What is Market America

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, this company has grown to be a huge force in a few different industries. Their website touts over 5.5 billion dollars in retail sales. And, individuals have earned over 2.9 billion dollars in commissions and retail profits! Find out how you can get a piece of the action and learn what is Market America!

What is Market America - 1

What is Market America

What is Market America - marketamerica shop

Review: Market America / Shop.Com
Website: MarketAmerica.Com / Shop.Com
Name: UnFranchise Business
Owners: Mr. Marc Ashley (COO)
Mr. James H. Ridinger(President/CEO)
Mrs. Loren A. Ridinger (Senior Vice President)
Mr. Martin L. Weissman (Executive Vice President)
Cost: $399 + A variety of required fees, automated monthly purchases, meeting attendance fees, 1st year cost in the thousands at least.
Rank: 20 out of 100

What is Market America – Overview
What is Market America - MarketAmericaLogo

A couple of days of research into Market America has left this writer with too much information to put in the context of this review, so I will endeavor as always to to be as accurate as possible and be reasonably brief.

Market America is an MLM (multi-level marketing) platform for the distribution of several different product lines. They prefer not to use the term MLM, but seem to fit the category perfectly.

Along with selling the products, “Unfranchise” distributors must also recruit other distributors in order to receive a commission. They must also meet certain targeted sales goals.

A somewhat elaborate commission structure, and long list of requirements that one must meet in order to qualify for commissions may make this a difficult business model for many to be successful at. Most estimates indicate that less than 1% of people that enter the program are successful.

These numbers are similar for other MLM type programs.

What is Market America – Founder James H Ridinger

The founder of the company James H What is Market America - james h ridinger, JR RidingerRidinger was a successful Amway distributor beginning in the mid 1970s. In my opinion, he has rehashed the Amway method with Market America.

Mr. Ridinger had some trouble with the SEC in 1999 regarding how the company sold stock during a public offering in 1994.

He was able to resolve the issue without admitting guilt by promising to not engage in that activity in the future, and paying fines.

The company was made private in 2001 when the CEO purchased all outstanding shares.

What is Market America – The Products

As mentioned earlier Market America and Shop.Com offer a large variety of products across several different product lines.

Including the following brands that are exclusive to Market America

  • Motives – Cosmetics
  • Lumière de Vie® – Skin Care
  • TLS® Weight Loss Solution
  • nutraMetrix – Nutrition Supplement

Shop.com offers product categories including clothes, shoes, beauty, home, electronics, health & nutrition, kids, travel, and groceries.

Regarding the above mentioned exclusive brands, anecdotal online reports indicate that those products may be greatly overpriced for similar product from other brands / sources.

Since there is a requirement for the distributor to sell a certain amount of product from those exclusive brands, if they are not offering the end customer a good value, this could make it very difficult for the distributor.

What is Market America – The Reputation
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Click image for full BBB report

The Good

The Better Business Bureau gives a shining A+ Rating to Market America! You can click the image to see the full report.

Market America has a huge reputation! The interesting thing is, it seems to be strongly polarized.

Anyone involved with the organization will obviously sing it’s praises. I have found quite a number of individual reviews and comments that support the organization.

Many people are very convinced that the system works. People that believe in the program say that those who say it doesn’t work, just “didn’t follow the program”, or do what is necessary to succeed in business.

What is Market America – Cultlike?

Some facets of MLM organizations have been compared to religious or cult like experiences. Persons who join the organization are indoctrinated in the cult of success. Success that comes through pushing the company platform.

They are contacted personally by individuals that very strongly suggest that they need to attend a variety of meetings. Some say that the meetings are rah rah sessions designed to fire up the audience to recruit more people into the program.

The upline will tell you that “if you want to be successful you have to attend the meetings.” Ticket price for the event below was $200

What is Market America - 2014 world conference in Miami
Market America 2014 World Conference Miami

Your immediate upline will try to get you to approach your family and friends and try to recruit them into the business in order to “build your network.”

Some may consider this proselytization.

Find an interesting article “The Cult of MLM” Here.

The Bad

On the downside of the reputation perspective, there are a ton of complaints about Market America.

Here is one complaint you can find on RipOff Report.com.

After a year in the business, I made at most $450. I went to ALL the seminars, listened to ALL the audios, and spoke to ALL my friends about it. I recently had to go through my whole contact book and apologize to all the damage that I created with this business. I had to really get out of the hole I dug for myself with this business.

