Honest Home Business Reviews

Is Rodan And Fields A Scam? Is Rodan And Fields A Pyramid Scheme?

is rodan and fields a scam

You may have heard of them, but wondered “what is Rodan and Fields?” Is Rodan and Fields a scam? Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme or a legit business opportunity? We’ll also show you how to become a Rodan And Fields consultant.

Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme

In this report, we will answer some common questions, like:

  • What is Rodan and Fields?
  • How did Rodan and Fields begin?
  • How much money can be made with Rodan and Fields?
  • Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?
  • Is Rodan and Fields a scam?

Rodan And Fields (R+F) is a company that manufactures and sells high-end anti-aging skin care products. It operates on a direct sales/multi-level marketing business model. (More on that topic a bit later.)

How Did Rodan and Fields Begin?

Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields met as medical students. Both were completing a residency program in dermatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine at the time.

First Product Proactiv®


As dermatology students (and later as full-fledged dermatology doctors), Rodan and Fields had a an intense interest in healthy skincare. The two decided to partner together several years after meeting to create a clinical-grade home treatment for severe acne. That product was Proactiv®, and it became one of the most successful acne care products in history.

The Proactiv® brand was later sold to another company. However, Rodan and Fields went on to develop more clinical-grade skincare products for the mass market. “Rodan and Fields” was officially founded in 2002.

First Sold In High-end Department And Drug Stores

Initially, the R+F product line was sold in high-end department and drug stores. The brand later went through some changes and R+F eventually turned to a direct sales/multi-level marketing business model.

(R+F products are no longer sold in stores. They can only be sold by independent sales consultants. See “How to become a Rodan and Fields consultant section.)

Ultimately, Rodan and Fields simply wanted to offer skincare products that are of the highest quality available on the market. Every product has been carefully researched and developed using medical and clinical-grade ingredients that are proven to be beneficial and healthy.

The Start Of Using Direct Selling

The switch from selling in stores to direct selling was an intentional decision by the founders. It was both for economical as well as personal reasons.

The direct sales method of selling products would allow ordinary individuals to have a stake in the overall success of the company. Not only that, it would also empower people to be their boss and shape their financial future in the way that best suited them.

Is Rodan and Fields a Pyramid Scheme? Is Rodan and Fields a Scam?

First, many consumers are familiar with the idea of a “pyramid scheme.” You may have asked, “Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?”

It’s a fair question. After all, no one likes getting ripped off, whether they are the ones selling or the ones buying.

Actually, consumers frequently refer to direct sales businesses as pyramid schemes. Most aren’t. So, is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?

Pyramid Scheme Definition

Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme


(Photo source: http://welcome-to-tiens.blogspot.com/)

By simple definition, a pyramid scheme requires any person who wants to get involved in the so-called “opportunity” must pay a fee or “invest” money.

They must also recruit others into the pyramid. This, supposedly, is how the person makes money off of his “fee” or “investment.”

(You can read more in-depth about pyramid schemes here )

Pyramid Schemes Are Illegal

This is because a person joining the pyramid is not receiving a legitimate product in return for his fee or investment.

Not only that, but all pyramid schemes eventually collapse. All it takes is for one member not to recruit new members, or any member not paying his share of the investment.

Pyramid schemes generally only benefit the person at the very top of the pyramid (the person who originated the process). Those below see little, if any, profit.

So if you wondered, “is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme,” we get it.

Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?

R+F is not a pyramid scheme. It operates on a direct sales/multi-level marketing business model.

First, what is “direct sales?

When a company follows this business model, it doesn’t sell its products in stores.

Instead, it relies on individual sales consultants to market its goods. Consultants promote and sell the products directly to other individuals.

(Learn more about how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant later in this report.)

Consultants Use Several Strategies

They may use a number of strategies to do this. Consultants may simply choose to talk up the products to family and friends. They may hold “parties” or “demos” in people’s homes where they demonstrate the products to a small group of people.

These days, Internet marketing has become a very important tool for direct sales consultants. They often use their social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to reach out to potential buyers.

Secondly, what is “multi-level marketing?” Most (but not all) direct sales company also operate on a multi-level marketing business model.

