Is Trades of Hope a scam? Make money selling handicrafts!

Is Trades of Hope a scam

Selling jewelry from the comfort of your home is a good opportunity to make some money. It is icing on the cake if your earnings help other people (women) improve their quality of life. Yes, this is what is claimed and offered by Trades of Hope. But does it really work on these ethics of giving back? Is Trades of Hope a scam or a pyramid scheme?

We’ll discuss all the necessary details on Trades of Hope in this detailed review post. You will learn about what Trades of Hope is, how it works, its MLM opportunity, its products and compensation, and most importantly the good and bad of joining its program. So, let’s get started!

New to MLM?

Read: What is MLM Business

What is Trades of Hope?

Trades of Hope is a community-based women-driven company that sells jewelry and related accessories as part of its mission to alleviate poverty and empower women.

The company was founded by Gretchen Huijskens in 2011 who created an opportunity for women located in under-developed countries around the world to share their craftsmanship and make some money.

Trades of Hope is headquartered in Florida, the US, and works with artisans in more than 15 countries.

What is Trades of Hope MLM?

While the mission of Trades of Hope is to give back its share of profits is generated through network marketing. The MLM program is a networking arm of Trades of Hope that works on offering an earning opportunity to individuals (women) by sharing its products.

Individuals who join Trades of Hope are called partners. When you join as a partner and start sharing the products, you earn a certain percentage of commissions on your personal sales. You can also earn extra income when you start building a team of people who purchase your products and share them further to generate sales.

The MLM program offers weekly training calls, marketing tools, a personalized website, and a Hope Central app to help you scale your business.

How does Trades of Hope MLM work?

Working with Trades of Hope MLM requires you to become its partner. For this, you have to visit its website and create your account

Trades of Hope recommends you complete your registration with the help of an existing partner. In case you don’t have one, you can search by inputting your area’s zip code.

The registration fee is $99 (according to some online resources). This is not very conclusive on the Trades of Hope website. The other requirement to start your MLM journey is buying starter kits and a technology suite.

The starter kits range from $99 to $199. The technology suite is optional and free for the first month after which you will be charged a maintenance fee of $9.95 every month. With all the resources in hand, you can start sharing the Trades of Hope products to earn commissions.

Trades of Hope products

Trades of Hope product lines include jewelry, handbags, clothing, home décor, bath & body, and kid’s collection.

The products are curated by women residing in poor countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Haiti, Uganda, Cambodia, etc. Trades of Hope coordinates with each of its artisans to create products that have traditional value, ethical design, and unique style.

Some of the types of products you can sell are necklaces, bracelets, earrings, tote bags, etc. The jewelry section has a best-seller named Emma bracelet. This is part of one of the Trades of Hope’s product kits.

Trades of Hope products

The bracelet is handcrafted by a Guatemala native called Elida. It is made of rhodonite stone beads with a silver charm and silver-stone steel tube. The bracelet is priced at $29.95 per piece.

Another section of products is home décor. It has one of the unique items in the form of a tray. This is again a premium product that is part of Trades of Hope product kits. This tray is made of Neem tree wood.

A leaf-shaped tray, it comes in natural color variations and anti-microbial properties. The product is created by Bina, an artisan from India. The wooden leaf tray is priced at $29.95 per piece.

Similarly, you can shop for many such products based on the cause you want to fulfill or by the country they are made in.

All the products are backed by 30-day and 90-day return and refund policies. The 30-day policy works for non-satisfaction and the 90-day policy works for damaged/defective products.

Are Trades of Hope products worth their pricing? 

Being handcrafted, there is no doubt that Trades of Hope products are made of good quality material, possess durability, and looks great. The sad part is, that Trades of Hope is not the only one that sells such products.

There are competitors like Stella and Dot, Paparazzi Jewellery, etc. but we will avoid comparing the pricing since these are also MLMs (who tend to keep their product pricing higher).

Let’s do the pricing comparison with Amazon. For instance, a crossbody travel bag for women is priced at $119.95 on the Trades of Hope website. Some of the other alternatives on Amazon are priced from $25 to $78.

The products do offer value in terms of quality but are way more expensive than their competitors.

How to make money with Trades of Hope MLM?

From an MLM perspective, there are two ways to earn money with Trades of Hope:

  • Product sales – Sell the products to your family, friends, or referrals and earn commissions on sales.
  • Team sales – Invite your customers to join Trades of Hope and receive commissions on their sales.

