Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Market America Exposed: Misleading False Claims

* Note: This is NOT another Market America shill article spreading propaganda. This is a genuine no-nonsense criticism of Market America's business opportunity using logic, facts and common sense. 

"It can be very difficult, if not impossible, for most individuals to make a lot of money through the direct sale of products to consumers. And big money is what recruiters often allude to in their pitches."
"You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone making over $1.50 an hour. The primary product is opportunity. The strongest, most powerful motivational force today is false hope."
 
USA Today article on MLM's (2/10/2011) 


 


To whom it may concern: 

Back in 2000, I responded to a "business opportunity" ad in a newspaper in Bellingham, WA. It turned out to be for Market America, which touted itself as being one of the best business opportunities in America. I attended these overly enthusiastic meetings which employed cult-like brainwashing techniques, group pressure, and sensational promises. 

But what I found out eventually is that in truth, Market America's business opportunity was just another MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) scheme, aka Network Marketing, dressed up in fancy terms in an attempt to disassociate itself from the negative stigma of MLM's. Here are some of its core misleading false claims vs. reality. 

1. Market America claims to not be an MLM and argues that it is different from one. They call their system "the binomial system of linear marketing" or "The UnFranchise System" and use terms such as "vertical downline" to disassociate themselves from the negative stigma of MLM. They claim that their downline structure is vertical, like a skyscraper, rather than horizontal or pyramidal. Here is a short video by one of its distributors that explains how their downline structure is different and better than that of a pyramidal MLM: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX4a9Yl7eFE 

This video is a bit misleading in a number of ways. First, even if there is a vertical downline of commissions, still, the system says that in order for everyone in your downline to benefit, everyone must recruit at least two people (which of course cannot go on forever, so someone is guaranteed to lose out), so if you recruit two people and they recruit two others and so forth, of course the downline is going to have a pyramidal structure, regardless of the commission structure. 

Second, notice that the presenter put "100 percent" next to every level of the downline to make it look tantalizing. He said that everyone in your downline, including yourself, receives 100 percent of the BV (commission points) generated by the person at the bottom level. But this is a mere mind trick to make it look big. 100 percent can apply to anything, for example, 100 percent of $1 is $1 - it does not make $1 bigger than it actually is. Let's use some common sense here. There is no free lunch and no free money. Even if Market America's commission structure was a little better than Amway or other MLM's, it can't be that much better, or else the company would lose money. They cannot pay everyone more than the net profit earned, or else they would lose money. This is common sense. 

Third, note how he says that Market America has to cap everyone's earnings at $3600 per week, indirectly implying that it is so easy to reach $3600 per week, that they have had to cap it to make it fair, lest a ton of people exceed it, as if this cap really made a difference. Yeah right. It's as if we are supposed to think "Awww shucks, the most I can make is $3600 a week. Darn. I was hoping to make more!" Uh huh. It's a cheesy psychological trick to make you think that $3600 a week is easy to achieve, without directly telling you so. My gosh. Even though I can see through it, it's too bad there are many suckers out there who will not. In reality, less than one percent of distributors make anywhere near that amount. Most of them make little or nothing, or end up losing money (see the sourced statistics from Wikipedia below). 

In any case, the point is, just because Market America has a slightly different commission structure, or even downline structure, that still does NOT make it "not an MLM" as it claims, for it still fits the DEFINITION of an MLM. You still have to sell products and recruit people to earn money, regardless of the downline structure or commission plan. Here is a bare bones definition of an MLM from Wikipedia: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing 

"Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's downline, and can provide multiple levels of compensation." 

As you can see, this definition fits Market America to a T at the nuts and bolts level. NOTHING in Market America's business plan, downline structure or commission plan differentiates itself from this. Changing or altering a downline structure or commission plan, or repackaging itself with new terms and labels does NOT change that. Thus, Market America has no right to say that it is not an MLM. It's only doing so to avoid the negative public stigma of MLM's and of course to make itself look "special". 

So when you break it down, it's the same nuts and bolts as a standard MLM in that: You have to recruit a minimum of two great salespeople who then have to be trained to recruit a minimum of two more great salespeople, and so forth, and of course, the products have to be sold by all of you in order to earn commissions (known as BV in Market America). All MLM's work that way, regardless of how they dress themselves up. It's not anymore complicated than that. So in reality, they are really no different because they all work the same way at the nuts and bolts level - and at that level the system is fundamentally flawed (more on that below). Thus, their claim of not being an MLM is unsubstantiated. 

Furthermore, Wikipedia cites these common criticisms of MLM's: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing 

"MLM companies have been a frequent subject of criticism as well as the target of lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, price fixing of products, high initial start-up costs, emphasis on recruitment of lower-tiered salespeople over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring salespeople to purchase and use the company's products, potential exploitation of personal relationships which are used as new sales and recruiting targets, complex and sometimes exaggerated compensation schemes, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion." 

Sound familiar? Again, that fits Market America to a T, and the video above of its compensation plan is an example of an "exaggerated compensation scheme". It's no wonder that Market America is desperate to disassociate itself from the term MLM due to this bad rap. 

2. Market America distributors claim that you don't have to be good at selling to succeed in their business. They tell this to all new recruits in order to not discourage them when they object "But I'm not good at selling". It's a total lie and a stupid one at that. Of course the product has to be SOLD. Where else is the money going to come from? Duh. Do you think your commissions are going to grow on trees? One way or another, the products have to be SOLD, and that involves SELLING. So this lie by Market America is an insult to human intelligence. In fact, you not only have to be good in sales, but also in RECRUITING and TRAINING as well, since you have to recruit people and train them. And all this for a low probability venture in which most people fail. (See stats below) Is that really worth it? Think about it. 

In fact, selling in MLM is harder than usual sales jobs. Here's why: 

a) Retail sales jobs are easy, because you are in a store where people come to buy stuff. All you have to do is be friendly and helpful and provide good customer service and they will buy stuff. That's why retail jobs tend to be minimum wage, because they are easy. You are selling to people who want something. But when you are selling to people who do NOT want what you are offering, that's a whole different ballgame. And Market America is just that. With Market America, you are not selling to real customers who are seeking your product. You are selling to people who are NOT seeking your product - everyone you can find out there, including your friends and family, who may start to avoid you if you keep pressuring them, needless to say. 

Most people do not want to join an MLM and find its products to be overly priced, so it's a huge uphill battle. In order to recruit people, you have to use some deception and illusion, which is what MLM schemes always do, because the system can't sell itself at its nuts and bolts level. Regardless, you have to be an incredible sales person and a great recruiter, but even then, you will get a lot of rejections, and you will have to use exaggerations and misleading claims as well. Common sense should tell you that if a system is good, it will not need to exaggerate or mislead, only bad systems need to employ such tactics. 

b) If you are selling something of value that is worth its price, then those who need it will buy it, if you can get it to them. In that case, you do not need to be good at sales. You just need to be friendly and helpful and provide good customer service. But in Market America's case, its products are overly priced, which is the usual case with MLM products, and therefore in order to sell overly priced products, one must have exceptional sales ability, or the ability to use deception, illusion and misleading tactics. 

c) In Market America, you are not just selling a product, which is hard enough as already explained, you are selling a DREAM as well - the dream of becoming self-employed and financially independent. That's how you recruit people and create a downline to try to multiply your commissions, by selling them a dream. Needless to say, dreams are a concept and therefore harder to sell than products are. 

"You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone making over $1.50 an hour. The primary product is opportunity. The strongest, most powerful motivational force today is false hope." 
USA Today article on MLM's (2/10/2011) 

Either way you look at it, you have to SELL the products and RECRUIT others to SELL the product as well. There's no way around it. That's a fact, even if Market America denies it. After all, your commissions are not going to come from the tooth fairy. Come on now. In order to sell and recruit, you have two options: Start with your friends and family and social network. If that fails, then you have to go out and talk to random strangers or place "business opportunity" ads in newspaper classifieds. 

Now ask yourself: Do you really want to do that? Do you want to harass strangers like that and try to mislead them into some vague "business opportunity" that you can't even be upfront about? Do you want to put vague "business opportunity" ads in newspaper classifieds to lure people in? Isn't that all very shady and predatory and unnatural? How does your conscience feel about that? And all this for a low probability venture in which most people fail too. (See stats below) Is that really worth it? Think about it. 

"It can be very difficult, if not impossible, for most individuals to make a lot of money through the direct sale of products to consumers. And big money is what recruiters often allude to in their pitches." 
USA Today article on MLM's (2/10/2011) 

3. Market America claims that if you work hard and follow their formula/teachings, you are guaranteed to succeed. This is also not true, and anyone with real entrepreneurial experience can tell you that. Business and reality don't work that way. Let me explain why. 

First: 

1) Not everyone can be at the top in a niche. There isn’t room. 
2) You can’t succeed by just following a formula. It doesn’t work that way. Too many other factors come into play, such as talent, passion, drive, dedication, luck, timing, market demand and availability, your network, social skills, personal charisma, karma, destiny, divine will, and other intangibles. 

