Is Usborne Books a scam? Make money selling children’s books!

Is Usborne Books a scam

It is a breath of fresh air when you come across a multilevel marketing company that is not into the usual health, beauty, and supplement products. A lot of people are sick and tired of these niches because of their oversaturation. Enter Usborne Books and everything changes. Usborne books is a book-selling company and offer an earning opportunity through its MLM program. But, can you really make good money selling books? Is Usborne books a scam or a pyramid scheme?

You will find all the answers to these questions in this post. Discover what is Usborne books MLM, how it works, its compensation plan, and the pros and cons. So, let’s get started!

New to MLM?

Read: What is MLM business

What is Usborne Books?

Usborne Books is a multilevel marketing company that is into the direct sales of children and adult books.

The company publishes books in almost all spheres of life. There are more than 3,000 books on offer and more are constantly being produced. 

Some of the books include playful baby books, activity books, gift books, young adult fiction books and many more.

Usborne books was founded by Martin Usborne in 1973 based out of UK. The company also sell its books through independent sellers/distributors in the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Singapore, India, Malaysia, and Uruguay.

Usborne books is an established firm with rewards and recognitions from Forbes and Fortune magazines.

What is Usborne books MLM?

Usborne books MLM is a business opportunity where individuals can sell the books and earn commissions. These individuals can join the MLM program as an Independent Usborne Partner.

The MLM program offers sales commissions as compensation, e-business package, and business tools along with a free personal website.

How does Usborne Books MLM work?

Usborne Books publishes children’s books; you will earn commissions for helping to sell these books. The commission rate is between 17% and 30%.

Selling the books and earning mouth-watering commissions makes it a win-win situation and to earn commissions you have to join the Usborne books MLM program as an Independent partner.

To join the Usborne Books MLM, you must find a distributor or rep within your locality. You can also visit its website.

It costs just $75 to join the Usborne Books MLM. This is a one-time payment. After paying the money, you will get a starter kit with all the necessary business tools, a set of popular books, and a free website to get you started.

The good thing about a free personalized website is that it looks exactly like the company’s website where people can buy books from. 

You will earn a commission for whatever amount you make from selling books on your personalized website.

The drawback of having this personalized website is that you can never get traffic from Google because everything on the website is seen as duplicated content. The only way to drive traffic is to send the link to potential buyers or do a social media ad on Facebook or Instagram.

Usborne Books products

The company has more than 3,000 books in different areas like activity books, baby books, early books, fiction, history, home learning, maths, novelty books, picture books, and many more.

Usborne books products

The books are available for different children’s ages like:

  • 0 – 3 years 
  • 3 – 5 years 
  • 5 – 7 years 
  • 7 – 11 years 
  • 11 – 13 years 
  • 13+ years

Not only category, but Usborne books are available in different types such as:

  • Flipbooks
  • Fiction/non-fiction books,
  • Season titles
  • Spanish titles
  • Traditional books,
  • Sticker books

The books are constantly updated and fresh books are published every month.

Usborne offers a Quicklinks option that provides access to over 40k links to some of the third-party websites for best children’s books.

Usborne books work on a return and refund policy of 30-days. The duration is applicable for enrollment kits as well in case a consultant wants to return it.

Are Usborne books worth their pricing?

Usborne books are generally inexpensive. The average pricing stands between $5 to $15 for most of their books.

Yes, there are alternatives to Usborne books that could be cheaper in value but the pricing difference could be marginal which should not impact your sales strategy.

However, what could impact is the accessibility to reading books. The latest trend adopted by people and children to read books is online. This is where options such as e-books come into the picture. Usborne has its own app but does not offer e-books as of now.

Secondly, Usborne books can be purchased from other online channels such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Now, this strategy from Usborne can certainly reduce your sales numbers because these online channels are known to keep their price point lower than traditional sellers.

Overall, Usborne books are worth their pricing but they may not produce the desired results you are expecting due to outdated sales tactics and competition.

How to make money with Usborne books?

There are two ways to make money from Usborne Books:

  • Selling the books directly to people and earning a commission
  • Recruiting people into your team and earn commission from their efforts

Usborne books compensation plan

Usborne Books has got attractive compensation plans. See below for a tabulated plan. 

Type of sale Minimum SalesCommission on retail salesMonthly BonusFree Books
Home shows & e-shows$8525%YesYes
Direct Sales$8530%YesNo
Book Fairs$50017%NoYes
Reach for Stars Books/Fund Raiser$20017-30%NoYes
Websites Sales$8525%YesYes
School & Library Sales$20017%YesYes

The above table indicates figures related to direct sale commissions through some of the ways you can adopt to share Usborne books.

The figures are encouraging on paper but you have to put in the hard work and invest some money to organize home parties or travel to book fairs, etc.

Apart from the direct sale commissions, distributors are entitled to earn bonuses on recruiting people.

