WorldVentures is a Texas based travel company which started in 2005. They are a members only program so you need to join before you can book any WorldVentures travel. Active members acquire points, which can be used to help them pay for a range of 'DreamTrips' luxury vacations at a 'discounted rate'. WorldVentures memberships are currently being sold in almost 30 countries by an international network of representatives who have joined their multi-level marketing system.
Here at The Finance Guy, we believe you can't make money with MLM, but in this full review of WorldVentures, we'll give them a chance to prove us wrong. We will take a look at their business opportunity, and find out if this is a legitimate money making opportunity, or just another MLM.
In 2016, Worldventures reported an annual revenue of US $926.6 Million, which put them in 25th place on the 2017 DSN Global 100 list. It's good to know that the company is turning a profit, but we want to know how well the members of their MLM are doing
What is Worldventures
The official about Worldventures page describes them as a 'a community of fun, freedom and fulfillment'. It goes on to explain that if you join their DREAMTRIPS club, you will have access to their 'curated' group vacations to the 'most sought-after locations'. WorldVentures members also experience the 'transformative power of travel'. It then talks about the benefits of starting a business and joining a team.
We wanted to know more about the vacations so we looked at the WorldVentures DreamTrips page. We discovered they are offering 'more than just a vacation', it's a 'dream trip'. There's a short video on the page with a collection of members filmed in various international locations. They tell us how they like that the trips are planned for them.
It's nice that WorldVentures plans trips for you. Small issue is that the video only showed people standing near recognizable features, such as the Great Wall of China, The Washington Monument, The Sydney Harbour Bridge etc etc. They also show a collection of generic adventure activities like white water rafting and paragliding. There's nothing special about these regular vacations. The image below is a sample from the video:
As we can see, this member is speaking to us from some exotic location, possibly the Greek Islands. When we see video of people in front of a static background, it never looks like it was made with special effects on a home computer.
To get an idea of how easy it might be to create fake travel footage, we decided to send the same member to Egypt. Using nothing more than our beginners ability with photoshop, we created the image below:
We only worked with still images, but video software on a home computer could produce similar footage. Even though the video could have been filmed with cheap actors in front of a green screen, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. We're willing to assume that these are real members on real DreamTrips vacations.
Ignoring the production quality of the video, we are still struggling to see what's so special about WorldVentures DreamTrips. The Finance Guy has been to some of the locations shown in the video, and has done white water rafting and other adventurous activities. All they've done is show us that they 'package' a vacation which we could easily arrange ourselves.
What is WorldVentures DreamTrips
Feeling a little disappointed with the information on the official website, we went to youtube and found a this video:
To save you around 18 minutes, we'll share what we found in the video. Firstly we were happy to see that the video claims it was made without actors, instead they used WorldVentures members. After all actors are only playing a role, members want to make money from you joining!
The video talks about a blue 'You Should Be Here!' sign, which they claim has 'gone viral'. Not sure about you, but this is our first time seeing this 'viral' sign. They purport that only their members can get those signs for the 'couldn't build it yourself vacations' through WorldVentures. The way to build your WorldVentures business is to share photos with the sign. Well it appears that they haven't shared enough to reach us yet.
They go on to claim that their experiences are offered 'exclusively to their members', because the 'planning is done for you'. Not sure about you, but they are sounding a lot like a regular travel agent. Only difference is that travel agents plan the vacation we ask for rather than something put together by someone else.
The video refers to their trips as ' one of a kind adventures', yet strangely they are only showing footage of people at regular hotels and resorts doing regular vacation activities. After this they transition into the types of membership and how like a gym there are monthly fees. Basically you can pay a monthly fee and acquire points toward your next trip. Wow imagine if there was some other way to put money aside for holidays. Hey wait a savings account could do that, and you could even custom make your own vacations.
What do you get with DreamTrips
As far as we can see, WorldVentures DreamTrips membership charges a monthly fee for trips you could plan yourself or through a travel agent. The only benefit we could find was in their price promise shown below:
It's good to know that WorldVentures are confident that their trips are the cheapest. If you can find the identical trip for cheaper, they'll give you a 100% refund. That sounds good but maybe it's not. For starters, would the refund include all the monthly membership fees we paid in order to access this 'exclusive offer'?
What if we could arrange a trip to the same destination at the same time, with the same activities, but our trip was significantly cheaper? What if we flew on an airline which offered cheaper or more direct flights? Is it possible we'd choose a cheaper room at the same hotel? We could create our own version of the same vacation at a cheaper cost but it wouldn't be identical so in our opinion, the DreamPrice Promise is worthless.
Another question we are left asking ourselves is how would we be able to find 'the exact same trip' if they are offering 'one of a kind vacations'. Maybe their pre-planned group get aways are less unique than they say they are.
How do you Make Money With WorldVentures
To find out how the WorldVentures business opportunity works, we looked at the 2017 WorldVentures Compensation Plan. This document explains how independent representatives can become financially free through the power of network marketing and simply sharing the WorldVentures opportunity.