You see, you can’t just emulate a successful person by doing what he/she did and get the same results, at least not in business. Do you think you can just copy everything Bill Gates did and get the same results he did, especially since he beat you to it and is already at the top of the pyramid? 

Let me give you another example. Can an Olympic gold medalist teach you how to win a gold medal? Even if he/she tried, can you just do everything he/she did and win a gold medal yourself? Nope. It doesn’t work that way, because there are many other factors that caused the athlete to win a gold medal, and formulas are not it. Besides hard work, talent, luck, timing, karma, divine will, etc. also affect the outcome. Some people are also good and talented at a certain niche, while others aren't. The same applies in business. 

Timing is crucial in a market. You have to be one of the first in the niche or category to establish a base. If you are not, then it’s much harder for you to compete. If you are the first to start something unique that works, then you have a much better chance. For example, if you had started an online auction before Ebay, you would have had the chance to make it big in a new market. But you can’t start an online auction now and compete with Ebay. No way. To make it, you have to start something that’s not been done before, or improve on an existing niche or specialty, which others have not before. 

So you see, it’s not that simple as following a formula. What you gotta do is this: Figure out what you do best and capitalize on that. Discover what your gifts are. Look for innovative ideas that fulfill what people want. And never quit. That’s what you gotta do. Hope that makes sense to you. 

Furthermore, the MLM formula itself is mathematically guaranteed to fail for the majority of its distributors, as I will explain in the next section below. 

4. Market America insinuates that the majority of its distributors are making money and doing well. (whatever that means) This is one of its BIGGEST LIES. Nothing could be further from the truth. All evidence and statistical research points to the exact OPPOSITE. 

First, the majority in Market America or any MLM scheme for that matter, are mathematically guaranteed to FAIL due to the inherent nature of the system. Whether you have 10 people in your downline or 1 billion, the bottom level will always have MORE people in it than all those above combined. Since the downline levels cannot multiply to infinity (even if everyone in the world were involved) it has to stop at some point. And when it does, the majority at the bottom will end up losing money. In one of my articles, I break it down for you with simple math here: 

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Multi-Level-Marketing.htm 

Robert Fitzpatrick, America's leading expert on MLM's, agrees. In a USA Today article, he is quoted as saying: 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/2010-10-15-multilevelmarketing15_ST3_N.htm 

"Robert FitzPatrick, who runs PyramidSchemeAlert.org and works as an expert witness in lawsuits against multilevel marketing companies, says state and federal government officials simply can't or choose not to police multilevel marketing companies as much as he believes is necessary. FitzPatrick says "virtually all" consumer salespeople who work in multilevel marketing lose because the recruitment-based marketing can only bring in so much money. Each level always has to be bigger than the last level, and the "vast majority always have to be at the bottom."" 

Wikipedia's sourced stats on MLM's show overwhelmingly that most people end up making little or nothing, or losing money. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing#Income_levels 

"Several sources have commented on the income level of specific MLMs or MLMs in general: 

* The Times: "The Government investigation claims to have revealed that just 10% of Amway's agents in Britain make any profit, with less than one in ten selling a single item of the group's products."[24] 
* Scheibeler, a high level "Emerald" Amway member: "UK Justice Norris found in 2008 that out of an IBO [Independent Business Owners] population of 33,000, 'only about 90 made sufficient incomes to cover the costs of actively building their business.' That's a 99.7 percent loss rate for investors."[25] 
* Newsweek: based on Mona Vie's own 2007 income disclosure statement "fewer than 1 percent qualified for commissions and of those, only 10 percent made more than $100 a week."[26] 
* Business Students Focus on Ethics: "In the USA, the average annual income from MLM for 90% MLM members is no more than US $5,000, which is far from being a sufficient means of making a living (San Lian Life Weekly 1998)"[27] 

USA Today has had several articles: 

* "While earning potential varies by company and sales ability, DSA says the median annual income for those in direct sales is $2,400."[28] 
* In an October 15, 2010 article, it was stated that documents of a MLM called Fortune reveal that 30 percent of its representatives make no money and that 54 percent of the remaining 70 percent only make $93 a month. The article also states Fortune is under investigation by the Attorneys General of Texas, Kentucky, North Dakota, and North Carolina with Missouri, South Carolina, Illinois, and Florida following up complaints against the company.[29] 
* A February 10, 2011 article stated "It can be very difficult, if not impossible, for most individuals to make a lot of money through the direct sale of products to consumers. And big money is what recruiters often allude to in their pitches." [30] 
* "Roland Whitsell, a former business professor who spent 40 years researching and teaching the pitfalls of multilevel marketing": "You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone making over $1.50 an hour, (t)he primary product is opportunity. The strongest, most powerful motivational force today is false hope."[30]" 

(Sources above are linked at the URL above) 

Of course, if you fail, like most do, they will say that the fault is with YOU, not the system, because the system is proven to work, so if you don't make it, then you must have not put in the right effort. This is the way fanatical followers rationalize to protect their belief system. Every religion with cult-like devotion does the same.

But even if you become one of the less than 5 percent of people who succeed in an MLM like Market America, and make good money, consider this. Your income is UNSTABLE. It's NOT smooth sailing residual income from there, as they claim. Wanna know why? Because even if you have a profitable downline under you, people quit, fail and drop out all the time and at any time. And when that happens, your business is thrown into chaos and you lose money, and have to train your downline to recruit more people again. So it's a neverending struggle that doesn't end even if you get in at the top. 

Consequences 

Besides its misleading claims, Market America is not risk free either. You have to invest a ton of time going to its meetings, which are mostly filled with rhetoric, and you will be pressured to go to seminars and pay for them, which could cost $70 - $100 each, and don't really help but are just pep talk rallies using cult-like techniques to manipulate your emotions and incite enthusiasm and fanatical devotion in you. Then if you join, you have to pay a startup fee which costs at least a few hundred dollars, and then you are required to purchase some product from Market America, and then the pressure is on. You have to sell those products or you lose money. And you have to recruit others as well, who must be good at selling and recruiting, or none of you will make real money. It's a lot of pressure in a low probability venture. 

At its nuts and bolts, the system is discouraging and a low probability venture with many uphill struggles and misleading claims, believable only to the brainwashed. That's why they have to use deception, illusion and misleading tactics to incite your emotions, subdue your logic, and fill you with religious fanaticism, so that you will sell and recruit, even in a losing game. It's all really sick when you think about it. It's no wonder why MLM's have a negative public stigma, which is well deserved. Thus it's no surprise why Market America distributors are trained NOT to tell potential recruitees that their system is an MLM. 

In fact, if you Google "Market America Scam" you will find many shill sites planted by its reps, containing the usual sales cliches and rhetoric. If Market America was such a good system, why would it have to plant shill sites on the internet about it? Honest people and organizations with nothing to hide do not need to use shills, for truth does not need shills. 

Here are some common sense questions to ask yourself: 

- "If Market America's system is so good, why do they need to use deception and misleading claims?" 
- "If Market America's system is so good, why do they need to seek you out and advertise to you?" 
- "Why does Market America need to plant shill sites on the internet to catch Google search terms such as "Market America Scam"? Does truth need shills to protect it?" 
- "Why do you have to pay for seminars and invest in their products? Why do you have to pay a sizable amount to even join?" 
- "Why do you have to recruit others to join in order to make money? Isn't that taking advantage of others? How does your gut and conscience feel about that? Doesn't it feel shady?" 

In any case, check out this article I wrote long ago about MLM's where I use simple math to explain why the MLM system is guaranteed to fail for the MAJORITY of those in it. 

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Multi-Level-Marketing.htm 

Alternatives to MLM 

Finally, if MLM is not the answer for you, and you still want an alternative to the enslaving routine of a regular job, or can't find one that you love, here are some alternative options for you to consider from my other article: 

http://blog.happierabroad.com/2012/10/alternatives-working-regular-job.html 

Thanks for reading. 


Recommended links to learn more: 

Robert Fitzpatrick's website, articles, books and audios exposing MLM's at: 

http://www.falseprofits.com 

http://www.pyramidschemealert.org 

His best audio interview exposing MLM's, in which Market America is mentioned by a caller. 

http://www.pyramidschemealert.org/PSAMain/resources/MLMReality.html 

Web pages with sensible info and warnings about Market America: 

http://marketamericasucks.com/market-america-scam/market-america-complaints/ 

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080116152955AAk4bPG 

Scam reports and complaints about Market America on RipoffReport: 

http://www.ripoffreport.com/Search/market%20america.aspx 

Market America's website: 

http://www.marketamerica.com 

News articles exposing MLM's: 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-02-07-multilevelmarketing03_CV_N.htm 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/2010-10-15-multilevelmarketing15_ST3_N.htm 

What’s Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing? 

http://www.vandruff.com/mlm.html?FACTNet 

Quatloos article exposing Multi-Level Marketing 

http://www.quatloos.com/mlm/mlm.htm 

Skeptic’s Dictionary entry on Multi-Level Marketing 

http://www.skepdic.com/mlm.html 

Thanks for reading. 


