Is Southwestern Advantage a Scam ?

Is Southwestern Advantage a Scam? This argument has been circulating ever since its advent back in the earliest years of 1855.

The business opportunity we are about to review is one of the pioneers of multi-level-marketing in the industry. In this company, it doesn’t necessarily encourage you to make a downline of members to make money; instead, they want you to focus on direct or actual sales.

They will accept you as an independent contractor as long as you are willing to spend your hard-earned money on the necessities to sell your products. Now that’s a good heads up!

That said, it’s still unclear whether this business is truly an MLM company or only another direct selling company.

Whatever the answer may be, we will know, for once and for all, whether Southwestern Advantage a scam or something worth investing for.

But before anything else, allow me to congratulate you for finally having the guts to research this particular topic today.

For me, nothing is more rewarding than doing extensive research before actually investing their effort and money in a business opportunity.

Not that you are ready, let’s start with a quick overview.


MLM Company


FREE to join, but there are expenses you need to take note of


The company has a reputable credentials


Members are reportedly frustrated after paying their own expenses without succesfully making money through them


Southwestern Advantage is a legit MLM type of company that typically recruit recent graduates as independent contractors to sell educational materials, tools, and website subscriptions knocking door-to-door with the use of direct selling strategy.

What Is Southwestern Advantage?

The Southwestern Advantage is one of the oldest MLM companies founded in 1885 by Rev. James Robinson Graves. 

It’s an MLM type of company that does not necessarily encourage its representative to make a downline of members. 

Instead, they motivate you to focus more on the selling role–the more you sell, the more you will make money”.

Their products are mostly educational materials and resources like books, software, and many more. 

Their independent contractors, or sometimes referred to as their “intern,” company representatives, sellers, and others, are mostly recent graduates from universities across different places from the US.

Southwestern Advantage Homepage

In the beginning, the company’s goal was to offer youth business opportunities because they firmly believe that through these experiences, the youth can earn and, at the same time, develop their business expertise.

Which actually fruitful in the following several years but, in the long run, failed.

Since then, the company became very hostile in the marketing strategies to the point that some universities barred them from entering their premises.

How Does Southwestern Advantage Works?

Again, Southwestern Advantage is an MLM type of company, that does not necessarily force you to build downlines, and you still have the ultimatum to do so. 

That’s what great about them. 

The opportunity that the Southwestern Advantage provides to recent graduates is what they call “seasonal internship.” 

In these seasonal internships, they are given the advantage of selling their products, mostly educational materials like books, software, and many alike. 

These recent graduates are then called as independent contractors or the company’s interns.

Like a traditional MLM type of company, these interns are well-instructed to sell their products, mainly utilizing the infamous door-to-door technique. 

Actually, they are left on their own regarding how they will sell it, but the most preferred way of doing it is through the door-to-door strategy.

However, they have bad records regarding low-quality products, poor management, extreme marketing strategies, and anything absurd about Southwestern Advantage. 

One of the leading causes, why some organizational bodies believe that Southwestern Advantage takes dominance over their independent contractors, is the scarcity of compensation for the underlying operational necessities. 

In other words, they don’t refund, pay, or even provide an allowance for their interns’ expenses on food, transportations, hotels, etc.

The strange thing is, even with that dilemma, most independent contractors would still choose a system like that, and some also recommend it. 

Nothing really explains this sufferance, but most likely, it’s due to the representatives’ immature or inexperienced nature.

You have to consider that most of their independent contractors are recent graduates. 

Meaning, they are still young and not that self-assured enough, and even raw from the reality. And because of this matter, many concerned citizens raised their worry about Southwestern Advantage.

Southwestern Advantage Product Line

Suppose you are really that fascinated enough by joining any MLM company.

In that case, there is, it’s essential to fully understand their products, as this is precisely what you will be selling throughout your experience under them. 

For Southwestern Advantage, their tagline is: “Conquer homework, quizzes, and tests for kids Pre-K Through 12”.

There are a handful of products under a few unique categories:

pre k to grade 2
Pre-K through 2nd GradeFun words, reading, colors, shapes, and number books.
grade 2 to 6th
2nd Grade through 6th Grade: Explore & learn.
grade 6 to 12th

6th Grade through 12th Grade: College starter advantage.

and for parents

For Parents: Inspirations, ideas, and advice.

There are also online materials and loads of physical books on offer with DVDs kits.

Southwestern Advantage DVD kits

Southwestern Advantage Books

Southwestern Advantage’s flagship products are their educational books and website

It’s actually challenging to realize how much the overall costs as there are no details for that on their official website.

I guess the only way to know about it is through their independent contractors.

Their online learning assistance costs $19.95 per month subscription, and still, it’s unclear what this particular service is for. 

You can also find many of their products on eBay or Amazon; however, the books and online assistance are structured to work together. 

Southwestern Advantage’s interns typically consult with the family concerning on how to use the overall educational materials.

There is something not available to those second-hand books online.

Some of the books’ main advantages for older aged students are it maximizes time with research and preparing for examinations, for example:

Intuitive table of contents.

Capsulized information for more available research.

Website links for online resources for anything you don’t understand, sources, and citations for reports.

DVD built-in, and practical exams.

How Much Does It Cost To Join Southwestern Advantage?

There is no fixed cost to join Southwestern Advantage, but there will be some expenses you need to take note of, and these include transportations, food, hotels, and the list goes on. 

