It’s likely that you have come across Market America / SHOP.com through an email list, on social media or got it recommended by a friend or family member.
You’re probably here because you’re curious but aren’t whether Market America is a scam or not right?
You may have heard a lot of hype regarding its system and how it has managed to make many members a full time living.
You may have heard how the seminars that Market America hold are really awesome or how the MLM business model that is being used by them really works.
First and foremost I must commend you for actually doing a bit of extra research before committing to purchasing Market America. For all you could have know, the services provided by Market America may be very well be a scam or worse a pyramid scheme.
So taking that extra bit of time to learn about Market America is definetly that best move you could’ve made.
To be transparent with you I don’t own Market America so I can assure you that I will not attempt to sell you this product unless of course it’s worth investing in.
What I will aim to do is provide you with an unbiased 3rd party look at the service and hopefully make you come to your own decisions on whether or not Market America is a scam.
PRODUCT NAME: Market America
OWNER/S: JR and Loren Ridinger (founded in 1992)
TYPE OF PRODUCT: Product Brokerage MLM Company
PRICE: $399 startup fee + $129/month recurring fee
SUMMARY: Market America is something one might call an old soul in the MLM industry, it has been around for 26 years abd still appears to be as strong as ever however, whether it is worth joining is a different thing entirely. It’s compensation structure is confusing, it has expensive running costs but most importantly most people are likely to not even be able to break even (more on this in the full review). For these reasons I just can’t recommend Market America.
FINAL RATING: 2/5
WHAT IS MARKET AMERICA?
Markert America is an MLM business that has its members promote the products found within the online store i.e SHOP.com and in turn generate commissions for every sale made from yourself and your downline.
The company is essentially a online store that sell their own products as well act as a distributor for 3rd party companies. In the words of its owner, Market America is a product brokerage and an Internet marketing company.
MARKET AMERICA PRODUCT LINE
Along with access to distribute multiple popular brands such as nike, apple etc. Within the shop.com website, Market America also has some of its own products.
These products include:
- TLS® Weight Loss Solution
- Heart Health®
- Ultimate Aloe®
- Pet Health™
- Cellular Laboratories®
- Timeless Prescription®
- Royal Spa®
- Prime™ Anti-Aging Nutraceuticals
- Isotonix® Custom Cocktail
- MA Web Centers
- Shop Financial
- Motives for La La
- Lumiere de Vie
- DNA Miracles / DNA Miracles Natural
As you can see the list of products that are Market America branded are quite extensive and when you include the products of all the other distributors… Yeah… It’s a LOT of products.
They have over 2000 first party products and over 40 million products altogether including all 3rd party distributors. So clearly Market America isn’t a small company.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY THROUGH MARKET AMERICA?
As is the case with most MLM businesses there are two ways through which you can make money with them.
– The first method is through your own retail sales, basically for every sale you make you’ll receive a commission. You’ll get anywhere from 30-50% in commissions for every sale you make of Market America’s first party products whilst the commissions will be much lower for the third party products.
– The second method is through recruiting other people who act as your downline. From your downline you can make a certain percentage in commissions for every sale that they make as well as earn other bonuses.
More emphasis is put on recruiting others over making your own sales but both methods will give you some opportunities to profit from.
HOW TO GET STARTED
So how would you get started with Market America if you were serious about the opportunity?
First things first you would need to spend $399 for the startup fee plus the monthly fee of $129 to complete the registration for the membership.
After that you would need to find ways to sell the distributors products to customers who actually wish to buy them for a commission.
The commission and compensation structure that Market America has honestly requires a little bit of work to understand but if you’re serious about becoming a member, it’s important you learn it.
There are actually three ways through which can make money through Market America.
The first way is through the cashback system. In this system Market America gives its members who purchase products through the shop.com website a small cashback.
To actually use the cashback system you will be required to sign up for it. Once you’ve signed up for it you will eligible for a $5 cash back on your next order worth $25 or more.
The cash back on the later products you order will give a 2% cashback and a 0.5% cashback from your recruits orders. What probably should be noted is that once you’ve signed up for the cashback scheme you will be regarded as a preferred customers.
Basically this means that once you become a preferred customer, the cashback system is the perk that comes along with it.
Retail Commissions i.e Unfranchised Business
The second method is know as an Unfranchised business, this is essentially making affiliate sales and garnering commissions with Market America.
These commission are decent at 30-50% for every sale you make as previously mentioned already however the question of actually selling anything will probably prove quite difficult.
The final method and probably the best way to actually make money through Market America is through recruitment.
The MLM structure being used is a binary structure. A binary structure is basically a structure that can only allow you to have 2 different people in your downline, with the same thing applying to your referrals, their referrals and so on.
These recruits and their recruits will ultimately be your major money makers and will most certainly make you way more than if you were to sell the products on your own.
This is just the basic outline and methods through which you can be compensated for your work however…. the way in which commissions are paid are definitely a little (excessively) complicated…
Market Americas Points Based Concepts
As opposed to just organising commissions in a normal manner and easy to calculate structure, you know dollars, the commission are given to you in points.
As all products within Market America have a certain volume attached to them, the commission values are calculated into two different volumes. The volume types are:
– Business Volume (BV) : These sales volume points are related to selling Market America’s own products.
– Internet Business Volume (IBV) :These sales volume points are related to selling 3rd party distributors products.
To further complicate the matter these points are are then transferred into a Business Development Centre (BDC). This is basically the capped points you can receive from your downline.
In order to achieve 1 BDC cycle, you will need to accumulate 1200 BV from both of your left and right recruits before you can cash out. 1 BDC is equivalent to $300.
There are a maximum of 3 standard BDC commission cycles and 1 double cycle you can achieve per week through selling the first party products. This accumulates to an earning potential of $1500 from BV points per week.
