AAA Marketing Rewards Review: No retail incentive
AAA Marketing Rewards was launched in late 2012 and operate in the MLM penny auction niche.
The company provides a “head office” address in the US state of Missouri and is headed up by William Barnhart (below right, credited as ‘William “Jamie” Barnhart’ on the AAA Marketing Rewards website), who serves as company President.
I was unable to find any additional information on Barnhart’s involvement in the MLM industry at either the corporate or affiliate level, indicating that AAA Marketing Rewards is his first MLM venture.
Some initial confusion over how AAA Rewards Marketing was first promoted appears evident, with one ex-affiliate filing the following complaint with the BBB:
Complaint: Product is not as advertised and AAA Marketing Rewards president ***** ****** promised refund and did not deliver.
Signed up and paid for “founding membership” when company first started. Company direction was advertised to be a certain way.
When the company changed direction, I requested to be removed and refunded my membership. ***** ****** said he would refund money but has not done so.
When confronted recently, He said I would have to sue him to get it back. This company is drawing people in with promises that ****** not be honored.
What “certain way” AAA Marketing Rewards was initially marketed with isn’t clarified, however the company did file a response:
The customer in question joined our company in the first part of January 2013 all our members have a 3 day right of refusal as listed in our terms and conditions they also have the right to sell their membership to another person at any time they wish.
The company operates as promoted we have not changed direction.
The customer in question did call asking for a refund in the first week of April 4 months after the purchase this year and we refered to the 3 day right of refusal on all memberships but also stated we would help to sell his membership which we are working on and i expect that ****** be acompolish (sic) in the next 30 days.
If he was not happy with his membership why did he refer it to people and recruit two people under his membership?
Read on for a full review of the AAA Marketing Rewards MLM business opportunity.
The AAA Marketing Rewards Product Line
As with most MLM penny auction companies, AAA Marketing Rewards is attached to a separate penny auction site.
The name of the AAA Marketing Rewards’ penny auction site is “AAA Penny Auction”, on which mostly gift cards are auctioned off.
Bids for the AAA Penny Auction site are sold in packs, ranging in price from $11.25 to $168.75:
- 15 bids – $11.25
- 35 bids -$ 26.25
- 75 bids – $56.25
- 150 bids – $112.50
- 225 bids – $168.75
After participating in the AAA Penny Auctions earlier this year, a customer shared their experience on the Scam.com forums:
After taking some in depth time to look into their business plan, I decided I would try out their product like I always do before looking into a business opportunity.
(The) “company” is based off of a penny auction site aaapennyauction and he (Barnhart) uses a drop shipper to send the product.
I did manage to win an auction after being deceived out of many of my expensive bids, and the product I receive was not what I bidded on.
When I contacted their customer service to fix the issue, I was promised something, and they never followed through.
Whether or not the above dispute was eventually resolved is unclear.
An “AAA Cashback” link marked “new” also appears on the AAA Marketing Rewards website, however this cashback platform appears to have nothing to do with the AAA Marketing Rewards MLM opportunity itself.
The AAA Marketing Rewards Compensation Plan
The AAA Marketing Rewards compensation plan revolves around the sale and purchase of AAA Penny Auction bid packs. Commissions are paid out via retail, matrix and revenue-sharing commissions.
Retail commissions are offered on all retail customer (non-affiliate) purchases of bid packs. AAA Marketing Rewards pay out affiliates a 15% commission on bids purchased by retail customers they introduce to the AAA Penny Auction site.
AAA Marketing Rewards Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are eight affiliate membership ranks within the AAA Marketing Rewards compensation plan and, along with their respective monthly qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Affiliate – 20 PV and have a downline generating at least 20 GV
- Presidential Director – 200 PV and have a downline generating at least 200 GV
- Executive Director – 500 PV and have a downline generating at least 1500 GV
- Senior Executive Director – 750 PV and have a downline generating at least 10,000 GV
- Bronze Executive Director – 1000 PV and have a downline generating at least 30,000 GV
- Silver Executive Director – 1500 PV and have a downline generating at least 100,000 GV
- Gold Executive Director – 2000 PV and have a downline generating at least 200,000 GV
- Diamond Executive Director – 2500 PV and have a downline generating at least 500,000 GV
Note that “PV” stands for “Personal Volume” and includes an affiliate’s retail customer purchases, as well as their own purchases and that of their downline.
“GV” stands for “Group Volume” and is the sales volume generated by an affiliate’s downline.
