WorldVentures biz review… is it a scam?
As with any network marketing company the product and/or service is the most critical part of any serious evaluation, WorldVentures is no exception. If the product does not check out than every other aspect up for evaluation does not matter.
There is one primary question you have to confidently answer when evaluating the product of any network marketing company and that is “is it consumer worthy?” In other words, does the product provide standalone value? Put yet another way, are consumers purchasing the product regardless of the opportunity involved? We’ll cover this in-depth by looking under the hood of the WorldVentures Dream Trips and LTC products in-depth.
WorldVentures travel products… are they of value?
WorldVentures Dream Trips:
The Dreamtrips product sells for $199.95 up front and $24.99 a month. This product is described as taking the bulk buying concept of Costco and applying it to travel; in short it’s a monthly membership that gives the member access to discounted vacations. At the time of writing there were 68 vacations listed on the schedule of available vacations.
So is it worth it? It would be an impossible task to research all of the 68 vacations currently being offered by WorldVentures to determine value but our research showed that they do in fact provide vacation pricing that cannot be matched anywhere else online. One of the price comparisons I researched as a test was for a Jamaica vacation at the Grand Lido Braco. For two adults this vacation cost $890 via the Dreamtrips product and Travelocity came in at $1050. Another example I researched was a Cabo San Lucas trip to the Riu PaIace. For two adults this vacation cost $758 via Dreamtrips product and Travelocity came in at $950.28. There were some more extravagant trips that could not be easily compared because they would not show pricing unless you were a member and others were hard to compare because the Dreamtrips included extras that could not be purchased via the normal online booking engine.
Looking at the numbers it seems most consumers would recover their WorldVentures Dreamtrips membership investment with the money they save by taking their first “Dreamtrip”. Please be aware that this was by no means an exhaustive investigation as we only priced 2 of the 68 Dreamtrips available at time of writing, but based on this analysis, it seems that families taking at least one decent vacation a year would see the value out of their membership.
LTC (Leisure Travel Consultant):
The WorldVentures LTC product also sells for $199.95 up front and $24.99 a month. The best description for this product would be an online travel “business in a box”. This includes an online retail travel website, online travel tutorials and exam, along with opportunities for higher level travel industry training.
Evaluating the legitimacy of the LTC product is a little tougher as it is not as much of a retail product for end consumers but rather the training, tools and systems to market to end consumers. To this end it looks as if they have the gamut covered pretty well. I was particularly impressed by the Rovia search engine that powers the retail travel websites of LTC’s. In doing an airfare search I was surprised to see that they also check Southwest airlines. Because I actually needed to book the travel I was researching I ended up booking the airfare and had no issues with the fulfillment. There is also a “Match or Beat” price guarantee for online bookings against Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity. After using the booking engine and seeing how it searches all the other booking engines I can start to see how the marketing claims of not needing to go anywhere else could be very true. We have recently added a video review comparing WorldVentures Rovia to the competition on an airfare search as well as a cruise vacation search.
Common WorldVentures travel scam claim: WorldVentures LTC product is essentially a travel agent “card mill”
Travel agents have been hit especially hard in the past 10 years as more and more travel continues to be booked online. In this same time frame several network marketing companies have made a failed attempt to take advantage of this shift. Most are not around anymore and left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people because they were not delivering any true value. Instead, they were operating what is commonly referred to in the network marketing based travel industry as a “card mill”. This is a situation where a networking company sells a travel agent package similar in description to WorldVentures LTC product but in reality it’s just a cheap plastic card designed to give the holder discounts as if they were a licensed travel agent.
I am happy to say that there is no sign that WorldVentures has gone this route with the LTC product. I cannot find any reference to a travel agent discount card anywhere in their marketing material. Further verification with WorldVentures travel agents has confirmed that you cannot obtain this card until making an industry standard of travel sales along with training and certifications similar in nature to what traditional travel agents must undergo.
It is widely purported in the WorldVentures marketing how big the travel industry is and how more and more is being booked online. On both accounts this is verifiably true but in some ways it is misleading to the potential of the industry.
The travel industry is a bit of a mixed bag. While travel is one of the largest and most rapidly growing (thanks in large part to the baby boomers) industries in the world, it is also one with some of the lowest (and getting lower) profit margins of any industry. Years ago travel agents earned commissions on air travel, these commission were continually reduced until they were eventually eliminated altogether.
With the movement toward most business being transacted online, travel is becoming more of a commodity where people don’t care who they fly, stay or go with… bottom line is they want the lowest price. The fierce competition can be seen by the amount of national TV and radio advertising by the big online players like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia.
This movement online and fierce competition has put most of the traditional travel agents out of business. On the other hand it’s this same industry shift that sort of plays into WorldVentures travel business model because finding the lowest price (regardless of carrier) is what the Rovia travel search engine is designed to do. The problem is that the Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedias of the world that spend millions on advertising make their money through volume, an advantage that an independent agent would not have. As an LTC with the WorldVentures biz it does look like you would have a superior technology with the Rovia powered website but there are no commissions on airfare (which is the majority of all travel bookings) and the commissions on hotels, vacations and cruises tops out at about 10%. This is simply means that you will have to develop a sizable client base before earning any significant income by booking travel.
The travel industry has seen reducing commissions in recent years but it is still growing rapidly and the internet is now the choice for consumers booking travel. This shift toward the internet has put many a travel agent out of business but it is this exact same trend that WorldVentures hopes to capitalize on with its unique Dream Trips and LTC Package with the Rovia booking engine. While it’s a fierce industry, it looks like WorldVentures has put a lot of thought into its product offering and has given itself and its agents a fighting chance to make a mark on the travel industry.
