The Company: Team National
Current CEO: Angela Loehr Chrysler
Startup Cost: $795 - $2,195
Full Review of Team National
Dick Loehr started this company in 1997 as a direct selling savings membership company, the reigns have since been handed over to his daughter and now CEO Angela, Loerh Chrysler. They operate in the United States and distribute their core product (a membership to a savings club) through an mlm business model. They boast accreditations with the DSA, BBB and the US Chamber of Commerce.
One of the biggest things that annoyed me about this company is the serious lack of information they provide on their website. They have no link to their compensation plan or even an explanation of how it works. They also don’t explain anywhere on the website about what it costs to become a member or what exactly you are getting with your membership.
The strange part about this is that they do provide their income disclosure statement… while that’s a great thing it’s weird to have that document readily available and nothing else. I do like the general idea behind this of saving money on things you buy all the time so let’s dig a little deeper and see what it’s all about.
The Membership Explained
Apparently you are given access to a host of savings from personal care to automobile purchasing once you become a paying member. There are 1000’s of stores online and offline and you are given a directory to find the best places to shop. The discounts go up as far as 50% off which means you could recoup your investment rather quickly, even without selling anyone anything.
What Is The Cost?
A standard membership costs you $795 for two years and gives you one point (points explained later). A premium membership gives you 3 points and is a one time payment of $2195 for a lifetime membership.
Why They Can Offer Discounts
They can offer members cheap deals on products and services because they are leveraging group buying power.
Companies give Team National (TN) discounts primarily because they are brining them extra business that they would not have gotten otherwise. The more people that buy through this membership the greater the discounts become since TN has greater bargaining power.
What Are People Saying About The Membership?
After reviewing many complaints and forum threads on this topic throughout the Internet it seems there are some very mixed results.
Some people say the savings are amazing and show ‘proof’ of this while others claim they have joined and saved nothing and know of others in the same boat. I think it’s worth reading some of these if you are considering joining to get both sides of the story and work out what is best for you.
Here’s 4 snippets I took from complaintsboard.com to illustrate the differing opinions…
IF these discounts really are as good as the company claims then I think it could be one of the better network marketing companies. I say this because there would be tangible value in the products and you are buying from well known brands you know and trust. A lot of health and wellness mlm’s inflate the value of their products through clever marketing and branding when in actual fact they are no better than competing (and less expensive) brands in the marketplace.
That said, I am not entirely convinced about these savings so I cannot speculate, it really would need to be the kind of savings you cannot get anywhere else for me to want to join. I will say that based on what I have seen I am not 100% convinced though.
The BigN Marketplace
In my travels to find out more abut the discount membership I came across this ‘BigN Marketplace’ and I was really unsure what on earth it was until I read the fine print. After discovering what it was, an affiliate marketplace, my first thought was… please tell me this is not the main discount membership!?
What Is It?
This is NOT a discount offer platform, it is a type of affiliate marketplace. Bare with me as I try to explain this, it’s kind of confusing.
A typical affiliate marketplace lists hundreds of products from vendors that you can promote and earn affiliate commissions on. You find a product you want to promote and grab the affiliate links for that product. You then publish those links on your website or some other way so when people click on them and buy something you earn a commission.
An example of a well known affiliate marketplace is CJ Affiliate by Conversant. Here’s an example of how an affiliate marketplace like CJ works:
- Sign up to CJ and once you are approved, gain inside access to their marketplace of vendors and products
- Choose something to promote and apply to be accepted to promote with this vendor
- If accepted, you can then promote the product and earn a commission when someone else buys that product through your link
The BigN Marketplace works in a similar fashion only they give you access to a duplicate website coded to you so when you are a member, you can simply go into these vendor websites and buy product as if you were the customer. You get a ‘rebate’ on your own purchase according to whatever the affiliate commission is.
In other words… you are getting commissions on your own purchasing with the way this marketplace is set up on top of anyone else who buys through your duplicate website. The commissions on your purchases and anyone purchasing through your duplicate store go to TN management, who eventually pass these commissions on to you.
These are not rebates, but affiliate commissions you are earning and so you will be paying tax on them like any other income.
Is It a Good Idea?
I think it’s an ok idea but here’s a couple of the downsides:
Savings: The savings are mostly pretty minimal but can be good sometimes though in all fairness.
Getting Paid: Each vendor and affiliate program operating on the vendors behalf has their own set of rules. Some require $100 in commissions to be reached before they process a payment. Since they will be paying TN (not you) you then have to wait for that process to happen and then TN have to process that payment to you.
