There’s a lot of mixed Team National reviews online.
Some say the TN membership doesn’t save you money, and that it’s really just a scam or pyramid scheme. Others say it’s the best thing ever and that everyone should join.
So, is it the real deal?
Team National isn’t a scam, it’s a legitimate MLM company that sells access to a real savings club. However, the company isn’t very upfront about some things, the startup costs are high, and it seems that most distributors are barely making ends meet.
In this review, I’m going to discuss the company, its savings membership and business opportunity in more detail, to help you make a more informed choice about joining either way.
What’s Team National About?
Team National is a network marketing company that sells “savings club” memberships.
Members of this “club” receive discounts and rebates on products and services throughout the United States. The discounts extend to products in over 20 industries. Anything from furniture and household goods, to insurance, phone services, auto-care and travel.
Who’s running the show?
Dick Loehr founded Team National in 1997 and handed the reigns over to his daughter, CEO Angela Loerh Chrysler shortly after. She runs TN from their HQ in Davie, Florida.
Since launching, the company has generated billions of dollars in sales, built a large network of independent distributors and earned some impressive awards. For example, the South Florida Top Workplaces in 2019 and Best Places to Work in 2019 awards.
They also run the Hope Foundation which is apparently “dedicated to inspiring hope and helping communities”. I did some research and found that one of the organisations they help out is Ramsey Education. Which is run by author and radio show host, Dave Ramsey.
Got it. But is Team National legit?
Well they sell a legitimate savings club membership and the FTC hasn’t shut them down in over 20 years. They’re also registered with the DSA, DSEF, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Which is more than what some network marketing companies can boast.
So, as far as MLM companies go, I think they’re pretty legit.
With that being said, there are some drawbacks and I am going to explain what these are shortly. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at how this works.
How Does TN Work?
There are two main “parts” to Team National:
- The savings membership
- The business opportunity
The savings membership is a club you can join to get savings and rebates on stuff you buy. The idea is to purchase the membership, and instead of buying products and services how you normally would, you buy stuff through the companies they’ve negotiated deals with.
One of the main reasons TN can offer discounts of up to 65% on items like furniture, is because of the concept of collective buying power. It acts as a kind of “buying club” where there is power in numbers to negotiate savings.
The business opportunity is where distributors earn money selling TN memberships and recruiting others who do the same. They call it “direct selling” because distributors are selling directly to consumers. But there’s also a multilevel marketing (MLM) component to this.
Because distributors don’t just earn money selling products. They also earn by recruiting people into their “downline”. Which allows them to earn commissions based on the sales activity of those in their downline.
MLM has a bit of a negative connotation to it, and there are some shady companies in the MLM space. Which is probably why TN avoids using this term. But that’s what they are.
Anyways, that’s the breakdown.
In the coming sections, I’ll be going into more detail on the TN Membership and compensation plan, so you know how these work.
Team National Savings Membership
The Team National Membership is a savings club membership that gives you access to a variety of discount offers. And there are two membership options- Standard and Premium.
Standard Membership ($795): This is a two year membership that includes savings for you and your entire household during this period of time.
Premium Membership ($2,195): This is a lifetime membership that covers you, your family and up to five employees if you run a business.
Regardless of which membership option you choose, every member gets access to the same discounts. And there’s four main ways you can save money as a TN member:
- Group Buying Power
- Factory Direct
- Business Services
- Rebate Program
Each of these are unique ways in which members can save. The main difference comes down to what you can buy and how the discount is applied.
I’ll now explain more about each type of saving so you know how it works.
1. Group Buying Power
Group Buying Power allows members to save money on everyday items like cell phone plans, auto care and home, auto and health insurance. As well as discounts on jewelry, hotels, real estate services and car rentals.
They even have discounts on new and used vehicles through their “Auto Mall”. And discounts from well known companies like AT&T, Avis and MetLife for example.
How can Team National offer members these discounts?
Because all TN members essentially represent “one big customer”. And most companies are happy to offer discounts to customers who buy more stuff.
In other words, Team National is kind of like a buying club that goes to these companies and says “we’ll bring you lots of new customers if you give them a discount”.
