Let me guess, and you are here because someone introduced you to Market America/SHOP.com and the business opportunity, so you landed on my site to know “What Is Market America All About?”
Am I right? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. In my Market America/SHOP.com review, I’ll walk you through the below topics to help you make up your mind:
- What Is Market America/SHOP.com?
- How to Make Money with Market America/SHOP.com?
- The Compensation Plan
- Pros & Cons
- Can You Make Money Selling Market America/SHOP.com?
- Is Market America/SHOP.com A Pyramid Scheme?
- Is Market America/SHOP.com A Scam?
Before we start exploring this opportunity, I like to promise you something first.
I am not referring you to join Market America/SHOP.com to make commissions, so you won’t see me pitching or pushing you to click a “JOIN NOW” button.
This review is my approach to examine whether it delivers and keeps things under promise. If yes, I will take a shot; if no, I will steer clear. Without further ado, let’s dive deep.
Disclaimer: As the owner of Smileaffiliatesuccess.com, I have tracked down special deals for products, tools, and services mentioned herein. When you click my affiliate links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission, and you will definitely get a great bargain. This is a win-win advantage for both of us.
What Is Market America All About?
-Summary of Market America-
Product Name: Market America/SHOP.com
Founders: James Howard Ridinger and Loren Ridinger in 1992
Product Type: A MLM Company With A Brokerage Model
Price: For Start Kits $149.95-$429.95 + Online Back Office MonthlY fee $21.95 + Subscription Renewal $99.95 + Quarterly Volume Requirement $200
Market America/SHOP.com is an MLM company with a brokerage model. JD and Loren Ridinger founded it back in 1992, and it specializes in one-to-one marketing and social shopping. It has many products on SHOP.com and offers a system for entrepreneurs to supplement their income while providing consumers a better way to shop.
JD Ridinger was formerly a top distributor of Amway, and with his leadership, Market America is now operating in more than 17 countries and created 300+ millionaires worldwide.
After digging deep, many red flags push me away from it. I don’t want you to take my words for it just now, so I will share as many details as possible in this review. I hope you’ll get enough information to understand Market America(SHOP.COM) to make a better decision.
Inside Market America
There are two things about Market America(SHOP.COM), products and the business opportunity. Let’s start with products first.
The products on SHOP.com are just like what you will find on Amazon, including all types of products from personal care to home appliances. They partner with other brands and buy Apple, Samsonite, or Adidas & sell them on the site.
They also provide their private label products where Market America distributors can make money:
- Health & Nutrition: Isotonix, PRIME, ultimate aloe, etc.
- Beauty: MOTIVES, Lumiere, fixx, etc
- Jewelry: layered
- Home: GlobalCare, Pet Health, PURE, etc
- Baby: DNA Miracles
- Weight Management: Transitions Lifestyle System(TLS)
- Automotive: Auto Works and Friction Free 3000
- Entertainment: Conquer
- Electronics: Stealth Radar Shield
The flagship product line is Isotonix nutraceuticals that promoted by an NBA player called Scottie Pippen. This product line has more than 40 products, and Isotonix Daily Essentials is the best-seller.
According to the website, Isotonix Daily Essentials has the below benefits:
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol & blood glucose levels
- Helps maintain healthy circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins
- Promotes healthy blood vessel dilation
- Demonstrates anti-inflammatory activity and promotes joint health
Do Market America Products Work?
I don’t use any of Isotonix products myself, so I cannot give you my firsthand experiences. I managed to find what others said about this series, both positive and negative. I hope they help you well.
-The Positive Reviews-
-The Negative Reviews-
It’s vital to know what products you will get yourself into before joining any MLM business. So, you might take the products yourself to gain more confidence about the quality, the side effects, or whether it works.
SHOP.com has a cashback system when you shop on it. You’ll receive cashback(2%-8%) through your personal purchase or your downline customers’ purchases.
However, the items and products that are eligible for cashback are mostly SHOP.com private labels. But, it’s still a good way to earn commissions.
How To Make Money With Market America?
There are two ways to make money with an MLM business, and Market America is no exception.
- Sell products to earn retail commissions
- Recruit people to become your downlines to make more sales and teach them to do the same
You can choose to become either a Sales Representative or Independent UnFranchise Owner with Market America/SHOP.com.
There is no signup fee to become a Sales Representative, but you can only earn retail commissions. If you like to earn more bonuses and incentives, you need to become an Independent UnFranchise Owner.
To start as an Independent UnFranchise Owner, most people register with one of the Fast Start Kits for $429.95+tax (free shipping). It includes the annual subscription, relevant products, and business building tools such as product catalogs, getting started guides, and annual reports.
If you cannot afford it, you may consider a Starter Kits for $149.95 plus tax. But, you could only earn retail commissions, and your commission banks will not be open until you qualify your business with orders totaling 200 BV.
The cost doesn’t stop here. WHAT?
There are three more costs that you need to cover:
- Unfranchise Management System $21.95 per month: This is your online back-office where you can manage and monitor your business.
