Imitation is the highest form of praise.
At least that is close to the old saying that copying someone else is the highest form of flattery. In other words, when you copy someone else, their habits, their business plans and so on, you are saying that the person you are copying is a great example and person.
From what we can see, Lyoness, despite its Celtic name origin, has copied Market America and tries to be like them in a variety of ways including their business strategy. It seems to work for them as they claim to have over 8,000,000 members shopping through all their many portals.
But is the company what it claims to be? For satisfied customers the answer is ‘yes, it is.’ Yet the details may say otherwise.
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Some History On The Company
We call it a copy or imitation of Market America because that company was founded in 2002 and Lyoness was started in 2003 by Iwan J. Ackermann, Max Meienberg, Uwe Proch & Hubert Freidl.
Also, it follows the Market America game plan of connecting customers with products from other vendors. It may be that Lyoness does not produce any of the products they sell. Plus, they offer cashback rewards like Market America. They do have a cashback card to help you collect your savings.
In the few short years the company has been operating, they have been able to reach 47 markets through at least 80,000 partners and we are not sure of that figure. It is hard to get an honest statement saying how many sales reps represent the company.
Over the years, the founders and executives of the company have registered their name through a variety of of different corporations, 7 alone in Switzerland, 9 in Austria and over 40 around the world.
That behavior can send up the first red flag about this company. Throughout their tenure, the only people speaking anything good about the company are its paid affiliates. No one else is saying anything nice about it.
The Lyoness Products
The thing about Lyoness is that there are no products to review here. The company is basically a landing platform for customers and merchants to connect with each other. The only thing Lyoness has, as we said earlier, is a cashback card.
Everything else is made by other companies around the world. What may constitute a product are the different memberships Lyoness sells to potential customers. The costs of those can be from $2000 and up.
As for the cashback program, the highest amount we have been able to find out is 5%. That means if you spend $200 on products, you will get a grand total of $10 in return. But that figure is the highest possible percentage. Other products have lower percent numbers attached to them.
So to get a lot of cash back, you have to spend a lot of money. There have been reports that when some people go to get their cash savings back from the company, their requests have been denied.
The only other reason Lyoness can provide this cashback service is that they overprice their products. Sometimes their price may be 10 times that for the same item on Amazon. To get your cashback, you need to collect 200 HP points.
Another possible Lyoness product wold be the shopping points, you get these through shopping at Lyoness websites and you can spend them on discounted items in a special section.
That special section is called the Loyalty Mall and it may have some good deals and it may not. It depends on the products offered in that section. For us the products were not something we would be interested in.
It is possible to shop through your cell phone as the company does have a cellphone app you can download. Other than that, you are not really getting anything that is made by Lyoness. All the products they sell, as we have already said, come from other companies.
Signing Up With Lyoness
You can sign up for free but you may not get all the benefits that come with the paid memberships. All you have to do is go to the Lyoness website and click on the button that will take you to the registration page.
Once there you fill out the usual personal information and agree to the terms of service and acknowledge that you have read their policies. Then you click next, something we do not do, and you move on to the next stage.
To get better deals and offers, you can sign up for the premium memberships but these will cost you. If you are not sitting down, you may want to before you read those membership costs.
To get better perks, etc., you can buy memberships ranging in price from $2,000 to over $3,000. That is just for getting the opportunity to save up to 5% on your purchases.
We will you think on that for a minute, and on this - you are paying $2,000 or more just to receive discounts, etc. On things you do not want or need. And if you are not satisfied, good luck on trying to get a refund. Many people have tried and failed.
There is the possibility of booking offers in unopened countries on the news that those countries are going to open. These bookings offer you a way to make money when others sign up in those newly opened countries.
Unfortunately, as one couple found out after paying Lyoness over $10,000 for such a booking, the country does not open up and they are out a large amount of money. Signing up is no guarantee you are not going to be taken to the cleaners in some way by this company.
