WorldVentures MLM: Pyramid Scheme or Money-Making Opportunity?

by | Jun 11, 2020

Table of Contents:

  1. WorldVentures Company History
  2. The WorldVentures Product
  3. The Cost of Becoming a WorldVentures Affiliate
  4. WorldVentures Compensation Plan
  5. WorldVentures Success and Failure Rates
  6. Pros and Cons of Becoming a WorldVentures Affiliate
  7. Conclusion
  8. Why You are Better Off Flipping Leads Than WorldVentures

WorldVentures Company History
WorldVentures was established in 2005 by Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue with one product: a discount membership offering deals and discounts on travel, car rental, activities, cruises, and hotels.

The company’s leading competitor was YTB International, but after they were found guilty of operating an illegal pyramid scheme and went bankrupt by 2009, WorldVentures began to take the market in the travel MLM category, increasing their annual revenue yearly through 2016. Some speculate the company began to experience a downward trend after 2016 since they stopped disclosing their revenues.

The company does have a few nicks on its reputation: they were sued by the government of Norway in 2014 and forced to discontinue operations there after being classified as a pyramid scheme, and then sued again some of their own highest-earning affiliates in 2016 for allegedly terminating their contracts to avoid paying commissions.

Despite some trouble in their history, the company is still operating today. At the end of June 2019, the company reported 57,584 WorldVentures affiliates, 14.6% of whom earned commissions or bonuses in the fiscal year running from July 2018 – June 2019. The company raked in $335 million in revenue in 2019, down $42 million from 2018.

The WorldVentures Product

WorldVentures affiliates sell a monthly membership to DreamTrips.com, a site offering discounts on travel and travel experiences. The website offers multiple levels of membership so “you can choose what works best with your lifestyle and budget.” These membership levels range from Silver, which includes independent travel with discounts on hotels, flights, and car rentals, to Titanium, which includes “ultimate” travel with private yacht, jet, villa, and luxury home access paired with a dedicated concierge.

Costs of all memberships are not readily available, but those that are advertised publicly include a $199.99 initial membership fee plus $49.99 per month for gold and a $299.99 initial fee and $99.99 per month for platinum membership.

Membership benefits include:

  • Access to DreamTrips
  • New Member Welcome
  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • RateShrinker
  • Access to VolunTours
  • DreamTrips Extras
  • In-Destination Support Team Member
  • DreamTrips Local

Affiliates sell the membership to the site under the pretense that the customer will access exclusive savings on travel, benefits leading up to and during their travel, and then earn points on that travel that can be redeemed on a later trip. DreamTrips can be likened to Expedia or Kayak…except you have to pay to access it.

Because there are so many platforms like DreamTrips available to consumers at no cost, it may be difficult for a representative to convey the value of some of the paid, access-only memberships (like Silver and Gold level memberships).

A quick search for “World Ventures review” is telling. As with most multi-level marketing companies, the DreamTrips reviews and World Ventures reviews are polarized: reps rate the company five stars but many customers give the company just one star. Ninety-five percent off all reviews fall into this all-or-nothing rating distribution. Because so many members are also reps, it can be difficult to elicit honest, transparent reviews, and therefore difficult for future reps or members to determine whether the opportunity is a good fit or not.

 

The Cost of Becoming a WorldVentures Affiliate

WorldVentures affiliates are referred to WorldVentures Independent Representatives. As seems to be the habit of the organization, mum’s the word when it comes to startup costs for representatives. The Compensation Plan mentions the requirement to purchase a Representative Business System at an initial and then “low” ongoing cost, but doesn’t share pricing. Although we can’t find the source information, one review of the opportunity offered by this MLM states that representatives are required to maintain at least a basic membership, which requires an initial investment of $99.99 and a monthly fee of $24.99.

In addition, most multi-level marketing companies (most companies, period) recognize that the most effective representatives use the products themselves. For this reason, we assume affiliates are under some pressure to travel using the discounts and services offered by DreamTrips so they can better speak to the value and sense of community that accompany membership. Considering the average annual earnings for an affiliate (we’ll get into that later), even a single trip might eat up any earnings and leave the average representative in the red for the year.

WorldVentures Compensation Plan

The WorldVentures compensation plan is 22 pages long and describes a multitude of ways for representatives to earn.

