Market America MLM Review: Is It a Legitimate Business Opportunity or a Scam?

Market America is a controversial and complicated multi-level marketing program that deserves extensive research if you’re considering joining as one of its distributors. Market America sells a wide variety of items including cosmetics, weight loss products, skin care products, electronics, food, cleaning products, auto care products, and more. So what are you interested in? Whether Market America is a legitimate MLM or a scam? Find out in our Market America MLM review where we’ll give an in depth description of what it is and how it works including the history of its founding, how to join the company and its compensation plan, some of the complaints and lawsuits that have been filed against Market America, what we like about Market America and what we don’t like, what people say about Market America and our verdict.

What is Market America?

In order to understand Market America, we first need to explain what a multi-level marketing program is. Multi-level marketing programs are also known as MLMs and they are a type of direct selling. In an MLM, there are two types of participants: the company that creates and sells the products (in this case Market America) and the independent distributors who sell the products.

The independent distributors are also known as “consultants” and they earn commissions on their sales as well as a percentage of the sales from any other consultants that they have recruited to join Market America, creating what is known as a “downline.”

Market America was founded in 1992 by JR Ridinger and his wife Loren. The company is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina and it has over 90,000 independent distributors worldwide. They founded the company on the idea of “one-to-one marketing,” which means that each distributor is matched with a customer based on their individual needs and preferences.

In 2019, Market America had $12 billion in sales and was ranked #32 on Direct Selling News’ list of the Global 100 direct selling companies.

What products does Market America sell?

Here is a list of some of the products Market America sells:

  • Cosmetics: Market America’s line of cosmetics is called Motives and it includes foundation, powder, concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, lip gloss, and more.
  • Weight loss products: Market America sells a variety of weight loss products including meal replacement shakes, appetite suppressants, and fat burners.
  • Skin care products: Market America’s skin care line is called Isotonix and it includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, and more.
  • Electronics: Market America sells a variety of electronics including laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, and more.
  • Food: Market America sells food products including meal replacement shakes, protein bars, and more.
  • Cleaning products: Market America’s line of cleaning products is called Prime Time and it includes laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, and more.
  • Auto care products: Market America’s line of auto care products is called MAuto and it includes car wax, car wash soap, tire shine, and more.

And more! Market America sells a wide variety of items, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular MLM.

Market America gets its products from a variety of sources. For example, the Motives line of cosmetics is produced by Market America, while the Isotonix line of skin care products is produced by a company called NutraMetrix.

Some of Market America’s other products are produced by well-known companies such as Samsung (electronics) and Sony (electronics). Market America also has a partnership with Shop.com, which is an online shopping mall where you can purchase products from over 1500 different retailers.

How does Market America work?

Now that we know a little bit more about Market America and the types of products it sells, let’s take a look at how the company works. As we mentioned before, Market America is a multi-level marketing program, which means that there are two types of participants: the company that creates and sells the products (in this case Market America) and the independent distributors who sell the products.

In order to join Market America, you must first be recruited by another consultant and then purchase a “starter kit” that includes Market America products and sales materials. The cost of the starter kit can range from $99-$499.

Market America claims that it is different from other MLMs because it uses a system called the “UnFranchise Business Development System” which is supposed to help its consultants build their own “customized marketing plan.”

The UnFranchise System is a collection of Market America-branded products, services, and technologies that are available exclusively to Market America Consultants. The system is designed to help consultants grow their businesses by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Some of the products and services included in the UnFranchise System are:

  • Market America’s Shopping Annuity program, which allows you to earn cash back on your everyday purchases.
  • Market America’s Motives line of cosmetics.
  • Market America’s Isotonix line of nutritional supplements.
  • Market American’s MAuto line of auto care products.
  • Market America’s web portal and mobile app.

How do you make money with Market America?

There are two ways consultants can make money with Market America: retail sales and recruitment. Market America pays its consultants a commission on both types of activity.

  • Retail Sales: Market America pays its consultants a commission on retail sales, which is the sale of products to customers who are not independent distributors. Market America says that consultants can earn up to 50% commission on retail sales, but the actual percentage depends on factors such as product type and volume of sales.
  • Recruitment: Market America also pays commissions for recruitment, which is the process of recruiting new consultants. Market America says that consultants can earn up to 20% commission on recruitment, but the actual percentage depends on factors such as the number of people recruited and the level they are recruited at.

In order to receive commissions, Market America requires that consultants maintain a minimum monthly sales volume (PV), which is the total amount of product sales generated by a consultant’s team. The minimum PV varies depending on the consultant’s level, but it is typically around $100-$200.

Market America also has a program called “UnFranchise Auto-Delivery,” which is an automatic monthly shipment of Market America products that consultants can sign their customers up for. Consultants earn a commission on these shipments, as well as any retail sales they generate.

What about complaints and lawsuits?

Market America has been the subject of several complaints and lawsuits over the years. The most common complaints include allegations of pyramid scheme activity, false advertising, and product safety issues.

Market America has also been sued several times, most notably in 2003 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC’s complaint accused Market America of operating an illegal pyramid scheme and making false and unsubstantiated claims about its products. Market America settled the case without admitting any wrongdoing and agreed to pay a $15 million fine.

Is Market America a pyramid scheme?

Market America is a complicated and controversial company, and there is no easy answer to this question. While Market America does have some characteristics of a pyramid scheme, it also has legitimate business practices. We recommend doing extensive research before deciding whether or not to join Market America as a consultant.

What we like about Market America:

  • Market America sells a wide variety of products.
  • Market America has been in business for over 25 years and is a publicly traded company.
  • Market America has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • The company has a low minimum monthly sales volume requirement.

What we don’t like about Market America:

  • Market America has been the subject of several complaints and lawsuits over the years.
  • Some people have accused Market America of being a pyramid scheme.
  • Market America’s compensation plan is complicated and difficult to understand.

Are there alternatives to Market America?

There are many alternatives to Market America. Other options include:

  • Multi-level marketing companies that sell similar products, such as Amway, Mary Kay, and Herbalife.
  • Direct selling companies that sell similar products, such as Avon and Tupperware.
  • Retail stores that sell similar products, such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

If you are interested in joining a multi-level marketing company, we recommend doing research on several different companies before making a decision.

Our verdict

After doing extensive research, we have decided not to recommend Market America. We believe there are better MLM options available that are less controversial and have fewer complaints.

Market America is a complicated and controversial company with a long history of complaints and lawsuits. We recommend doing extensive research before deciding whether or not to join as a consultant.

When considering joining a multi-level marketing company, it is important to research the following:

  • The company’s history and reputation.
  • The products the company sells.
  • The compensation plan.
  • What other people are saying about the company.

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