Is Market America A Scam or The Real Deal?
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I've reviewed a lot of MLMs in the past. They include Mary Kay, Primerica, Melaleuca, Avon and many more. I will be the first to admit I am not a big fan of their business model or some of the shady reps. I've discovered that it's easier to make money with a business when people come to you. But that's me. There are a lot of you that like the MLM model. If that's you, then you'll appreciate my Market America Review. If you're looking for a love or hate fest, then this isn't for you. But if you want a fairly objective break down of this company, then read on.
What is Market America?
Market America is a business founded in 1992 by JR Ridinger. He is a former star Amway distributor who decided to start his own MLM. The company appears to be doing well. They have a positive rating with the better business bureau (BBB) at the time of this review. But if the idea of an MLM gives you the heebie jeebies, you may want to consider Swagbucks.com & FusionCash.com as alternatives.
In either case, Market America's products have received celebrity endorsements and have been featured in Allure, Vogue, US Weekly and People Magazines, according to their site. It all sounds good but let's dig deeper.
Market America's Products
Market America's sells a variety of products. They include a shopping portal, cosmetics, financial and health related products. Here's a list of their products at the time of this review:
- TLS ? Weight Loss Solution
- Heart Health ?
- Ultimate Aloe ?
- Pet Health™
- NutriClean ?
- Cellular Laboratories ?
- Timeless Prescription ?
- Pentaxyl ?
- Royal Spa ?
- Matriskin ?
- Prime™ Anti-Aging Nutraceuticals
- Isotonix ? Custom Cocktail
- Motives ?
- MA Web Centers
- Shop Financial
- Motives for La La
- Lumiere de Vie
- DNA Miracles / DNA Miracles Natural
You can learn more about each of their products by clicking here.
Market America's Distributor Compensation Plan
To make money with Market America, you have to become a distributor and buy a starter pack, costing $399. That's the simple part. However like most MLMs they have a convoluted compensation plan. You can click here and watch the video that goes into more detail with the song and dance. If you're not a fan of the expensive start up cost or compensation plan nonsense, you may want to check out Swagbucks.com & FusionCash.com as a free more straightforward option instead.
However if you're still interested, I'll attempt to simplify their compensation structure as best as I can. There are basically two major ways to earn with Market America.
Unfranchise distributors are provided their own Market America web portal. This portal features the various products offered by Market America and is tied to that specific distributor. The rep can share their web portal url with others and earn a commission when a customers shops on their website.
The next way to earn is recruiting other distributors that will do the same. You'll earn a percentage of their income as well. That's the over simplified version of it. If you need more details watch their confusing ass video and try to decipher it.
What Are The Complaints Against Market America?
Well I'm glad you asked. Because there are quite a few. First let me start off by saying I don't necessarily hold the belief that all MLMs are scams. A lot of them are shady but I don't just assume something is a scam because it is an MLM. I tend to blame MLM Reps for their perception which I cover here. That said there are some real issues with this company that I've laid out below.
Less Than Minimum Wage
The way that Market America talks you would think the average distributor must be rolling in dough, right? But despite the claims from the select few “Million Dollar Members' on Market America's website, if you search online for Market America complaints or Market America scam, there are tons of personal stories saying it is unlikely for the average person to even make part-time minimum wage with Market America. This isn't isolated to Market America, that's usually the case with most MLMs. I will say that running any business isn't easy and most people fail so there is that as well. But your chances of success seem to diminish in an MLM structure.
What the Cult?
Many have complained that Market America has like a cult-like atmosphere. Like most MLMs you're taught to drink the cool aid. That usually means viewing anyone you know as a possible customer. Depending on how you're trained you may end up harassing your family and friends. Needless to say it can lead to some serious alienation of family and friends. One heartbreaking post was written by a woman who essentially lost her son, as all he can do is eat, sleep and breathe Market America.
Too much focus on recruiting..
Based on many of the complaints it appears that the folks way up on the upline make any real money. And apparently a significant portion of that money is made by selling the starter kits to naive newcomers. If you're not feeling the focus on recruiting others and prefer to make money based on your actions, you may want to check out Swagbucks.com & FusionCash.com as alternatives.
Training and Seminar Upsells
There are a lot of phony promises that you will succeed if you buy all the additional expensive training items and travel to seminars. The narrative that is often told is that if you fail, it's on you, for not believing hard enough, or you need to go some more of that expensive training. If they wanted you to succeed, why isn't it included in your starter pack?
Customer Service and Pricing
Apparently customers seem to have their fair share of complaints as well. They have complained about non-delivery of promised products and problems with gift cards. Folks have also noted that many of the products offered by Market America cost much more than you would pay for a comparable brand at your local store. That's not much of a surprise; when you consider the MLM business model and how they need to pay their Unfranchise distributors.
Is Market America Legitimate?
Legally they seem to be abiding by their compensation plan if you can decipher it. But the reality for most distributors is that you won't be able to earn a full or part time income. They obviously have some people that do but it's definitely not the norm.
As a business owner I know how difficult it is to make a business succeed. Most people won't regardless of what business they try. That's why most folks become employees. But for those of you who aspire to be your own boss, you should look for businesses that better your chances of success. In my opinion MLMs like Market America wouldn't be my first choice. I'm not fond of the idea of harassing my family and friends. Nor do I like the idea of the up-sell of over priced training and seminars.
If that rubs you the wrong way as well, then you may want consider an alternative. Check out Swagbucks.com, FusionCash.com and My #1 Free Work At Home Recommendation. With this business you don't have to chase down your family or friends. People come to you. You're also working with companies that people trust and aren't being over charged for. So I would highly recommend looking into My #1 Recommendation Wealthy Affiliate.