Disclaimer: We have never sold nor are affiliated with Tupperware in any way. This blog represents the opinion of the author(s) and is not to be taken in place of professional legal or professional financial advice.
Much like Kleenex, Band-Aid, and Hoover, the name Tupperware is synonymous with its product. Many people call their plastic storage containers Tupperware, but the Tupperware brand is actually quite exclusive.
First sold to the public in 1948, Tupperware is a household name. And in some respects, selling Tupperware is the stuff of legend.
Fun fact about Tupperware: It’s not sold in stores. Real Tupperware can only be purchased through Tupperware’s website or through a Tupperware consultant.
Given its brand recognition and long history, a lot of people wonder: is Tupperware a good direct sales company?
Becoming a Tupperware Consultant
Since Tupperware is sold through consultants, the company encourages existing consultants to recruit new salespeople. And their website sells the idea of becoming a consultant, too.
From the homepage, you’ll see the call to “Join Us” almost immediately. What’s wrong with that, you wonder?
Well, nothing necessarily. It’s understandable that a company would want to sell its products. But what you need to keep in mind is how “easy” it seems to join. Because a major component of most direct sales companies – and really all companies – is profit. How is this company profiting?
How the company profits
We’ll take a brief step away from Tupperware and chat generally for a moment.
Direct sales companies, in general, earn money in two ways: from selling their products for a profit, and from recruiting consultants to sell their products.
Sometimes, people are confused by this. How does recruiting consultants earn the company money? Isn’t it just the fact that more consultants means more product sales?
Well, sort of.
When you decide to become a direct sales consultant, you are often required to purchase a starter kit of sorts. By purchasing this starter kit, you are a customer of the direct sales company.
Although many companies say that the starter kit is a higher value than the “discounted” price you’ll receive it for, the bottom line is that the company makes money from selling you the starter kit.
The company also makes money from the purchase of additional product you purchase as samples, marketing materials, websites, etc.
Since direct sales companies control how you can advertise and the products you can sell, every sale (whether consultant-based or customer-through-consultant based) is an opportunity to profit for the parent company.
Back to becoming a consultant
It’s easy to sign up. The Business Kit is $99. And you can pay it all at once or choose to make payments on it. The language used to pitch the Business Kit is interesting:
How much can you make selling Tupperware?
Who cares if the company is making a profit if you can make one, too? And, like Mary Kay, Tupperware has that whole car thing going for it, too, right?
While the Join Us page says you can make up to 35% commission, the Earnings Chart states that you’ll only make 25% from the start. In order to make 35% commission, you need to meet the monthly sales volume qualifications.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you qualify for the 35% commission.
How many products would you need to sell in order to earn the equivalent of minimum wage?
Well, according to the Top Sellers section, the most sold products range from $9 – $84. We’ll be generous and assume that it’s a $40 product every time you make a sale.
So, $40 * 35% = $14 earned per ($40) product sold.
To earn the equivalent of a minimum wage job monthly, you’d need to sell 85 products at $40 each and 35% commission.
And just to break even on your $99 Business Kit, you’d need to sell eight* $40 products at 35% commission. (*Actually 7.07 products, but since you can’t sell 0.07 of a Tupperware, you must sell 8)
Do the math for yourself with our free Direct Sales Calculator.
But B, you’re just sour.
Thanks to Red Corvette of The Anti-MLM Coalition at mlmtruth.org, we were able to get the Tupperware income disclosure statement, tons of research, and some intel from former Tupperware consultants.
What the Tupperware income disclosure statement says
The income disclosure statement says it all: the majority of consultants are not earning any type of real income.
- 47.88% are “inactive consultants.” This means they don’t sell enough in order to qualify for commissions.
- 94.01% of active consultants earn an average of $484.70 annually. Keep in mind this is the average, which means many may not be earning close to approximately $485 per year.
