Company Name: Team National
Costs: $200 (or more)
Do I Recommend Team National?
Team National is a brand to steer clear of. Few people actually make money with Team National and most of those don’t seem to earn much. There are exceptions, of course, but the odds aren’t in your favor. Instead, you’re trying to sell a discounts program that doesn’t even seem to be very good. You’d have much more luck promoting products that people actually want, either physically or through affiliate marketing.
What Products Does Team National Sell?
Team National is one of those companies that initially seems confusing. They are a member of the Direct Sales Association and do operate through an MLM model. Team National has even hit some impressive goals, including sales of $659 million by 2016.
This all sounds really impressive. But, what exactly is Team National?
The company doesn’t sell products. Instead, they focus on memberships. These memberships offer discounts on a range of different areas, including some large brands and popular products.
Team National is vague about what the discounts are, aside from suggesting that they’re considerable.
But, it is clear they fall into many different categories. Some examples include:
- Business savings
- Financial services
- Products like jewelry and furnishings
There is a total of four different areas. These are:
- Team National Factory Direct: Mostly includes savings on physical items, up to 65%.
- Group Buying Power: Offers savings on various types of services for individuals and for businesses.
- Team National Business Exchange: Focuses on discounts for local businesses.
- E-Commerce. Offers the ability earn up to 30% commission on products from roughly 100 companies.
Team National basically functions as a buying club, where the company uses purchasing power to buy items and then offers them at a discount.
The style does work and it is legitimate. Companies like Costco do something similar, although they sell items in physical stores, rather than offering discount programs.
The other thing to mention is the pricing. Team National doesn’t offer much information here (they’re vague about most things actually). But, discussions online suggest that you’re paying from $400 to $2,000 as a joining fee, depending on what package you get and how long you want to stay a member.
You still have to spend money on the items that you’re buying as well.
Many people won’t be able to afford the initial cost. They certainly wouldn’t have enough to take full advantage of the discounts. Others wouldn’t be willing to take the risk. It is a considerable amount to pay for the opportunity to save money.
The Value Of Savings
Selling discounts is always an odd idea. There is certainly high demand – as most people want to save money. But, many people who want to save will be hesitant about paying to do so.
Think about the coupon books that are often sold for fundraising. People are often reluctant to buy them or do so mostly for the cause, not the discounts. Those that do purchase typically use a fraction of the discounts.
This is the same reason why travel MLMs (like GoodLife USA) are so difficult. Those involve selling discounts as well and customers tend to be reluctant.
Of course, this is only true if the discounts were average. If they were amazing, you could probably make sales easily. After all, Costco maintains an impressive membership and customers are basically paying to get discounts there too.
In the case of Team National, there isn’t much information, which is hardly encouraging. There are few people raving about the discounts that they’re received and some people suggest that the discounts aren’t very good.
If the savings were decent, I would expect many more positive reviews about them.
But, those reviews don’t seem to exist. Instead, most discussions focus on whether Team National is a scam or not, along with the potential to earn money.
And sure, the possibility to make money exists. But you’re at a pretty big disadvantage if the membership doesn’t offer many savings. After all, the entire point is meant to be saving money. How are you going to make an income if the membership you’re promoting isn’t very good?
The style also borders on a scam.
The main thing that separates MLMs from pyramid schemes is that MLMs offer legitimate products. Ideally, you should be able to make money from product sales alone, without needing to recruit.
That doesn’t seem to be the case here. Instead, people probably buy in for the chance to make money, not for the discounts.
I might be wrong of course. Perhaps there are amazing discounts that no one is talking about. You might also find that the discounts are perfectly suited for you. But, it’s a gamble.
Overall, I just don’t think it’s worth it. You would have to be an amazing salesperson to make a decent income. If that’s the case, why promote something with limited value? You could make much more money by focusing on decent products. For example, you might choose an MLM that has competitive items, like JewelScent or SimplyFun. There aren’t many of those but they do exist.
Alternatively, you could turn to affiliate programs and promote products online. There are countless fields you could focus on, like video games, travel or music. With these, people know what they’re getting from the beginning and there’s no need to mislead.
Is Team National A Good Business Opportunity?
Even with all those issues, income is still possible. You can make some money by selling just about anything, as long as you’re good at marketing.
So, how does it work for Team National?
The first thing is the commission for sales. Here, you earn between $25 and $100 for each membership that you sell. But, this starts at the third sale, so you don’t earn anything for the first two.
