Hi, and thanks for stopping by to check out my Team National Review. I'll be honest up front, I'm not a fan of network marketing, but if building an MLM business is something you're considering... and it's a viable business opportunity for you, there are reasons Team National is worth looking at.
There are some good things about this MLM, and some not so good things. I'll discuss both. I'll also go over the Team National compensation plan, membership program, and the points system; hopefully providing enough information so you can decide if Team National is for you.
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Team National. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What is Team National (TN)?
Team National is a network marketing company that sells memberships to their savings club. They also have a line of private label products (photo right). Located in Ft. Lauderdale, it was founded in 1997 by Dick Loehr and is now run by his daughter Angela Loehr Chrysler.
Depending on how old you are, 1997 doesn't seem that long ago. In many ways it feels like yesterday… but it's 20 years. When you consider giants like Google, Facebook and Tesla have only been around since the early 2000’s, Team National’s 20 years in business is a long time.
While these associations, along with their 20 years in business add to Team National's credibility, there are still some concerns you should consider if you’re thinking of joining.
How Does Team National Work?
The Team National website provides very little information.
Just to access the Frequently Asked Questions section, you will be asked for your ID# and login information. So, unless you're up for some serious research, or you sit through the Team National presentation and sign-up, it’s going to be tough to get some solid information about them.
Having said that, I was able to track down the important details so you don't have to.
How Much Does Team National Cost?
They make it clear that becoming a Team National Distributor costs nothing to join. However, the membership is not free, There are two options.
Premium Membership - $2195
- This is a lifetime membership that covers your immediate family including Grandparents, Children and even Grandchildren, and if you own a business it can be shared with up to 5 employees.
Standard Membership - $795
- With this membership you get 2 years of savings and it also covers your household.
If you’re deciding whether to pursue the Team National business opportunity, it's free, but there's a problem trying to sell a product (with enough conviction) to your friends and family that you haven’t purchased or tried yourself.
Of course, you can do it. A car salesperson doesn't have to buy every car he or she sells. It just makes it a tougher sell when it comes to something like this.
And these memberships aren’t cheap. That doesn't mean they're not worth it. But if money is tight you may have to consider if it's the right time. There are alternatives ways of starting a business but the truth is, owning a home-based business isn't for everyone.
Selling isn't for everyone.
If it's just a few extra bucks you're looking for you can make money with market research companies like Survey Junkie. You can also do regular activities online like searching, surfing the web and watching videos with Swagbucks and get paid.
There are countless ways to make money from home these days and Team National is viable option. With so many opportunities though, it's a little overwhelming. A lot of them sound good, and of course... some sound too good if you know what I mean.
Then you have the ones that make you think, "Nope, not for me."
So what do you do?
Whether you want to make money from home because of health issues, children to look after, or you just want to escape the rat race, at the very least, a starting point is what you need in order to get what you want.
Team National’s Compensation Plan
Each membership also comes with “points”.
3 points for the premium plan, and 1 point for the standard one.
The purpose of these points is described below. Rather than me trying to interpret their compensation plan and almost certainly getting it wrong, I'll provide the document here for accuracy. You can read it in their words below,
Team National Membership Savings
1. Factory Direct
Under this furniture division of Team National, which bypasses retailers/wholesalers and goes straight to the manufacture, you can buy furniture at savings up to 65%. This includes indoor and outdoor furniture as well as things like spas, saunas and flooring.
The type of furniture here isn’t clear however. If you’re accustomed to buying your shelves at IKEA for a hundred bucks or less, then 65% off of an $800 custom oak shelf might not be of any value to you.
2. Group Buying Power
As a large group, Team National negotiates with wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers to secure exclusive discounts. One example they give is 5% to 30% savings through the Sears Commercial Online Program.
In addition, by logging into the Big N Auto Mall, there are discounts on cars, trucks and recreational vehicles such as watercraft and ATV’s.
I could not find specific discounts, and to be honest, big ticket items like these rarely sell for their sticker price anyway (which is the only price the discount would qualify for).
