MLMs come and go.
They are like that bad penny that you cannot get rid of. Just when you think it is gone another one pops up to try and take your money through making a lot of false promises and selling you over priced items.
Market America is just another MLM company in a different costume. The big question that needs to be answered is how it can have an A+ rating with the BBB and still face racketeering charges?
If the people bringing the lawsuit have their way, we may not be hearing about Market America for very long.
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A Little Bit About Market America
The company was formed by JR Ridinger and his wife Loren in 1992. He was a former top distributor for Amway prior to branching out on his own through this company.
Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, Mr. Ridinger and his wife have brought the company to the point it employs roughly 800 people directly and has over 190,000 independent distributors in approx. 9 markets.
The unique business angle that Market America uses besides the MLM business plan, is that they do not manufacture one product that they sell. Instead, they partner with other companies and market those products.
Through the company’s purchase of Shop.com, Market America can offer cashback rewards which helps them sell those products although they remain in competition with those companies they partner with.
Over the years, Mr. Ridinger and his wife have been able to cultivate about $820 million in revenue and earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Through the years, the company has sued or has been sued for a variety of reasons.
In 1999, Mr. Ridinger and his wife were charged with fraud by the SEC. It seems that the company was able to recover from those charges as it is still doing business today.
The Market America Products
This is a hard one to discuss as the business model chosen by Market America has the company getting products from other companies and then reselling it at a higher cost to the consumer.
This business plan allows the company to claim that it represents about 35 million different products making it one of the more expansive MLM companies around. There is word that the company has about 2500 products with their Market America brand on them.
The most popular of that product line is the Scottie Pippen touted Isotonix, although we are not sure if he still does it. That line of nutritional supplements sells for about $70 a bottle.
A similar off brand variety with the same ingredients sells for about $20 in your local stores. Market America bought out Shop.com in 2010 in of competing with Amazon.
It is supposed to sell well known brands for a cheaper price but we have not looked at it to verify that claim. Needless to say, this business strategy has helped the company earn millions of dollars.
All customer transactions are done through Shop.com and you can earn a lot of cashback rewards through purchasing their products at that outlet. They do have a Market America website.
Signing Up With Market America
If you are interested in working for this company, you need to go to their website and press the establish your Unfranchise button. This leads you to a page where you need to put the sales rep’s id in that referred you to the company.
If no one referred you , then you can just hit the continue button leaving the space blank. That button leads you to the personal information page. You fill out all the blanks and submit it. Then you wait for an official to contact you.
But what the company and this website do not tell you is that signing up will cost you $399 plus the $129 per month fee. What you get in return is a starter’s kit and a little training to be a sales rep for the company.
There may also be a $99 yearly fee to stay active for another year. On top of all that, you are expected to spend between $130 and $300 on Market America products as well as pay between $20 and $200 to attend special seminars and training sessions.
Once you have signed up, you do get your own web portal and you can share the URL of that personal web portal in hopes people will buy the Market America products through you. When they do, you earn a commission.
Then true to the MLM formula, you will need to recruit other people in order to make a lot of the money you have already spent back. This may not work out so well for you as your recruits may not be as good at selling or as enthused about market America as you.
Your goal, after you sign up, is to try and make your money back long before you get into a deep financial hole you can’t get out of. The only way to beat MLM businesses at their own game is to sign up with a lot of different ones and focus on selling their product and forget about recruiting others.
The thing about signing up with this company is that you are going to be on the hook for a lot of expenses while trying to market overpriced goods your potential customers can find cheaper in the stores.
Can You Make Money At Market America?
The illusion is there that you have the potential to make a lot of money at the company. The founder was fortunate to get into Amway at the right time and make it pay off for him. So if he can do it so should you, right?
Not necessarily as like any other MLM company, Market America has about a 99% failure rate. That means only about 1% make any money and the uphill climb to join that 1% is difficult at best.
You will be lucky if you can earn as much as another person does at a traditional job who pulls in part time minimum wage. The compensation plan is a binary model that requires you to recruit and your recruits recruit in order for the money to start flowing in.
We tried to open their compensation plan web page but for some reason it would not open for us. You can try yourself at this link. That is not a good sign and makes you wonder what the company is trying to hide.
If you want to look into the company yourself, here is the link to Market America. From everything we have read about the company, to make money selling their products, you have to dig yourself out of the financial hole they put you in at the beginning. That is not a good start to any employment opportunity.
Oh and of course, if you fail, it is your fault because you didn’t believe hard enough or tried hard enough to succeed. While you may only have about 200,000 people to compete with, your chances of making money is slim to none as Market America rarely makes its own products.
They are a reseller so you have to compete with the companies where Market America gets their product lines. That is another bad point you have to contend with.
Is Market America A Cult
We know it is a scam and a pyramid scheme in disguise so we will not go there. Suffice it to say all the reasons we have pointed out in previous posts in this series applies to Market America concerning those 2 issues.
But we have read something disturbing in our research. There are people and reviewers bringing up the point that Market America is more of a cult than a real business.
The charge that the company has adopted cult like methods to brainwash their potential sales reps and then continue to brainwash them is not a charge to take lightly.
Their sales seminars are more about selling beliefs than in helping their independent distributors learn how to sell better or market the products more attractively. They want their sales reps excited and pumped up not properly trained.
This is the reason so many people who signed up keep paying into the system. They believe they will be the exception to the rule instead of actually learning how to be better.
One person who signed up ended up breathing, eating and sleeping Market America. Is mother complained that she lost her son. Market America does teach its people to see others as potential customers not as people with real needs. That is not good.
Also, the constant need to recruit keeps the sales rep focused the potential money they can make and not about right or wrong and other moral standards. You may not like churches but one sales rep almost ruined his or her youth group because of that attitude.
All they did is push Market America in the youth meetings and eventually teenagers left the group because they were not into being sold to or recruited to sell a suspicious company’s products.
Reading the comments of those who support Market America, it is easy to see that they have drunk the kool aid and do not like anything negative said about the company.
Like cults, some people do rise to the top of the company and make a little extra over their peers but that still doesn’t make Market America good company or even ethical.
There Is A Better Way
If you have read every article in this series, and there are more to come, you know by now that MLM companies are not the best place to be employed. Their complicated and convoluted compensation plans make sure you do not earn what you should.
Plus, their sign in costs put you behind the 8 ball from the get go. Yet, there is some good news from a growing industry that doesn’t put you in a financial hole from the start.
It is called affiliate marketing and while there may be some similarities between it and the MLM business strategy, it is a better way to earn a second income. One reason is that you do not have to recruit anyone to sell underneath you. You are not competing with your own people.
You do have competition but that is normal no matter which traditional business you enter. Your key is to operate your new affiliate marketing business correctly. Instead of being sold a bunch of beliefs, you get trained to be a success.
There are no cult like activities to brainwash you, just good SEO strategies to learn in order to drive business to your website and products you represent. Also, you do not have to buy any products in order to stay active.
You pick the products you want to represent, you pick the method you will use to market them and you get to agree to the commission split. There is no mystery about working in affiliate marketing.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
That is how you learn and how you find out how good affiliate marketing is. Once you get your questions figured out, contact us. We will be glad to share the answers with you and then show you how Wealthy Affiliate is a better way to make money.
Wealthy Affiliate provides you with the training and education you need to be a success. Also, it has the niches and products you can represent and a lot more. When you go with the best expect to find everything you need to be successful.
The good news is you are part of a straight forward compensation plan that lets you keep all your commission. Contact us now to find out how it all works.
Thank you for reading.