Network marketing is becoming more and more common. The problem with most MLM/Network marketing companies is that they have a business model which is not feasible for an average person.
That is why, before joining any network marketing company, it is essential to look at the business model. Additionally, you have to analyze the products to find out whether they are worth promoting or not. Once you look at these couple of products, you can decide on joining the network marketing company or not.
The company which we are going to discuss now is one of the oldest MLM companies around. It goes by the name of Southwestern Advantage. If you have been trying to find out more about it, you will notice that there are mixed opinions about the program.
Many people are trying to decipher the Southwestern Advantage scam to find out whether it is legit or not. We will today look into the detailed business model of the company to help you understand more.
What is Southwestern Advantage?
Southwestern Advantage was founded in 1855. It is an MLM company which tries to recruit university students seeking job opportunities. It offers an internship to the university students.
The students have to then sell educational books, software as well as a variety of other products that are offered by the company. The students get hired as independent contractors. The company advocates going door-to-door to sell these products.
The opportunities which are available these days for students are limited. That is why; many of the students attempt to sell the products which are on offer by the company. At the same time, there are reports that the company exploits these students to force them to market them.
Moreover, the company does not reimburse them for any extra expenses which they incur like accommodation or travel. That is why; students often end up in a worse condition than they started in.
Another problem with Southwestern Advantage is that it makes the students work double the number of permitted hours. It is a big red flag which you need to consider if you’re on the fence about Southwestern Advantage.
Southwestern Advantage background information:
The red flags about the Southwestern Advantage which we highlighted above have been around for quite some time.
That is why; some of the 50 states have brought in a law to stop the door-to-door selling which is advocated by the company. The bill aimed to prevent students from going door-to-door to sell these products.
The company since then has threatened to challenge these laws so that it can continue with its business model. The company states that there is nothing in their business model which can harm the students. It seems like it is facing legal obstacles due to its business model.
What does Southwestern Advantage offer?
Let us now take check the products which the company has on offer. These products need to be sold door-to-door by the students. The company has partnered with many publishers and multinational companies like:
• Princeton Review
• National Geographic
Most of the products which they sell from these partners are educational. The problem is since they offer the position of an independent contractor to the students. There are two red flags in this. These include:
• The company can easily fire the independent contractor if they cannot fulfill any condition.
• The students will not gain access to the benefits provided to a regular employee.
The students go to a specific location. They need to travel to that location to market their products. The problem is that even if the student stays far away from that location, the company will not reimburse them for the travel expenses.
Irrespective of that, the company requires independent contractors to work up to 70 hours per week. The fact that door-to-door marketing has low conversion rates, it becomes challenging for students or anyone to make any money with Southwestern Advantage.
How can you make money with Southwestern Advantage?
The company offers compensation depending on the number of sales which you generate. The company deducts any expenses which they have to incur for the independent contractors before paying them their commission.
Moreover, whenever they are not in the field selling products, they have to work as an intern in the office, for the entire time the students is with the company. Irrespective of that, students get the payment for the sales which they generate.
Most of the students want to join Southwestern Advantage for the office-based internship which they can list on their resume. That is why; the company can still get students to join the program.
What others have to say about Southwestern Advantage?
By now, you would have understood that it is tough to make the business model of the company work. There are quite a few red flags.
Moreover, the company does not care about independent contractors or the students who enroll in the program. That is why; the feedback on the Internet is not that good.
According to BBB, the company has an outstanding customer rating. However, there are 91 complaints as well. Since the company has been around for a long time, 91 issues are pretty less.
However, when you look at these complaints, you will realize that most of them deal with the fact that the salesman made the customers sign up for a subscription model without their knowledge.
The subscription model charges them anywhere between $20 per month to $500. It is without the understanding of the customer. It again states that the business model of the company is dubious.
There are multiple such complaints but hardly any solutions for the same.
When you look at the reviews from the Glass door, it states that many of the interns were disappointed with the company.
Many interns have indicated that they did not get any reimbursement for the expenses which they had to incur while working with the company. Moreover, the entrance for the independent contractors also stated that the working hours were pretty long without any benefits.
There are a few positive reviews which stated that the bonuses were on time and the working hours were high. Thus, the general perception of the company is negative when you research it on the Internet.
What should you know about Southwestern Advantage?
While going through the information above, you might have noticed quite a few issues which decipher the Southwestern Advantage. We will list some of the red flags due to which, you may want to stay away from it.
1. Negative reputation:
Whether you look for reviews online or on BBB or Glass door, the status of the company is hugely negative. The fact that some of the states in the US and the UK have blocked the business model of this company it becomes clear that it is not a suitable one.
2. Lack of customer support:
Numerous customers signed up for the subscription without their knowledge. When you take into account the 91 complaints on BBB, you will realize that they have not got any resolution. It indicates that the customer support of the company is not up to the mark.
3. No reimbursement:
Any expenses made for the promotion of the company products do not reach back to the interns or the independent contractors. That is why, even if they end up selling products, they will lose money. It is one of the main reasons why this business model does not work.
4. Long working hours:
The company expects the independent contractors to work 70 hours per week or more. When you look at the number of hours which the students can work every week, it is lesser than 70 in most of the cases. That is why; it is indirectly promoting the students to break that legal threshold.
The company expects that you will bear any expenses. The problem is that with a low conversion rate in door-to-door marketing, such payments cannot be earned back through commissions.
While some of you might think that these red flags are not that important, but the truth is that, these red flags fail the entire business model of the company.
• Real-world marketing experience
• Development of business and communication skills
• Long working hours
• No reimbursement of expenses
• No customer support
• Negative reputation
• Difficult marketing technique
Southwestern Advantage Scam:Verdict
So, southwestern advantage scam might not be a scam after all. The company is legit. However, when you take into account the business model of the company, it is tough to make money using the techniques which it advocates.
That is why it might be a legitimate MLM company, but it is a good idea to stay away from it. There are easy ways to make money offline and online. We have reviewed plenty of them on our website. Click HERE to know more!
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