Behind the Scenes at SFI Marketing Group

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The SFI Marketing group is not a straight forward system. It incorporates all the classic signs of an MLM (Multi Level Marketing or Pyramid scheme) and yet tries to mask it.

A Little Background

There is some history to SFI, one that I can only piece bits of and use conjecture to fill in the rest. You see, their website is sfimg.com and according to their site, it stands for Strong Future Internal Marketing Group. However SFI started off at least as Six Figure Income and the sixfigureincome.com site still redirects there.

I can’t find out much about that product but the name itself doesn’t make it sound like it was anything but a “get rich quick scheme”

It appears then that this business has changed tactic.

SFI Marketing Group also gets an A+ on the BBB website, but honestly, don’t put much trust in that, for $800 anyone can get an A+ rating…

Inside SFI

Joining is free, unlike most MLM’s so it is easy to be taken off guard by it. What quickly gives the site away is the SFI Basics:

1. Become an Executive Affiliate (EA) and remain an EA every month.

2. Recruit five affiliates using the methods listed HERE.

3. Teach your five affiliates to do these same three steps.

Any system that strongly suggests from the outset to recruit people under you and get them to recruit people is without a doubt an MLM system.

What complicates the initial view is that SFI uses a sister company and affiliate marketing as well, an effective way for the owners to make more money.

Making Money with SFI

How does this particular system encourage you to make money? There are four ways.

1. Start earning money by accumulating VersaPoints

VersaPoints are SFI’s internal points system. In order to stand a chance of getting a cut of a pot of money each month you need to earn 1500 points as a minimum. No where on the site does it tell you how much the pot of money is currently nor what your slice would be for 1500 points though. It is always worrying when a company isn’t transparent in these things.

The only information available is this:

A huge 40% of the Commission Volume (CV) on EVERY sale at TripleClicks.com goes into the TripleClicks Executive Pool. Share in this big, company wide pool with a minimum of just 1500 VP a month!

Where does this 40% come from? It isn’t clear, from the sales of products it seems, but who foots the bill? I can’t see it being the sellers, they are already losing a lot by selling there.

Not only that but from looking at the ways you can make VersaPoints it looks like your first month will be easy due to large value but simple objectives for example liking SFI on Facebook. After the first month, it looks like it will be much harder to obtain.

In fact one area to be cautious over is that there is some advices from other members to buy Tripleclicks (see below) gift cards, in order to gain 1200 points each month. That’s around $60 a month. Not cheap especially if you cannot make up the extra 300 points and even then there is no guarantee you will get your cash back.

You do get points as well for promoting products on Tripleclicks (per sale).

2. Increase your earnings by generating sales at TripleClicks.com

To obtain some cash you can promote products from Tripleclicks, which is a self proclaimed Ecommerce site. However to me it looks like a poor man’s Ebay. The products are a mixed bag, the sellers even more so, with many of them being from abroad and with poor English skills.

One seller states:

Find it Here is a online store that sells different stuffs that you need and stuffs that hard to find”

Marketing some of these products will be interesting to say the least, so making money from them may not be that lucrative, however there is of course the possibility.

One thing that upsets me is the Beginner Methods of gaining sales:

  • Tell your friends and family
  • Buy gift cards and give them to friends and family
  • Buy promotional cards and distribute them – “Whenever you take a taxi or ride public transportation, “forget” this TC X-Card on the seat before you exit.”
  • Post flyers
  • Etc. etc.

There are some reasonable methods listed as well, including social network sharing, but the fact that a lot of the beginner ones involves harassing friends or family or purchasing products to promote them is not good.

Tripleclicks earns the owners of SFI “a nominal fee” (genuine quote!) of 15% of all sales, so they have a vested interest in getting you to push these products any way you can.

Now add on to that the fact that you as an affiliate can earn 45% of the sales price. That’s 60%. Very few businesses can afford to provide quality service and products with a 60% loss on the product sale price, especially physical goods.

However, earning that amount is unlikely, as for a start your are automatically given a “sponsor” who will earn a percentage of your commission. On top of that, each item has a different commission rate, some with as high as 65% some low 5%.

