Market America Review: Shop.com e-com w/ exclusive products
Market America are headquartered in North Carolina and operate in the e-commerce MLM niche.
The company was founded in 1992 by husband and wife James Howard and Loren Ridinger.
James Ridinger, more commonly known as JR Ridinger, serves as Market America’s Chairman and CEO.
Loren Ridinger serves as Executive Vice President.
Prior to founding Market America Ridinger was a top Amway affiliate.
In addition to the US, today Market America operates in Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and Malaysia.
Market America was initially launched as a publicly traded company.
In 1999 the SEC filed a complaint against Ridinger, alleging he
violated the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with an unregistered distribution of Market America stock and other activities.
Ridinger settled the matter and paid $2 million in disgorgement, interest and civil penalties.
Two years after the SEC charges and settlement, Ridinger purchased all outstanding shares and took Market America off the public market.
Over the years Ridinger has developed somewhat of an oddball reputation within the MLM industry.
As part of an episode on multilevel marketing, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight aired footage of Ridinger shouting at a mock grave onstage at an undated Market America event.
Read on for a full review of the Market America MLM opportunity.
The Market America Product Line
Market America themselves don’t manufacture any products or offer any in-house services.
Instead the company
forms long-lasting relationships with vendors and manufacturer … that will produce consistent quality products from year to year.
Every year, new products and product lines are being created to stay ahead of the competition.
And since only limited quantities are stored in-house at any given time, this cuts down on consumer cost and ensures the freshest potency.
In addition to offering exclusive products and services, Market America also operate the “shop.com” website.
Through shop.com Market America run an e-commerce platform that offers
millions of additional products and services from well-known stores like Target, Nike, Apple and more.
The cost is the same as it would be shopping directly from the store’s site, but Market America is able to pay Cashback, whereas individual sites do not.
Brands listed on the Market America website include
- Isotonix – “offers the fastest and most efficient delivery system of all nutraceutical supplements”
- TLS Weight Loss Solution – “a total lifestyle approach to weight management”
- Heart Health – “contains advanced ingredients clinically proven to benefit your heart”
- Ultimate Aloe – “promotes normal digestion and supports a healthy immune system”
- Pet Health – “supplements with essential vitamins and minerals essential for dogs and cats”
- NutriClean – “designed to cleanse and detoxify the colon while providing friendly bacteria to the gut”
- Cellular Laboratories – “revolutionary anti-aging skincare line designed to support your skin on the cellular level”
- Timeless Prescription – “formulas that go beyond basic skin care to offer advanced anti-aging and acne care”
- Fixx – “superior products that contain specialized ingredients for instant hair and skin therapy”
- Pentaxyl – “enhanced with Matrixyl complex and Argireline to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, skin discoloration and stretch marks”
- Royal Spa – “everything you need to turn your ordinary shower routine into a luxurious spa experience”
- MatriSkin – “a serum that helps improve skin’s luminosity and firmness in as little as one month”
- Snap – “cuts through dirt, grime and germs to leave your home spotless without harming the environment”
- Prime – “promotes clear vision, keen hearing, healthy bones and joints, ageless skin and more”
- Custom Cocktail – “combines all your favorite Isotonix products in one canister and a single serving”
- Motives – an “award-winning cosmetics line defined by its creator”, Loren Ridinger
- MA Web Centers – “provides a solution for businesses that goes beyond just a website, integrating social media marketing, SEO/SEM, e-mail marketing tools, site statistics, fully functional e-commerce, and an easy-to-use system for maintaining an online presence without requiring special technical skills”
- Shop Financial – “provides you a financial GPS to help you plan the quickest route to zero debt!”
- Lumiere De Vie – “designed to promote the natural healing process of all skin types”
- DNA Miracles – “provides the highest quality body and wellness products, designed for babies, children and expectant mothers”
Market America do not provide retail pricing for any of their products or services on the company website.
The Shop.com platform does provide retail pricing for some of their products.
I was able to get retail pricing for the DNA Miracles line, for example, but when I punched in “Shop Financial” third-party calculators and sports memorabilia came up.
