So, this company is ranked number 2 in the world according to S4DS Direct Selling Software, with a Net Worth of US$7.3 Billion (as of 2018). Impressive, right? In this tell-all review, we are going to answer the question “what is the Market America Business opportunity” – it’s gonna be revealing …
Market America Business Opportunity Review
Market America is different from your run-of-the-mill MLM. We shall take an in-depth look at how they have positioned themselves in ways that do not resemble the typical MLM structure.
Positioning is very important, a different stance can assist sales and contribute to enormous success; is this what has made Market America number 2 in the world? Possibly, yes.
More importantly, does the positioning contribute to your success if you sign up for the Market American business opportunity?
Let’s dig in and find the answers.
Market America At A Glance
Name: Market America
Price: More than one option available from $169.95 plus tax upwards
Founders: Loren and JR Ridinger
Overall Rank: 5 out of 10
Market America – Business Opportunity Overview
Market America is decidedly different from your overage MLM, aside from their vast product range, they also set themselves apart from the traditional MLM in their messaging. More about that a little later.
Ordinarily with an MLM, one can expect to sell consumable products such as skin care, vitamins, jewelry, kitchenware, and cleaning products. The product range offered by Market America is extremely wide, this is great because you may have more than one target market to go after.
But, does it really bode well as a solid business opportunity for you?
Come along now, let’s find out …
What is Market America?
Market America is an MLM company that employs more than 850 people and has more than 180 000 “UnFranchise owners” internationally.
* the “Unfranchise Owners” title is one of the ways Market America differs from other more traditional MLM’s.
Market America has a presence in America, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the UK. Plus, Market America services more than 190 countries worldwide.
Products available through Market America are the likes of entertainment, cleaning, make-up, website development, and weight loss.
The website store belonging to Market America is shop.com
This company has its own products and they have agreements with other retail companies to sell their products on shop.com too. Ever widening the range offered by them.
Can You Make Money With Market America?
I looked far and wide for the Market America Income Disclosure as a part of the original document I wrote about MLM Marketing Companies and Business Reviews and was not successful in finding said information.
Here is what I did find though:
- an article on GlobeNewswire.com, which explains the lack of access to the Market America Income Disclosure and shows just how much trouble they were in due to Tina.org warnings (Ad Watchdog Amassed Hundreds of Examples Posted by the MLM Company!) You can read this article for yourself.
As a result of the Tina.org warnings, Market America took down their “deceptive income claims”. Not my words, as can be seen from the screenshot below:
So, finding proof of income through the traditional methods is not going to happen. Let’s see if there is another way.
A quick search via the Market America website led me to a YouTube channel that provides a presentation on the “Unfranchise Business Opportunity. Here is something that grabbed my attention with the first couple of seconds:
A handy little disclaimer – perhaps Tina.com had something to do with that.
So, I headed over to the link to see some typical earnings, as indicated on the video (market-america.info/mais), and landed on a pdf – you are welcome to download it for yourself. We will chat a bit about that in a short while, for now, I just want to share what I am seeing on the presentation.
As you can see below (a screenshot taken of the presentation), there are some very big numbers bandied about! Very impressive Retail Sales numbers … and … the Total Unfrachise Owner Earnings (with the ** which is probably linked to the disclaimer, clever treasures) is greater than 5 Billion! I wonder if that is what upset the folk at Tina.org.
The following slide is even more telling … they state that hundreds of UnFranchise Owners have earned in excess of One Million Dollars in commissions.
I interpret this to mean that hundreds of the UFO’s have earned that amount each. Perhaps they meant cumulatively?
Yeah, I am a bit of a cynic at this point.
Getting back to the pdf, I don’t know about you but I am not excited about the earnings listed below. Only the Top 1% earned more than $38,840 and keep in mind that this amount excludes expenses!
As for the Top 10% earning $3190 and 50% earning more than $290 Annual Income – well, maybe $290 amounts to a lot in third world countries … it’s best I say no more! (incidentally, I live in a third world country so I am not knocking them, just emphasizing how little $290 per annum is)
Here is a screenshot that gives numbers about UnFranchise Owners earnings, you can click on the image and go directly to the pdf to check it out yourself if you like.
If you read through the many reviews I have written, you will notice that I am rarely disparaging in the reviews I write. I try my best to give the benefit of the doubt, it’s only fair that I do.
In this particular instance, however, I am somewhat frustrated that I had to search so hard to find the proof of earnings numbers and then to be slapped with an ultra-quick disclaimer on a presentation and such low numbers on a pdf …
You know what Dr Phil says, “those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing” (yes, I am an unashamed Dr Phil fan, lol!)
This leads us to the next question….
How Do You Make Money With Market America?
