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Usborne Books is a direct sales, MLM model company founded in 1989. The company sales children's literature, including sticker books and activity books as well a wide variety of educational children's books. Its parent company Usborne Publishing/Educational Development Corporation was created by Peter Usborne in 1973. EDC acquired Kane Miller Publishing in 2008, adding another large children's books publisher known for both fiction and non-fiction genres. The company has been recognized twice as one of The 200 Best Small Companies in America by Forbes Magazine. The company was also recognized as one of America’s 100 Fastest Growing Small Companies three times by Fortune Magazine. The company’s mission is to “deliver educational excellence one book at a time” and “provide economic opportunity while fostering strong family values.” The corporate United States headquarters for Usborne Book is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Usborne Books generates approximately $9.6 million in global revenue annually.
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|Usborne Books & More ›|
Usborne Books distributes its product line through thousands of independent distributors globally via direct sales, school and book fairs, fundraising events, website, and home shows with family and friends. An Usborne Books consultant receives between 25 and 30 percent commissions based on total monthly sales volume. Consultants are provided written and audio training materials to help them grow their new businesses. Other benefits include discounted and free books, access to health and life insurance programs, luxury vacations, electronics, and other prizes.
Usborne Books features over 1,500 educational books for children on a wide variety of subjects that are published in over 100 different languages. There are no sales quota or inventory maintenance requirements. Prices for the books range from $3.95 to $47.95. Most titles average around $8.95. The books are printed on acid-free paper and may be purchased individually or in discounted packs.
It's not only about selling Usborne Books. The company offers a reading incentive program, book fair program, and matching grant program designed to partner with educational institutions. Usborne also provides a fundraising program for organizations called Cards For a Cause. These fundraisers offer three different boxed sets featuring 30 embellished greeting cards with matching envelopes. Groups are able to earn up to $13 for every boxed set sold with no restrictions on earning potential. Other services offered by Usborne Books include library bindings and MARC records. The company also allows consultants to borrow inventory on consignment if they choose to do fairs and events.
The company offers two options for those people wishing to become an independent Usborne Books consultant: The first is through purchasing the Mini Business Kit for $75 plus tax. Consumers may also purchase the full Business Kit for $149. Both packs include books, business supplies, and six-month free access to a personalized eCommerce website. The mini kit includes seven books and the full kit contains 18 books. Consultants earn 25 percent commissions on product sales. The company offers weekly team teleconferencing calls, a comprehensive online resource center, and video library. Consultants also receive access to the company's password-protected training site that features audio recordings, printable flyers, and more.
On the corporate website, the company states that the business can be quite lucrative. It follows this statement up with the fact that you can earn up to $125 for a two- to three-hour show. Hosting only one show per week is a far cry from lucrative. Distributors report not making a substantial income from product sales alone. The main profits come recruiting others into the business opportunity as is the case with similar party plans offered by competitors.
Previous Distributors report that in order to be successful, one must carry a large inventory despite company claims. People at large gatherings such as a book fair at a school and other public events tend to walk away with the books. The downside to this is that as a distributor, you will need to lug this large inventory around with you wherever you go. If the books don't sell, then the distributor is stuck with a large inventory of dog-eared products. Distributors who are stuck in saturated markets have typically sold the books at prices lower than the company would charge at retail price. This happens when individuals are stuck with large amounts of inventory. This affects the sales of other distributors in the local area as well, especially for those first starting their new business ventures.
The company states that it provides business training; however, this training only addresses basic business skills. It does not cover advanced sales and marketing techniques, which are crucial in achieving higher sales level ranks in a multi-level marketing company. Individuals that do not have a strong background in the development of these skills will want to seek out additional training right away. Otherwise, they may want to consider joining a similar competitor that offers this type of business education.
