Introduction to Cabi MLM Compensation Plan
In the 17th century there were fops. Fops were men who turned their attention away from productive pursuits and concentrated instead on the pursuit of fashion. They wore long, powdered wigs, elaborated embroidered jackets, and pointy shoes. No one, perhaps not even the fops themselves, considered this level of attention to clothing tasteful or conducive to the good of society, but for the fops, the cultivation of life’s pleasures, specifically the wearing of clothing and the impressing of one’s peers by means of such, was an end in itself. (Certainly not every man in 17th century England who wore a powdered wig, an embroidered jacket, or pointy shoes was a fop; in fact, all of those things were standard items of dress in the 17th century England. Rather, the fops took it to an extreme.)
Fop fashion continued into the 18th century, at which time it came to be known as “macaroni”. That, by the way is the meaning of the word “macaroni” in the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” And speaking of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, in the 19th century, impeccably dressed gentlemen were known as dandies. After the French revolution, top hats replaced powdered wigs, and modern trousers replaced the 17th and 18th century custom of wearing knee breeches and stockings. Likewise, the color palette of men’s clothing became restricted to dark, neutral colors like black, navy blue, and dark gray. Nonetheless, the dandies of the 19th century wore these more subdued clothing styles as ostentatiously as humanly possible. They wore morning coats with long tails, fastened their cravats with knots that would intimidate a Boy Scout, and accessorized with canes, even when they were young and able bodied. Thomas Carlyle snarked that a dandy is a “Man whose trade, office, and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes.” Perhaps the most famous dandy was Beau Brummel, whose name has become something of a byword for a fashionably dressed man. Brummel, as Carlyle’s definition of a dandy suggests, seemed to have no occupation in life other than dressing nicely and hanging around with rich people. Wikipedia even suggests that Brummel should be considered the first celebrity whose claim to fame consists only of being famous for being famous. In the United States, dandies were sometimes also called dudes.
In the early 1960s, they were called mods. The mods wore expensive tailor made suits and rode expensive Italian motor scooters. They spent their disposable income on increasingly expensive clothes. The song “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” by the Kinks was Ray Davies’ scathing take-down of all the preening mods on Carnaby Street. The Who’s Quadrophenia offered a more sympathetic portrayal of the mod lifestyle.
I would like to say that all of that is in the past, but it isn’t. There are still people around who dedicate themselves almost exclusively to pursuing the clothing and other trappings of “lifestyle” associated with a particular identity. You can call them hipsters or you can call them metrosexuals or you can call them whatever you like, but there are still plenty of guys whose identity hinges on their clothing. The good news is that there are very few of such guys in my little corner of the Midwest.
I am Brad, and this is Notebook Crazy, my blog where I review as many multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunities as I can. In researching the reviews I have written on this blog, not least among them this Cabi review, I have come across plenty of reasons to be thankful that I am a dude, and by “dude”, I mean a person who has a Y chromosome in every cell, not “American dandy.” One of those reasons is that, at least here in the Midwest, there is not a whole lot of pressure on men to dress impeccably or to have strong opinions about how other men dress. The guys around here just don’t care that much about clothing. Even the other Brad, the cofounder of Notebook Crazy, does not put very much thought into what he wears. Sure, he pays a lot of attention to his physique, but not his clothes.
This means that there is a very strong possibility that neither I nor the other Brad nor any of the men reading this Cabi review will ever be subjected to the waste of time that is a trunk show or the grand charade in which the participants pretend that there is any social or financial benefit to such events. There are plenty of reasons to avoid MLM like the plague, but the most compelling reason to avoid the Cabi business opportunity in particular is because, in doing so, you can avoid the trunk shows.
First, some background. There are lots of MLM companies that require distributors to host sales parties of some sort in their homes. My response to all of these MLMs and their home sales parties can be best summarized as “quadruple crown diamond barf”. The purpose of these parties is to pressure the guests into, at the very least, buying MLM merchandise (which can include anything from nutritional supplements to cosmetics to a contraption that presses pot leaves and extracts cannabis oil), and at the most, becoming a distributor for the MLM company. A most insidious form of the MLM home sales party is the MLM trunk show. There are a few MLM companies, specifically some MLM companies that sell costume jewelry, that market their home sales parties as “trunk shows”. The host displays samples of overpriced costume jewelry (“costume jewelry” is fashion industry speak for what laypeople call “fake” jewelry, meaning that it does not contain real gold or precious stones) and badgers people into wearing it or distributing it.
