Your Rodan + Fields Business: How Much Money Can You Really Make?

Your Rodan + Fields Business: How Much Money Can You Really Make?

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In 2015, upstart skin care company Rodan + Fields grossed $626.9 million, with revenues advancing at a breathtaking 93% per year. With its multilevel marketing structure and women-centered sales model boasting more than 170,000 U.S. consultants, Rodan + Fields is the digital successor to household names Avon and Mary Kay. The company’s top consultants boast six-figure incomes and lavish lifestyles, but how do they make their money — and can anyone’s Rodan + Fields business do the same?

A New Spin on an Old Concept

Rodan + Fields is the product of a 2002 partnership between Stanford-trained dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, whose first acne product, Proactiv, was sold primarily through infomercials. The doctors then developed the Rodan + Fields line, a growing list of anti-aging skin care products originally sold in department stores. Although that model was successful, Rodan and Fields opted to change to a consultant-based model, where sales representatives sell products outside of bricks-and-mortar stores and collect commissions on each sale.

Rodan & Fields test - do not use

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The company’s founders named this model “community commerce,” but to consumer affairs and financial experts it has another name: multi-level marketing (MLM). MLM is a way of bypassing traditional retail channels to bring products directly to consumers through word of mouth, networking and digital tools.

Rodan + Fields took the key features of Avon and Mary Kay, dressing up the Rodan + Fields consultant image as a sleek and competent businesswoman capable of creating her own destiny, all while driving one of the company’s top rewards — a white Lexus.

And while Avon and Mary Kay products remained mid-range in price, the skin care products sold by Rodan + Fields aim for the higher end, with most lines costing $150 and up for a two-month supply. The much-publicized success of Rodan + Fields, and its many celebrity consultants and customers, continues to draw new consultants hoping to cash in on a successful Rodan + Fields business.

How Does a Rodan + Fields Business Work?

To become a consultant, applicants need a sponsor — someone already in the organization who introduced them to Rodan + Fields. If an applicant doesn’t have a sponsor, Rodan + Fields will assign one.

The cost of becoming a Rodan + Fields consultant can be minimal. The basic business kit costs $45, which includes information about the company and its business model. That’s a small price, especially compared to how much some business owners spend to launch a startup or buy a franchise. Few people would need to take out a business loan to start as a consultant. The more elaborate business kits and portfolio packages include product samples and other business tools, and it can range from a few hundred dollars to around a thousand, according to part-time consultant Sarah Thiel. And the priciest kits may require some to charge them to a business credit card or take out a small loan.

Consultants get their own company-branded website, where sales are placed and fulfilled. Because products are ordered online, consultants aren’t required to purchase samples, though the more expensive business kits include products. (You can use the BusinessLauncher tool in your free account to turn your side hustle into a small business.)

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Income Starts With Direct Sales

Consultants make money in two ways: by selling products directly to customers, and by recruiting new consultants to a network. Direct selling usually starts with a consultant’s existing circle of friends, co-workers and family, either in person or via social media sites such as Facebook. Consultants are encouraged to find creative ways to build sales and keep customers coming back. Once they reach a certain level of sales, they become “commissionable.” As Thiel explained on her blog, that means “you get another 10% to 15% from the company. You also make 2.5% to 5% commission on everything that consultants underneath you sell.”

Successful Rodan + Fields representatives acknowledge that direct sales of the company’s products can generate money, but making a lot of money depends on developing a steady flow of returning and new customers, or recruiting other consultants.

The Money Is in the Network

The most successful multi-level marketing (MLM) ventures work to bring in new members to the team so they can make passive income off of their consultants’ direct sales as well as their own. When those consultants make sales, their recruiters make a commission — and this process is repeated all the way back up the line, so that those at the top collect commissions from the sales made by everyone further down. (Here’s a great article from the Federal Trade Commission about how MLMs work and what to look out for when signing up for one.)

With a large network that works hard to expand itself with more new consultants, those at the top can — and do — achieve the kind of six-figure success with the signature white Lexus that headlines Rodan + Fields’ promotional materials. The very top consultants and highest earners from 2015 data topped out making over $2 million that year — but those consultants only comprise 0.1% of the total consultant pool.