3. Maximize your income with sponsoring and duplication

Here is the MLM creeping in again, with members recruited below you having a portion of their earnings sent upline towards you. This matrix, as it is called, is 12 levels deep which is very large. MLM systems are not self supporting, and the FTC is in the firm belief that overall the only people who make money from MLM are the ones at the top, and that is always the business owner and not you.

4. Add supplemental income streams (optional)

This is side work, mainly referring sellers to Tripleclicks and allowing adverts on your site.

Training and Support

Most of the training on site is minimal and revolves around selling Tripleclick products or earning more VersaPoints. There is no real meat to any of the training and nothing that can benefit you in the long run.

The Bottom Line

Is SFI a scam? No. While I have reservations about recommending it, it isn’t as simple as they will take your money and run.

I am not a big fan of MLMs, I don’t believe there is any money to be made in them by a regular joe. From what can be gathered of SFI, it is an MLM crossed with affiliate marketing, and as such thought there is a potential to make money here, though I would strongly caution you from spending money in order to do so, as there are lots of areas in SFI where it is easy to start spending cash to make up your VersaPoints or market SFI.

The quality of the products and sellers is also something that concerns me, how can you sell something at such a low mark-up? I highly doubt many, if any, of these sellers have the weight business wise to get mass purchase deals.

I am also quite concerned they put a lot more focus on getting you to promote SFI to your friends and family than actually teaching you anything on marketing in general.

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16 Comments

  1. TheAffpreneur says:

    Hey Steve. I’d love to agree with everyone else and say SFI is scam or an MLM; or all the things earlier commenters have said. But I won’t. I’ve been with SFI for over 3years and I used to think like most people who’ve commented about the biz op before I discovered a few facts:

    1. Yes, SFI has elements of an MLM; but it is far from being a scam.

    2. Yes, they encourage you to recruit others and get 1500VP every month; but you don’t have to if don’t want to. Your membership isn’t dependent on you spending money there.

    3. Making money with SFI requires you to employ some business creativity; don’t expect to log in daily and click a few button, make 1500VP and earn six-figures. You have to sell stuff, earn some commissions and do some real business to make a real income; just like any other affiliate marketing related business

    4. You don’t need to be Executive Affiliate to make money with SFI. And furthermore, you don’t need to purchase anything in order to get 1500VP, or 6000VP! I have recently been getting over 1500VP without even spending a penny on Tripleclicks or SFI- for your information I simply referred sales to non-SFI members and earned the VP + Commissions relating to those sales!

    5. Yes, it is tough to sell some of the stuff listed on Tripleclicks, but there are also some very good products that independent people out there are finding to be great buys.

    I do agree that MLM’s are notorious for getting people to harrass friends and family; but there are also ways to go about your recruiting without bothering everyone around you. In all my experience with the program, I have recruited just a few members into my downline and I’ve never asked any of them to spend any money. Because I have devised ways to leverage SFI to my benefit.

    I’m sure Steve and everyone else meant well with their reviews of SFI; but I personally disagree with a lot of the ideas here. Given, it’s not that easy to make good money (like every other program) but there are certainly lots of positives to take away; especially for beginner internet marketers. I’d like you to read my SFI review (which is a product of years of experience with the program) and re-consider some of your points.

    Many thanks for sharing, Steve:)

    Reply
  2. Teresa Herrington says:

    This group has just moved into our small business locations in Taylors sc… From the beginning they ” looked” sheepish” if such a thing is possible… I don’t like company’s scam folks out if hard earn money…. Hope they move out soon as they are not welcome here,,,,,!

    Reply
  3. oh lol 1500 Versa point and it is only 0.70 cent… you work whole month u work daily u do to do list and u get only 1500 versa Point. which is 0.70 cent.. sure u can make money as well but if u be Team leader and u have 600 person under your team and they must log in daily . from where u will find 600 person? and all will earn 70 cent Monthly and only you will earn ” Money ” . who would work for it? Sfi is Tricky Site ever Join to sfi ask then how much is 1500 versa point? u will see there u wont get any answer no1 will tell u that it is 0.70 cent they will try to Brainwash you and keep u active there. for other companies see this site has this much User so they would Reklam their stuff by it and Sfi would make Millions. i joined to Sfi i brought to Sfi my 60 Friend and we see there they pay payment in 10th of month..so after 1 month and 10 days passed we see we earned 0.70 cent and they wont pay till u earn 20$ . u cant get even your 0.70 cent .. it is how Sfi’s Trick WORKS.