MLM home sales parties are a perversion of actual social events. At a party, where there are hosts and guests, the host provides the guests with hospitality, in the form of a place to gather and socialize and some food. In turn, the guests acknowledge the host’s generosity and lighten the burden on the host by bringing some sort of hostess gift, such as a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, or by preparing one of the dishes for the meal. In some cases, such as when the guests are extended family members, they might wash the dishes after eating a meal the host has prepared. In any case, there is reciprocity. No one mooches. No one dishes out a guilt trip.
The only way that I could imagine making an MLM home sales party worse is if you were required to try on clothes, and that is exactly what happens in the Cabi business opportunity. You go to a party at the house of someone you thought was a friend, and the host tries to talk you into buying a bunch of clothing items that, if they were to your taste, you could order online after extensive comparison shopping. (As every couch potato knows, the best thing about comparison shopping is that you can do it while wearing your pajamas.) To add insult to injury, after you have squeezed yourself into a body shaping undergarment and business casual clothing for this party you did not really have time to attend anyway, the Cabi distributor you thought was your friend asks you to remove your clothing and try on Cabi products. (I think there is a makeshift dressing room, but still.)
Cabi: The Company and Its Products
One thing that I can say in defense of the Cabi business opportunity is that it did not take a very long time to find out the origin of the company’s name. Cabi stands for Carol Anderson by Invitation. Carol Anderson is the founder of the Cabi business opportunity.
Every MLM company has its own euphemism for the people who have bought into the MLM. In this case, Cabi distributors are called “stylists”.
Cabi markets itself as a company “for women by women”. As I have mentioned in the introduction to this Cabi review, I am a dude, and not the kind of dude who is into fashion, but it still really bothers me when MLM companies act like they are doing women a favor by establishing all these MLM companies that sell women’s clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. It is as if they expect us to believe that women do not have any other opportunities to earn money.
The Cabi Compensation Plan
The Cabi website does not rub it in your face that Cabi is an MLM company. In fact, the Cabi website does not use the phrase “compensation plan” at all. Nonetheless, there is some information about the Cabi compensation plan available on the Cabi website. The Cabi compensation plan includes three different ways to make money, through your personal sale of Cabi products, through commissions on product sales made by members of your downline time, and through something called “inventory sales”, in which you get a bonus for selling a certain percent of your inventory at the end of the season.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Cabi products are not nutritional supplements.
- You can see a lot of Cabi products on the Cabi website, which is an improvement over when MLM companies do not even show you their merchandise on the website, thus adding an air of mystery.
- The Cabi compensation plan focuses more on product sales than it does on recruiting. Wht is even better than that is that there is no mention of fast start bonuses or bonus pools. The Cabi compensation plan is far from the most insidious MLM compensation plan out there.
- Barf. MLM home sales parties. Quadruple barf. MLM trunk shows. Quadruple diamond barf. MLM trunk shows where you have to change your clothes numerous times after you finally chose something to wear to the party. Quadruple crown diamond barf.
- The whole “by invitation” thing kind of gives me the creeps. Much like the dandies of the 19th century, Cabi distributors get to feel that they are party to something exclusive. Did you and your friends ever form a secret club when you were in fourth grade? It didn’t bring you financial freedom, did it? Neither will the Cabi business opportunity.
- The About Us page of the Cabi website says, and I quote, “Cabi is freedom”. While I grant that freedom is the opportunity to choose what you do, and that pressuring your friends to try on clothing while you guilt trip them into spending their limited disposable income so that you can continue in a business venture that is going nowhere is within the possibilities of something a person might choose to do, I think I can safely say that “Cabi is freedom” is an overstatement.
- Having a bunch of MLM clothing piled up in your house is never a pleasant situation, no matter what you are selling, but I can imagine that Cabi products are more disruptive than most MLM merchandise, maybe even more disruptive than that awful fungus coffee that has been piled up in my basement for the past two years. Even if the clothes come folded, storing Cabi products in your house will still make you feel like your basement is the back room of a clothing store, which, by definition, makes it feel less like home.
Ladies, you have plenty of career options. If you are in need of a second job, you can always wait tables or drive for Uber or write search engine optimization (SEO) friendly web content. If you enjoy hosting parties, stay away from the Cabi business opportunity and use the money from your second job to host a party that your guests will actually enjoy.
You can probably tell from reading my Cabi review that getting dressed up to go out is not my idea of a good time. I do, however, quite enjoy phone conversations, especially when they are about Internet marketing. If you schedule a call with me, I will tell you how I established a successful Internet marketing business.