Shopping Sherlock Review: MyShoppingGenie rebooted
The first thing that struck me about Shopping Sherlock was its remarkable similarities with the failed MLM opportunity, My Shopping Genie.
Not surprisingly, after a bit of poking around I soon learnt that this was due to the fact that Shopping Sherlock has been built using My Shopping Genie’s assets.
Although the idea of an affiliate shopping toolbar is nothing new, there has only been one prominent company that’s combined it with an MLM compensation plan.
Launched in late 2007, My Shopping Genie was run by ‘MyNetUniverse’ and attracted a significant affiliate base, however overall didn’t really seem to gain any solid traction over the years.
By September 2011 reports were coming in that My Shopping Genie hadn’t paid affiliates for 6 months in some cases and by May 2012, the company had shut it doors and closed down.
Come early June, reports broke out that My Shopping Genie assets (primarily the backend for the shopping toolbar, had been bought by Michael Wiedder, founder of MLM company ‘Best in U’.
I’d give you a bit more information about Best in U, but their company website is currently giving me ASP errors when I try to view the compensation plan or ‘our team’ webpages.
That said, I do note the company is based and operated out of the US state of California.
Moving on, just a few days after the acquisition was announced, news then broke that Wiedder (photo right) was launching Shopping Sherlock which, if you take a look at the software, is quite obviously built on the My Shopping Genie technology.
One of the biggest problems with My Shopping Genie was that, despite the business opportunity revolving around the idea that those using the software would attract shoppers and earn commissions off their purchases, the reality of the business was that My Shopping Genie affiliate commissions were primarily driven by recruitment.
In analysing the business, I suspected that My Shopping Genie failed to attract retail users of the tool (which was given away for free), was due to the fact that the software at best was just a price comparison tool linked to a pool of affiliate programs parent company MyNetUniverse were members of. These affiliate programs weren’t exclusive and as such anyone could join them.
Thus the only reason to participate in My Shopping Genie was the recruitment commissions paid out by attracting new affiliates to the scheme.
In launching Shopping Sherlock, I note that a lot of the marketing spiel sounds pretty similar to what My Shopping Genie were pushing out back in the day. The big question of course is how similar are the business models between the two companies.
We already know the business model My Shopping Genie was using has proven to be non-viable, so has Michael Wiedder come up with something new or will Shopping Sherlock run into the same problems My Shopping Genie had?
Read on for a full review of the My Shopping Sherlock MLM business opportunity.
The Shopping Sherlock Product Line
The Shopping Sherlock opportunity revolves around the Shopping Sherlock software. This software is a toolbar that end-users install on their computers and once installed, captures online activity.
If you search for products using a search engine for example, the software displays a list of affiliate offers ‘on top of the search results‘. It can also display advertising from affiliate partners with the idea being that if an end-users purchases or clicks on an advertisement within the Shopping Sherlock software, the referring affiliate earns a commission.
Just like My Shopping Genie, Shopping Sherlock can also be personally branded by affiliates (to remove the Shopping Sherlock logos from the software).
Businesses are also able to create coupon vouchers (through affiliates) which can then be offered to Shopping Sherlock members.
In this sense, as far as I can tell the Shopping Sherlock and MyShoppingGenie platforms are extremely similar in nature.
The Shopping Sherlock Compensation Plan
The Shopping Sherlock Compensation Plan offers distributors affilaite commissions on the sale of products through Shopping Sherlock, the attraction of businesses who create vouchers through the system and on the recruitment of new Shopping Sherlock distributors.
Shopping Sherlock Membership Ranks
There are various components of the Shopping Sherlock compensation plan where commissions and qualification for commissions are determined by a Shopping Sherlock affiliate’s membership rank.
There are seven membership ranks within Shopping Sherlock and, along with their qualification criteria, are as follows:
- Registered Representative – sign up for $19 (recurring annually).
