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Direct Cellars introduces wine clubs to direct sales

Direct Cellars is the popular network marketing company that brought wine to the MLM space.

A wine club + direct sales? Sounds like a gold mine for stay-at-home moms who want a home based business selling wine to their friends.

Product-of-the-month clubs have BLOWN UP over the past couple years (hint: Numis and Melaleuca), but Direct Cellers is here to ride the waves with a crowd favorite: wine.

So have I been involved?

This video explains:

 

All good? Let’s continue…

Overview

Direct Cellers is a wine MLM that launched in 2014. They’re headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with offices in Chicago and Seattle. The company was founded by David DiStefano.

Almost all their business comes from the U.S. (over 90%), but they do operate in Canada as well.

Their hype history has seen some interesting ups and downs, but September of 2016 they really started building up a steady upward trend, finally pegging 100 in April of 2017.

This might because they recently revamped their marketing and sales methods in 2016, diving head first into network marketing. Judging from the buzz, it seems to be working pretty well for them.

I can see why. People are skeptical about buying miracle diet pills and the latest cosmetics craze, but there’s nothing sketchy about a good old fashioned bottle of wine. People who drink wine regularly are willing to fork over a pretty penny for the stuff, and it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed.

On top of that, this is perhaps the ONLY kind of MLM where I can see a home party actually being a successful way to sell. While you’d have the investment cost of purchasing a few bottles of wine, offering ample wine samples to party attendees guarantees that they’re going to 1 – have a good time, and 2 – be willing to open their wallets wide. The best way to get people to spend money on wine is to get them drunk on it.

How much does Direct Cellers cost?

$249.95-$499.95.

The start-up costs all depend on how big you want to buy in.

Premium Wine Lover ($249.95) gets you 4 bottles of wine to start. After that, you pay $79.95/month to stay on the 4 bottle/month autoship.

Premium Wine Lover Elite ($499.95) gets you 12 bottles of wine to start. After that, you get 4 bottles/month on autoship for a monthly fee of $79.95.

Products

You’re not going to find any two buck chuck or $5 Barefoot bottles here, but the prices are still pretty reasonable, and the quality is high.

Direct Cellers sources their wine from small artisan vineyards around the world. They’re usually family-owned operations that produce top-level, unique batches of wine, and then Direct Cellers delivers them straight to your home.

Because Direct Cellers is a wine club, you don’t actually have to go on and order individual bottles, choose your preferences, etc. This is great for people who can become overwhelmed by huge wine selections, or people who want to try something new every month. You tell Direct Cellers your wine preferences, including how many reds and how many wines you want to receive, and they send you a new selection tailored to your preferences each month.

Shipments even come with detailed information on the vineyards and wines, tasting notes, and all kinds of other fun tips.

Depending on the plan you sign up for, the wine bottles range from $20-$25 a piece. This isn’t bad, especially considering you’re getting top quality wine AND it’s being sent straight to your home. It’s actually about the same price, if not cheaper, as going to the wine store several times a month to pick up your own – but it’s a lot more convenient, and more fun.

Wine subscriptions are priced as follows…

  • $49.95/month for 2 bottles of wine
  • $79.95/month for 4 bottles of wine

You also have to pay a $20 activation fee at first to activate your membership, so initial orders will cost you $69.95 or $99.95.

Compensation Plan

One huge perk for people who don’t want to get deeply involved in the direct sales aspect of the club is that joining on as an affiliate and referring a few other people can get you your monthly wine order for free. Free wine? Sounds interesting.

Each month that you refer 3 new customers, you get your monthly order completely free. This stands even if the people you refer purchase cheaper packages than yours, which is a great deal.

On top of that, Direct Cellers operates on a hybrid compensation plan, so you can earn through both binary and unilevel commissions. First, however, you need to sponsor 2 active members on autoship in order to qualify for commissions.

Each time you sell a wine bottle package to a new customer, you get $20. When you recruit a new Premium Wine Lover affiliate, you get paid $125. When you recruit a new Premium Wine Lover Elite affiliate, you get paid $250.

Binary commissions are paid out depending on your rank and according to the following chart:

  • Wine Enthusiast: 6%
  • Wine Critic: 8%
  • Wine Specialist: 10%
  • Wine Expert: 12%
  • Wine Connoisseur: 14%
  • Wine Aficionado: 16%
  • Wine Master: 18%
  • Master Cellar: 20%

Unilevel commission are paid on based on rank as well, and you can unlock up to 9 level deep. They range from 10% to 38%.

On top of that, you can earn a matching bonus on the commission of your direct recruits, down to level 4.

Recap

The commission plan is pretty standard. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s definitely a good plan.

The product is pretty genius, way better than most MLM products. The reviews on their wine seem to be pretty good too.

Direct Cellers is a great opportunity for people who really love wine, want to get their monthly shipment for free, and would enjoy holding the occasional wine party in order to recoup some costs. However, at $20-25/bottle, you’re going to have to invest a good chunk of change if you want to offer samples, so a lot of time and effort will have to be put in to make sure you build up a big attendance list of people who are likely to buy your product.

This isn’t a full-time job. Marketing a wine club takes a lot of time and effort for a small payout – a few bottles of wine for free, and maybe a $20 bonus here and there. It’s not steady passive income.

That being said, it could be a fun hobby. Just don’t expect to quit your day job on it and work from home.

Look, there is a better way.

Check this out. You can trash your MLM money-chasing habits for good.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Michelle

    June 28, 2017 at 12:51 am

    The first honest, non-biased review I’ve read. Thank you!