I wouldn't count on negotiating a price that you and the dealer agree on, and THEN using your discount. Likewise, if you use your discount first, it’s unlikely you will be negotiate additional discounts that wouldn’t normally be available to the general public anyway.
It might seem like you're getting a better deal, or maybe a discount for upgrading vehicle options, warranty etc. But dealers are good at negotiating and giving the illusion you came out on top. At the end of the day, they have a minimum price they're going to sell for, and they rarely drop below it. Discount or no discount.
With the regular discounts, incentives, and things like roadside assistance and extended warranties that dealerships and manufacturers offer anyway, I personally don’t see any added value in the Team National’s savings membership when it comes to vehicles.
However, if you’ve had an exceptional or unique experience here, please add your comment below my review, it would definitely be helpful for others.
3. Business Exchange.
While it’s great to get discounts from big box stores and popular retailers, the business exchange is for small businesses in your local area to participate. Examples that Team National provides are in areas such as construction, home maintenance, real estate, personal care, automotive, insurance, travel and more.
Again, the benefits here won’t be the same for everyone, if you’re considering buying a membership for this reason, it would be worth doing some research to find out if local businesses in your area participate.
4. Online Shopping
Team National has their own private label brand of consumables such as nutritional, kids and automotive care products.
I did not find any specific products to compare, but the claim is that they are 50% lower on average than industry standard products. Without examples, however, and considering they’re competing against online retail giants like Amazon, I can’t say I’m convinced that claim is true… but that’s just my opinion.
On many items, 50% may be accurate.
They also offer personal websites for $12/month or $99/year.
There is also the Big N Marketplace where members can earn commissions on products they buy. It’s not clear if they can earn commissions from others, and if not… it’s not really a commission as much as a rebate.
Examples listed include things like restaurants and ink cartridges.
Co-branded credit cards are also mentioned although the benefits versus countless other credit card options aren’t clear.
Can You Make Your Money Back?
Although both memberships are on the expensive side, the pitch is that you will get your money back in savings.
In theory, this is true. But, the problem with most of these discounts is you’re not comparing apples to apples. Most percentage claims can’t be substantiated, and to do so would require considerable research.
To be clear, that doesn't mean their claims are untrue. They may very well be. I'm just not able to confirm them with certainty and therefore I can only speculate.
And in some cases, if a discount convinces you to buy something you had no intention of buying anyway... it's an expense, not a savings.
I believe if you were diligent, and paid attention to (as well as compared) everything you purchased, over time you can get your money back.
If you're making a big ticket purchase or you frequently spend money on travel for example, those are situations where a Team National membership will give you the most value.
However, my gut tells me that what Team National has created here is a“walled garden” of consumers that purchase as much as possible within their own ecosystem, never really doing deep research to compare prices. Team National gets the benefits of the membership sales, private label products, and I'm making an assumption here based on my own business experience... rebates, gifts and kickbacks from the larger brands they negotiate with.
For the right person who takes the time to research products and prices, it's a win-win for both you and Team National.
I'm guilty of shopping within a "walled garden" as well, with Amway many years ago. Like most people who sign up for these opportunities, I would justify my investment, as well as my commitment to the business I thought was going to bring me freedom and riches.
So, when I was told the reason toothpaste was double the price of any other toothpaste because it was "concentrated", I believed them. You just need a pea size amount I was told... which is true for any other toothpaste.
It's funny (if not a little embarrassing) looking back, but it didn’t stop at toothpaste. It was the prepackaged dinners I bought through Amway, the energy bars, the Amway voicemail system, and the overpriced “super” supplements I had to take… because my upline took them (I know... but I was young and gullible).
Similarly, if you commit to paying $2195 for a savings membership, you will probably find ways to twist realty and justify your purchase which is not Team National's doing, it's just human nature.
But again, all of that is just my own opinion and my own thoughts regarding the membership price and benefits.
Is It A Scam?
Strictly speaking, no… it’s not a scam. They operate within the boundaries of the Direct Selling Association and follow the guidelines approved in the landmark Federal Trade Commission’s Amway decision.
Having said that, there is a legal definition of a scam, and there's also a personal one.
What do you consider a scam?