- Independent Sherlock Distributor – sign up for $239 and get five end-users to install Shopping Sherlock with your affiliate key. To maintain qualification Distributors must accomplish three verified installs a month. This requirement is removed once a Distributor reaches 40 verified installs.
- Registered Sherlock Distributor – sign up for $249 and get five end-users to install Shopping Sherlock with your affiliate key. To maintain qualification Distributors must accomplish three verified software installs a month. This requirement is removed once a Distributor reaches 40 verified installs.
- Power Distributor – recruit 4 Shopping Sherlock Distributors (one must be on your left binary team and one on your right), have 10 Shopping Sherlock Distributors in your downline and 10 verified Shopping Sherlock verified software installs.
- Power Distributor Builder – personally recruit a Power Distributor affiliate in both your left and right binary teams.
- Gold Power Distributor – personally recruit 3 Power Distributors and have 6 in total in your binary organisation (maintaining at least one personally recruited Power Distributor in each binary team)
- Global Power Distributor – personally recruit 4 Power Distributors, have 8 in total in your binary organisation (maintaining at least one personally recruited Power Distributor in each binary team) and have 20 verified Shopping Sherlock software installs
- Diamond Power Distributor – personally recruit 8 Power Distributors (in eight individual unilevel legs), have a total of 16 Power Distributors in your binary team (at least one personally recruited on each binary team) and have 40 verified Shopping Sherlock software installs
When users (affiliates and customer) using the Shopping Sherlock software, they can generate either purchase, pay-per-click (advertisements), pay per offer and something called “S2 Gamer Affiliate Commissions” (no further information is provided).
These commissions are paid to Shopping Sherlock who then split the affiliate commission with the referring affiliate. Percentage commissions paid out will vary depending on the affiliate program interacted with.
Two commissions are paid out on the use of vouchers created through the Shopping Sherlock software.
- 5% is paid out on the purchase price of each voucher purchased by end-users of Shopping Sherlock to the affiliate who referred the end-user
- 5% is paid out on the purchase price of each voucher sold company-wide to the affiliate who refered the business who created the voucher
Affiliate Override Commissions
In addition to the commissions outlined above, override commissions are also paid to the referring affiliates, paid out on any shopping commissions earned (voucher commissions are excluded).
This override commission is 20% of all shopping commissions earned by affiliates a Shopping Sherlock has personally recruited.
Qualification for affiliate override commissions is the recruitment of two new Shopping Sherlock affiliates with 72 hours of joining the company, or the recruitment of 4 affiliates in total (no time limit).
As with My Shopping Genie, Shopping Sherlock affiliates earn $100 each time they recruit two new Shopping Sherlock affiliates.
Note that Shopping Sherlock recruitment commissions are only available to affiliates who distribute a minimum of three Shopping Sherlock verified installs of the software each month. This requirement is waived once 40 total verified software installs has been reached.
A verified software install is an end-user installing the Shopping Sherlock software using an affiliate’s software license key.
Residual Recruitment Commissions
Residual Recruitment Commissions in Shopping Sherlock are paid out using a binary structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top with two legs branching out under them. These two positions form the start of a “left” and “right” team.
In turn, these two positions branch out into another two and so on and so forth, with the first few levels of a binary compensation structure look something like this:
Using this structure, Shopping Sherlock pay out $50 each time 2 new affiliates have been recruited (counting two on the left team and two on the right). Note that new affiliates are only counted once and affiliates recruited by your downline (affiliate’s you’ve recruited) also count, as they are placed in your binary.
The residual component of the commissions pay out $10 every month when affiliates pay their monthly membership fees. $10 is paid out for every group of 4 affiliates that exists within a binary structure (grouped 2 on the left and 2 on the right).
$10 is also offered when affiliates in a binary compensation structure qualify for affiliate override commissions.
Recruitment Commission Caps
Both the residual and direct recruitment commissions paid out by Shopping Sherlock are capped weekly.
