What Is Kirby? The Truth About This Vacuum Selling MLM!

is kirby a scam

Welcome to My Kirby Review!

In our site alone, we’ve reviewed over a hundred multi-level marketing (MLM) alone but this is the first time that I’ve encountered a brand that sells vacuum cleaners.

Some of this includes:

Kirby Review Summary

Name: Kirby Company (KIRBY)

Website: www.kirby.com

Founders: Jim Kirby

Product Type: Multi-Level Marketing

Price: Free

kirby logo

Quick Summary: Kirby is a multi-level marketing company that manufactures and sells its own brands of vacuums and home-cleaning products.

It offers corporate positions and an affiliate program to what they refer to as Independent Kirby Dealers. It’s pretty legit being a division of an established parent company called Scott Fetzer Company.

Kirby itself has been operating for more than a century and is a BBB-accredited business. However, there are a lot of complaints about their vacuums and their so-called pushy door-to-door vacuum salesman. 

Overall Rating: 3/10

Recommended: No

While it’s nice to review something different, will its difference make way for a better opportunity to make money? How does this networking work? Most importantly, is Kirby legit or another scam to watch out for?

Let’s answer these questions and more in this honest Kirby review.

what is kirby company about

What Is Kirby About?

Following a networking structure, Kirby Company manufactures its own brand of vacuums and home cleaning systems. Founded in 1914, the long-standing company has proven its legitimacy; however, there are complaints to watch out for.

For instance, their sales strategy. While it does not sell directly to the public, it continues a long tradition of distributing its home cleaning systems through dealers or salesmen who do in-home door-to-door demonstrations.

Dealers are located in over 50 countries throughout the world. 

Kirby is based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA while all of the vacuum cleaners are built in either Ohio or Texas, USA. 

Kirby is a division of their parent company Scott Fetzer Company, which is an American diversified manufacturer and marketer of products for the home and family. It’s also known as Scott & Fetzer, which in turn is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Kirby is a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) and has headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, and Andrews, Texas, USA.

The Kirby company was founded by Nate McCann Company and it was in 1935 when it was established as the Kirby Company. 

As the name implies, Kirby was named after the founder and creator of its vacuum, Jim Kirby. He designed the first Kirby vacuums for George Scott and Carl Fetzer after World War I, although the Kirby name was not used on a vacuum cleaner until the 1930s.

The company has been known as it has already been operating for more than a century. However, it has been involved in some lawsuits, a sexual assault issue as one salesman was sued for rape. 

Kirby Product Line

The main product of the Kirby Company is the vacuums they manufacture. This product has evolved throughout time and has progressed to generations. Typically, the company produces one vacuum cleaner model at a time, and here are their recent models: 

kirby vacuum models

They also have other products that complete their home cleaning systems, such as hard floor cleaners (mop and scrub) and shampoo for carpets, rugs, and furniture.  

They also sell vacuum belts, cleaning supplies, accessories, and kits, deodorizers and home fragrances, brush rolls, power cords, hoses, and headlight bulbs. 

kirby product line

As for the price of their vacuums, the company does not give an official price in public so this makes way for the dealer to do the work. 

I did find online reviews saying that their vacuums are worth more than a thousand dollars. Pretty steep!

Is Kirby A Scam?

Kirby Company appears to be a legitimate company and it’s pretty established enough to be called a scam. I guess it’s even older than all of us as it’s been operating already for more than a century. 

It also comes with physical products and with a compensation plan you can earn from as an affiliate or dealer. 

Also, other than the MLM business model, you could choose to go for their corporate positions if you want to be employed.  

It’s also a Better Bureau Business (BBB) Accredited company with a B rating. However, there are still many areas about their opportunity that you should be careful of including the obscurity of the company, the deceptive promotions, and the pushy and aggressive way of their salespeople. 

It’s no wonder they have a lot of issues and complaints from customers.

Is Kirby A Pyramid Scheme/Ponzi Scheme?

Kirby Company appears to be legit and not a scam. It is not a Pyramid Scheme and Ponzi Scheme as it comes with products you can sell and make sales even without recruiting. However, to earn big you will still probably opt to recruit to maximize the benefits of being an MLM business model.

Learn more about Kirby by watching the video below:

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Kirby Compensation Plan

It was hard to find any information about their compensation plan but basically just like most MLM opportunities, you will earn through commission on products sales and commissions from your recruits or downlines, and perhaps dealers earn from the salespeople they hire to sell their products. 

Basically, this is the sales practice in Kirby Company. 

Since 1920, new Kirby home care systems have only been sold through (door-to-door) in-home demonstrations by independent, authorized Kirby distributors. The company manufactures the unit and sells it to a group of authorized distributors. 

