Introduction to YTB MLM Compensation Plan
Multilevel marketing (MLM) promotional materials, training materials, and even official compensation plan documents often include pictures of sought-after travel destinations. Some MLM compensation plans even offer trips to places like Paris, Tokyo, and the Crystal Worlds theme park in Austria as bonuses for high-achieving sellers. Even when the MLM does not specifically tell you where to travel, most people who join MLMs do so in pursuit of financial freedom, and when you ask them what financial freedom means to them, they will usually say something about having enough money and enough free time to travel. Thus, I have decided to begin my YTB review with a shout out to some truly underrated travel destinations.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It attracts more than 400,000 tourists per year. One of its major attractions is the film festival that takes place in the capital Ouagadougou. For people who are of the opinion that they do not need to go all the way to Burkina Faso to see films (I do not agree with such people, as in my opinion, the fun of film festivals is all about soaking up the atmosphere, and as you recall, I went to Ebertfest in Chicago this year and did not see a single film), you can listen to the griots, the professional storytellers who play instruments and recite centuries-old legends. If I go to Burkina Faso, however, I will make a beeline for the town of Sabou, which has ponds full of crocodiles so harmless and friendly that you can pet them, and children can sit on their tails. The Petsuchos of ancient Egypt was actually more closely related to the easy-going crocs of Burkina Faso than to the Nile crocodile, the only species of crocodile found in the Nile today.
Harar, Ethiopia, is a walled city about 500 miles east of Addis Ababa and at an elevation of over 1,800 feet. It is located in the region thought to be the birthplace of coffee, and in the 19th century, once Arthur Rimbaud had had enough of being a poet, he set up shop in Harar, selling coffee and firearms. If the Hofbrauhaus in Munich is too packed with tourists for your tastes, and if all the Busch Gardens theme parks seem to have beer too low on their list of priorities, you can go to the Harar Beer Bottling company instead. If I go to Harar, I will go there to see the feeding of the spotted hyenas in the city square at night. I may also take a trip to the neighboring country of Djibouti to see, Lake Assal, which is even saltier than the Dead Sea and which, to my knowledge, is not the source of any skincare products sold through an MLM business model.
The island of Komodo in Indonesia is also a very underrated tourist destination. It is the home of the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Sure, there are some Komodo dragons at the San Diego Zoo, but it would be even cooler to see them in their natural habitat. As I mentioned in another MLM review on this site, the island of Komodo, with its gigantic lizards, was the inspiration for King Kong’s island full of dinosaurs in one of the most famous stop motion animation scenes in history. While I am in that part of the world, I may even take a side trip to try to catch a glimpse of the only lizard that may possibly be longer than the Komodo dragon, namely the Papua monitor.
The Papua monitor lives (where else?) in Papua New Guinea, but it is not even the most interesting thing about Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western half of the island is part of Indonesia), and it has more languages than almost any country on earth. It is so mountainous and covered in tropical forests that, until modern times, most people lived in very small villages spread far apart. Today, many of the people who live in the coastal cities of Papua New Guinea speak TokPisin, a language where most of the words come from English, but the grammar and pronunciation are much more like the other languages of New Guinea and the nearby islands. It started out as a language that speakers of New Guinea’s many languages used to communicate with each other (languages which are used for trade among speakers of different languages but which have no native speakers are called pidgin languages), but TokPisin now has more than a million native speakers. Even its name has a fascinating story. The “Tok” part comes from the English word “talk”, but in TokPisin, it also means “language” and “word”. The word “Pisin” derives ultimately from the English word “business”, indicating that the language was originally used for business before later generations started speaking it as their first language. It only has two prepositions. (Kids, ask your parents what a preposition is.) “Bilong” means “of”; it is derived from the English word “belong”. “Long” is derived from the English word “along”, and it is the equivalent of all other prepositions. Thus, the TokPisin phrase for hair is “grasbilong het” (“grass of head”).