Addendum 

- Upon further research, one of Market America's main products, a natural supplement known as OPC-3 Isotonix, appears to have many high praises and testimonials by virtually all reviewers and users of it. Therefore, this appears to warrant trying out the product to see if it will help you. You can get it at Market America's website above or on Ebay or Amazon.com. However, you can virtually the same thing for cheaper from other manufacturers such as http://www.opcxtra.com or http://www.opc-1-2-3.com  

- Check out the blog of Market America's Founder and CEO, JR Ridinger: http://www.beingjrridinger.com/ Look at his photo in the header with those dark glasses and sleazy outfit. Doesn't he look like some sleazy con artist sociopath from Las Vegas? He has the look of a Jim Jones type cult leader too. What a bad photo. It doesn't make him look credible at all. Does this look like someone you'd trust? No way. 


* Note: Market America distributors and reps are welcome to post their responses and rebuttals below. Comments are not censored except for spam, as I believe in free and open speech.


121 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. There horrible company. The way they lie to people and if you work for there corporation even worse. Read www.indeed.com a job website like careerbuilder. A horrible corporate culture and a high turn over. So why would I want to be a affiliate or a rep if they treat there corporate employees horrible. I read so many horror stories and there prices for there products it is not funny. Another typical hyped up scam. If have a have a brain stay away from crap like this.

      Michael Ladd

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    3. https://medium.com/commodity-robot-review-scam-or-light/commodity-robot-review-is-commodity-robot-scam-or-truth-is-commodity-robot-good-791a4d2eda86

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  2. This unique blog is without a doubt interesting and besides amusing. I have picked a bunch of useful advices out of this blog. I’d love to visit it again soon. Cheers!

    Consumer Market Research

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  3. I must also sometimes make such a perfectly website with such good information. I hope your website will still survive for very long. They are wonderful! Thank you!

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  4. While your analysis is admirable, some of the rationale in your review and additional links, I believe, just goes around in a circle till it ties itself in a knot. A woman that I know personally in this organization has been doing it for 17 years, is phenomenally successful, (mid six-figures annually) and has nowhere near the numbers of people that you talk about -- level 32 etc. -- nor would any distributor ever end up with that many people, because it's simply not needed to make good money, and it simply takes TIME to recruit. A person could never build an organization that size in a lifetime. And as you said yourself, more people are always being born, and it has taken 17 years for my friend to arrive where she is, during which time there have been an awful lot of people born, just in case she was getting close to saturating the world with her organization. And this program is clearly not for everyone -- only a few, relative to the overall population, will give it a serious go, and those who will be successful may end up with perhaps 1,000 people under them. Your logic is like saying 'What if everyone decided to become a real estate agent? Then OMG what would we do?" Well, it's not going to happen because there are all types of people. Most of the people I know would not be interested in this, nor would they do well. I only speak about it to those who I think would benefit and enjoy it.
    So I really don't think there is any danger of running out of people. There is plenty of room in the world for many, many people in MA to make good money, if not amazing money. And don’t forget, again under the ‘everyone is different’ line of thought, that not everyone is looking to get rich. The first girl I recruited was an employee of mine, and her goal was just to earn an extra few hundred dollars a month, and she is satisfied there, without having to do much else now. That is all that many want. So to tout as a criticism that the median earnings in direct sales companies is $2,400 per year is pointless, because it assumes that everyone that joins wants to get rich and is disappointed by the $2,400. Not true. Everyone is different.

    By the way, the MA commission system is called 'binary' not 'binomial'. You got off to a pretty shaky start in my mind with that misnomer -- makes me wonder how much you've really researched it.

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    1. There's no big difference between 'binary' and 'binomial' since they both refer to 'two', which is the basic structure of MA. Other than something arbitrary as using a synonym for the 'term' which you call it as, the blog writer has the entire system dead on. It's a pyramid no matter what you say. It might start small and be slow, but in end game it's normally a defunct pyramid which only the top of the food chain gain rewards.

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    2. Wait... Isn't our government and whole system in the shape of a pyramid? Stop jumping to conclusions before getting the information

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    3. If Market America is our government then pyramid is fine. Who has higher credibility our government or a MLM? Would you trust a MLM pyramid that is formed in 1997 or the government that have been managing our entire country for 200 years?

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    4. Bad example, I'd trust an MLM because I see results and the government has done a shitty job managing this so called country. You'd think they'd be good after 200 years. Sorry but you haven't convinced me of anything.

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    5. Exactly - the gubmint is drowning this country in debt - next stop is bankruptcy. Politicians are nothing but corrupt gangsters. Currently the penetration of MA into usa is very small - there is much growth to come.

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    6. LOL at the people trusting MLM over the government. like Susan said, everyone is different, i have nothing to say about people who think like you guys.

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    7. Why are you even comparing MA to the US government? Everyone of common sense and reason knows that both, MLM's and governments are corrupt. They both use lies, are corrupted, greedy, and use brainwashing to control others. Not that much different really.

      What's odd is that if a friend lied to you, you would not trust him/her again. Yet the government can lie to people many times, as the US government has throughout all its history, and people will continue to believe whatever it says because they are moral authoritarians who believe that authority=truth and need to believe that government is a morally righteous daddy. So while a friend can lose their credibility to you by just lying once, a government can lie over and over again yet people still want to believe in it. Pretty illogical. But humans have a need to trust authority, no matter how many times they are lied to.

      Every big corporation, like MA, has corruption involved in it. It's the nature of it. Their goal is profit, not truth. What do you expect? If you study philosophy, reason, common sense and logic, all this will be obvious to you.

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    8. There's so many flaws in this article, though it is good to be cautious and read up when starting ANY business for yourself, even traditional brick and mortar businesses. Would you just invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to open a Starbucks or buy real estate to flip without doing some research first, just because someone said you will become a millionaire quickly? Who would be foolish enough to do that? However, since joining many "MLM" businesses only costs a few hundred dollars up front, people seem to be much more willing to buy in much more easily to the idea of earning six figure incomes within a couple of years.

      In regards to the pyramid idea - think about it - every SINGLE business is...a PYRAMID!!! EVERY SINGLE ONE! There are the entry level positions who make the least income, leading up to each management level and right up to the CEO at the top. On the flip side, you could be an entry level sales person for a reputable company, and start earning six figures from commissions if you are great at your job. And this income can be sustainable if what you are selling is genuinely trustworthy products.

      Many MLM companies are legitimate companies, and some are not. Do your research first before starting ANY business for yourself, don't just blindly listen to someone else. There are red flags to the illegitimate companies you should identify. And also determine whether a certain company is the right fit for you before you join. Just like taking a 9-5 job, if the business is not the right fit for you, you're probably not going to thrive there. For the average person, the most important thing is if the company's products are reputable and you believe in the products - that will be the biggest factor in your success.

      Delete
    9. There horrible company. The way they lie to people and if you work for there corporation even worse. Read www.indeed.com a job website like careerbuilder. A horrible corporate culture and a high turn over. So why would I want to be a affiliate or a rep if they treat there corporate employees horrible. I read so many horror stories and there prices for there products are high. Another typical hyped up scam. If you have a half a brain stay away from crap like this. Just another hyped scam like so many others.

      Michael Ladd

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    10. Michael Ladd, is English your second (or third) language?

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  5. You tell him Susan, the only people who won't believe you are those who haven't been brain-washed by every 'UBP' their 'sponsor' paid 5 dollars to get them into.


    MA is MLM cut and dry, I'm just pissed It took me as long as it did to get out. Your "Transfer Buy" is your hard earned cash going back to the company who will not give you a cent until you get at LEAST 2 other suckers to invest a grand.

    MA is a legal scam.

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    1. It does not cost a grand to get into MA. It cost $399 and you get that back in product. I've never paid a dime to go to a ubp..If you didn't get a cent until you had 2 people you must either be extremely lazy or just plain stupid. I would put my money on the later.

      Delete
    2. I would like to address a few concerns that have not been said in the several comments I've read. ANY company will tell you they are different and they are a good company. ANY company worth while will be tell the truth. I've recently been approached to join MA, and they have not told me ANY of the things in this article that the blogger is claiming they do. Yes, MA doesn't market itself as a traditional MLM. IT IS NOT A TRADITIONAL MLM. I've been a employee of several MLM and the structure per the quoted definition is lowering amounts of commission to the bottom and a referral market, with added constant recruitment. At these other companies you have to put in 40 plus hours a week to break even with your costs and make it viable. If you are lucky and have a skill for it, you will succeed VERY WELL. With MA all you need is 2 solid people with 2 okay people under them, and you could stop recruiting and just ask people to buy from your business minimally. This would cover your start of $399 and overhead costs. ANY BUSINESS REQUIRES EMPLOYEES, AND MARKETING AND GAINING CONSUMERS. If you sustain this business with at maximum 10 to 15 hours a week, then you can make a supplemental paycheck to your regular job. MANY people in MA do this and that is how those that dedicate themselves to MA job make lots of money. YES if everyone made millions off of 15 hours a week work the company wouldn't work. WHICH is way they tell you clearly and upfront that your commission is capped and in 2 to 3 years if you only do the minimum you should be consistently going to cap (MAKING MA the money to run the company), periodically. NEVER HAS ANYONE SAID TO ME THAT I WILL MAKE $3600 a week at the minimum workload. THEY HAVE SAID that it is that high so you can have more flexibility in what you will make and you aren't always at "STUCK" cap. If you were easily at cap you would stop working and the system wouldn't work. This is not MLM because UNLIKE MLM you do not have to constantly recruit and sell to maintain any consistent paycheck. ALL you do is maintain a website and manage 2 employees until they can manage themselves, and you will get paid something.

