The world of online retail is a highly competitive marketplace. With billions of dollars at stake and thousands, if not millions lost in sales the difference between ranking #1 for your specific product or service and even #2, companies spend millions each year vying for that coveted organic search top spot.
Then there are companies like MyShoppingGenie who take a different approach. Instead of competing organically and being certified as relevant to a particular search query, MyShoppingGenie requires the user to install additional software which then ‘sits on top’ of the end-users browser.
Couple this with a binary based MLM style compensation plan and you’ve got the MLM business opportunity, MyShoppingGenie. Today we’re going to take a closer look at MyShoppingGenie, read on for a complete review.
Launched around late 2007, MyShoppingGenie is owned by a company called MyNet Universe. As to who owns MyNetUniverse, no company information is provided on either of the official websites of MyShoppingGenie or MyNet Universe.
From what I can gather though, some guy called David Freed appears to be the CEO of MyShoppingGenie (and MyNet Universe). Freed appears to have co-founded both companies with Sam Mendez, Ed Muto, Steve O’Brian and Keith Smith (although I can’t confirm whether all of these guys are still currently associated with the two companies).
Not having a clear outline of who’s running a company on your business website is always a red flag in my book and quite dubious. If you want me to hand over money to join your MLM business opportunity at least tell me who you are.
Would you join a bricks and mortar business without knowing who was behind the franchise opportunity or who ran it?
The MyShoppingGenie product
Not so much a product as an application, MyShoppingGenie is installable software that sits on top of your browser of choice at the bottom of your screen and monitors what you’re doing online, waiting to be interacted with (clicked on).
The below screenshot is an advertisement promoting MyShoppingGenie’s branding feature, but does give you an idea of how, once installed, MyShoppingGenie will look like on your system;
If you search for something that can be purchased, you then have the opportunity of interacting with MyShoppingGenie by clicking on it. The software then captures whatever it is you’re searching for and compiles a list of affiliate offers.
If somebody purchases something from this list of offers (or clicks an ad or completes some other action advertisers are willing to pay for upon completion by the end-user), MyShoppingGenie racks up a commission and shares it with its members.
The MyShoppingGenie Compensation plan
To earn with MyShoppingGenie, members must distribute the software and get other people to install it. Upon paying membership fees to the company, MyShoppingGenie members are granted an unlimited distribution license of the software and can give it away for free. How they market this distribution is up to them.
Once installed, if the end-user interacts with the software, it’s possible for the distributing member of MyShoppingGenie (whoever convinced them to install it) to make a commission.
Here’s how the MyShoppingGenie compensation plan works in greater detail;
Based around product and services that can be purchased when looked up with MyShoppingGenie, the software allows for commissions to be paid out if the end-user completes specific actions.
These actions are -
- Pay Per Click – If the user clicks on an advertisement within the MyShoppingGenie application, a pay per click commission is generated.
- Pay Per Sale – If the user purchases something a percentage of the final sale price is generated as a commission.
- Pay Per Offer – In pay per offer, advertisers pay MyShoppingGenie per impression shown to the end-user. This impression is usually an advertisement or ‘offer’ for something. Thus, each time an offer is shown to the end user a commission is generated.
As for how much of a commission you earn, that entirely depends on the third party affiliate network being utilised by MyShoppingGenie at any given time.
a select group of shopping comparison engines and special offer sites and through publishing and affiliate agreements.
These agreements will vary from network to network and unfortunately there’s no way to pinpoint or average out the commission paid. As a general rule of thumb though, the higher in price (or more competitive) the products or service being searched for, the higher the commission paid out is going to be.
Genie Daily Deals and Value Vouchers Commission
Capitalising on the daily voucher/coupon deals niche, MyShoppingGenie pay a 5% commission on their Genie Daily Deals offers.
For Genie Daily Deals, when a user makes a purchase, 5% of the purchase price is paid in commission to the user who supplied a copy of MyShoppingGenie to the purchaser.