The compensation plan wastes no time telling us that they encourage their representative to share WorldVentures with others. They refer to this as 'social commerce'. For us this is an early warning sign. Endless recruitment is a red flag in Dr. Jon Taylors MLM evaluation system. He found that 99% of people will lose money in MLMs which encourage constant recruitment.
WorldVentures explain that the advantage of membership is that their DreapTrips, are simpler than booking it yourself online. Once again, we are struggling to see the value in this service. In the last 15 years, we've booked almost all our travel online ourselves. It's really not a difficult or time consuming process.
We then see that WorldVentures pays commission based on a binary compensation system very similar to the one used by USANA. We have already found that you can't make money with USANA, but maybe WorldVentures is different.
Like almost all MLM's you can not earn commission with WorldVentures unless you 'remain active'. To do this you need to pay a once off upfront fee, then ongoing monthly fees, which they say covers the cost of business tools, including your very own WorldVentures website, and the back office support. According to Dr. Taylor, this is known as the pay to play red flag.
It always makes us wonder when see companies charging fees for 'your own website'. This is something we don't believe actually costs them anything. All they are really do is giving you your own login and link to their generic marketing website. It's no different to adding a new account in Gmail. Does every new account cost Google extra monthly admin fees, or are they just part of how the system is designed?
What Commissions are Paid by WorldVentures
In true network marketing tradition, WorldVentures offers an overly complicated compensation system with several ways to earn. So far, in the MLMs we've looked at, most representatives don't end up earning much money, but maybe WorlVentures is different.
This is the equivalent of what other MLMs would call retail commission. In other words, you can earn a margin by selling memberships directly to new members. As always we believe that this is your best opportunity to make money with WorldVentures. However just like all the others we've reviewed, it only gets a cameo mention in the compensation plan.
We did find something rare in the WorldVentures compensation, but rare isn't necessarily good. We discovered that the weekly commission has an upper limit determined by rank, as shown below:
If you reach the rank of 'Senior Representative', or higher then you will qualify for monthly residuals. There are all sorts of balancing rules with the binary pyramid, but if you have a big enough downline, you can earn this. However, once again there is an upper limit on what you can earn as shown below:
To us, these maximum limits don't make sense. Essentially what they are telling us, is that no matter how much business you generate, they aren't willing to pay more than these maximums. Punishing the top performers is not a good way to run a salesforce! To us it looks like WorldVentures would rather pay themselves than their top salespeople.
There are a few other ways to earn with WorldVentures including 'Personal Sales Bonues', 'Trainingdollars', 'Traveldollars', 'Dreamcar Bonus', and 'Dreamhome bonus'. The only way a representative can earn any of these is to sell a very substantial amount of DreamTrips memberships. To access these, you need to first make your way up the hierarchy or WorldVentures MLM ranks.
How Much Are WorldVentures Representatives Earning
We found a copy of the 2015 WorldVentures Income Disclosure Statement. If we focus on the paragraph below the table of higher earners, we'll note that: In 2015 77.76% of WorldVentures Representatives earned no commission at all.
If we do some math and add up the first three rows of their table, we see that 21.42% averaged less than $1,300 in commission for 2015. If we include the 77.76% who earned absolutely nothing, we see that in 2015, only 0.82% of WorldVentures representatives earned more than $25 per week. For the record, you could make more than double that amount per day if you were to create a blog...
When we look at the significant income, it's a familiar story, 0.26% of representatives are earning a full time income from WorldVentures. In other words, your chances of earning a full time income with the WorldVentures business opportunity are less than 1 in 384!
Is WorldVentures an Illegal Pyramid Scam
Network marketing companies are legal as long as they have a product or service attached to them. There is a lot of other legalese terminology, which their lawyers successfully navigate. What we are trying to say is that despite our opinion that MLMs are not ethical, but they are legal.
Even though they are legal, there is a lot of negative press and warnings about WorldVentures. The Australian press isn't alone in recommending caution with this 'business venture'. We also found evidence that some members had unhappy experiences with WorldVentures.
Should You Join WorldVentures
WorldVentures has achieved a first! This is the first time we've reviewed a network marketing company and have been unable to find a reason why you should join. As far as we can see, you could book all the vacations yourself online, and if make some modifications, so that they're not 'exactly the same', then you'll probably get them at a better price.
If you would prefer not to go the effort of deciding the details of your own trip, then there are still some other options. For example rather than paying a monthly fee, you might save for your vacations. Maybe you want a pre-packaged tour to a popular destination with a group of like minded travelers. If this is you then perhaps WorldVentures can be of value. Then again, you might be better off saving your money and going on a Contiki Tour.
If WorldVentures wanted to offer added value to their DreamTrips, then they could put effort into offer truely unique experiences. Rather than offering cut 'n' paste trips, they might want to try something different. Being different would make them unique, and while it might not appeal to all, it would add value to a niche market. We think Worldventures could learn a lot from the epic tours offered by the Thirsty Swagman.
As always this review is just our opinion. Having said that, it is the opinion of someone who's used the internet to book some pretty amazing journeys. It might be fun to join a group and go to an exotic location at the time they want you to go and stay at the hotel they book. We'd love to hear your opinions in the comments section below, especially if you can share your experiences with WorldVentures
For more posts like this, look at our list of mlm reviews.