If you like to cook or bake, then you may have heard of Pampered Chef. This company was started in 1980 by Doris Christopher and offers several lines of cookware, bakeware, food products, cookbooks and kitchen accessories. Here is a sampling of just a few products that Pampered Chef offers:

One of the notable facts about this company is that, in 2002, it was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway. So, Pampered Chef is actually owned by Warren Buffett.

Another notable fact about Pampered Chef is that it’s an MLM (multi-level marketing) company. In other words, the company contracts with private individuals, who are called consultants, to sell its products. These consultants sell the company’s products at house parties, craft fairs, or online. Consultants’ customers can range from complete strangers to family members and friends.

Pampered Chef consultants can be just about anyone- your neighbor, boss, or colleague at work. Even you. So…should you consider Pampered Chef as your side or full-time work gig?

Getting started with Pampered Chef

Enrolling with Pampered Chef requires a purchase of a starter kit. There are three kit sizes ranging in price from $109 to $249. Within each kit, you receive an assortment of kitchen bakeware, cookware and accessories. You also receive marketing collateral such as brochures, catalogs, sales receipts, invitations, thank you cards, etc.

Incidentally, if you don’t want to, or simply can’t shell out $100-$200 for a starter kit, Pampered Chef offers host credits to consultants who host a party. These credits can be used to knock off up to $50 from your starter kit.

Pampered Chef consultants also have the option of creating a company-supported website; the charge for this service is $10/month. Unless you have a lot of current customers who are just dying to buy a bundt pan, your best bet is to snag new customers by advertising products online.

Depending on their volume, Pampered Chef consultants earn 20-25% commissions from the sales of their products to others. The following table outlines how the sales volumes, expected work hours and commissions work:

Consultants can also earn 3% bonus commissions from any individuals whom they recruit and who then go on to also sell Pampered Chef products.

Pampered Chef offers a good line of products which are backed by a 30-day return policy. The company also offers discounts to its consultants for selling products and for hosting parties- even virtual (i.e., social media) parties. So, are these incentives and the overall compensation plan worth becoming involved with this company?

The good:

Broad market base– Pampered Chef offers several lines of kitchen products that can be used by just anyone in the world. Whether you choose to sell online or in person, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who can’t use a spatula or a cake pan.

Quality products- This company prides itself on offering great products, some of which come with lifetime guarantees. Additionally, the company has a 30-day “no questions asked” return policy.

Consultant discounts– When you host virtual/in-home parties, you can score product discounts with the following party sales:

So, if you like Pampered Chef products, hosting parties is one way to get them (more) cheaply.

Stability– Pampered Chef has been around for decades and, much like Tupperware, is a viable household name. It’s also part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Unlike some MLMs, this company is not about to go bankrupt or close down anytime soon, leaving you with a bunch of inventory you can’t sell.

No inventory– Speaking of inventory, Pampered Chef consultants don’t have to store it in their homes. Aside from the starter kit components, all orders placed by consultants are delivered directly to the consumers through the company.

The not-so-good:

Expensive products– Pampered Chef products are not cheap by any measure. For example, this stainless steel steamer costs $17.50. Is it really any better than a similar stainless steel steamer that I can purchase at Wal-Mart for $11.56?

Your “warm market”– Pampered Chef strongly encourages consultants to sell to their “warm market;” in other words, their relatives and friends. This approach might work initially, such as during the first virtual/house party, but then what? Consultants need to cast a much wider net than their “warm market” or their “warm market” will soon become the “oh no, not another Pampered Chef party” market.

Low commissions– As mentioned on other MLM review posts, commissions that are 30% or below make it more challenging for the consultant to earn a viable full-time or even part-time income because it is difficult to launch effective promos or product discounts. As such, one has no real advantage against the glut of other Pampered Chef consultants, or even other third-party kitchenware companies.

Market saturation– Pampered Chef products are offered on Amazon, on eBay, and on many other websites set up by consultants- so why is anyone going to pick you out of this crowd of established sellers? Furthermore, consultants who have leftover inventory and just want to leave the business often post their wares online, and at a significant discount, compared to the actual retail cost of those items.

Party costs- Eating and cooking are sensory experiences that cannot be fully enjoyed just by going to a computer and landing on a social media page. To truly make the bucks in this business, you will need to host actual home parties and, preferably, cooking demonstrations. Such events will not be cheap, and they will certainly not take up the few hours per week that are advertised on the Pampered Chef website.

Is Pampered Chef worthwhile?

Overall, Pampered Chef does not offer the benefits that come with the efforts involved in selling its products. You may want to try hosting a party just to score some product discounts for yourself. But doing this line of work as a business will test your patience and your personal finances. Furthermore, the market is already glutted with kitchen products and accessories, which makes your late entry even more of a challenge. Overall, you are better off seeking other business opportunities elsewhere.

Have you had any experiences with Pampered Chef as either a buyer or seller? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Last Updated: May 10, 2017

Join the Discussion

  • Shauna
    Shauna
    Reply

    I recently bought a few items. The products look nice and I like to support local moms.

  • Kathy
    Kathy
    Reply

    I have never been a Papered Chef consultant, but I love their products and I have hosted several parties and attended many. I agree with your overall thoughts. The market in my area is flooded with Pampered Chef consultants and most of them aren’t doing well. My consultant happens to be the regional manager, and she does do quite will. However, she has been in the business a LONG time.
    Kathy

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      That’s the sad reality of most MLMs Kathy. The majority of members tend will not move out of the first level and most even lose money trying to stay active in their pursuit to recruit others. Pampered Chef has a developed brand and is doing well for itself, but I wonder how many consultants can say the same.