The vendor wins because they’re getting new customers. Team National wins because you’re paying them a membership fee. And members win because they save money.
2. Factory Direct
This works in a similar way to group buying power. Except it mostly includes home, office and outdoor furniture. As well as mattresses and building materials like flooring.
No specific discount percentages are provided on the company website. But his could potentially save you a lot of money. Because they are bypassing the wholesale and retail market, and allowing you to purchase direct from the factory itself.
But are you really paying less overall?
I’m not so sure.
TN says the savings are as high as 65%, which is obviously amazing. But much of the home furniture (for example) looks to me like it’s on the “high end”. As in, more expensive than what the average person would typically buy.
Which makes sense when you think about it.
Because companies who are selling at a premium can afford to lower prices much further than those who are already selling at super competitive prices.
My point being, you could end up spending more money overall, even with a discount. Which kind of defeats the purpose of “saving” in the first place, don’t you think?
There’s only one way to know for sure though, try the membership yourself to see if the products and discounts on offer, work for you.
The next best thing is to speak with whoever’s trying to recruit you. Ask them if they can show you (in real time) what discounts are available. If there really is value there, they shouldn’t have a problem with this. If they try to dodge this, it could be a red flag.
3. Business Services
This is the third way Team National allows members to save, and it specifically caters to people who run their own business.
From what I can see, the main discount they offer is for payment and payroll processing services. TN has a partnership with a company called ADP. And as a result, they are able to offer members up to 50% savings on payroll processing fees.
Which they say works out to an average of $2,061 per year in savings.
Aside from this, they offer member discounts on legal services, technical support and identity protection among others. There’s also a Business Exchange, where members can promote their local business through the Team National business directory.
4. Rebate Program
The Rebate Program is a unique way you can get cash back on products you purchase online, through Team National’s Big N Marketplace. And this does include big name brands and trusted companies, like Walmart and Hotels.com for example.
How does it work?
Well, in this case, TN hasn’t negotiated any special pricing with any of the 500 plus companies you can buy from, within the marketplace.
Instead, they are simply affiliates for these companies. So what they are doing, is allowing you to purchase products through their affiliate links. And when you do, they receive an affiliate commission from these companies (this is called affiliate marketing).
However, instead of regular affiliate marketing where the affiliate keeps that commission, Team National actually gives you their affiliate commission back as a “rebate”.
Here’s how the process works:
- Visit the Big N Marketplace and find something you want to buy.
- Click on the vendors link, visit their site and make the purchase.
- TN earns a commission on that sale, because you bought through their affiliate link.
- TN eventually passes that commission on to you as a rebate.
What types of products can you buy?
It’s probably easier to ask what you can’t buy, because virtually every major company has an affiliate program, and there’s over 500 of them within TN’s marketplace.
For example, you can buy shoes, clothing, household goods, tools, electronics and more. Virtually anything you’d normally buy online, from sites you’d normally buy from. According to the website, there’s even rebates on real estate and mortgage transactions.
What’s the catch?
Firstly, the cash back rates are typically very low. They say the rebates are as high as 35% but the going rate for most physical products is around 5-10% at best.
Second, it can take months to get your cash back. Because TN has to wait to be paid the commission, and only then do they forward the rebate to you. This can take up to 90 days.
Either way, I think it’s a cool idea. And there are potentially some good savings here over the long term, given the sheer volume of products you have access to.
Through the course of my research, I came across two resources that provide more insight into the discounts TN offers, and the companies they work with.
Here are the links to these documents if you want to learn more:
These may not be completely up-to-date. But they do provide a lot of insight into what you can buy and the potential discounts. So I think you will find these helpful.
Team National Business Opportunity and Compensation Plan
The compensation plan outlines how you can earn money by participating in the Team National business opportunity. Most network marketing companies share the comp plan on their website, so that people who are interested can learn how it all works.
But TN doesn’t do this. For whatever reason, they do not provide a summary or detailed compensation plan on their site or anywhere for that matter.
I did find this compensation plan summary on another site they run, which provides some insight. But other than this I kind of had to piece everything together as best I could based on information I could find. Including what I’d learned from a previous version of this review, back when they had a YouTube video of the compensation plan (which has since been taken down).