- Annual Subscription Renewal $99.95 per year: A renewal of the initial subscription that was included in the Fast Start Kit or Starter Kit.
- Quarterly Volume Requirement $200: Distributors and Sales Representatives are required to order or sell $200 of products each quarter to remain active
Now, let’s calculate the total cost of one year joining as a Market America/SHOP.com distributor:
- Market America Fast Start Kits $149.95-$429.95
- Monthly fee $21.95*12=263.4
- A yearly renewal fee of $99.95
- Quarterly Volume Requirement $200*4=$800
The best case is $1,313.3, while the worst case is $1,593.3. Other costs are not included, such as additional training($5-$200), travel, gas, food, or miscellaneous expense, so the total cost must be higher than my calculation.
The Compensation Plan
Unlike other MLMs in the industry, Market America/SHOP.com has a straightforward compensation plan after searching for information in public domains.
- Retail Profits: Earn commissions between unfranchiser price and retail price
- Residual Income: Earn from your weak leg
- SHOP.com Cashback: Earn 2%-8% for any SHOP.com purchases made by you or your customers
How Much Do You Need to Sell to Stay Active?
Distributors and Sales Representatives are required to order or sell $200 of products each quarter to remain active.
Ugly Truth About Market America
TOP#1 Heavily Focus On Recruitment
When you look closer at the below image, you will discover that the compensation plan heavily focuses on RECRUITMENT.
Once you join Market America/SHOP.com to start making money, there will be someone placed above and below you. You are not only earning commissions from your sales but also your recruits.
To maximize your earning potentials, you’ll eventually become a recruiting machine to enroll as many people as possible. People call it a pyramid scheme due to this cold hard truth.
TOP#2 Expensive Products
Same as the other MLMs, Market America/SHOP.com has expensive products. Compared to other competitors you can find on Amazon, they charge a lot more. They are doing this because they need to pay the distributors for all the promotions. Otherwise, they will pay more money on marketing and advertising.
It’s the same for every MLM company. Name a few here to prove my point:
Taking its Isotonix Daily Essentials as an instance, it costs $77 for 30 days, while the other two highest-rated products on Amazon only cost $50-56 with more tablets.
So, you really need to know what makes Isotonix stands out from the crowd. People won’t buy expensive products when they can get affordable alternatives online these days.
TOP#3 Low-Income Potentials
Based on this 2020 income disclosure, I found something interesting.
- 50% (about 14,000) earned more than $290
- Top 10% (about 2,800) earned more than $3,190
- Top 1% (about 280) earned more than $38,840
This calculation only counted those distributors who got paid, removing those who didn’t get paid. Also, this is the gross earnings instead of the net earnings. If they calculate all the distributors who didn’t get paid and less the expense for running the business, the actual numbers will be even worse…
TOP#4 The Binary Leg System
The unilevel model is better than the binary leg system used by Market America, in my opinion. With a binary leg system, you need to think about how to keep them balanced.
If your power leg has generated $1,000 while the pay leg only got $50, you will get a $50 payment. So, it takes a lot of time to balance two legs, making it more difficult to make money with Market America.
TOP#5 Paid Training
Starting up your business with Market America/SHOP.com is costly, but the worst part is you need to pay for the training too. Let’s look at the training courses:
- New Distributor Training ($5 online) – in your first 30 days
- Basic 5 ($5 online) – in your first 30 days
- ECCT ($50 in person) – within 28 days of earning your first $1500 in commissions
- Local Seminar in your area (Quarterly) – Tickets are $30 for 1 day
- International Convention $200 for 4 days of training
- World Conference $200 for 3 full days of training
The total cost of the training is $580 for a year. Isn’t this a sweet burden for all Independent UnFranchise Owners?
TOP#6 Legal Actions and Lawsuits
I dug deep to find some dark history about Market America/SHOP.com, and yes, here are some:
- In 2020, Truth In Advertising started an investigation into Market America for publishing more than 450 deceptive income claims across its website, blog, and social media pages.
- In 2017, Market America is accused in a recent federal lawsuit of being an illegal pyramid scheme.
- In 1999, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) charged Ridlinger, Market America, and some associates with securities fraud. Ridinger and associates settled with the SEC for over $2 million in disgorgement and penalties.
What I Liked About Market America
TOP#1 The Longevity
It’s often said that more than half of new businesses fail during the first year, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years.
Market America/SHOP.com operates since 1992, and it’s a legitimate MLM company that offers lots of products for people’s daily life. It’s a good sign that they won’t disappear or collapse tomorrow.
TOP#2 All Types of Products
You can buy lots of products on SHOP.com, just like Amazon. The prices may not be the best, but I like it is an all-in-one platform where you can find anything you need.
For certain products on SHOP.COM, you are offered cashback. Meaning you are earning something while you shop.
Although most of the cashback eligible products are Market America’s private labeled products, they are also sold at marked-up prices…
Can You Make Money Selling Market America?
Yes, I believe you can make money by selling Market America/SHOP.com products, especially those extroverted who like to meet different people and talk about the same things over and over again. If you use the products and love them, this opportunity suits you the best.