The problem with the MLM type business model seems to be that the overwhelming majority of people that get in do NOT make much if any money.

Wikipedia has a good article about MLM that includes some good data about income levels. You can see this information here.

What is Market America – Pros and Cons


  • Large corporate structured company.
  • Length of time in business since 1992.
  • Large variety of products.
  • Defined plan for new “Unfranchise” business owners.
  • A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Better Business Bureau Accredited.


  • MLM type program.
  • Recruiting required to earn commission.
  • $399 Starter Kit – Required.
  • Cult like MLM business model.
  • Most people that enter the business do not make money.
  • Required quarterly purchases.
  • Required Meetings, Seminars, etc.
  • No Income Disclosure Statement Available

What is Market America – Who is it for?

Market America and the associated UnFranchise distributorship program is designed to appeal to those that are interested in operating a business out of their home.

A very appealing picture is painted by the company. This image below can be very convincing.

marketamerica revenue

If you would like to see the details of the very convoluted compensation plan click here!

In real practice however, it appears that less than 5% of people really make any money over and above the costs of doing business.

What is Market America – Tools and Training

With an organization of this size you can be sure that you will have plenty of tools and training.

It starts with a lengthy book called the Career Manual you can see it here.

Here is a list of some of the training opportunities and their associated costs.

Business Support Materials Kit: $200
Business Presentations Meeting: $5
B5 Training: $15
NUOT Training: $15
ECCT Training: $50
Local Seminars: $30 Each
Regional Events: $70 Each
Major Events: $200 Each

What is Market America – Pricing

There is alway something to pay for at Market America! Most people get in by purchasing the Fast Start Kit for $399. Unfortunately that is just the beginning. Along with the list of things you will “need” to be successful, there is also a requirement to purchase product each month.

Subscription Fee:$129.95
Yearly Renewal Fee: $99.95
Unfranchise Management System: $20 per month
Fast Start Kit: $399+tax
Business Support Materials Kit: $200
Business Presentations Meeting: $5
B5 Training: $15
NUOT Training: $15
ECCT Training: $50
Local Seminars: $30 Each
Regional Events: $70 Each
Major Events: $200 Each

You will likely have to travel for some of the events you see above, so add the cost of travel and accommodations to your list of expenses.

What is Market America – My Final Opinion

Market America is a large, time tested, corporate MLM program that is expensive to have and maintain a membership at.

While there are some at the top that have managed to make a very, very good living, I don’t think that the average person has much chance at hitting it big. Industry standards are that less than 5% really make any money at all.

Interestingly, I cannot find an income disclosure statement for Market America.

I also think that their marketing method leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to honor, integrity and character.

I just don’t want to be encouraged, cajoled, shamed, or required, to submit my friends and family to the hard sell sales pitch of a quasi cult like company.

If you have a great product at a reasonable price people will flock to you to buy it. Market America requires their distributors and Unfranchise business operators to purchase a minimum quantity of product each month. It is quite possible that the products are not worth having.

I found several reports of product being received by the distributor NOT in saleable condition. Followed by difficulty receiving replacement or credit for the damaged goods.

Government regulators require companies like this to have a certain amount of product sales or they are considered to be pyramid schemes.

I’m sure that the purchase requirements mentioned above are to keep the regulators from closing them down.

If you are interested in a really good study about MLM companies I suggest the following read:

What is Market America - CAI 1
Click this image for full report!

And also this one!

What is Market America - CAI 2
Click this image for full report!

What is Market America – Rating

Based on the preponderance of evidence that MLM companies are not a good investment of your time and money, I have to give Market America a low score of only 20 out of 100

What is Market America at a Glance…

Review: Market America / Shop.Com / Unfranchise.com
Website: MarketAmerica.Com / Shop.Com / unfranchise.com
Name: UnFranchise BusinessWhat is Market America - danger-keep-out-sign
Owners: Mr. Marc Ashley (COO)

Mr. James H. Ridinger(President/CEO)
Mrs. Loren A. Ridinger (Senior Vice President)
Mr. Martin L. Weissman (Executive Vice President)
Cost: $399 + A variety of required fees, automated monthly purchases, meeting attendance fees

Rank: 20 out of 100

VERDICT: Legit Company (legally)

Scammy Methods, Most People Lose.

