Perhaps you’ve come across scathing opinions on ClubShop on how it could be potentially a scam. Or you’re invited by its members to sign up for ClubShop membership and wonder if it’s a legit opportunity.
Either way, I’ve done my homework on ClubShop and I’ll tell you exactly what it is with this decades-old company.
At the end of this article, you’ll have a clear answer on whether ClubShop is a scam or if it’s an opportunity worth your time and money.
So, read on.
What Is ClubShop?
- Name: ClubShop
- Website: www.clubshop.com
- Founders: Richard Burke
- Cost to Join: Free
- Rating: 2/10
ClubShop was founded in 1997 by Richard Burke. Back then, it was known as the Discount Home Shoppers Club. The idea for the company’s operation is simple. It pools together groups of buyers, which creates substantial buying power. The company then leverages the buying power to strike up deals with retailers for cashback rewards.
For 2 decades, ClubShop has been helping its members to save on purchases with its cash back rewards program. It all seems legit, as it’s impossible for a scam to operate for 20 years without sounding the red flags.
However, a prominent event in 2018 may change that. In 2018, ClubShop was acquired by Proprofit Worldwide Ltd, which is helmed by Fabrizio Perotti. Fabrizio Perotti, it seems, was involved in Ad2Prosper, a known pyramid scheme.
The question is, will Perotti’s involvement change the fundamentals of ClubShop? Will ClubShop slide towards the pyramid structure to boost its membership?
Let’s take a look at what ClubShop has to offer right now.
What Does ClubShop Offer?
ClubShop’s members get paid to shop. That’s the bold heading when you land on ClubShop’s homepage. It’s offering is simple. Sign up as a member for free and you have the privilege of getting cashback when you make purchases from selected retailers.
You can find the participating retailers by clicking on ‘Shop Online’ and select the country you’re in. Right now, ClubShop is available in countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada. As ClubShop started from the US, it has the most participating retailers in the country. You’ll find brands like Walmart, Banana Republic, and Fossil offering cashback on ClubShop.
When members make purchases through ClubShop, they receive the cashback in the form of ClubCash, a currency-token specific to the company. ClubCash can be redeemed as cash with supported payment gateways, including Paypal.
How Do You Make Money With ClubShop
Besides its cashback program, ClubShop offers a seemingly lucrative MLM program. It allows each member to build 6 vertical downlines that are 6 levels deep.
However, you need to be a ‘qualified GPS’ before you can start earning. To quality as one, you have two options.
The first option is to subscribe to any of its ClubShop GPS package. These packages differ in price and give you access to different perks and features.
- Basic – $14.90 /month
- Basic Plus – $29.90 / month
- Pro – $49.90 / month
- Pro Plus – $89.90 / month
- Premier – $129.90 / month
- Premier Plus – $249.90/month
If you don’t want to commit to the monthly payment, you’ll need to take the alternative route, which isn’t easy. It’s to ensure that your referrals are making a minimum number of purchases every month.
Once you’re a ClubShop GPS, you can start earning from its MLM program.
There are two ways where you can earn by being a ClubShop MLM member, or its preferred term, GPS member.
You can earn up to 20% as a participating ClubShop GPS member from purchases or new subscription from your downlines.
Here’s how the commissions look like for each level of downline.
- Level 1 – 2%
- Level 2 – 3%
- Level 3 – 4%
- Level 4 – 7%
- Level 5 – 14%
- Level 6 – 20%
Based on the residual commission chart, you’ll earn more when your downline is also aggressively recruiting.
Fast Start Bonus
You enjoy 50% of commission for the first month when your direct referral sign up for a GPS package or upgrade an existing one. For example, if your immediate downline subscribes to the Premie Plus membership, you get $124.95 on the first month.
What I Like About ClubShop
1. Transparent Information
Points to ClubShop for being pretty open on what it’s business is all about. The website states clearly that members enjoy cashback when shopping with selected retailers. Searching for those retailers is easy and they are tagged with the cashback percentage.
ClubShop’s About Us page gives a brief history on its operation, including its takeover by Proprofit Worldwide Ltd. It also has an extensive FAQ section, which answers most of your questions on its cashback and MLM program.
You can also access ClubShop’s MLM compensation plan on its site, as well as a video describing the plan in detail. The information was well-written and easy to understand.
What I Don’t Like About ClubShop
1. Expensive Pay-To-Play
To start promoting ClubShop and enjoy the commission, you’ll need to pay at least $24.90 a month. That totals up to $298.80 per year. It is a considerably expensive fee to pay just to promote an MLM business and make money from the commission.
Any pay-to-play program triggers a red-flag in my mind. It’s true that MLM business needs to be sustainable, but compelling members to subscribe to its service as the easy way out doesn’t seem right to me.
2. Overly-focus on Recruitment
ClubShop’s pitch on its MLM program is centered on recruitment. Its material, and explanation on how members can earn are focused on getting new members to sign up.
I would like to see an MLM business pitching its compensation program by focusing the value of its products. In this case, getting more members to shop on its platform.
However, ClubShop’s approach seems to neglect the retail part of its business and emphasize recruitment for the sake of its lucrative commission. The lop-sided focus on recruitment makes it no different than a pyramid scheme.
3. Complaints and Negative Feedback
I do have a hunch that ClubShop has turned rouge since it was acquired by Proprofit Worldwide Ltd. in 2018.
It doesn’t take much to find out complaints by disgruntled members on forums.
Allegation of not receiving payment is a serious one. From my experience reviewing and participating in similar programs, it is an ominous sign that the program might be facing cash flow issues.
Verdict: ClubShop Is Potentially A Ponzi Scheme
A Ponzi operates recruiting members and collecting membership fees to pay up the older members. It does not have any retailable product.
ClubShop runs on a similar recruitment structure and it focuses heavily on recruitment commission. While it does offer value with its cash back purchases, it seems that the drive behind recruitment has nothing to do with it.
It is very easy for ClubShop to fall on the slippery slope into a full-fledged Ponzi program. If its revenue stems from only the membership fee, then it is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
I am uncomfortable with what I’m seeing now with ClubShop. I may still take advantage from the cashback but will not be subscribing to any of its GPS packages.
What’s A Better Option To Make Money Online?
Else, if you’re not comfortable pitching products to others, you can pick up affiliate marketing and make money by referring customers to vendors. You earn from the commission made when customers made their purchase.
Affiliate marketing gives you the freedom of not being tied up to any vendors, or products. You can work on niches that you’re interested in and promote products that you trust.
Here’s how to get started and start building your online business.
Hey, it’s Kenny here. I’m a single dad, freelance writer, an affiliate marketer. I have been making a living online since 2016, after quitting a 10-years engineering profession. When I’m not on the laptop, I’ll be in the kitchen experimenting with new cuisines.