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Usborne Books

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am just starting with this group so I don't have sales experience, but I am really loving their program.

Specifically, I like that you don't have to focus on home parties. Each school and library can be assigned one consultant, and you can work on focusing your sales in those areas if you choose. This is what I"ll be doing.

I'll also be approaching day cares, children's museums and other similar groups.

They offer a reading program that serves as a fundrasier for these groups so everyone really benefits.

I'm pretty excited about it, especially since my local schools are pretty open (not claimed by other consultants at this time)

I am nervous about how to approach these establishments, so I'll be looking for more real life advice on that.

The minimums are great for anyone who likes to do low commitment. There is an $85 min in the incentive period and then no minimum after that. You can sign on with a intro package (they have monthly specials) for less then $50 startup (changes monthly) or you can jump in with both feet and buy their website etc.

There are wonderful incentives (double the free gifts for hostesses) during the incentive period, which is a plus for getting started, as well as bonuses for recruiting during the hostess period.

If you aspire to supervisor level, you earn wonderful commissions on your sales and your team sales. I am trying to recall the exact numbers off hand, but I think it is around 4% for team sales and an additional 11% for your own? And there are requirements for that and for being a supervisor, of course.

I am not a big fan of home parties, as they conflict with our family time, so this is appealing to me in the options to pursue day sales.



I'll let you know how easy/hard it is to get started once I get rolling, but I'd love to hear more from other Usborne consultants that are more experienced!
How has your experience been?
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post #2 of 21
I researched all of the work-from-home opportunities and this one seemed the most rewarding and doable for me. I really had to look at what area of sales was realistic for me since I live in a small town. There are many ways to share these books including internet sales, home parties, direct sales, booths (like at county fairs) and through schools and libraries.

I checked out the books on the web-site and found a few at the local library (half of them were checked out), and I figured that if I never sold a book to anyone but just paid my initial start-up fee and bought the very low sales requirement (85$ in three months) that I couldn't lose. I would have a ton of great books in the end.


When I thought of all the work-from-home I could do, selling childrens books was a no-brainer. I mean, I don't wear make-up so Mary Kay is out of the question, I can't afford the monthly costs of some of the other companies products, and having children of my own who love to be read to makes it all the more enjoyable.


Since the books basically sell themselves, there isn't any need for pushy sales, something the company actually frowns upon. They have great programs for schools and libraries and can even earn the school money and free books. And al LaLa said above, you don't have to do home parties if you don't want to. They are an incredible way to get all the local moms in-the-know about these great books though. I find it fun making flyers and going around town with my kids hanging them up on the bulletin boards of local businesses. I find that this helps get my creativity flowing- and self-confidence. It makes it easier knowing that I have a great product to offer!
post #3 of 21
I have to update my experience so people reading can get a bit more info from my eperience. I was so gung-ho in the beginning and things seemed rather easy.

Here is what I found after a few months:
This is definitely something you have to put a good amount of work into. I found lots of people who were like wow, great books. But as far as buying, they just aren't doing it. It could be because it is the end of the school year or my sales style. I have sort of resigned to just buying books for myself and family because they really are great books. I even have single friends who are amazed at the information in those books especially the art books. I considder it a great investment in my home library because I can get the books at 30% off.

I figure that I can always sell them to someone who is interested but am not going to try anymore. It is just so discouraging putting so much time into things and having no guarantee of making any money. I have to say that I could have put in a bit more effort into it but I do have a family.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh good to hear a follow up!
I have also been at it for a while now and, like you, I was all gung ho, but to be realistic to myself and my AP at home comitment, there is no job that involves selling or networking that I am going to really do well with my 1 and 3 year old needing me so much right now.

I did call 10 schools and 5 of them were interested in booking shows for the fall, so that is just a brief demo of how easy it is to get started with that route BUT I just don't know how I will do that toting my kids with me everywhere!

