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Market America

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Market America

More than 3 million customers shop through Market America and the company generates $626 million in global revenue annually.

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Market America is an international product brokerage and internet marketing company. They sell household and personal care products, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and more through its independent distributors and websites. The company began in 1992 and was founded by former Amway distributors James and Loren Ridinger.

Market America employs 650 people and has over 180,000 consultants worldwide. The company's headquarters are located in Greensboro, North Carolina and has shipped over $3 billion worth of products from this manufacturing facility. More than 3 million customers shop through Market America.

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The Good

  • Big name brands
  • Business tools
  • Compensation

Big Name Brands

Market America sells well-known brand products online through independent distributors the company calls UnFranchise Business Owners. Market America markets cosmetics, health, nutritional, and weight management products as well as household and personal care goods. Brands include such names as Nike, Sears, Isotonix, and more. UnFranchise Business Owners receive a company-generated shop.com website where they can sell products and earn commissions.

Business Tools

The company provides support and training materials to its independent distributors. After enrolling, an individual receives a Getting Started Guide and a "Let's Get Started" CD set with tips on how to get started right away in their new business venture. A new distributor will also receive The Market America Career Manual and Career Manual CD and the ma® digital mp3 player and booklet.

Compensation

Commission compensation is built on a binary plan, which means you have to build two sides of a downline evenly. You also earn commissions on the efforts of those underneath and other bonuses and incentives from the company. You do have to meet a minimum business volume of $200 monthly in order to be paid commissions earned.

Market America personalizes its services with customers by offering customizable products for their unique needs. For example, the company offers a free online health assessment where customers can provide information on their diet and lifestyle. The company also provides a free Skincare Analysis as well. By inputing this information, Market America can then recommend products formulated to meet customer needs.

The Bad

  • Criticisms
  • Legal issues
  • Expensive startup

Violation of Federal Securities Laws

In 1999, Market America resolved allegations made against the company from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the way the company went public back in 1994. The charges accused Market America of violating federal securities laws in distributing unregistered company stock. The CEO did not confirm or deny the charges, but agreed to refrain from future violations. The company went private in 2001 and has been so ever since.

Criticisms

Market America has been criticized for its multi-level marketing approach. Critics have stated that the products are similar to those you would find in a local drugstore for half the price. Also that distributors mislead others into how wealthy one can become by being an UnFranchise Business Owner. Robert FitzPatrick, President of a consumer awareness group, commented publicly in 2004 that Market America's growth rate wouldn't last and disputed claims that distributors could be financially independent.

Consumer Awareness Institute President, Jon M. Taylor, attributes Market America's rapid growth early on to that of what is typical among most multi-level marketing companies. He stated that most multi-level marketing companies grow exceptionally fast at first, then when activity starts to level off, the companies create new product and set up territories in other countries. Taylor pointed to a study of multi-level marketing companies similar to Market America that showed 99.6 percent of new distributors' results end up in financial loss.

Legal Issues

Market America was sued by Steve Sawyer in 2006. Sawyer accused the company of breaching contract agreements and violating North Carolina's Wage and Hour Act. Sawyer claimed that Market America failed to pay him $8,333.34 for monthly internet consulting services and a $25,000 bonus. The court was in favor of Market America. Sawyer subsequently lost several future appeals with the judge's' ruling in favor of the company.

The Bottom Line

Market America is a legitimate business opportunity for people with middle-class or higher incomes. The multi-level marketing company is best suited for highly driven individuals with large social networks and greatly-developed sales and marketing skills. The company is built on rewarding customers for shopping. However, the global company does have a high turnover rate with independent consultants. The company offers a binary compensation plan that allows its distributors to build their downline on two sides equally. The company has paid out over $1 billion in commission so far to its UnFranchise Business Owners. Due to its instability in business structure, we do not recommend Market America as a business venture to pursue at this time.