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I have been a consultant for a little over a year now, and the customer service has been superb. The shipping has been super quick, but I understand that since I started they have opened a new warehouse. I think all the bad reviews regarding customer service and what-not are really in the past for this company because I have had nothing but positive things to say about them
I’ve been a fan of these books ever since I was invited to a party in 2014, and host a party every 6 or 12 months. I’ll be frank; 2016 sucked big time and is the reason for all of these 1-Star reviews, mostly due to a huge sudden increase in orders that they had tried to be ready for and fell flat, which resulted in overworked webhost servers and crazy delays in shipping. Since early 2017, I’ve noticed, shipping has gone back to normal, the website is way more stable, damaged books are down, and their ‘book buck’ system (where you get an IOU for books that went out of stock in the time between when you placed your order and when it was filled) has decreased in frequency. Through it all, though, my consultant has remained helpful, cheerful, and did everything she could to help me and my friends who had ordered from my party to get our books. I am a huge fan of these books - they’re educational but fun, well-made, and rather reasonable in cost. I kicked around the idea of signing up, but I already sell another product and think I’ll just get my books for free by hosting. :)
I feel like this needs to be updated. this company does train us, a lot more then if you did itworks or other at home businesses. there are always new books and you can sell from online.. every book i have gotten has been worth the money, and made better then books i find at barnes and noble for kids.
Great company! I love the quality of the books!! I threw a facebook party for a friend and got a 100 bucks worth of books for free, and got some additional ones! I fell in love with the books and how beautiful they are!
I love love love books! They have helped encourage my kids to read more and they usually choose to read Usborne books over their other ones. They re beautiful and jam-packed with info and facts but they don’t FEEL like nonfiction! My consultant has always been helpful and kind and knowledgeable, and I’m glad I have a go-to person to order from because I order often and am glad I can support her!
The consultant I have been working with for the last couple years is amazing. She has been with the company 4 or 5 years and if an issue has came up (like during all that shipping hoopla), she has figured it out for me, I did not have to do the leg work which is nice for the busy mom of 4 children! Never once did she blame anyone, she just took it upon herself to tell me she would get to the bottom of it.
I am writing as a consumer, not a sales rep. I absoluely LOVE Usborne books themselves. But the experience of interacting with the company was appalling. I ahve ordered 3 times from Usborne "parties". The first order, placed in mid March was supposed to be for my kids birthdays, but after it didn't arrive by then, I thought I'd put them in their Easter baskets. WRONG. Still not here. Next I ordered in October/November for Christmas and the book spine was damaged (the paper padded cover was crushed in shipping.) That sales rep got a replacement for me before Christmas but it too was damaged. I didn't bother this time trying to replace it. Finally, I bought a book at a craft sale. It was shrink wrapped. When my son opened it at Christmas, two pages of the board book were printed twice and one page was comlpetely missing. It was a book that had stick on eye glasses and so 1 pair of glasses had no page to go on. It. Took. 3 Months. To get. A. Replacement. I called the company over Christmas break and they told me I'd have to find out who the sales rep at the craft fair was from the school and then contact that person. I will NEVER make a purchase of Usborne books from a consultant again. Love their products. Hate their company. I'll order through Amazon or not at all.
I love this wonderful company! Amazing Books!
Ordered a book for a Christmas gift. Would not order book untill rep had check in hand. Delivered check next day this was early November. Their rep mobile deposited check the day it was in their hand. Two weeks before Christmas no book. Several attempts to contact rep went unanswered. Finally about a week later was told on back order. They dud get us the book fot Christmas but found that the deposited my check a second time. Over two weeks has passed the second deposit has yet to be refunded.
I've been involved in 3 Facebook Parties, and hosting my own in just over a week. Each order has shipped in roughly 2-3 days, and I have received them about a week after. The books are excellent quality and highly informative. The consultants have even gone so far as to check in with me the day the books were delivered and a couple days after the fact to make sure I was enjoying them!
I love this company! The books are so great for children, and the quality is amazing! I'm so thankful for so many of the books that I can enjoy with my children!!
So I paid $24 for 2 sets of tiny books that are marked $7.99 each set. They look like books I can buy at the dollar store.
Took our money but did not send books! Over two weeks now and not replying to emails or informing about status of order. Asking them to cancel but not cancelling. More interested in promoting their FB group then sending us the product they took our money for!!
I have been a consultant with this company for almost a year now. I jumped in just before the website change and busy shopping season. I went through all the ups and downs of the chaotic holiday season this year. The website and shipping times were completely unacceptable, every consultant and all the way up to the CEO admitted to this. The company just grew WAY quicker and bigger than anyone could have imagined or was able to plan for. Every single person at Home Office busted their butt to package things themselves, made huge IT changes including going back to the old website, added shifts and more staff, trained and had video chats with the consultants and even recently made improvements to the warehouse to prepare for the upcoming Fall season. They truly listened and truly made changes for the better. Our leaders were amazing at keeping us as consultants in the loop and giving trainings and ideas for how to best help our customers through the holiday season and long shipments times, etc. I found Customer Service to be PHENOMENAL, despite the long waits at times, and they always counted down the minutes accurately while I waited. Now the company is running smoother than ever! Shipping times are on point, damaged books are near to none, Customer Service is very quick - I hardly ever wait if I have a question that I need clarified - and they are so lovely to talk to, and our CEO and VP continue to be amazing and truly care about the company, US and the literacy movement. While it really stinks what we all went through last Fall, the company and all its staff and consultants has worked extremely hard and has made so many improvements. I am so glad that I stuck through last holiday season because it really did get better as they promised and this whole experience has been amazing and so rewarding!