The representative’s organization

Each representative has a lineage organization, in which all of the members and representatives he or she personally sponsored become legs underneath the representative; and a binary organization, in which the rep has a left leg and a right leg and all recruits must fall under one or the other. Only representatives, not customers, make it into the binary organization.

To add complication, the representative must have achieved 4 personal customer sales during the two consecutive pay weeks in order to open their second leg for placement.

Remaining active to earn commissions

Only active representatives earn commissions, and staying active requires the representative to continue paying their monthly fees. This varies from most MLM compensation plans, which require the representative to sign a certain number of customers or affiliates or achieve a certain volume in purchases or sales per week or month to stay in active status. Representatives who are inactive for 12 pay periods will experience account termination (but may stay on as customers if they have customer accounts).

WorldVentures bonuses

As we’ve come to expect in MLM compensation structures, the opportunities to earn are many and complicated. WorldVenture bonuses include:

  • Weekly Team Bonuses, in which a representative receives $100 per week in which he or she achieves three sales credits on their left leg and three sales credits on their right leg. For each three sales credits on the left that have three matching sales credits on the right, the representative can earn another $100 bonus. In the WorldVentures Compensation Plan, there are three pages dedicated to weekly bonuses, so there are many more complexities, limitations, and ways to earn than described here.
  • Monthly Residual Commissions, in which a representative receives $10 per month per “cycle” and a cycle is defined as three active sales credits on the left leg matched by three active sales credits on the right side. For the sake of monthly residual commissions, the measurement period is the entirety of a calendar month and payday occurs on the 15th of the following month. Maximum payouts by rank are in place.
  • Personal Sales Bonuses, in which the representative is paid $100 for enrolling three new customers during a 28-day period.
  • TrainingDollars, awarded in increments of $50 each time a representative acquires three new customers within a 28 day period or less, maxed out at $100 TrainingDollars per calendar month. TrainingDollars can only be applied toward the price of a major WorldVentures training event, which is typically paid out of the representative’s pocket.
  • TravelDollars, awarded in increments of $100 and replacing every 6th weekly cycle bonus. TravelDollars can be used to help cover the cost of travel to major training events.
  • DreamCar Bonus, issued at $1000 per month for consultants who reach Regional Marketing Director Level and $1,500 per month for consultants who reach International Marketing Director Level.
  • DreamHome Bonus totalling $3,000 per month for representatives who reach International Marketing DIrector Level.

At all promotional levels, the representatives new pay takes effect beginning the month after they achieve that rank. Ranks include:

  • Enrolled Representative (ER) – an inactive, entry-level, enrolled representative
  • Active Representative (AR) – an active representative who hasn’t met requirements for advancement yet
  • Qualified Representative (QR) – an active rep with four product sales to customers
  • Senior Representative (SR) – an active rep with 30 active customers on both the left and right binary teams
  • Director (DIR) – an active rep with at least 90 customers on each binary leg and at least 140 active customers in their lineage
  • Marketing Director (MD) – an active rep with at least 400 active customers, no more than 200 of them on any one line, and who earned at least $6,750 in the three preceding calendar months
  • Regional Marketing Director (RMD) – an active rep with at least 900 active customers, no more than 300 of them on any one line, and who earned at least $15,750 cumulatively over the last three months
  • National Marketing Director (NMD) – an active rep with at least 1,800 customers, no more than 600 of them on any one line, who earned at least $31,500 cumulatively over the last three months
  • International Marketing Director (IMD) – an active rep with at least 3,000 customers, no more than 1,000 on any one line, and who earned at least $31,500 cumulatively over the last three months

The plan is careful to spell out the difference between a customer and a representative and to clarify that representatives only earn on membership sales, not on enrolling new members.

WorldVentures Success and Failure Rates

While the compensation plan might look lucrative, prospective affiliates of any multi-level marketing company should always review the company’s financial disclosure to better understand their chances of achieving a particular rank or replacing their full-time income.

According to WorldVentures 2019 Income Disclosure Statement, which includes data from July 1st, 2018 through June 30th, 2019, only affiliates in the top 1% earned at least $36,152 during the reporting period. This is a stark contrast from the dollar signs prospective affiliates might picture when reading the compensation plan.