It is the multi-level marketing part of the model that consumers sometimes confuse with a “pyramid scheme.” However, it is not a “scheme,” even though the model can be diagrammed something like a pyramid shape. (Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme? Read on…)

Picture A Pyramid

So, for the sake of creating a better mental image, picture a pyramid.

Top Level: Company

At the the top point of the pyramid is the company (i.e. Rodan and Fields).

Next Level: Top-Level Consultants

On the next level down you would find the top-level consultants (i.e. sales or regional directors). Below that, you would find the consultants who are “managers.”

Next Level: Regular (Non-management, Non-directorial) Consultants

Finally, at the base of the pyramid are all of the regular (non-management, non-directorial) consultants.

Keep in mind, this is a very simplified diagram. However, it gives you a bit of an idea.

The company itself at the top of the pyramid makes the most money.

This is because it sells its products wholesale to the level below it (the directors).

The directors may also make money by selling product to the people underneath them on the pyramid (the managers and the regular consultants).

However, most of their profit is generated through commission. That is, they make a commission on all of the sales made by they managers and the consultants that the managers are in charge of.

The managers, too, may sell product to their consultants.

However, like the directors, they make the most profit off of commissions of sales made by the consultants they are in charge of.

At the bottom of the pyramid, the consultants also make a commission on what they sell.

However, because there is no one underneath them, they do not make commission on other consultants’ sales.

So is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme? No.

How is this not a pyramid scheme?

Simply put, consultants (including managers and directors) do have to invest money in a certain amount of product. (Usually this is product that they use for demos.)

This makes sense. After all, you have to spend money to make money, no matter what business you are in.

The reason it doesn’t fall under the definition of a “pyramid scheme” hinges on two facts:
  • Investors receive an actual, physical product for their investment.
  • The stability of the pyramid is not dependent on every single participant recruiting others into the pyramid. Although multi-level marketing companies encourage its consultants to recruit other consultants, an individual consultant can still make money simply by selling product.

So, is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme, by this definition?

Although consumers sometimes mislabel direct sales companies as “pyramid schemes,” they do not fit the legal definition. They, including Rodan and Fields, operate under a legitimate and often highly-effective business model.

You may be wondering, if it’s not a pyramid scheme, is Rodan and Fields a scam?

(Interested in how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant? Keep reading…)

Is Rodan and Fields a Scam?

Another question that consumers sometimes ask besides “is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?” is, “Is Rodan and Fields a scam?” Unlike the term “pyramid scheme,” there is no legal definition for “scam.” If this is true, can we answer the question “is Rodan and Fields a scam?

A “scam” is considered to be a business opportunity or proposition that fails to deliver what it promises to people who participate. However it is not necessarily a “pyramid scheme.”

So, is Rodan and Fields a scam? Here is what it promises to its independent consultants:

  • Demo product in exchange for an investment of money, as well as other materials to support the promotion of their business (catalogs, sales flyers, order forms, a Web page, etc.)
  • A commission on every item that the consultant sells
  • The opportunity to earn even greater commission by recruiting new consultants
  • The opportunity to advance to higher levels (i.e. manager, director) within the company
  • Even greater profits to earn as a manager/director
  • Business support from the parent company itself

Again, this is a simplified explanation, but you get the idea. By this description, is Rodan and Fields a scam?

For these reasons, we can confidently answer the question “Is Rodan and Fields a scam?” with a resounding “no.” We won’t say it’s a scam. However, there are many negative reviews by former consultants on blogs that call it a scam.

There are thousands of verified consultants in the US alone who make legitimate money. Many are highly successful at their work. From what we can tell, you don’t have to worry about is Rodan and Fields a scam.

(Interested in how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant? Check out the next section.)

How to Become a Rodan and Fields Consultant

how to become a rodan and fields consultant

We’ve already alluded a bit to the answer to how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant. Individuals who want to become a consultant can do so simply by signing up. They can do this in one of two ways:

  1. Join online
  2. Sign up with a R+F consultant

How to Become a Rodan and Fields Consultant by Joining Online:

Simply visit the R+F website and click on the “become a consultant” link. Interested individuals will find all they need to know here about how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant.