Usborne books are just awesome!! the contents are great and the illustrations are amazing! Good quality and reasonable price! My kids loves to read them again and again. about the shipping, I heard they had an issue of late shipping and customer service but seems like it has solved!I got my all orders in one in 2 weeks longest!
These books have amazing illustrations!! They are so educational and keep the kids attention for a ling time! They are such good quality. Perfect gift!!
Usborne Books & More sent me really amazing books with great quality!! My kids love these books! Definitely recommend them!!
Awesome books!! Super pleased! These are hand-down the best children's books on the market with a great variety! All the people I know who sell these are so friendly and will to help. And shipping was quick!
My experience with Usborne Books & More has been pretty wonderful. My books have arrived quickly at my house and my son and students love them! The images and story lines are not only engaging for kids but adults have fun with them too. I love the 50% replacement plan if your book gets damaged (replace it for 50% of original cost). This is a great peace of mind with kids. All of the consultants I have worked with are friendly and say they love the support they have through their teams. I have spoken with the customer service side of the business too and they were very friendly and helpful. Again, I have really enjoyed my experiences with Usborne Books & More.
Usborne Books are hands-down the most fabulous children's books on the market today. The quality and content are unbeatable. Every consultant I have spoken with has been friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. Books are shipped with a day or two and arrive within a week. Their return and replacement policy is extremely generous, and the consultant does all the work to make things right! Absolutely no complaints about this amazing, dedicated, and truly caring company.
I ordered books from an online party a friend of mine hosted in August 2016. Six weeks later I received only one book in the mail. Instead of the other 4 book collection, I received a book buck credit that stated my selection was out of stock. I'm not sure why I couldn't have been informed of this sooner, why did I have to wait 6 weeks to find out my order wouldn't fulfilled? The credit states I wouldn't get a refund nor would they just send my order when it was available. Instead, the replacement was my sole responsibility. It was up to me to monitor their website to see if I could catch it when it became available or pick something else for the exact same price (otherwise I would be out even more money to pay the difference). The first few times I tried, the collection wasn't available. Finally, in January 2017, I reached out to the Usborne consultant who was over the party I bought from. She took my book buck credit info and reordered the collection. One month later, I received ANOTHER credit telling me my selection was out of stock! At this point I was fed up, no longer interested in a credit, only a refund. February 2017, I emailed the consultant with my request for refund. We emailed back and forth several times over the next few months. I was told on 3 separate occasions that Usborne had refunded my money to the card I used and to look for it in 7-10 business days. No refund ever came. Finally, I began calling Usborne myself. When speaking to the rep, I was told they had already cut me a paper check. This was 5/10/17. When I asked why I was told 3 times a refund had been issued to my credit card, she told me that this was not her department and that was a stock answer they were trained to give when people asked. The check that was supposedly sent to me the week on 5/10/17 arrived yesterday, 5/27/17 with a written date of 5/23/17. I will never do business with this company again. I am appalled at the lack of customer service and the inability of this company to resolve issues. What is unfortunate is that the young woman who was our consultant for our party seemed to really try to help. She actually fulfilled my order herself for free, possibly out of her own stock (?) about a month ago trying to make up for the issues I had with the corporate level. The books are cute and my son likes them, but just not worth the hassle.