Consultants can earn between 3% to 5% sales bonuses on achieving a net sales target of $350 every month. Another 4% bonuses can be earned on your team member’s net sales worth of $350.

As a team builder, there are four-level to achieve- Supervisor, Executive Supervisor, Senior Executive Supervisor, and Director.

Below is what you can expect to earn on reaching Supervisor level and above:

Usborne books compensation plan

Overall, it becomes a typical MLM compensation plan when you start recruiting people.

Can you make money with Usborne books MLM?

Yes, you can make money with Usborne Books. This is because the company pays more emphasis on direct selling than recruitment.

There will always be a need for people to read books and that is where the opportunity of making money comes from.  

Usborne Books has got very sound business ethics. It is stated in their policy that promoters must not promote the company as a trading scheme where money is asked for in return for some benefits. 

This shows that the company is completely different from the other MLM companies.

The joining cost is low, you get a free website to sell the books online, and the commission rates are very attractive.

However, there are certain things you cannot avoid. The price of these books is within $20 that means you need to sell a good quantity of books to make decent commissions.

Plus, to earn bonuses you need to achieve a target of $350 net sales every month which I believe is a big ask considering the pricing.

You will also have to keep a tab on local e-selling platforms with whom Usborne has a tie-up. People will find books cheaper on these platforms compared to Usborne website.

From statistics perspective, I couldn’t find any income-related statement on its consultants. This is quiet disappointing knowing that Usborne has been in to the MLM business for decades without disclosing the income of its consultants.

So, my take is the money is there to be made considering the product category but the overall earning potential could be low.

Is Usborne books a scam or a pyramid scheme?

No, Usborne Books is not a scam. It is a legit company that pays people commission for selling their books. They also give a bonus to their distributors or salespersons. 

It is not a pyramid scheme either since the company has products to sell and people are earning commissions for selling these books. 

A pyramid scheme is where there is nothing to sell but they keep recruiting people by making bogus promises to them. This is not the case with Usborne Books.

Usborne books lawsuit/controversies

There are no major controversies associated with Usborne books. The most common one is allegations about misleading income claims by its consultants to recruit more people.

This has been the case with a majority of MLMs. We have already elaborated on making money with Usborne books.

So, observe caution and research the online resources on income figures before you consider joining Usborne or any other MLM company.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do Usborne Books cater for children alone?

Answer: No, the company caters for both children and adults.

  1. Can anyone join Usborne Books? 

Answer: Yes, anyone can join Usborne Books as far as you can find their representatives in your locality.

  1. Do I have to recruit people to earn money with Usborne Books? 

Answer: No, you don’t have to recruit people. The company focuses more on direct selling.


  • Established in 1973 – The Company was established in 1973. It means it has been in existence for close to five decades. This means the company is not a scam. If it is a scam, it would have been shut down a long time ago by the FTC. The company is credible and reputable. 
  • Inexpensive books – As mentioned earlier, the focus of Usborne Books is on direct selling instead of recruitment. This is why their books are extremely inexpensive. With an emphasis on direct selling, Usborne Books has escaped being tagged a pyramid scheme. Plus, the books are of high quality and there are 1000s of books to choose from and sell.
  • Decent commission – The commission rates offered by Usborne Books are some of the best, you can find in the MLM industry. The company offers a commission of between 17% and 30%. This is an attractive commission by all standards. 
  • Low starting cost – Joining the business is easy with a $75 one-time payment. This is very much affordable and cheap compared to other MLM companies.


  • Low-income potential – Since the books are lowly priced the income potential is also lower. If you are looking to make good money with less effort in short time then Usborne may not be an ideal way to do it.
  • Outdated sales tactics – The trend for reading is shifting to e-books. That’s why players like Amazon kindle are ruling this segment. With no e-book option, the only way to promote and sell Usborne books is hosting parties, and showcasing them in to book fairs which are very much outdated.
  • No income disclosure statement – It’s been years since Usborne has been selling books through MLM business model. Releasing an income disclosure statement is not mandatory. At the same time, a lot of people assume that the income figures are too low to be disclosed which can lead to misconceptions about its MLM program.

Conclusion: Is Usborne books MLM recommended?

I usually don’t recommend MLMs but Usborne Books is a good opportunity to earn money from home. This is a good business prospect for mothers and people who love children’s books.

The commission rate of between 17% and 30% is tempting. But to make good money from it, you have to take it as a full-time job. You won’t go far with it if it is taken as a part-time job.

The hosting of parties is a good way to sell the books. It is a good opportunity for people who have an excellent relationship with schools within their locality. You can also sell in volumes to schools.

There is also the opportunity to sell online since you will be given a free website. 

But overall, Usborne books is only good if you love books. It is valuable to a certain section of people to make cool cash but not a universal earning opportunity. 

Also, beware that MLMs are prone to the risk of losing money. If it is not persisted for a long time then I suggest you stay away from it and 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