I. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF MULTILEVEL MARKETING NETWORK
This network will give the public a free online account through which they can be paid for referring customers to the network. The network will have additional account ranks that it will charge a fee for increased selling, compensation, and other options. Art, coffee mugs, and other merchandise will be sold through the network. Artists will be able to upload their work and collect a royalty on sales of their art. People who refer artists to the network will receive a special compensation incentive for doing so.
II. THE PLAYERS
The public can shop on the network's website without having to become a member of the network. Thus, the website will have the functionality of a regular e-commerce site.
Membership is free. Members receive commissions from sales of products from people in their downline.
Artists may either license their artwork to the network for the network’s printing company to print and sell, or they may ship their own product. If they ship their own product, they become “merchants”, which are described below. All artists must become members. Artists do not have to become merchants however. They may license their work and upload it into the network. If this process can be automated, it will be free to the artist. Otherwise, artists will be charged a fee for whatever it costs to get their work integrated into the network (i.e., displayed, and printable by cafepress and the printing company described below). For limited editions, the artist must establish how big the edition is, and how many prints have already been sold as part of the edition (i.e., how many prints are still available in the edition).
Merchants include artists who ship their own product and retailers of other merchandise. Merchants will have purchase orders e mailed to them. Payment for the merchandise will be taken at the network's website and held for a period of 35 days. There will be a 30 day return policy, so after the return policy has lapsed, the merchants and artists can obtain payment.
Merchants will be charged a setup fee. But, if the setup can be completely automated, it will be free for the merchants. Aside from that, a standard 2.5% surcharge per amount sold will be the only charge imposed on merchants. That charge will be the “profit” from which network participants’ commissions will be calculated on those sales.
The network will compute and charge shipping and handling, sales tax, and any other charges that apply in connection with each product purchased through the network (with the exception of orders shipped through Cafe Press - see below). If such computations are not possible, the amounts for the computations will be estimated. Parties will be charged and compensated accordingly.
Merchants will be graded on their customer satisfaction. All merchants must be members to streamline the system.
b. Cafe Press and Contractor Printing Company
Cafe Press (which is at [url removed, login to view]) prints artwork on coffee mugs, T shirts, posters, etc. The network's website will be integrated into the Cafe Press website. Cafe Press will handle all orders, returns, sales tax, etc., for items ordered from it. Purchases made through Cafe Press will be tracked by the network so that the appropriate people in the network can be compensated.
A network contractor printing company will take orders in much the same manner that a merchant takes orders. However, the contractor will be a company more closely associated with the network and will only charge the cost of creating the artwork. The entire profit will be paid through the network per the compensation plan.
III. THE COMPENSATION PLAN
The players get compensated as follows.
If members sell a product, they get 25% of the profit from the sale. In addition, they obtain 5% of the profit from the sale of a product through a participant they refer to the network, up to two levels deep.
B. Artists Who License Their Art to the Network
Artists who license their art to the network collect 5% of the profits from the sale of their artwork, or merchandise containing their artwork. This compensation extends to any sale in the network, and does not end after a certain number of levels.
C. People Who Refer Artists and Merchants
People who refer artists and merchants also obtain 5% of the profits from the sale of merchandise by those artists and merchants, up to two levels deep.
Merchants do not get compensated through the network. They earn their profit based on the price they charge the public.
The entire process must be user friendly and completely automated.
a. The Account Welcome Screen
When a user logs in to their account the welcome screen should contain a preliminary reading of the balance in their account for the current month.
At the bottom of the screen there should be an “administrative options” link that would include the option of canceling membership or updating information.
b. The Home Page
The home page will look like the existing [url removed, login to view] website. However, it will also have a button for “login,” “join the network,” and “search.” In addition to the existing “galleries” link, there will also a “merchandise” link that will have categories of merchandise (like coffee mugs, T shirts, etc.).
When people login, they will be greeted with the welcome page described above.
When people join the network, there will be a simple form with their contact information and bank account number as required fields.
c. Product Page
Products can include merchandise and artwork.
Each page for art work will have links below it to limited edition prints, posters, and coffee mugs, etc. (if the art work is available on such merchandise). Sizes and prices will appear when you click on one of those links. There will also be an “information” link that will show a page with the artwork and a description of the piece, the medium, the artist, etc.
For merchandise, there will be a picture of the product and a description of it, together with its price.
d. Tech Support
The network will be simplified to a point that the use of tech support will be almost completely unnecessary. If a user encounters a glitch, the network will encourage the user to sign off and attempt the procedure again. If the network does not work the second time, the user may e mail tech support.
The software must be scaleable to support hundreds of thousands of users. It must also be expandable to include additional features over time. Or, the data in the network should be easily transferrable to a new software system that is more sophisticated.
f. E mail Promotions
Network members should easily be able to send friends e mails with links to the network that automatically sign those people in under the account of the person that sent them the e mail. If referred people simply make a purchase, that purchase would also be logged under the referring person. Thus, referring people may need a replicated website that looks just like the homepage.
The network should have a listing of the email addresses of all participants so that they can receive notifications.
The entire website should be functional in English and Spanish.
h. Paying Commissions
Commissions will be payable once a person accumulates a $100 balance. Commissions do not vest until 35 days after a sale to allow for returns of merchandise to be made. The network must be able to unwind a transaction to allow for a returned product. However, shipping and handling expenses will not be reimbursed to people returning a product.
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