The Market America Compensation Plan
The Market America compensation plan tracks generated volume via the sale of products and services through replicated sales pages and the Shop.com e-commerce portal.
Commissions are paid out via a binary compensation structure, which focuses on volume attached to Business Development Centers.
Market America affiliates earn Shop.com cashback on their own purchases and that of their personally referred customers.
In addition to cashback, each product purchased by retail customers through Shop.com and replicated Market America sales portals generates a retail commission.
Market America split 30-50% of this commission with the affiliate who referred the customer.
MLM Commission Qualification
To qualify for MLM commissions, a Market America must be both qualified and activated.
A qualified affiliate is one that has generated 200 BV.
BV stands for “Business Volume” and in Market America is generated via the purchase of “exclusive products” by an affiliate and their referred retail customers.
An activated affiliate must first be qualified, and have recruited at least two qualified affiliates.
Market America pay residual commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note that there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
When a Market America affiliate signs up, they are given the first three positions in their binary team (the top position and both positions on level 1).
These positions are referred to as “Business Development Centers”.
Commissions are paid based on BV and IBV generated on both sides of the binary team.
BV as previously discussed is sales volume generated via the purchase and sale of Market America’s “exclusive products”.
IBV is sales volume generated via the sale of “partner store products”. That is products purchased from third-party merchants.
At the end of each week Market America tallies up generated GV within a binary team for that week.
For every 1200 BV and IBV matched on both sides of the binary team, a $300 commission is paid out.
BV and IBV are tallied up separately, both paying out 300 if the above matched qualification criteria is met.
Unmatched BV and IBV is carried over and used the following week.
Once 5000 accumulated BV and IBV is reached, a $600 commission is paid out and accumulated BV and IBV resets to zero.
This is known as “completing a commission cycle” and is calculated separately for each Business Development Center an affiliate owns.
To qualify for the Management Bonus a Market America affiliate must complete a commission cycle (5000 matched BV and IBV) in a week.
Once qualified a $600 Management Bonus is paid out per commission cycle completed position matched on both sides of the binary team.
Note the Management Bonus is capped at $3600 per week per Business Development Center.
Additional Business Centers
A Market America affiliate receives a new Business Development Center the first time an existing Business Development Center reaches the 5000 BV and IBV cycle completed milestone.
Joining Market America
Market America affiliate membership is $129.95.
“Fast Start” packs are also available for $399, each bundled with various Market America exclusive products and services.
I would have preferred a straight PDF of Market America’s compensation plan, but instead I had to sit through a twenty-two minute presentation video.
The goods news however is that once you get past eleven minutes of sales waffle, Market America’s compensation plan is pretty straight-forward.
The business model in general focuses on the sale of Market America branded (“exclusive”) products and third-party products through the Shop.com e-commerce portal.
Shop.com works the same as any other e-commerce platform. It’s stocked with third-party merchant products and as a bonus offers cashback.
The marketing angle sees “shopping annuity” mentioned a lot in Market America’s promotional material. This involves replacing your current shopping habits with the purchase of goods and services through Market America where applicable.
Obviously for affiliates there’s a vested financial interest to do so, the question is whether non-affiliates are going to use Market America’s platform.
As a Market America affiliate this is going to be your biggest challenge. Getting non-affiliates to try the portal and replicated Market America sales pages, and then continue to purchase from them.
In addition to cashback on their own purchases, Market America also offer retail customers a percentage of cashback generated by customers they refer. Depending on how much that actually works out to, it could be a strong marketing tool to drive changing over to Market America’s platforms.
In their marketing material, Market America define acceptable affiliate purchases as 200 BV a month.
The “getting started as an affiliate” guide explicitly recommends affiliates should
personally purchase and use ≥ 200 BV worth of product monthly after one month.
Personally purchase and use ≥ 10 IBV from Market America’s products monthly and purchase ≥ 5 IBV from Partner
Stores for a total of 15 personal IBV.
The overall monthly BV target is set at 500 BV, 300 BV of which should be generated via retail sales.
Each Independent UnFranchise Owner in your organization should be creating ≥ 500 BV and ≥ 200 IBV each month.
