Introduction to Zija International MLM Compensation Plan
The past few days have brought a turn of events that have forced Notebook Crazy to live up to its reputation as the thinking man’s multilevel marketing (MLM) review site. First, in the interest of not losing two bets in the span of ten days, I had to research and write about the process through which Dolly the sheep was cloned, and it led me to find out more than I ever wanted to know about Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). No sooner had I won the bet (I’m looking forward to my Mother’s Day brunch of pizza and garlic knots) than I found myself reviewing OneCoin, an MLM business opportunity based on a (non-existent) cryptocurrency, and since ignorance is a big part of the reason that the MLM industry has been able to thrive for as long as it has, I decided that the least I could do would be to read a few articles about what cryptocurrency actually is, and I found out that there is a lot more to it than the pop culture stereotype. Except for the fact that, as per the terms of the best I lost with the other Brad (the co-founder of Notebook Crazy) on the spring equinox, I have bought him over 50 cans of diet Vernors in the last week (if the typing is inaccurate on this Zija review, it is only because my eyes sting from all the ginger and fizz), it has been quite a fun few days. 14 years ago, I decided that I could learn a lot more if I dropped out of college, and that definitely turned out to be true this week.
But today we are back to nutraceuticals, my absolute least favorite kind of MLM business opportunity. When I found out that Zija products are nutraceuticals, I prepared to see a whole bunch of my least favorite words and phrases, and indeed I found these in abundance in the Zija reviews I read while researching this one. I took consolation in the fact that, while readers of Notebook Crazy will find rants against the nutritional supplement industry, an ongoing beauty contest among alleged superfoods (since it really does boil down to which one can win the public’s affection), speculations about what sorts of search terms may have led MLM-naïve readers to these pages, and the occasional shaggy dog story about a spoiled iguana with a rare combination of hypothyroidism and restless tail syndrome, you will never find any of the following terms used to describe nutritional supplements or their effects, unless I am quoting another source:
- Science-based formula
- Cleanse your system
- All natural
- Proprietary blend
- Lotions and potions
- Jump start your metabolism
- Burn fat
Why? Because I respect my readers way too much to waste their time with the same ignorant spin they can find anywhere else. And thus I present to you my Zija review.
Zija: The Company and Its Products
In the Midwest, we consider being straightforward among the loftiest of virtues, and the ZijaMoringa company lists its flagship ingredient right there in its name and in its domain name. That’s right, the flagship ingredient in Zija products is various parts of the Moringaoleiferatree.Moringa, also known as the drumstick tree, the horseradish tree, and the benzoil tree, is a somewhat unlikely contender in the superfood beauty contest. It is certainly pretty, especially its drooping branches with their delicate light green leaves, but unlike the more popular super-fruits like pomegranate and blueberry, it is not something you see at supermarkets in every upscale neighborhood in the US. It isn’t a fruit that you just pick up and eat, and it doesn’t make a dark red juice.
Moringa has the potential to be the next great fad food. There are plenty of parts of the plant that people can eat, and in fact they do eat them in the cuisines of India, Myanmar, and Thailand. The leaves, flowers, and fruits (the “drumsticks”, which look a lot more like you could actually play the drums with them than chicken drumsticks do) are ingredients in fitters, salads, soups, curries, and stir fry dishes. The roots can be used to make a condiment that is said to taste so much like horseradish that one of the names for the tree in English is “horseradish tree”. That alone makes me want to give moringa a chance. Like any Midwesterner worthy of the name, I consider horseradish one of the best parts of Oktoberfest. In fact, every year the other Brad and I go to Oktoberfest and buy a whole radish sliced and ready to be consumed. The radish sits there on the wooden tray, menacing, next to the various types of Wurst, its slices making a loose semicircle around a puddle of mustard like a dragon guarding a pot of gold. It seems to hiss at you, taunting you that you are too much of a wuss to eat a real horseradish. We Midwesterners are a mild-mannered bunch, but after a few beers, we never back down from a challenge, especially not one that comes from a radish. So the other Brad and I always eat the radish, and we always regret it. As our eyes water and we sweat tears of blood from mucous membranes we didn’t even know we had, we always swear that next year, we will skip the horseradish and just stick to the Wurst and beer, but every year, the “this is Oktoberfest and I’m not going to back down from a challenge” mood always strikes us just like it did every other year. It must be even worse for the other Brad than it is for me, because he has not ingested a non-beer complex carbohydrate since 1998; I can at least alternate bites of pretzel with bites of horseradish, which actually helps a lot. The only thing that helps more is Vernors, but there is an unwritten rule against non-alcoholic beverages at Oktoberfest.
