Epicure is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that I have been seeing more and more in my social media feeds. I’m guessing someone has approached you about joining and you are trying to do your research to see if it’s a good opportunity? And you’re wondering if you can make money with Epicure?
I applaud you for not just blindly signing up because it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into before plunking down your hard-earned cash to get started.
The people that sell Epicure (or any MLM, in general) will try to make it sound like it’s the best investment in the world. But is it?
Can you make money with Epicure? We can’t say for sure since there’s no income disclosure, but I’m going to show you why there’s a very good chance you’ll lose money as an Epicure consultant.
Let’s get right into it!
What is Epicure?
Epicure was started in 1997 by Sylvie Rochette, who, according to their About page, wanted to share the healthy eating solutions she created for her family.
“At Epicure, we are a community that unites and inspires each other to rally around healthy eating. Epicure is dedicated to sharing delicious meal solutions that use only real, whole ingredients you can trust, while never ever compromising on taste.”
Sylvie’s daughter, Amelia Warren, is the current CEO of Epicure.
Epicure came to the U.S. in late summer 2019.
There are a variety of food-related products on the website. Some of these include:
- Meal Kits
- Herbs and Spices
- Pots & Pans
- Kitchen Tools
Let’s take a look at some of the products for sale and their prices. It’s always nice to compare MLM product prices with non-MLM product prices. There’s usually quite a difference.
- Burger Seasoning (3.4 oz) = $8
- Honey Mustard (8 oz) = $10
- Chocolaty Temptation Cupcake Mix (Pack of 2, 9.4 oz per pack) = $9
- Wok & Glass Lid = $122
- 4-in-1 Mandoline = $22
- Corner Spatula = $12
OK, let’s compare some of these prices with prices of things we can find on Amazon or elsewhere.
Here’s a hamburger seasoning for $16.41. But it’s 24 oz, as compared to 3.4 oz from Epicure.
Here’s a handheld mandoline slicer from Amazon for $16.99.
This is not a huge price difference, but there are some other things to consider when buying products through an MLM, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
Finally, here’s a wok with a glass lid.
This is $71.99, plus free shipping if you’re a Prime member. Epicure’s is $122, and I would venture a guess there will be a hefty shipping charge on that one.
Convenience Is an Issue
To be fair, some of the prices of products I looked up were about the same on Amazon as on Epicure. So I will give them credit for that.
However, as I mentioned, there are other things to consider when buying products from an MLM, and this is something that will run through your potential customers’ heads. (It’s something I thought about when I was just a customer of an MLM and not a distributor.)
They will think to themselves:
“Why would I get this product on Epicure and have to pay for shipping and wait possibly weeks for it when I can just get it on Amazon or go to Target and get it there quickly and easily?”
One of the biggest downsides of selling retail to customers is that you have to convince them that convenience isn’t worth it. Because MLM products just aren’t convenient.
You have to pay more for the products, overall. You have to pay for shipping (which can get REALLY pricey.) And you have to wait – sometimes weeks – to get your order.
How Much Does it Cost to Join Epicure?
In order to join Epicure, a Starter Kit will cost you $150 + tax + shipping. With that, you get some business building tools (such as cooking class planner envelopes, catalogs, and order forms) plus a variety of seasonings, dip mixes and samplers and a variety of kitchen tools such as a citrus press, a steamer, a cutting board, and prep bowls.
(I assume these items may change from time to time.)
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you can get a peek at their starter kit on their website (it looks like they make you contact a consultant first), but here’s a video that explains what’s in the kit.
Now, that’s just your Starter Kit. I assume you are looking to sell with Epicure since you’re wondering if you can really make money with them.
In that case, you will also need to be qualified in order to get your full payments and bonuses. To be qualified, you will need to have $200 in personal volume per month. (This goes up to a maximum of $1000 as you move up the ranks.)
You can either sell this $200 or buy for your personal use. This is where consultants tend to get into trouble. Because they end up buying that for themselves every month in order to stay qualified. It happens all the time…
Here are some other optional expenses you may incur as a consultant:
- Gas for travel to parties and presentations
- Travel to the company’s conventions
- Food and drinks for in-home parties (if you’re hosting yourself)
- Business cards
- Tables/booths at fairs and other events
- Inventory to sell in person
- Inventory for parties
These expenses can really add up and you need to be careful here!
Epicure Compensation Plan
The Epicure Compensation Plan seems to be available on their website only if you are signed up and have access to the back office. However, it’s also been loaded up here. It’s 24 pages long, which isn’t too terrible considering I have seen plans with more than 50 pages!
In any case, it doesn’t make for the most exciting read.
But, luckily, this YouTuber has done us a favor and made a video explaining the compensation plan:
I’m just going to give you the cliff notes version.
- As soon as you sign up you can make 25% on retail sales. (This also means if you place a personal order, you get 25% off the retail price.)
- When you have a team of 3 or more (with qualifying quotas), you can make a commission of 3% off of their sales.
(Note: in the video she says, “I’m buying Epicure every month and never having to spend any of my own money.” There’s a good chance she’s spending as much as she’s making every month, as I’ve seen with a lot of MLM consultants.)
There are three phases in Epicure, with 10 different ranks.
Phase 1: Consultant
2. Senior Consultant
3. VIP Consultant
4. Executive Consultant
Phase 2: Leader
6. Senior Leader
Phase 3: Director
8. Senior Director
9. Executive Director
10. Global Director
Here is the PV (personal volume) that you need for each level for each calendar month:
- Consultant = $200
- Senior Consultant = $250
- Manager = $500
- Senior Manager = $750
- Leader = $1000
- Senior Leader = $1000
- Business Leader = $1000
- Director = $1000
- Executive Director = $1000
- National Director = $1000
These aren’t the only qualifying factors in order to move up each rank, but this gives you an idea of what you personally will have to bring in each month in sales.
