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Xango MLM Compensation Plan review 2.0

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Introduction to Xango MLM Compensation Plan

Welcome to Notebook Crazy, everyone.  This is Brad, your friendly neighborhood couch potato, health food skeptic, and night person who is willing to consider virtually any kind of professional path, as long as it is legal and it does not involve sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week while getting chewed out by a boss at random intervals or micromanaged by managers whose job description seems to consist almost entirely of micromanagement.  I have always been a writer at heart, at least since that night in the summer of 1998 when I went to a Pink Floyd planetarium show, and the lights and music inspired me to write what would today be considered a classic rock blog, as opposed to just borrowing CDs of old rock music from the public library and discussing them with my dad and my brother Brian.  (These days, Brian would not be caught dead listening to a CD or any other digital music format; he will gladly sacrifice 40 hours of his week to the cubicle farm if it means he can put the money into collecting vinyl records, but that is a story for another day.)

To make a long story short, last Christmas, Brian and I went to the movies with Brian’s wife Grace (who, to her credit has never once rolled her eyes at Brian’s record collection) and with our mother.  We saw The Big Short, and there must have been the same kind of geeky guy energy in the movie theater that day as there was in the planetarium on the night of the Pink Floyd laser light show, because I walked out of there with a fully formed idea for another writing project, namely this one, Notebook Crazy, in which I review multilevel marketing (MLM) business opportunities.  Notebook Crazy is the thinking man’s review blog, an heir to the e-zines of the pre-search engine optimization (SEO) Internet, with their sincerity and their casual, almost neighborly acknowledgement of their sources.  (My blog Classic Rock Ragnarok, was technically an e-zine, since the word “blog” did not exist while I was writing it.)

I did not have to write or research very long before coming to the conclusion that, when you write about the MLM industry, you run into just as much sleaze as when you write about your favorite songs and the stories behind them.  There is just as much financial mismanagement, just as many tawdry tales of excess, and if anything, the accusations of unoriginality are even more likely to hit their marks.

Xango: The Company and Its Products

Welcome to my Xango review.  Xango is not the only MLM company I have reviewed on this site that bases its business opportunity on the sale of an allegedly antioxidant-rich drink.  In fact, the Xango business opportunity is not even the only MLM I have reviewed in which mangosteen is the flagship ingredient in its products.  For this reason, this is not the first time that I have written about the lovely Miss Mangosteen here on Notebook Crazy; I even chose her as the beauty queen of superfoods.

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia, but it can grow almost anywhere, provided that “anywhere” is very close to the Equator.  Its outer skin is a luscious shade of reddish purple, like a plum, except with a firmer texture.  The edible fruit inside is intensely white, and its flavor is both sweet and tart.  The fruit is very perishable, so it is virtually impossible to get fresh mangosteen fruit in temperate climates such as we have here in the Midwest.

The good news is that, while researching this Xango review, I came across reports that made it sound like it is easier to find mangosteen fruit in the United States than was the impression I got a few months ago, when I reviewed another MLM company that advertises mangosteen as the flagship ingredient in its products.  Whereas, a few months ago, I read that mangosteen was only available in the U.S. in dried or frozen form, except on the dessert menu of a restaurant in the Northeast that only Crown Diamond MLM distributors can afford, it now looks like the lovely Miss Mangosteen has made it to Florida, where she is being welcome by her newly arrived neighbors, the Nile monitor lizard and the Nile crocodile.

Yes, the lovely Miss Mangosteen is really something special, I am convinced, but many other aspects of the Xango business opportunity are quite ordinary, at least in the world of MLM.  The Xango business opportunity was founded in 2002 in Lehi, Utah, a suburb of Provo.  (I have mentioned in many of my other MLM reviews that Utah is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to population density of MLM companies, rivaled only by Florida and perhaps a few other states.)  Since the company’s inception, mangosteen has been the flagship ingredient in Xango products.  In fact, “Xango” is a portmanteau of xanthone and mangosteen; xanthones are a compound found in some of the inedible parts of the mangosteen fruit.

Xango juice is the flagship product of the Xango business opportunity.  It is a blend of juices and purees of apple, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, grape, mangosteen, raspberry, and strawberry.  Xango distributors go on at length about the nutritional benefits of this juice, but nutritional benefits or not, it sounds like it tastes pretty good.  There are some other Xango products, as well, personal care products and such.

As is so often this case with MLMs that deal in nutritional supplements and health drinks, there are lots of exaggerated claims flying around out there about the health benefits of Xango products.  Yes, Xango juice is made from fruit, and fruit has antioxidants, but it is not some sort of wonder drug that ought to cost exponentially more than the juice blend drinks you buy at the supermarket.  The American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all gone on record to say that consumers should not expect Xango products to cure cancer and that the scientific research done on the effects of mangosteen juice are far from sufficient to warrant using it as a medical treatment.  Even Ralph Moss, an alternative medicine writer who has promoted other alternative medicine treatments, including some for cancer, has described Xango juice as “an overpriced fruit drink.”  He says that it has the same nutritional benefits as other red fruit juices, for six times the price.