  • Jackson
    Jackson
    Reply

    I love Pampered Chef! My mom was apart of a cooking group that all used Pampered Chef items when I was a kid, and this meant that we had a lot of their cooking utensils at home! Since I’ve recently moved out and am now living on my own, I’ve intentionally sought out this brand of cookware because of its reliability and efficiency.

    Thank you so much for this!

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      Thanks for the comment Jackson! I haven’t heard anyone say they were dissatisfied with the Pampered Chef line or quality yet. Some people have been upset that they are paying a premium for the Pampered Chef branding, but this happens in all walks of life and is not exclusive to Pampered Chef by any means.

  • Salvatore V Jenkins Jr.
    Salvatore V Jenkins Jr.
    Reply

    I am not a chef or even good at cooking really but my girlfriend does plenty of cooking and she is quite good at it.

    I think she would enjoy promoting as well as using pampered chef’s products…

    However, I as well don’t think it would be easy to start a business or even be easy to make a living selling Pampered Chefs products which can be said for other systems like it!

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      MLMs can definitely work for the right person, but I do agree that there are better ways to spend your time and effort. For example, an affiliate based website that reviews cooking appliances would have the same general idea, but you would have worldwide reach and not be forced to sell within your social circles only. Plus, you wouldn’t have high startup costs, minimum sales targets, or any of the other added MLM pressures.

  • Geoff
    Geoff
    Reply

    Hi Steve,
    I had heard about Pampered Chef a few years ago so the headline caught my eye, but I wasn’t really sure what it was all about. Thanks for the explanation.
    It sounds like a bit of a tough to sell product line. What with warm market limitations and a saturated online marketplace Which is a shame because you mentioned that it is quite high quality.
    ““oh no, not another Pampered Chef party” market” made me laugh :^)

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      The markup on Pampered Chef products isn’t unreasonable by any means. They are still well within the limits for what you’d expect to pay for items. Plus, we’re comparing them to Walmart and no one can really compete with their prices anyway. You’re right though that it can be saturated and your social circles will dry up rather quickly with repeat exposure. They always do.

  • Dave
    Dave
    Reply

    This is another program I’m going to avoid Steve.

    My wife and I can’t handle all the competition keeping in mind we have tried the “warm market” several times. We now feel like our relatives and friends are trying to avoid us. They don’t want more products pushed on them.

    Isn’t there are good program that will get us good commissions, without using the MLM scheme (I like to call it MLM scam) and good commission rates in the cookware and bakeware lines?

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      Your best bet would be to create an affiliate website showcasing those kinds of items. You’d be able to hit a global market and there wouldn’t be any need for high-pressure sales tactics or selling strictly to your friends and family. Affiliate sites are the basis for my top recommendation found here: http://ivetriedthat.com/wealthy-affiliate-review/

  • Princila
    Princila
    Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve never had any experiences with Pampered Chef preferring instead French-made cookware, bakeware, and kitchen accessories. Though becoming a Pampered Chef consultant sounds interesting, I think it would be difficult to break into this and earn a sustainable income. In addition, with all the cheap brands available on the market, it would be challenging to sell these products. The prospect of having a company-supported website sounds like too much effort wouldn’t be needed (i.e., hosting parties) to get sales, but the truth is, it can be extremely difficult to drive traffic to your website. Nevertheless, I believe that someone can succeed in this business if they are passionate about cooking and love guerrilla marketing.

    • Steve Razinski
      Steve RazinskiFounder

      You’re right Princila, that you can make SOME money in these MLM programs, but generally speaking, most people are going to be stuck in the bottom tier and might recoup their investment at best. A lot of MLMs pressure you into hitting a sales number each month or you are removed from the program. This forces the sellers to buy up tons of product in hopes of selling it off in the future. Ultimately, they end up further in the hole while whoever is above them rakes in the cash. It’s unfortunate really.

  • JeffWA
    JeffWA
    Reply

    Hi, Steve. Obviously, this opportunity could only be something that a person who is passionate about cooking/baking and has a love for being in the kitchen to turn it into potentially a profitable business.

    I am not a huge fan of any person, in the year 2017 having to build the foundation of a business through contacting friends, relatives, family members, etc. You mentioned promoting the expensive products in host parties.

    Would complete strangers be interested in finding out info about the Pampered Chef’s products, after an individual in the role of consultant had invited each of them to some party, (indeed if they even accepted the invite)? They might like the free food and that would be it. Besides which, how often could that consultant keep trying to shill out the products to family and friends at these parties before they get turned off? No way to truly build a successful business!

    You also mentioned the possibility of building a business through this opportunity online. For $10/month an individual would even be given his/her company sponsored website. Would educational training/tutorials be provided to the individual teaching him/her how to market the business online by this company? I noticed that nothing was mentioned about this in your great review.

    Finally, as you stated it truly is not possible, apparently to tell the difference between many of the company’s products versus something that could be found at a much cheaper price at your local discount store. Sounds as if the Pampered Chef’s products are overpriced.

    As I am definitely not a person who has a passionate interest in cooking/baking, I guess that this opportunity to promote the company’s products would not be for me.

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