EarnSmart has been making quite some waves of late. I first saw it when two friends posted some funny WhatsApp statuses about the online gig.
The first comment was ‘Who said EarnSmart is for hustlers? I’m a rich kid and I’m in too!” while the second comment was “I’ll only join EarnSmart when a member buys a car.”
So I obviously got quite interested with EarnSmart and immediately hopped onto google and started researching the venture. The first result that came from my research was a website by the name Earn Smart Online Class.
I visited the website and realized it wasn’t the EarnSmart venture my friend was talking about. However, this well-designed blog contains hundreds of articles on how to make money online and is written by Virginia Nakitari, a Kenyan. She also has an online course through which she trains people on how to make money online.
In my opinion, this blog might be very valuable to any Kenyan who wants to learn ways and platforms to use to make money online while in Kenya. I have bookmarked the blog already and will be visiting it often in future to discover new opportunities. You should too.
When I was done exploring the blog I went back to google SERPs and scrolled down until I spotted EarnSmart.co.ke which I visited and just from its landing page, realized it was the EarnSmart gig my friends were talking about.
It claims to offer access to valuable e-books and opportunities to make money online. I looked deeper into the venture and here is my honest review of EarnSmart and why you should join only if you have Ksh 500 to risk.
What is EarnSmart?
EarnSmart is a network marketing platform which offers anybody an opportunity to earn online through affiliate marketing, playing spinning games and selling e-books.
Well, that’s the simple definition the company wants you to know. However, what EarnSmart really is, a pyramid scheme with some added opportunities
A pyramid scheme is a business model which depends on revenue generated through recruiting of new members into a company to sustain the company.
EarnSmart does not make most of its money from selling E-Books and spinning games, it makes money from its members who recruit new members that are required to pay a fee to join the system. This money is then distributed among the members on the upper part of the pyramid.
Another very good example of a pyramid scheme which is currently making rounds on social media is Crowd1. Check out my no-nonsense review of Crowd1.
How Earnsmart Works?
You join EarnSmart through an affiliate link and are immediately directed to pay for a Gold Package which costs Ksh 500. Once you’re in, there are three ways you can earn money.
1. By recruiting other people.
EarnSmart has an affiliate program which compensates you for recruiting other people into the company. Upon joining, you are given an affiliate link to use when referring new people into the program.
The referral link looks like this: https://www.earnsmart.co.ke/signup.php?aff=USERNAME; username represents the username used during registration
The affiliate program allows anyone to earn up to level 3 of your referrals as demonstrated below
- Level 1: For every direct referral you have, you earn Ksh 300. This means, from our figure, you make Ksh 1200 from recruiting 4 people into the program.
- Level 2: For every person that your direct referral recruits into the company, you earn Ksh 100. This means, from our figure that you make Ksh 1000 from the ten recruits referred by your direct referrals.
- Level 3: For every person referred by your level 2 referrals, you earn Ksh 50. Which means you make Ksh 850 from 17 referrals recruited by your level 2 referrals.
Unfortunately, beyond level 3, you cannot make any more money from the referrals.
The affiliate program is the main source of income for EarnSmart investors. Without referrals, you cannot make good money from the gig; the other two earning streams cannot suffice for the same.
2. Spinning Games
EarnSmart also offers spinning games through which you can spin for free or bet as little as Ksh 20 and earn as much as Ksh 1000 daily. There exist three types of spinning games
- Spin&Win: All members are allowed to place a bet of at least Ksh 20 and spin to win as much as Ksh 1000. It works just like a Casino
- NewUserSpin: A spin offer is given to every new user where you have a high chance of winning up to Ksh 1000. To maximize winning, you ought to spin as soon as you join the platform
- FreeSpin: A spin offer is given to all members randomly between 8 pm and 9 pm every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
Just like with any other betting company, EarnSmart Spin&Win game could generate good revenue for the business model and perhaps contribute to the sustainability of the company. This is courtesy of the high losing chances of most gamblers.
For lucky members, the spinning game could add more money to your balance but excessive betting especially if you have few referrals could end up giving you a loss.
3. Selling E-Books
EarnSmart also gives you free E-Books which you are allowed to promote and sell as you wish to make a profit. Besides that, these eBooks contain guides on how to start various businesses in Kenya. At the moment the business guide available include:
- Advertiser Magazine Case Study & Fact Sheet
- Agrovet Business Guide
- Bank Agency Factsheet
- Beef Butchery Guide
- Boda Boda Info Pack
- Bookshop Quick Guide
- Building Materials Yard – Dynamics and Case Study
- Bottled Water Business Guide
When signing up for EarnSmart you can consider access to these guide as the value for your investment and if serious enough can use any of them to kick start your next business venture. The eBooks are quite detailed and informative.
However, selling these e-books might be a daunting task especially since the e-book industry in Kenya is very small and not many people are willing to purchase books with content they can freely access on the internet.
Nonetheless, if you have great salesmanship, you could potentially make extra money from this opportunity. The company doesn’t depend on this product to generate revenue since it provides them for free to its members
Is EarnSmart Legit?
There are two ways to look at this. First, whether it’s actually registered by the government and allowed to operate in the country. Secondly, whether it pays its members their earnings.
Well, in both cases, the company seems to meet the conditions. However, there is still some doubt.
First, is the company registered?
There is a certificate claiming the legitimacy of the company as a registered entity, which is making rounds on the internet. The source of this certificate is not known, however. I took a close look at the certificate and noticed a small discrepancy.
