We at Regulated Broker love our jobs. We wake up in the morning, pour a big old steaming cup of coffee, and provide you with all the latest and greatest information about the stock markets and the financial industry.
But we’ve got opinions, too, and we’ll admit to liking to use Regulated Broker as a vehicle to share with you the not so pretty side of finance. The opportunity arose recently when you asked us about the Organo Gold scam.
So what’s Organo Gold, and what’s it got to do with finance? Here’s the rundown on the Organo Gold scam, and our opinion on the matter.
Organo Gold: What’s Is It?
As mentioned, we love coffee. It’s what keeps us awake as we watch scrolling stock tickers every day. But what happens when, in the process of researching finance, you come across someone who ruined a perfectly good cup of coffee with mushrooms? You discover Organo Gold, that’s what.
Organo Gold is multi level marketing company. As you may know, these companies in themselves are hit or miss: some are legitimate business opportunities but others are just bunk. Organo Gold is somewhere in the middle.
Based in Canada, the makers of Organo Gold reach out to would-be entrepreneurs who are interested in selling coffee. But wait, that’s not all. They’re also interested in selling health supplements. Hold on a second… what we mean is that they’re interested in selling diet plans. Um… Wait. So what is Organo Gold, anyway?
Organo Gold is a coffee product. The coffee is sold by representatives, direct to consumers, and is marketed as a health food. Apparently the coffee bags (those are like tea bags, but with coffee) contain Ganoderma, an edible mushroom which grows in Asia.
A quote taken directly from the Organo Gold website states that Ganoderma is a prized edible mushroom that has been consumed for millennia in Asia because of its perceived value and is now being rediscovered by the Western World
The health benefits of this mushroom aren’t explicitly stated on the website, so we decided to dig a little deeper. It would seem that Ganoderma, aka the reishi mushroom, is sometimes used as a supplement to treat high blood sugar, blood pressure, and possibly to slow blood clotting.
In short, Organo Gold is a mushroom-infused instant coffee, marketed to promote health and weight loss. The health benefits have not been verified by the FDA, and may or may not exist. In fact, reishi mushrooms are on the FDA’s poisonous plants list.
Organo Gold Scam
The problem with Organo Gold isn’t necessarily that a manufacturer opted to destroy coffee by bagging it and adding shredded mushrooms. That may be quite a delightful treat for some. The problem is that the Organo Gold scam has been perpetuated through the company’s business model.
As you’re aware, multi level marketing companies often prey upon people who are willing and desiring to work from home. These innocents consider themselves to be entrepreneurs when they purchase a premade product and sell it to their friends. Sometimes the product is a service, like legal help.
Unfortunately, those “entrepreneurs” are frequently required to make a large initial investment. Once that is made, their income is based primarily on the number of other “entrepreneurs” they can recruit to the scheme.
The Organo Gold scam is just this. Salespeople are required to make an initial “investment” which begins at $50. The website states that the typical earnings of an Organo sales rep ranges from $0 to $599 per year.
Want to become really, really good at selling Organo? It’s easy to do. You can sign up in advance for their sales conferences. For just $300, you can buy tickets to the National EXPO in Las Vegas, where you’ll learn all you need to know. Mind you, that’s more than half a years’ income, so plan ahead.
Organo Gold Scam: More Problems
Organo Gold has actually had some success. The company was launched in 2008, and sales were at $2 million that year. By 2013, sales per annum were listed at $215 million – that’s quite impressive growth for any company, let alone an MLM scheme.
But since then, sales have been falling. The company has also come under fire for other issues. As you’re well aware, MLM schemes are very often not legitimate. But those which are, are backed by the DSA, or the Direct Selling Association. The DSA is a trade organization which certifies MLM companies; basically, it sorts out the legit opportunities from the scams.
Every company which wishes to be backed by the DSA must undergo an “investigation” by the organization, and the requirements only result in the acceptance of about half the applicants. Organo Gold boldly announced on its website that it was a pending member of the DSA. And according to the DSA, that’s a big no-no.
The Better Business Bureau has also fielded thousands of complaints about Organo Gold. Memberships are difficult to cancel, refunds are difficult to obtain, and customer service is difficult to contact. The company gets a score of C+ from the BBB, which should not be at all encouraging to prospective members.
Finally, the company’s average earning report speaks volumes. Over 86% of representatives earn less than $600 per year. The top 14% earnings are abysmal as well. Just 1.5% of that 14% earn between $20k-$30k, and another 1.5% earn over $100,000. We’re guessing that’s the CEO. In short, if you choose to become involved in the Organo Gold scam, don’t expect to earn income. The numbers just don’t add up.
Organo Gold Scam: Don’t Waste Your Time
The Organo Gold scam is just that. It’s yet another MLM scam. The representatives are duped into buying starter kits and attending pricey conferences, only to earn a nothing-per-year salary. The BBB doesn’t care for the company, and the DSA doesn’t much like Organo Gold, either.
If you’re looking for an MLM opportunity, check out one of the legit businesses on the DSA list. Herbalife sells nutritional supplements, and is backed by the DSA. Tealightful sells coffee and tea, and is also a legitimate business.
Don’t waste your time with the Organo Gold scam. At the end of the year, you’ll be out a few hundred dollars and you won’t even have a good cup of coffee to show for it.