Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vorwerk, is it a scam?

When you think multilevel marketing, you probably think weight loss drinks and health supplements, or maybe anti-aging serums, lotions, and makeup.  

But one MLM company is setting out to prove that the direct sales model works for other product categories too.  Vorwerk is a multilevel marketing company that primarily sells home appliances and is most famous for their Thermomix multi-use kitchen appliance.

So did I get on board? This explains everything:

All good? Let’s continue…

The company is based in Germany, but operates across several different countries.  It’s a very old company and as such has gone through different phases in its history.  

As far as popularity goes, the company itself is not very well-known.  Search engine traffic is basically flat, indicating no real spikes in public interest.  

However, interest in the Thermomix is a decidedly different story.  It’s been trending upwards pretty much every year, and more interestingly, it spikes every December.  This is a sure sign that it’s a popular Christmas present, so it’s something to take note of in your business strategy.  January? Probably not the best time to kick-start your Vorwerk career.  

Vorwerk had a spate of bad public relations in 2014, after the company released a sparkling-new upgraded version of the Thermomix with no advance warning.  

Why did this cause customers to be upset? Many had already ordered or recently purchased the old version, and were stuck feeling left out by the new, upgraded version that they could have bought had they held out for another few weeks.  

Prices for secondhand Thermomix units on eBay and other retailers also dropped sharply, given demand for the newer one.  Aside from that, the company hasn’t had much in the way of bad news following it around.


Realistically, your ability to make money as a Vorwerk distributor is going to revolve around only two of their products: the Thermomix appliance and, if you are in the United Kingdom or the European Union, the Kobold vacuum cleaner.  

Especially if you are in the US, expect essentially all of your Vorwerk income to come from the Thermomix.  What is it? Well, the company claims it is twelve appliances in one.  

It is essentially a blender/food processor that can also apply heat to the food inside the mixing chamber.  So, you can not only dice or blend up food, but heat and cook it in the appliance as well.

The company provides recipes and instructions, both with the appliance and on their website.  Recipes come on “recipe chips” that plug into the appliance and display instructions on the appliance’s touch screen.  

You can, as you might guess, buy more recipe chips (or sell them if you are a distributor) so there is some potential for repeat earnings from customers whom you have sold a Thermomix to.

Like with many non-health and wellness MLMs, what you are essentially selling as a Vorwerk distributor is a lifestyle.  You’ll need to be able to demonstrate to potential customers what the convenience level and ease of use for the Thermomix is.  

As such, you’ll definitely need to get one and regularly use it yourself, so keep that in mind when you are calculating your own business expenses as a Vorwerk distributor.  You need to be able to prove that the convenience of having multiple appliances in one place (combined, perhaps, with the convenience and novelty of the recipe chips for providing instructions and guidance during the cooking process) is worth the investment.

That’s the next point: For an oversized blender with a heating function, the Thermomix is pretty expensive.  It’s nearly $1500! Given that you could buy yourself a full-sized refrigerator for that price, it’s going to take some real legwork to make sales.  

Of course, given how high the initial price is, you don’t need to move the huge product volumes you’d need to if you were working for a supplement or cosmetic-based MLM.

The Kobold vacuum is a line of vacuuming appliances currently available in the UK and EU only.  Like the Thermomix, Kobold’s products are a blend of several appliances with myriad uses.  

The flagship products, the Kobold upright vacuums, can clean hard floors, carpets, and mop too.  They offer a Roomba-like autonomous vacuum cleaner that runs on its own, and a few other appliances for window cleaning and handheld vacuuming.

Compensation plan

Here’s something really scary about Vorwerk: their compensation plan is secret.  To even see it, you have to buy your own Thermomix, join up as a distributor, and get trained as a “demonstrator.” Then, some $1500 later, you get to find out how to make money.

For many people (including me!) this would be an absolute dealbreaker.  I’m not going to shell out over a grand for a chance to find out what the profits could look like, assuming I can sell the same product to other people.  


Are you willing to take a total gamble? The Thermomix looks like a pretty great kitchen appliance, and reviews of the Kobold vacuums are good, too, but boy are they spendy.  

Not only that, but you’ve got to shell out the cash first, then find out what the compensation structure looks like when it comes to selling Vorwerk appliances to other people.  That’s too much to ask for me, but if you’ve got cash to burn and are willing to take a chance, maybe you can try it.  

The best course of action? Find somebody who’s already got a Thermomix and borrow it to see if it’s all it is cracked up to be.  If you really love it and think you can make a sales opportunity work, you can order your own, join up, and see what the earnings potential looks like.  

Beyond that, the lack of a compensation plan that’s freely available, not to mention the lack of an income disclosure statement, raises too many red flags to recommend.

So if you’re simply doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without selling stuff to your family and friends.

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