WorldVentures LLC & it’s leadership…
As a travel company WorldVentures LLC is certified with the standard industry organizations including IATA, ASTA, & CLIA. While it shouldn’t be the case, it says a lot that they have earned and held onto these certifications for the entirety of their 4 year existence. There has been a documented history of network marketing scams opening shop by looking legit only to get their certifications pulled for operating as a card mills by selling travel agent credentials as a product. It seems very unlikely that WorldVentures could fit into this category of travel scams as they have not only held onto their credentials but also added very credible travel industry icons to their corporate staff like America West Co-Founder Michael Conway.
WorldVentures LLC is not currently listed as a DSA member and I was not able to verify whether or not they are within the 1 year review period to become a member. I will continue to review this and report back
As for the leadership of WorldVentures there is a lot a lot I could go into but I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible for you. The most important factor for me in reviewing is whether or not the leadership is hiding away trying not to be discovered and you will find that is not the case. In fact they proudly promote their entire corporate team which includes some recognizable names like the afore mentioned Co-Founder of America West Michael Conway along with ex US Senator Mike Rose as their legal counsel.
The vision for the WorldVentures came from Wayne Nugent who along with Mike Azcue have a very storied network marketing histories together. You may find some very negative information regarding these two on the forums and blogs. Research shows that all of the negativity derived from their involvement as independent distributors in a failed network marketing travel company just prior to their founding of WorldVentures travel. In my opinion, it would be quite unfair to associate their credibility with a WorldVentures for which they had no control. I know that I’ve signed up with at least one WorldVentures and worked for several others that knowing what I know now I would never have done in the first place.
As is always the case on the internet anyone can say anything at any time about anybody. In most cases the negative information isn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be yet there is probably a seed of truth somewhere deep down. Finding that seed at this point would be tough for Mike and Wayne as their track record over the past 4 years of leading WorldVentures biz has not raised any red flags.
How does WorldVentures biz stack up to their MLM competition?
We have referenced that historically much of the competition in the realm of network marketing based travel has been quite scandalous. More accurately, there have been several outright network marketing travel scams in the past. Fortunately most of these have been weeded by the marketplace. There are a few remaining companies that have been left.
YTB (Your Travel Biz)
YTB is by far the biggest competitor as far as size is concerned. In fact at their most recent convention they rented out the Edwards Jones Dome and filled it with some 18,000 people. This kind of event is the stuff old school network marketing war dogs spoke of back in the hey days of Amway. Unfortunately YTB looks to be headed south a bit as they have lost their IATA certification and they are running into all sorts of legal issues with states. I have not seen any real consumer value that would make me want to use the YTB booking website over any other and I don’t see any other product other than the travel agent package offering the booking website. I don’t know what the future holds for YTB and I’m not financially invested in either YTB or WorldVentures but if I were a stock broker I would recommend selling.
Traverus is a relative newcomer to the network marketing travel scene and honestly a confusing one simply because the only information that can be found on the Traverus is distributor generated. There does not seem to be much attention by Traverus to establish a corporate image. All their travel industry certifications are in order and I cannot find anything that would cause me to raise a red flag. The only hint of a red flag would be that I can’t find anything about the Traverus leadership outside of their CEO David Manning. An interesting development is that Traverus has expanded their product line to include nutritionals which is a first for the industry. All in all Traverus seems to be legit but sure could use some polish as its sales materials are a bit gimmicky and it needs to establish a better corporate image.
WorldVentures compensation plan…
WorldVentures LLC utilizes a binary compensation plan which is quickly becoming the favorite comp plan for newer companies, although this is not always a good thing. They have some very unique aspects to their binary compensation plan that differentiate it from the norm. Every sale generates a $50 direct commission and team building bonuses of $100 are earned every 6 sales with 3 on each side which is pretty standard, but what I like is that when agents make 3 or more sales in a week every cycle for that week is doubled to $200. In addition, every 6th cycle the WorldVentures awards “TravelDollars” instead of the normal cash payout. Residual income of $20 for every 6 sales can be earned as soon as individuals achieve the “Director” rank which means 90 agents on each binary team. One additional aspect to the compensation plan that I really like is that they waive the monthly product fees once an agent achieves 4 retail sales and they will continue to waive the monthly fees as long as the agent has 4 actively paying personal sales.
There were some growing pains for WorldVentures biz over their first few years in business as they have had to adjust their compensation plan several times to keep the payout within a corporately acceptable 65% ratio. Any time a company reduces payout there is typically a mass exodus and indeed there were a lot of folks that left when this happened. In the end it speaks volumes to the leadership that they made it through this transition. Now after 4 years in business and continued solid growth it looks like they have moved past the start up phase and have worked most of the kinks out.
The network marketing based travel industry has traditionally been full of less than credible companies and individuals looking to make a quick buck by touting big numbers and checks. After reviewing and analyzing WorldVentures biz we have concluded that they are one of the exceptions to the rule. They have a real product with consumer value which is marketed by their agents under a compensation plan that is both fair and legal. There is a strong corporate team in place, all of whom have a verifiable history.
As with any company, not all the press with the ownership and company is positive but a commonsense review of the facts has not revealed any red flags to be worried about. Of course do your own due diligence and in doing so understand that the bad press is never as bad as its made out to be and the same holds true for the fluffy good news.
Yours in Success,
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