Either way, in the next couple of sections, I’m going to do my best to walk you through the process of getting started and the different ways you can earn.
To get started, you need to know an existing Independent Marketing Director (IMD), which is what Team National calls their distributors. And that person can then help you sign up.
What if you don’t know an IMD?
In that case, you can go to their “Save and Earn More” website and fill out a contact form on the homepage. And from here, someone will contact you to get the ball rolling.
Honestly, this is a pretty archaic system compared to other MLM companies I’ve reviewed. TN seems to want to keep everything face to face.
How much does it cost to get started?
From what I can see, there’s no cost to become an IMD. But again, the company holds a lot of information back on their site, so I can’t say for sure.
What I can say, is you need to recruit at least two people who purchase a TN membership, to qualify for the bonuses within the compensation plan. And to remain “qualified” you must sell at least two TN memberships every 12 months.
Based on my research, I found that there may be some other small fees that are not disclosed on the website. For example, fees for your replicated website and for access to the TNRA Mobile App. Which are tools to help you build your business.
Not to mention, the annual convention and other events cost money to attend. They’re technically not “essential” but like most MLM companies, they’ll probably tell you it is.
Ways You Can Earn Money
There are a number of ways you can earn money as an Independent Marketing Director. And in this section, I’ll break these down for you.
TN Membership Commissions
This is the simplest way to earn money with Team National. Whenever you sell a membership, you earn a commission of between $25 to $100.
Exactly how much you earn, depends on the type of membership you sell:
- A Premium Membership sale pays a $100 commission.
- A Standard Membership sale pays a $50 commission.
You do not need to recruit anyone to qualify for these commissions. All you need to do is signup and start making sales. Pretty simple stuff.
Given the price of the membership, these are quite low commissions. And this is why the MLM component (every income stream from here on out) is so important to earn any real money. Without this, it’s not really worth it.
The Progression Bonus is based on a binary downline structure.
The way this works is your first two recruits go directly under you, and they form your left and right “leg”. This formation continues a theoretical infinite levels deep.
Here’s a screenshot I found to show you what I mean:
As you can see, it’s basically one big “pyramid shaped” downline.
How do you earn?
Every time someone in your downline purchases a TN membership, you earn a set number of “points”. A Standard Membership rewards you with 1 point, and a Premium Membership rewards you with 3 points.
Whenever you reach 5 points in both the left and right legs of your downline, you earn a $500 commission. And when that climbs to 10 points either side, you get an additional $1,000 bonus. Which brings the total Progression Bonus to $1,500.
Once you earn this, the process starts over.
When any of your personal recruits earn the above $1,500 Progression Bonus, TN pays you a $1,000 Hosting Bonus.
Presidential Director Bonus
The Presidential Director Bonus comes into effect when you reach the “Presidential” rank. And to reach this rank, you need to earn three $1,500 Progression Bonuses.
This bonus pays out $10 for personally referred Standard members and $20 for Premium members in your downline. And this amount incrementally increases to $50 for Standard members and $100 for Premium members, as you continue to build your team.
Other Commissions and Bonuses
Aside from what I just explained, there are some other ways you can earn with TN.
For example, you can start additional Business Centers, earn by selling TN’s private label nutrition products, and earn rewards like the annual cruise.
Is TN a Scam or Pyramid Scheme?
Strictly speaking, Team National is not a scam or pyramid scheme.
I say this firstly because they are selling a legitimate product. The value of that product is debatable, but they are selling a real product nonetheless.
Second, pyramid schemes are illegal. So in order to accuse a company of this, you need proof. The kind of proof that only agencies like the FTC can acquire through an investigation. Anything short of this is really just speculation.
You can read this article I wrote about pyramid schemes if you want to learn more. The article goes into more detail about pyramid schemes and the red flags to watch out for.
Now for my personal opinion…
In my view, it could be considered a scam if the membership savings aren’t there. I mean, if you’re paying $795 to $2,195 and not making your money back within a reasonable period of time, it’s obviously not legit.
And pyramid schemes do exist, even when there’s a real product being sold.