The same cap applies for IBV products so in total you are able to make a maximum $3000 every week.
There is also potential to make another $600 if you manage to max out your BDC and two BDC’s somewhere in your downline organisation. This brings the total earning capacity of each BDC to $3,600 per week.
This is probably a little difficult to wrap your head around so if you want to understand it a little bettet check out this video that Market America have made to explain everything, keep in mind that its trying to sell you the idea of joining but it should prove somewhat helpful.
This whole business structure is already complicated enough but, there’s a little bit more to it. I’m not entirely sure what this means but, its stated within their business structure that members have the ability to create 3 BDC’S
This in turn means that you will be able to repeat what I just explained with 2 other downlines that will also have the potential to make upto $3600 each per week (i think…).
Once you’ve maxed all 3 BDC’S out, you will be given the ability to have as many other BDC’s as you want which means that theoretically there’s no cap to your earning potential.
The earning potential may very well be endless but there’s no denying that there are quite a few things wrong with Market America and its overall business.
THE NOT SO GOOD THINGS ABOUT MARKET AMERICA
Market America Products Are Overpriced
I guess this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering MLM business tend to have overpriced products but yes, Market Ameica products are over priced even though what’s being offered is probably the same quality as something significantly cheaper.
This review of the isotonix branded products states that there are supplements that are cheaper yet offer the same following.
Check it out if you want to see a more indepth look on Market America’s isotonix brand
Compensation Structure Is Confusing
I’ve attempted to explain the compensation structure already and you have to agree that the entire format and structure is pretty darn difficult to wrap your head around.
If you want simplicity when it comes to compensation structures, there’s no denying that Market America Is definitely not the way to go
Expensive Running Costs
Start up and running costs are quite expensive, just to become a member you’ll need to fork out $528 and afterwards will be required to pay a monthly recurring fee of $129.
These numbers are pretty hefty already but you will also need extra running fees such as buying atleast 1 product a year to keep your cashback system running as well as other fee’s to keep your account running.
This will add up and may possibly affect you negatively financially in the long run. To be fair to Market America they do say that it may take a year or 2 before you can actually make any money through them so they’re not selling you a dream per say.
Controversial Lawsuits Against Them
Market America has been hit with some very major lawsuits in the past and in its recent history.
You could say that thiis is something big companies have to deal with but, the fact that suits regarding it being an illegal pyramid scheme has recently been established might push you against becoming a member
Click here to check out the article discussing this lawsuit.
Most People Fail
This should already be obvious to you especially if you’ve done a bit of research on MLM businesses, most people fail.
This doesn’t mean that people haven’t been successful through MLM businesses, there definitely has been successful individuals but it doesn’t take away from the fact that you will likely fail.
As brutal as it is, over 90% of members involved with Market America fail or operate at a loss.
Some individuals have even said that after spending 20-30k they were incapable of making even 10% of that momey back.
The most prevelant reason for most people failing is because they have a very demanding sales requirement and previously mentioned the products are overpriced.
Most people can’t meet the sales requirement because the products are not very good and are way too expensive so to compensate for the lack of sales, they have to buy it themselves to inflate the sales numbers.
If not, they cannot stay in the system and earn commission off their referrals.
THE GOOD THINGS
Is A Company That Has Been Around For 26 years
I haven’t got too many good things to say about the Market America System but one thing that probably can add credibility to the business is the fact it’s been running successfully for around 26 years.
I’m not saying that just because a business has been around for over 2 and a half decades that they’re always a legitimate business but there’s no denying it’s longevity and influence.
The Shop Is Associated With Large Brands
More so than an MLM business, Market America is also an online middle man/ brokerage kind of like Amazon. Because of their influence over the many many years, they have manged to sell more then just their own branded products within their online store.
Instead along with selling their own products they also help distribute products for high level branded products such as Apple and Nike.
I don’t know about you but i certainly see how this adds a bit more credibility to Market America.
IS MARKET AMERICA A PYRAMID SCHEME/SCAM
The good news is that Market America is not a pyramid scheme or a scam, they are a legitimate company that have created successful ‘unfranchised’ business owners before however, I ultimately can’t find myself recommending it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t join if you want to, you can, but because of the issues i mentioned such as the confusing compensation structure, and the fact that it’s really hard to succeed with Market America’s bsiness model being MLM based, I’m just not for it.
Market America are very aware of the fact that to make a successful business, you need to spend a lot of time and effort building it so to me instead of spending my time building a business through Market America I’d rather do it in my own terms.
The method I talk about is cheaper and equally requires hard work and time to achieve any kind of success.
But unlike Market America’s Unfranchised business, the business model I’m talking about is 100% reliant on your work and can be molded to become what you want.
So what is this business idea that I recommend?
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION
I personally will always recommend against using a MLM business model to make money, not because you can’t make money through it (you totally can) but, the system has always seemed shady to myself and is kinda synonymous with the likes of a pyramid scheme or scams (MOBE and Digital altitude).
Instead I prefer working with something created through ones own means and is ultimately dependent on yourself and your work ethic alone.
This method I’m talking about is affiliate marketing.
The reasons as to why I recommend it over MLM based structures are because
– there is no need to recruit constantly
– it is a legitimate method that has been working consistently and continues to grow as more businesses want individuals to promote products
– and because it is free to start up, no unnecessarily large start up funds needed.
The service I recommend is Wealthy Affiliate. It’s free to sign up to and will get you set up and ready to start your affiliate marketing journey within minutes, as it did for me when I begun my journey.
If you have any questions that you would like to ask me regarding Market America, feel free to do so in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. If you have your own thoughts about Market America and would like to talk about it, again feel free to do so in the comments below!