Alternatively, if you have or know of a R+F consultant in your area, you may contact them to sign up. They can give you detailed info on how to become a Rodan and Fields Consultant.

How Much Does Rodan and Fields Cost?

The only up-front cost associated with how to become a Rodan and Fields consultant is the price of the “business kit.” The cost is $45.

However, there will be some ongoing costs as part of maintaining your business. They will be for things like:

  • Catalogs when you run out, or when new ones are published
  • Sales flyers/brochures- when you run out, or when new ones are published
  • New demo products- when new products come out, you may wish to purchase them for demonstration purposes
  • Costs associated with attending corporate meetings and events. This may include gas and/or airfare.

As a consultant, you will probably want to use some of the products yourself. This is not a requirement. However, if you purchase products for personal use, you will receive a discount or pay the wholesale price.

How Does Rodan and Fields Work?

Once you become a consultant, you begin making money on every product you sell. Consultants earn the difference between the wholesale cost of the product and the retail price.

That means that, if a particular product wholesales at $130 and retails for $190, you earn $60.

However, consultants have the opportunity to earn even more by advancing within the consultant hierarchy. Advancement can be achieved by generating a particular amount in regular sales as well as recruiting new consultants.

Consultants have the opportunity to advance through eight more levels:

  1. Active Consultant
  2. Executive Consultant
  3. Level 1 Executive Consultant
  4. The Level 2 Executive Consultant
  5. Level 3 Executive Consultant
  6. The Level 4 Executive Consultant
  7. Level 5 Executive Consultant
  8. Premier Executive Consultant

There is an increase in the number of ways to earn money with each advancement. Additionally, each advancement increases the amount of commission that you can make.

(You can find a full, detailed breakdown of how much you earn at each stage here )

Additionally, there are some other benefits that you can pursue as a Rodan + Fields consultant:

  • Performance bonuses (various programs available)
  • Travel rewards (periodic contests where consultants can win exotic vacations)
  • Prizes (including product, tools for building your business and many others)
  • Leadership development opportunities (in the form of workshops, conferences, online training and others)

How Much Money Can Be Made With Rodan and Fields?

There is no way to pin down a specific answer to this. Technically, your potential is limitless. It all depends on how hard you want to work and how well-developed your skills are or become.

That being said, there are Rodan + Fields consultants who choose to work at their business just part time and make a few hundred dollars per month. Others, particularly those who advance to higher levels, make six-figure annual incomes. It’s really up to you.

What Other People Are Saying About Rodan and Fields

Where do you turn when you want to find out whether a particular product, offer or opportunity is worth pursuing? You probably ask other people who have used that product or taken advantage of that offer or opportunity before.

That’s why we like to check out what other people are saying about a business opportunity. In this case, we look to current and former Rodan + Fields consultants.

Hopefully their experiences will help you make an informed decision as to whether this opportunity is right for you and answer the question, “is Rodan And Fields a scam?”.

We turn to consumer rating Websites to conduct our research. Some of these include Glassdoor.com, TrustPilot.com, RipOffReprt.com, BBB.org (The Better Business Bureau) and a number of others.

Better Business Bureau:

On the Better Business Bureau website, Rodan + Fields had an A+ rating. There were 72 customer reviews and of these 67 were negative reviews.

To help answer the question “is Rodan And Fields a scam?”, we looked at many of the negative reviews on the BBB website.

Many of the negative reviews said they were “ripped off” and”charged without ever placing an order”. It seems the majority of negative reviews are from customers who say they were charged “fraudulently”.

We saw no reviews from consultants.

Glassdoor.com Consumer Ratings:

This site asks users to rate their experience working with R+F out of a total of four stars. The company had an overall average ranking of 3.9 out of 4 stars and a total of 234 reviews.


The most common “pros” about working for R+F included the high quality and effectiveness of the products, the ability to work as little or as much as you want to, the ability to work from home, being able to work independently and shape your own business and the extra “perks,” such as the ability to earn prizes (i.e. vacations).


The most common “cons” included difficulty selling products that have such a high price tag (hard to find customers with a lot of discretionary money), a “cutthroat” or “mean girls” culture among sales consultants and ongoing pressure to actively push the products and/or to recruit new consultants.