For example, if the majority of people buying the product, are really just buying to qualify for recruitment commissions, it could be considered a product based pyramid scheme. Because the whole thing is (really) about recruiting people, who recruit people.
You will see some reviewers shouting “scam” or “pyramid scheme”. But the truth of the matter is, no “review blogger” (including me) can make this claim without hard proof.
There’s a fine line between a “legitimate” MLM company and a pyramid scheme. Not all MLM’s are pyramid schemes, but all pyramid schemes are MLM’s.
What Are Others Saying About TN?
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for Team National online. And they seem to be quite extreme in their opinion, one way or the other.
Some say the membership is a complete waste of money and that the business is a waste of time. Others sing TN’s praises, as if they could do no wrong.
I took some screenshots of both positive reviews and complaints on Team National’s Better Business Bureau profile, to show you what I mean.
Positive reviews (2019):
There’s a lot more positive and negative comments on the BBB website, and on other sites like complaintsboard.com. These are just some of the most recent ones I found.
One thing I will say is that Team National is very proactive in responding to the complaints on the BBB website. Every complaint I saw was addressed right away which should count for something I guess. Also worth noting is that the overall number of complaints on the BBB site is quite low for a company of this size.
Can You Really Make Money With Team National?
The simple answer is yes, it is possible to earn money as an IMD.
However, the simple truth is that most people don’t. And this is something that can be easily proven, by looking a the companies earnings disclosure:
This doesn’t paint a very nice picture.
The earnings disclaimer clearly shows that 99.4% of IMD’s earn less than $13,184 per year on average. Which means most distributors earn less than minimum wage.
And this is the unfortunate reality of most MLM companies. Even with larger, more successful MLM companies that operate in a similar niche, like Amway.
On the plus side, it does show that it’s possible to earn a good income, since some people clearly are. And to some extent, it would be passive income. Which is just income that you’re not trading your time for, like you do in job.
Either way, those that earn the most money promoting TN, are the biggest recruiters. They’re good at face to face selling and constantly recruiting new people into the business.
And even then, it takes a lot of time and effort to get to where they are. Because most people do nothing and quit after a few months. That’s just the way it is.
So you could make money promoting TN. But if you want to be as successful as the top half percent, be prepared to do a lot of recruiting.
- Team National has been in business for over 20 years and have received numerous awards in that time. They’re also a member of some of the most respected industry associations in the US. This lends the company some measure of credibility.
- There is potential to save money on quality products and services. And I like the way you can get cash back, it’s a cool setup overall. Just how much you could save, depends on the deals on offer and what you want to buy.
- If face to face selling and recruiting people is your thing, and you’re willing to put in a lot of effort, there’s potential to earn money in the business side of things.
- There’s a total lack of transparency on their website with respects to the discounts they offer, startup fees and details of the compensation plan. This is critical information. And they hold this back until after you join, which to me is a red flag.
- The membership is expensive. And there’s a lot of complaints online from people who say they didn’t save much after buying. Which makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.
- Without the recruiting element, the income potential is quite low. Which is one of the main reasons I’m not a fan of MLM in general. Most people end up having to recruit people they know, just to make a few bucks. Which sucks.
The Team National membership could be good but it’s also kinda risky. Simply because you can’t know for sure what discounts you are getting, until after you buy.
I’ve given you some insight with respects to what you can buy and save. But at the end of the day, without seeing the current discounts in real time you’re taking a chance.
With that being said, there is a 3 day refund policy in place. So worst case, I guess you could check it out and cancel if you feel it’s not going to benefit you.
Regarding the business opportunity, I think it could be good for some people. But it’s not something I personally would get involved with.
Because those who make the big money with TN, are those who are constantly giving sales presentations and recruiting new people into their downline. That’s just how these network marketing “opportunities” work. And I think there are better ways to build a business.
But that’s me. I guess if you think the membership is awesome, like the idea of direct sales, and you’re prepared to put the effort in, then it could be worthwhile for you.
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to join Team National is up to you. I don’t think anyone should sway you one way or the other, this is something only you can decide. Hopefully this review helps you make a more informed decision either way.