    Reply
  4. 5 minutes of Sfi google search will tell you its an MLM waste of space. Really, where do they get the total mupets from to invest even time …umm, time is money !

    Reply
  5. Thank you for posting this. I am looking for work and it amazes me how much garbage you get and have to sift through.

    Get rich quick never works!

    Reply
  6. Yes, I agree, it’s not a scam. I’ve been an SFI member going on 8 month now and I notice it works much like a pyramid scheme. The only ones that are really benefiting are the ones on the top, your up line Team Leaders and the SFI corporation.

    Reply
  7. I received a business card from a my friend’s husband yesterday and I was thinking about joining up with SFI; but I decided to do more research on the company.
    Thank you for helping me see more clearly and I decided not to join.

    Reply
  8. Negusu Dejene says:

    I just joined SFI but after looking at their initial video presentation, I suspected and searched for what they are. Thank you for helping to protect my pocket!!

    Reply
  9. It is absolutely true that SFI IS TOTAL SCAM. They cheat on measly points and comissions you earn but when you ask for comissions, they delete you account. I was Bronze team leader from March 2014 and invest about $1000, but today my acount is deleted after I ask for henesty and earned comissions. Please, keep your Money and save your time from this scammers. Remember, in any time you can find that your account not exist. You will lose all you invest in this scammers pocket.

    Reply
  10. This is a fair assessment.. From a limited view of the possibility.. of direct Promotion.. I am Doing Sfi.. And Recognize all that is stated above is true.. But what the Author does not understand.. Is The Power of buy and sell.. One can build a group locally.. And have Sfi As Its Core.. There are a wealth of Ideas at Sfi.. The ECA part is out standing for local merchants… No one will give away his/her business plan on the internet just to be copied. I can teach any one how to benefit from SFI AND TC. I Will only do it with my personal enrolee’s .. Not ones from coops And not ones that will not attend work shops

    Reply
  11. YES! I’ve been with SFI from the 11 March 2014. At first it was easy to get the 1500 VP points and then in month 2 it gets a bit harder to get your 1500 VP points and then in month 3 you are forced to buy TC credits to get your 1500 VP points for the month. So, I joined Tripleclicks to use them as a place to sell my products and get the TC credits to advertise my products and also get the 1500VP points to go through to the next month. When I try to put my products on tripleclicks ECA Shop, which is digital business ebooks” they send me an email to tell me that they do not need any sellers of digital products at this moment, I mean ” come-on” that’s why I joined and spent money to advertise my products. Well it’s money down the drain, but also my last money I spent at SFI and Tripleclicks.

    Regards
    Deon ( A Hasbeen SFI and Tripleclicks Member );-)

    Reply
  12. Thank-you for this very clear and balanced review.
    I have been with SFI for about 5 weeks and I had some reservations along similar lines. I actually find this site via google, looking for ‘non-promo’ reviews to see if my concerns were shared, and you have helped me to follow my gut feeling and pull out, thankfully before I spent any money.
    Thank-you again and I will be linking back on social media and my site to help explain my about turn.

    Reply
  13. Thank you for this detailed explanation. Unfortunately many online business very close to being a scam. I am very disappointed that employment websites allow these ‘organisations’ to advertise. At AFI marketing doesn’t cost anything.

    Reply
  14. Thanks. Frankly I appreciate for I am one of their victims. I was blind but now I see. Surely, I will remember you forever.

    Stay blessed.

    Reply
  15. I completely agree that there is not any possibility of any income in SFI unless you are committed to slaughter others for your own income. It is the most tedious even for experts. It is like a web in which if you fall can escape only after loosing your hard earned money.

    Reply
  16. I have a friend who has joined and has been trying to get other friends and family involved. I am not happy with it and see warning flags but cannot find anything, but this break down has helped out a lot and given me a better understanding of the dangers. Pricebenders seems dodgy to and I cannot get answers to my question when I query particulars things about it, it is very vague unless you register and try it yourself. I have been a ebay user for many years and will still use ebay, sometinmmes i may look elsewhere to buy like amazon etc, but selling items i use ebay and have no problem with it.

    Reply

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