Companies push the boundaries of deceptive practices all the time. MLM’s are particularly susceptible, because the company is not there to supervise each and every distributor.
I have a negative history with multi-level-marketing so I'm not unbiased. I've been a victim of their subtle deceptions. I've also traveled throughout BC, Canada doing in-home insurance sales many years ago and quit because of the unethical tactics I was being asked to use. So, just because something is technically legal, doesn't always mean it's not a scam.
As far as Team National goes, from some of the documents I've read it appears they take a strong stance to operate within the boundaries of the law.
And, just because I'm sharing some of my negative experiences with MLM's, does NOT mean you won't have a positive one with Team National (as well as achieve your goals).
Is it A Pyramid Scheme?
Again, we have a legal definition of a pyramid scheme, and a personal one.
Legally they are not a pyramid scheme, but the law is only a result of decades of lobbying from these powerful companies. They’ve effectively written the legal definition of what a pyramid scheme is. If you’re comfortable with that definition, then there’s no reason to look any further.
My personal opinion is that it is a pyramid scheme, and here are my reasons why;
When a traditional company is looking for salespeople, whether they are employees, independent contractors, or part of an external firm… they have hiring standards. They don’t offer that job to anyone, and the only time they would ever “push it” on someone is if that person was exceptionally talented and qualified in their field.
Not only does Team National (or any MLM for that matter, I'm not just picking on them) overlook an individual’s ability to sell, but their entire business model is dependent on recruiting more salespeople, regardless of their qualifications. In other words, the business can’t sustain itself on retail sales alone. It needs to keep adding distributors and bringing new people into it.
Finally, each distributor’s compensation is directly affected by the people they bring in, and then the people those people bring in and so on (which is not the case in a traditional business).
I know, legally they are not a pyramid scheme, but in my opinion, they (as well as all MLM’s) are.
That doesn’t mean you can’t make money with them, or that they’re evil. It’s just calling it what I consider it to be. If there is an upline, a downline and the money you earn is dependent on the number of people you recruit… it's a pyramid.
But enough about that, I've shared my view.
Can You Make Money With Team National?
Statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against you, but you already know that.
Are some people making money with it? Absolutely... yes.
There are also events and contests you can take part in.
But, very few people reach the type of income levels that could create the lifestyle that there messaging implies. According their 2016 income earnings disclosure, the average income of the top .1% (1 in a 1000) was $272, 240.
What I found even more surprising was that number only accounted for 35 distributors in total.
The numbers get even worse though. The high end of that average exceeds a million dollars, so, for the "average" to only be $272K (relative to a million), quite a few of those 35 IMD’s would have had to make much less than that… with only a minority exceeding it.
To illustrate that point, there is a saying; If Bill Gates walked into a bar, the "average" net worth of everyone inside becomes 50 Million.
So, if the average income for the top 35 distributors is $272,000... it's entirely possible that only 10 made over a million leaving the other 25 with an estimated 20K per year (which is not a big house and fancy car income). I'm sure the numbers are more spread out than that, but the overall takeaway here is that even the top .1% (only 35 distributors) are not necessarily living the lifestyle you may imagine.
Continuing on, although there are various 4 and 5-figure income claims... 78.4% had an average annual income of just 30 cents.
That doesn’t include expenses such as hosting and driving to/from presentations, as well as attending meetings and conventions.
Of course, one of the reason for joining an MLM is the promise of passive income and living a rich independent life. An online "job" where you're trading dollars for hours or doing online surveys won't give you that passive income.
A Team National "superstar" can definitely achieve that lifestyle, but again, most people are not cut out to be superstars when it comes to things like sales and recruiting.
If you're concerned about who you're going sell to, where you're going to find recruits, or even worried about what your friends and family might think (it is an MLM after all)... you're not alone. MLM's are not for everyone.
Another way of making passive income and getting the life you want may be what you need in order to get what you want.
What I mean by "it's an MLM after all" is that even though I recommend Team National for the right person, multi-level marketing has a certain reputation and that may be a concern for some people.
Is Team National For You?
The income disclosure agreement clearly shows that making money as an IMD is possible, but as I mentioned above, the odds are against you.
