Market America Pyramid Scheme – Scam or Legit MLM? Read This Review!

Are you looking for a Market America MLM review? Is Market America a pyramid scheme? If you want to make money online, you might have heard of this program. But you may wonder if it is a scam.

There is a good chance that you heard about Market America MLM through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home through Market America MLM.

I have a passion to help people explore the best money-making opportunities online, so over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of similar online programs like Market America MLM.

To help you make a more informed decision, I have thoroughly researched the Market America MLM so I can tell you more about it.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Market America MLM. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to Market America MLM that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

In this Market America MLM review, I’m going to cover the following:

What is Market America MLM?

Market America is a company founded in 1992 by JR Ridinger. He was a big deal in Amway before deciding to start his own MLM. The company appears to be doing well. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave them a good rating at the time this review was written. and may be better options if the idea of an MLM gives you the creeps.

According to their website, Market America’s products have been endorsed by celebrities and featured in Allure, Vogue, US Weekly, and People Magazines. Everything appears to be in order, but let us investigate further.

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What Products Does Market America Offer?

They sell a wide range of products both from their own company and from other companies with whom they collaborate. 

They also have a lot of categories to choose from at the top of their website. These are some examples:

  • clothes
  • shoes
  • beauty
  • electronics
  • health and nutrition
  • kids
  • travel
  • grocery
  • shopping essentials

What is MLM?

Before we get into Market America MLM, I’d like to explain what MLM is and how it differs from traditional business models.

Multilevel marketing companies are also known as direct sales companies or network marketing companies.

An MLM company does not pay you a salary.

You make money by recruiting others to join your business rather than selling products. If you hire someone and they start making money, you get paid a commission on the sales and recruits they bring in.

There are several levels to this (hence multi-level).

Think about a triangle. If the person at the top of the triangle recruits ten people, and each of these ten recruits ten more, and each of these ten recruits ten more, you will receive commissions from everyone in the triangle because they are all in your direct downline (in an MLM, the people beneath you are known as your ‘downline,’ and you are their ‘upline’).

You can earn $1100 by recruiting 10 people.

Even if your MLM company offers a wide range of products, most people prefer to recruit others because they can earn a lifetime passive income from them, whereas if they sold a product, they would only receive a one-time commission.

People at the top make a lot of money because money trickles up to the top of the triangle, while people at the bottom make the least.

The ultimate goal of someone who works for a company like Market America MLM is to have as many people in their ‘downline’ as possible, allowing them to earn large amounts of passive income.

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How Does Market America MLM Work?

They provide opportunities through their “UnFranchise” business, claiming that it will help their distributors make more money, get out of debt, have more free time, retire early, and feel safe.

Before you can begin, you must first sign up and become qualified.

There are numerous ways to earn a living, but these are the most common.

  1. Earn cash back 
  2. Retail commission
  3. Residual commission
  4. Shopping Annuity
  5. Management Bonuses

The issue is that they charge exorbitant subscription, monthly, and other fees. Furthermore, in order to receive a commission, you must make a certain number of sales each month.

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Is Market America A Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them money or services in exchange for enrolling others.

A pyramid scheme is unsustainable and frequently a scam because members lose money as the number of recruits increases.

Those who want to join must pay a fee to an organization that runs a pyramid scheme. The organization will share a portion of the funds raised from each additional member they recruit as a reward.

The directors of the organization receive a portion of these payments (those at the top of the pyramid).

The scam is profitable for the directors whether or not they do any work. It is in the membership’s best interests to recruit and funnel money to the top of the pyramid.

Such organizations almost never sell valuable goods or services. The scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members because it does not produce any goods or services.

Pyramid schemes are very similar to exponential growth mathematics. The size of a pyramid grows dramatically with each level. A pyramid scheme would have to grow indefinitely in order to make money for everyone who joins. This is impossible due to the planet’s finite population.

The scam will fail in the absence of new recruits and other income sources. Because the largest terms are at the bottom of this geometric sequence, the majority of people live in the pyramid’s bottom layer.

Workers in pyramid schemes typically promote the company rather than the product they are selling. At some point, no one at the bottom of the pyramid will make any money, while only those at the top will profit.

People at the top of the pyramid usually make money, while those at the bottom usually lose money. Because they are at the bottom of a pyramid scheme, the majority of participants lose money.

Members at the scheme’s bottom will have no chance of profiting if the scheme fails, but they will have already paid.

Is Market America, then, a pyramid scheme?

No. Market America does not operate as a pyramid scheme. It’s possible for members of the company to make money by selling their products.

They don’t have to make money solely through recruitment.

Watch the short video below to learn more:

What is the Market America MLM’s Compensation Plan?

There are a lot of complicated things to consider, and how you and your downlines earn points is a big part of Market America.

Residual Income – Binary Compensation Plan

You can get at least two people to join your team if you create your own UnFranchise Model. And if they continue to bring in new members, not only will you receive the third-party commission (or more), but so will the people who brought them in.

It’s nothing like the unilevel strategy. It’s marketed as “vertical marketing,” but it’s actually a Binary MLM system.

They keep separate records for Business Volume (BV), which is sales of products only sold by the company, and Internet Business Volume (IBV), which is sales of products from various partner stores.

When you buy a product for yourself, sell it at retail, have a customer offer to buy it, or have your sales team buy it, you earn BV and IBV.

To earn $3600 per week, recruit 200 DBC owners below you, each with 100 BV or IBV ($200 product).

You need a lot of active UFOs to get this much BV and IBV. They did not state that this was the only way to get out of debt in their “proven plan of success.”

