scheme, but the technicality boils down to the requirement for consultants to have personal sales. So most consultants have cupboards full of products, because they are required to place monthly minimum orders.

Pampered Chef is a legitimate company, but the fact that you can only move up to higher level is by recruiting, and your recruits have to recruit, makes them a pyramid scheme in disguise. More requirements must be met to reach higher levels, including much higher group sales.Pampered Chef busines model encourages recruitment The only way you can achieve higher levels, is by recruiting. That mean you can get team override commissions and thereby have higher earnings. But, if you don’t recruit, you stay at the lower ranks.

Is This a Good Way How to Make Money with Pampered Chef and final thoughts

To be paid as a consultant, you have to put through orders with a personal volume of at least $150 every single month. Uplines will encourage consultants to make personal purchases to meet volume requirements. Can you afford to spend $150 every month on kitchen products? I certainly can’t!

And as you move up the ranks, the minimum monthly order is $750! I certainly do not think it is a good way to make money.

How often do you actually buy new pots and pans, or even more expensive items like a pressure cooker and air fryer? This is a sure way for consultants to get into debt. Remember that before you join a MLM company and try to sell to family and friends.

If you don’t want the anxiety and uncertainty of working for a MLM – look at what Wealthy Affiliate offers you.

If you have any questions surrounding is Pampered Chef a MLM or any experience with the Pampered Chef’s compensation plan, then please leave them below, and I will get back to you.

30 thoughts on “Is Pampered Chef a MLM?”

  1. I despise any company that makes you actively recruit members. I have done this and strained personal relationships as well as family relationships. You constantly have to be recruiting and I don’t like that. 

    I was looking into this Pampered Chef but I am an introvert and don’t like hosting parties and talking to unknown people, I don’t think it is for me…but thanks for the good write-up on it. It really helps me make the appropriate decision for myself.

    • Recruiting was the thing that put me off most when I was working for Usborne Books at Home. And without recruiting, you don’t make any money. It is the same with Pampered Chef business model.

  2. Thanks for enlightening us as to how Pampered Chef operates.

    There is so much pressure to meet certain sales levels that it would just be too much stress for me.  No matter how wide your circle of friends is, there is a limit to what they will buy and then they will start avoiding you and making excuses not to come to your parties.

    Having to find new recruits is even harder and where would you even start to do that.

    I am totally against MLM schemes, as why should someone above me earn from my hard work.

    This certainly isn’t for me!

    • With the Pampered Che business model you have to be recruiting constantly, to be able to make money. And then your recruits have to recruit and so on. It is certainly not for me either. 

  3. Thank you for the helpful info about the Pampered Chef MLM. I know a lot of people who are raving fans of the products, but fortunately, I do not get invited to many of these “parties”. It is ridiculous that a “lifetime guarantee” actually means that the product is guaranteed as long as the company deems the lifetime should be. That is a poor policy and terrible for customer service. Very helpful to see all the behind-the-scenes information that you have compiled. 

    • Pampered Chef might have quality products, but the Pampered Chef’s compensation plan means you have to recruit people and build a team, to make money, while also required to place big monthly orders to get your override commission. 

  4. Hello, I’m new here at WA, and you are my first comment. As I read thru your website, the one thing that really stood out and continued to stay with me. I felt you were telling me not to become a Pampered Chef Consultant. That I would not make money, in fact, it will cost me money in the long run. With that thought in mind, I never felt I was convinced on the merits of becoming a consultant even with the online aspects.

    • You are right, I am advising you that affiliate marketing is a better way of making money than with a MLM like Pampered Chef.

  5. Hey there! I have to say that I really liked this review of pampered chef. I’m not a very big fan of multi level marketing companies because I feel like I would lose more money than earn back if I were to invest into it. And you’re right, affiliate marketing is more flexible than being in a MLM program because there is a more diverse amount of products you can promote. And if someone wants to start a cooking blog, I think they should use other resources like word press and specific affiliate programs to get started. Great post and thanks for all the useful, unbiased information. 

    • Affiliate marketing gives one the flexibility to promote products from several brands. So if you do want to promote cookware and kitchen appliances, you can do so through affiliate marketing, without having to buy a Pampered Chef Consultant kit and only selling their products. 

  6. It is very clever to review a program like Pampered Chef as a basis to refer them to Wealthy Affiliate.   How is that working for you? For anyone considering a multi-level and face-to-face program to make money should stop what they are doing and looking into a program like Wealthy Affiliate.   

    Passive Incomes shows us a better way to create an income stream to be able to multiply our efforts.   

    By bringing to light the downside of multilevel marketing you have shown us a better way to earn income. Thanks!   

    Tired of multi-level marketing schemes?  It may be time for you to try this!

    I hope this has helped you in your efforts.  I wish you the best of luck and success.  

    Best regards, Alex

  7. I like the niche which includes kitchen tools and gadgets. What I don’t like is the multi level marketing model. I have been an MLM consultant in two different platforms and although I liked the range of products, trying to keep up with recruiting and a minimum of monthly sales was too much for me. When I started out I was excited, but soon I ran out of possible customers who would, not only buy from me, but also recruit. What is a turn off in this program is that the line of products is available on Amazon. That competition is too stiff. Also that website annual payment is too much. I am just starting out with my online career and I agree, Wealthy Affiliate might be what I can afford right now, and there are many possibilities for evolving business. Thanks for the information.