I have a ton of great ideas for making this business a success, but I have resigned to not pushing it until my girls are in school (at least one of them) as they will have to be a part of it if I am pursuing it in the day hours.

Any business requires time away from family at some point, so the trick is deciding what your limit is and what your goals need to be. I don't NEED to be pursuing a second career right now(i already teach classes and have a website), so I am not as motiviated to sacrifice even a moment of time with my kids, but many women do not have the luxury that i do of not having to worry about that second income. If I did, I would push this more. Is that confusing?!
LOL

I am looking forward to the fall parties pre holiday as I think they will fly out the door as gifts
post #5 of 21
I am with Usborne Books, and I am having a blast!! Here's my two cents...

I started in January, and was relatively "unsuccessful" at "getting" Average Joe people to buy these books. What I decided to do about a month ago, was to just concentrate on schools in the district that I had grown up in. I had absolutely no contacts, since most teachers/librarians/admin that were there when I was are all retired. I called a few schools, and on one I borderlined on stalking (lol), but found one elementary school librarian that wanted to hear more about the RFTS (reading incentive program). I booked an event with her soon after our first meeting, and I will find out this week how much of a success it is. I have another meeting with a librarian at another elementary this month for the same RFTS program.

None of this started happening until just recently... I have to admit I was frustrated for a while, but I kept going to local training meetings and success clinics for more support. One girl I know from my area was saying to me just recently, "I want all the success without the work." That really touched me, as I feel the same way sometimes! What I have found is that if I don't "give up" (mentally and physically), I will hit some good sales eventually. And when you finally get that sale, give that person the best customer service possible so you can have a repeat customer!

Just a thought, too: have you read the last newsletter? There was an article about trying to get people to make "opinion appointments"? I think I'm going to try that, as I'd like to get something going in the home show dept around here!

Hugs, and much luck!

P.S. Tiffany, we are having our regional in Denver on January 29. If yuou would like to come, please PM me and I will direct you to more info.
post #6 of 21
We love Usborne. Its pretty easy to do, easy to recruit and everyone LOVES the books.
I know I've personally gotten a 3 shelf bookcase worth for next to nothing since I've been a consultant (since last September)
And there are always special kits, each month for signing up and I've already got a 10 member downline
post #7 of 21
I've been selling Usborne for a few months now and I love it! I'm at a point where the money is desperately needed, and I welcome some time away from the kids now and then. They get to have alone time with daddy and they love the break from me, too!
I'm really hoping to get this to career level income, and am working very hard to build my business. I was 'gung ho' about many other WAH opportunities, but this is the only one that has proven to fit really well with my personality and goals. The hostess rewards, compensation and commission are better than any others I've tried. I love Usborne, the biggest reason being my kids LOVE the books, and they're great for our homeschooling!
post #8 of 21

New Special Sold Me!!! Only $25 inc. s/h!!!

Hi everyone! I have just started with Usborne Books and am blown away by all the support, as well as how well these wonderful books are received.
I signed up at the very beginning of this month. (I was actually knocking the door down trying to sign up for the Sept. Special) Every month Usborne offers a new consultant special.

September's Special is only $25 inc. s/h !!!!!!!!! This gets you 10 great books and all the supplies needed to host your first 5 shows. Your supervisor will later help you with supplies as you progress. You also get entered for a chance to win a trip to Paris! Needless to say, I figured the books alone were worth that!

I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 3 mo. old. I am taking my 3 mo old with me to the shows. This has been an awesome way to find something I can get excited about, be successful at, interact with other adults, but still be there for my kids. I just had my first show and sold over $400! That's a $100 check for me!! I can't decide which bill to take over, plus I think I will try to save for a laptop (with wireless!!)

[Admin note: Sentence with business link removed. Please do not post linke that direct members to your personal site]
post #9 of 21
Hi all, I just had to add my experience in here as well. I am also a pretty new consultant with Usborne and so far am loving it. They always offer their standard start-up kit as well as a monthly special kit which is cheaper and a great way to go if you're just joining for the consultant discount. The only requirement is that you sell (or buy yourself like I couldn't help doing ) a total of $115 in retail sales within your first three months and from then on there are no more requirements.