However, based on the 2020 income disclosure, less than 1% of distributors made more than $38,840 per year. This hasn’t deducted the cost and expense they covered to run the business. If deducted, the number might drop drastically. It’s NOT really a “PROVEN plan for your financial success.”
Is Market America A Pyramid Scheme?
Let’s read Wikipedia’s definition of a pyramid scheme. “A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.”
Market America/SHOP.com offers an array of products that people need daily, so we won’t call it a pyramid scheme. But, the compensation plan focuses on recruitments so heavily that people call it a pyramid scheme in disguise.
Is Market America A Scam?
No, it’s not a scam either. Normally, a scam or a pyramid scheme cannot survive the first year once people complain and report to the authority. Market America/SHOP.com operates since 1992. If they were a scam, they couldn’t survive this long and grew for almost 3 decades.
When it comes to making money online, there are plenty of options on the internet, such as freelancing, dropshipping, GPT sites, drop services, or affiliate marketing. Wanna know my top-pick? Read on to find out more!
My Alternative Way to Make Money Online
My alternative way to make money online is through affiliate marketing instead of promoting Market America products in person. Try to imagine you sell Market America products to your friends, family, or anyone you know. Don’t you feel embarrassed or blushed? They might avoid you ever since.
Doing affiliate marketing will save you from that:
- It’s free to start your affiliate marketing business.
- You don’t need to buy physical products and sell them face to face.
- There is no monthly minimum sales quota in affiliate marketing.
- You don’t recruit people to become your downlines to build a team.
- You are not restricted to promote one product. You can promote anything you like!
- Work on your own schedules & you are your OWN BOSS!
You only need to create a website with quality content. So every time people land on your site to read your products reviews or other articles, they will find insight and value. If they like it, they may purchase the products or services via your links. Here come your earning potentials.
The platform I am using currently is Wealthy Affiliate. You will find all the proven-to-work training courses, every Friday night LIVE training courses, one keyword research tool called Jaaxy, 24/7 site support, and the most friendly community.
For more details or top secrets about Wealthy Affiliate, you could check my full WA review or click the below link to start your WA journey.
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- I Made Over $1 Million With Affiliate Marketing.
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- 40,000 In One Weekend
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- Made $7,395 in a WEEK: First Black Friday Results!
I hope you enjoy this review, and you are more than welcome to share ideas or leave your comments below. I will reply as soon as I can, thanks.
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4 thoughts on “What Is Market America All About?”
Thank you very much, Matt, for this interesting article!
There are so many MLM companies out there, and I believe most are just trying to make millions themselves on the back of others.
Starting is always a difficult thing because we all need to work hard to get going, but if about 50 % stop their businesses within one year again, there must be something wrong: the way they have to invest money or their mindsets. I am not sure!
Most beginners don’t have a big budget, and it can become a financial trap because they need to pay too much money before they receive any profit. It is certainly draining and an easy way to give up.
I am not an extrovert, and I find this kind of business very challenging. It is easier to build up an affiliate marketing business, and I believe it is more profitable. Wealthy Affiliate is also my recommendation because we learn from scratch how to create a website and build a high income. It takes time, but it is lasting! Thank you very much again, Matt! Excellent review! 🙂
Thanks a lot for leaving your honest comment on my Market America/SHOP.com review. I hope it helps you well. 🙂
The high startup cost, commissions structure, compensation plan, and recruitment are the nature of any MLM business, so I don’t really blame Market America on this. It’s just the way it is. People can choose to be its customer instead of a business partner/distributor.
I also agree that Wealthy Affiliate is indeed the best platform for people interested in affiliate marketing. If you find yourself enthusiastic about something, you can start a blog and create quality content to promote physical/digital products or services. I learned everything from Wealthy Affiliate and built my humble website from scratch with its help. I’ve started seeing a passive income stream made by my website, so I am sure everyone could do affiliate marketing.
Hi Matt, Another job well done getting this information out there. Not heard of Market America but Amway I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of. You mention they have been in business since 1992. Well, I suppose that does give them some credibility also the Amazon reviews seem to back up that the products are of a certain quality but the part I don’t like is the whole MLM part. Sorry if I am repeating myself as wrote something very similar on one of your other posts. I would be quite happy promoting these products as an affiliate but the whole recruitment part really puts me off. Shame really because always on the hunt for good supplements to promote but really don’t think this is it.
Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on my Market America review. I hope it helps you well. 🙂
Based on the statistics, 99% of people fail to make money with any MLM, and only 1% who sit on top ranks can make decent money. The overpriced products, the complicated compensation plan, and the recruitment part are the reasons that push me away from this business model. I don’t really suggest my readers join MLMs.
On the other hand, I recommend affiliate marketing since it’s affordable, easy-to-follow, and no prior experiences are needed. You can start a blog to run an affiliate marketing business and learn everything you need from this particular educational platform to grow your blog step by step. I am also a happy member of Wealthy Affiliate, so I know how much it helps me generate my online income streams.