      They have also made it clear that you will not get rich quickly. Sustaining, maintaining, and growing your business will earn you residual income and if you do well you can cap regularly. This takes a minimum of TWO TO THREE YEARS. NO traditional MLM markets this way, if they did they would not be in business. As you stated MLMs thrive on the getting as many bottom feeders as possible. I would have to be recruiting and selling constantly. MA is NOT structured like that.

      Let me be clear, MA is very similar to any traditional commission based business (like ORECK or BOSE or BESTBUY). MLM is also a commissions with the added element of recruiting based business. MA is a blend of these ideas. MA could be defined as a MLM or a traditional business depending on the words and examples you use. SO they made up new words to describe that blending.

      Delete
    3. There are OPTIONAL seminars that you can pay to attend. The one I'm CHOOSING to attend is $30 not $70 to $100, and it is to get advice about my potential business. I could go to a business class or seminar not offered by MA for $300 a class (or more) or $80 a ticket. But I'm choosing to attend this one. If I do not go no harm done.

      The support structure is other MA employees that choose help you, and they don't charge anything because helping each other is growing the business. AND LIKE ANY COMPANY GROWTH IS PROFIT AND PROFIT IS GOOD.

      The CULT-LIKE mentality comes from people being excited and happy about what they do. I also have that at my regular job which is a corporate structure job. No one seems to care when I'm excited about that company and yet I'm supposed to be nonchalant about it if I like MA. How about I apply this same idea to the bands I like. If I pay $65 to go to a concert, and the band plays my favorite album and I get excited about it, then am I now in a cult?

      If I come across something, that seems fishy to me and ask about it and the corporation says "we decline to comment" or "those allegations simply aren't true," then I would agree, do not work for them. But MA answers ever question honestly. YES you have to recruit 2 employees that market your business to make any money, and yes like any good marketing company MA pretties up the words. BUT as you said the "nuts and bolts" is 15hours per week work maintaining your business and 2 employees doing the same, and you will make AT LEAST your money back and some income. Invest more and get more.

      Delete
  6. Paragraph 8: It's called "Pheremones".

    ReplyDelete
  7. Susan,
    I'm not sure what your point is. Of course realistically, no one is going to recruit the population of the world into an MLM or anything for that matter. I was just saying that in the best case scenario, the MAJORITY in an MLM still ultimately MUST FAIL. Thus the system is bad. That's the point.

    So what if your friend is successful? That doesn't change anything in my article or any of my points. It doesn't change the fact that the majority are guaranteed to fail, for the reasons I explained.

    Your last part is not true. Most people who get into MA or MLM definitely want to make more than a few hundred dollars. That's MA's sales pitch in fact.

    And what about all of MA's misleading claims that I outlined above? You have no problem with that? It is easy to prove that MA uses deception and misleading claims. That's unethical, dont't you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. susan failed logic class in school. To prove something is true, you need to prove it for EVERY instance. But to prove something is false, you just need one counter-example, and there are plenty our there.

      Delete
    2. You are so very wrong Winston about this company - Many people get into to it just to make a few extra dollars a month. I have a particular friend that has actually been in the business for 10 yrs and chooses not to do anything in the business and she still earns over $2000 a month for doing nothing. She has a regular job and this just adds to her income. And please don't dispute what I am saying cause I know for a fact this is true. MA is an upstanding company that has just won the Better Business 2013 Torch Award and that would not be happening if they were not a good business. You evidently joined and got discouraged and had to start some crap about the business - either that or you are the lazy kind that can't seem to make it work. It takes determination to make something to work and you have to have a why. You evidently don't have goals or whys in your life. And as far as the products - you just shut your mouth unless you have had issues with pain and other things because I for a fact know they work and all that other stuff you wrote about OPC-3 that you can find it elsewhere - is BS - it is totally not the same product and you know it. This whole article is a SCAM if you ask me.

      Delete
    3. Bullshit. No one in MA or any MLM can just "do nothing" and earn $2,000 per month in residuals. If it were that easy, everyone would do that and quit their job. If you live frugally, $2,000 a month is enough to retire and live off of. I make that much online and live very well off that. Most of the world's population make less than a dollar a day. So by the world's standards, $2,000 is a lot of money, not just "a few extra dollars on the side". Come on now.

      Anyway, I dare you to explain to me how someone can do nothing and earn $2,000 a month in MA. I dare you. I'll bet you can't.

      Delete
    4. She's been in this for 10 years, she HAD to have put the work into the company sometime at the beginning and has now built up enough of the two organizations of people under her that the sales they generate are making her money. You can't do nothing and earn money in MA, unless you are incredibly smart or lucky enough to find two or more people that are going to do all the hard work. But that's very highly unlikely.

      For example, to earn $1500 a month, each of your organizations must be generating about $45,000 in sales (this is a very very rough number as the commissions are based on points generated and the points attached to products are not strictly based on their prices). So that's about $90,000 in sales, and 1.67% commission that MA is giving you. Now, it's going to take time and hard work to build organizations that are generating that much in sales, but it's possible, 1.67% commission isn't very much.

      The reason people (including you) are jaded about MLM companies is that they were sold into the unrealistic belief of generating significant income in little time, and they didn't have the support, or put the work or time into building the business. Also, a distributor should also NOT be using that as a selling point...fact is, most people who fall for that are going to fail and leave the business, which is going to lead to negative impressions of MA, and not be sustainable for your own business. Your organizations need to be maintaining certain levels of sales, otherwise if the sales start dropping, your income will too.

      Delete
    5. Want to know why most Network Marketing programs don't work and huge turnover

      Want to know why most Network Marketing programs don't work?

      1. People looking for get rich programs
      2. lazy and watching TV all day eating bom bom and smoking all day
      3. Taking no Action
      4. Over Priced crap
      5. lousy leaders
      6. Over hyped training and junk.
      7. High turnover in most programs
      8. tire kickers
      9. get rich quick type people
      10. Over-saturated mlm and to many pre- launches.
      11 most programs tell you to mainly market on Facebook a over-saturated place. Not good

      This is why I stay away from 99% of the programs and sponsors and so called leaders. I have no time for people like this and how bad the American work ethic has become. 98% are not made to be a Entrepreneur.

      If this is you just bye pass me.

      Looking for true leaders and 1 good business.
      no Scams, Pyramids, MLM, matrix, cyclers or diet/wellness programs
      Michael Ladd
      Skype ID is mike75065


      P.S.
      I am tired of garbage;.... some.... just...don't... get it. Everyone seems to be looking for the next "pie in the sky", get rich quick deal, and go from one failed program to the next . I have learned that people join with people who know where they are going, who genuinely care about them; not someone who jumps from deal to deal, looking to make money OFF them instead of WITH them. Join a TEAM that is focused on YOUR success, not the next "deal".

      Analogy

      Delete
    6. Honestly everyone can just keep debating abt this issue..in the end everyone has the freedom to do or choose whatever the hell they want to do with there lives! There is no right or wrong. I firmly believe the system works as long as u put sweat and equity in it. I have been in the business for a yr and making decent income for the time I put in which is not a lot cuz I have a spa that I have to run..I think if anyone that has a business this is a great vehicle to enhance your business! Teamwork is huge in this business and that is a huge factor why I joined because I do not have time to build this alone. But I see this business as a pass to time freedom so with that being said I just sold my spa for 300k so that way I can build MA. I understand the concept if residual income just like many celebrities like ; fat Joe, Jamie fox , Carmelo anythony, Scottie pippin, Ashanti, Eva longoria, kim kardashian...they are all in this business! If it wasn't good they would not put their names on it!

      Delete
  8. Great article! You even manage to provide links to prove your thesis. I know many people that has join this. These people all quit. One person was actually a speak at the national event a few years back, her reason was bankruptcy. I also know a person who is a friend of my mother, she is around her 40-50, she has been in there for more than 15 years as Susan said. She makes a couple of thousand, which is pathetic if you asked me, considering how much time and effort wasted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://www.mlmultrasecrets.com/marketamerica.html

    This is a good website for further stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet another scammer, trying to scam here! Always a promise for a "super dooper secret" Pathetic

      Delete
  10. I have witnessed that rates for online degree specialists tend to be a terrific value. For example a full Bachelors Degree in Communication in the University of Phoenix Online consists of Sixty credits from $515/credit or $30,900. Also American Intercontinental University Online comes with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a overall education course element of 180 units and a tuition fee of $30,560. Online degree learning has made getting your college degree been so detailed more than before because you could earn your degree through the comfort of your dwelling place and when you finish from office. Thanks for all other tips I have really learned from your blog. Click here to know more about Employee Performance Management

    ReplyDelete
  11. Actualy, the MA commission system IS called the Binomial System.

