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Is YTB International A Scam? The Truth About The Rebrand And Several Lawsuits
Welcome to My YTB International Review!
With the surge of multi-level marketing opportunities, even the niche of travel is getting jam-packed. Indeed, a lot of Travel MLMs are teeming online. But aside from these, there are also host agencies.
YTB International Review Summary
Name: YTB International
Founders: J. Lloyd Tomer, Scott Tomer, and Kim Sorensen
Product Type: Multi-Level Marketing
Price: $449.95 For The Website + $49.95 Every Month For Website Maintenance
Quick Summary: YTB International is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that focuses primarily on the travel industry. Being in the travel niche, it markets travel services and packages while operating on an MLM business model.
That being said, it relies on recruitment, heavily. As a result, it was accused of a pyramid scheme and faced a lot of lawsuits. With transparency issues and no guarantee of income (as the income disclosure statement shows), definitely not recommending you this one!
Overall Rating: 3/10
So how do they differ these and find out which one is more reliable? Host agencies and MLMs are two different types of businesses. Well, both can help you earn money by planning trips and selling travel bookings and services but as you know MLMs differ in the part where you have to recruit and build your own team.
And most of the time it gets really shady when it makes more money by recruitment rather than through sales. Having said that, we will now discuss a travel MLM called YTB International in this review.
Is YTB International not a scam? What lawsuits did the company face? Is this program still worth your time?
All your questions -- answered in this review!
What Is YTB International About?
YTB International is a travel niche MLM that operates on a multi-level marketing business through owner-affiliate websites offering travel, excursions, and lodging. It is also known as YTB Global Travel, Your Travel Biz, or simply YTB.
It’s almost the same as PlanNet Marketing and ZynTravel.
YTB was founded in 2001 by J. Lloyd "Coach" Tomer, Scott Tomer, and Kim Sorensen. Currently, the company is owned by U.S. businessman Sam Hathi of Jamraval, Inc.
It is based in Wood River, Illinois while International subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Canada and were listed as the 52nd largest travel agency in Travel Weekly's yearly "Power List".
But YTB went through a couple of lawsuits. Between 2006 and 2009, the company was the subject of several lawsuits and investigations in California, Illinois, and Rhode Island, alleging the company to be using deceptive marketing and being a pyramid scheme.
These accusations have caused the company’s revenues to decline and eventually led to bankruptcy in 2013. With this, the company was acquired by Jamraval, Inc. and reorganized under the name YTB Global Travel or what is better known now as YTB International.
But with the rebrand and reorganization, even after the first year of operations, the Income Disclosure statement shows that only about 17.87% of the representatives earned something and more than half of the population of reps, which is about 83% earned nothing.
YTB Global Travel Inc has two separate companies that operate under the corporate umbrella in which representatives can participate in one or both programs :
- YTB Travel Network - Representatives participate by purchasing an "online travel agency" website from which they can be paid a sales commission. After paying a setup fee and monthly maintenance-fee, representatives can sell travel-packages online to others, as well as utilize the website for their own travel purposes.
- YTB Marketing - Representatives (referred to as "Independent Marketing Representative" or Reps) market YTB's representative programs to others. YTB does not charge a fee to participate in the marketing arm of YTB Global Travel. YTB pays a commission or referral fee and tiered compensation to those who participate in the Rep marketing program.
YTB International Product Line
YTB International, Inc. basically offers all sorts of travel services. The Company provides travel information and online booking services such as hotels, cars, flights, vacations, cruises, travel packages, and more.
How To Make Money With YTB International
There was not enough information as to how the YTB business goes but here’s one compensation plan I have found. In YTB International’s business opportunity, you could earn through retail sales and residual commissions through recruitments.
- Retail Commission - Associates earn a commission for selling retail products, earning 40% commission based on a product’s Business Volume. Packages however are the only ones that generate team compensation.
- The Key to Compensation - Business Volume (which comes in two kinds: Personal and Team). Every time a product is purchased it generates Business Volume (BV). Each product has a predetermined BV and our salespeople earn a percentage of BV for each sale.
- Team Compensation - Reps earn additional compensation on their team’s successful sales efforts.
- Advancing to Rep and Senior Rep - For an Associate to become a Rep, they simply need 150 Personal BV within one 30-day period. However, you should know that a Senior Rep earns twice as much in commissions. Therefore, everyone’s goal should really be to become a Senior Rep.
