Company Name: XanGo
Note: XanGo is now Zija, but they still sell mangosteen juice!
What Is It
A health-based MLM that focuses on mangosteen juice and on products containing the tropical fruit.
XanGo has cultivated a lot of hype surrounding its product and its health potential – but the evidence simply isn’t there. There is no real evidence suggesting that the fruit is any better than many other antioxidant-containing fruits, yet distributors continue to push the ‘amazing’ health benefits of the products.
In terms of making money, the company doesn’t stand out. Distributors can earn some commissions on a weekly basis, which is a nice touch. However, even then, most income potential comes from recruiting others into the company, which is really where the challenge starts.
XanGo’s products are pretty much entirely focuses on mangosteen. This is a tropical fruit that has both a sweet and sour flavor. However, XanGo’s interest in the fruit is all about its potential health benefits, rather than its taste. This is pretty much a replica of Morinda, which hails the Noni Fruit as having magical healing properties, and kind of like Forever Living which can't get enough Aloe Vera!
This same process of finding a “wonder food” and turning it into multiple products with no real health benefits is usual for MLM, and not limited to fruit. Gandoderma (a kind of mushroom) is popular to use, like with Sisel and Organo Gold, Techui in Total Life Changes, and…well…you get the idea. Find a funny sounding food, tell people it heals all their ailments, then charge a boatload for it.
Their main product is the juice that the company offers, which boasts some of the following benefits:
The company does also make the following claim (although it does kind of have to):
In reality though, the first statement really is making health claims and they are pretty extravagant ones. Certainly, those claims are enough to make people want to try the juice out – which is exactly what the company wants.
The company has also faced criticism from the FDA for its product claims. However, like any MLM, most of the claims you hear will come from distributors and they will be extravagant.
It’s an effective marketing move, as using distributors lets the company avoid making many grandiose health claims. Instead, the distributors make them instead and the company clearly can’t monitor whether or not distributors make accurate claims. This basically lets the company take advantage of the claims that distributors make without risking itself legally.
In many ways, the company’s decision to use mangosteen seems more like a marketing move than a health one. There are a ton of different health-based MLMs out there and most of them sell products design to boost the immune system and health in general.
By focusing on mangosteen, the company has found a way to make itself stand out from the market. After all, there are few other products anywhere that use the fruit.
However, the actual scientific support for the products from the company is much more limited. The biggest thing in the company’s favor is that mangosteen does have antioxidants and potentially other healthy compounds. However, that is true of many other plants too, including pomegranates, blueberries and cranberries.
In fact, an independent test found that in terms of antioxidants, the product didn’t perform any better than other common fruit juices. Nevertheless, the company still continues to claim the fruit contains other healthy chemicals.
It’s hard to believe that mangosteen juice and products are really any better than other fruits and honestly, the hype surrounding antioxidants and health is still much higher than the science supports. It seems more like the company is using the novelty of its products to make sales and to convince people that mangosteen really is amazing.
One strong indication of this is that the sales for the company increased dramatically long before the company even attempted to offer any type of scientific evidence in support of their products.
Additionally, almost all of the claims about mangosteen that are made on the site also apply to antioxidants in general. This includes things like fighting aging and acting in an anti-inflammatory manner.
While the juice appears to be the company’s main product, they do also offer other products. One example of this is the Glimpse line, which is a line of skincare products. The individual products also use mangosteen and imply that this can help with aging and inflammation.
Many of XanGo’s products are sold on Amazon, including the juice that the company emphasizes so highly. This provides a good opportunity to see both the pricing structure and what people think of the product.
For example, this is the breakdown of reviews for a pack of four 750ml bottles of the juice.
It’s a relatively decent distribution of reviews, suggesting that most people who buy the product are honestly happy with it. Most of the reviews weren’t particularly helpful though, with people just claiming things like this:
It always pays to be cautious with reviews of nutritional products. I’m sure there really are a lot of people who love XanGo’s products, but that doesn’t actually mean that the products do what they are supposed to.
For one thing, health benefits like an improved immune system are almost impossible to detect. You could use a scientific study to see whether the product was improving people’s immune systems, but how could you test this on yourself?
Humans have this unfortunate tendency to view and interpret events based on their own beliefs and expectations. For example, for the same set of events, one person may report more positive events and the other more negative events, simply because of differences in their own views. This means that when we convince ourselves that something is going to work, we start to see the proof because we expect to.
That’s one reason why so many people swear by products like these.
In many cases, the people who actually spend the money to purchase these products are already largely convinced that it will work. This makes it much more likely that they will convince themselves that the product actually works. Take this review as an example:
Whether that person actually gets any health benefits from the drink or not is an entirely different matter – but they certainly seem to have convinced themselves that they feel that way.
Here’s one more thing to consider. On Amazon, the four-pack of 750ml bottles costs $109.99 plus shipping, and at least one reviewer noted that the products are actually more expensive on the XanGo site.
