The Company: PayCation
Current CEO: David Manning
Startup Cost: $99 - $145
The company was founded in 2014 by David Manning as a discount travel membership using a multi level marketing business model. David is responsible for 6 travel companies that I know of, at least 2-3 of which are now defunct. Here's a list of the ones I found:
- Xstream Travel
- Travelworks International
- Hi 5
- Yes Travelers
That said, I'm definitely not someone to run a person down just because they've had a few failures along the road to success, not by a long shot. I believe failure is a key part of achieving success for any entrepreneur and if you're not making mistakes, you're doing it wrong.
What does concern me however, is the potential underlying reason for this constant closing and re-opening of companies. Maybe it's totally above board, or maybe it's something a little more sketchy. I really can't say for sure either way.
The Membership Program
Based on my research it does appear to be a reasonably valuable membership in terms of travel package discounts but since I have not joined any of their paid memberships I can't say for sure. There's not a lot of customer reviews out there either from what I could see.
So... I encourage you to share your experience with this membership below if you've been a member or still are, I'm keen to hear your thoughts! Anyway, here's the different levels of membership and what they include...
There is a free option to just sign up and browse the deals but these are exactly the same as what you will find from a free website like Booking.com as I show below. Here's a hotel based in Los Angeles for example, the first deal is from PayCation (PCN):
Now here's the exact same deal through Booking.com:
The main company website doesn't discuss this option at all but the booking website leads to this. After doing some research I found that this costs $29.95 to join and continues costing you $24.95 per month to be a member. There's apparently some great deals here but the question still remains: do the potential savings justify the almost $300 yearly cost?
Referral Travel Customer (RTC)
This costs $99.95 and $69.95 per month to access the 'best prices' and the ability to earn commissions for referring people to buy travel deals etc. This is going to cost you $939.35 in the first year so for this to be worth it the deals would want to be pretty awesome. You'd also want to be going away for several trips per year or at least one decent holiday to make it worth your while.
The Business Opportunity & Compensation Plan
The idea is to sign up, pay the monthly fees and recruit others to do the same thing- pretty standard stuff for a network marketing company. The first thing I noticed is how they don't provide the actual compensation plan on their website. This is never a good sign and makes me wonder what they are trying to hide. Then again, sometimes they just don't want to confuse prospects with the details as comp plans are very confusing at the best of times.
They do provide a pretty good explanation of the different aspects of the plan so I was able to determine what it's all about...
Ways You Can Earn
This allows you to earn between 25-75% of the commissions PCN receive themselves since they themselves are affiliates for third party travel companies. You have pay $15 to get 'certified' and also have recruited at least 1 person to get the full 75%.
When YOU get people to buy travel packages through your unique links, PCN will receive a commission from third party companies they are affiliated with. After that process takes place you then receive 75% of whatever PCN has been paid themselves. It might sound like you're getting big 75% commissions but that is simply not the case.
I did some research on a few travel companies with affiliate programs and it turns out most of the companies PCN are affiliated with are only paying out between 2-7% commissions.
Quick Example: Someone buys a $1000 holiday package through YOUR replicated travel website. Cool! PCN will then get paid about $50 for this if we work off an average commission rate of 5%. After about 1-3 months of processing between PCN and the travel company, you are now going to be paid 75% of that $50 commission. This means your commission would be $37.50 in total, or 3.75% of the original purchase made through your website.
I have to say this is not worth it AT ALL and the reason is because you could just sign up to promote companies like Priceline.com yourself directly for free. Essentially you are paying almost $1000 per year to earn LESS money than if you simply signed up to PriceLine.com for free and promoted their packages directly.
This is a classic case of paying the middle man when there's no need for it and the fact that they market this as an opportunity to "earn some of the best commissions in the travel industry at 75% commissions!" makes me lose trust and respect for this company. The good news is this is only one aspect of the comp plan, here's the rest...
Direct Sales Commission
You earn $50 whenever one of your direct referrals purchases the $99 RTC membership as a one time payment.
This is a bonus starting on your 3rd direct referral on your first level that pays $20 each for unlimited width. This coded bonus is also paid on their first 2 consultants and their first 2 consultants, unlimited levels deep.
First Level Coded Matching Bonus
On top of the above commission you also receive a 150% match on the coded bonuses your first 2 direct referrals earn and a 100% commission on what your 3rd direct referral earns each week to unlimited width.
Residual Coded Bonus
Starting from your 3rd direct referral on level 1, you will earn $3.20 each month for those paying their monthly membership. You'll also earn $3.20 for their first 2 people, and those first 2 people's people, down to infinity.
First Level Residual Matching Bonus
You can receive a 100% match starting from your 3rd direct referrals residual commission out to unlimited width. So the total amount of $3.20 commissions your first level achieve throughout their organisation, you'll also receive on top of everything else.
This pays a $2 commission on each person on your first level after you hit your seventh direct referral. You can also earn the same $2 bonus on each of their first 6 referrals and their first 6 and so on down to infinity. I have to admit this does seem pretty cool but the commission is pretty tiny so you're going to need a pretty massive organisation to make any money with this.
The 4x7 Matrix
This is a different structure to what we have discussed up to this point. Think of this like a kind of 'shadow downline' using a different structure and everyone you recruit goes into this automatically. You can only ever have 4 people on your first level and this quadruples on each level down 7 levels deep.
The deeper you go the higher the levels of commissions possible and to go deeper you need to achieve higher ranks within the company. These higher ranks are achieved by recruiting, recruiting and recruiting.
Since you can only have so many people on each level you will automatically 'spill over' new recruits to the next lower level once you reach the maximum. This is the same for everyone so it's theoretically possible to have recruits automatically placed in your matrix downline by your up line.
Of course this all depends on who's above you and if experience is anything to go by, not everything that looks good on paper is that good in reality.
Getting Started & Staying Active
Getting started costs between $99.95- $149.95 and staying active is as simple as maintaining your $69.95 monthly membership. Pretty simple in comparison to other mlm's.
Joining Fee= $149.95
Staying Active= $69.95 per month
This is about the average first year cost with mlm's and if you are into travelling (and the deals are actually good) the membership could pay for itself.
What I Liked
- Seems like a pretty legit membership overall and could potentially save you some money
- Low-moderate cost to start up and stay active
- Simple qualifying requirements
What I Didn't Like
- The history of the CEO David Manning may be worth investigating further
- Nonsense refund policy of only 3 days by mail, person or 'telegram' which makes it near impossible
- They teach the warm market technique to grow your organisation which is less than ideal
- Many claim the savings really aren't there compared with free alternatives
It's nice to see a network marketing company with a half decent product and a reasonable looking compensation plan, I also liked how simple and affordable it was to stay active. I wasn't a fan of the underlying facts about the 75% commissions and I think this could be more readily explained to people on their website. I also think there are better ways to grow your organisation than relying on family and friends. In fact, I know there are.
There you have it! Whether you join PayCation or not is your call but at least you know some of the pros and cons and what to expect if you do decide to join.
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