I am always a skeptic when I hear of new opportunities, even moreso when something sounds really good!
I recently heard of Market America and it’s eCommerce site – Shop.com. I understood from a friend that it was a network marketing deal, but it was different! How? I asked! I really wanted to know what was so different about this company. Is it a scam or a genuine business opportunity?
I have spoken with a friend (at length / ad nauseum) about this and I even attended a seminar locally to see what this was really about. To my surprise it has much more substance than I expected. I did take home a booklet with me, so I will include some images of that in this post. I also shot a quick video towards the end of the seminar, when they had people talk about their experiences with it, very telling.
Here’s what I found:
Yes, it is a “network marketing” company – and it IS different (and better) than what I’ve seen before. How? To start off, I did a fair share of research on this and I dug in, way below the surface level. In my research I found a bunch of half-wit posts that it was scammy, but none of them really got into detail about the “why” part and that’s misleading. I went there!
What I found is that the majority of the negative comments came from people who [appeared to be] looking for a quick buck with no effort. I always laugh when I hear about people that were disappointed when their latest “get rich quick” scheme didn’t pan out. I want to ask them – did you really expect something for nothing? So the bulk of the online research I found were from people that were indeed looking to get rich quick. This didn’t work for them so it’s easy to see why they complained.
My sense is that the folks at market america are looking for more serious candidates that are willing to put in their time to make some serious revenues down the road, not people looking to get rich overnight.
So how is Marketing America different?
On the cover they don’t do enough to talk about what they’re doing different, and what they are doing right – which is selling products that people already use. Let me stop there and talk about why that’s important – especially if you’re considering working with them and becoming an “UnFranchise” business partner.
Compare this to an MLM – they create tall tales of earnings, typically based on how that ONE rep sold alot of their ONE product. That is inherently a bad road to take, because it begets the question – how much of that ONE product can any one person actually use? Not a lot! The point here is that this isn’t an MLM, and they’re not selling a sole product.
So a core difference is the business commerce model and the product(s), and I do mean that in a plural sense. There’s also the eCommerce engine too (shop.com) and I’ll touch on that in a bit. So the products – are they some special anti-aging miracle cream? A space-aged vitamin that adds 10 years to your life? NOOO – these are real products that we all use every day.
Market America has a big variety of everyday products that everyone uses, and you’re not talking about some new “miracle” snake oil that you’ll have trouble selling.
They have things like soaps, shampoo, vitamins, their own line of cosmetics and makeup! ..and more. There are cleaning products that are eco-friendly and work well. They have a lineup of weight-loss products that are popular, and they do have a health supplement (called Isotonix) which has some serious science behind it. They have products!
So having a core lineup of everyday things that people really use is big! No more trying to sell something obscure that people won’t trust – these are products that make sense and people buy them already.
The eCommerce Engine – Shop.com website
This is also a very important part of this opportunity that I think needs to be understood. Most network marketing companies force you to take delivery (purchase) cases of that one obscure product and sell it out of your garage and hit up all your friends for it weekly. Not here!
Shop.com is the place you and your team will purchase all of these products (just like we already do on Amazon) and other sites. The reason why this is important is that you can direct people here and they do all their own shopping. This is one huge differentiator that other team-based marketing outfits don’t have, and it is impressive. Go and check out Shop.com – don’t take my word for it.
You also can earn cash back on these purchases when it goes to a partner site like Walmart and other name-brand stores; Cash back!
The Revenues and Commissions – How You Make Money
The whole of this opportunity is about creating commerce and getting paid commissions for the value of products sold. The website and the ordering all uses Commission Junction (CJ for digital marketers) as it’s one of the largest commission-tracking system on the web. As a marketer I’m already familiar with CJ, while most average consumers don’t know about it. This is the way ecommerce is tracked for the largest of websites.
From a business opportunity standpoint, you’re really driving people to buy products they already buy. With the commission tracking that uses CJ, you’re tracking and earning real dollars for every purchase. I looked and they paid out $160M in commissions 2015 (when this booklet was printed). One hundred and sixty MILLION dollars in earned commissions! Since the business launched in 1992, they have paid out $1.8BILLION in commissions.