As you may have gathered above, when you sign up with Market America you become an UnFranchise Owner, also known as a UFO.
Here is what is included in your membership as a UFO:
- Your own web portal on their shop.com website
- You decide what products you wish to promote and these come with a cleverly designed cashback feature called Shopping Annuity – to encourage your buyers to hit the “buy now” button
- A virtual mentor
- Access to experienced business partners
- Access to training
As a UFO you are required to complete the training on offer. This training educates you on how to use the Market America systems and also covers the correct processes to run your own business. After completion of the training, Market America awards you with a certificate.
According to the YouTube video, this is how the Unfranchise Business Opportunity is Like a Franchise:
- Systemized, Standardized & Uniform
- Proven Management Systems
- Professional Marketing Tools
- Standardized Training Systems
- Market-Driven Products and services
- Branding and Increased Visibility
The same video speaks about how the opportunity is Unlike a Franchise:
- No Franchise Fees or Royalties
- Minimal Startup Expenses
- Potential Tax Advantages
- No Large Monthly overhead
- No Territorial Restrictions
- Park Time with Flexible Hours
- Little Risk
I find it interesting to see how Market America distances itself from the MLM or Network marketing industry. They describe themselves as a “Global Product Brokerage and Internet Marketing Company that specializes in One-to-One Marketing“.
To cut a long story short though, the business opportunity is one where you generate an income with Market America by
- using their systems,
- promoting products of your choosing from the extensive range they have available.
You are welcome to watch the entire presentation to make sure what I am sharing is true …
What Products Do Market America Sell?
The range of products is exceptionally wide. A quick glance at the departments available on the shop.com site shows exactly that.
Here is a breakdown of the product ranges:
- Shopping Annuity Necessities (beauty, health, home, pets & more),
- Direct Partner Stores (eGift cards, shop travel, office supplies, and more)
- Shop Local,
- Shop Services (maWebCenters, Shopping Advisor, Service Bundles, Print Center, Developer Portal, MA Benefits, MasterCard Protection Plans, Wellness Program, CarSaver)
- Medicine Cabinet (OTC, Dental & Oral, General Health, Medical Supplies, Weight Loss to mention a few)
- Beauty (Face & Eye makeup, lip products, accessories, nail care, etc)
- Personal Care (Skin and Hair Care, Bath & Shower, Perfume & Cologne, the list goes on)
- Home (Household Essentials, Kitchen & Dining, Home Décor, Bedding, Bath and more)
- Clothing (Clothes, shoes, jewelry, Accessories, Handbags)
- Baby (Baby & Toddler Clothing, Girls Clothing, Boys Clothing, Toys)
- Electronics (Cell phones, Computers, Cameras, TVs, Video Games, Wearable Tech, to name a few)
- Business (Furniture, Software, Office Equipment, Printcenter)
- Jewelry (Watches, Rings, Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Jewelry Accessories)
- Garage (Auto, Tools, Garden, Storage, Painting)
- Pets (Dogs, Cats, Health and more)
- Travel (Luggage, Travel accessories, plus, plus),
- Sports & Fitness (Cycling, Fishing, Camping, Fitness, Fitness Trackers, and more)
- Crafts (Sewing, Scrapbooking, Beading, Art Supplies, and so on);
- Sports Fan Shop (NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA, NHL and more);
- Entertainment (books, movies, music);
- Their Own brands (Motives, Isotonix, TLS Weight Loss, DNA Miracles – just to name a few of the brands – the categories are: Health & Nutrition; Beauty; Jewelry; Home; Baby; Weight Management; Automotive; Entertainment; Electronics)
- Personal Services (eHarmony, LifeLock);
- Financial Services (TurboTax, TaxAct, QuickBooks);
- Savings Tools (Shop Buddy and Hot Deals);
- Gifts (a Gift Registry, eGifts and Gift Ideas)
As a UFO with Market America, you earn commission based on the volume your organization generates. Here are the three different ways a UFO can generate an income:
- The good old MLM way, buy a kit with certain products and sell directly to customers
- Another good old MLM route is to recruit “down lines”. Two people joining your team can earn you between $300 and $600 per annum.
- Recruit customers to sign onto the Shopping Annuity program. This program gives customers cashback on purchases made via shop.com. As a UFO, you get 100% credit for customer leads and between 30% and 50% gross retail profit (that’s not shabby)
How Do Market America Products Prices Compare?
I believe it is fair to say that Market America is looking to give online stores such as Amazon a run for their money if we look at the broad ranges of products and categories they are offering.