Earn Cashback

Start earning cashback by purchasing something online. Then, earn cashback on your customers’ online purchases.

Depending on the product, you can earn anywhere from 2% to 50% cash back, with an additional 0.5 percent if you refer someone.

Shopping Annuity

The Shopping Annuity is a concept that allows people to use and UnFranchise Business to turn their spending into income.

Simply put, as you shop, you earn credits.

Retail Profits

Create a list of preferred customers and offer them a commission ranging from 30% to 50% of the gross retail profit. This, however, only applies to sales between two people.

​Management Bonuses

If you and your team complete the BV commission cycle in the same field, you’ll receive a $600 management bonus.

This means that the better your team performs, the more bonus money and/or money you will be eligible for.

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Market America MLM

1. The Good Reviews are Written by Market America MLM’s Affiliates

You probably have found some other reviews of Market America MLM and all of them are saying good words.

But all of them are actually paid to write, meaning they will receive a commission if you join Market America MLM via their links. Therefore, their words are often biased and not trustworthy.

Those reviews are simply sales pages and do not tell you the hidden costs and the difficulties of really making money.

By common sense, should you trust someone who has a conflict of interest that receives huge compensation by “reviewing” the program? Probably not. They are not reviewing, but selling!

Therefore, I recommend reading the reviews of those written by the non-affiliates of Market America MLM.

2. Very Few People Can Make Money With Market America

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like Market America.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

3. Losses From Market America MLM Are Reframed As Investments

Market America MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

4. Market America MLM is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for Market America if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

5. You May Need to Purchase Market America Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like Market America. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

6. Market America Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, Market America offers overpriced products. There are many other brands that offer similar products but at lower prices.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell Market America products because your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price. This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

7. Market America’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like Market America is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider Market America to be a legitimate business opportunity.

8. Exaggerated Claims Of Income

Market America, like any other MLM company, makes exaggerated income claims, but in reality, very few people make a good living by promoting Market America.

Market America’s low retention rate can also be discouraging, as less than 41% of its distributors are active.

According to Market America’s payouts to distributors, over 99 percent of Market America distributors never make a profit.

9. Market America Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

Market America is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

10. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like Market America put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with Market America require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this Market America review.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Market America MLM?

Simply complete their application form and register on their website. Market America will then redirect you to a page where you can purchase a $399 starter kit. Starter Kits include the following items:

  • Health & Personal Care
  • Motives Cosmetics
  • TLS Weight Loss Solution
  • MA WebCenters. 

They are not inexpensive. Their monthly fee of $50 is $200 per quarter, which is an additional costly payment.

When you first start promoting the opportunity and recruiting others to join you, you must pay for access to the back office and your own website.

All payments are made in:

  • Starter Kit ($399)
  • Monthly Fee ($50/month or $200/quarterly)
  • Access to Back Office and your own domain website (S20)
  • Annual Renewal Fee ($99)

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Lawsuits And Allegations Against Market America MLM

Market America reached an agreement with the SEC in 1999 to settle charges regarding how it sold stocks. They didn’t admit or deny guilt, but they did pay a $200,000 settlement plus interest and a $100,000 fine.

The federal government sued Market America, accusing it of being an illegal pyramid scheme that duped Chinese immigrants into believing they could make money in ways that were simply not possible. 

California residents filed the lawsuit, alleging that the company violated both the Racketeering Influence and Corporate Organizations Act and California law. 

According to one of the claims, representatives were instructed to sell products to their family and friends in China, and that finding new distributors was more important than selling the products themselves.

According to a similar lawsuit, the company specifically targeted Chinese Americans who did not have access to regular legal channels to help them protect their rights. 

Other allegations include the company’s claims that anyone can achieve any level of financial success they desire by following a two-year plan and that the only way to fail is to give up. 

However, the company’s owners were able to build a business worth $7.3 billion while the majority of plaintiffs received nothing. 

According to the lawsuit, people did not make money because the marketing plan always gave more points for recruiting new Distributors than for selling products. As a result, over 90% of Distributors lost money on average.

Market America MLM Positive and Negative Feedbacks By Real Users

Positive Feedbacks

  • There are various types of products, so you can compare prices and quality before purchasing.

Negative Feedbacks

  • Expensive Start Kit Packages and Other Fees Involved
  • No Free Training
  • Too Expensive Products
  • Several Lawsuit
  • Not DSA Accredited
  • Out-of-Date Income Disclosure

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Is Market America MLM a Scam?

I cannot say Market America MLM is a scam for legal reasons. A scam is defined as “a dishonest scheme; a fraud” by the Oxford Living Dictionary. 

Can you make money selling Market America products? We already know that a majority of Market America reps did not earn any money. A few people do make money but only if you put in a lot of effort. And usually, the way they make a lot of money from Market America is by recruiting aggressively.

Also, Market America blatantly makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members. Therefore, some people do consider Market America MLM a scam.

My #1 recommended platform, however, has seen a lot of beginners earn four figures a month after joining it for a year.

I will tell more about my #1 recommended platform at the end of this review.

Final Verdict: Market America MLM Review

Here comes the conclusion of my Market America MLM review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining Market America MLM to make money.

You will have a tough time at the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your Market America commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your Market America business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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The Best Alternative of Market America MLM To Make Passive Income Online

If you’re beginning your online business journey, you deserve a programme much better than Market America MLM.

My #1 recommended platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

Market America MLM Review

Compared with Authority Hacker, Wealthy Affiliate has a much longer history, which has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade. Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has a free and premium membership. The premium membership only costs $49/month or $395/year.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

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