Epicure Income Disclosure
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an Epicure income disclosure available.
But, it’s OK because I have seen enough income disclosures to know exactly what it will say.
Almost no one makes money!
In case you think I’m exaggerating, I have 2 links to share with you.
1. This one is from the FTC’s website, and the author says that over 99% of people lose money in an MLM. In fact, he got himself into the top 1% of sellers for the company Nu Skin and here’s what he had to say about it:
“In 1994-5, I put Nu Skin, a leading MLM program, to the test for a year, devoting all my time to climb to the top 1% of participants (counting ALL participants, including dropouts). During that year I kept careful records of my spending and wound up with expenses of over $1,500 per month including products and services from the company, plus all operating expenses, such as travel, telephone, computer supplies, advertising, meeting rooms, etc. My commissions totaled only about $250 a month, netting an annual loss of approximately $15,000”
2. My friend Mike put together his own report and concluded that 92.3% of consultants in an MLM lose money.
Can you make money with Epicure? I know every consultant will say that their opportunity is different (ironically, they all say that), but I haven’t yet come across an MLM that’s so different that more than a few people at the top can make decent money.
We don’t have an income report to go on, but I would bet Epicure is exactly the same as all the rest…
Epicure Complaints & Positive Reviews
I had a hard time finding a lot of reviews or complaints about Epicure. It doesn’t seem to be extremely popular at the time of this writing.
Here’s someone who reviewed Epicure versus a meal delivery subscription box:
She says Epicure was the better option. Here’s the thing with reviews. You sometimes have to take them with a grain of salt because a lot of them are done by people selling Epicure, which was the case here. There’s nothing wrong with giving the thing you’re selling a favorable review (I would expect that), it’s just that it’s not unbiased.
Here are a couple of interesting things I found on Reddit:
And here’s another one that shows you how people think of MLM companies, including Epicure:
These types of companies are always referred to as scams and pyramid schemes to a nice portion of people out there.
I did see some comments about how the products were really good. But there’s always a “but” attached.
“The products are good, but they come from a pyramid scam.” That type of thing.
- Selling Essential Oils Online [MLM vs Affiliate Marketing]
- MLM vs Affiliate Marketing – Why Affiliate Marketing is 100x Better
- Why I Quit Young Living [Any Why I’m Now Anti-MLM]
Is Epicure a Scam or a Pyramid Scheme?
I wouldn’t say Epicure is a scam, nor is it technically a pyramid scheme. Here’s where MLMs get into trouble though.
- Even if they’re not a pyramid scheme, many people out there just automatically think of MLMs as pyramid schemes. And thanks to the internet, this is becoming more and more true. (Don’t believe me? Look at this popular anti-MLM sub on Reddit.) This makes for an even harder sell for you.
- If recruiting becomes more important than selling retail, it starts to get pyramid scheme-y. (Yes, that’s a word I just made up.) I haven’t come across an MLM where you could make more money through retail sales versus recruiting. You get the big bucks when you have a big team.
- Fairly inexpensive start-up cost
- Mostly consumable products, which means you may have an easier time with repeat customers
- I have read that the products are very good
- The consumable products are too inexpensive to really make a good amount of money (and yet they are more expensive than other similar products, which may make them hard to sell retail)
- You have to pay to sell for the company
- Unless you can sell a lot of cookware, you’ll have to recruit in order to make a decent income
- Almost no one makes money in an MLM, regardless of whether they recruit or not
- Many people look down on MLMs and just consider them scams right off the bat
- You’ll have to do a good amount of home parties to make some money (this could be a pro if you enjoy home parties)
If you enjoy having home parties and just want to make a few bucks here and there, Epicure could be an OK way to do it. But beware that you may end up spending more on expenses than you make back.
An Alternative to Epicure
If you like the idea of working for yourself from the comfort of your home or wherever there are better ways to do it than via an MLM (in my opinion).
In fact, the way I do it is through this blog.
You see, this is an affiliate marketing blog. I give information that I think people will want, and then I recommend products to them. If they buy through my site, I get a commission.
Essentially, I promote other people’s products.
But it’s different from the ways MLMs do it because I don’t have to worry about:
- Buying a Starter Kit
- Having home parties (or online parties)
- Training people
- Cold messaging people
- Begging my mom and dad to buy from me
- Annoying my friends
Listen, you can do what you want, I’m just trying to give you my view of things. I did the MLM thing for a year. Trust me when I tell you affiliate marketing is so much more relaxed. It’s not fast or easy by any means, but it’s way more chill!
I don’t have space here to tell you all the details, but I encourage you to check out my free guide to affiliate marketing for beginners if this sounds like something that interests you.
Can you make money with Epicure? You can. But you can also win the lottery. I know that sounds dramatic, but considering that almost everyone loses money in an MLM, it really isn’t that dramatic.
In the report on the FTC’s website that I mentioned above, the author said this:
“Failure and loss rates for MLMs are not comparable with legitimate small businesses, which have been found to be profitable for 39% over the lifetime of the business; whereas less than 1% of MLM participants profit. MLM makes even gambling look like a safe bet in comparison.”
Gambling is a safer bet.
If you’d like to just see how I started this blog, the training I use can teach you exactly what to do step-by-step. You’ll learn how to create a website that pays you over and over again. Check it out free here (no credit card required).
Other related content:
- Best Programs to Make Money Online
- Learn How to Make a Site That Pays You Over and Over Again
- How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (FREE Guide)
- Ultimate Wealthy Affiliate Review