- Registered Representatives are capped at $1000 a week
- Distributors are capped at $2000 a week
- Power Distributors are capped at $3000 a week
- Gold Power Distributors are capped at $10,000 a week
- Global Power and Diamond Power Distributors are capped at $20,000 a week
Residual Recruitment Commissions Matching Bonus
Matching Bonuses in Shopping Sherlock are paid out using a unilevel commissions structure.
A unilevel commissions structure places an affiliate at the top, with every affiliate they personally recruit placed directly under them (level 1). In turn, if level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates they are placed on level 2 and so on and so forth.
Using this commissions structure, Shopping Sherlock Global Power Distributors can qualify for a Matching Bonus on each unilevel leg if that leg has a Global or Diamond Power Distributor in it.
Commissions are paid out at 20% of the residual recruitment commissions earnt by the Global or Diamond Power Distributor, as well as any affiliates between the Global or Diamond Power Distributor and the affiliate being paid.
Eg. If you have a Global or Diamond Power Distributor on level 10 of one of your unilevel legs, you will earn 20% on that distributor’s residual recruitment commission earnings, as well as 20% on every affiliate on levels 1-9.
If in the future one of those affiliates on levels 1-9 becomes a Global or Diamond Power Distributor, you will then be restricted to earnings between them and yourself (how many levels counted depends on what level the Global or Diamond Power Distributor is on).
A similar matching bonus is also offered to Global Diamond Distributors. Using the same unilevel commissions structure, a 30% matching bonus is paid on all affiliates found up to the first qualified Global Power Distributor.
If a Global Diamond Distributor also exists in that particular unilevel leg, 10% is also paid out on all affiliates between the Global Power Distributor and the Global Diamond Distributor.
Eg. You are a Global Diamond Distributor and have a Global Power Distributor on level 5 of one of your unilevel legs and a Global Diamond Distributor on level 8.
You will therefore earn a 30% matching bonus on the Global Power Distributor and affiliates on levels 1 to 4. You will also then earn a 10% matching bonus on the affiliates on levels 6 and 7, as well as the Global Diamond Distributor on level 8.
Global Power Distributor Check Match
If a Shopping Sherlock affiliate qualifies as a Global Power Distributor, the company pays out a $2000 bonus to them directly, a $500 bonus to the first qualified Global Power Distributor in their upline and a $200 bonus to the first qualified Diamond Power Distributor in their upline.
Shopping Sherlock Stock Options
The Shopping Sherlock compensation plan makes mention of “Diamond Power Stock Options” but only lists the details as “coming soon”. No further information is provided.
Joining Shopping Sherlock
Membership to Shopping Sherlock comes in three varities:
- Registered Representative ($19.95 a year) – cannot distribute Shopping Sherlock software, can only earn recruitment commissions
- Independent Sherlock Distributor ($239) – able to earn shopping and voucher commissions via distribution (free) of the Shopping Sherlock software to end-users
- Registered Sherlock Distributor ($249) – same as Independent Sherlock Distributor, but also able to earn recruitment commissions and matching bonuses as well
Disappointingly, the Shopping Sherlock compensation plan is pretty much a clone of the failed My Shopping Genie business model.
The most glaring red flag with the compensation plan is the Registered Representative membership option. For $19.95 a year, these members have nothing to sell but premium membership ($239/$249) to the company itself, and they are paid out a commission for each member recruited (grouped in 2s and 4s).
Here’s how Shopping Sherlock describe these recruitment commissions:
Dual Team Pay (DTP) commissions (recruitment commissions outlined in the compensation plan review above) are not based on levels but rather, on the total number of System sales and monthly subscriptions paid.
“System Sales” are in effect premium membership sales ($239/$249) and monthly subscriptions are the fees paid by other Registered Representatives.
With 100% of the commissions being paid out at this membership level, this particular membership option functions as a pyramid scheme.
The other Shopping Sherlock membership levels aren’t much better in that it simply builds on this pyramid scheme foundation.
Within the Shopping Sherlock business opportunity itself, nothing is being bought and sold except membership to the company itself.
