SFI Affiliate Center looks like an exciting way to build an online business.
After all, the company has millions of affiliates promoting products on their partner site, TripleClicks. Which is supposedly one of the fastest growing e-commerce stores online.
But it’s always smart to do your research before jumping in, so well done for being here. Read this review to see what SFI is all about and if it’s really worthwhile…
How Does SFI Work?
What Is TripleClicks?
TCredits and Member Rewards Points
Four Ways You Can Use TripleClicks
Bid on Penny Auctions
SFI Affiliate Program & Compensation Plan
What Is SFI Affiliate Center?
SFI Affiliate Centre is a platform where SFI Marketing Group affiliate’s learn how to promote TripleClicks and recruit others into their SFI downline.
In other words, it’s a ‘hub’ for SFI affiliates to build their SFI business.
The company itself, SFI (Strong Future International) Marketing Group, is a multi level marketing (MLM) company that began back in 1998.
The founder of the company is CEO Gery Carson. He has a notable background in marketing and direct sales and says he started SFI to “empower and enrich the lives of millions of people around the world”.
Being in business for almost 20 years does count for something, and they do boast some impressive numbers. At least, according to the website.
In any case, it’s always good to do your research joining any ‘bizop’. So let’s take a closer look to see how it stacks up…
How Does SFI Work?
SFI Affiliate Center operates as the ‘central hub’ for those wanting to promote TripleClicks and recruit people into SFI. In doing so, affiliates earn commissions from direct sales and from the sales volume of their recruits.
Signing up with SFI Affiliate Center is free, and members automatically become affiliates. They also get access to training and tools to help them build their SFI business. Including access to a members only forum, tracking data, leaderboards and other useful affiliate resources.
Here’s a screenshot of the members area you’ll see if you join…
As you can see, there’s a LOT of different avenues to go down here.
On the plus side, there does appear to be some genuinely worthwhile training available for affiliates. The downside is, it’s mostly written content with no visual aids at all, so it’s not the easiest style of training to follow. It’s also somewhat confusing to know where to start given all the options.
Anyways, let’s take a look at TripleClicks- a key component of this business…
What Is TripleClicks?
TripleClicks is an ‘e-commerce style’ site that launched in 2009, and it’s a big part of how SFI works.
Why? Because the monetary transactions that take place within TripleClicks, are primarily what SFI affiliate commissions are based on. So when people spend money inside TripleClicks, the SFI affiliate who referred them earns a commission.
Ok cool. But how exactly does TripleClicks work?
There are different ways in which you can use the TripleClicks website. First and foremost you can buy and sell products within the marketplace. In addition, you can participate in penny auctions (dubbed “PriceBenders”) to buy discounted products and play various online games to win prizes.
TCredits and Member Rewards Points
There are two main types of rewards within TripleClicks- TCredits and Member Reward Points (MRP). Both of which play a key role in how the system works.
TCredits: These are credits you can use within TripleClicks.com to buy products, pay seller listing fees, bid on auctions and play online games. One ‘TCredit’ costs $1.99 however if bought along, or as low as $0.29 if bought in a pack of 200. Without TCredits, you cannot sell products, participate in penny auctions, or play certain games. Which means they’re essential if you want to use TripleClicks to any meaningful extent.
Member Rewards Points (MRP): MRP are earned when you spend money or TCredits within TripleClicks. You can redeem MRP for products within the marketplace.
Four Ways You Can Use TripleClicks
As mentioned, there are four main ways you can use the TripleClicks website…
1) Buy Products
To me, this aspect of TripleClicks is almost like a lower quality version of eBay or Amazon. There are product listings there, and you may be able to save money on some items.
I honestly cannot see why people would buy from TripleClicks versus a more trusted and popular website. Unless I am missing something, there’s nothing outstanding about this aspect of TripleClicks in my opinion.
2) Sell Products
A ‘standard seller’ can list products in the marketplace for 1 TCredit. Regardless of the item and until it sells.
A ‘pro’ seller can become an ECA (e-commerce Associate) for free and pay a minimum 15% of the final sale price to TripleClicks. With the ECA program, the seller gets a ‘TConnect’ website, which is essentially a replicated website on a sub-domain (e.g. yourcompanyname.tripleclicks.com).
In either case, you simply list your item and the company handles everything between that and order fulfilment. Once an order comes through the system, the company sends you the order details to fulfil.
There are (apparently) over a million affiliates behind SFI to help sell your products which is good. And the listing fees are reasonable.
But again, I’m still not seeing any great advantage of listing on TripleClicks versus Amazon or eBay, or other competing sites?
I mean, it’s free to list on eBay for up to 40 items per month and there’s only a 10.9% final value fee (less than TripleClicks). Not to mention, it’s a WAY more popular site (especially in the US), meaning more potential buyers.