So, you’re looking at paying close to $30 per bottle of the juice on the Amazon site and probably something similar from the company itself. I would say it’s a pretty good guess that most people willing to spend that much money are already convinced that the product actually does what the marketing suggests.
Between you and me, there are a lot of different companies and opportunities in the wellness industry and XanGo would be hard pressed to truly be the leading opportunity in the industry.
Nevertheless, there are a few interesting things about the compensation plan for the company. One of these is the fact that the company offers some weekly payouts and some monthly ones. This is an unusual approach for a MLM, as most of them only offer monthly payments.
There are two different bonuses that fall under this category. The first is just a bonus paid on the first order that a distributor makes, so it’s not too relevant for long-term profit. The other one is a bit more interesting. Basically, it’s a bonus based on the sales you make to customers.
The requirements listed refers to personal volume (i.e. product you are ordering yourself) on the site’s automatic delivery program. You have to have at least 100 PV on this program per month to be able to make money. The site isn’t clear about how much money this equates to, but based on other similar MLMs, it could be somewhere between $50 and $150.
The company doesn’t provide all that much information about what this means in practice, so it’s difficult to know how much the bonus contributes to profits. From the description, it looks like this isn’t a bonus per se, instead, you get paid weekly for the commissions from sales, and monthly for commissions that come from within the people you recruit.
The monthly payments for XanGo follow the same basic structure as most other MLMs. As you progress through the ranks of the company, you have the potential to earn money from more levels of your downline.
First, some terminology.
Your downline is the people that you recruit into the company, and the people that they recruit, and so forth. Within your downline, the first level would be people you recruit directly. The second level would be the people they recruit, and so on. If you get far enough in the company, you can theoretically earn commissions from people all the way down to the 9th level.
To make decent money from the company, there are two main things you have to do. First, you have to get relatively high up in the ranks. Second, you actually have to have a decent sized downline.
These requirements are tied into one another, because many of the ranks have criteria that require you to hit a certain amount of sales. As you go up the ranks, you also have to have specific structures in your downline. For example, this is the criteria for one of their middle ranks:
Here, the first two numbers refer to the amount you have to personally have on auto-order and then to the overall amount of group volume across your downline. The next two boxes refer to how that group volume needs to be structured. All of this gets more complicated as you go up the ranks.
The company also offers bonuses, which can potentially increase how much you earn. However, you need to be in the higher levels of the company to be eligible for most of these.
Potential Versus Reality
MLMs are always tricky. When you read the compensation plan or talk to a distributor, it seems like there is so much potential to earn money – and yes, there really is. The tricky part is getting to the point where you are earning that money.
For example, this is a quote from a NBC News article on the company and its commission structure:
This really is true for MLMs and for XanGo specifically. Unless you can do really well in the company, making a lot of money is going to be difficult. That means you have to recruit and make sure your downline is effective at recruiting.
Actually doing this is a lot harder than it seems, as you are trying to promote products that people probably haven’t heard of and mightn’t be interested in. Additionally, the products from the company are much more expensive that most other fruit juices and don’t really seem to offer much more in the way of benefits.
There is one more thing to consider.
The structure of a MLM means that your best shot at making money is to get in while the company is young. When a MLM is just starting, there is little competition among members and often a lot of hype about the products. This makes it easier to recruit and to make sales.
As the company grows, this gets harder and harder. Members compete with each other for sales and recruitment, and the pool of potential customers dwindles – as most people who would actually be interested are already in the company.
Like a pyramid scheme, the very structure of a MLM commission plan means that it cannot sustain all of its members. The whole thing relies on continuous update of new members, and this can’t be sustained in the long-term.
With products like Pom Wonderful and tart cherry juice on the market that post many of the same health benefits at a fraction of the price, it’s likely that selling the products of XanGo and recruiting people into the company is going to get progressively harder.
There is still a decent amount of hype surrounding the juice from the company, which may give distributors a leg-up. However, consumers are getting more savvy to marketing tricks and to extravagant claims, which makes selling the product and recruiting to the company a growing challenge.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
Regardless of how good (or not) the products from a MLM are, you are always limited with this type of company. You are in a situation where you can only promote products from that single company. This leaves you completely susceptible to trends in the market and any bad press that the company gets.
Distributors often take this in their stride – arguing that the benefits from the opportunity are worth it, but are they really?
Unless you are at the top 1% of distributors, MLMs hinder your ability to make money instead of helping you. The thing is, you don’t actually need to join any ‘opportunity’ to be able to make money. At its heart, any MLM is just a variation on affiliate marketing, where you earn money by promoting products from other companies.
A huge number of companies pay affiliate commissions and the vast majority of these don’t charge affiliates a thing. Getting started in affiliate marketing is easier than it seems and with a little bit of training, you really do have the potential to be very successful!
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