Residual commissions in AAA Marketing Rewards are paid out using a 3×10 matrix compensation structure. A 3×10 matrix places an affiliate at the top of the matrix, with three positions directly under them (level 1):
In turn, these first three positions each expand out into another three positions (level 2) and so on and so forth down a total of ten levels.
Commissions are paid out as a percentage of the sales volume generated by recruited affiliates in the matrix, with how many levels an affiliate is paid out on being determined by their affiliate membership rank.
- Affiliate (3×3 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 and 2 (not paid out on level 3 according to AAA Marketing Rewards compensation plan material)
- Presidential Director (3×4 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 and 2, 5% on level 3 and 4% on level 4
- Executive Director (3×5 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 3, 5% on level 4 and 4% on level 5
- Senior Executive Director (3×6 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 3, 5% on levels 4 and 5 and 4% on level 6
- Bronze Executive Director (3×7 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 4, 5% on level 5, 4% on level 6 and 2% on level 7
- Silver Executive Director (3×8 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 4, 5% on level 5, 4% on level 6, 3% on level 7 and 2% on level 8
- Gold Executive Director (3×9 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 4, 5% on level 5, 4% on level 6, 3% on level 7 and 2% on levels 8 and 9
- Diamond Executive Director (3×10 matrix) – 10% on levels 1 to 4, 5% on level 5, 4% on level 6, 3% on level 7 and 2% on levels 8 to 10
Note that Gold Executive Director’s are able to earn commissions beyond the ten levels above, provided their downline is generating at least 1,500,000 GV a month. If this qualification criteria is met, Gold Executive Director ranked affiliates earn a 1% additional commission on the sales volume generated from level 11 down to infinity.
Diamond Executive Directors can increase this percentage to 2%, provided they have a downline generating at least 3,000,000 GV a month.
Gold Executive Director – as above plus a 1% on commission on all matrix levels beyond level 10
Diamond Executive Director – as above plus a 2% commission on all matrix levels beyond level 10
Sales Volume Sharing Pool
AAA Marketing Rewards’ Sales Volume Sharing Pool is made up of ‘50% of the Company’s Net Sales Volume of AAA Marketing Rewards by the personal recruitment of Retail customers and qualified and active Affiliates‘.
This balance is paid out monthly to qualifying affiliates, with how much is paid out to each affiliate determined via a share system.
Shares can be earnt in the Sales Volume Sharing Pool as follows:
- retail customer purchasing a bid pack = 1 share
- recruited affiliate purchasing a bid pack = 1 share
- generate 100 PV = 1 share
Joining AAA Marketing Rewards
Affiliate membership to AAA Marketing Rewards is $27.75 a month.
We are often asked if network marketing is a pyramid scheme. Our reply is that traditional businesses and corporations are really pyramid schemes.
-AAA Marketing Rewards compensation plan
I’m always wary when I see the above claim (or similar) made, as it usually pre-empts an attempt to defend an MLM business model that’s evidently not up to scratch.
Why AAA Marketing Rewards themselves felt the need to include it with their original compensation plan material becomes evident as you pick apart their business model.
On the surface the notion of driving retail customers and thus generating retail activity through the AAA Penny Auction site is solid. The reality however is that due to the way the AAA Marketing Rewards opportunity has been set up, the chances of retail activity are slim to none.
This can be put down to two primary factors. The first being the deployment of a revenue-sharing style compensation plan, and the second the ability of affiliates to self qualify for revenue-sharing shares.
What you thus wind up with is an MLM business opportunity full of affiliates who’ve pumped money into the scheme, looking to recruit new affiliates who will also pump money into the scheme.
This is done under the premise of legitimate retail activity, which in reality doesn’t exist because it makes little sense to focus on retail customers. This is the case because retail is a dead-end, whereas recruited affiliates can go on to recruit new affiliates who go on to recruit new affiliates and so on and so forth.
Cutting out an affiliate’s ability to bankroll their own shares in the revenue-sharing pool would go some way to legitimizing the opportunity, but still the problem of a lack of retail incentive exists. This is true at both the affiliate and retail customer levels (a quick glance at the AAA Penny Auction website reveals little incentive to join and participate).
What I suspect is likely to happen with AAA Marketing Rewards is that after the initial buying into the scheme by their “Founders Program” affiliates ($279), and said money is paid out, there’s going to be little to no activity within the opportunity.
From an affiliate perspective MLM penny auctions are approached with caution following the shutdown of Zeek Rewards, which revealed conclusively that affiliate-funded MLM penny auction schemes did not work.
From a customer perspective… well, to date the MLM penny auction niche has failed to generate any significant retail activity. That in itself pretty much sums things up.