It’s “the center of the online universe,” proclaims its Web page at nowijango.com
That’s a pretty big claim, even for your Googles, your Yahoos! and your Ivetriedthats.
But coming from a company that hasn’t even officially launched yet, it’s, well, laughable. Kind of like the chihuahua with an attitude that screeches and yaps at the big dogs on the other side of the fence. “Yip! Yip! Yip! Come on over here and see if I don’t tear your ugly heads off your mangy shoulders! Arf! Arf! Arf!”
(True tangent: My in-laws used to have a hihuahua-Pomeranian mix. Mitzi. One day during dinner we heard her start to squeal in the back yard. We rushed out, sure that she was being dismembered by the little brat who lived next door. But there was Mitzi, screaming bloody murder, pinned to the ground by (I kid you not)…a rabbit.)
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Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against marketing slogans or tag lines. “We lose money so you don’t have to” ring any bells? But your marketing slogan should have some footing in the reality-based world.
Is IJango.com a Scam?
It’s too early to tell. And honestly, I don’t think so. But here’s what we now know that it is: A network marketing company (yes, an MLM) that claims that you can earn money just by doing what you always do online and recruiting other people to do the same.
When you become an “Independent Representative,” you are set up with an iJango “portal,” which is kind of like a home page for all your online activity. Your shopping, searches, social networking, and everything else is done within the iJango portal.
iJango gets paid a commission for all your purchases and traffic and then pays you and your downline (ah, how I hate that term) a percentage.
That’s it in a nutshell. I won’t go into the compensation plan, which I have read twice and still don’t understand. I do understand this, though: To get started with your magical portal to Nirvana, you will have to pay a refundable $50 “application fee.” But if you really want to get serious about your ijango business, you’ll have to pay $149 to become a “Director,” and $19.95 per month thereafter for your “back office maintenance fee.”
The intro video uses all the MLM industry buzzwords, including these perennial favorites:
- “Work for yourself but not by yourself!”
- “Our success depends on your success!”
- “Building wealth depends on being in the right place, at the right time, with the right opportunity!”
- [An interchangeable schlocky quote, dubiously attributed to Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or other rich dude.]
I’m Not Impressed Yet
Nothing here looks new. We’ve seen the model where you supposedly get paid for doing what you were going to do anyway (Amway, My Power Mall). And we’ve seen the promotional videos of people who are “so excited to get started” and who say “it’s a no brainer.”
But nothing in the promo materials tells me that it will work. Here’s why, and all MLMs I’ve ever seen have the same weakness:
People that you recruit to be in your downline will be all jazzed and will say things like “no brainer” and “I’m so excited” to perfectly nice friends and family. They will change their habits for a time.
But people who are not in the MLM won’t change their habits just so you can become rich.
From what I understand, you have to recruit 20 customers who are not Independent Representatives. That means you have to convince 20 people to use your iJango portal as the gateway for everything they do online. But why would they? What’s in it for them other than a customizable home page, which they can get many other ways? They might tell you they’ll do it, but they won’t.
Maybe your mother will do it to help you out, but don’t count on it. Not if your mother is as technically inept as mine.
Bottom line, I don’t think Cameron Sharp or Steve Smith (from Excel Communications) are trying to rip you off. But I do think they’ll make plenty of money from people who sign up, even if those who sign up never make a dime.
Want to Make Money from iJango?
Then, here. I’ll give you a free business idea. Pay a licensing fee to Cameron Sharp so that you can print up t-shirts and coffee mugs with clever slogans on them and sell them at iJango conventions to iJango reps with permasmiles are so excited. I’ll give you some for free to get you started:
Do you jango?
Who needs coffee? Ijango.
You can’t handle the jango!
I jangoed all night with a hot chick in Belize
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the jango.
iJango. It’s like Amway but with clicks.
iJango. Not a single vampire.