    Former MA Distributor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, I would like to know your opinions about MA's system as a former MA distributor. I have some friends doing this business right now and I would like to know more about what they are really doing. Thanks a lot.

      Delete
  12. Wow that was a lot of venting. When people fail they seem to play victim. I built my ma business my way for 4 years - made some great retail but not a lot of residuals - spent the next 3 years building correctly and hit 4 pin levels landing now at $4500 - 7500 monthly. When I look at my organization - they are all out there helping each other and creating huge incomes - some now out earning me! I hope people don't just take opinions online from victims and find credible sources when doing research. This company pays out more than any other home base business - period - and have only made it easier to earn and share in profits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - thinking of joining

      Delete
    2. Really like to hear what you have to say about "building correctly" as I am a new MA Distributor and with all this negative stuff flying around it is difficult to recruit/build.

      Delete
  13. People should stop making fraudulent claims on something. You see they are not only harming other people but also themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My mother did the same
    Invest in something silmiar to
    this.
    Guess what!!? That lady is in jail.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If everyone who is dissatisfied with their experience with Market America (and its global affiliates)as a consumer and/or as a Unfranchise owner/distributor would contact the FTC and describe the problems/fraud that they have encountered with this company, perhaps the FTC could rectify things like they are now doing with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (and perhaps next in line for action is HerbaLife). Robert FitzPatrick, mentioned in this article,commented negatively about Market America in a Miami Herald article back in 2004, "Pyramid or no, this one's a moneymaker".
    People need to speak up and report these fraudulent practices if there is any hope in ending them. The founders (great salesmen - like 21st century snake-oil salesmen) of these "companies" live in luxury (mansions, penthouses, yachts) and rub shoulders with celebrities and the "followers" (who earn little) seem to follow blindly hoping the same will happen to them when hitting a lottery would be more likely. Report this company to the FTC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BBB just recognized MA for there outstanding business ethics

      Delete
    2. Utter nonsence

      Delete
  16. Some of you people need to wake up!!!....you truly know how to make a person smile. First and foremost, Market America is not a scam. To base this observation on the opinion of those who have failed is a 'failure' of its own... There are many different companies, businesses, and/or organizations that fail daily.. The Restaurant down the street from my house closed their doors last month... does that mean the restaurant business is a scam.. The restaurant had been open for at least 10 years.. Was it the business itself or the owner of the business? Same goes for every business... they will succeed if the right person is in charge of the right business... Maybe, these individuals who failed were in a business "outside of their norm"... kinda like a person who can not cook, has never cooked, opens a restaurant and thinks he or she is gonna be a successful cook!.... So, when you actually have something credible to base your victim opinions on.. Please share... but, to be successful in any business one must treat the business as a business! My guess, These people thought they were going to be overnight millionaires and they simply failed to 'run the business'.. The transfer buy is like this- do you shower? do you wash your car? do you buy friends and family gifts? do you take a health supplement? do you use cosmetics? do you use weight loss supplements? Do you eat "on the go" meals? well, i don't care who you are.... the transfer buy seems like a No Brainer... why in the world would you own a business with top of the line products and shop at Target, Walmart, or anywhere else in the world...(you are spending that money anyway / go sell it if its a problem) Victims.... the world needs them toooooo... just as it needs companies that allow you to make an income that is based on hard work and discipline... and not a degree.... you want to see or witness a real pyramid? go tell your boss he/she has more vacation days than you, makes more money than you, and simply does less around the place than you.....The most successful stores in the country are partnered with Market America... go figure! good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. transfer buy items are over priced. What kind of business i.e, a restaurant would buy over priced necessity when they can buy the same product for cheaper in order to cut cost down? the restaurant would be out of business tryin to use expensive cleaning products when name brands products can deliver the same results.

      Delete
    2. I think you might need to look things like Multi Level Marketing and Pyramid Scam. And these 'successful stores' that you talk about, like Wallmart, are infamous for shady business practices where they destroy small businesses and dismiss the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

      What makes me smile is how ignorant you are. Ignorance really is bliss for the brainwashed.

      Delete
    3. MA has over 4000 partner stores and yes some are big name like Wal Mart, Sears, Macy's etc. but we also have many small business partners. I can tell by your post that you are not very well educated on how MA actually works.

      Delete
    4. 1603 partner stores, you can go to the site and see that. going down all the time.

      Delete
    5. Depends on how you define scam. The system that MA uses, like other MLM systems, is basically the same at the nuts and bolts level. The problem is that MA uses MISLEADING claims and sales tactics to recruit people. Read my article again where I elaborate on its misleading claims. The hype MA spouts does NOT live up to reality. There can be no denying that. If you claim that MA does not use hype or exaggerate, then you are beyond reason. Everyone who is down to earth and reasonable knows it does.

      Brainwashing, hype, exaggeration and lying happens in all big business operations. There is no such thing as a big corporation that does not lie. They all do. Even people lie. Even the most honest people in the world occasionally lie, even if only a few times in their life. There are no saints who are pure and clean. Get real. This is the real world.

      MA is not in the business of truth, reason or logic. It is in the business of profit, and will do whatever is necessary to succeed, including using lies and misleading claims. You can't deny that.

      So in some ways, yes, MA is a scam in that it misleads and deceives. Corruption is a part of it, just like it's a part of all big corporations. There's no way around it.

      Delete
    6. Btw, I am not someone who failed in MA. I went to their meetings and heard their presentations. But I never officially joined as a distributor. I could see early on that:

      1. It was not as easy as they were saying.
      2. A lot of content in the presentation was deceptive and misleading.
      3. I was not the right person for it because I did not know anyone I could recruit to be my downline, and I knew that going out on the street to try to recruit strangers would be futile and unnatural and not feel right.

      Thus I knew I had no realistic chance of succeeding, even if I was really passionate about MA and wanted to succeed. I'm not stupid and am immune to brainwashing and BS claims.

      Thus I realized early on that it was not worth even the effort. So I saw in advance that it was a bad opportunity that I had no realistic chance of succeeding in. Also it did not fit my personality or passion. So I saw no point in wasting any effort. I am a logical person and do not get involved in something where I know I will not win and where I have no edge or advantage.

      You can't just join any random thing. You gotta join something you believe in that fits your personality. For example, my movement and online business at HappierAbroad.com is successful because I strongly believe in it and am following my divine calling and passion. And my online business is the first of its kind, so I have no competition really and am sort of at "the top of the pyramid" in my field.

      Delete
    7. Winston, the real reason you failed is because you saw in advance that you would fail. Law of Attraction at work there :). You also failed because first thing you think about is who you can recruit as your downline to make you richer. MA is about other people, if you want to be successful you have to put others before yourself, find out what people need and want and provide them with the appropriate products or services. When people see the benefit of the products, some would naturally want to be part of the team and they become your downlines. it's that simple.

      Delete
    8. They were thinking about who they would have to recruit because in order to become an UnFranchise owner, to my knowledge, you are required to find at least 2 people downstream. It doesn't seem like an option. It is what keeps their system going.

      Delete
  17. I strongly object against MA. My wife joined the MA last September. She has been buying staffs from MA like she is brainwashed...always in the constant meeting reminding to hold on to it, you will earn tons of money without doing anything in future....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then your wife must realize that as a distributor or unfranchise owner, she must consistently resell products she buys wholesale in order to budget the expenses.

      Distributors can only order shipments at a flat cost and is expected to find customers to sell in person. The monetization is considered bonus ad you gain bv points which grants paycheques.

      MLM comes in many forms and flavors, some worst than others. As always, do your research on a company, find how completely how it works, and if you are the type of person who can utilize it, as MA is not for the loners or lazy.

      Delete
    2. Want to know why most Network Marketing programs don't work and huge turnover
      Blog By Michael Ladd our skype is mladd1361
      from: www.SuccesswithMichael.Biz our marketing blog
      Want to know why most Network Marketing programs don't work?

      1. People looking for get rich programs
      2. lazy and watching TV all day eating bom bom and smoking all day
      3. Taking no Action
      4. Over Priced crap
      5. lousy leaders
      6. Over hyped training and junk.
      7. High turnover in most programs
      8. tire kickers
      9. get rich quick type people
      10. Over-saturated mlm and to many pre- launches.
      11 most programs tell you to mainly market on Facebook a over-saturated place. Not good

      This is why I stay away from 99% of the programs and sponsors and so called leaders. I have no time for people like this and how bad the American work ethic has become. 98% are not made to be a Entrepreneur.

      If this is you just bye pass me


      P.S.
      I am tired of garbage;.... some.... just...don't... get it. Everyone seems to be looking for the next "pie in the sky", get rich quick deal, and go from one failed program to the next . I have learned that people join with people who know where they are going, who genuinely care about them; not someone who jumps from deal to deal, looking to make money OFF them instead of WITH them. Join a TEAM that is focused on YOUR success, not the next "deal".