While online reviews may lead you to believe that selling Tupperware is a tremendous earning opportunity, the online reviews do not align with the very real stats above.
pressure to sell and recruit, but for little profit
Remember what we mentioned above about consultants being customers? One former consultant shared this:
I simply joined for the discount and the ‘say yes offer.’ Never intended to bother anyone with it. Tupperware follows the same route as every other company. Recruit, recruit, recruit, and party, party, party. Once you tell them often enough you aren’t interested/know you can’t make money, they eventually leave you alone. However, you are being added into dozens of groups and are being tagged each week when the sales challenges are being posted. Every upline has personal sales challenges and Tupperware itself has them. For example sell $250 worth of stuff and you get a limited edition item for a small co-pay.
There is a lot of sales pressure . Constant posts of ‘who is submitting x parties,’ ‘who is earning x product for free’ (well, with copay). […] I had gotten messages when my enroller needed x amount to reach her manager qualification, and I told them I wasn’t planning on ordering so she placed an order on my behalf just so she qualified. However she didn’t reach that goal this month and has no money to place orders herself. Same as everywhere. If you can’t keep the volume you don’t keep your rank. Recruiting is key and then pushing those recruits to sell.
What we can learn from this ex-Tupperware consultant is critical.
First, you must recruit new consultants.
Second, you’re pressured to participate in sales challenges. (Word to the wise: Don’t get stuck on a flight next to a sales hungry consultant.) These challenges are incentivized not with a cash reward or even a credit, but by the opportunity to purchase a product. If that’s not a clear indication that you’re the prime customer, then what is?
And, consultants are purchasing products they don’t need simply to keep rank or qualify for incentives.
purchasing unwanted product for rank or incentives
This is not surprising. Many consultants across direct sales companies are purchasing products so they can continue to qualify for certain commissions or ranks. Why? Because if you don’t qualify one month, you often lose what you earned to that point in terms of rank.
Some current (and former) consultants have entire rooms of their homes dedicated to product. Check out this Tupperware room. (Spoiler alert: It’s bright and colorful.)
Another source disclosed the pressure to earn incentives.
But what about the Tupperware cars?
Similar to Mary Kay, Tupperware boasts cars as incentives. While incentives like cars and vacations could be an entire series on their own, we’ll briefly touch on why the Tupperware car incentive might not make sense for you.
The lowest level to qualify for a car would get to drive a Chevrolet Sonic or Trax. You need to “meet or exceed $15,000 in team sales […] for three consecutive months” in order to qualify.
You might be thinking: That’s not hard with a team! Fine, but here’s the thing: If you take the cash reward, it’s probably a better bet.
Why? Well, you can lease a brand new Sonic or Trax for around $100/month. So if you and your team had enough sales to qualify for the car, you’d actually be missing out on $225 by having a car instead of the $325 cash.
And, on top of that, you’d be providing free advertising for a company that is discounting the value of your incentive. But your choice.
A Tupperware positive
One thing that makes Tupperware standout from the rest is the lifetime warranty on products. Given the fact that no other direct sales company has this – or could reasonably stand by it given the short-tenure of most companies – this is a Tupperware positive.
However, lots of people try to scam the system on this. Just food for thought.
And – that type of customer service and care does not extend to consultants.
The bottom line.
All direct sales companies are structured the same. While, legally, it must be possible for you to earn money through product sales, probability is not required.
You must consider the facts. And make an informed decision.
Want to do the math on a direct sales opportunity? Check out our Direct Sales Calculator or read our other posts.
We want to hear from you.
Do you sell Tupperware? Have you sold it in the past? Know someone who did? What do you think? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by. And thanks, again, to Red Corvette for helping with this article! 🙂
As an add on and slight correction : In Germany you can buy Tupperware at the grocery store as well as directly from the website. No need for a consultant. Sales have been so bad that they were looking for other avenues to sell.
Very interesting. In the US, Tupperware is still not sold in stores.
How are retail sales of the product going?