Trades of Hope compensation plan

Trades of Hope compensation plan is one of the simplest if not different. Simply put, you get paid when you make product sales and build a team of many people. Following types of commissions can be earned with Trades of Hope compensation plan:

Retail commissions – You can earn up to 35% commissions on your product sales. The minimum percentage is 25 which remains standard across levels. Once you cross 1000 PRV (Personal Retail Volume) you become qualified to earn bonuses and your retail commissions start increasing.

Residual commissions (Bonuses) – There is a 300 PRV requirement to make yourself eligible for bonuses. These volumes should be achieved at least once in a six-month period. The bonuses are paid between 2%-12%.

There are 9-levels to climb and every level brings in additional volume requirement that pays higher commissions and bonuses when achieved successfully.

All in all, it’s a typical MLM commission structure that is rewarding for highly skilled people in selling and recruiting.

Can you make money with Trades of Hope MLM? 

Yes, you can. Although, there is no clear picture of how much money you can make but the percentage of commissions and quality of products can be instrumental in achieving decent financial results.

With any MLM, the first thing you must consider is start-up cost. This is comparatively lower and affordable for Trades of Hope partners. Secondly, as we have seen the commissions can be earned up to 35% which is on the higher side. The more people you add to your team, the higher will be your income.

But there are some factors you must not forget. Making money with MLMs requires patience. You must be ready to spend money consistently to achieve your sales target. Self-purchase and self-consumption of products shouldn’t matter in this case.

Next, you will have to keep expanding your networking circle to make a big team. This is where your residual income lies which you can expect to earn for a long time.

One thing that goes in favor of Trades of Hope is its noble cause of giving back. If not forever, you can find people who would like to join Trades of Hope just to help others. So, there is hope to make money for a limited period.

Is Trades of Hope a scam or a pyramid scheme?

Trades of Hope is a 100% legit company and not a scam. It is existing since 2011 with a mission and purpose of helping the poor achieve education and earn some money. The company has survived long enough to be considered as a reliable platform from a joining perspective.

Trades of Hope is a registered member of the Direct Selling Association. Its members earn money by selling legit products and rely on others/referrals to do the same. Unlike pyramid schemes, which earn money by just recruiting more and more people Trades of Hope has physical products made by professional artisans that helps them make a living. Technically speaking, Trades of Hope is not a pyramid scheme.


  • Established company – Trades of Hope is a well-established company in the MLM segment. The company is in the safe hands of its founders who have managed to sail it through since 2011. In normal circumstances, there are very few MLM companies that survive more than 5 years with a multilevel marketing business model. Trades of Hope is a trusted and tested company to work with.
  • Inspiring mission – Trades of Hope works with an inspiring mission of providing a source of income to the needy and poor. Its aim is to give back to those who remain uneducated, and unemployed due to unfortunate living circumstances. This is an additional benefit of joining Trades of Hope and being a part of its noble cause.
  • Handcrafted quality products – With Trades of Hope, you are using and selling handcrafted products produced by skilled and professional artisans. The products are liked by many users owing to their unique style, curation, and ethnicity. Good quality products and positive reviews are helpful in running an effective selling campaign.


  • Over-priced products – The downside of Trades of Hope products is its pricing. The jewelry, home décor, apparels, etc. are over-priced than its competitors which can make selling difficult. Product pricing is equally important in determining the challenges of market competition and unfortunately, the product segment is highly saturated which is another hurdle in making regular sales.
  • Recruiting challenges – Recruitment has always been a major challenge with any MLM. The compensation structure from Trades of Hope is quite evident and focuses more on rewarding its distributors with bigger teams. The actual money lies in the number of people you have under your sponsorship and recruiting people regularly is never sustainable for a longer period of time.
  • No income statement – This is one of the surprising elements of Trades of Hope. After spending more than a decade, the company does not issue or reveal the income figures of its distributors. It leads to wrong assumptions about Trades of Hope members being not able to make enough income that can be shared on paper.

Conclusion: Is Trades of Hope MLM recommended?

Trades of Hope is highly recommended if you are looking to buy unique products and boost its cause of helping the poor and deprived women around the world.

From a making-money perspective, it is better avoided. Yes, you don’t spend too much money joining it but the overall cost, time, and effort that is required to maintain your membership status and earn money consistently are very daunting.

Trades of Hope MLM is not something that can replace your day-to-day job and other earning resources. It is ideal for women who want to enhance their appearance and earn a side income.

There are many alternatives to MLMs that can be found by researching online. If you cannot find one or are confused about taking further steps then check my recommendation below.

Photo of author

MLM is risky and not sustainable

If you are looking to earn a 4-digit monthly income online without purchasing starter kits, storing and selling products, and recruiting downlines then...

It is a blueprint for starting an online business that will give you a website, and training with all the tools, resources, and support.

Leave a Comment