Each distributor is an independent business, and as such sets, their own price for the unit and conducts their own business operations. Independent distributors recruit dealers who are also independent contractors.

As mentioned, they also have corporate positions if you don’t want to go for the independent business side. 

By the way, the average salary for Kirby Company employees would range from an estimate of $36 - $128 depending on the position. Obviously not enough to be considered as a decent regular income.

How Much To Join Kirby?

Well, Kirby company claims that their opportunity is free to join yet I haven’t seen any proof that shows otherwise. 

However, maybe this explains why the products are overly expensive as part of the sales may be used to compensate the distributors.



Long-Standing Company

Imagine, a company that has endured over 100 years of existence. That’s indeed a big achievement and a good record to hold. It is an established company that is also under a legitimate parent company. 

Free To Join

Who would not want to join an income opportunity for free? It’s enticing right but I believe this advantage can also have a disadvantage. I don’t know, they may say it’s free but doing an independent business would definitely cost you something other than your efforts. 

I could say that salespeople also shell out money for their transportation and other spending when they go for door-to-door demonstrations and selling.

High-Quality Products

They might not come this far if their products are not that good. I believe that Kirby Products are of high quality. And as always, a good product benefits a salesperson and a customer. 

Something Unique

We might not always see an MLM selling a vacuum. Well, I could say that one thing I also like about this opportunity is the uniqueness of the niche. And it’s nice to review something different. And it can be a catch because other niches are already saturated such as health and wellness.


Lacks Transparency

The company may be legitimate yet one thing to watch out for it is its lack of transparency. 

No doubt that Kirby is an established MLM that has to withstand 100 long years but one of the drawbacks is that some vital information is lacking on their websites, such as the information about the price of their vacuums and their compensation plan. 

Probably, you have to set an appointment with a distributor to get a hold of these details but I just hoped that it was made readily available to the public. Well, perhaps it's their tactic to persuade people to join the business or perhaps they're scheming something behind.


Throughout the years, one thing that is criticized by the Kirby company is the practices of some of its independent distributors. They have been complained by customers to be deceptive, pushy, and aggressive. 

As they set their own prices, things can get greedy and a little bit complicated yet Kirby asserts it is not liable for the actions of its sales force.

Sexual Assault

Other than the complaints against the salesperson, I’ve also seen an article saying that one of the salespeople has been involved in a sexual assault and the company was held liable for the rape committed by one of its door-to-door salesmen. 

Fraud Case

There was also a pending federal class-action lawsuit against Kirby under the civil action provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Allegedly, they sell used vacuums as new; the complaint alleges that "Not only is Kirby aware of this practice, it 'participates in the scheme by, among other things, selling to its distributors duplicate or replacement "Original Purchaser's Registration" cards to be given to secondhand purchasers.' 

This is pretty much too bad to consider the company’s opportunity.


They may sell high-quality products but if it's overpriced, I would not just buy them at all. Considering the issues and its price, I believe it’s best to look for cheaper alternatives.

Traditional Door-to-door Sales

Imagine, at this hi-tech generation, they are still utilizing door-to-door sales and demonstrations. Well, perhaps they have an agenda behind that but if I were the salesperson, it’s definitely a hassle. 

Imagine putting effort not only into a presentation that would also cost you transportation costs and health risks due to COVID. 

That's another thing, it would be hard-selling their products especially in this time of the pandemic. Who would allow a stranger into their doorsteps at these difficult times?

Low Income Potential

Yes, it’s possible to earn money in Kirby’s opportunity but it’s going to be difficult, especially if you’re not an innate salesperson. It will definitely take you a lot of work and marketing. Well, if you’re a greedy distributor and since there’s no price set, you could probably sell your products overly high to gain income but that’s definitely unlawful. 


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Training Tools/Support

Well, as a distributor and a dealer, you will be provided with materials and tools needed for the business. You will be trained to sell their products giving you information about their vacuums and products. Owner manuals and FAQs are as well available on their website.

Final Opinion/Verdict

The Kirby Company has been running for over 100 years, so there’s nothing to doubt about its legitimacy.

It has tangible products to make money from; however, there are too many controversies, such as the aggressive salespeople and the lawsuits. The price of their vacuum is also high so as a distributor, it would be a challenge to sell their essentials.

It’s legit but then it’s not the kind of program that’s worth your time.

What's Next?

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  • Thank you for reading our Kirby review.

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Caroline So

I'm a stay-at-home mom always on the lookout for ways on how to make LEGITIMATE money online. I also love to write; when not working as a content writer, I create blogs about skincare, makeup, motherhood, and digital marketing. I joined Vasiliy as a writer for Best Lifetime Income blog.

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