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User Reviews

4.3

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13 Reviews

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Mic
November 6th, 2018 St Louis, MO DETAILS
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Between 1996, when I returned from overseas, and 2001 when I discovered Market America, I, reluctantly admit, to having spent over 30K dollars on home-based business opportunities of all types, MLM's, Real Estate, Options Trading, Pre-paid legal, etc. etc. etc. Market America is the ONLY one that ever paid me any actual money. Anyone claiming this is a Pyramid scheme, MLM or otherwise, a scam, obviously, has no idea what they are talking about. It is none of those things. Those claims, more often than not, are made by people who never actually even got into market america or by people who where actually looking for a pyramid or other "easy money" scheme and did not realize that they would actually have to work - hard, to develop an actual business in order to become successful and get paid the "big money." Those people will not be successful in any business. Like any other "real" business you would attempt, this opportunity pays you proportionately to the effort YOU put into it. It is a GREAT home-based opportunity for those who are coachable and who are willing to follow the business plan and WORK at it. It has the most detailed business and training pan of any program I've ever tried and is, easily, the best of all of the home-based opportunities I ever tried. As, I indicated, I wasted A LOT of time and money on other programs before finding this one. Most importantly, it also is NOT a get rich quick scheme and nobody in the company ever represents it as such. It is a BUSINESS and it requires WORK and it takes dedication and time to build the business, just like any other business that you would try to build. That is the way it is presented from the very first moment you see the business plan. Another point, there are NO monthly minimum purchase requirements! Market America provides significant incentives to purchase each month but it is NOT a requirement. These are tiered based on where you are in the development in your business and you would be foolish not purchase at your tier every month but are not required to. Again, are you going to treat your business like a business? Why wouldn't you? If you owned a shoe store would you buy your shoes from somewhere else? Of course not. Of all those programs I have been involved with over the years, Market America has the LEAST amount of actual Requirements. It is up to you. This is an important point because I have been in several MLM's, prior to Market America, that REQUIRED me to purchase a minimum amount every month. Also, there are not NO monthly or Annual training REQUIREMENTS. There are several training required, and they are offered in your local community or online. They are progressive with the development of your business. Other monthly and annual conferences are encouraged not required. Again, it is a proven fact the unfranchise owners who choose to attend those events are more successful and develop significantly more quickly than those who choose not to. That is just common sense. The more training that you get yourself and your team in front of the quicker that you develop and become successful. I can't even believe this would be a subject of contention with anyone. Now for the other side of the coin. The products and services that market america offers through it shop.com portal are NOT the same crap that you can get at your local drug store or Wal-mart. They are Exceptional products. With the exception of one product that didn't agree with me, everyone that I've used if far superior to anything else I have ever found or I wouldn't use it. To be clear, I do not use and have not tried all of the products, for instance, I have no need for the highly rated cosmetics ; ) but I have tried hundreds of the products and I do use dozens in my home on a routine basis Which leads me to the last point. Market America offers thousands of products, not one or two or ten or twenty... Strictly from a profit perspective, if you had the opportunity to own a corner market/convenience store or a super Wal-mart which would you choose to own? Obviously, the Wal-mart... it offers more products to more people making it way more profitable, as business. Market America has dozens of ways to make money through a dozen different "lines" with thousands of products and services... One more thing, I have ordered every month since April of 2001 and never had a single issue in my shipment, even when I was serving overseas in Afghanistan. Plus, I've only had one customer come to me dissatisfied with their purchase and I immediately refunded her purchase price, even though she used the entire bottle of the product. Having said all of this, market america is not for everyone and not everyone will be successful or make big money with market america but, in my observation Market America isnot the problem with those that fail, it is those individuals themselves whom fail to do what the successful people consistently do do. I would bet, based on my experiences across a multitude of different opportunities, Market America has MORE successful people making more big money than any other opportunity out there, at least that I have found. In the end, YOU still have to do the work, the same work you would have to do in any other business and with significantly less investment, capital, and effort than any other franchise or brick and mortar business.

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Connie Cappel
July 5th, 2018 Shorewood, IL DETAILS
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A product brokerage company with stringent regulations. Amazing exclusive products. Building 2 teams to infinity where you get 100% of 100% of the business volume created beneath you plus the volume from sales of your own. No levels ever! No breakaways! Left & a Right side ONLY. Business volume accumulates for 360 days from the order was placed. No flush at the end of the month. Very fair playing ground where you can make more than the people above you. I would never be associated with multi level marketing. Excellent customer service!

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Hien
June 12th, 2018 Grand Prairie, TX DETAILS
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Its a scam. Dont buy anything from this company if you dont want loose your money . I order about $500 of products from this company but my order never come . I trying call customers services ong their people work their very rude and they did want correct their mistake all .

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Christian Kay
December 14th, 2017 Redding, CA DETAILS
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Market America is a revolutionary business. They offer a wide range of exclusive products, anything from chemical-free cleaning supplies, isotonic supplements, makeup, personal care, pet health, auto care and more. Not only that but you can shop the stores you already do such as Macy's, Saks 5th, Walmart, Target, Nike and thousands more, you get paid through cashback, your customers get cashback and you get volume for all those purchases! If somebody introduced you to this business, sit down with them and have them show you the comp plan, it will blow your mind.

