Monday, January 7, 2008

YTB: Fact of Fiction

If you are searching for information about whether or not YTB is a scam, you came to the right place! I will address some of the big misconceptions and rumors going on about YTB at the moment.

YTB is a “Card Mill”. Fiction.
The “Card Mill” label has gotten slapped onto pretty much every opportunity to sell travel except brick-and-mortar travel agencies. A true “card mill” is a company who sells “travel credential cards” for a fee, and the company does not really sell travel.
In response to the rapid growth of YTB and other travel companies using the network marketing business model, a band of really angry brick-and-mortar travel agents have gone on a quest to rid the world of all network marketing travel companies. They’ll try to tell you its because YTB and others don’t sell travel. The problem is: we do, and we have started putting a dent in their customer base...which is what has prompted this reaction from the brick-and-mortar folks.

Truth be told, YTB was named by Travel Weekly (which dubs itself the "National Newspaper of the Travel Industry") as one of the top eleven leisure travel agencies and one of the 35 largest travel agencies overall for 2006. Just recently, YTB International President, J. Kim Sorensen, was even named by Travel Weekly as one of the 33 most influential people in the travel industry. Not to mention that little record-setting cruise "sail-a-thon," YTB held last November which booked more than 12,000 passengers in less than 24 hours. Sound like a card mill? I don't think so.

YTB Lost Its IATAN Status So It Can’t Book Travel. Fiction.
Yes, IATAN temporarily has suspend YTB's IATAN status. However, it really isn't that big of a deal. IATAN is a travel trade organization. It sounds like a fancy governing organization, but the bottom line is, it is just a trade organization. Now that you know this, it should be no surprise that YTB can and is still booking travel while the technicalities of the suspension are being ironed out. My bet: YTB will be back in IATAN’s good graces in the next few months.

If I Join YTB, I’ll Have to Recruit Other People. Fiction.
Looking at my own YTB team, I can tell you that I did the statistics and exactly 50% of my team is composed of people who were interested in just selling travel. Some were in the brick-and-mortar travel industry and moved to an on-line business due to the overhead, others are in the wedding industry who are marketing to their clients’ honeymoon needs, and others travel a lot and enjoy the perks of booking their own travel. The YTB Travel opportunity is very real, and very serious. Learn more about the opportunity to sell travel by visiting: http://www.bluescitytravelbiz.com/

YTB has never made a profit. Fiction.
YTB recently reported its second consecutive quarter of profitability and record revenue and net income figures of $39.9 million and $2.1 million respectively. The truth of the matter is that most companies are not profitable from the start. The costs of getting the big machine turning far exceed initial revenue. This is how the story goes for most businesses. What is incredible about YTB is that it actually became profitable while also investing substantial money into improving travel training for its Referring Travel Agents by the creation of an eCampus Training feature is incredible. YTB is going to spend money to improve the company, and if you are looking to join YTB, this should be a plus not a minus!

YTB revenues come mainly from selling business opportunities rather than from selling its core product: travel. Fiction.
YTB offers two real products: Travel and Travel Stores. Referring Travel Agents (RTAs) sell Travel only. They make commission based on the travel they sell. RTAs cannot sell Travel Stores. There is a fee to become an RTA of around $500, with a $49.95 monthly web-hosting fee. Quite reasonable for a travel store in a box!

Independent Marketing Representatives (IMRs or Reps) sell Travel Stores. Reps make commissions from the sale of travel stores ONLY. There is no fee to become a Rep. Reps cannot sell travel. Reps do not make money from signing up other Reps. Since it is free to become a Rep, the only “business” being sold by YTB is the opportunity for a person to become a Home Based Travel Agent who can sell travel and make a commission. This opportunity isn’t just some invisible “opportunity.” It is a tangible product: an e-commerce-ready travel booking engine, complete with sales tracking, marketing resources, training, etc. It is truly a business-in-a-box!

YTB Changes Lives. Fact.
A little over a year ago, I was pretty bummed at the idea of spending the next 40 years trading my time for money as an attorney, and categorizing my days in increments of tenths of an hour. I was introduced to YTB, and after about eight solid months of studying network marketing and working my YTB business, I am enjoying a four-figure supplement to my monthly income, and now it appears that within the next couple of years I will be putting away my time sheet, walking away from my law practice, and spending my time doing what I love to do most: help others reach their goals.

13 comments:

Coach said...

Have you seen this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sRwSinIksI

ytb said...

For more YTB Facts, check this link:

www.theytb.com

Anonymous said...

ytb is a pyramid scam i sure hate if for folks that fell for this mess.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that my experience was a total disappointment...and i gave it a fighting effort! i think year is a pretty reasonable effort and investment. I bought the business cards, brochures and Online letterhead, sent emails, letters, hosted a party, and essentially recruited my tail off. I probably even lost a few friends along the way :-(. I have a full time job and could just not get the recruits. My team leader PROMISED to help build my team. He did nothing except give me false promises. So for MONTHS, i kept paying out the 50/month with the faith that he would hold up to his word. He never returned my calls and when he did, he just told me to go to a meeting. I know that there are success stories, but mine is unfortunately not one of them. I really was blinded by the hype and the pipe dream of being able to stay home with my son. Maybe if you have a better team leader, you'll have a better shot of things. Just think twice before you jump. I lost thousands of dollars that i could not afford to lose :-(

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that my experience was a total disappointment...and i gave it a fighting effort! i think year is a pretty reasonable effort and investment. I bought the business cards, brochures and Online letterhead, sent emails, letters, hosted a party, and essentially recruited my tail off. I probably even lost a few friends along the way :-(. I have a full time job and could just not get the recruits. My team leader PROMISED to help build my team. He did nothing except give me false promises. So for MONTHS, i kept paying out the 50/month with the faith that he would hold up to his word. He never returned my calls and when he did, he just told me to go to a meeting. I know that there are success stories, but mine is unfortunately not one of them. I really was blinded by the hype and the pipe dream of being able to stay home with my son. Maybe if you have a better team leader, you'll have a better shot of things. Just think twice before you jump. I lost thousands of dollars that i could not afford to lose :-(

J.Dowd said...