YTB: The Company and Its Products
Speaking of the origins of words, the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw that I would be writing about the YTB business opportunity today was the question of what YTB stands for. A part of me hoped it stood for YouTube Bloopers or Yodeling Tournament Brawl, but no such luck. It took some searching to figure this out that, but one of the YTB reviews I read informed me that, once upon a time, the YTB business opportunity was a website called yourtravelbiz.com. I know that it is nothing out of the ordinary for one or another business decision leading to initials no longer standing for anything; this is, after all, what happened with KFC and the SAT, but I still think that it is a bit silly. I am not saying that Notebook Crazy is the best blog name in the history of the world or anything, but it is a lot better than if I had named this blog CRR and made readers search online until they found a discussion board post somewhere written by a disgruntled CRR reader who explained that a long time ago, back when blogs were called e-zines, I used to write an e-zine called Classic Rock Ragnarok, and the initials stuck.
The way that the YTB business opportunity works is that people who sign up for the business opportunity pay a membership fee to get their own YTB distributor website, where they have access to discounts on travel. The website you get is, essentially, a home travel agency. As a YTB distributor, you can use the website to sell discounted travel packages, such as tours, cruises, flights, and hotel accommodations, to your family and friends. Of course, a big part of the YTB business opportunity is recruiting new YTB distributor. In fact, the proceedings of one of the numerous YTB lawsuits that have taken place over the years revealed that YTB paid more money in commissions on the sale of new YTB memberships than it did on the sale of travel packages.
Even if you are completely new to MLM, it is not hard to see the flaws in the YTB business opportunity. If you are within ten years of my age, you have probably bought plane tickets or booked a hotel before, and you have probably never encountered a real, live travel agent. You may recall that there was a travel agency somewhere in your town when you were a kid, but the last time you went in there, you were so cute that the travel agent gave you a lollipop, and by the time you left, you had managed to get sticky lollipop fingerprints all over the travel agency chairs. It is really easy to comparison shop online for travel tickets and accommodations. As for tours, I personally have never met anyone who taken one, with the exception of speakers at MLM conventions who boasted about them. The closest thing I know are people who took tours of the Biblical lands with their church groups; these tours were organized by a committee at the church who may have worked with a travel agent. You don’t need a travel agent unless a really big group is traveling, and in 2016, if a big group is traveling, it may make just as much sense to download an app where you can keep track or the tour bus, the meal reservations, the group rates at the hotels, and so on.
If actual travel agents are seeming more and more like middlemen whose role can eventually be eliminated, then that is even more the case with MLM. The MLM business model almost never makes it easier to sell products, and it almost never makes it easier to make money.
As is the case with so many MLMs, YTB has been sued, and it has been sold when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Most of the YTB reviews on the first few pages of search results were from around 2009, at the height of a big YTB lawsuit. It appears, though, that despite all the ups and down, YTB is still around, and you can still join, although I do not know why you would want to.
The YTB Compensation Plan
The YTB compensation plan seems to be more about recruiting new YTB distributors than about selling products. Based on the YTB reviews I read, of the YTB distributors who made any money at all through the YTB compensation plan, the majority of them made less than $900 per year. That is hardly enough to buy food for your pet Papua monitor lizard and to keep its sun lamp working. (If you have a pet Papua monitor lizard in the Midwest, you will definitely need a sun lamp so that it can sunbathe. It certainly cannot sunbathe outside for most of the year.) $900 per year is hardly even enough to afford an annual road trip to Toledo, Ohio or another medium-sized Midwestern city of your choice.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Reading all the barbs being exchanged online between travel agents and do it yourself travel planners while researching this YTB review was quite entertaining.
- YTB is headquartered in Alton, Illinois, which is not too far from here.
- If you know even one person who has enough leisure time and disposable income that he or she can afford to go on a tour or cruise, your best bet for making money would not be to try to sell that person YTB products, but rather to network with that person and ask him or her for career advice or for advice on managing your money.
Do not be fooled by the YTB business opportunity or any other MLM business opportunity. Financial freedom is not only a click away. But information is. Everything I know about the distant, and in some cases quite remote, places I described, I learned from reading about them online while researching the MLM reviews I have written for this site. If all I have to do is click to find a body of water saltier than the Dead Sea, a lizard that may be longer than the Komodo dragon, and a language that is so much like English yet so different, then certainly your family and friends are resourceful enough to find reasonably priced airline tickets and hotel accommodations in the places they plan to visit. It will also only take them a few clicks to find out about all the YTB lawsuits and all the other evidence that it is not worth their while to join the YTB business opportunity.
Which underrated travel destinations did I miss? Schedule a call with me and tell me all the details.