I’ve Tried That Investigates: iJango.com

7 Comments

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.)

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.

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7 Comments

    1. Noscamdamus says:

      Thank you for your insight on the iJango.
      I hope this will help people make the right decisions when it comes to investing their money wisely.
      Good luck to you in your enterprise!

    2. Joe

      Reading this email alone was worth the iJango! Loved your slogans and you have actually hit upon the best moneymaker for this new company-marketing without the silly promises.

      Seeing a t-shirt with one of those slogans would get me so much more interested in iJango then any email could!

      I vote for iJango. “It’s like Amway but with clicks” but would probably change out Amway with “It’s like MaryKay but with clicks” and do it in pink!

      Thanks for my morning amusement.

      Deborah

    3. Wow, did you drink the kool-aid.
      I attended the Las Vegas Launch Party at the Encore. I was approached by Mr. Sharp. Very nice guy, but he was very thin, and seemed to be wiping his nose a lot, and his eyes were a little out of whack. I am not going to judge him on his past drug use, but I felt it was not in his past.
      Now on to the presentation. Steve Smith opened the event by telling you that they have the best legal staff on the planet, I think he said they now have over 4 lawyers on staff. (That should scare anyone, why would you need so many lawyers) Steve went on to say that now, his son, with no real experience, is now the CEO of the company. (That makes you feel so safe in this investment).
      Mr. Sharp took the stage crying, telling everyone that he was so proud that so many people who could not afford this trip to Vegas, came. It was very moving. He introduced the guy behind the software which is IJango. Me told everyone that he with 3 other programmers have made an amazing product. (Wow they have more lawyers then they have programmers for a software company. I wonder if Google has 15,000 lawyers)
      They then jump into showing you iJango. It is clearly iGoogle, but now it is green and has iJango at the top. No other changes, but now they have removed the Google, Yahoo and other names from the top. They want to show everyone how you make money, so they go to Hulu, and want to show you a movie. The movie begins to play and it opens with a commercial. The commercial is Vaseline. I thought Mr. Sharp was going to fall off the stage. Wow, how right on was that presentation. It was clear that was not the commercial they wanted everyone to see. (But if you are going to get screwed, you better have some around), then the clip that was shown of the movie was about a drug addict. Again, wow.
      But, not the kicker, I wanted to know how this thing was going to make money. And very quickly, and lines written by the attorneys, Mr. Sharp stated, “if you direct everyone to your iJango personnel page, and they then click on Hulu, then BAM you make money” You will all be making money by every click.
      He said it so fast, then focused everyone on the making money part, that no really heard what he said. People have to go to your personnel iJango page. NO ONE WILL EVER DO THIS, NO ONE. You are kidding yourself to think that people will want to see your personnel iJango page, and then use it to go to sites that you want them to go to.
      I looked around the room, and wanted to stand up and scream, run people run, don’t drink the kool-aid, but it was clear that everyone was wrapped up in the hype, that they were not thinking. It was very sad.
      There is a chance that the iJango website will be a moderately successfull Affiliate website and that the company may make some money on the internet portion of their business model, but the overwhelming evidence is that they will generate almost all of their revenues from people paying the $390 a year for the privilege of being a distributor. If they can get a couple hundred thousand people to use iJango as their home page and then get people to use these pages as there home pages (very unlikely) and then get a portion of them to purchase from sposnored links, they may make a little money on this activity, but it will pale in comparison to the money iJango receives from people signing up for $150 and then paying $20 per month.
      For those of you signing up to be a distributor, just know that the money you will be making will be from convincing others to pay $169 to sign up, not from future commissions on internet usage. If you are comfortable with that, then you can probably earn some money with iJango by convincing others to part with with $390 per year.
      PLEASE DO NOT DRINK THE KOOL-AID

    4. Thanks for the details, Brent. You’re exactly right. Except for the opening sentence. I missed the part where I drank the Kool-Aid?

    5. […] week, we took a look at iJango, the self-proclaimed center of the Internet. We weren’t impressed, nor interested in the program, but I’ve Tried That reader Brent […]

    6. […] We warned you that something wasn’t quite right with iJango. Much hype, little substance. Now it turns out that other voice are asking questions, too. Such as this: The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning consumers about a company moving into the area that’s making big promises on the Web that might be too good to be true. […]

    7. Help! I own an internet company and a family very close is asking me to join ijango.
      When I told him to read the reviews before joining he said “of course their going to say that – we’re cutting into their market”
      AAAAHHHHH!!!
      This is all coming from an older loved one that’s helped me financially to get my biz up and running.
      He said he hasn’t paid yet – how do I stop him?

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