3) Bid on Penny Auctions (AKA PriceBenders)
This is likely where SFI makes the lions share of it’s revenue within TripleClicks- penny auctions. Which is essentially ‘gambling’ to buy a given product at a discount.
How does it work?
The product will be sold at whatever price it hits when the timer reaches zero. Participants bid in increments of 1 cent until the timer reaches zero, at which point the last person to place a bid wins the item.
This can net some people awesome savings, for sure. But there are drawbacks to this. To understand the drawbacks you need to understand the following point…
Each bid costs 1TCredit ($0.29 to $1.99) and each bid increment goes up by $0.01.
Why is this so important?
Because this is how the company makes money and it’s how you can potentially lose money.
The company collects up to $1.99 per bid from you and anyone else who bids, and they also collect the final price that the product ‘lands on’ when the timer reaches zero. Which means the companies profit can be significant, and there is only ONE ‘winner’. Meaning everyone else who bids will always lose out.
Take the $35 Amazon gift card that recently sold for $1.15 for example…
There were 115 bids placed on that gift card during that auction, which cost bidders between $33.35 and $228.85. Plus the ‘winner’ paid $1.15 for the gift card itself. The real winner here is TripleClicks, who pocket the revenue from all bids regardless.
I’m not saying it’s a ‘bad’ thing, but it does pay to know this stuff before diving in.
4) Play Games
This is the fourth and final way you can use TripleClicks- online games. Some games are free, some allow you to play a couple free games then make you pay using TCredits. The rewards for winning re TCredits, MRP, and other prizes.
SFI Affiliate Program and Compensation Plan
In this section, I’ll explain how you can earn money with the SFI affiliate program and how the MLM compensation plan works. This is really the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the SFI Affiliate business opportunity.
Before we get into things here, it’s worth knowing what VersaPoints (VP) are and how they come into play. Earning VP is heavily encouraged within the platform, and one of the main ways you can increase your earnings.
How to earn VP…
- Complete daily, weekly and monthly ‘activities’ as an SFI affiliate
- Spend money and TCredits within TripleClicks
- Recruit people into your downline
Benefits of doing so….
- Increase your affiliate rank and thus, your earnings potential
- More VP means a bigger share in the ‘executive pool’ (explained below)
- Win cash and prizes, and earn ‘badges’ to show your status
There are more details about VPs, but this is the general way they work.
Six Ways You Can Earn Money With SFI
There are six main ways you can earn as an SFI affiliate which I’ll now explain in detail.
1) Direct Commissions
This is the first and most basic income stream within SFI. However, I’ve seen several reviews and comments about this and found that it’s also misunderstood.
In short, some people say you earn 45% direct commissions- which is simply not true.
What’s the real story?
You earn 45% of the commission volume (CV) of any purchases made by your direct referrals within TripleClicks. The keyword being “CV”.
What is CV and how is it calculated?
CV is the difference between wholesale and retail price (AKA gross margin). So the 45% commission comes from the gross margin of any sales coming through your referral link.
Meaning, direct commissions are significantly lower than 45% of the actual sale price.
Let me give you a specific example to show you what I’m talking about here. The following is an example of an actual product being sold through TripleClicks.
Here is the product for $179 (Privacy Maxx Identity Theft Protection)…
Here’s the example the company itself uses to explain what you can earn promoting it…
The following example breakdown summarises what you earn in this case…
- Product retail price= $179
- CV (AKA gross margin between wholesale cost and retail price)= $73.78 CV
- Commission (45% of $73.78 CV)= $33.20
So if you do the math, this makes the direct commissions closer to 18%.
Granted, that’s just how it works out on that product, but the formula is the same regardless of the individual product.
Don’t get me wrong, the company doesn’t actively lie about how this works.
However, there is something they are not upfront about. That is, they do NOT show what the gross margin is (CV) on each product.
According to SFI Affiliate Center, all you need to do is “login to TripleClicks to find out”…
That information is not able to be found anywhere inside TripleClicks that I could find.
Yet, this is an extremely important metric to know.
So we have the formula to work out these commissions, yes. But we do not have the CV (gross margin) of the individual products, which makes knowing your direct commissions on each product impossible until you make a sale.
2) TripleClicks Executive Pool
This is where VersaPoints (VPs) and the MLM side of things come into play.
In total, 40% of ALL of the companies sales are placed into the ‘executive pool’ and shared amongst ‘executive’ ranked affiliates and higher.