As for the health benefits of moringa, well, it’s fruit is a fruit. Its leaves are a vegetable (Wikipedia describes them as an “alternative to spinach’, but I have seen Wikipedia describe so many plants in those terms that I am starting to think that the editors of Wikipedia will do just about anything to get out of eating spinach), and its roots are a root vegetable. The raw drumsticks of the moringa plant contain more than 100% of the recommended intake for vitamin C for one day. Eating one of them is as good for you as drinking two glasses of orange juice, with the difference being that two glasses of oranges taste a lot better. Moringa drumsticks tend not to be eaten raw. In fact, sometimes they are even pre-cooked before being added to a stew or curry for additional cooking. So this is a bit like me starting an MLM company that sells a health drink called BradSpud, which contains trace amounts of potato juice and decorating my website with claims that raw potatoes contain lots of vitamin C. Raw potatoes do, in fact, contain lots of vitamin C, but this does not change the fact that no one wants to eat them. Besides, there are far better ways to celebrate the vitamin C content of foods such as the potato and the moringa drumstick than by sinking your money into an MLM business opportunity. There have been no studies proving that moringa has any particular health benefit.
And the closer you look, the more the Zija business opportunity seems more and more like any other nutraceutical MLM business opportunity. The Zija company is based in (surprise, surprise) Utah. The most heavily promoted of the Zija products is the titular health drink; the Zija website has a page called “reasons to drink Zija”, which, as you could expect, is replete with variations on my least favorite nutraceutical phrases. It said that Zija “nourishes the body’s immune system” (as opposed to the immune system of the soul?) and “is supported by modern scientific findings” (but the paragraph under this heading does not contain links to any scientific studies). And, of course, the catalog of Zija products also includes some of the other usual suspects among nutraceutical MLM merchandise, such as meal replacement shakes, skincare products, and tea that is supposed to help with weight loss.
The Zija Compensation Plan
The Zija compensation plan is described in considerable detail on the Zija website. These are some of the highlights of Zija compensation plan.
- Direct Sales – You can make a profit from your sales of Zija products. The Zija website does not specify how much the profits tend to be.
- First Order Bonus – You can get a bonus of up to $100 the first time a Zija distributor directly recruited by you places an order of Zija products.
- Builder Bonus – This is a $30 bonus you get when one of your recruits advances in rank.
- Team Commissions – These are commissions based on the total sales volume of your downline sales team.
- Leadership Check Matching – You can earn commissions on the individual sales of members of your downline team, up to eight levels deep.
- Diamond Pool – This bonus pool contains 4% of the sales profits of the company, and Zija distributor who have reached a high level of leadership in the Zija compensation plan are eligible to receive a share of it. 4% is quite large as MLM bonus pools go. Most bonus pools are only 1% and 2%. Some MLM companies have multiple bonus pools, some of them more exclusive than others, with even stricter leadership level requirements.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The leaves of the moringa tree are quite handsome, and Zija was wise to choose an image of these leaves as its logo. If MLM truly were a beauty contest, and the Zija business opportunity were in direct competition for customers with the BradSpud business opportunity, Zija with its lovely moringa logo would beat BradSpud with its lumpy potato logo, hands down.
- The prices are too high and the scientific claims are too nebulous. This is the problem with the Zija business opportunity, and it is the problem with nutraceuticals in general.
- The Zija compensation plan has you arrange your downline sales team into two legs, which almost never works out to everyone’s advantage. It is mostly just a way to keep MLM distributors busy so that they will not realize that they are just running around in circles and getting nowhere.
- The Zija compensation plan involves a bonus pool. It is so hard to become eligible to get a share of a bonus pool that it seems to me that MLM compensations put them there just to goad people into doing something foolish like staying in an MLM business opportunity. It is not that different from me eating a whole horseradish at Oktoberfest. I knew it would have been a good idea not to eat a horseradish, but I just couldn’t walk away knowing it was there. It is the same thing with the pursuit of MLM bonus pools, except that instead of your mucous membranes, you sweat tears of blood from your bank accounts.
If you have seen one nutraceutical MLM, you’ve seen them all. The moringa plant itself does look like something I wouldn’t mind having in my life. If I saw moringa drumsticks in a supermarket, I would buy some and take them to my brother Bryce and let him figure out how to cook them. (I would not eat them raw, not even if I were at high risk of developing scurvy; I would instead take a few vitamin supplements that cost a lot less than anything you can buy through MLM, or maybe have a glass of orange juice.) The Zija business opportunity will get you the same thing that other nutraceutical MLM business opportunities get you, a big pile of credit card debt, some annoyed friends, and a basement full of health drinks.
Can you eat a whole horseradish without breaking a sweat? Want to taunt me about it? Schedule a call with me.