(≥ 200 BV Personal and ≥ 300 BV Repeat Sales).
To what extent these are mere recommendations versus being actively enforced by Market America is unclear.
The potential for chain-recruitment is obvious though, as nowhere in the business are there any retail volume qualifiers.
200 personal BV and 300 retail BV is a 40%/60% ratio. Market America could address the potential for chain recruitment by applying a hard 40%/60% personal/retail volume requirement for commission qualification.
As it stands though it’s difficult to gauge company-wide whether the 300 BV retail requirement is actually happening or whether it’s just lip-service.
As a prospective affiliate, what you can do is query the sales volume your potential upline is generating each month.
It’s expected that the potential upline affiliate is purchasing Market America product each month. And alone there’s nothing wrong with that.
What you want to find out is whether they’re generating at least 60% in retail volume each month to match it.
This isn’t optional, nor is it an arbitrary percentage I’ve plucked from thin-air. It’s in Market America’s own affiliate guideline materials, which ever affiliate should be adhering to.
Failure to generate the required retail PV is indicative of chain-recruitment, which if happening enough company-wide would mean Market America is operating as a product/service based pyramid scheme.
The only exception I’d make is for new affiliates, who will need some time to build up their retail volume. After three months though if their personal spend still dwarfs retail volume (and there’s no sign of growth), it’s likely they’ve fallen into the trap of continuing to spend money chasing a dream.
Compliance aside, this is the greatest pitfall you have to watch out for when signing up for an e-commerce MLM opportunity.
When marketed and run properly, Market America presents itself as a robust opportunity with a massive catalog of products and a simple, yet effective compensation plan.
One neat feature of Market America’s plan was to place generated BV within the binary team. On a micro-level this can boost the confidence of new team members, but also be used to drive volume deeper throughout a binary team than would occur organically.
Tightening Market America’s compensation plan with retail volume requirements would cement legitimacy. As it stands though the onus is on potential affiliates to gauge whether the person trying to recruit them is running their business in compliance.
Update 1st September 2022 – JR Ridinger passed away on August 30th. He was sixty-three years old.
Ridinger’s death was confirmed on Market America’s Facebook page, in an announcement that described Ridinger’s passing as “sudden”.
Reporting from Page Six attributes Ridinger’s death to “a pulmonary embolism on a (chartered) yacht in Croatia.
As I understand it, under the guidance of its corporate team, Market America will continue to operate.
I’m meeting someone next week who tells me it’s not mlm because people on the bottom can make more than people on top. And that everyone is equal level and that anyone who join owns shop.com lol.
What should I say back that will shut their mouth.
You could start with the fact that for people to be “on the bottom”, there has to be people above them across multiple levels.
That makes Market America an MLM company.
You should start by watching John Oliver Last Week Tonight Multi Level Marketing episode. It should convince almost everyone to keep distance from this joke of company.
They said that everyone is on the same level because everyone helps each other so there’s no top or bottom. They said to be mom, there is top to bottom and bottom can make more than top
I like how they told me that Uber, ibm, apple are the same. That they have to recurit ppl too.
Oh they said they are A+ rating higher than like amazon
I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.
Let’s assume you’re serious… read this link supplied by MarketAmerica itself:
Average distributor earns peanuts. The big wigs took home most of the money. They’re the two-percent, same as any other MLM.
Just because they prefer to call it by some other name “unfranchise” doesn’t make them any different. They still have “downlines”, and thus, they are MLM.
This is from their own manual, look here:
It mentioned specifically “…downline distributors”. If they have downlines, they are MLM. This is their own manual. Think about it.
So whoever told you they are not MLM is either stupid, or lying. NEITHER is good for you.
Marketing jargon and who makes what where doesn’t change the fact that Market America uses an MLM compensation plan.
I just finished talking to them. They said it’s not mlm Because the ppl in your downline is vertical, there’s no pyramid, just a line and everyone earn 100% from top to bottom. Bottom gives 100% to top and vice versa.
So I’m confused, he’s lying?
MLM compensation plan = MLM company.
Marketing BS doesn’t change that fact.