For the MyShoppingGenie Value Vouchers, every time a voucher is redeemed via a purchase, 5% of the value of the voucher is paid to the MyShoppingGenie member who referred the business whose voucher it is to the Value Voucher network.
Affiliate Override Bonus
The affiliate override bonus offers a 15% commission on the affiliate commissions of those members you directly recruit into MyShoppingGenie.
The 15% counts on any commissions paid out for Pay Per Click, Pay Per Sale, Pay Per Offer and the Genie Daily Deals and Value Vouchers commissions.
To qualify for the Affiliate Override bonus, a MyShoppingGenie member must either recruit two new members to the company within 72 hours of signing up themselves, or alternatively recruit four new members outside of this timeframe.
Fast Start Bonus
For every two Genie systems sold (effectively enrolling new paid members into MyShoppingGenie), existing members are able to receive a $100 Fast Start Bonus.
There is no limit to the amount of Fast Start Bonuses a MyShoppingGenie member can receive, but you do need to qualify in order to receive it.
To qualify for the Fast Start Bonus, members must have an initial minimum of 5 MyShoppingGenie application installations registered against their membership.
Thereafter a minimum total of three new installs are required within any thirty day period up until you reach forty installs. Upon reaching forty installs, the qualification criteria are suspended and you are permanently eligible to receive the Fast Start Bonus.
The 12 N 12 Bonus Pool
The 12 N 12 Bonus Pool is made up of $1 contributions each time a MyShoppingGenie member pays their $34.95 monthly subscription fee.
In order to gain a share in the 12 N 12 Bonus pool, members must either become a Power Distributor within their first 12 days of joining or reach the rank of ‘Global Power Distributor’ (see MyShopping Genie membership ranks later in this article).
To become a Power Distributor, new members of MyShoppingGenie must
- build a downline of 12 paid members who have purchased the MyShoppingGenie system (a minimum of four must be personal recruits)
- Have 10 free Genie application installs logged against your MyShoppingGenie account
Either becoming a Power Distributor or a Global Power Distributor will award MyShoppingGenie members one share in the 12 N 12 Bonus Pool.
Note that this is a once off qualification and entitles the MyShoppingGenie member participation in the 12 N 12 Bonus Pool for the life of their account.
6 additional shares can be earnt on top of this every month by reaching the membership rank of ‘Diamond Power Distributor’.
As you recruit people into the MyShoppingGenie business opportunity, they are placed in your downline in what is called a binary organisation.
A binary organisation branches out in two legs, with you sitting at the top. Each of these legs again duplicates in two and so on and so forth. As your binary organisation grows, it looks something like this;
From this binary organisation, binary commissions are then earnt. Within the MyShoppingGenie compensation plan, there are three binary commissions paid out to MyShoppingGenie members.
These three commissions are paid out monthly, all revolve around the pairing of members in your binary organisation and are as follows;
- For each 2:2 pairing of new Genie System sales ($189/$199) in your binary organisation (2 on your left leg and two on your right), MyShoppingGenie will pay you out a $50 commission.
- For each 2:2 pairing of MyShoppingGenie members in your binary organisation paying their $34.95 monthly membership fee, MyShoppingGenie will pay you out a commission of $10.
- For each 2:2 pairing (2 members in your left leg and two in your right) of members receiving an ‘affiliate override commission’, MyShoppingGenie will pay you out a $10 commission.
Note that Binary Commissions within MyShoppingGenie are calculated weekly and capped at a total payout of $20,000 a week.
To qualify for binary commissions, MyShoppingGenie members must have one personally recruited member who’s purchased the Genie System ($189/$199) in each leg of their binary organisation.
Global Power Check Match
The MyShoppingGenie Global Power Check Match pays you out a matching 20% commission on all binary commissions earnt by all MyShoppingGenie representatives you enroll, including those they enrol and so on and so forth.