There’s no starter package or direct application fee, and you don’t need to hold any inventory to become an independent contractor. 

A set of educational tools will be handed over for you to sell over the summer (after graduation). 

Some people also want to avail of business cards to leave behind, but this is entirely optional.

How Much Can You Make Inside Southwestern Advantage?

To join and become an independent contractor under Southwestern Advantage, you only need to sign up and register on their website.

No application fees are asked from you

Once you’ve successfully met these conditions, Southwestern Advantage will introduce you to a set of educational products to sell and choose your target place.

You may create your downline, but most interns just want to focus on selling, because for them, boosting their sales is the only way to make money. 

But unfortunately, Southwestern Advantage does not have a compensation plan like any other MLM company because they don’t have a clear ranking of such.

The total earnings of Southwestern Advantage’s reps solely vary on how much they can sell within their days of seasonal internships. 

That income is reduced by the underlying operational needs like transportations, gas, food, and all other necessary things during that duration. 

They can also earn a cut from the sales that they have collected (which I will expound unto the next section).

In this kind of method, most of Southwestern Advantage’s reps do not make much. 

You can utterly say that the only valuable lesson for these independent contractors is the personal experience they can acquire from the opportunity. 

They can flaunt this experience to their curriculum vitae to add more edge from their fellow interviewees in the future.

Southwestern Advantage Compensation Plan

There is a 40$ commission on every sale made.

However, this is not a typical MLM company, so there is no compensation plan as such. 

Nevertheless, Southwestern Advantage offers a five-day training camp before sending their interns out to knock on doors.

Generally, these independent contractors are referred to with former members (alumni) to persuade outside or within a new area. 

This could all be proved as compensation as this training and housing would typically need to be paid by them.

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Is Southwestern Advantage A Pyramid Scheme?

One of the main reasons I deep reviewed and have decided to check this MLM company is that someone on Reddit claimed that Southwestern Advantage is a complete pyramid scheme.

Though this company existed for so many years now, I have not heard of it, and I thought it would be thrilling to look inside and discover what it has really to offer.

From what I can tell, based on my research, Southwestern Advantage is not a pyramid scheme; however, it does undoubtedly have its downturns, which we will get into it one moment, but first, let’s take a glance of its advantages.

What I Like About Five Figure Niche Site

  • Reputable Credentials. Southwestern Advantage is part of the Direct Selling Association or DSA. In 2019, Dr. Ralph Brighan acquired the Charles F. Kettering Award for excellence in government internships or business education programs.
  • Excellent Learning Experience. Independent contractors will be asked to go to Nashville to undertake a 7-day training. Southwestern Advantage will offer you a full practice before you start your job and sell products from them. This training will give you an efficient experience of getting a career in the long run after completing your seasonal internships.

  • It’s Impactful. The 7-day training is relatively a Military Bootcamp, where you need to do your best for your everyday life. Every day you have to venture and sell your books to make money; otherwise, you will be helpless, and there’s nothing for you to eat and eventually win the day and survive.

  • Discrimination Free. This is another quality that I liked about the Southwestern Advantage company. They don’t individually look for better GPA records or smarter students. This guarantees an equal opportunity for everyone.

What I Dislike About Southwestern Advantage

  • You’ll Pay All Your Expenses. Members will have to work as independent contractors, so all your expenses like transportation, foods, housing, and other essentials for you to survive must be managed by yourself only. Whether you make a dollar or a hundred, you will pay all your daily expenses.

  • Challenging Work Schedule. Every day you are expected to make thirty presentations to your potential buyers, where you thoroughly explain to them why they must avail these educational books to their student-aged children. All products must be explained thoroughly how it works and, ultimately, why they need it.

  • Frequent Offensive Comments On BBB. There are many offensive comments on BBB concerning the company’s representatives fraudulent schemes like scamming people out of money, not declining order when said so, customer not getting their correct list of orders, and overpriced products are even imposed.

Is Southwestern Advantage
A Scam, the Bottom Line

Southwestern Advantage is not a scam, if it's fraud, then, they might not progress or even exist today in the first place. 

Above all, they have a legitimate tangible product, and a legit company lived for many years now.

A multi-level-marketing company can perhaps be called a scam only if its products are just a tale of smoke or fake, and their main goal is to lure people into the platform and recruit more and more downlines– Southwestern Advantage is neither of these. 

They still exist and operate at this moment. 

The only issue here is, it’s definitely a tough call to join this type of earning opportunity. 

Even with the subtle mission that Southwestern Advantage provides, it’s sad to say that they still have to face lots of poor reviews from their former contractor and customers.

Southwestern Advantage, in my opinion, is not the best opportunity to take.

Some of the retaliations that they have undertaken all these years are about poor working environments, credit accounts charged without a subscription, insufficient customer service, human trafficking claims (this is alarming), and more. 

Despite all these arguments, Southwestern Advantage is still thriving; however, as the saying goes, first impressions typically last. 

So, you see, it isn’t easy to sell and inevitably to make money through Southwestern Advantage.

So that ends my ‘Is Southwestern Advantage a Scam?’ post. I hope it served its purpose on you.

Now, if you want to add something relevant to the post above, make sure to shoot a comment down below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Take care, and keep hustling!

By the way, care to check my deep review on the best affiliate marketing training available on the market? See below.

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Last Updated on May 3, 2022