I find this business to be amazing and rewarding on every level. There is a TON of training offered. There are huge levels of support from all my team leaders -and leaders in other groups. Everyone realizes that to be a book salesperson, we have something really special in common, and we all want to do our part in furthering the love of reading in children. To work for Usborne means being part of the literacy movement, which has become a critical issue with all the screens we have today. I will say that for those who join Usborne, they should do so because they LOVE books, they realize how absolutely fantastic Usborne Books are in particular, and they want to make a difference in the lives of children and parents. To join purely for the purpose of becoming rich is not the right mindset for this business. And that doesn't happen overnight. It takes a few years of constant effort, as with most businesses. If you join because you have a passion for books, now that is the right mindset, and if you are an insightful and driven person, you will realize that people need to see the books up close. They want to flip through them and talk to an expert about them. You can be that expert and see children and parents walk away so happy to have found just the right books for them. If making a difference matters the most to you, others will see that and continue to buy from you and people will want to join in this effort and become book consultants themselves. You will grow a team naturally without much effort, just by being genuine. And you will sell a lot of books just by caring for each child and parent, and not being "salesy." Usborne offers so much training and support I cannot even begin to read through or watch it all. They offer major incentives which are easily accomplished with some effort. If your goal is to simply sit behind your computer and never get personal with anyone, you probably won't be as successful. At least not as much as you will by getting out in the community with a large inventory of books. That just makes sense. Good Luck, and I wish the best success for those who decide to join Usborne. I have enjoyed every minute of it.
I ordered a book and received it in only a few days (we live in California, and Usborne headquarters is in Oklahoma). I spoke to my old friend, who is an Usborne consultant, about the purported problems with shipping and receiving that occurred in mid-to-late 2016 before ordering, and she assured me that the problem has been resolved. She said it was due to a surge in sales that had taken place that year. The proof is in the pudding, my order was shipped and received in less than a week. Their books are beautiful, engaging, high-quality and yet affordable. The company pays special attention to ensure that children will love the books, that they will stand up to wear-and-tear, that they are up-to-date, educational and cater to a wide variety of tastes and learning styles. It's easy to see that their mission truly is promoting literacy.
I have been an Usborne Books and More independent consultant for a little over a month. I have done well so far and I am very thrilled with their books. They sell themselves. I do not carry inventory, but I have bought several for my kids!
I had a very long shipping time in the fall of 2016 but loved the books so much, I decided to give them another shot. And my consultant was right. They have turned things around and now have incredibly fast shipping and a new site that's incredible. I placed an order on a Tuesday and received the book the following Saturday. That's almost Amazon status. I'll continue to purchase these books for my kids because the content is great and they are very durable. I'm a fan.
Delivery for orders is only taking about a week these days! The current website is awesome and easy tonuse! Plus I'm loving the books! And they just had several new releases! I keep hearing a lot of praise on the quality of the books!
I signed up in June and started out doing okay. I was able to earn both success kits and was very pleased with the experience, despite the shipping times taking 4-6 weeks. Unacceptable in the day and age of Amazon Prime. However, as the holidays drew closer, they changed the website and all hell broke loose. Books were being advertised as in-stock when they weren't, shipping times doubled, and many of my customers grew just as frustrated as I was. I tried to stay positive but it was difficult to stay enthusiastic with the mess that the company turned into. My upline tried their best to keep spirits high with a bunch of "Usborne only wants what is best for us! Keep the faith in them!" BS when it was really only to keep them lining their pockets with the money that their downline brings in. Apparently, things are much more smooth now but at this point, I have lost my interest. Join/order at your own discretion.
I have been a consultant for 6 months now and it has been a big disappointment. Apparently there was a website switch that was scheduled to happen and no one was prepared or some such nonsense... Books were shipped MONTHS after they were ordered (if at all) making people's Christmas gifts arrive mid-January etc. and many were damaged. There are really too many problems to type here. Eight hour wait times calling into customer care... I highly recommend you join a company with a better track record. Save yourself the headache! Cute illustrations are not worth this much hassle.
I have been a consultant for 4 years and it is not true that you have to carry an inventory to be successful, we have high level directors who ONLY do parties on Facebook. The home office personnel are incredible and the quality of the product is fantastic. There was a period of trouble when the company grew 300-500% in a matter of months (by sales volume) causing complications with shipping and technology, but that's history. Even the 70+ year old CEO and his family were in the warehouse on the weekends packing boxes, that's how much they care...Whomever was talked to about this business for the review above must not have done the trainings or had support from their team for the information above is only partially true.
I absolutely love Usborne books. The content is wonderful...they are so engaging and educational. They also teach great values and social skills. Last year, the shipping time was pretty bad, however, customer service and consultants were honest about the length of time that orders could take to ship. Orders in the last couple of weeks have been being shipped out within 48 hours.
