Market America, a one-to-one marketing, and product brokerage company, has ranked on the Grant Thornton North Carolina 100 for the 13th year in a row. Grant Thornton determines the largest privately held companies in the state of North Carolina from participant-submitted data. To qualify, a company has to be private and headquartered in North Carolina. While Market America has a presence across the U.S. and the globe, they are headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. There, over two decades ago, JR Ridinger and his wife Loren Ridinger started the company from their garage. Since then, the company has sold billions of dollars worth of product and owns the prized domain shop.com. They offer a wide variety of products including Market America-specific lines.
In the past 25 years of business, Market America has expanded internationally to ten countries in total. But they globally reach over 200 countries and territories. The most recent addition to the list of countries is Market Malaysia, which was officially opened at the end of 2017. One of the stated goals of establishing the business in Malaysia is targeting the culturally diverse country, which could open up markets in adjacent countries. Global presence establishes Market America as a key contender among online retailers. Market America has dipped into the core major markets across the globe, including weight loss, supplements, cosmetics, and even software. Not only do they sell top popular brands, but they have also come out with their own product lines.
Market America specializes in consumer market research and determines products to offer on their marketplace based on consumer needs.
They place customers first by melding the capacities of large corporations with individualized shopping experiences. This is to say that Market America is able to offer price-and quality-comparable goods while giving each customer personalized attention. The company is not just another online retailer. They have their own spin on business. Since they’re a product brokerage company, they have formulated a system for individuals to earn money through selling and buying.
This is done through product brokerage combined with one-to-one marketing. Market America offers UnFranchise ownership. They call it UnFranchise to allude to the complications and pitfalls of franchise models. Market America UnFranchise business owners have access to sell goods through the Market America channels like shop.com, and garner the tools to properly market their storefronts. In the process of this, when UnFranchise owners make sales, they have the potential to earn a commission. Product Brokerage enables this.
Since Market America cuts out the middleman, they are able to offer commissions for those who sell the products.
And since UnFranchise owners are the ones doing the selling, they are able to establish key relationships with their preferred customers. As such, the customers get competitively-priced goods as well as attention to their individual needs. The Market America system runs on people power, so the more people are involved, the more they’re succeeding and earning. Part of the train of success is relying on team members to increase earning potential. So Market America UnFranchise owners who want to continue earning more money will want to gather a team of other UnFranchise owners. Those team members gain from their own sales, and the commission is duplicated for those owners helping to get people on board. The team-oriented business model works to increase accountability, which if channeled properly, leads to more success.
Another determining point of Market America’s business system is shopping annuity. Rather than a typical annuity, where a lump sum is put forth, Market America’s annuity works in smaller sums. When you’re shopping, you’re also earning money. Customers start by analyzing their current expenses. Then they can see which items can potentially be purchased from Market America, where they will be able to receive a return on the money that they spend. Through the process of redirecting their spending, people can be earning money just by doing their normal shopping. Their budgets can remain the same all the time.
While Market America is proud of being a top-earning private company, they also pride themselves on their business practices.
They remain vocal about adhering to transparency standards beyond what’s required of them. As a private company, Market America is not required to disclose their yearly financial statements, but they opt to do so to keep UnFranchise owners informed on business processes. Market America also has a Better Business Bureau A+ rating. In addition, the President and CEO of BBB, Kevin Hinterberger, was in attendance at Market America’s 25th Anniversary International Convention. He spoke in congratulations of Market America’s culture and said: “they do what’s right, even when nobody is looking.” Market America was awarded the Torch Award For Marketplace Ethics in 2013 for outstanding and ethical business practices.
Market America was not always a private company. They went public, and after a while, JR Ridinger made the decision to buy back the whole company from shareholders. He did so because he felt that the company was in the hands of people who did not really understand his vision, or the company itself. In buying back the company, he sought to protect all of the work he had done to build the company from the ground up. Through decades of business, the stability of the company has also in part been exemplified by how long people stay. Many of the core members of the senior management team have been with the company for a substantial amount of time. Still with the company are UnFranchise owners who started when the company had little reputation. Some of these individuals have gone on to become millionaires through the process. They now offer mentorship to new UnFranchise owners.
Long-lasting principles and team-building have been recurrent themes of the Market America business. Being on the Grant Thornton North Carolina 100 for the 13th year in a row just adds to the idea that ethical business practices can still be financially lucrative. Market America also lives in conjunction with the idea that small businesses can develop beyond their immediate surroundings, while still retaining their roots.