      Delete
    3. This post was a good help to me. The funny thing is that MA is a legitimate business in my opinion, at least since the acquisition of shop.com. Their website is similar to shopathome.com and ebates.com. where you can make purchases and earn cashback, similar to a credit rewards card. ANYONE can sign up on these shopping portal sites, including MA's shop.com for free and be rewarded for friends they refer to make purchases. It sounds like these types of businesses can afford to give cashback rewards because they make agreements with affiliate companies. Any time someone makes a purchase through their portal the affiliate business pays the company a commission for the purchase and it is returned to the person who referred the shopper. This is where Market America cleverly injects their MLM business model into their totally legitimate shop.com website. If you notice they include their own private label products into their online marketplace. If you want to become an unfranchise rep it is a REQUIREMENT to sell a certain value of Market America branded products each month. The cost alone to become an unfranchise owner and get setup with a bundle of product to start with is in the ballpark of $400. Of course, then there are your personal website fees, possible fees for training material, and yearly Unfranchise renewal fees. To me, the tough part sounds like you will have a pretty hard time selling products that are not competitively priced and is not available in traditional retail. Maybe friends, but not strangers. In the beginning I'm sure you will have to buy a lot of product to keep up with their monthly buying demands. This adds a lot of pressure because you have to figure out how to sell it. Unfortunately, I can see how a lot of people get drawn into a pit of spending more and more money, hoping things will work out, or just failing at the start.

      Delete
  18. two excellent articles/books on the MLM deception.
    it is the rare individual who knows the ins and outs of a regular business regarding inventory turns, cash-flow, etc, etc let alone an MLM "business?

    the REAL money is in the training: books, CDs, videos, meetings, conventions, etc.

    almost no money in products.

    wwwDOTvandruffDOTcom/mlm.html

    wwwDOTmerchantsofdeceptionDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  19. For sometimes now I have been wishing Market America to find my worst enemies and suck them in. That's more evil than death itself.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are a lot of campus based colleges that are now considering to offer online bachelor programs. http://www.elearners.com/education-in-the-news/university-of-florida-to-start-online-bachelor-degree-programs/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Market America is a business, period. If one does not have a business acumen, they are simply not going to do well. Many MLM associates fail because they treat it as a hobby with little to no marketing. No business can do well without exposure. However, if someone wants to do well, there is plenty of room to do so. I find your points interesting, but no completely valid or sensible ie: Market America tries to do 'mind tricks' when it says it caps weekly payouts so you'll think you can make more but just can't get to it .... mind trick, really?
    I'm not an mlm associate but have been in other companies and understand completely that at the end of the day, the failures were mine, not someone else's. Market America bought Shop.com that was already incredibly successful, MA just added a spin to the sales....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MA only rewards those who socialize a lot. This type of business is not for anyone, and this includes unemployed people who laze around watching Netflix and surfing the web all day. You have a better chance working as an human automation at Amazon over using MA. Also, ma has the lowest penalties and risk compared to most other mlm that eats up thousands of dollars JUST to start. Pay a few hundred dollar, of which a week of amazon temporary work can give, and you are set to resell products you buy, and build a list of clients who buys off of you.

      BTW, the 100% bv gain is true. If you do not simply spend all the money at your level, and instead buy products from people a few levels under you, those that are linked to you gains the exact bv as you purchase products.

      Now using social media and promotion, you can bargain with those under you to sell products for discounts, but increased purchases so everyone on that line builds bv for their paycheque.
      That, by far is the main way to monetize, and large groups benefits the most using MA as they use their families and friends to go around the "independent distributor" issue on making a income.

      Delete
    2. Heh. You make it sound like it doesn't cost a lot to enter MA. It may be true for families that make 150k+ a year, but for many others, the around 1.5k grand a year cost to join is too much to spare. Most will join thinking it'll only be a few tens to maybe a few hundred dollars, misled by the sales pitch.

      Large groups don't benefit. The ones who sits on top do. Hence the "million dollar club" which is composed of only around 100 or so people while there are over 100k+ people in the business.

      Delete
    3. Where do you get the figure of 1.5k a year to join? It cost $399 to join. You lose credibility when your not factual. I joined this company 6mo. ago and have done very well so far. MA has just been recognize by the Better Business Bureau for company ethics.

      Delete
  22. You created this blog about Market America but your first paragraph has a link to USA Today article where they talk about Amway. I think you got your companies confused just like I think you are confused. Market America/Shop.com has changed my life forever. Its a solid growing company and I am saddened when I see false information being received as the truth!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I googled "Amway scam" and was brought to this blog about Market America. I think google got my search confused just like I think you are confused. Market America/Shop.com has changed my life forever. Its a scamming company and I am happy when I see true information being spread to the public!!!

      Delete
  23. Recently, MA is talking about retailers like Amazon who doesn't care about their merchants, and they want to change it so merchants do benefit in the system. They are setting up direct purchases from manufacturers themselves, causing large retailers to potentially lose out on profits, but customers gains all the discounts since the products do not go through any retailers. Market america brokers products, meaning they do not act like amazon and take your money on shop.com directly. They profit off of businesses paying them to use their customers.
    When you pay at shop.com you are directed to the seller's webpage. The only exception is if you buy market america-owned products from them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ill admit, there are some things that I do agree with, not everyone can succeed at MA, and there are many uphill struggles. Which is why you do see many people fail. I am a distributor, and I dont mind spending money on my transfer buy b/c the products I buy I would still be buying anyway whether or not I was invested, so I get wholesale cost (detergent, mascara, skin care, OPC). As far as making money goes, have I made a fortune? Nah, but I make enough to keep my operating costs low/nothing, however I dont really invest much time into this business, so I dont mind, again, I mainly want the products I like and use to be cheaper.

    More realistically would be my parents and many of the distributors in our area. There are a couple that make an insane amount of money...however many make enough to retire and live on a modest income of roughly $4000-5000/month (in my parents case, a definite paycut from their former jobs, but now they have time freedom) and a decent amount of others make enough to supplement their incomes to enjoy a few things in life they wouldnt normally have.

    So all in all, after being around the business myself, or seeing it second hand over the last 10years I can honestly say that the people who kept at it and stayed true made money. Do they all make a lot? No. Some do. Are the products good? I think so, they are a little more expensive, but they are fairly high quality so to me its worth it. However, I've seen dozens join the business with a mindset that "I already have these couple people that I KNOW will join or buy and then I'll be set and making all this money." and every single one of them quit after a period of time and made nothing.

    In order to make it work, you DO have to "know" people (or be willing to meet people), those people have to be the "right" people (motivated, self-starters, determined etc) and although you don't have to "sell" (per say) by going door to door or hosting tons of "product party-like" events, you have to be willing to open your mouth and seize an opportunity when you are around someone or hear someone talk about something they want that you know you sell (nutrition supplements, skin care, home care etc). Its in no way a free lunch, it absolutely won't work for a fair amount of people. But It can work.

    ReplyDelete
  25. MLM Business will be more useful for good earning. MLM Plan will more useful and MLM Article writting will give good feed back to our business.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like your article, and wish to communicate with you through email, if you don't mind? My email is bettershooter@gmail.com.
    I 90% agree with you, but MA has a charming part which is its bonus system, it can offer most distributors a little sweet taste as long as you have 2 personally recruited downlines.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am not a MA distributor..but I have been in the insurance business for over 30 years...guess how many agents come into the business and fail...guess that means a career in insurance selling is a scam...I use to call on auto dealers..talk about turn around of sales people..guess auto dealers are a scam..I personally know of people that have law degrees and medical degrees that are not successful..we all know they are scams..lastly we know of people that try to stand on other peoples shoulders to look tall and try to sell you their stuff..but of course they claim they are not scams..bottom line no matter what you want to do..there will always be people that will want to piss on your dreams..recall the "red head" that all he wanted to do was skate board and there were those that encouraged him to spend more time in school..they are still poor he is rich..skate boarding and getting paid..ignore the "dream stealers" and go for it either in MA or any other business..and always remember if they are so smart why do the want to sell you something..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the way you think.

      Delete
    2. Would you care to know more about MA contact me like your mindset and belief cerratoassociates@gmail.com

      Delete
  28. The numbers do not jive. MA earned 284 million in sales annually from 3 million shoppers. That works out to $96.67 per shopper. They have 180,000 shop consultants like yourself. That means that each shop consultant has 16.6 clients that spent $96.67 each. Even if the shop consultant kept 100% of the money, that would equal an income of $1,611.17 for a year's work.

    If there are people making more money than that, then that only means that there a lot of people making much less.

    JR Ridinger (real name - James Howard Ridinger) got into trouble with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over violations of the Federal Securities Laws and was forced to reorganize the firm, and start doing business outside of the United States, hence his growth in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, United Kingdom and now Mexico.