Oh, puhlease. It’s not the direction that matters, but that there are more than one level. Just because you choose to draw the lines sideways, slanted, or whatever doesn’t negate it’s MLM.
What if we call it instead of levels, rings? Floors? Planes? Whatever?
I know, I’m being ridiculous. But so are they. Just changing the terms doesn’t negate the true nature of the organization.
I’ll also just point out that Burnlounge which was nailed by FTC as a pyramid scheme, called itself “concentric marketing”, and called its level “rings”. It’s really just MLM with another name.
There more than one level? They explained to me that there is only one level. But when I read online, it seems to be more than one level — which I knew they were bsing with me.
It’s a binary plan. Of course there’s “more than one level”.
Why they told me everyone in my downline and upline earns 100%? And that there’s only one level.
They said in MLM, there’s multiple levels am I missing something?
Dunno, you’d have to ask them.
You can’t have a binary compensation plan with one level though. So anyone who tells you that is feeding you porky pies.
Wow Kasey, thanks for those links. These bitches lying their asses off.
They said everyone who joins market America is a co owner of shop.com and I asked if shop.com get acquired for 1 trill, they would get a cut. They said yes lol
You guys are off on several points. This is not some clever spin on a binary plan. Jr Rindinger CREATED the BINOMIAL marketing system. Binarys are attempted copies.There IS a retail requirement of $200 per quarter. I have no idea where you got 200bv a month from. There is no end of month.
The highest the BV requirement EVER gets for anyone is 150bv per month and that is only if you have earned comissions. An autoship is NOT required to earn comissions. Only to roll volume over month to month and to be able to assign or be assigned sales to other distributors in the organization. This gets THEM paid on the “uplines” efforts.
$600 management bonus is paid when one center on the left and one center on the right hits the cumulative 5000bv threshold the same week “you” do.
Again, you can place your OWN volume into an organization to help them. The bonus is for directly or indirectly getting other people paid.
There are ZERO requirements to earn profit on sales of products. There is no required startup cost to do so either. The top retailers sell well in excess of $200,000 wholesale a year. Bv is about 85% to the dollar on average. Profit from sales of products are about 35% -50% on average.
The debt shredder program has a sticker price of $2,800 with an instant retail profit of $1400 and 600bv towards comissions. The rep has the option to list the price for the product.
Website sales usually fall between $800 and $2,500 per sale.
Retail profit is unlimited. There are other bonuses for retail through the SABP. Comissions on BV are capped at $2100 per week. IBV is capped at $1500 per week. If you want to make more than that you have to open another center somewhere UNDER the deepest person in a leg.
Comissions are based on volume only. And YES you get 100% credit for ALL volume generated within the organization. How? The cap.
So with 80,000 distributors, if every single one of them was on the max “requirement” of 150bv the company would be at roughly $250million in yearly revenue. Where does the other $600,000,000 come from.
Mind you, reps have to show a minimum $200 in sales reciepts per quarter for sales to an end user or their volume flushes and they DONT get paid.
Here is where you would normally go on a rant about customers being part of the compensation plan. Where is the accolades when they are NOT. It is a private company but ALL THOSE numbers, the FULL financials from a yearly independant audit, are published. No there is no one page PDF of the business plan. People who use or refer to those (very incomplete) documents are NOT the target and wont do well in a fully reconciling business model.
The IDS however that includes ALL reps wether they are earning or not, along with weighted income averages are found in the career manual. I know of NO other company in network marketing that has 30% + making an income ABOVE operating expenses.
The company has retained 70%+ of ALL reps who have EVER started. No one has EVER been “placed at the top” or paid to “join”. Hence the reason there is no hype and NO serial MLMers on board. People like that HATE a business model like this one. No where to hide. Do the math. The % of gross commission paid out is almost even accross all income levels and ranks. Well the most even i have ever seen it in networking anyway.
$800,000,000 in yearly revenue with 60%+ getting paid back and the top earner only does $1.5 million a year?? Cmon guys, where does the rest go? If this was a typical mlm deal she would be making well over $30,000,000 a year. And the rest of the top 30 would get the rest,, with about 10% spread out amongst the poor saps who actully created the volume.