YTB is deffinately a piramid SCAM.your fact or fiction on the recruitment of people is bullsh%t.I went to a YTB seminar down here in Florida.There whole gimmick was for me to recruit as many people as I could.including trying to get them to come up with the 500.00 dollars too. The more people I recruit the more money I would make.somehow by recruiting people it would build up my "network" and between everybody selling travel I would not have to do hardely anything but "rake in the doe."The only people raking in the doe is YTB.I just wanted to say SCAM,SCAM,SCAM.

Leimomi said...

Well written article.

Anonymous said...

Here's a fact for you to consider: YTB does indeed change lives. How? My 13-year marriage is now over because I refuse to continue watching my hard-working, well-intentioned spouse who refuses to "give up the dream" despite three years of full-time effort, 6 RTAs signed up, travel booked, and STILL not one penny of profit; in fact, by my reckoning we're out by over 2k.

I can say this with authority because I do the tax returns for our household and am thus aware of the numbers.

My soon-to-be-ex-spouse was previously an afficianado of Amway, sorry Scamway, for over 10 years...you'd have thought that the lesson may have been learned, but sadly not. Now, however, she's out of the house 3, 4, and sometimes 5 nights a week attending yet another meeting or training (and no, they don't give out free gasoline to people living in Florida.) While it may be admirable to forego quality of homelife and unity of the family in search of bettering your financial status, the reality is that very few achieve this position.

Here's some figures I'd like to see YTB dish out (and real ones, not cooked-up PR ones):
Of the 140,000 RTAs....
1. How many have signed up 6 other mugs and thus aren't liable for the $50/month fee (my website is hosted for less than that for a whole year, and I can change the content of it whenever/however I choose, including SEO/keyword selection)
2. How many received in excess of $600 last year (i.e. at least recovered the cost of renting, not owning, their travel store)? Further, of those that did receive more than $600, how many did and by how much on average?

Let's see if you have the cajones to even answer those easy ones. That way, at least prospective sign-ups have a realistic expectation as to how well they can expect to do in this "business."

Of course, there are lots of other questions, but these are two essential ones that any would-be YTB MLMer would do well to ask before committing.

Bottom line is after 38 months there is zero profit despite over 3,500+ hours of effort and costs that have exceeded income. I know there are some people that make tasty residual checks; however, they are very much the exception and not the rule (i.e. less than one percent I'm thinking, though I'd welcome factual correction if any genuine, verifiable figures are offered by a reputable source.)

So thanks, Coach, for providing the straw that broke the camel's back in ruining my marriage, leaving my 9-y-o daughter without a father, and leaving me/us financially worse off (seeing as I've had to subsidize the losses made.) I hope your Bill of Rights compensates them amply for my absence.

Fact is NOT everyone can do this and be successful, just as not everyone is cut out to be a neuro surgeon or pipe welder.
I suppose I should congratulate you on your "model" that mangages to suck in so many easily-led and delusional fools - hope you are enjoying the fruits.

May you and yours rot in Hell for an extended period of time.

p.s. Good luck in your impending lawsuits
p.p.s. Pray you never meet me...you won't walk the same again

Charli125 said...

You are so wrong it makes me sick. My dad has fallen for this scam and of course hasn't made any money. He's bought into the YTB scam so hard that he is actually trying to get me to book my travel through him!(I work for a travel company, and actually have an IATA card that is valid.) Last time I visited him he took me out on his "mentor"s boat. The guy asked me to go into business with him, and I had to laugh. Here is a guy who is supposedly making tons of cash, yet he wants me, a 29 yr old CFO, to go into business with him.

Now, on to your points.

YTB is a "Card Mill" - Fact. The main reason all of these idiots I met were so excited about being with YTB is for the "fam trips". You don't get fam trips without being an agent. It is a card mill. Also, there are minimum sales numbers that have to be met to be accredited. If the average member makes $92/year, then I guarantee you're not hitting the minimums.

YTP lost it's IATAN Status - Fact
I just refused to pay commission to a YTB member because he did not have a valid IATA number.

If I Join YTB, I’ll Have to Recruit Other People. - Well, this isn't a fact, but if you don't want to be paying $50/month for a template website, then yes, you'll have to recruit people.

YTB has never made a profit. Fiction. - Of course this is fiction. YTB is preying on the feeble minded who continue to fork over their cash because they're going to "compete with Expedia". YTB is profitable, YTB members are not.

YTB revenues come mainly from selling business opportunities rather than from selling its core product: travel. - Fact. The website runs itself, the development costs are done. Each $500 fee, and $50 a month is at conservatively %70 profit.

YTB Changes Lives. Fact. Finally something we agree on. It is a scam that slowly bleeds you dry until you realize that you're spending more money on these stupid "fam trips", than you're saving. The next thing you know you're alienating your friends and family all because of the wonderful YTB.

joybabydaddy said...

Thank you to all those posters who have tried (albeit probably unsuccessfully) to open the eyes of all those poor suckers who keep falling for these mlm pyramid scheme scams. My wife is one those poor souls, but she no longer has access to any of our funds-LOL

Crazyhorse said...

A lot of informative ideas here with different point of views from different commentators. Thanks for sharing guys!

Coach said...

Have you seen this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sRwSinIksI

Coach said...

Have you seen this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sRwSinIksI