We’ve had several requests to review My Power Mall, so they must be doing something right because they’re generating quite a buzz.
My Power Mall (MPM) is based on a very old and familiar formula: buy things from “yourself” so you get a piece of the action, then recruit others to do the same. Sound familiar? We saw that principle at work in Smartbusinessformula.com, and it was the mantra when I was in Amway many years ago. The logic went like this: “Hey, you own the store, so wouldn’t you rather buy from yourself than make Sam Walton rich by shopping at Wal-Mart?” MPM uses the same rhetoric. When you sign up, which is free, you become the “owner” of your very own “Power Mall,” which is a large collection of someone else’s affiliate links. This is a very important point I’ll say more about below. Take a look at I’ve Tried That’s Power Mall here. (Hurry; it won’t be up for long. They’ll probably shut us down when they read this review.) As you can see, there is a large selection of stores and products (look at the categories down the left side).
According to the information in the members’ area, you make even more money by referring people. My Power Mall, the company, founded by a woman named Ginny Dye, earns a commission from each of your purchases, then kicks back part of the commission to you. That’s why they want you to succeed and recruit the population of China. You can fill up to 9 levels of Power Malls in your downline, each with 100 people, each of whom refer 100 people, all of whom will buy their daily stuff at their My Power Malls, and you get a piece of all that action! You’ll soon be rich! I don’t pretend to understand the downline system because there’s no need to—they lost me at step 1: buy your stuff from your own Power Mall.
The problem with “buying from yourself”
In my experience, every time someone has told me to buy from myself, they wanted to sell me something first. So you’ll excuse my pessimism. There are two problems with this approach: (1) don’t be stupid—you don’t really “own the store.” You are a commission-based salesperson selling overpriced stuff to yourself. (2) You have to buy your products and convince lots of other people to sign up for MPM and buy their products. And where do you think that commission comes from? Out of corporate profits? No. It comes from the consumer (that would be you) in the form of artificially inflated prices. There’s the clincher. Steve and I can’t find a reason to buy anything from our shiny new mall.
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Is there something shady going on?
Well, not exactly. It’s not a scam because you aren’t being asked to pay money directly or dishonestly. What you are being asked to do is buy everything from the Ginny Dye’s affiliate links; she then returns a portion of the commission to you. In that sense every “Power Mall” is Ginny’s. Every Power Mall “owner” has the exact same store because they’re all her affiliate links. Retailers don’t let affiliates purchase for themselves through their own links, so the links in your mall have to be someone else’s: they’re Ginny’s.
You can see this is true by looking at the promised commissions, Buy.com’s affiliate program (unrelated to MPM) offers 3-10% commission, depending on purchases. But Ginny, the founder of My Power Mall is only offering “UP TO” 7% commission for Buy.com purchases. Gap.com offers 4-6% back, but at most you can get “up to” 4.2% back through MPM. And the list continues:
- Old Navy: 4% through their affiliate program, 2.8% through MPM
- Boscov’s: 5% normally, 3.5% through MPM
- Bidz.com: 10% normally, “up to” 7% at MPM
- and on, and on, and on
Why would anyone buy from My Power Mall?
I might not be the ideal target customer because I hate to shop. I’m not one to go wander around in a store and just look to see if something catches my fancy. When I go into a store, I know exactly what I want, how much it costs, and ideally, where it’s located in the store. If I can’t be in and out in five minutes, I start to get panicky. I’ve been known to burst out of emergency exits, screaming and setting off alarms. MPM has an impressive array of stores and products; you can buy 99% of everything you’d ever want there. The problem is price. I logged on and shopped for a few things I’ll be buying in the near future. Here’s what I found:
|Product||MPM Price||Other Retailer Price|
|HP ink cartridge 21||$12.95|
+ $4.95 shipping
– $2.71 commission
|$14.99 @ OfficeMax|
|Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax||$20 via Barnes & Noble |
– 0.28 commission
|$14.48 @ half.com|
+ $4 shipping
|Western Digital 250Gig external hard drive||$119 via Circuit City |
+$7.20 sales tax
– 2.49 commission
|$79.99 @ Newegg.com|
+ $7.81 shipping
These price comparisons are actually generous because the commission comes back to you later in the form of a check from My Power Mall, not as a discount at the time of purchase. I’ve done some stupid things in my financial history, but paying $40 more than I have to in the hopes of getting part of that back later is not one of them.
I signed up for My Power Mall on Aug 25. Between the time I signed up and the writing of this post on Aug 29, I have received 9 email messages from My Power Mall! Oh, I realize they’re trying to help me “succeed,” but fer cryin’ out loud, Ginny, it’s not like we’re married or somethin’. I’m just not feelin’ you like that, you know? I’m sorry, but it’s you, not me.
Good intentions? Maybe, but still a waste of time
The only way you’re going to make money with My Power Mall is if you have a full downline and everyone in it buys their stuff at their Power Mall. But as I’ve said, there’s no incentive to do that because the prices suck once you pay for shipping. And while you’re building your downline, you’ll be paying a premium price for everything. It’s a sustainable business model only for those that own the company and get a small cut of everyone’s efforts.
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