My kids are in love with the books and there is such an amazing variety as I think someone else mentioned. The quality is wonderful but I also really like letting people know they have a 30 day money back guarantee if you don't like the item, and also a lifetime half-price replacement policy (for when the dog tries to eat the book, or you run over it in the driveway - true stories).

The touchy feely board books are so adorable, even my girls (5 and 9) like them, lol. We love the new sticker dress up books, cookbooks, and Ballerina Dreams series. All the books we've gotten so far, really. Our favorite though is the Animal Stencil book.

I think someone else also mentioned how home shows aren't the only avenues to success with this business. Homeschoolers, schools, librarys, preschools, daycares, booths and craft fairs, are some of the other ways that Usborne can be marketed. Nice for those of us who are not so into the home party scene.

Anyway, if anyone has any specific questions just PM me and I'd love to help.
post #10 of 21
Hi there!

I am another September recruit. I thought I'd give it a go for $25 with no shipping. I have really been enjoying my experience. The amount of support and ideas for boosting and getting sales/bookings is wonderful. It has gone well beyond my expectations.

I have been boosted personally by the experience so far also. I am making money and feel great that I am contributing to our savings account (we are about to build our first home)!!

The books are amazing! We have been Usborne fans since my 4 yr old was a baby. We have an Aunt who always gives Usborne books for birthdays/Christmas and they are among the best gifts that the girls have received! My girls are in love with the Duck. My 18m Dd llloooovvvvees to look for the Duck. She says (toddler accent in mind) "Where'd the Duck go?....pause.....I donno(should shrug palms facing up)....There he is(points to the duck)!!!".

I highly recommend this company. I have experience with another networking company and I was getting pretty discouraged. I was feeling very hesitant about joining another company, but I couldn't have made a better choice! I have thoroughly enjoyed things so far.

Well, I better go and get ready for a Fundraiser for a Charter school today! This is my first event like this so I do not know what to expect. I need some pixie dust from the bookings fairy .
post #11 of 21
I have been working with parties primarily, but have gotten some good training materials on RFTS and our bookfairs. I have begun approaching schools, and have had a good response, but it takes time for people to try something new. The programs we do have, however, are phenomenal and have an excellent payout to you and benefit the schools far beyond what they are probably used to. Home shows are a great way to get referrals, but you don't have to do them. I just visited my public library and had a $2000 sale! What a boost! There are so many wonderful things that Usborne offers--definately a wider market than most. HTH!
post #12 of 21
To answer MA Mommy. I don't have enough stock (and don't think I want to either) to do book fairs for elementary schools so I'm concentrating on preschool bookfairs that are order only. It's working well.

For elementary schools (though I don't have tons of experience yet) I've done a Literacy for a Lifetime which is our matching grant program where the schools get 50% more in books than the grant amount and Reach for the Stars which is the reading program for the kids. I like it because the kids earn books and the school. And FREE shipping on both programs which is a huge bonus to the school.

Anyway, talk to your upline about them! And there are some great training resources too!

Aren't you gals excited about March's Free start up promotion? Wow!!
post #13 of 21

I finally joined and I'm loving it!

Yeah! I am finally I consultant. So far everything that I have heard about the company is true. I love the books and am actually excited to talk about them and read them. My son loves to look at them and have them read to him. This company offers a lot of information and support for new consultants. I have found it easy to set my own goals.

