Rodan and Fields, or R+F as some may know it, is a multi-level marketing company and manufacturer of skincare products. It began in 2002 through the vision of Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields who are the creators of Proactiv. They would sell the branding a year later, then relaunch it in 2007 as an MLM opportunities.
Like most multi-level marketing businesses, Rodan and Fields works with independent consultants who are mostly women to sell its products. As with most MLM agencies, there is heavy criticism from consumer advocates regarding the structure of payment as only 2% of the consultants earn enough to make more than the minimum wage. The average income for an R+F IC in 2015 was just under $3,200 per year.
You will find toners, cleansers, creams, sunscreen, exfoliators, and moisturizers available in their catalog of products. If you are thinking about joining this business as an independent consultant, then here are the pros and cons you will want to review before beginning.
List of the Pros of Rodan and Fields
1. Joining Rodan and Fields is affordable for most independent consultants.
When you join Rodan and Fields as an independent consultant, then the purchase of a $45 business portfolio is the only requirement needed to start your business. Most consultants will not need to hold a business license for their activities when pushing products to their community either. That means you’ll get to benefit from the branding, have instant access to social media tools, and can offer life-changing skincare items as a way to make some extra money.
2. Every product from Rodan and Fields comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
All of the products which you will represent with your work as an independent consultant through Rodan and Fields comes with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. Even if some of the product is used, after 60 days and for up to 12 months from when a purchase is made, you can return any unsold product in resalable condition, including the business building kit, for a 100% refund of the purchase price. That means you’ll be out the shipping costs, but your financial liabilities are not high if this business opportunity does not work out for you.
3. You can earn a massive amount in commission with a large enough network.
When you are an active consultant with Rodan and Fields (which you are if you purchase one of their starter kits above the $45 basic one), then you earn a 10% commission plus any retail profit. If you can make it to the RFX Executive Level, then you’ll earn 5% commissions on your personal team sales and Generation I through Generation V sales as well. Then you’ll get a 2.5% commission on all Generation VI sales as well.
Let’s say that you sell a Redefine Regimen Kit to a customer, which retails at $199. If you purchased at the consultant rate and sold direct, then you would keep the difference. Then commissions are paid on top of that amount based on your status in the company. If you earn 10% on that one, plus 5% on one your team sells, and so forth, those figures can begin to add up very quickly.
4. You will be working with an agency that is in a strong financial position.
If you start selling the products for a company that is riddled in debt, then the security of your income will become questionable. You won’t have that problem when joining Rodan and Fields. They are entirely debt-free, have experienced year-over-year growth rates of more than 90% in the past, and are rated as the top premium skincare brand and fastest-growing skincare brand in the United States over the past five years.
5. Selling works on a schedule that you can manage.
Because you are an independent consultant with Rodan and Fields, they can only direct you toward the ways you should work. You get to make the decisions about how to run your business with this opportunity. That means you set the hours, invest the time, and decide how much to spend each month to meet your quotas. The company rewards you for ongoing success while still supporting your presence by allowing consultants to purchase wholesale to keep retail profits even if they are not active.
List of the Cons of Rodan and Fields
1. Most people do not earn a significant income with this company.
According to information supplied by Rodan and Fields from their 2017 income disclosure agreement, 96% of their independent consultants were earning less than $500 per month with their sales activities. 90% of members were earning less than $200 per month. 44% of all recruits during that year recorded zero earnings, which led them to be classified as an inactive consultant. There is a place for success if you can recruit enough people to work with you, but only 2% of active sellers with the agency actually make minimum wage or better.
The 2018 numbers from their income disclosure statement are even worse. Only the top 1% of paid consultants brought in over $29,000 for the year. The top 50% were paid more than $598 annually.