    • Jeremy Page

      June 28, 2017 at 5:15 am

      All love

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Multilevel Marketing

Zija review: Nutritional supplements from moringa

Zija is a nutritional products network marketing company capitalizing on the healthful properties of moringa.

In May 2017 they acquired Xango, making them a bigger force in the health MLM space.

Run by a pioneer inventor in the herbal supplement industry and propelled by a top Harvard scientist, Zija is setup to do big things.

Overview

We’ll take a look at exactly what Zija is celebrating. You’ll find out whether the science is there to support the claims made about moringa. You’ll also discover how well their International compensation plan stacks up in a sea that’s brimming with nutritional energy drinks (hint: Tru Vision, Isagenix, and Visi).

First let’s find out about moringa.

Moringa Oleifera is a tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas known for its drought-resistant properties (1). The seedpods are eaten in Africa and Asia. The leaves are the most nutritious part and are eaten in Southeast Asia. The flowers are said to taste like mushrooms.

There seems to be no question as to the high nutritional value of moringa. It’s a good source of protein as well as vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and phenolics (2).

But delve a little deeper and the clinical studies aren’t there yet for many of the claims made by Zija Interntional. More on that below.

Who is Zija International? The founder of Zija is Ken Brailsford. He is credited with inventing herbal encapsulation, and with helping to bring moringa to the supplement industry after watching a documentary about the health benefits of consuming parts of the moringa tree.

Mr.Brailsford is actually something of a “star” in the herbal supplement world. He started Nature’s Sunshine in the 1970s, to capitalize on his new herbal encapsulation methodology. He ran that until 1979 when he left to become a stockbroker because of a noncompete clause with Nature’s Sunshine (3). He later went back but fully retired in 1997 until he founded Zija years later.

The company is based in Lehi, Utah and boasts an executive team of “experienced MLM professionals.”  That would include CEO Rodney Larsen who was hired to promote the growth goals of Zija. Mr.Larsen has been with ZI since 2006 and his LinkedIn profile shows no other data before that year. Some Zija affiliate websites do mention that he worked for NEXX and a branch of NuSkin Entrprises before joining Zija.

President Brad Stewart’s profile mentions that he has managed his career “through vision and faith”. He has been involved in network marketing his whole life.

Executive Vice President Darrell Eyre started as an Amway distributor and has been in network marketing for 25 years.

COO Michael Hershberger has over 15 years experience in management and IT and an MBA.

The takeaway: apart from the Chief Operating Officer, Zija International is run by people who have pretty much always worked in network marketing. The founder is recognized as an important figure in herbal supplement history and founded one of the oldest and most successful herbal supplement companies in the world.

Zija International is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A+.

Products

The ZI products can be divided into three categories: moringa, ameo, and ripstix. Headed by  Harvard Medical School valedictorian Joshua Plant, the scientific wing of Zija International is actively engaged in formulating new products based on moringa and other botanicals.

Moringa is believed to support a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory support, improved digestion, improved mental clarity, increased energy, anti-aging, immune system support, and blood glucose level regulation. All of these benefits are listed on the Zija International website.

Scientific evidence and clinical trials, however, are hard to find.

There is one agricultural study  where mice and ruminants were given moringa tea. It was found that the white cell count in the mice who drank the tea was significantly higher. Mice also experienced reduced inflammatory responses.

In that same study, Moringa also improved cell viability in sheep and goats, and reduced oxidative stress from internal parasites. No effect on the gut health of pigs was observed, however (4). The results of this study have only been published informally to date.

The same Ag & Tech school that’s conducting that study is also looking into the use of moringa to promote animal health. Specifically, they’re researching moringa’s effects on the immune system (on B and T cells). In addition, they’re studying moringa’s effects on growth rate and performance of pigs. However, at this time it’s merely stated that more research is needed (5).

There is also a World Health Report citing the use of moringa in the use of water treatment in developing countries (6). But so far, not much has made it into the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed system.

The takeaway: moringa is incredibly nutritionally dense, but clinical studies are needed to support many of the health benefit claims made by Zija Interntaional.

Essential oils produced with clinical-grade standards and Zija’s exclusive patent-pending certification system.

Ripstix Hydration and Fitness Line – these are energy drinks in powdered form. Fitness supplements containing L-arginine (8) and electrolytes, they also contain fructose which some people try and stay away from.

Compensation Plan

There are tens of thousands of independent distributors working for Zija International. They have access to an extensive network of Zija training modules, including videos, an app, audio training, all of which is measured by a series of exams.

It’s the only MLM known to have a certification process for its distributors. Not only that, but every 90 days, distributors must re-certify. Passing exams means higher pay, too (7).

This is similar to how non-MLM companies handle their training. For example, public school teachers get pay raises when they pass graduate-level courses from accredited institutions of higher learning.

So what if Zija operates its own training, testing, and certification program in-house: it’s far above and beyond what you’ll see in other MLM companies.

Details:

1) IBOs profit by purchasing products at wholesale prices and selling them at retail (up to 25% profit).

2) Qualify to earn commission by being on autoship for at least 75 PV per month.

3) Get 10% of sales made by your personally enrolled recruits.

4) Team commissions and further bonuses as you advance in rank.

Recap

Zija appears to offer a good product. They have done a lot of things right and have a unique niche in the competitive nutritional supplement industry. But the income potential isn’t worth my time.

I’m not saying Zija International is a bad company – they’re not.

With any MLM, peddling products to your family members and friends at church might work for a couple months…maybe over a year if you’re lucky.

In the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.

There is a better way.

Check this out. This will help wreck your money-chasing habits.

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