The income is pretty low too, especially when you consider how much the individual memberships cost. Most companies offer somewhere between 20% and 33% in commission, starting from the very first sale.
There is also the ability to get affiliate commissions through an online marketplace. This is essentially affiliate marketing and has more potential for income. The catch is that you don’t have control over the products and commission rates vary considerably.
It isn’t clear what the items are – but many may also be uncompetitive and difficult to sell.
The company does also offer bonuses and uses a binary system to do so. With this system, the first two sales you make are placed under you as your left and right legs. You can then place subsequent sales on the left or the right, based on which works best.
The efforts of people you recruit come into this system as well. So, you get points for the sales and recruitment of someone who you got to join, along with whoever they got to join and so on.
Team National also focuses on ‘unlimited depth’ as part of their plan. This means it doesn’t matter who recruited who. If the person is in your downline, you’ll earn points from them. The points that you get are based on sales:
- 1 point for a standard 2-year membership
- 3 points for a lifetime membership
The key mechanism for income is to get at least 10 points in each leg. This is called a progression bonus. Each time you meet this goal, you get paid $1,500 outright. Each time one of your team members does this, you get paid $1,000 outright.
This sounds amazing on paper. You don’t have to rely on recruitment either. You could just make 10 points of sales yourself on either side.
But remember, you’re promoting expensive memberships. Even the 2-year version costs at least $400. Some reviews put the cost at closer to $800. The lifetime membership is at least $2,000.
Could you convince people to join?
There are probably bonuses in play as well. Team National doesn’t offer much information here. In fact, most details are provided through videos, which mostly just feel like a sales pitch.
The main other thing to mention is ranks. These are tiers within the company and they offer additional income.
Unlike most companies, the ranks from Team National aren’t directly related to sales volume. Instead, the first promotion (to Presidential rank) happens when you have received the progression bonus three times. The next ranks are all associated with how your team does. They look like this:
- Bronze: 2 recruits reach Presidential rank
- Silver: 4 recruits reach Presidential rank
- Gold: 6 recruits reach Presidential rank
- Platinum: 10 recruits reach Presidential rank
- Double Platinum: 18 recruits reach Presidential rank
Each rank increases how much you earn for memberships.
I do like that the rank structure is simple. There is less to worry about than with most companies. Still, there is a heavy focus on recruitment. This also means you need a decent number of people who have gone through that progression bonus three times.
As a reminder, that progression bonus requires at least 20 total points (10 per side). That’s somewhere between 7 and 20 membership sales per bonus, depending on which membership is sold.
Most people probably can’t hit those levels. That aside, do you want to be relying so heavily on your team? Even if you provide considerable support and training, you can never force people to be successful.
Personally, I’d rather rely on my own efforts.
Team National As A Company
Nothing about Team National feels encouraging. The company’s website is a mess to navigate and misses out critical pieces of information. It takes digging to even find out specifically what they offer and how much customers are expected to pay.
As for finding their compensation plan, good luck. There are some videos on offer but that’s about it. They don’t provide all the important information either.
This pattern is never encouraging. There’s no legitimate reason for companies to hide their compensation plan – especially if it is meant to be a powerful one. Likewise, why is there so little information about the memberships? At the very least, the site should provide clear information about what the memberships are and their costs.
When you combine this with the challenges of selling discounts, it’s hard to see how Team National could be effective.
The company’s earnings disclosure document highlights this problem. In 2016, around 14% of active distributors received some form of income, with around 86% receiving no income at all.
That’s an incredibly concerning figure – and it doesn’t even count all the distributors who couldn’t meet the requirements to stay active.
It gets worse too. Around 78% of all active distributors were at the Representative level. They earned between $0 and $250 for the entire year, with an average of $0.30. The numbers aren’t that great for the higher ranks either.
For example, here are the averages for the first five ranks:
95% of all distributors fall into this table. Some people are making a decent income, upwards of $5,000 per year. But, the averages show that most aren’t. Instead, you’re looking at less than $500 a year for most categories.
That’s not much income. If this were just a little business on the side, one that didn’t take much effort – those figures might be fine. But, it’s not. You would need to focus heavily on sales and recruitment to even get to these levels.
The numbers in disclosure statements are never encouraging – but this has to be one of the worst examples that I’ve seen. It strongly suggests that the chances of earning are slim. Even if you did make money, your income is unlikely to be very high.
Some of the bonuses from Team National sound nice but they’re simply unrealistic. The earnings disclosure shows just how few people are actually successful. Even if you could be, there just aren’t enough benefits to make the company worth it.
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