What is Market America - About Us Wa
Click this image to learn to create your own Successful Online Business!
Personal Note from the Author:profile1

I have been around the block a time or two when it comes to these online and home based businesses.

For a while I was an Amway Distributor. So I have a firm understanding of how these kinds of programs work.

I never really felt good about selling the Amway product, or the business. It just didn’t seem right.

Some would say I was trying to sell something I didn’t really believe in. And I would have to admit that is true. The products were mostly mediocre and overpriced for competitive product.

And, the sales method left a foul taste not only in my mouth, but in my soul.

The hard sell sales pitch is distasteful to me, and I am sure it is to you. Most of us will recoil from the attack of the hard sell sales pitch.

If you would like to see my #1 recommendation and learn how to have a successful online business just click here.

Please leave comments or questions below!


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6 thoughts on “What is Market America”

  1. Thanks for the long and interesting review. I’m always a little distrustful about MLM companies, but this doesn’t mean they are not legitimate companies. What really matters is if they’re products are good or not, but it’s good to know that they are overpriced. Is the quality of the products good?

    1. Hi Sandy!

      Thank you for visiting ILoveWealthyAffiliate.com and for your comment regarding What is Market America.

      I really appreciate your visit! As you can see in my review I did indicate that Market America is a legitimate and legal company. The biggest problem is the failure rate of the people that get involved thinking they are going to be able to change their lives. That is the promise they are sold. But in reality, very, very few achieve success.

      Regarding the product quality, they have a very extensive product line and there are mixed reviews. Some say that the products are above average in quality, but, that there are alternatives that cost less and are just as good.

      I mentioned in the article that there are also reports of Unfranchise distributors receiving product that is NOT in saleable condition! I would have to say that product would obviously be inferior.

      Thank you again for your visit! I hope you will engage in discussion with us here more often!


  2. Is Market America anything like Kleeneze? I tried that for a while about 12 years ago. it’s a bit old-fashioned in that it still involves physically distributing catalogues to customers. However, the multi-level marketing aspect was probably very similar. Also, that image of that huge conference, that reminds me of a Kleeneze conference I went to. I remember I was driven there by some people who were already part of it, and in the car they played a cassette recording of a previous conference. It kind of felt like they were trying to brainwash me. And when I was at the conference, they had various speakers who were talking about how successful they had become. I never made a profit and I left quite soon after that.

    1. Hi Marcus!

      Thank you for visiting ILoveWealthyAffiliate.Com and for your comment regarding “What is Market America.”

      I have to admit that I was completely unfamiliar with Kleeneze prior to your comment. I did take a few moments to go looking for information and found the Kleeneze website. My very brief look at the Kleeneze organization doesn’t really give me enough data to compare them with Market America other than it appears to be a Multi Level Marketing organization and I believe that they would be similar in that.

      There seems to be a “cult like” mentality or sales method with all MLM organizations. They have to sell the dream at least as hard as the products if not more. Without the continued development of a large downline, or, group of “independent distributors” the flow of money in the organization dries up.

      The “brainwashing” aspect of these kinds of organizations is one of the big red flags in my opinion.

      I have been involved with MLM’s in the past and find the sales method extremely distasteful.

      I believe that if you have a quality product at a reasonable price, customers will beat down your door to purchase. If you have to continually try to convince people how great the product or the organization is, it is very likely that neither are.

      Thank you again for your visit and your comment! I look forward to talking with you again in the future!


  3. Wow stop the bus!!!! A cost of $399 with a variety of required fees on top of automated monthly purchases?
    This sounds suspiciously like some sort of MLM system to me….very, very dangerous ground!
    Tell me – did you actually invest this money before reviewing the platform? I sincerely hope not for your sake!!!

    1. Hi Chris!

      Fortunately Chris I did NOT buy into Market America!

      I was able to find sufficient information that would discourage me from buying into their program. The sad part is that too many people don’t do the research and wind up buying in and eventually losing their money.

      I am generally not a fan of MLM type sales organizations. The cult like experience is a big turn off for me. Anyone that is selling “hype” has a tendency to turn me off very quickly.

      When I was young I was involved in a few different MLM experiences and none of them worked out for me. I just didn’t like the sales method. I believe that if you have a quality product at a reasonable price people will knock your door down to buy from you. You should have to browbeat your customers into a purchase.

      Don’t get me wrong, you do have to ask for the sale regardless of your product, but, you shouldn’t have to try to shame your customer into purchasing.

      Thanks again for your comment!


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