I ordered a set of early chapter books on August 18, 2016. Part of my order was delivered, the other part was apparently out of stock and I was given a credit. My Usborne sales contact re-ordered the same set as soon as they became available again. It is now January 17, 2017, and I still have no shipping confirmation. I will never order from Usborne again. Books are great, delivery is unacceptable.
Usborne books is terrible at customer service. I ordered books at the beginning of December for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. They did not come in time, nor was I given an email or response as to when they might arrive. The day after Christmas I called their customer service number hoping to get some answers and was put on hold for over an hour before hanging up. After that, I sent them an email just telling them to cancel my order and to send me a confirmation email that they were canceling it. Instead, 36 hours later, I received an email that the books that I no longer wanted had shipped. So I tried calling again only to be put on hold for 40 minutes before hanging up. They still have not responded to my cancellation request over a week later. I will never order these book again. This is deceptive practice and I intend to report them to the FTC.
I had a online party and none of my guest that ordered received their packages in a timely manner, it took over a month to get their books and the orders were not complete. They were told they can wait 4 months to receive the book they ordered . What?! Horrible experience and I will never order from them again or recommend them.
I signed up as a consultant with Usborne last June based on all the great promises the company gave about incentives and awards. I earned a success kit during my introductory period in August and, despite several attempts to contact customer service that have received NO REPLY whatsoever, I still have not received the awards promised. Customer service tickets over two months old that never get responded to, customer orders that get shipped to wrong addresses, getting billed for the website two months early, shipping times of 6+ weeks on orders - this company is terrible.
I hosted a party on Black Friday and still have not received my order. Been on hold with customer service and cannot get on one on the line. I keep getting the run around from the rep that had me host the party. Go to th book store don't order from here. Horrible.
Never ordering from them again! I ordered from a friend's Facebook party and was told purchases would arrive by Christmas. I received my package today (12/31) and only got one of the books I ordered- the other is "out of stock" so I was given a credit. There was absolutely no communication about the delay in shipping or the book being out of stock. Now not only are the Christmas presents for my godsons late... I only have a gift for one of them and will have to rush out to find something else. I am also in direct sales. I understand that consultants have no control over shipping- but we do have control over communication. Direct sales is about building relationships and keeping our customers informed- not getting the sale and being done with it.
I am a new consultant with the company and am sorry I wasted my time and money trying to sell for them. The books are GREAT but the customer service is TERRIBLE. I had a client host a facebook party that I closed on December 2, 2016. The books from this party, which were primarily all Christmas gifts did not even ship until after Christmas!! On December 22, I was on hold with Customer Service for over an hour and a half before I talked to anyone (which is absurd) just for them to tell me that they had gone over their allotted shipments with UPS and would not be shipping any more books before Christmas! What?!?! How am I as a consultant supposed to build a business and get people interested in these books when the customer service from the company is so terrible? Usborne needs to figure some things out.....this is no way to run a business!! I am very disappointed in the company!
Very dissatisfied with the service provided by this company. An order was placed for some books on December 4. Today is December 30 and the books have not arrived. At this point I would expect someone at the corporate level would contact me with an apology and a refund. I will never make a purchase from usborne books again and will continue to let my experience be known.
Was very excited to order books for my grandkids for Christmas. I am very disappointed that they have still not arrived. Ordered the end of November. I will not be ordering again and will not recommend your company to anyone. It shouldn't take over a month to receive a package in the mail in the United States. I own my own business and would not still be in business if my shipping practices were like yours. Connie Conlon
I hosted a party on Cyber Monday (Nov 28). I was told the books would arrive by Christmas. Everyone at my party ordered books as Christmas presents. I even double checked during my party that they would arrive on time, as my guests kept asking me. I was reassured that they would be here. A week before Christmas I was notified that they might not arrive on time. Not a single person that ordered from my party got their books. It was embarrassing to me as a host, inviting people to my party to purchase christmas gifts and being reassured they would arrive in time, to have every single person not have them. It's 4 days after Christmas and I have yet to see my order. I feel they were promising something they knew might not happen just to get more sales. None of us would have ordered and I wouldn't have had the party if I knew the books might not be here in time. I also feel that they kept trying to blame the delivery trucks (UPS) by saying they have no control when items arrive after being shipped. This is true, BUT the items were never shipped before Christmas, and I don't like people trying to pass the blame. I have hosted several parties and have purchased MANY Usborne books, but I will never buy them again, as I feel I was being made false promises just so this company could make more money off of me and my family and friends.