Can You Really Get Paid To Shop With Market America?
What Is Market America?
Market America is a product brokerage and internet marketing company that claims to specialise in one-to-one marketing. Founded in 1992 by JR Ridinger, the company’s aim was to be ‘a mall without walls’. It aimed to replace the need to spend hours searching around a busy, distant mall with a one-stop shop where you could order top brand-names and quality exclusive products from the comfort of your own home. Not only this, but you would also receive a discount on the products you wanted to buy, and if you became a distributor, you could literally ‘get paid to shop’. This, though, is surely too good to be true?
Well not according to Market America and their growing army of Distributors. There is a real feeling within the company that Market America is the future of shopping, and the sales they are showing suggests that this may be the case – more than $3 billion since 1992. But is the opportunity really as good as it sounds?
Market America Business Model
Market America base their business model on the franchise system, but they believe they have removed many of the imperfections within it, and as such they have renamed their system the Unfranchise System. Distributors are not required to pay the large overheads that starting a franchise usually requires, for example, and they believe this makes the opportunity more accessible to everybody. Instead, each Market America Unfranchise owner is required to buy a specified level of product every month, depending on what business level they are at. Each Distributor gets given their own web portal through which they can sell the products they have bought to others, and each customer gets assigned their own personal Market America customer manager, who is readily available to provide any necessary assistance.
On top of retail sales, the Distributor can also make money by referring other people to the business. The compensation plan is unique because it pays out on the Distributor’s entire downline, down to infinity. Downline and sales are converted to a points system, and by reaching a certain amount of points every month you achieve commission. Unlike many other MLM businesses, if you don’t reach your target in the first period, your sales are carried over into the next period to give you the chance to earn some money.
Market America Product Review
Market America love to use slogans, and one of the many they have adopted is ‘Built On Product. Powered By People’. So this section of the review is going to examine the products that are so important to the business.
Market America allows you to buy two different types of products. You can buy branded products from partner companies, including Disney, Walmart, Dell, Adidas, Ben Sherman, Kodak, NFL.com and Timberland, or you can buy Market America’s own, exclusive products. These home-brand products include vitamin and nutrition supplements; cosmetics, some of which are designed by MA Senior Vice President Loren Ridinger; household products; and energy drinks, amongst other things.
When you buy products from the Market America website, you receive cashback of between 2%-35%, hence the claim that you can get paid to shop. You also receive cashback of 0.5% of all the products bought by your downline.
Problems With The Market America Business Opportunity
One of the problems with Market America is that they don’t appear to be learning the lessons of the past regarding the promises that some MLM companies were making to their distributors. Companies like Amway were reprimanded in the past for exaggerating claims about how easy and how likely it was to get mega-rich with their company, and this is a warning that Market America don’t seem to be heeding. Loren Ridinger once said in a promotional video “If you do exactly what we say, and you follow the blueprint for success, there’s no way you can’t make it.” This is not the sort of message that MLM companies should be encouraged to give out, even if they are simply expressing confidence in their business model. MLM companies should not be portrayed as get-rich-quick schemes, and Distributors should be made aware that success is never guaranteed. A lot of factors, such as hard work, business ability, marketing strategies, and training can all contribute to success in your business, but it is wrong to present success as a foregone conclusion.
Despite the fact that any ‘guarantee’ of success must be treated with suspicion, Market America appears to be a legitimate business opportunity, and also a unique one. The concept of the ‘mall without walls’ will appeal to many people due its convenience, and the prospect of being able to claim cashback on your purchases – essentially being paid to shop – will also appeal to people. As for whether it is the business for you, that is a decision you will have to take for yourself. Like all MLM opportunities, you should always research every aspect of the business before signing up – from the company executives, to its principles, from its marketing plan to its structure. If you feel that Market America suits all of your needs, then it is likely to be a good business opportunity for you.