In other words you could be doing a whole lot of spending and waiting months to get paid depending on the vendor. The company does have other options for you to save money such as the ‘factory direct’ marketplace and others so that is where I would be looking to save. This is something I would say is a good ‘extra’ way to save only.
The Compensation Plan
I managed to find this video of the compensation plan DVD presented by Robert Fason who seems to be one of the companies top performing reps. Personally, I think he seemed like a pretty honest and all round genuine character.
This video is obviously biased though since he is one of TN’s top distributors, but I am posting here for information purposes to help you understand the ins and outs of the comp plan. I sat through the whole hour and I summarise it below the video if you don’t feel like watching.
Update September 2016: The video I originally posted was taken down and I was unable to find a reliable version to replace it with. The written summary I have provided below is accurate to the best of my knowledge though.
Essentially, the whole thing works on a binary system whereby you have only 2 legs directly underneath you and it just builds out from there. The unique thing about TN’s structure is that they have these ‘extra’ business centres you can place under you which allows you to earn more money. Here’s a screenshot of the DVD to illustrate…
How You Can Earn
Membership Commissions: Depending on the membership purchased and how the new member decides to pay you can earn between a $25-$100 commission when you sign someone up, this doesn’t take effect until the third sale onwards though.
Progression Bonus: This bonus is paid weekly and is based on both sides accruing 10 points each, when this happens you get paid $1500. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t expire each week or month, so the points just keep rolling forward until you reach them.
These points are accumulated by your sales and the sales of your organisation.
Presidential Director Bonus: This is a bonus that comes into play when you reach 3 progression bonuses over time, this is also cumulative so it doesn’t matter how long it takes. There are 6 kinds of presidential bonus structures according to how many of these you and your team get.
It pays you extra money on every person under you that signs up each month, stopping at the next person in your downline with an equal or higher presidential rank. Here’s a chart to illustrate, the top dollar figure is for standard memberships and the bottom for premium membership sign ups.
Other: There are other bonuses and ways to earn including earning on your organisations monthly product purchases and performance bonuses. This all depends on your rank and volume in your organisation, see the above video for more details.
Getting Started & Staying Active
Getting started will cost you between $795 for two years or $2195 for life. This is one of the most expensive companies to join but they do have a reasonable comp plan and the savings could be really awesome.
To stay active requires 25PV worth of purchasing each month and they have some nutritional products to help you hit this quota. You’ll be paying $50 per month to stay active to achieve that 25PV. I did think having these products is pretty strange since they are not a product driven company and I see NOWHERE about the benefits of these nutritional products. I did not think they were a health and wellness mlm, but apparently that’s part of their gig.
The $50 per month isn’t crazy high to stay active but I guess it depends on how good they really are. Here’s some info on the core ingredients of these supplements if you want to learn more.
What I Liked
- Potentially some good savings
- Compensation plan seems decent and fair
- Member of the DSA and other accreditations
What I Didn’t Like
- They have a 3 day refund policy on the membership fees
- A lot of people are clamming they cannot get things that much cheaper as oppose to alternative free services
- Lack of information on their website about the products they have, the membership benefits and the compensation plan
- They teach the warm market strategy which I’m not a fan of
TN claims to be vastly different from the rest and I guess in some ways they are. The compensation plans seems pretty reasonable, the discounts could actually make this worthwhile and they don’t have a huge amount of hype in the way they present things (at least from what I’ve seen).
I personally do not like the massive gap in information they present on their website for prospects to evaluate though and I think the refund policy is pretty lame. It makes me wonder what the company is so afraid of? Why charge huge fees upfront and only offer a very small window for people to back out?
I liked the fact that they do provide an earnings disclosure but as you will see this shows the very real picture of what is happening to the majority of people that sign up. Only 0.05% of all people in this company make what I would consider to be a full time income on average.
I personally wouldn’t let that phase me too much though, your success really depends on you and the effort you put in. The other issue is that they are teaching people how to recruit using the warm market approach. While this can work to an extent, it will almost certainly not build the kind of business you are looking to build. The whole ‘get 4 who get 4’ thing is a little fictitious in my opinion. It simply doesn’t work that way.
To be successful in a company like this, you need to continually work on bringing new people in. That’s just how it is. Anyway, hopefully my review has shed some light on the company and helped you make a more informed decision moving forward!
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