Each line of personal sponsorship Global Power Check Match pays you out on all member’s binary commissions until either a Global Power Distributor or Diamond Power Distributor is found.
Note that the Global Power Check Match is only available to Global Power Distributors.
Diamond Check Match
Building on the Global Power Check Match, for Diamond Power Distributors MyShoppingGenie has the Diamond Check Match.
The Diamond Check Match operates in the same manner as the Global Power Check Match, however it pays out 30% on all binary commissions earnt before a Global Power Distributor or Diamond Power Distributor is found, and 10% thereafter.
For example, if you enrol member C and members D, E and F lie between member G, who happens to be a Global Power Distributor, you’d make a 30% commission on the binary commissions earnt by members C-G. With the Diamond Check Match, you’d then also make a further 10% commission on any members found after member G, regardless of their membership rank.
Affiliate Income Pool
The Affiliate Income Pool is made up of 2% of the company wide affiliate revenue (Pay Per Click, Pay Per Offer, Pay Per Sale, Genie Daily Deals and Value Voucher commissions).
MyShoppingGenie members are eligible for a share in the Affiliate Income Pool depending on their membership rank.
Global Power Distributors earn 1 share in the pool whilst Diamond Power Distributors earn 6 shares.
Diamond World Wide Revenue Pool
The Diamond World Wide Revenue Pool is open only to Diamond Power Distributors and is made up of 1% gross worldwide company sales (meaning the Genie system exclusively I believe, seeing as MyShoppingGenie don’t market anything else directly themselves).
Each Diamond Power Distributor is awarded 1 share in the Diamond World Wide Revenue Pool.
MyShoppingGenie Membership ranks
Registered Representative – Being the cheapest of sign up options to MyShoppingGenie, Registered Representatives are unable to distribute the MyShoppingGenie and therefore are ineligible to make affiliate commissions.
Registered Representatives however can make binary commissions capped at $1,000 a week. Note that in order to qualify for this, Registered Representatives must sell one Genie System ($189/$199) every 30 days.
Independent Genie Distributor – An Independent Genie Distributor ($189 joining option) is able to distribute the MyShoppingGenie software and receive affiliate commissions.
However, Independent Genie Distributors cannot resell MyShoppingGenie systems and as such lock themselves out from most of the MyShoppingGenie compensation plan.
Registered Genie Distributor – A Registered Genie Distributor ($199 joining option) is your basic starting point for MyShoppingGenie members and enables them to distribute the MyShoppingGenie software and sell Genie Systems (Independent Genie Distributor or Registered Genie Distributor memberships).
As such, Registered Genie Distributors are able to participate in the entire compensation plan (binary commissions are capped at $2000 a week), except for check match bonuses.
Power Distributor – To qualify as a Power Distributor, you must have a minimum of twelve registered Genie Distributors of which four must be personally recruited. Additionally you need to have 10 MyShoppingGenie application installs credited to your account.
A Power Distributor can earn up to $3000 a week in binary commissions.
Power Distributor Builder – A Power Distributor Builder has one personally recruited Power Distributor in each of their binary organisation legs and is able to earn up to $5,000 in binary commissions.
Gold Power Distributor – Gold Power Distributors must have six Power Distributors in their downline, with at least three of those being personally recruited.
A Gold Power Distributor can earn $10,000 a week in binary commissions.
Global Power Distributor – Global Power Distributors must have twelve Power Distributors in their binary organisation with four of them being personally recruited members. 20 MyShoppingGenie application installs are also required at this level.
Global Power Distributors can earn $20,000 in binary commissions and are eligible for check match bonuses.
Diamond Power Distributor – Diamond Power Distributors must have 16 Global Power Distributors in their binary organisation.
Out of these 16, 8 must be personally sponsored and must be in 8 seperate lines of sponsorship within the member’s binary organisation (one Global Power Distributor renders the rest of the binary leg under them ineligible to contribute towards this rank requirement).