Many also commented that the only way to make significant money was to continually recruit new consultants. Merely selling product didn’t bring in enough income for time spent.

However, there were also a significant number of reviewers who stated they couldn’t think of any “cons” to working for R+F.

Yelp.com Consumer Ratings:

Reviews on this site were less flattering. However, there were only ten, so more information might be needed before passing judgment based on this.

Additionally, eight of the ten reviews were posted by customers who bought product, NOT consultants.

More than half of the reviews from customers stated that they were unhappy with the service they received from R+F. Reasons cited included:

  • Being enrolled in the company’s “preferred customer” program (which automatically ships you product and charges your credit card monthly) without permission
  • Asking to be removed from the “preferred customer” program but being denied
  • Rude treatment when speaking to representatives by phone
  • Not having calls or emails answered/returned
  • Problems with a product (product not effective, burned skin, etc.)
  • Waiting extremely long periods of time to receive promised refunds
  • Being denied refunds that customers felt they were entitled to
  • Products being too expensive

Not many customers listed and “pros,” but those who did cited reasons like:

  • Products were satisfactory or better and performed as expected
  • Local sales consultants were attentive and helpful

The one that was made by a former consultant (who rated her experience 1 star out of 4) regarded her business kit. She stated:

Horrible help getting started. I have been waiting for 3 plus months for the kit refund. And i am retaining kit because not once did i get the proper guidance when i called. When i decided to return the kit, not ONE person asked me why or if they could help . And today, AGAIN, i am being told a different story as to where the refund is. Another example of a company that takes your money but have a million excuses of the ‘check is in the mail’.”

The other former consultant (who also rated her experience 1 out of 4 stars) stated:

Once you sign up as a consultant, no one will actually help you. They will screw up your orders, subscriptions and won’t help you return your unwanted products because they enjoy screwing people over and earn money.


Former consultants post on this site so others can answer the question, is Rodan And Fields a scam?

Here, we found 124 reviews by current and former R+F consultants. The company had an overall average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.


The most common “pros” we found by commenters on Indeed.com included: high-quality products, supportive culture, great perks, lucrative for those who work hard, independence, flexibility to work own hours and great opportunities and incentives for advancement


There weren’t many “cons” listed on Indeed.com. Of those cons that were, the most common included:

  • Pay not commensurate with amount of work required to get business started
  • It was difficult to rely on R+F income to sustain in areas where cost of living is high (i.e. large cities)

A significant number of reviewers listed no cons.

We found no R+F reviews on TrustPilot.com or ConsumerSearch.com.

Our Verdict

It’s rare that we see so many reviews of a business opportunity express no “cons” as we did with the Rodan and Fields reviews we read. We found this impressive.

We feel that we cannot fully discount the overtly-negative Rodan and Fields reviews we saw on Yelp.com. However, we also feel that this must be weighted against the fact that there were only ten total reviews in total, perhaps not a large enough sample to create an accurate overall picture.


To summarize our opinion, we were exceptionally-impressed with the company’s products. Although some users experienced bad reactions to some products, this no different than one would find with any other cosmetic product.

We do some concerns about the R+F “preferred customer” program. Some customers reported having deceptive techniques used to sign them up. Others said they signed up and it was completely unknown to them.

Subsequently these customers reported having problems getting refunds for products automatically shipped and charged to them.

For this reason, we strongly urge anyone considering becoming a Rodan and Fields sales consultant to be aware of this. Make sure that, as a consultant, you:

  • Have a thorough understanding of how the preferred customer program works
  • Fully explain the details of this program to your customers, including their obligations and what the refund policy is
  • Ensure that they understand how the program works
  • Act ethically and don’t sign customers up for the program without their knowledge or consent

Additionally, remember: as a consultant, you are also a customer of Rodan and Fields. It’s up to you to do your own due diligence when purchasing from the company. Learn and understand your rights and responsibilities as a customer, including what you can and can’t get a refund for.

Finally, once again:

Is Rodan and Fields a scam?

No. We will not say it’s a scam. However, as said above, there are many consultants that call it a scam on blog comments. Having said that, it appears that the majority of consultants have a positive experience with the company.

Is Rodan and Fields a pyramid scheme?



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