- Additional Compensation - The 50% Match, As long as a Rep is qualified to override, they will earn a 50% match on the commissions earned by all of their personally sponsored Reps and Associates when they sell packaged products. For example, if one of your personally sponsored Reps earns a $20 commission for selling a Travel Program, you earn $10! (Please note: There will not be a match paid on any Bonuses, Associate Direct Sale Compensation, or the 50% Match.)
- Qualified to Override (QTO) - Being qualified to override is essential to earning PowerTeam Commission, Bonuses, and the 50% Match. And, Reps and Senior Reps are considered QTO when they are a Qualified Rep with three personally sponsored Qualified Reps.
- PowerTeam Generations - Will start when one of your PowerTeam Reps starts their own PowerTeam. Their PowerTeam is considered 1st Generation to you. When a 1st Generation Rep starts their PowerTeam, that PowerTeam is 2nd Generation to you. This continues for six generations.
- Sales Director Program - When qualified at this level, reps receive additional monthly income as well as company-paid group health and life insurance.
Is YTB International A Scam?
Well, we can’t totally conclude that the new YTB is a scam. It’s not the program worth your trust though.
Despite being acquired by another company, it has a history of bankruptcy and various lawsuits, one of which accused them of being deceptive for their claim to sell travel services when their main modus of the business is recruitment.
It’s also not transparent with almost everything, even the company’s landing page is not updated. In fact, the recent updates made were from 2015. Although not accredited, YTB International has a record on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating.
The company has not been transparent with regards to how they operate, it was even hard to find information readily available with regards to their MLM opportunity and compensation plan. But here’s what I found, to be a Rep in YTB, you’ll have to pay $449.95 for the purchase of a website and $49.95 a month to operate it.
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Honestly, I don’t see anything beneficial in what this MLM could offer. There’s really nothing to like about this MLM opportunity either.
Website Not Updated
Yes, the back office and replicated websites are still available. However, the landing page of the company is not updated and the only latest posts were dated back in 2015. As to now, there are really no recent updates. So you’d probably be inquisitive if they are still really operating? Well, I don’t even know.
Obviously, just a waste of time though.
The idea of having a trip as a reward and a chance to earn commissions is enticing. Well, you could just be a regular travel agent and forget about the MLM part. However, being an MLM, YTB is just like most MLMs with a heavy focus on recruitment.
And if you see through it, the travel agent opportunity is just a facade and a deceptive way to persuade people to buy in a program in which the real main agenda is more of a recruitment business.
Not Entirely Transparent
As I mentioned, it took me hard to find valuable information with regards to YTB International. There was not enough information on how they operate. It was even a challenge to find basic information about their MLM opportunity and compensation plan.
I believe, transparency is really a must in each business. Potential joiners have the right to know the basics with a company they’re trying to pursue. So when the company is not that transparent, it can really be suspicious that something odd is happening.
It also came from them that you don’t have to understand everything to get started and that they’ll still continue to pay reps whether they understand the compensation plan or not. Now, that’s another obvious deception!
As to what I’ve found, to be a Rep in YTB, you’ll have to pay $449.95 plus the $49.95 monthly. So for a year, that would sum up over a thousand dollars, which is a massive amount, especially when you consider that you won’t get anything from it.
As discussed, YTB has a history of facing a couple of lawsuits, even accused of being a pyramid scheme. With that, they also face bankruptcy and were even sold to another owner.
With such records, we’re not even sure that the current management fixed the flaws of the previous system because the company is not even making a buzz recently. Perhaps, they’re closed or probably faced again with legal issues.
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Who Is It For?
It’s probably intended for those who are good in MLMs and sales talking since the hype of recruitment is on. It’s also for those who are fond of travel perks and having jobs in the comforts of their home.
YTB International is a travel MLM that entails you with a typical MLM compensation plan that is maximized through recruitment.
So there goes the MLM hype again! Nothing new!
Although I can’t conclude that it’s a scam, there are too many red flags and if this doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what else will. Definitely not recommending you this one!
Making money is not easy, however, it doesn’t always mean recruiting people. Actually, there are many ways to make money without inviting anyone and if this sounds exciting for you, I suggest that you sign up with our top-recommended program.
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- Webinars to help you start your business online
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Thank you for reading my honest YTB International review. I hope that this has enlightened you and if you have questions or comments, please feel free to share it below.