Market America is one of the most controversial and complicated MLM programs I’ve ever reviewed and it’s because of all the negative info I found on it while researching it. This is something you can research as well to draw your own conclusions.
In my case, based on what I have seen, I can’t recommend it. But is it a scam though?
Well my opinion so far is that it’s not because you can’t make specific judgements based on third party stuff you read. But based on the way it functions, I personally can’t get involved with this type of business and do prefer other options.
So in short, let me say this: There will be NO official claim of a scam in this review of Market America until I see more evidence.
Yet, at the same time, this review will explain why I don’t recommend it and also give you what is in my opinion a better way to go if you’re unsure about this place, as I am.
Here’s 3 things I can say about Market America (Shop.com) though:
1) It is a very expensive program to be apart of. Details on pricing coming up and I did not join it.
2) It is very difficult to succeed in this program. Yes they make a lot of money, but it’s the top tier people in it who make 99% of it. And in most business opportunities, this is what you will find. But the key is how much you invest to get started and you can still fail in other businesses, but potentially lose less money (the investment). I’d rather if you fail, you lose little and be able to start another option.
3) If you are seeking to make an online business through this program, I am personally not a fan, but if you want to know what I consider good, then here is what I recommend:
Aside from those 3 things, I want to give you substantial evidence as to why I make those 3 claims.
I’m going to explain and simplify how this MLM works, because it’s honestly a tough one to figure out on your own and because I understand how to figure out MLM programs due to my online experience, I can clarify how it works and with that explanation help you better decide.
The truth is that the alternative program I am recommending is in my opinion a far safer investment and one that is without the kind of controversy that surrounds Market America.
Quick report on Market America:
Creator: JR Ridinger.
Cost: Initial cost of $399 to start and nearly $130 monthly fee. This all entitles you to the company’s benefits and opportunity to earn money through it.
How does it work? This MLM is a program which is affiliated with numerous third party programs and services (screenshot to the right shows them).
Being a member of this MLM lets you promote products from those third party programs and make commissions of the sales.
Additionally, you can earn cash back from buying the products in those same third party places.
And finally, like any MLM out there, you can recruit people into Market America itself and be compensated for it (the more you recruit, the better).
But with this explanation, do I still recommend it? Well here’s my rating for it:
Overall Rating: 3 out of 10 stars
I personally do not believe in creating an online business through an MLM program and added to this, after the things I found out regarding Market America, I am even less inclined to recommend it. But that’s my opinion.
Do your own research on this company if you are not 100% sure about this post (I encourage you to do that) and make an independent decision. For me, I stay away from MLM programs and do online business in different ways:
Is there anything positive to say about Market America? Yes actually:
There are several things worth noting about Market America which are good:
- They’ve been around for over 20 years.
- They have grossed over 7 billion in sales from what I have seen.
- There ARE success stories within the MLM.
- Many of the third party programs they are connected with are legit.
But here are 5 cons I discovered (some of which is are a bit startling in my opinion):
They don’t appear to actually have their own products. Remember the third party programs I mentioned above?
Well you can technically promote them on your own without joining Market America, and paying their high fees.
There is a big rumor about a pyramid scheme existing within this program (based on what I read).
Being that they don’t actually have their own products from my understanding, and that they try to get you to buy other third party products and services, whilst charging a large fee to be a member of all of this, this is something I’d be careful with.
I’m not 100% sure on this, but legitimate MLM programs in my oponion have to have an affordable entry fee and create their own products.
I’m not surprised few people succeed with this program. With MLM programs in particular, this is normal in my experience.
I honestly see NO reason to join this program and pay those high fees because again, the third party programs they are connected with, you may be able to join on your own. Plus if that’s not the case, then you can sign up with other programs, like Amazon Associates, for free and promote products there.
I see no reason to add another layer of hassle and pay a company that doesn’t even make products money. You should only do that if you intend to recruit for the MLM.
My fifth and final reason:
Is that the recruitment aspect of this MLM just isn’t enticing enough for me. I don’t believe in it’s pricing, I don’t believe in it’s business model and to really make good money with it, you have to know how to sell well (not for beginners), and even if you do (and you’re in the small minority), you have to really believe in this program. Since I don’t, there’s no way I’m going to promote it.
Final Rating: Market America
3 out of 10 stars. From the things I’ve seen, this program has very little for me to personally justify recommending it.
I just think that they’ve taken a simple way of making money online (find a product online and promote it) and added their own membership layer over it, charging high prices to profit from this formula and being how complicated their compensation plan was, all the negative things I saw, I just can’t give it a recommended rating, but more of a “cautionary” one.
My final thoughts:
In general, succeeding via starting an online business is tough and yes, most people fail. But in my opinion people who try to get an online business started through an MLM program have an even harder time succeeding.
There are a few reasons for this, but the major ones include:
There’s a bigger headache in my opinion at least, because the compensation model is typically harder to grasp, there’s more time spent recruiting and more time to reach a point in that recruiting to make good money and overall, you end up spending more in membership fees and buying products to then re-sell them.
People who don’t know any better may believe that approach is the only approach but it isn’t and let me explain why:
I do online business. And there’s a completely different way you can start it and succeed in it. Here’s an example:
Instead of joining some expensive MLM program, you can start a free blog and promote products, FOR free without owning them on it. This already insures that even if you fail, you lose little.