    Have you caught onto the acronym of UnFranchise Owners as UFO's, which of course do not exist in reality and only exist in the minds of those weak enough to believe in creatures from outer space. In fact, if there were creatures from outer space, who were capable of arriving upon this planet, why would such an intelligent race want to come here, and only speak to the less intelligent among us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read about this, and the SEC clearly stated that it was in 1994 for illegal selling stock. It was clear that the CEO was unfamiliar with the legal requirement around stock distribution and was give a slap on the wrist. THIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE BUSINESS WAS CONDUCTED. The SEC doesn't even have jurisdiction over business practices. That is the BBB and they gave MA an award in 2013.

      Delete
  29. In this world, many things are built as pyramid. Social Security is a pyramid. Church is a pyramid. All kinds of Governments are a pyramid. Families are pyramids. That is just a natural phenomenon. MA is a unique pyramid which give every participant chance to build up own empire. People can not find the opportunity in any companies, other social organizations, clubs etc. In the real world, there are always some people at the bottom. If you believe that something must be bad due to the bottom, we don't have house, solar systems and galaxies. Study the system and use the system to build up success. MA is in uptrend (growing) period. Everyone can have the opportunity to succeed. When the company is peaked, then stay away from it. In some sense, it is like market investment. MA is definitely much better than stock market. In addition, MA can really train you as a leader and a business man so that you can adventure to other field successfully.

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  30. Spare me please on the distributor talk. It would make me sleep better knowing that you could stomach saying this when UFO's aka distributors (who basically sell their souls) have to buy flagship products like Isotonix for 40-60 bucks a pop but the company only charges employees 2-10 bucks for each of the large supplemental packs. JR and his cult of a following spill about running a business when they double dip posing as both salary paid individuals and earn what distributors kick up to them. Inevitably where does all the hard earned money filter to, yes, that guy. Some might say this should be illegal that is since lower end employees are strictly forbidden to become distributors let alone be associated with them. At the end of the day this company will make a lot of money based on the stupidity of sheep and for that I just shake my head more so at the poor distributors who have multiple kids, shit cars, and yet still follow this guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so wrong in so many ways. What do you mean "sell their souls" my soul is worth more then $399 and that is what it takes to become a distributor. Isotonic vitamins have changed my life for the better. As a cancer survivor I had a high pain level until I started taking opc3. To me it was worth becoming a distributor just to get my vitamins at reduced cost. My oncologist was very impressed with our vitamins when I showed her what I was taking.What are you talking about when you say 2-10 bucks for supplement packs? There is nothing true in what you say.

      Delete
    2. No it does not just cost $399 to join. You are also required to buy a certain amount of product per month. You know that. Admit it. And you have to pay $50 to $75 to attend those rallies they have too. So it costs more than you are claiming. Please be honest.

      Delete
    3. Obviously she knows that a certain amount needs to be purchased each month. She just finished saying she purchases vitamins for herself and that they have changed her life. I am a Health Professional with MA. I am not required to buy a certain amount per month, do forms, rallies, etc. I am building my client base and I still get checks without the requirement of requiting ANYONE! Get off your high horse already.

      Delete
  31. A really good read about how bad employees are treated at MA. No surprise though from other comments and blog sites. http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Market-America-Reviews-E27063.htm

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  32. Has anyone looked at the fact that individuals that are licensed healthcare providers can go through the same pay cycle without having to sponsor anybody else? If this were a "pyramid" would this option even exist?

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  33. All of you posting negative things about MA and basing your assumptions on what YOU SEE, better start doing better research and stop badmouthing about this great company.
    Badmouth about your job or current life situation unless you have a great life and have lots of money and time. You people are just blindfolded. It is ok if you dont dream, but dont drag everyone else with you. Go figure 95%. Thats where those of you not getting it will remain.

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  34. so this is where all the failures comes to seek comfort and vent. But not looking at the foundation of why they failed themselves!!! amazing. Please reblog when you have spoken to the people who quit and find out the real reasons why they quit! Because all I can decipher is blah blah blah I have no idea what i am saying. but let me add some links to proof a false point. Please find a more valid source. EPIC FAIL

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  35. I'm not in any way involved with MA, nor am I currently involved with any MLM. I've joined my share - mostly to get products at a discounted rate. The article is interesting and I don't doubt for a second that Market America is an MLM, but I tend to think that the people who get MOST upset with these types of companies are those who join them expecting to make a pile of money without doing any work. That simply doesn't happen. In an MLM or real life.

    I happen to own a reasonably successful business selling guitar building products (plans, wood, hardware, etc.). My investment to start said company was FAR greater than what I'd invest if I joined an MLM - anyone who has ever owned a business understands that one must invest time, money...and often blood, sweat, and tears long before they see any return. Those of us who are willing to WORK day after day, even when we don't see the results as quickly as we'd like to, generally find success.

    I'm 100% positive that if I decided to join Market America (or Amway, Mary Kay, Body by Vi, etc, etc, etc) and invested as much TIME and EFFORT as I have in my own business that I would make money. Why? I have drive and I'm not afraid of hard work. And, quite honestly, I'm sick of those who aren't willing to do the work to succeed blame the company they get involved with for their failure.

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  36. If pyramids are to be avoided then everyone with a job should take a closer look at the business for which they work. It seems to be the structure of choice. Ultimately any business is about getting product to end consumers including traditional businesses. Someone is at the top and it goes down from there. As with any and all the reward is in the effort put forth regardless.

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  37. With any business or profession...wouldn't you agree it takes work?? Well if you choose to treat MA like a business. You can earn. I now have residual income and have my health back thanks to Market America.I was a Christian pre-school teacher. I was shy and if you were over 5 years old...you were out of my comfort zone. Yet I have been able to replace my income. People should be careful about negativity... What if I had listened to someone like you!?!? It is unkind to steal another person's hope's for changing their life :) Shelley

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  38. Interesting to see the article and to see the responses. It is very obvious that if you support Market America you are in some way affiliated with the company. Well, to prove who is true and who is not. I personally decided to join the MA Flushing team. Based on the article, the facts and details are true. I was asked by Senior Partners to fill out quarterly Form 1000 forms when I had actually absolutely no sales. Form 1000 is to show that you as a distributor had sales. So I complaint. I was told that Form 1000 needs to be filled out as part of the company policy. So I have to create fictious names or fake customers based on people names and addresses I know. No shipment will be send to them neither will be any sales be done with them. However, we as distributors were required to make these fake sales. I believe this is to some how cover the company's claim that we made money from our inventory. The idea behind all this cult is to 1) Make you believe that you are not making money because you are not working for it 2) You just have to do it and follow their system 3) We are told about a Vertical System and everyone who joins after is directly under you - however, the failed to mention that you are only going to get people on your public line and you personally have to build your private line/leg. It is a pyramid and the senior partners brainwash our minds to make believe that this is either not a pyramid/MLM or they have no clue what you are talking about. Honestly, if you are real good with sales, Join them else dont bother it is a total waste of money. Good Luck in making your choice.

    ReplyDelete

  39. * The Times: "The Government investigation claims to have revealed that just 10% of Amway's agents in Britain make any profit, with less than one in ten selling a single item of the group's products."[24]
    * Scheibeler, a high level "Emerald" Amway member: "UK Justice Norris found in 2008 that out of an IBO [Independent Business Owners] population of 33,000, 'only about 90 made sufficient incomes to cover the costs of actively building their business.' That's a 99.7 percent loss rate for investors."[25]
    * Newsweek: based on Mona Vie's own 2007 income disclosure statement "fewer than 1 percent qualified for commissions and of those, only 10 percent made more than $100 a week."[26]
    * Business Students Focus on Ethics: "In the USA, the average annual income from MLM for 90% MLM members is no more than US $5,000, which is far from being a sufficient means of making a living (San Lian Life Weekly 1998)"[27]

    ReplyDelete
  40. You make some good points...but the products are amazing..you get tax benefits and I sell stuff at my "normal job" for someone else's dime and I train new employees for them...why not do the same thing and put in the same effort into another endeavor that will pay you residual if you find, train and coach successful people as well. You aren't being shady referring a friend to your full time job why is it shady to do the same for a business opportunity??

    ReplyDelete
  41. Market America is the biggest same, they just got slick lawyers and marketing people to create a confusing structure so as to make appear different form the traditional pyramid schemes.
    Consider it a pyramid 2.0
    I've lost thousands in joining and paying for the monthly fees for credit card services, etc etc. what a waste of time and money!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you pay for credit card services? are you sure you are in the right company?

      Delete
  42. oh they also have an army of people posting BS articles about how great is is. And also flood any article that criticizes MA

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  43. You have your facts seriously screwed up. You are totally confused. I think you need to see the business plan again. I'm sitting at Miami right now for our Market America World Conference. You obviously don't understand business. I'm sitting in a room with 400 mlionaires... how bout you tell them this is a scam?

    And why would you wait 12 years to write this blog? You obviously had nothing better to do with yourself. You know NOTHING about Market America and the ENDLESS opportunities.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Made money my frst month in MA. Still getting paid a year later. No one making thesevnegative comments is telling truth and probably never owned a business.If you havent actually worked this step by step and failed you are spreading lies. This biz paid my electric bill when my wife was sick. Shame on you dream stealers. What comes around goes around and if you continue the path you are on you will remain broke and cynical forever. by the way Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, Fat Joe, Scottie Pippen jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, dozens of other celebrities must be complete idiots because they are building for their families now as well with us. the attitude of these comments is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. just who I have become in this is worth the hard work. I'm so glad I don't listen to people like you. you won't die for me and I won't let you live from me.