I have not worked in direct sales before, nor have I ever done sales. So for me, this is a great fit. I find it to be an ethical company who promotes professionalism over pushy-sales. I would recommend this for someone who is considering direct sales and someone who values education and children.
post #14 of 21
I have just recently become a consultant as well. I've been thinking about it for a long, long time. I love their books and we had a bunch of them already. This seems to be a great fit for my family and a great way to get books that we have on our homeschooling wish list since they have great incentives for the first 12 weeks and a great discount. I also feel like they make it very easy for people to get started, especially with the discounts they offer monthly on packages. My local consultant got me started. The only thing I regret is not signing on while she was still in her intro period since I could have gotten the full kit for $99. Oh well, live and learn
post #15 of 21
I wanted to come back and add some more about my experience so far. I am currently listening to a recorded training call. I think this is so cool! Instead of just giving me a guide, there are weekly live phone calls with a great training guru of direct marketing consultants. I can't make the time, so I can listen to these calls later from my computer I've only been add this for three weeks now and feel like I have had wonderful support and will do well with my upcoming shows. I have already paid off my investment with my first show, so it's all profit from here! I love Usborne!
post #16 of 21
Just an FYI for those of you waiting for a low cost kit - it's only $35 plus shipping for September! I bought a set of five cool knights books for my boys and it was only $28 with my discount.
post #17 of 21

Not so much

A big bump! I had to post on here because I know people look to see about getting into home sales. Usborne has not been so good for me, at all. In general they seem to want to pay you in free or discounted books rather than actual money, but I always ended up paying shipping etc and feeling like I was getting ripped off. I don't really need a discount where I am shelling out money, I was hoping to really make some money. I was able to do a school book fair and only sold $500 of books, so that allowed the school $250 n free books- awesome for them, not so much for me since the school was an hour away and I spent a whole week up there showcasing the books. I made $45 or something in commission, but of course all that is put towards the books I had to get on consignment from the company just in order to have enough inventory to run a book fair. Most of my consignment didn't sell, so now I'm stuck with shipping charges to send the books back. I've had large amounts of money taken from my account and I'm not sure what orders it was supposed to be for and Usborne hasn't been able to clear things up for me. Customer service has been deplorable, snippy and not helpful and generally not knowledgeable, particularly about book fairs and the ordering software (which btw is not at all use friendly and if you make a mistake you basically eat it because they can't fix it for you). I feel like I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars on this business and it has gone nowhere. Just my two cents worth, but wanted to add in a word of warning to balance out all the glowing reviews. I had high hopes too, but I really think this business is more geared towards someone who has plenty of time and money to spend doing it as a hobby.
post #18 of 21
I've only been with Usborne Books since April and I haven't made money but I 've only had 2 home shows and only a few people have ordered.I'm doing a christmas fair this weekend and I'm hoping to sell alittle.
I'm only doing this so I can have discounted books for my son. I love books and love to buy them. I'm also planning to give all my neices a nephews books for christmas this yr.
post #19 of 21
I have been a consultant since April 2007. I signed up by myself, so didn't realize there was the incentive period, nor did I have someone to coach/train me. Once I found someone in my area, I was able to get my business rolling. I have found here was a learning curve for me since I haven't truly been in sales... aside from department stores that didn't require sales goals. Anyways, one of my girlfriends signed up and found out it didn't suite her. She loves the books, yet didn't feel comfortable with the business side of things. What I have enjoyed is there is only the initial sales requirement, then nothing beyond that. So you can make it your own... and with that, I would say there is tons of training available via their website with audio and printed materials. And I have received lots of help from my upline.

The money side of things... this is the slippery slope, right? You don't have to recruit people to make money, but you will make more money if you do and if you keep working. Also, it can be easy to pour money into the business with little returns. YET, by paying attention to where you spend money and keeping your costs low it can pay off. I had another friend sign up and thought it was too much work for her... And I think there is some work involved in the beginning if you have never sold anything before. Once I got past the first hump, I try to keep my business stream lined on cost and time. Here's the catch... I don't have to pay for daycare, I DO have a flexible schedule... But I do have to work, I don't earn money by doing nothing.

I found in my market I found that I enjoy working with schools more than doing homeshows... well that's mostly because I haven't been able to get my friends or family to do them beyond the initial thing... They don't like home shows... But they do purchase things from me off and on. Anyways, another girl who lives in the same community swears by home shows. She makes $100 at each one... that's her cut.