How Much Money Can Someone Make? Here’s the Average

The company publishes an income disclosure statement that outlines the low, high and average annual incomes for different consultant levels. These numbers give you a good idea of how much the average consultant makes in a year. The numbers show that the average annual income for all Active Consultants for sales in 2015 was $3,182. The majority of Rodan + Fields paid consultants (those who received payment for sales in at least one month) in 2015 fell into the lowest consultant level in the multi-level marketing organization — 41.4% overall. Those stats don’t include money spent on business kits or other expenses, but they also don’t include some of the brand’s signature bonuses and perks like expense-paid trips or that white Lexus.

Companies like Rodan + Fields are attractive because they promise freedom from the workaday world, the empowerment that comes from running one’s own business, flexible hours and no limits on the amounts earned. For some, these perks have an inherent value and are great for earning some extra income on the side. But the majority of consultants don’t make enough money to make their Rodan + Fields business a full-time gig. Read more on Nav about some of the side hustles you can turn  into a legit business.

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About the Author — Kali Geldis is the Director of Marketing for Nav, helping small business owners stay up to date on the latest news in business leadership, financing and credit. Previously, she worked as Editorial Director for, building an editorial team that creates content shared with a network of partner sites on all things personal finance.

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22 responses to “Your Rodan + Fields Business: How Much Money Can You Really Make?

  1. I just wanted to add that joining Rodan & Fields was the best decision I ever made. Some of the numbers have changed is 2018
    We are now the Number 1 skincare in North Ameriva. Some of the perks have improved for new consultants with Spark during your first 3 months, you have the sbility to earn back your kit money along with along with some wonderful goodies. Lastly, there are only 15% of women in the United States who.use skincare so there is a huge growth potential

    1. Hi Alisa —

      That’s correct from the Rodan & Fields disclosure form. Keep in mind that not all Rodan + Fields reps have the beauty line as their primary source of income — it may be confusing to see this as an average “salary” for this reason. Top-tier earners make much more money, but roughly 40% of Rodan + Fields consultants fall into the lowest-earning tier.

  2. This is a great article with such a neutral tone. I appreciate you explaining it in detail for those who are unclear as to what our business model is like. One thing I think is very important is to join a team with top leaders. Your sponsor will be your mentor, your coach, and your accountability partner if you choose him/her to be, so it’s important to explore the team you are joining. After 19 months in the business I’ve grown it so much in only 12 hours a week because I’m coached by the highest leader you can be in the business, an RXF Circle achiever. It makes a world of difference. Now, I’m able to duplicate her income producing activities and grow my customer base and grow a nationwide team and train them as she trained me. It’s amazing and a journey I look forward to continuing each and every day! I’m always open to chat if anyone has any questions! Smiles! Brandi

  3. I started out as a preferred customer and then became a consultant 2 months later. Rodan and Fields is a smart cutting edge company and I love working with an amazing team comprised of doctors, lawyers, moms, teachers, nurses, you name it. If you work hard and are diligent in completing your daily tasks for building a successful business, you CAN be very successful in this business. You can feel confident that the products you represent work, because they do! I would highly recommend RF as a business opportunity.

  4. I’ve had a positive experience with Rodan+Fields. I’m a Registered Nurse and simply needed something different and positive in my life. I’ve used the products for 2 years prior and love the results. My regimen lasts me almost 4 months so I don’t think it’s too expensive.

  5. Maggie, being a fellow consultant with an amazing team behind me I can say that setting realistic goals (like a 4 figure income) is not only smart, but makes the journey attainable. I’d start with a kit that YOU feel comfortable spending, I went with the larger one simply because I knew that I wanted to try all the products, but if that doesn’t make sense for you financially then it doesn’t make sense. This will be your business and you need to make decisions that you feel comfortable with. I’d be happy to talk with you more about it too if you have more questions.

      1. Hi Kali, current revenue for R+F is really a $1 billion company. The article Bob referenced was written in April of 2016. Thanks!