The Xango business opportunity is available in more than 30 countries.  In 2011, its operations in Italy were suspended because of exaggerated health claims and a business model that came dangerously close to being a pyramid scheme.

Even in the United States, the story of the Xango lawsuits is as colorful as a spread of all the various fruits about to be blended into Xango juice.  The first of the Xango lawsuits was brought against Xango in 2008, when the founders of Tahitian Noni, another nutraceutical MLM based in Utah, claimed that Xango stole the flagship tropical fruit gimmick from them, despite the fact that the Tahitian noni, also known as the cheese fruit, is a far less pulchritudinous creature than the mangosteen.  (The question also remains unanswered as to why, of all the copycat tropical super-fruit MLMs out there, Tahitian Noni chose Xango as the defendant.)  In 2009, a group of investors who had helped fund the company in its early stages and owned 1% of the company’s shares, also sued Xango for mismanagement of funds.  Both cases reached a settlement.

The juiciest Xango lawsuit of all, even juicier than an autoship delivery of Xango products, is the 2013 case in which Bryan Davis, one of the founders of the Xango business opportunity, filed a suit against his co-founders for financial mismanagement.  The case file reads like a litany of excesses that would not sound out of place in a rock star’s memoir.  According to Davis, the other founders of the Xangobusiness opportunity falsified their records and embezzled money to buy electronics, scooters, and grand pianos and to renovate their homes and gardens and that Aaron Garrity used company funds to support his personal assistant Andrea Waterfall, with whom he was in an extramarital relationship.  Garrity likewise alleged that Davis was an equal participant in the antics and even used company money to fund an extramarital affair of his own.  He said that Davis had only brought the suit because he wanted more money in exchange for being bought out of the company.

The Xango Compensation Plan

The Xango compensation plan document is available on the Xango website for those who have the attention span to click and scroll until they find it.  Its color scheme is a pleasant shade of orange that reminds me a little bit of a tropical sunset, or at least a tropical drink that will raise your blood alcohol content as much as it raises your credit card balance.  It is a concise document, only two pages, consisting mostly of tables.

The Xango website says that Xango distributors earn a 50% commission on the sale of Xango products that they personally sell.  Meanwhile, according to the Xango compensation plan, Xango distributors earn commissions, ranging from 2% to 15%, on product sales made by nine levels of their downline sales teams.

The leadership levels in the Xango compensation plan are Representative, Preferred Representative, 1K, 5K, 20K, Premier, 100K, 200K, and 500K.  Rank advancement not only requires the sale of Xango products and the recruitment of new Xango distributors, but the compensation plan also takes into account how many “legs” of downline you have in your downline team.  At the higher levels of leadership, there are rank advancement bonuses, as well as two bonus pools.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • The packaging of Xango products seems to have harnessed the aesthetic of mangosteen, regardless of actual mangosteen content.
  • The ingredient list of Xango products indicates to me that they taste good, mangosteen or not.
  • The name “Xango” was not chosen arbitrarily.
  • Some of the articles I read while researching this Xango review gave me hope that I only have to go as far as Florida to taste real fresh mangosteen fruit.
  • The names of the leadership levels in the Xango compensation plan are a bit different from the usual jewelry themes and corporate themes that you see for leadership level names in MLM compensation plan documents.

Disadvantages

  • It seems that Xango products contain only trace amounts of mangosteen. Although the richly colored red juice may taste good, it does not appear that it tastes like mangosteen in any discernible way.  If you want to drink sweet red drinks that are easy on the eyes while continuing your quest for a taste of the real mangosteen, you would be better off printing out some coupons for bulk purchases of Hawaiian Punch while saving your money for a trip to Thailand, where a fresh mangosteen fruit costs five cents.
  • The Xango business opportunity involves autoship of Xango products.
  • Despite that it fits on only two pages, the Xango compensation plan is needlessly complicated. All this nitpicking about which sales are made by which leg of downline only makes it harder for Xango distributors to earn commissions and be promoted to higher ranks.

Conclusion

I stand by my previous claim that the lovely Miss Mangosteen is lovely indeed, but the nutraceutical MLM industry is ugly.  There are plenty of beautiful, tasty juice drinks out there that do not cost nearly as much as Xango juice.  Besides, I am no health nut, but even I know that the way to get the nutritional benefit of fruits is to eat the fruits rather than drinking juice.  The Xango business opportunity promises an escape from your daily routine and the ordinary fruits in your supermarket, but it does not deliver a viable alternative.

Hey, world travelers!  Have you ever seen or tasted a real fresh mangosteen?  Schedule a call with me; I can’t wait to hear all about it.

 

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