So really, I think the key is that you have to decide if this is a good fit for yourself. AND get good training from the beginning.

If you are considering this, and aren't sure, just know that you can make money with this, it isn't difficult, but it does take some effort.

Oh, I should say that most of the Usborne sales were up in December 2008 from the previous year. So it seems to be maintaining despite the recession.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherweh View Post
A big bump! I had to post on here because I know people look to see about getting into home sales. Usborne has not been so good for me, at all. In general they seem to want to pay you in free or discounted books rather than actual money, but I always ended up paying shipping etc and feeling like I was getting ripped off. I don't really need a discount where I am shelling out money, I was hoping to really make some money. I was able to do a school book fair and only sold $500 of books, so that allowed the school $250 n free books- awesome for them, not so much for me since the school was an hour away and I spent a whole week up there showcasing the books. I made $45 or something in commission, but of course all that is put towards the books I had to get on consignment from the company just in order to have enough inventory to run a book fair. Most of my consignment didn't sell, so now I'm stuck with shipping charges to send the books back. I've had large amounts of money taken from my account and I'm not sure what orders it was supposed to be for and Usborne hasn't been able to clear things up for me. Customer service has been deplorable, snippy and not helpful and generally not knowledgeable, particularly about book fairs and the ordering software (which btw is not at all use friendly and if you make a mistake you basically eat it because they can't fix it for you). I feel like I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars on this business and it has gone nowhere. Just my two cents worth, but wanted to add in a word of warning to balance out all the glowing reviews. I had high hopes too, but I really think this business is more geared towards someone who has plenty of time and money to spend doing it as a hobby.
Hi there. I just wanted to respond to your post and say that I'm sorry you are having such a poor time with Usborne. I don't, however, agree with all of your statements...but I want to say this in a kind way...I'm not angry or anything.

Usborne definitely wants to pay people in money. You get 25% commission for home shows and 17% for book fairs, plus monthly bonuses. So, your book fair of $500 should have earned you $85 commission (a home show for that amount would have earned you $125...for 2 hours of work!). Maybe you were figuring in the total minus gas cost. Remember, too, that any business expenses are tax write-offs. Yeah, book fairs don't have the greatest commission, but that is probably why Reach For The Stars was started! With Reach For The Stars (a read-a-thon program), consultants are making much more (about 40% or more!). There is a lot of information on this in the CIA and FTP sites. Plus, for every successful book fair you do, that is a success that you can tell other schools about that may want to either have an RFTS or Literacy For A Lifetime (the 50% matching grant program)! I don't mind the book fairs, because it will generate experience and success under my belt that other schools will look at and go, "Oh! Yeah! We want that, too!"

As far as paying shipping for your free books, I think it is definitely worth it. Let's say I am getting $50 in free books. The shipping cost would be 8% ($4), and then my sales tax on that would be 5% (.20). So, that is $50 worth of wonderful Usborne educational books (that I can keep or resell at a booth event ) for just $4.20! I'll take that! Plus, you don't [I]have[I] to get the free books if you don't want them.

As far as consignment, it is suggested that you have a few events lined up in a row before getting it so that you aren't stuck with it. I haven't done consignment, anyway, so I am no pro on that subject. I have placed a few orders that got me some inventory because I love doing booth events. I just collect inventory slowly for those and it works out fine. Whatever I don't sell one month, no biggie, I just save it for the next one.

I've never had a problem with customer service, either...sorry you had that. I have made a few mistakes in my orders and they were taken care of right away with a simple phone call.

Yes, it does take some time to build up your business (any business!). However, I have done many work at home jobs and this one is by far the most fun and rewarding that I have ever done. I have done transcription, ChaCh*, iDictate...all of those felt stressful and blah. I have to have a job where I work when I want. Getting out once a week to do a home show or school event is fun for me!

Anyway, no home business is perfect, but Usborne has been a blast for me.
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