    • I also worked for a MLM and the constant recruiting, combined with minimum monthly orders that had to be placed by myself and the team, eventually made me quit MLM. Promoting kitchen appliances and houseware through affiliate marketing, is a more realistic way of earning income. 

  8. Hi Liné … personally I do not like the MLM ethos. Not because they are not a legitimate or ethical marketing model. I think most are and they deliver good products. However, they rely heavily on recruiting people who believe that making sales is based on the quality of a product. The thing is that making sales (in my experience) is much more about finding people who have a problem to solve, and helping them solve it. Buying products from an MLM organisation can make sense for those to whom the product is a genuine need. But to build a business with such products takes much more understanding, and effort than most MLM organisations admit to. I think your recommendation of proper business training is much more sound!

    • I agree with you Richard that the key is in helping people to solve their problem. I worked for a MLM and although the product was very good, it was also expensive and the only way you could make money, was by recruiting and building a team. MLM is not for me. 

  9. Hi there, There are some important things you need to know if you are serious about building a network marketing, or direct sales business.

    Anyone interested in becoming a consultant for Pampered Chef needs to know that there may be limits on your ability to make money with this program. For building a home based business as a Pampered Chef consultant, you may need to consider the realistic income potential.

    As we know that every online business should be evaluated from a business standpoint, because that’s what it is. The cost to get started is reasonable for a starter consultant kit but the challenge comes when more income needs to be generated.

    Thanks for sharing informative article about Pampered Chef MLM. Much appreciated.

    • The realistic income potential with MLM is very low, and most people do not realise that. The Pampered Chef’s compensation plan does not really make it clear as to how much you can expect to make. The Pampered Chef Consultant kit might not be that expensive in terms of starting a business, but the challenge is to earn a full time income from it.

  10. I just love Pampered Chef products.  Their durability and quality is the best.  As a consumer and not a consultant, I would always try to hit a Pampered Chef party before Christmas or my husband’s birthday as he loves to cook and loves to cook with premium cookware.  It really saddens me that they are now selling the product on Amazon.  Now, consultants that were struggling for the reasons you already stated will be put out of business completely. I don’t think that anybody ever makes money with MLMs.

  11. Hi,

    Pampered Chef sounds like just the company I need to avoid at all cost.

    Now, you mentioned that the products can be returned within a year for a refund or exchange. I am curious. How does a return like this affect the consultant who made the sale in the first place?

    The one thing you said here that I like is the fact that this company allows it’s consultants to work online from hom or around their schedule.

    That’s a dream job for most single parents or anyone looking to make money with a side hustle. However I’d thread lightly with this one.

    The fact that you have to make monthly sales plus recruit inorder to remain a consultant, pay all expenses for parties AFTER paying for the pleasure of joining in the first place is crazy. When you consider the amount you stand to make I really think this is not worth my time. It is not adequate compensation for all the work consultants would need to put in.

    I’d say that this business is not for the faint of heart and anyone who wishes to make a success of it needs to be a fantastic salesman with great networking skills.

    • Although Pampered Chef have lovely products, it is the MLM business model that is outmoded. It is simply not worth the agro to work for a MLM

  12. When it comes to MLM business I don’t like them because I have been a part of a few of them and the only persons who seem to make good money are those who are at the top and they are far but few. MLMs in my opinion are not worth your time or money.

    • I also worked for a MLM and it is not a sustainable business model. You have to constantly recruit more people to your team, otherwise you wont money. MLM it not worth it.

  13. This is a really comprehensive study of MLM as it relates to Pampered Chef. You explain the pitfalls with joining a MLM scheme very well. I have been involved in other MLM schemes and everything you say is absolutely true. It is almost impossible to make money through MLM unless you are right at the top of the “pyramid”. I have boxes of products in my pantry from other schemes. Thank you for your honest and fair comments.

    • I fully agree with you Jenny. I also worked for a MLM company and although I won awards for being top seller in several years, if you are not constantly recruiting, then you won’t make it to the top.

  14. Hi Line, This business model reminds me of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Do you know them? Mary Kay has grounded the same kind of business with luxury cosmetics consultants have to sell while providing clients with a party where they promote the products. The cosmetic is excellent. But when I tried it, I had trouble finding customers, and I had first to invest money to order the products. It didn’t work for me, and I wouldn’t do it again. Actually, I’m not too fond of this kind of business model. Thank you very much for this excellent review. 🙂

    • Hi Sylvia, it is indeed the same MLM business model that Mary Kay Cosmetics have. I worked for a MLM company, Usborne Books, and it was the same thing. Constantly having to recruit and place minimum monthly orders. MLM is not worth the time and effort. All the best, Liné

  15. Thanks for these insights. Even though I am not into network marketing other than using a few natural health products here and there, at least this company has had longevity being around since 1980. For networkers with an interest in cooking and kitchen products, it could be a viable alternative. But I do agree that affiliate marketing is the way to go as well as product creation. All the Best.


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