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OLSEN
September 11th, 2017 McKinney, TX

Their Isontonix supplements are great, but they are really pricey comparing to similar products out there. In order to make money in this business you need to sign people up, the more the better. Despite they try to sugarcoat this as not an MLM, it actually is. That's literally true you can make quite some money out of it but you need to have a lot of people signing up and buying things in your organization. And 90% of the time, people will turn you down when you disclose the true business nature and the way it works. So that's why most people (95%) who joined this business will never be able to make a dime out of it. Their sign up fee is $399+tax, and every month you need to purchase a min of products no less than $120 . They will also charge you $99 renewal fee each year. They also highly recommend you attending their bi-annual conferences (one in Miami and one in Greensville) and each costs $200 just for the ticket, not to mention your own traveling costs. So my opinion is, if you are not an outgoing, outspoken type of person, and if you don't have a huge personal network, nor much time to attend their local and national seminars, don't even think about joining this business. It will just suck your pocket dry one day.

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Jeanna
July 27th, 2017

Their products are awesome. The Isotonix products are priced pretty fair and actually work, especially OPC3, vitamin B complex and Joint Health. These are the best products I've found on the market.

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[email protected]
March 14th, 2017 Tacoma, WA

Market America is revolutionizing the way people shop and earn money. The Economy is you and all the people around you. I love their Isotonix range which gives maximum absorption and maximum bioavailability.

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Darren Ern
February 14th, 2017

Excellent products and online business platform whicg enables distributors to make money from retail profits, duplicating and sponsoring junior partners and converting spendings into earnings. Most of the distributors show the plan via Exclusive Online Business Previews and Workshops.

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Mark
January 4th, 2017

Good compensation plan to leverage income and good product quality

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Jim Davenport
November 5th, 2016

Market America's Isotonix products were surprisingly good. I never thought that I would switch my supplements, but here I am taking almost all MA vitamins. As for the shopping savings, I've been shopping on shop.com first before heading over to my every-day internet stores, and I've already made decent cash back with the last few months. Easy savings, good products.

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Jen
May 31st, 2016 San Bruno, CA

All the products i purchased are amazing. I noticed a huge difference after using their stuff. I love the fact that they are also partnership with a bunch of big names stores since i am a online shopper. They just have so much more to offer comparing to other companies. Love their their paying system since its a "Group Buying Power" instead of getting paid by "Levels or Percentage". Just need to learn how to convert spending into earning. On top of that you get cashbacks!

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Monica Dell
May 16th, 2016 Stratford, CT

I am surprised this company isn't ranked #1. I spent several years evaluating businesses and franchises, and Market America is really unlike the others on this list. It's not the same business model as a MLM, so really shouldn't even be on here. The compensation is set up very different in the respect that distributors do not get paid on "levels" and they don't get paid different percentages. So it doesn't matter if you started 20 years ago or a week ago. You should always be able to make more then your upline. Not to mention, the reps are not paid on "recruiting" people, and they get paid on volume of sales. That is a major positive difference. The company is a Network Marketing company, so that hold similar to these other companies. People network with others to provide them with exclusive products. Market America does not have just 1 product line, but rather several thousand products within multi-billion dollar industries. So there is something for everyone, not a 1 trick pony where people always get tired of it. Overall, the business is unique, versatile, and provides a great opportunity.

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Duane Kidman
January 7th, 2016 Irving, TX

Market America (MA) appears to be a stable company and growing internationally. The compensation plan is good and bad: Good if you convert your and everyone else to their products that provide higher points, Bad if you rely on Partner Store product purchases as the point system is low. MA products offer higher than average quality and value if used as prescribed. The Nutritional and Make-up are some of the best in the industry. The education system is good, but training is only as strong as the team you join. Some teams offer little to no training (primary reason why many drop-out), while other teams have high expectations (more than 5-10 hours per week). The plan states lofty goals in 2-3 years with part-time effort. The reality is that you must work 20 hours per week to build and maintain a team, and the average rate of growth at 20 hours per week will take 5-10 years before replacing middle to middle-upper class incomes. Yes, some have generated a successful business in 12 months, others in 2-3 years, but this does not represent the majority. Despite "Best Company's" recommendation, this is a good company to join if you are willing to put in the effort and sustain like any other Network Marketing business. Highly recommended.

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