Of course that example is very basic, so I have specific examples of how I do online business and why it 100% beats the MLM alternative:
Getting back to Market America, you can make money from it. But in my opinion, there are other online businesses from which it’s easier and more affordable to succeed from.
Whether it’s a scam, a pyramid scheme or even if it’s legitimate, the main point above all these things is that it’s a tough business model to succeed with and I personally think there are better options, which I’ve shared with you here.
8 thoughts on “Is Market America a Scam? Here’s a Review of What I Found”
Did you actually sign up and get involved with the business? I mean if you are a successful entrepreneur, then you should have the means to purchase the knowledge and training they are offering. How can you possibly do a fair review if you haven’t tried to learn it.
Starting a business and sustaining it with hard work at least 6 months is required to get a fair understanding of the system. This overnight review you did is easier especially when you are redirecting people to your system of doing business. I mean c’mon brotha that’s shady af.
If it was easy then everyone would be signing up. I’m not for or against Market America but if you’re gonna smear a business only to promote yours then what does that say about you? Your system may work well but i would never try it and you wouldn’t need to try and discredit another company. System would speak for itself. Good day and God Bless you Brotha.
Hi Michael, I respect your position even if we disagree and do appreciate you being polite about disagreeing with me. That said, let me give you my opinion based on what you said:
I have a lot of experience in the ways different businesses work, and many of them function under the same rules, ideas, and blueprints. With Market America, I did not sign up with the business, but I know how it works because I know from the way I do business and studied other forms of online business (and offline businesses) how it operates.
MLM programs are generally tougher to understand, and succeed with. Not saying it’s impossible or a scam, but the idea of recruitment into an MLM vs a simple promotional formula like in regular affiliate marketing is tougher to work with (there’s more layers).
Plus I personally like products and services which offer more than just an opportunity to be self promotional, specifically value that people can get. The products Market America promotes to it’s members is an example of value, but the recruitment model itself in my opinion does not have that kind of value (it’s just an opportunity to promote it).
I was a Market America member/distributor. I made it clear to the person signing me up that I was not going out of my way to promote the company and sign up someone else.
They had a product that I sold tons of in my salon. Thermochrome500. People were addicted to that stuff (herbal, gave you energy, curbed appetite).
They had a lot of their own products that were actually pretty decent. I was making $120 a week profit which is not bad for keeping an empty bottle on your front desk. There is no info that I can find on their products and this was late 90’s, early 2000’s. It was good while it lasted but I sold the salon in early 2000’s and lost touch.
Hi Ann, with the experience you have in selling products, have you considered opening up an online business and promoting similar products without being involved with a company like Market America? It would be a lot more freelance and you can probably make a blog site talking about things like having healthy hair for women and regrowing it.
Such a blog overtime can get you more sales and clients than your salon would and you would be able to operate such a business from home, and all of that is something you’d be able to learn and do from Wealthy Affiliate without being bound to some contract or promoting them either.
After reading your Market America review, I decided to go check out their video presentation and it’s confusing.
As you said, they’ve been in business for 20 years. You would think the products and services would be clear, so you can understand what you’re selling and how you’d get paid doing that.
Their presentation says you get paid by being a part of a shopping annuity, so money you’re already spending will earn you something. I understand Swagbucks has something similar and other reward programs operate like that, but the earnings are usually very small per transaction.
It sounds like it would be very difficult to earn a full time income off of shopping, which means you’d be earning the bulk of your income from recruiting. Anytime recruiting is the main emphasis, that’s a huge red flag. Thanks for pointing out this program. Hopefully, you’ll save some people their time and money.
Great to hear from you Tiffany! And as usual, your analysis and comment is something I agree with 100%, you filtered out the hyped message from Market America and correctly saw a big part of their business was the recruitment element, which you are right on it being a red flag.
I have mixed feelings about MLM programs. I was very familiar with Avon. It seemed very reputable when I was a kid. Now my wife has just started with an MLM, so I have a new interest in judging whether those are scams.
I am not familiar with Market America, so I am reading this carefully. Wow, only 1 out 10 stars! It is hard to understand how they got so big while being such a bad deal. Thanks for the heads up on this possibly being a pyramid scheme.
I agree that there are better ways to make money. On the other hand, some people, like my wife are very social and enjoy the networking and promotion that MLM’s require. I, on the other hand, prefer to stay home an do affiliate marketing. So, of this is just about personal preference.
Hi Peter, let’s just be clear that promoting MLM programs is a form of affiliate marketing too, but I get what you’re saying, you’d rather promote products, not recruitment schemes.
As for the MLM your wife is involved in, you are doing the right thing in that you’re carefully examining how she does first before you decide to get involved too. I don’t want to make predictions and I hope your wife succeeds, but what you said about her being social and that making her fit to promote MLMs can actually be a contradictory thing.
Yes MLM programs and recruiting people into them involve networking through social avenues, but the fact that someone is going around and pitching these opportunities to other people is often a turn off and it is the reason why so many friendships and relationships end.
People in the back of their minds, when they are being pitched MLM opportunities know that the reason the person is doing it is to make money and it often results in negative responses. While again, I wish your wife well in her efforts, she needs to be careful in how she pitches the MLM to her potential prospects, because if she does it wrong (and that is the case when people try to sell MLMs to others), she may end up developing a bad reputation among those who know her, and have heard her pitch.
Keep me posted on how she does please.