Below are two certificates of incorporation. One belongs to EarnSmart, while the other is a sample from eRegulations Kenya, a government entity responsible for promoting business in Kenya
If you are keen enough you should notice that the official certificate of incorporation sample provided by eRegulations contains an Aztec Code or QR code at the bottom right section which if scanned by a code reader will reveal digital information of the specific company’s incorporation. The code has been partly hidden for the sake of privacy.
However, when you look at the certificate of registration for EarnSmart Agencies, the Aztec code doesn’t exist. On the contrary, it contains a barcode at the top just below the Court of Arms.
Such a certificate can be easily generated by anyone with good photo editing and publishing skills. The Aztec code is there to verify the legitimacy of the certificate and hence whether the company is legit or not.
Secondly, does it pay?
According to several sources, EarnSmart seems to pay through MPesa services. A member is allowed to withdraw their earnings when a threshold of Ksh 640 is reached and the money is sent directly to their MPesa number
Here are some screenshots of the alleged payments.
So, on 27th July 2020 I made my first withdrawal of Ksh 640 from EarnSmart. To withdraw Ksh 640, the platform charged me Ksh 40.
On my second withdrawal, I attempted to withdraw all the money but was required to leave a balance of at least 25 bob. The second withdrawal also cost me Ksh 40.
Also, the withdrawals don’t happen instantly, It takes about 30 min from the moment I initiated the withdrawals to the time I received the money in my account. So you’ve gotta learn to be a little patient.
Below is a screenshot of EarnSmart payment
Is EarnSmart Sustainable?
Here’s the thing, EarnSmart is simply a multi-level marketing platform which has more characteristics of a pyramid scheme than a legit business opportunity to its members; it does not majorly depend on its products which include Spin games and eBooks to generate revenue.
Rather, it depends mostly on its referral program where members are compensated for introducing new members into the company.
The problem with multi-level marketing is that one day, the number of people joining the company will become so small that it cannot generate enough revenue to sustain the business. This happens when members cannot recruit new members and hence no earnings are achieved by the company.
At this point, the amount of money being withdrawn by the members who have already earned will exceed the revenues generated. This will mean that the company owners will have to start emptying their pockets to pay its members which is impossible because it means losses to them.
Consequently, the company will shut down and all the money left on the platform will disappear.
Latecomers will lose their money while those who joined earlier might break even or make some profit out of it. Just like every other pyramid scheme in the past, 90% of its members by the time it collapses will lose their money.
Should you join EarnSmart?
EarnSmart is not for everyone. It is a gamble with high risks. You can make some good cash while its reign lasts, but eventually, it will collapse. That’s a sure bet.
So your earnings depend fully on the time you join the company and if you have the convincing power to recruit people into the business.
Also if you cannot afford to lose the investment, then you’d rather stay away from it. Luckily enough, it’s just Ksh 500 which most people can easily afford.
If you have Ksh 500 and wouldn’t mind trying your luck in this pyramid scheme, then join today before it gets too late. You only need two referrals to return your money and make a profit of Ksh 100.
I did keyword research of the term ‘earnsmart’ and realized there might be some time left for new members to actually benefit. This is courtesy of my comparison with Public Likes which trended in 2017.
From the figure, you can see that public likes appeared around 20th May 2017 from which it grew at an exponential rate for the next couple of months peaking at around July 15th.
The people who joined Public Likes within the first half of the growth curve (Late May to Mid-June) were able to earn something from the pyramid scheme as long as they could recruit new members.
However, members who joined after that period were already late for the party and 95% of them especially those that joined at the peak lost their money when the pyramid collapsed by the end of July 2017.
The saddest part about Public Likes was the fact that the membership fees were as high as Ksh 4500 and most members who lost their money had to save and sell assets to raise that capital.
Meanwhile, when you look at EarnSmart’s graph, there is some indication of the earlier stages of the exponential growth. It launched in the early 20s of June 2020 and has been growing ever since with apparent record days such as July 4th, 10th and 17th.
The pyramid will likely take 3 to 4 months before it collapses based on the low entry fees required and the seemingly legit means of making money online; spinning games and the informative eBooks.
Hence, if you wish to join EarnSmart and haven’t yet, you have less than 4 weeks from today (24th July) before the peak approaches and it becomes extremely risky to join.
Take note that if you cannot afford to lose Ksh 500 right now during this crazy period of the pandemic, don’t join. It’s not for you.
However, if you’re in for some risky venture, have some spare Ksh500 to play around with and definitely have the skills to convince people or friends that are easy to convince, below is the procedure for joining EarnSmart.
Furthermore, it’s not so much of a loss if you can take the advice in the eBooks and lanch a business out of it.
How to join EarnSmart
- Visit EarnSmart Registration page
- Input your details including Username, Email, Phone number etc.
- Select the package to purchase: Gold Package
- Tick on Agree to terms and condition then click on Register
- On the Make Payment page, verify your phone number and click on Pay Now.
- An automated payment procedure will be initiated on your phone, enter your pin to authorize the payment.
- Upon successful payment, your account will be activated and you’ll have access to all EarnSmart services including your affiliate link which you can use to recruit new members.
Multi-Level Marketing is a business model that has existed for tens of decades and up to now, there exist no economies which fully regulate them.
Pyramid schemes which are the most popular types of MLMs have therefore been launched year after year differentiating themselves with few characteristics but all promise easy ways to become rich.
Before the Kenyan government takes time to discuss MLMs and regulate them Kenyans need to understand the opportunities and risks that exist with such businesses.
Generally, such platforms should be avoided but for the adventurous people only invest what you can afford to lose.
Lastly, if you really want to know how to make money online, check out these legit and proven ways to make money working online part time.