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Visi and the truth about cloudberries

Visi is a nutritional MLM that provides wellness products extracted from the Scandinavia region of the world.

They’ve done well in recent years, selling the opportunity to work from home banking off of traditional network marketing modalities like hitting up family and friends, 3-way calls and throwing home parties.

So have I been involved?

Look, not saying that’s a bad way to go, but there are much better ways to crush your 9-5.

This video explains:

 

All good? Let’s continue…

Overview

First of all, they’re not a scam. Perhaps a bit overpriced (classic in the MLM space, see: Tupperware, Herbalife, or Numis), but they’re not a scam.

“Visi” means “leader of a daring quest”, which is what the founders of the network marketing company would like you to become by working with them.

In their words, they’ll help you get there by “allowing” you to sell their innovative products.

Visi was founded in 2012 by Ryan Lewis and Kent Lewis, both earnest entrepreneurs with business degrees and experience.

This company is all-things Scandinavian.

Aside from the company name, their products are infused with ingredients found in plants and herbs native to that area of the world.

Apparently Scandinavians have resorted to extracting nutrients from the Arctic Cloudberry, which has high levels of vitamins in it.

Here are the many splendid ways (products) in which consumers may benefit from the arctic cloudberry, or “Scandinavian gold” as it’s also called:

  • Probita. Hydrolyzed collagen protein for hair, nails, tissue.
  • Vinnle. Dietary supplement.
  • Nufinna. 100% hydrolyzed collagen protein with lingonberry.
  • Wellness. Nutrition packets.
  • Energy. Energy packets.
  • Trimma. Weight loss dietary supplement capsules.
  • Rensa. Purifying dietary supplement.

How good is the nutrient value of cloudberries?

Arctic Cloudberry is scientifically known as Rubus chamaemorus, and is found throughout northern Europe, all over Canada, and a few places in the US like New Hampshire, Minnesota, Maine…and strangely: on Long Island (NY). [1]

The high vitamin C content has made the Arctic cloudberry a valuable resource for the Alaskan Inuit as protection against scurvy. In addition to vitamin C, the berries also contain:

  • citric acid
  • malic acid
  • benzoic acid
  • ellagitannins
  • a-tocopherol
  • anthocynins
  • provitamin A carotenoid
  • B-carotene
  • …and more fiber than any other wild berry [2]

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2012, the ellagitannins in cloudberries (as red raspberries) showed positive effects in humans:

  1. “significant antioxidant activity toward oxidation of ..human LDL…”
  2. “highly effective as radical scavengers”

Some impressive science, for sure. [3]

Are Visi Products Worth the Price?

When you search for dietary supplements containing cloudberries, every result, line for line, is a Visi distributor website.

Seems the rest of the world hasn’t caught on.

Or could it be because one can get those “ellagitannins” from red raspberries just as easily?

A cup of raspberries has 40 mg of ellagitannin complex and apparently does wonders for preventing all kinds of cancerous cells from forming in your body. [4]

Cost: 1-month supply for $45 (fresh red raspberries)

Turns out there’s a HUGE market for Ellagic Acid, which is what your body produces when it consumes ellagitannins (which are from red raspberries or cloudberries).

Think of is this way: taking Beta-Carotene gives your body Vitamin A just as taking ellagic acid gives your body ellagitannins.

Cost: 1-month supply for $24 (Ellagic Acid capsules)

Or plain red raspberry B-12 supplement could maybe do the trick?

Cost: 1-month supply for $4 (Red Raspberry supplement)

Now, the Visi prices…

Cost: 1-month supply for $90 and up (Visi)

How to sell this? Anyone who does a simple round of internet pricing research will surely find their herbal supplements much cheaper elsewhere, without having to feel pressure from a Visi associate to sign up for Autoship, sign up to become a distributor, or otherwise be hassled.

Of course Visi’s products are also marketed as weight loss aids- they come in the form of meal replacement shakes and weight loss pills, too. So…what’s the connection?

Again…how to sell this? Antioxidant or weight loss system? If I’m taking the weight loss approach, what’s the Visi advantage? that you get to prevent cancer while you lose weight?

That part was unclear to me. I dig the idea behind the product, but the cost is not adding up.

Compensation Plan

Nothing new here.  The emphasis is on auto-ship and recruitment.

This is clear from the following facts:

  • Autoship to the tune of 75* PV monthly is required.
  • Purchase an “Enrollment Pack” starting at $259.99
  • Sponsor 2 Active Distributors (on 75 PV autoship each) in order to earn commissions
  • Earn 5% on your lesser leg
  • Earn another 5% on that if you get to 250 CV
  • Retail commission is difference between wholesale and retail, which is not that huge

The real compensation comes when you get lots of people to join Visi. In fact, if all you wanted to do was sell product, you’d be severely limiting your earning potential with this company.

So the buy-in is minimum $75 + $260 (rounding up a penny for simplicity’s sake) = $335

Keep in mind that the 75 PV required for Autoship is not equal to $75…it’s more than $75. For example, the PV for the $260 enrollment pack is only 200 PV.

A steep price to enter a tough market.

So, we’re talking over $340 for the opportunity to sell nutritional products, which represent one of the toughest markets to enter (see: Rain, Zurvita, or Shaklee). And there’s no clear advantage to these products other than there really aren’t too many companies hawking cloudberry supplements.

Just in case you were wondering, there are 2 other enrollment packs:

  • Builder 15 Pack: $579.99 (500 PV)
  • Builder 20 Pack: $1,219.99 (1000 PV)

What do you get? The $259.99 pack, which they call the “Builder 10 Pack”, gets you this:

  • 1 membership kit
  • 1 blender bottle
  • 1 bag Nufinna
  • 1 bottle Vinnle
  • 2 bags Probita

The higher up enrollment packs get you more product.

Recap

The Visi products, while based on sound science, are expensive and it’s not clear exactly why.

The compensation plan is front-loaded and high-risk.

The company itself is new, untested, and run by unknowns. If you can make cloudberries work, more power to you. Otherwise, you can still eat healthy fruit and crush your day job without peddling product to family and friends.

For mentorship possibilities, click here.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Steve Leonard

    February 21, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Terrible company, terrible leadership, on their last leg in my opinion, top leaders filed suite against owner and master distributor. Run away from this company!!!!!!!

    • Jeremy Page

      February 25, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      That bad huh?

  2. Sam

    July 5, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Every customer I have recruited stopped using the products after only a few months of purchasing it, this was due to the products not working for them. I have recommended they double up for more success but the cost becomes way too high for most people to handle, especially when it does not work for them, Poor investment and agree that it is on its last leg.

    • Jeremy Page

      July 7, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      This is pretty typical of MLM in general.

  3. Scott Saunders

    March 4, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    VISI is negatively effecting our marriage with conflict of interest. My wife is the IBO and I disagree with not only the MLS concept, but also the super high pricing of VISI products. She spends hundreds each money on these magical supplements. It’s effecting our relationship. VISI product may be great, even though not tested and regulated by the FDA, but why are they dishonestly priced?

    • Jeremy Page

      March 11, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Doesn’t sound good.

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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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