If one was considering signing up as a UFO (even after seeing the compensation claims), another important consideration would be, “are their prices competitive?” By this, I am referring to the prices they charge to customers purchasing products on Shop.com
Apple Watch Series 3 on Market America’s Shop.com is $247.95 plus $12.40 or 5% cashback
Apple Watch Series 3 on Amazon.com is $209.99
To be fair, that is only one product we have compared. I chose the Apple Watch for comparison because it’s a well sought-after product.
The price difference is $37.96 if we compare without the cashback offered by Shop.com, and $25.56 if we do include the cashback offer.
In other words, on this once-off product price comparison, Amazon comes out on top with the Apple Watch Series 3 costing $25.56 less than the same watch on Shop.com
As a customer, especially buying online, I would definitely compare prices and in this instance, Amazon would win me over.
It would be interesting to do a more comprehensive study of the pricing. I am content to leave it here for now though.
The Good & The Bad
PRO #1 Broad range of products to promote
PRO #2 Training provided
PRO #3 Systems provided
PRO #4 Market America is successful and has been around since 1992
PRO #5 High commission rates (some of the highest around)
CON #1 Limited opportunity to make real money
CON #2 Start-Up Kits are not inexpensive (from $149.95 plus yearly membership fees, monthly fee, and a quarterly purchase requirement, it all really adds up)
CON #3 Pricing doesn’t appear to be competitive
CON #4 Training is to be paid for by the UFO signing up
Who is Market America For?
According to the same YouTube video shared earlier, Market America provides the opportunity for “entrepreneurs who want to supplement their income”.
Does that mean they are acknowledging the opportunity will not provide a way to generate a full-time income? I think that is the case.
According to the same YouTube video, the reasons for their success are as follows:
1. Retail Store Collapse
2. Rise in Online Sales
3. One to One Marketing replacing Mass Marketing
4. A rise in entrepreneurship
How Much Does It Cost To Sign Up With Market America?
As can be seen below on a screenshot taken from https://www.shop-consultant.com, you are in for a minimum of $169.95 plus Tax for your Starter Kit.
The recommended joining level will set you back $449.95 plus Tax for what is known as a”Fast Start Kit”.
- Plus you will have Sales Volume Requirements of a minimum order/sale of $200 (retail sales) per quarter
- Then there is $21.95 (per month) for the Unfranchise Management System
- Annual subscription renewal of $119.95 per year
- Plus Unfranchise Auto-Ship costs – now this is where I come undone, the actuaries seem to be involved with every single MLM on the planet – there are Business Volumes and Internet Business Volumes here. I hope you can get your get around them more easily than I can. (now you know why I shared screenshots below, lol)
- Plus, plus Required Training ($60 in total)
- Plus, plus, plus Strongly Recommended Training ($430 in total excluding any travel costs)
My Final Opinion of Market America
Looking at the way this company promotes itself (apparent low start-up costs, UnFranchise Owner Earnings – which were disputed by TINA.org – and positioning themselves as different from the MLM model), I would not recommend them as a great business opportunity.
Yes, you could generate a supplementary income by signing up with Market America, just be sure you have the hours available and the money to cover your costs (start up kits, monthly, quarterly and annual fees, plus training costs etc).
I like that they offer an incredibly broad range of products to promote. The only way I would consider taking up this opportunity (if I was going to, which I am not) would be to sign up as an affiliate. That way I could write about and promote the products on Shop.com where appropriate to my niche. Just as I would with any affiliate program, Amazon, for example.
Then again, I have yet to pay for promoting an affiliate opportunity – soooo… maybe not.
Given that my first choice would be to promote as an affiliate, please allow me to introduce you to my Number 1 Recommendation
What makes it my number 1? Firstly, you get to test out the opportunity for free, no credit card information is required. I invite you to do that by signing up via the Get Started image shared below.
Once you are certain this is what you want to pursue, your first payment will be $19 and $49.00 per month thereafter. There are great Black Friday opportunities to grab in November every year, those apply to the annual membership though.
I encourage you to sign up as a monthly member until you are 100% certain this incredible opportunity is for you.
Before you ask … yes, I do earn an affiliate commission because I am an affiliate for WA but, whether you sign up monthly or annually does not impact my earnings. I want you to be comfortable before you commit to an entire year.
What you receive for that $49.00 is unsurpassed in the online business world. This is true low start-up cost, exceptional tools, and training on offer, not to mention a community of 2 million entrepreneurs from all over the globe!
And … that’s not all! You get to create your own successful online opportunity around your passions, in a niche that you love!
Thank You …
Thank you for taking the time to read this review of the Market America business opportunity. I hope that it has helped you find answers to your questions. If there is anything more you would like to know, pop me a question in the comment section below.
One last thing before I sign off, one of the things I love doing is writing reviews about business opportunities. If you are interested specifically in MLM and Network Marketing, have a look at this page where I share the list of the Top 100 MLM companies and links to the different reviews.