2. The pricing categories are difficult to manage for a majority of households.
When customers purchase something from Rodan and Fields, then they are paying upwards of $200 for some of the skincare lines that are available right now. Some people love their products and will become instant customers, but even shopping on eBay or discount sites to purchase excess inventory means that you’ll be paying between $30 to $60 for something of questionable quality since it is coming from a second-hand source. Unless you live in a wealthy community, it may take some time to develop a customer base that can support your income.
3. You must have a sponsor to join the organization.
You cannot decide to start selling Rodan and Fields by yourself. You must start this journey with a sponsor. When you begin the process of signing up, then you are given a search opportunity to find someone you know that is selling these skincare items. You can search by their business name, consultant identification, or their actual name. If you don’t know someone, then you can choose to request a sponsor.
When choosing to request a sponsor, you will receive a random person who will serve as your initial mentor.
4. The various kits outside of the initial business kit are quite expensive.
Rodan and Fields might only require an initial $45 kit to join them as an independent consultant, but that means you won’t have any direct products to sell to your first customers. The MLM agency put together three different kit options that include products for you to start trying to earn some cash, but the costs are somewhat prohibitive to the average person.
- The Ultimate Kit sells for $995 and offers 7 different components, including the “ultimate sampling box” that helps to drive “meaningful” conversations.
- The Core Kit retails at $695 and offers five different sets of core products with samples to begin your journey.
- The Personal Results Kit offers two regimens, some additional branded products, and the initial business kit that’s required for everyone.
If you purchase the most expensive kit, then your profit margin on each direct sale can be up to 50%. Should you decide to buy the Personal Results Kit, then you only save 12% off of the retail value of the products.
5. You need to pay even more if you want a personalized website.
When checking the 2019 enrollment rates for Rodan and Fields, you will have the option to subscribe to Pulse Pro after you select the kit that you prefer. If you choose the basic option instead, then you can receive earnings statements, team reports, training resources, and business information. You must subscribe to the upper tier if you want a personalized domain, custom skincare recommendations, and advanced analytics.
Pulse Pro is currently $24.95 per month after the first free 30 days. Your personal website is not actually a domain under your control either.
6. You must maintain a minimum sales volume to earn commissions.
Independent consultants must meet a specific minimum in sales volume (currently 100) to earn commissions that they sell each month. You can generate this number by placing retail customer orders, making personal product purchases, making Consultant Replenishment Program orders, other product orders, or subscribing to Pulse Pro.
If you were to purchase the Personal Results Kit with Pulse Basic, then you would receive 300 SV for your first month, qualifying you for commissions right away. Once you get to the start of the next month, then your count starts over. Subscribing to Pulse Pro reduces your required SV from 100 to 80 because you’ll receive 20 SV credit from the subscription.
7. Your initial profits are going to be low no matter what you do.
When you are an active consultant, which is the lowest level of compensation through Rodan and Fields, then you earn 10% on your level 1 commissions and any retail profit you gain from retail or preferred customers. You can have up to five ways to earn money once you build a large enough team through your work, but that can be challenging for someone living in a rural environment. The most successful consultants tend to live in large cities, have dedicated networks that sell in specific areas, and are always hustling for the next transaction.
If that doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do, then joining Rodan and Fields as an independent consultant may not be the best choice to make.
Verdict on the Rodan and Fields Pros and Cons
If you like the idea of being able to earn according to your ability to sell, then Rodan and Fields offers a unique skincare opportunity that could help you to embrace your love of sales. You’ll be giving customers access to an elite set of products that will have them looking and feeling better with regular use. If you build up enough of a customer base, it is possible to earn a decent income without worrying about the other elements of multi-level marketing.
You’ll earn a lot more if you recruit others to start working with you, so there are two tiers to success to consider. There are entry fees that you’ll need to pay to get things started. Bonus and incentive programs are helpful and can provide residual income, but most people don’t make much per year with this opportunity. Half of them make less than $598 per year.
The pros and cons of Rodan and Fields are essentially the same as any other MLM agency. It may not be a scam, but finding success is going to be challenging.