Can You Make Money Through Lyoness?
It is an MLM company that does not have its own products you can sell. That fact should tell you right off that you cannot make any money through this corporation. The second fact telling you that you are not going to make any money is that you have to pay $2,000 or more for premium memberships.
Paying money to someone else in order to make money is not the smartest decision you can make especially when you are dealing with MLM corporations. That statement does not refer to traditional stock investments.
With MLM corporations you are just handing them money for free. Traditional stock investments, there are records and receipts and actual stocks you can use to prove you paid the money.
As of a last report, only 24 % of those people who signed up at Lyoness did not receive any money. That seems to be better than average when it comes to MLM companies and their compensation plans. BUT, 76% of those who received any money earned less than $1,500 in one year.
To make money at Lyoness, you have to do it the old MLM way- recruit, recruit and recruit. You get 0.5% commission on every purchase made by your recruits. You get another 0.5% if their recruits purchase something.
That is about the only way you can make any money at this company. There is a friendship bonus but don’t hold your breath. If you want to learn more about their compensation plan, here is the link to it. You have to land on that page and then download the 21 page document to see how the company pays those that sell for it.
The Negatives Of Working With Lyoness
We are going to do this first as the negatives certainly outweigh the positives and the only positive comments we can find come from those who work for or are paid by the company.
Here is a short list to get you started:
- You have to pay to play well.
- There are no real products to sell.
- You have to recruit and recruit.
- Low wages - about 97% earn less than $1500 a year with most getting only $72.14.
- You are working for a pyramid scheme in disguise.
- No training available.
- Possibly no refunds available.
- Products are expensive.
- Facing lawsuits from several countries.
- Complicated compensation plan.
- And a lot more.
To balance this picture out somewhat, here are the few positives we could find that speak well about the company:
- You get some cashback on purchases.
- You can connect with merchants from around the world.
- You get bonuses.
- Roughly works with 130,000.
That is about it for positive reinforcement when it comes to working for the company.
Unethical Business Practices
We labeled it this way because basically Lyoness does do unethical business practices. That is evident by all the lawsuits being filed against the company. Italy, Norway, Germany and Australia have all made investigations into Lyoness with the first two banning it.
Germany’s is ongoing and Australia was dismissed. But Poland and the home country of the company, Austria, have launched similar investigations. The misrepresentations by the company do not help its cause.
The company participates in unethical credit card billing, even agreeing to stop those charges and refunding the previous one but both do not take place for a lot of people. They are charged and they lose money even after canceling their memberships.
Because Lyoness does offer products and their cashback system, it is hard to label the company a scam legally. It does do that part of their business. But the fine line it operates along keeps many countries from labeling it a scam and a pyramid scheme.
There is no doubt it is both but that condemnation depends on your perspective and if you lost money. What we can say is that the image the company tries to project is not the underlying reality.
There Is A Better Alternative
In today’s high paced technological world, expenses can be high. Computerized equipment, cars and other items are not cheap. It doesn’t take long for people to rack up a lot of debt, including loans and interest.
These people are often vulnerable to claims made by Lyoness and other MLM corporations. Their faulty promises of making lots of money to become debt free entice unwary people to spend money to make money. Unfortunately, the only people making any money are those MLM corporations.
The good news is that there is a better, more legitimate way to make that extra money you need. It is called affiliate marketing and it is a growing business opportunity.
Affiliate marketing lets you set up your business and lets you work at it in your spare time. You do not have to spend time meeting people and trying to recruit them to sell. Instead, you set up a website and represent products like a traditional salesman.
That takes a lot of risk and expense away from your pursuit of financial freedom. It allows you to learn how to be a salesman and create great content that convinces people to buy the products you represent.
You have to work hard and learn some tricks of the trade but in the long run it is worth it as you do not have the pressure or expense MLM companies do or require. You earn your money honestly through affiliate marketing.
Don’t Hesitate, Just Ask
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Thank you for reading.