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Affiliate Comparison

OBJECTIVE COMPARISON*, Scale 0.0 (Worst) to 10.0 (Best), 5.0 Average
RULE / PROGRAM Cognigen    SFI    SiteSell SmartMall.Biz
STABILITY 10.0 10.0 8.6 2.9
PRODUCT 10.0 10.0 4.4 10.0
7.0 8.0 7.0 7.0
7.5 7.5 3.8 10.0
4.3 10.0 2.9 10.0
8.0 10.0 10.0 6.0
10.0 10.0 7.5 10.0
8.0 6.0 6.0 8.0
SUPPORT 10.0 5.0 10.0 7.5
NO QUOTAS 6.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
NO PAPERWORK 8.0 4.0 8.0 4.0
TOTALS 8.1 8.2 7.1 7.8
* Comparison criteria will be made available via email at a later date. Guests desiring to view the criteria may email the Spidermaster.


Cognigen has been helping people earn stable, steady paychecks since 1995 with an exemplary payout record. Their high-demand product line, built around discount phone services, is offered worldwide, providing residual income on repeat monthly sales. The company has built a remarkable marketing and support structure for its agents — one of the very best available for any multi-level marketer. Cognigen’s weak points are a simple MLM structure — which does, however, reach seven (7) levels deep — and its low 1% downline payout. (Keep in mind that the discount telephone industry is highly competitive, with very low margins; taking this fact into account, the company actually pays very well.) Cognigen’s business strategy stresses individual agent sales, which keeps the company healthy. It also provides opportunity for dramatic agent advancement; compensation levels increase as an agent’s sales and recruiting activities rise. Cognigen is free to join; its closest competitor, Excel, charges nearly $300 in signup fees.

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SFI is the best-known and the most stable multi-level marketer on the internet today. Established in 1985, SFI introduced MLM to the internet. The program offers a diverse product line ranging from marketing tools to proprietary products to an online mall. While not specifically a forced matrix, SFI exhibits the earning characteristics of one, including the ability to earn from sales generated by the entire organization. As if this were not enough, this affiliate program has extensive global reach, with representatives and product sales in over 200 countries. There is a greater learning curve involved with SFI than with some other MLMs, and support is not commensurate with the degree of program complexity. Recently, SFI announced a plan to simplify its structure and improve training. The program is free to join; to achieve significant earning potential, a minimum outlay of about $30 per month (or equivalent sales volume) is required. Overall, SFI is one of the most successful and respected multi-level marketers in the industry.

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Since 1997, SiteSell products and services have empowered over 100,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide. The company has global reach; technically, any country with internet connectivity is a target for its services, which center upon web hosting and internet marketing. You do not have to buy to become or remain an affiliate and you do receive commission on products and services you purchase for your own use. While SiteSell does pay high percentage sales commissions, this affiliate program’s main drawback is that it possesses a simple, two-tier MLM structure. The audience for SiteSell products and services consists of webmasters of all skill levels as well as small- to intermediate-sized businesses seeking a web presence.

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While it brought fresh concepts to online shopping, with a site that actually looked like a mall, discounts and rebates for shopping and the ability to capture downline that you did not personally refer, after an initial positive surge SmartMall consistently failed to execute and has ceased to exist. [Updated 18 August 2005]

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