Caveats and Things-To-Know
Market America is NOT a scam, and it is NOT a “Get-Rich-Quick” scheme. You cannot signup today and be making $5K monthly starting in 30 days. If that’s what you’re looking for – keep moving! It’s also not an MLM, nor is it a business that is solely based on recruiting and selling a sole product.
When I think of MLM, pyramids scheme, or scams I think of a garage full of Tahaitian Noni Juice, Protein Powder, or boxes of magic skin cream stacked up in the corner – all with dust on them. I would never sign up to rep a single product with a limited audience, there’s no future in that. Market America has lots of product that cater to a large audience.
I looked at the numbers. I looked what I’m spending now on a monthly and annual basis and saw how I could earn commissions and cash back for purchasing these products instead of going to the local store and paying retail. I compared that to how much in commissions I could earn from switching my spending to this model, and it makes sense. Why wouldn’t I want to get paid for what I already buy?
- You will be expected to grow your business and that will mean bringing new faces to join your business! I had to think about this in a realistic way, and in doing so I really had a “light-bulb moment” that gave me some good perspective – I’ll share it here – you can’t do it all yourself.
There is no business that you can do all by yourself. You literally have to build a team of people to create commerce larger than what you can do all alone. So you will want to build a team of people that are interested in growing. You do need to have a team mentality with the goal of creating a large bubble of purchasing power to make this work effectively.
That said – if you start a Market America business you will have to build and grow a team to help your revenues grow. I did see a lot of emphasis on training programs and events which I think many people get swept up in, but it makes sense to attend at least one to gather more info and meet with other teams. Everyone I met was genuine and nice enough, nobody struck me as outstanding or gifted.
These events are ones that you’ll hear about when people mention scams, but I actually went and I didn’t get that impression. Yes – these are events designed to get people pumped up about their programs, every big company that is trying to excite their base does this! Think Apple, Intel, Tesla, Walmart… the list goes on. Market America is no stranger to large events and conventions that are promoted to show you how exciting things can be, but it doesn’t mean that’s the biggest part of the opportunity there.
I went there – I intended to go to this seminar and video record the whole thing, but a few minutes in I was talking with the people about their experiences. I didn’t video the whole event, but I did get a bit towards the end that I thought was interesting. They had a team of people get up and introduce themselves, and say what they did before. Some were introduced as being their top earners (sure), and to hear an average-everyday person speak about it was real. I was totally ready to frown on this, but these were people my age and younger, and they were rocking it!
I apologize that this is some seriously raw footage, I took this on my phone and I’m not a video pro – but watch and you will see what I’m talking about. These were real people in my area of Pennsylvania that were from different backgrounds, all with their own experiences with market america. In case it doesn’t load up, the video is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/PAW6V5YP35s
Sales Tools and Materials
When you join Market America you get several websites that are registered as yours with the company, and you can use them to sell products via email, and socials posts on places like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. These are all sites that have tracking in them so any sales made from them are yours. You’ll use these fully setup sites to sell Market America branded products that you focus on.
You can post links to the products and site pages you talk about on social sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc), and when people purchase them you get a commission. DING!
All of this said – I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the legit elements in their program, this makes a big difference in perspective. You want to be reassured that what you’re doing is real and it’s worth your time, and I get that feeling here.
What it IS – This is a real opportunity for the right people. Would I join a business that gave me the opportunity to sell a bunch of things that people already buy – and get paid to do it? Sure! Tell me that it’s all tracked and commissionable? I think this is a genuine business opportunity. I don’t think this is a good move for lazy, unmotivated people. You have to really put in a serious effort (take it seriously!) to see the kind of results that can replace your job and give you an independent lifestyle. Anyone who is a go-getter will do well with this.
I WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK – IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING THIS PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.
If you have already created a business with Market America, or if you have used Shop.com – please share your thoughts below in the comments section.