But to be fair, the odds are against you with any business opportunity. I certainly don’t think Team National is any worse than other companies in this respect, whether it’s MLM’s where talking about, or making money online. It's just a matter of finding the right opportunity for you.
What the real problem is, and reason most people fail, is a mismatch between a person’s personality type, skills/strengths to the business they’re trying to build.
If you’re not skilled at sales, then selling stuff is going to be hard. It's hard enough for those who are experienced and love doing it. If you're not good at it, and you hate doing it... what do you think your chances of sticking to it are?
The unfortunate reality is that you need to enjoy what you do (because starting and building a business is hard)… and the truth is, most people don’t like selling and they especially don't like recruiting.
They do it reluctantly because they believe in the dream of freedom and more independence… but when they run out of friends and family to approach, and they don't see results, eventually they give up.
It's like trying to stick to a diet only eating things that disgust you. It's not sustainable.
And the numbers prove this. Very few people make it.
It's Not Just MLM's
There are ways to make money that have nothing to do with recruiting and they don’t require any sales skills. In fact, they don’t require talking to people at all.
But, they also require more time at a computer screen and hammering on they keyboard.
For those who prefer getting out there, talking to people and shaking hands, these methods of making money may not be for them either.
To shift the odds in your favor, it's absolutely critical to choose an opportunity that suits you. Find something you don’t mind doing, especially when it gets difficult (because it will).
What I Like
- A very big plus here (and the reason I first mentioned that Team National is worth trying) is that there are no products to deal with. You’re simply selling memberships, which means there are no inventories, deliveries or physical returns.
- Although they can’t control every distributor, Team National is diligent about staying within the legal boundaries of the network marketing model.
- Team National provides a system of support and mentorship.
- The membership can offer significant savings. If you're making a big ticket purchase or you're a frequent traveller for example, you will benefit even more from the membership.
What I Don’t Like
- Like all MLM’s, the business you build and the organization you develop belongs to them. If the product or price changes in a way you don’t like, there’s nothing you can do. You can’t change suppliers without going to a different company and starting over. In a way, you are building dependence... not independence.
- Although the membership can offer significant savings, I’m not certain those savings are as big as they claim. Comparative shopping can be tricky because you're not always comparing apples to apples.
- Lack of transparency. The website offers very little informaton regarding their products, membership, sales training etc. Even after reading what seemed like a hundred or more comments and testimonials, specific details are hard to come by.
Success in network marketing requires a unique skill-set, and let’s face it… certain personalities are better suited to it than others. Not everyone is comfortable and has the confidence to recruit people, especially their family and friends.
In addition, you need a thick skin and the ability to handle a lot of rejection.
Having said that, if you’re a good fit and you're considering a network marketing business, I would definitely recommend giving Team National a try. While I have concerns regarding the true value of their membership, you can’t overlook the fact that there is no physical product to deal with.
This is a huge benefit that allows you to skip the logistical headaches of a company like Amway or Avon for example... and get straight to building your organization.
What To Do If You Don't Like MLM's?
If nothing above interests you, you may prefer a simple way to make some extra spending money. Online surveys are a great way to participate in market research and get paid with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also earn money for things like watching videos, surfing the web, and playing games with Swagbucks.
To earn a full-time income from home though, my recommended method is a 4-step formula that I use to generate passive income online.
If you've read this far then it's obvious you're more serious than most people about earning an income from home. It might even be more than a want.
It might something you need.
I get it, I've been exactly where you are. It's almost as if it's not a choice anymore, you have to find a way. I cannnot tell you there's an easy answer. There are "simple" methods for sure, but that doesn't mean they are easy.
Either way, if making money from home is more than just a "want"... maybe you have health issues for example, children at home to look after, or you just need your own independence, a place to get at least get started is what you need in order to get what you want.
As I said, doing your own thing whether it's with Team National, at-home freelancing or you're building an online business, it's not going to be easy, so it’s important to find the right method that works for you.
I hope this Team National Review was helpful and thanks for stopping by to check it out.
Please leave a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a member or have you tried Team National in the past? What is your opinion of MLM's?
If you found this article useful, or think it might be helpful for others… Please share 😀