Sorry im all over the place on this one.. i dont have too much time on my hands
I expected a little more accuracy from you guys on this one. All the crap you complain about with mlm is addressed with this business plan.
1. There absolutely is a retail requirement. Reciepts have to be submitted every quarter. If not, everything flushes and you are no longer eligble for comission.
2. You can only make as much as $1500 without taking a certification course and being tested on it.
3. Autoships are optional
4. “Requirements” are only on the number one center.
5. Any retail, autoships or bonus volumes, optional or otherwise are set at LESS than what the average person does or can do. These actuals were/are independantly audited and cooroborated.
6. Aside from the stock mistake which was admitted, owned and corrected, the company has never had legal trouble and never will.
7. 70+% lifetime retention
8. There are many people who earn a significant income bases on retail sales alone. Some in excess of $100k/yr
8. The 80/20 theory is out the window with roughly 35% of ALL REPS earning an income above operation expenses.
9. Customers are customers.. They are completely seperate from the pay plan and their purchases are documented.
10. The company retains zero customers of their own, all organic sales and inquiries are pushed out to the field.
11. Company wide autoships amount to approx $50,000,000 per year while gross revenue is close to $800,000,000
12. Standardized Training System. Open training system with corporate generated content. All slides facts and figures are the exact same everywhere. Everyone rowing in the aame direction.
Urghh.. know what? I could go an all day but no one will listen anyway. So, whatever. Ive already wasted to much of my life on this blog.
Perhaps i will come back later and explian the 4 concepts that are not noticed, misrepresented or very poorly in this review.
In your defense, i had to see the model presented 2 or 3 times before i understood it myself. It probably took me 3 to 6 months before I could explain it properly. And there are certification courses and tests required to do so.
And actually the business presentation is 90 minutes. You “suffered through” the 20 minute overview.
It is not a signup game. None of the info you saw has a “signup form” at the end. The 20 min video is designed to raise questions, not answer them.
Yeeerp. Everyone loves BehindMLM…
…until we review their company.
There’s no mention of this in the compensation plan. Is it a hard volume check or just “show us some receipts”?
Whether affiliate autoship is optional or not isn’t the issue. It’s whether affiliate’s are primarily qualifying for commissions on their own volume (autoship or manual purchase).
Well that’s good to hear. Source?
Come on mate, it’s a binary comp plan. I appreciate your enthusiasm but don’t drink the marketing kool-aid.
From Market America. I quoted the company’s marketing material.
Rolling over volume and being assigned sales generates commissions, so authorship is required to earn commissions in that regard.
Without hard retail figures from Market America, a large percentage of it could be sourced from affiliate-spend. Or it could be retail.
Now here’s an issue, $200 worth of retail a quarter is token compared to Market America’s affiliate purchase guidelines.
Retail requirements should be a percentage of volume generated strong>per month.
And are the receipts checked against recorded affiliate volume, or just uploaded to a database never to be looked at by anyone?
Dude. I dont know where these “marketing materials” are that you have found, but it doesnt seem like you even care about being accurate. If you dont have enough rodessionalism and ethics to stand corrected than I dont have much resect for your oinions.
Very little of what you are saying makes sense. Wtf is an “affiliate purchase guideline”?
You are the one spouting all this horribly innacurate information. What is YOUR source? Why do you ignore my challenges and deflect? You sound exactly like one of your tyical detractors. Looks like they are rubbing off on you man.. ha ha
(Ozedit: marketing spam removed)
Jesus Christ. Spare me the marketing BS.
Where do you think I sourced them? From Market America itself.
Page 3, top right column.
If you’re not familiar with your own company’s marketing material, fine. But don’t get pissy with me for simply quoting, analyzing and commenting on them.
Thank you for acknowledging Market America uses a binary compensation structure. I couldn’t care less who came up with the physical structure first.
One thing I have learned. Not all MLM companies are the same.
I learned a long time ago that commons sense is not so common. Just say’in.
Article updated acknowledging JR Ridinger’s passing on August 30th.