You may remember our article a while back that discussed the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) opportunity that is available with a food supplement company called Zurvita.
Today we’ll be looking at another opportunity that has many similar characteristics, but this time it’s a company in the coffee niche – Javita. They used to just trade under this name, but they have recently launched a re-brand, calling themselves the Dollar Coffee Club. Let’s investigate!
The Dollar Coffee Club is a subscription service that offers customers great-tasting coffee delivered free of charge to their doorstep, at the cost of one dollar per cup, a fraction of the cost of what they would pay in their local coffee shop. This is achieved by cutting out a lot of the middlemen in the coffee supply chain, so that the customer is essentially buying directly from farmers in South America.
This is a great business idea, and it rides the massively growing trend of subscription services perfectly. Also, coffee is always a great market to be in, because countless people are essentially addicted to coffee and take it very seriously indeed!
It’s more than just coffee though. Under the Javita brand, there is actually a whole array of products being sold by this company, including herbal teas, different coffee blends, and even weight loss supplements.
The primary coffee blend on offer is called ‘Burn + Control’, the first coffee of its kind to have phytonutrients, herbs and botanicals included in the blend of beans, making it ideal for managing weight loss. It also comes packaged in individual sachets so you can take it on the go wherever you are.
The main two herbs involved in the blend are Garcinia Camboga and Yerba Mate. Studies have shown that Garcinia Camboga can be used to control appetite, and Yerba Mate is able to increase the overall metabolic rate of the body, enabling calories to be burned much faster.
There’s also a special immunity support coffee blend, and another to improve joint function and reduce inflammation. In addition to these other coffees, there is also a weight-loss green tea and a special cocoa blend designed to boost concentration and focus.
Dollar Coffee Club/Javita offers the opportunity to make money through a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) system. MLM is also sometimes referred to as network marketing, and it’s basically a way for brands to outsource their marketing to affiliates on a massive scale.
This approach to affiliate marketing is called ‘multi-level’ because it has a vertical aspect. Each affiliate has the ability to earn more by recruiting other affiliates and all of these people become organized into a tier-like structure, where in theory, everybody is earning their own commissions, and the company that makes the product benefits from all the efforts of this tree of affiliates.
Most MLM schemes have incredibly complicated commission structures that make it almost impossible to find out how much you might earn as an affiliate, but for Dollar Coffee Club/Javita it’s actually surprisingly simple.
Commissions come in four different varieties: Customer rebates, referral bonuses, product box bonuses, and bonuses based on your annual performance.
The first category of commissions, the customer rebates, are essentially direct commissions based on sales to customers that you achieve as an affiliate through your affiliate links. Depending on your choice of discount for the product, you can earn anything between 15-30% in customer rebate commissions.
Referral bonuses are the commissions you earn by referring other people to become affiliates. This one is nice and simple – you’ll get $40 for each person you can successfully bring on as a new Javita affiliate.
The product box bonus is the only commission type that’s a little bit complicated. It basically rewards you on a vertical structure, which is very typical for MLM. You’ll be rewarded each time a purchase occurs up to 6 levels away from you on your affiliate tree. So for example, you’ll earn commission if one of your referred affiliates generates a product box sale. This is great for scaling up your commissions to significant levels.
For every product box that gets sold, Javita sets aside a dollar, and this all goes into a big reward pot. If your performance meets certain criteria at the end of the year, you’ll get a share of this awesome pot of cash, meaning you can even earn money that came from the sales of product boxes you had nothing to do with!
One of the main downsides to this affiliate opportunity is that you actually have to pay into the system to get started. In order to become a Javita affiliate you will need to buy some of their products in a one-time purchase, and this will amount to at least $400 or so, which is not exactly pocket change. On top of that, you’ll need to pay $20 for every year that you want to continue your affiliate status.
You’ll also need to enter the system through a sponsor, which is basically another affiliate. If you don’t happen to know one, Javita can actually put you in touch with one, but again this adds to the downsides of signing up, as it makes the process a little less easy.
The rest of the affiliate signup is relatively straightforward, and it’s actually very accessible as you don’t really need to prove anything else about yourself – as long as you are prepared to buy the products and find a sponsor to sign up through.
One of the best things about being a Javita affiliate is that they actually provide you with your own replicated website that you can immediately start using, saving lots of time and hassle.
Another great point is that the products themselves are backed with a money-back guarantee, which has been shown time and time again to boost retail sales. This will do nothing but good for your commissions too, as customers will feel much more secure.
Also, one of the most surprising things about Javita is that they actually have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau, which is unheard of for an MLM outfit. This is actually the highest rating possible on the BBB, which is an independent site that people can use to check the legitimacy of a business. A lot of online businesses have terrible ratings on this site due to shady practices!
Apart from the fact that you have to pay your way in, which is far from ideal, as well as the fact that you have to sign up through a sponsor, there are a couple of other downsides that we can’t go without mentioning.
The first major case against taking up this opportunity is simply the way it’s structured. Because it’s an MLM, that means it’s coming very close to being a pyramid scheme. As the focus is firmly on product sales and not on recruiting new members, it’s technically not a pyramid scheme and therefore 100% legal, but we still find that these type of structures are often prone to collapse. This is all fine if you have joined an affiliate program for free, but as we mentioned, you need to buy approximately $400 worth of products to get started with this one!
Another worrying sign is that Javita’s parent company, Waiora, was the subject of a US lawsuit and they had to pay out $12 million after a lab test showed that one of their products did not contain the quantities of ingredients that were advertised. This opens up a whole set of questions about how much Javita can be trusted with the claims about their products, especially in relation to the added herbal ingredients that supposedly bring health benefits to the customer.
It’s also worthy of note that Javita’s overall revenue has been consistently declining over the last few years. The Dollar Coffee Club rebranding may turn out to be a last-ditch attempt to revitalize a slowly dying brand.
Although it does have some points in its favor, overall we wouldn’t recommend Dollar Coffee Club/Javita as a way to make money online. As a general rule, Multi-Level Marketing schemes simply require too much input and effort and the reward you get in return for all your hard work just isn’t really worth it. Add to that the fact that it slightly resembles a pyramid scheme, as well as the fact that the parent company has been caught lying about its products, and you’ll realise that it’s probably worth finding other ways to make money online, such as affiliate marketing. Ideally, you don’t want to have to pay into a system before you know whether it works or not, and there are so many great opportunities online nowadays, so there’s no reason why you should settle for something with higher than average risk.
All the best,
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