The Shopping Sherlock is given away meaning it doesn’t count as a retail sale. Sales are possible through use of the product but these are between Shopping Sherlock and merchant partners, with Shopping Sherlock then splitting these commissions with affiliates.
These sales are supposed to count as retail offerings within Shopping Sherlock but mechanically they do not qualify in that affiliates themselves aren’t able to sell anything other than company membership.
Given this, the primary problem that plagued My Shopping Genie was that the affiliate and voucher commissions offered paid peanuts and were largely ignored. With members able to earn weekly upfront commissions on the recruitment of new affiliates, this is what wound up being the focal point of the business and led to its collapse.
As far as Shopping Sherlock goes, I’m seeing the same compensation plan that is heavily stacked towards the recruitment of new affiliates, with no actual products being sold within the opportunity other than membership to the company itself.
No doubt a small amount of revenue will be generated by voucher deals (affiliate purchases are between end-users and merchants), however the vast majority of revenue going into Shopping Sherlock will be the payment of membership fees.
My Shopping Genie ran into troubles a few years after launch (once the recruiting died down) and after it stopped paying out distributors, died a slow death opportunity wise leaving many affiliates unpaid. The sole reason this happened was that the affiliate deals side of things was so insignificant that it was completely unable to sustain distributor commission payouts once the recruiting dried up.
Unless I’m missing something glaringly obvious here, Shopping Sherlock’s business model is going to take them down the exact same path.Shopping Sherlock Review: MyShoppingGenie rebooted The first thing that struck me about Shopping Sherlock was its remarkable similarities with the failed MLM opportunity, My Shopping Genie.
Shopping Sherlock – Can you make money with it?
Name: Shopping Sherlock
Price: $249 + $34.95/mth
Owner(s): Michael Wiedder
Income Opportunity rating: 2 / 5 Stars
#1 Recommended Online Business Training with Proof: Click Here
Shopping Sherlock – Is it a Scam?
Are you wondering if Shopping Sherlock is a scam, or are you wondering if you can really make money with Shopping Sherlock? You have come to the right place. Thanks to Christian who requested for this review, I have paid $249 to be a member of Shopping Sherlock to better understand if this program is suitable for any beginners to join.
Before I dive right into my experience as a member of Shopping Sherlock, I would like to first talk about the product (i.e. the cheap deals search engine) in entirety. For the benefit of people who still do not understand what Shopping Sherlock is, it is a free search engine that finds you the cheapest deals online.
Although the search engine is free, it is kept private for invite only. If you, as an outsider, want to use the free search engine, you need to be invited (via an invite code) before you can register as a member. To get an invite code, you need to contact one of the distributors (i.e. paid member – like myself who have paid $249 – my invite code is 62835) to obtain one.
Well you can use my invite code if you want because I do not intend to make money with Shopping Sherlock – I will tell you why below.
The search engine by itself is rather amazing for deals like hotels and air tickets but in terms of shopping for physical products, the Sherlock’s search engine is a little cumbersome although it puts all the vendors in one place. Look at the difference between the deals for hotels and physical products.
If the search result for physical products is displayed in the same way as the hotel or flight deals, it would have been an amazing search engine.
So, to answer the first question, is Shopping Sherlock a scam? No! It is absolutely not. Shopping Sherlock is a great search engine for cheap deals and it can most likely save you lots of money if you always purchase items through the search engine.
Shopping Sherlock as an Opportunity
I have one very important question I would like to ask you: “Are you really good at direct selling?”. If you are, great! Probably you will be the next superstar in Shopping Sherlock, but if you are not then I would advise you to stay clear of this program because you will not find it enjoyable promoting Shopping Sherlock.
Have you heard of Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)? Shopping Sherlock is in the business of MLM, basically you need to recruit people into your team, the more people you recruited into your team the more successful your business is. There are several compensation plans available which I will share with you below.
Although Shopping Sherlock promotes itself as an online opportunity, I believe it is still stuck in the traditional method of MLM (Direct Selling). Basically, you are advised to physically call your friends and family to introduce them on the amazing Sherlock’s search engine.