A Diamond Power Distributor also needs 40 MyShoppingGenie application installs credited to their account.
A Diamond Power Distributor can earn up to $20,000 a week in binary commissions.
As mentioned above in the membership ranks, there are three options available to those wishing to join MyShoppingGenie.
- First is the Registered Representative which sets you back $19 (payable annually after the first year). As a Registred Representative you can earn binary commissions (capped at $1000 a week) but are excluded from affiliate commissions as you do not have a license to distribute the MyShoppingGenie software. In order to qualify for commissions as a Registered Representative members must remain ‘active’ by selling one new Genie System ($189/$199) every thirty days.
- Next is the Independent Genie Distributor option which comes in at $189 and has no annual fee. As an Independent Genie Distributor, you still don’t have a license to resell the Registered or Independent Genie Distributor memberships of MyShoppingGenie to new members, but you can distribute the MyShoppingGenie software as a free install, entitling you to affiliate commissions.
- Finally there’s the $199 Registered Genie Distributor option which for $10 more over the Independent Genie Distributor joining option, allows you to resell Independent and Registered Genie Distributor options, unlocking the binary components of the MyShoppingGenie compensation plan. As with the Independent Genie option, there is no annual fee when you become a Registered Genie Distributor.
Note: In order to stay active, both the Independent and Registered Genie Distributor options both carry with them a $34.95 monthly subscription fee. This pretty much equates to an ‘autoship’ component within the compensation plan, however delivers nothing for it.
It’s effectively money paid to MyShoppingGenie to cover the cost of paying commissions.
As standalone software, the MyShoppingGenie application behaves pretty much as a price comparison tool. These are already available in abundance on the internet but to its credit, the MyShoppingGenie application bundles several well known affiliate programs into one neat package.
When using MyShoppingGenie, you’re pretty much limited to the affiliate partnership programs parent company MyNet Universe has secured. Affiliate programs which, well… they’re available to anybody really.
What I’m trying to say is that there’s no exclusivity in the deals to be found with MyShoppingGenie, and if someone is offering a cheaper price who isn’t participating in the affiliate networks MyShoppingGenie uses, you might even wind up paying more than you should.
From a compensation plan viewpoint, with no tangible product to sell beyond the distribution of the MyShoppingGenie application (which can be given away for free), in the end we’re pretty much reduced to a membership driven rewards program.
Members pay a licensing fee, which in itself delivers no additional value beyond participation in MyShoppingGenie’s compensation plan. Or in other words, you’re paying MyShoppingGenie for the sole purpose of being able to make money within the business opportunity itself.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise then that the bulk of the compensation plan, well actually all of it barring the affiliate commissions, revolve around the ‘sales’ of the Genie system, which in effect is nothing more than the recruitment of people to the company.
Summarised, the only people who are going to pay to be distributors of MyShoppingGenie are those wanting in on the compensation plan (as there’s no additional benefit to be gained). This greatly undermines the actual usefulness of the software given that the only people thus likely to use it are those with a vested financial interest in getting others to use it.
As far as the free users go, they themselves might get some benefit out of the application but again due to the limitations of affiliate agreements between MyNet Universe and third-party networks, these might not offering up the best prices.
That said, with 30 million application installs alleged by MyShoppingGenie, there’s obviously some merit to the application as a pure price comparison tool. As far a MLM business opportunity goes – pretty much you’re going to be playing a numbers game here.
It’s clear the affiliate commissions are secondary to the other recruitment dependent parts of the compensation plan (given they aren’t capped at all, nor are they attached in any way to any of the membership ranks).
Given this, I imagine the basic business strategy of a MyShoppingGenie distributor will be to hand out as many copies of MyShoppingGenie as possible and simply play the numbers game. Hand enough copies out and get enough people to sign up on the effective $34.95 monthly ‘autoship’ and watch the commissions roll in.