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  45. If MA is a scam then they have been paying me VERY well for the last 10 years. 4 of which I couldn't work due to illness. I'll take MA over ANYTHING anyday.

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  46. There are people who do well in MA but not a lot. Winston was right about the math. It is impossible for everyone in the downline to make a lot of money. The company boasts that they have over 400 millionaires. Sounds like a lot but then you have to look at the ratio. There are something like 200 thousand distributors. As for their product line, MA has some good quality products. The problem is they are overpriced. Unless you have good connections to a lot of people with fat wallets, it is going to be a hard sell trying to move their product.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Winston, you do not know the company. You do not have to attend any rally. Ever. You do have to purchase product, that's awesome, it makes the whole plan work. They are MY products! I f I had a McDonald's franchise, am I buying Burger King food? No, I am buying McDonalds, MY McDonalds.

    ReplyDelete
  48. JR Ridinger is a man you would not trust. The products OPC 3 might work with someone just like: you like coca cola but water is good enough for me ( consequences of use after long period of time) . MA paying a little group of people well to create their own circle of marketing. Those are a lucky ones fit into their scheme. How about people with good work ethic but has no education, I guess they pay and try to beleived it will work someday. MA makes alot of money from convention tickets, using people own house for local meeting.....Briefly, I been there done that with MA, never tried to go further to join in that organization. Yes, I beleived that we're different, but by seeing the activities of an MA group in my community for 3 years, all I can see is the leader of that group is the only one enjoy the benefit, let wait & see how many will drop out and how many more will join in then eventually it all will fall apart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm an alternative medicine practitioner and I have used OPC-3 on both myself and clients and have had great results. Perhaps you should do a little researches before making ridiculous comparisons like that. The product is top notch and has help many people and will help many more. Please don't talk like that about a product and company that you obviously don't understand.

      Delete
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  50. Market America is a scam! After my wife got conned into it, I went along for a while. Then I ran the numbers and determined that 1 in 30 M.A. sheeple are sucessful. That is how multi-level marketing works. Do be nieve! I say - stay away. Odds of success are about 1 in 30.

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Your last criticism is that the picture of J.R. looms sleezy. Good job. That got me to quit.

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  54. Keep in mind Market Saturation. .

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  55. The best time to be apart of a MLM is within the 1st year of operation for the idea is fresh and the market is less saturated. Its a rat race. The first ones to hop on while the market is prime will earn a decent residual....

    ReplyDelete
  56. The majority of negative comments about MA are from anonymous posters that have trouble stringing a sentence together. It's logical to think these are the types of people who saw a Get Rich Quick opportunity, jumped in with both feet, and then blamed the company when they were on the street a few months later. And the poor fella who was caught off guard by the Form 1000...? He either had a horrible, deceptive sponsor or wasn't paying attention when he signed up. Everyone is aware of the Form 1000 from the get-go. And let's be honest - an earthworm could meet the Form 1000 requirements. Do you know someone that washes his hair? Paints her nails? Cleans his/her kitchen counter? Does laundry? Has allergies? Goes to the gym? Has dry skin? The list goes on.

    Winston didn't think he could succeed at MA, so he chose to bash it. His article is full of holes, and he can't seem to be decide if he wants to bash MA (or the version of it in his mind is) or MLMs in general. I'm not sure he really understands business, either.

    I've been an MA distributor for about 5 months now, and I am as honest as they come. I will tell you about MA just how I see it. Just like any organization in the world, there are aspects of the company I really like and some I could do without. I choose to focus on the positives. Similarly, some MA distributors come off as "salesy" and unprofessional in how they handle their business. Guess what? It's their business. I'm sure they turn off a fair amount of people that way, and that's why the Internet gods created "unfollow" and "unfriend".

    I can only control how I choose to go about my business, and who I bring into my organization. I love the MA products, and unlike the lies from Winston and others, many of them are a higher quality and better price than grocery store brand equivalents. Sorry to let facts get in the way of a good tantrum.

    I also believe in the MA compensation system, and I'm putting in the necessary time now to reap the benefits tomorrow. It seems like many of the naysayers wanted to put a $5 bill into a machine, and get $300 in change. Life doesn't work that way. You make the investment now for a greater return tomorrow.

    Like I said, MA isn't perfect, but what is? I don't have to love every product or agree with every approach. Some people need the flash and pizzazz and celebrity sightings; I don't. And that's fine. I believe that if you come into the business under the right person and into a supportive team, have the necessary drive and patience, and can see the lucrative forest through the trees, you will succeed as an MA unFranchise owner and build a residual income you can rely on for the rest of your days.

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  57. Can you elaborate more right person and a supportive team? Which one is better for me, join a remote team or a local one?

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  58. I don't think you should leave that decision up to location only, Cindy. You could join a team in your own backyard that doesn't have regular conference calls, attend meetings, or offer you the support you need. You could join a team that's 200 miles away, but the members are active and in constant communication, answering questions and supporting each other.

    I think you need to align yourself with the people who will best support you in becoming a successful UnFranchise owner. Having a team close by is a huge help, however, many business partners are within a mile of each other and never get together. I don't think location is as critical as we think it is.

    If you have other questions, feel free to email me. You can find it in by clicking on my name and in my profile.

    ReplyDelete
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  61. You make a reference to "Pyramidal MLM." Either it's a pyramid or it's an MLM, it can't be both. Also, pyramid marketing plans are illegal in nearly every country in the world, therefore you must be referring to an MLM. In a pyramid, there is no way for a person to ever earn more money than the person they joined under, which is not the case in an MLM.

    ReplyDelete
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  63. My name is Rafael I am a certified personal trainer and in nutrition it's possible to not do supplementation today. OPC3 reduced my aunts cancer sell, healed my moms knee and wrist arthritis, I have clients losing weights and having no more inflamed muscles, I have one right now whose blood sugar is well balance and has type 2 diabetes. I made $300 in a few hours in my first week and spent it on something else and I don't sell anything I sell myself, education, and business. Not everyone can do it though. It is an mlm just like ford, honda, lexus etc. the reason why it's not out cheaper is because of the quality, you don't see ferrari's at honda dealerships, you don't see rolex at walmart or major stores, you don't see yellow diamonds or princess cut diamonds at macy's or other major stores because of their quality they are rare. Building a solid team is what will make you successful.

    ReplyDelete
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  65. This article is based more on opinion then facts, first of all the income disclosures u have and references are all about MLMS a MLM is called multilevel marketing because people get paid on levels which creates a lot of competition and is based mainly on recruiting. Market America is different because distributors do not get paid on levels and it's not solely about recruiting people of coarse you have to sell products, it's a legitimate business and any business has the main purpose of moving products and services to the end consumer. This company takes more money to get into because it is a legit business and the money u pay is actually used to give u $600 worth of products at a huge discount and all the tools u need to build this business. The training a are not "brainwashing" they teach you how to run the business and teach you life skills that anyone who wants to be successful should know, they don't teach u these things in school. Aside from the money I make from the company the personal growth and skills I have developed are worth every penny I put into this business plus I now have life long friendships with great people. This is not easy any business is not easy but it is a lot more rewarding then a traditional business or an MLM. As far as u claiming that no one makes any money, that's true for MLMs but if u actually look up the incomes reported from market America we have the most six figure earners then any other company in the US it's all recorded and proven. I personally know more then 20 people making an ongoing six figure income from this and 3 of them have earned over a million in commissions. Just in my local area, which is a small town in upstate NY, we have about 30 people who have made their $300 checks and over 40 people making more then that, by the way in MLMs less then 2% of people will ever make more then $100 another example of how this isn't an MLM. Finally you do not have to recruit 2 people in order to make money, that's only to make the residual commission checks, but u can make money from retail profit and just doing your everyday shopping well before you recruit 2 people. The products do sell because they work I personally have made over $5,000 just in retail profit and I know plenty of people who have made more then that. My point is you should really do all your research and get references that actually pertain to this company before making false accusations. This company unlike 99% of MLMs tells you everything there is nothing to hide everything is recorded and audited this is a legitimate business plan that works but of coarse it's not easy, of coarse it takes time and sacrifice but the results are worth it u will never see these results from a MLM or a traditional business. By the way with a traditional business you have to put in way more money then $500 to start and it takes you over a year to see any return plus you will be putting 80+ hours in and the money will not be residual. This company is not for everyone but for people who can see that the only way to reach great success and get in that top 5% of America is to own a business that can leverage the power of people, which is what this company does they leverage the shopping power of people it's genius really. Not everyone can see that because society has brainwashed people to get a good education and get a job which is fine and dandy but will never help u reach the top 5% of America u will never be rich working for someone else and if you don't believe that look up some statistics on the social security administration website the facts are all there.

    ReplyDelete
  66. This post is full of lies and misinformation. Thankfully, many of those commenting know what they're talking about.

    ReplyDelete
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