One of the problems with MLMs is that you usually end up selling just one type of product like vitamins, kitchenware or clothing or something like that. With Market America you can choose from a wide range of product types and you can choose more than one type to sell. But does that make it a better offer? In this Market America MLM review, you’ll see what I mean. Then you can decide for yourself. More options doesn’t necessarily mean more money.
What is Market America MLM?
Market America was founded in 1992 by Loren and JR Ridinger. JR Ridinger previously worked as a distributor for Amway. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Market America have over 700 employees and over 180,000 “UnFranchise owners” all over the world. Other countries include Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Kingdom as well as the United States.
Market America products are a combination of a lot of different markets such as weight loss, entertainment, web site development, cleaning products, makeup and more. All of these products are available through their sister website store, shop.com. Market America have their own products but also have agreements allowing other retailers to sell on shop.com as well.
Are Market America Products Worth Their Price?
Let’s start with shop.com. This is a website that is basically a Market America marketplace for companies to sell their goods to your customers. As you scroll through the products, you’ll see that you can buy the same product from different retailers.
So I went out to the shop.com site and scanned a few different products. I decided that I’d check out something really expensive to see how great the product prices are and the cashback rewards. So I checked into digital cameras. Here’s one from the shop.com site.
This camera is sold by UnbeatableSale at $657.80 with $32.89 cash back (5%). I don’t know a lot about cameras but this seemed a little high to me so I checked to see if I could find the same product on Amazon. Here’s what I found.
The camera above is the exact same model as the one on the shop.com site. This one was found on Amazon and is a Starter Bundle. In addition to the camera you’ll also get a 64 GB memory card, carrying case with strap, USB card reader, lens cleaning solution, blower brush, microfiber cloth, lens tissue paper, cotton swabs, and a microfiber cloth. Not only do you get a better price, you also get excellent accessories included. All this for the grand total of $390.72 plus tax and shipping. That’s a HUGE difference of $267.08!
In this instance, you are essentially asking your customers to spend an additional $267 to get $32.89 cashback. In order for the Market America camera to be a good deal, your customer would have to receive a discount of 45% or more as opposed to the measly 5% cashback.
So I can’t say that the products are worth the money. When you start to do some digging and compare products with other sites out there, it’s not too hard to find the same products at a cheaper price.
The Market America MLM Opportunity
When you sign up with Market America, you membership includes your own web portal on their shop.com site. You then decide what type of products you want to promote on your portal. These products come with a cash back feature, called Shopping Annuity, to encourage purchases.
As a newly minted UnFranchise Owner (UFO), your membership also includes a virtual mentor, access to experienced business partners and training. All UFOs are required to participate in the training. The training teaches you how to use the system and run your business properly. Once training is completed, you’ll receive a certificate.
Then you can start to advertise your portal to friends, family and on social media platforms. You can also buy a specific kit of products to sell directly to customers.
How Much Does It Cost to Join Market America?
There are a few options to join Market America. You can start by buying a starter kit for $149.95 plus tax. Your yearly membership will cost you $99.95 per year and you’ll also have to pay $21.95 per month for the online back office which is software to help manage your business.
You can opt to buy one of the Fast Start Kits. The Fast Start Kit costs $429.95 plus tax. There are four different kits. The Isotonix kit (vitamins), Motives (makeup) TLS Weight Loss Solution (weight loss supplements) and MA WebCenters (a selection of products, documents and brochures). These kits also include your annual membership.
Can You Make Money with Market America?
Market America doesn’t seem to have the standard commission-based compensation plan. MPCP, Market America’s (Management Performance Compensation Plan) pays out based on the volume their organization generates. There are three different ways to earn money.
The traditional way, as with most MLMs, is to buy a kit with a certain type of product and sell to customers through direct selling methods.
Another way is through the traditional recruitment process. If you manage to recruit two people to join your team, you can earn $300-$600 per year.
And finally, recruit customers to join the Shopping Annuity program. By joining this program, customers receive cashback on purchases made through shop.com. You will get 100% credit for any customer leads and 30-50% gross retail profit.
High Commission Rates
Commissions on gross retail sales through the Shopping Annuity program is 30-50%. This is one of the highest commission rates I’ve come across.
Tons of Products
As a UFO, you’ll have access to tons of products to choose from that you can promote and sell on your portal as well as buying a kit and selling products directly.
Free Shipping for Qualified UFOs
For UFOs who are promoting products through the shop.com site, you can qualify for free shipping on all of your product purchases provided you meet the criteria. Unfortunately, the bar is pretty high. In order to qualify, you must purchase 1,500 BV (business volume) worth of Home Country products for personal use within a quarter. You also have to purchase $3,000 worth of products.
Quarterly Sales Requirements
In order to keep your distributor status active, you are required to order or sell $200 worth of products at retail price.
Pricey Startup Kits
Whether you’re paying $149.95 or $429.95, you are paying a high start up cost. Combine that with the yearly membership fee, the monthly fee and the quarterly purchase requirements and it gets even more expensive.
You Pay For Training
One of the more unusual policies is that with Market America, you pay for your own training. There are three required training courses you must take: New Distributor Training-$5; Basic 5-$5; and ECCT-$50, all within the first 30 days of your membership. Other training is “strongly recommended” and is more expensive.
Is Market America a Scam?
This is definitely one of those times when it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. There are a lot of costs associated with this program before you make any money. Most people who are trying to make some extra money don’t have a lot of money for startup costs. There seems to be costs for everything here. Specific buying criteria, monthly fees, and yearly fees. It looks like it will take a long time before you are turning a profit with this program so I’d give it a miss.
Starting your own business has to be simpler than this. First of all, you shouldn’t have to pay for training. So you have to ask yourself if you think you can recoup the upfront costs. And if that answer is no, check out my #1 recommendation on how to start your own online business. You’ll get everything you need to be successful. A website, hosting, training, 24/7 support and a whole host of awesome tools.