Team National is an unusual service-based network marketing company. They promote themselves as a membership savings company, which means that people join so that they can save money. That idea could be appealing as long as customers end up saving more money than they pay for membership.
Selling a membership program could even have advantages for distributors. There's the chance that you could earn monthly income from making a single sale.
However, the idea of selling discounts has some serious limitations. The entire goal is to get people to spend money so that they can save it. The logic is counterintuitive. You'll have to do some serious convincing to get people on board.
An additional challenge is that the people most interested in discounts will be those who are focused on saving money. That same audience is likely to be resistant to spending money, especially on a company that they might not be familiar with.
Two Ways To Make Money With Team National
While Team National has an unusual product type, the basic method of earning money remains the same as ever. You make some income by selling the service and can also earn by building your team. So, in this post, we'll look at both areas, along with whether Team National realistic as a way to make money.
Team National is one of those companies that initially seem 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:
- Cell Service
There is a total of four different areas. These are:
- Team National Factory Direct: Mostly includes savings on physical items.
- Group Buying Power: Offers savings on various types of services for individuals and for businesses.
- Business Services: Focuses on discounts for local businesses.
- Rebate Program. Offers individuals the chance to earn cashback on purchases from various retailers.
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 reveal that members will pay $795 for a 2-year membership or $2,915 for a lifetime membership.
That's a lot to pay for the chance to save money. Customers still need to pay for whatever items they're buying on top of this.
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.
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 would have a better chance of making sales. After all, Costco maintains an impressive membership and customers are basically paying to get discounts there too (still, membership with Costco is much cheaper, so the potential to make sales is going to depend on your audience).
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?
I might be wrong of course. Perhaps there are amazing discounts that no one is talking about. You might also find that 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.
Income From Membership Sales
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? Once again, the information provided is pretty limited, but there are some videos from Team National that shed some light on the process.
Members earn $50 on selling a standard 2-year membership and $100 on a lifetime membership. In other words, you're earning $50 for a $795 sale or $100 for a $2,915 sale. That's an abysmal rate.
The commissions are also halved if your customer finances the membership or uses a credit card. In contrast, most companies offer somewhere between 20% and 33% in commission, starting from the very first sale.
Team National uses a binary system to provide income from your team. The company does also offers bonuses and uses a binary system to do so. With this system, the first 2 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 your downline. 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.
But remember, you're getting 1 point from a $795 membership and 3 points from a $2,915 membership. If you only sold the 2-year membership, you'd need $7,995 in sales to get that $1,500 bonus once. The figure would be slightly different if you had some lifetime memberships in the mix, but it would still be high.
With requirements like this, could you convince people to join your team?
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 the 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 progression bonus involves 10 points in sales on either side of your binary team (not 10 points overall). 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 on 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 2018, around 12.4% of distributors received some form of income, with around 87.6% receiving no income at all.
That’s an incredibly concerning figure. It gets worse too. Around 75% of all active distributors were at the Representative level. They earned between $0 and $170 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:
Almost 94% of all distributors fall into this table. Some people are making a decent income, upwards of $20,000 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.