    1. It actually is $1 billion, Bob. We were recently named the #1 skincare brand in the U.S. across all channels. That means that we sell more skincare than any other company in the U.S. The article you reference is dated April of 2016.

  6. Thanks for your article. I love it when people are educated on our profession. The one thing I would add, however, is that most people that succeed and make six-figures are those that work this business like a job, not like a hobby. I was successful in the corporate world prior to starting my Rodan + Fields business. I worked long hours for 20 years and reached a VP level. My hard work paid off in the corporate sector, but after 7 short years, my Rodan + Fields business has more than doubled what I used to make annually as a VP. Was it easy? Heck, no! But neither was working for someone else.

    I am successful because I have the right mindset. My mindset was that I would succeed at this, just like I succeeded at numerous things in my past. It’s a choice. I didn’t go to college “hoping” that I would graduate. I decided that I wanted my degree and I did it! Owning a business is no different. Having the right mindset means that you set a goal (income, freedom, time, etc.) and then work towards it every single day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until you are able to scale your business to the point that it replaces your full-time income. It’s work, not magic.

    What most people fail to mention when they toss out statistics about incomes earned in our profession, is that our business is based on a volunteer army of consultants that are business owners themselves. We are not their bosses and we don’t sign their paychecks. They are in complete control of how many hours they work and what they do with those hours.

    We can only mentor our best practices and lead by example. We can’t make them do it because they don’t work for us. Additionally, we do not have an H.R. department that screens worthy candidates and resumes, so unfortunately, some people start their business with unrealistic expectations of what it takes. Not everyone is cut out to be a business owner. Some people need the structure of a corporate work environment and the idea of working when you WANT to, instead of when you HAVE to, sometimes means that you don’t work at all.

    I love our business model and I advocate for it. It has far exceeded my expectations, both financially and in terms of personal growth. For the right individual, one that is willing to work hard and give themselves a few years to scale their business, it can provide financial security and a life on your terms, instead of your boss’.

    1. Thank you Rose for your insight. I am a new consultant, and like you I was successful in the corporate world, my last position was as a VP. I also, have the mindset that this is a business and it may take 2-3 years to get back to my corporate salary. But what industry allows you to go from 0 to mid six figures in 3 years.?NONE. That is the beauty of this business model, you don’t get paid for your title, you get paid for your effort. While it can be frustrating, I am only in the first month, I am planting a lot of seeds. I have never failed at anything I have tried, so I am determined to make this work. What I can say is that the personal growth and the connections I will make will be totally worth all the time. I am already stepping out of my comfort zone. Totally excited about the future with this company.

      1. Thank you Rose and Stephanie for speaking up on this! You both are correct and I would like to add that most people who join direct sale or MLM businesses jump in thinking that for very little effort, they will receive a great reward. After a month or two, they realize this is a real business and requires real effort, and they quit, usually to jump into another direct sales business. I am a physician, and I too put in the time and energy required to build my business and my brand. I will be successful because of it. It is a simple concept, but not “easy” if you want to earn substantial income. For many, a few hundred dollars a month is all they need and for them, direct sales is a success. For others, like myself, it is a way to replace my 6 figure income by working for myself, on my terms, and with the freedom to choose my work schedule. To say that because the majority of people who enter into direct sales don’t succeed means the business model doesn’t work is not a fair assessment. If you re-did the stats to show how many actually work their business and put forth the effort and therefore earn a substantial income, I know the statistics would be more in favor of the success of the business model. And one final thing, Rodan+Fields’ clinically proven, dermatologist created products are not in the same category as Mary Kay or Avon. Nor is the business model. All you have to do is join the company or use the products to see this.

        1. This is very true. True Entrpreneurs know that a Business requires work and follow-up. Some people are not willing to put in the work and give up while many who sign as Consultants do so to get the products at a discounted rate.

      2. Stephanie, what do you mean by mid six figures? $500,000? Six figures is anywhere from $100,000 to $999,999. So are you saying that it took 2-3 years to make a half a million dollars? And if you were already making $500K, why on earth would you leave?