How much you receive depends on three things…
- Your affiliate rank
- How many shares you have accumulated
- How much revenue the company itself generates in a given month
Executive Affiliates (EAs) and higher all share in 40% of company wide revenue for the month. But ‘team leader’ ranked affiliates earn even more from those in their downline as follows…
- Bronze Team Leader: Matching VP on all EAs in your downline within 6 levels
- Silver Team Leader: Matching VP on all EAs in your downline within 8 levels
- Gold Team Leader: Matching VP on all EAs in your downline within 10 levels
- Platinum Team Leader: Matching VP on all EAs in your downline within 12 levels
- Diamond Team Leader: Same as Platinum, plus double matching VP on affiliates on the 12th level
So the more VP you have, the higher your rank, and the higher your rank, the higher VP you can earn. Which means the more money you can make in the executive pool income stream.
You can also earn ‘milestone shares’ too. These accumulate at the rate of 10-18 shares per 10 VP depending on your rank (only VP coming through direct referrals counts for this). When you reach the next rank, those points are paid out to you as a bonus.
3) Co-Sponsor Commissions
A co-sponsored affiliate (CSA) is essentially a referral that is given to you by the company. If you maintaining your rank of Executive Affiliate you receive at least two CSA’s per month. But you can also buy, win and earn CSA’s in various ways.
Regardless of how you get CSAs, they pay out a commission of 15% of the CV for any orders placed through TripleClicks. So it’s similar to direct commissions in the way it works, but you didn’t refer them yourself and the commission rate is lower.
4) T-Credit Bonuses
This is simply earning TCredits each month depending on your rank…
- Executive Affiliate: Earn 10 TCredits per month
- Bronze Team Leader:Earn 12 TCredits per month
- Silver Team Leader: Earn 14 TCredits per month
- Gold Team Leader: Earn 16 TCredits per month
- Platinum Team Leader: Earn 20 TCredits per month
- Diamond Team Leader: Earn 24 TCredits per month
As explained earlier, TCredits can be used within TripleClicks for various purposes, including buying products.
5) ECA Referral Program
When you refer people to become ECAs in TripleClicks, you can earn 10% of the CV on all of their sales for life. You also receive a one time 100 VP bonus when your ECAs make their first $10 in sales.
6) SFI Pay-Per-Action
This is a ‘cost per action’ affiliate system whereby, you earn just for referring people to become an SFI affiliate. You don’t actually get them as your referral though, otherwise you’d be getting paid directly to recruit people- which constitutes a pyramid scheme.
So the way this works, is you earn the initial commission, but forfeit the referral.
The compensation plan states you can earn $10 per signup, which is true. But it’s not until you read the fine print that you see this is not likely what most people are paid…
Realistically, most people are going to be earning between $0.50 and $1.50 for this income stream per referral. It is ONLY if that referral qualifies initially, and then goes onto become a ‘Team Leader’ within 90 days, that you get the $8 bonus. Throw in another $0.50 if the referral is from the US or Canada, and this is where “up to $10 per referral” comes from.
What People Are Saying About SFI
The reviews on the BBB website are a lot more positive than negative, and the company even has an A+ rating. I’m far more interested in what people say rather than just the rating itself though, when it comes to the BBB this is far more important in my opinion.
Anyways, here’s a recent positive review on the BBB website…
Now here’s a recent negative review on the same site…
If you take the time to research, you’ll find that there are lots of reviews out there with plenty of comments. So if you really want to see what people are saying, it may be worth doing more research on that front.
As with any comments for programs like this, you’ll have strong arguments from both sides.
On one hand, there’s your die hard affiliates who will shout the companies praises and tare shreds off anyone for speaking out about their company. Especially within the MLM space.
On the other hand, you’ll see complaints from people who say SFI is a scam and that it’s not worth joining.
There are always extremes with this kind of thing, so I think it’s worth looking at both sides and making up your own mind.
The Verdict- Is SFI Affiliate Center a Scam?
No. I don’t consider SFI Affiliate Center or TripleClicks a scam.
As far as TripleClicks goes, I can’t see why the buying and selling aspect is worthwhile versus major competitors. I guess I could be missing something, but I wasn’t very impressed and I can hardly see how marketing this online would be very successful.
The real value within TripleClicks appears to be the ‘penny auctions’ and online games sections. So if you’re into that kind of thing, then it might be worth it for you.
As far as SFI itself goes, the real money is made by recruiting other affiliates. Assuming the company is running an ethical ship, that doesn’t make it a scam. Not all MLM’s are scams or pyramid schemes.
It really comes down to how many genuine sales are coming from genuine customers. As oppose to sales coming from affiliates who are just looking to ‘qualify’ for higher ranks and/ or income opportunities.
In any case, there is money to be made with this program. Considering it’s free to join, you could try it out to see what you think and go from there. Building any worthwhile online business takes time and effort, so it’s worth being sure before you decide.