 

Furthermore, average annual earnings for all representatives was $354.31. This doesn’t take into account expenses, such as major training events or the representative’s initial and monthly fees and marketing costs. The mean annual commission for all representatives who earned commissions (so excluding all representatives who never earned any commission in the reporting period) was $50.00 for the entire year.

You may be wondering what the top earners make with WorldVentures:

  • 98.53% of representatives earn less than $25,000
  • less than 1% earn $25,000 – $50,000
  • and just over a half a percent of representatives make more than $50,000

That means approximately 362 representatives out 57,584 in all replaced a full-time income with WorldVentures in 2019, while at least 80% of affiliates likely lost money paying their monthly fees.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a WorldVentures Affiliate

When you join a multi-level marketing company as a representative or affiliate, you should know that only the top salespeople (and usually those who joined at ground level) are able to earn an adequate income. However, it is possible to earn and some people do.

Advantages

One of the greatest advantages of selling DreamTrips memberships over other MLM products, like shakes and supplements, is that there is no inventory required. That means you don’t have to purchase inventory in hopes of selling it (think LuLaRoe) and you never have to find room to store inventory in your home or office.

The membership nature of WorldVentures might also be seen as a pro; when you sign a customer, you continue to earn commissions on their monthly memberships for as long as you remain active and they remain customers. This can be advantageous over product sales, where the rep sells a product once, earns the commission once, and then has to continue to hustle in order to achieve further product sales and commissions.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of WorldVentures are many. The product is vague at best and compares closely to free platforms like Expedia and Kayak, which may make it difficult to sell.

It’s very, very uncommon to make any money at all with WorldVentures according to their Income Disclosure Statement, and out of those who do make money, very few make enough to replace a full-time income.

Additionally, the company’s troubled legal history leaves the organization with a poor reputation, leaving representatives up against some pretty serious barriers to sales.

When you add in the major training events hosted by WorldVentures and paid for by their Independent Representatives, it seems almost inevitable to experience a loss.

Conclusion

While WorldVentures is not a pyramid scheme because they do base commissions on product sales rather than enrollment of additional affiliates, there is still strong pressure to recruit affiliates and very low likelihood of earning an income.

 

 

Is WorldVentures a scam? No.

Is WorldVentures a get rich quick opportunity? Also no.

Is it possible to earn money under the WorldVentures compensation plan? Yes.

Do we recommend this MLM above others? Definitely not.


Why You are Better Off Flipping Leads Than WorldVentures

I have found that using online billboards to generate leads for local businesses is an amazing way for almost anyone to make a good living for themselves online and escape the 9-5 making someone else money.

 Why I favor using online billboards to generate leads over the MLM system is that you don’t have to sell products you would never buy or don’t believe in. You don’t have to ruin your relationships with friends and family by selling bad products or subscriptions that nobody wants. You instead provide actual value to businesses and the potential to scale is unreal.

 The reason online billboards work so well is that you are basically replacing the need for entire marketing teams for businesses and since you are sending business their way, they are more than happy to pay a premium for your service.

 

You can certainly make money with MLM, but you’ll definitely see there’s a better way to earn a living online. It is much better to provide real value to your customers than to sell an overhyped product that over-sells and under-delivers, not to mention someone else is making the majority of the profit for.

Why I recommend using online billboards to generate leads is simple:

  • Businesses will always need customers, this is never going to change
  • The number of niches available is almost endless. You can almost certainly find a topic you are genuinely interested in that will perform well.
  • You do all the hard work upfront. Once you set-up a successful ad campaign there are maybe 30 minutes – 2hrs of maintenance needed each month.
  • The investment needed is small, especially compared to how much you earn. You just pay for the ads and business will likely pay 3-5x your investment for the leads. This may sound crazy, but say you spend $1000 on ads. Your customer pays you $5000 for the leads you generate, but then, in turn, they might make $25,000 – $50,000 off of the leads you gave them. Everybody wins, you make money, the business makes money and the customers find a product or service they want.

If this business model is of interest to you, I highly suggest checking out this top rated lead flipping program. This is where I have learned everything I needed to quit my 9-5 and focus on making a better life for myself and my family. 

 I won’t BS you, it was a bit of a grind at the start. Now I have a few businesses that come back every single month and I just focus on maintaining those ad campaigns and that is honestly only a couple hours work a month. Now I am free to see my kids grow up and make it to every one of their games.