You give your friends and family your invite code for them to sign up as a member, and if they are really happy with the Sherlock’s search engine, you introduce them a way they can make money from it. This is where you will recruit them into your team and make a commission.
It sound really easy but in fact it is not as easy as it seem. Firstly, you are limited to the number of friends and family you have for calling. Secondly, you friends and family (especially your friends) might find you irritating after a while when you try to recruit them into your team (relationships might be broken). Thirdly, you need to have at least 800 people in your team in order to make at least $2000/mth.
Well, I am not saying that it is impossible to make good money with Shopping Sherlock but I am just saying that you really need to be gung-ho in order to succeed. Your daily routine will be cold calling people (if you run out of friends and family to call), inviting people to join the program. There’s really a lot of work to do.
You will be wondering, why do you have to call when there are ways to communicate with people online? You are so right about it!
To be honest, your ability to succeed in Shopping Sherlock depends heavily on your direct upline (the person who recruited you) because you get all the education from your upline directly. Your education is limited to your upline’s knowledge.
Well, At least Shopping Sherlock is not hyped, they informed you upfront that there are no income guarantees. Some people make a lot of money and some people do not make any at all.
Do Shopping Sherlock have any training?
Other than the webinars and conference calls (free by the way) which happen once in a blue moon, there are no training whatsoever in Shopping Sherlock. Like I said, your upline’s knowledge equals your knowledge.
Honestly speaking, I was shocked when I realise that there are no education platform in the program. I was expecting to receive some form of education for the amount I paid for the membership.
Unfortunately, the promise made by Shopping Sherlock was not delivered. If you refer to the picture below, it gave me the impression that there will be a series of videos that I can get access to.
My personal experience
The moment I logged into the Shopping Sherlock’s back office, I was stuck because I didn’t know what I should do next. There was no clear guideline to follow, basically your back office is merely there for you to track your performance. I was thoroughly disappointed by the way the program was laid out.
I contacted the support team and pointed out the problems I was facing and they immediately contacted my upline who provided me with a welcome email. In the welcome email, it includes the guidelines of what I should do, why I should pay $34.95 a month to maintain my membership and some training.
Now, let’s look at the training. I have included a screenshot of the training I get from my upline.
You see, I have been in the make money online industry for quite a while now and I know how to drive traffic and sell a product without even contacting anyone. The way that was taught by my upline is definitely not the way I would want my business to be.
I chose the modern way of doing online business driving traffic rather than calling. Well this is just my experience, your experience may be different because you will be not be joining the same team as I am.
Why you need to pay $34.95 a month?
The Compensation Plan
To be honest, I am not a fan of MLM companies due to several failed experience with them. All of the MLM companies I was involved in have almost the same compensation plan as Shopping Sherlock’s so I am not intrigue by it at all.
You may call my review bias but at least this is my personal experience with the program. It is totally up to you to decide if you want to join Shopping Sherlock.
My Sincere Advice to You
If you are a Gung-ho person who loves to do direct selling, then by all means join Shopping Sherlock. If you are not at all interested in direct selling like myself, then I would suggest that you take a look at my #1 Online Business University and understand what online marketing or online business is all about.
You see, I have personally tried and tested many products to see if they are suitable for beginners, and I have selected the best for you so you do not need to wander around trying to find a legit place to get started.
Starting an Online Business is not difficult, but if you do not get proper training when you first started out, you will probably never be able to make a dime online. So I highly recommend you to check out my recommendation here.
As always, I invite you to share your thoughts with me on Shopping Sherlock. I will be more than happy to discuss this with you. All you need to do is to leave a comment below. If you find my article helpful, please feel free to share this with your friends and family by clicking on the social media buttons below.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you find your success!
Jack is an experienced online marketer who has a passion for helping beginners succeed online. Read more about Jack:I have one very important question I would like to ask you: "Are you really good at direct selling?". If you are, great! Probably you will be the next… ]]>