Pixingo Review: A longterm business around photos?
In an age of digital cameras, smart phones, regular cameras, tablets, laptops, portable video cameras and a seemingly ever-increasing list of electronic devices we carry around with us capable of taking photos, it feels like these days we’re taking more photos than ever.
Some of these photos are for personal use and some we want to share. Sharing photos can be as simple as uploading them to a digital locker or gallery and sharing the link with someone, or for those more special occasions, with a bit of digital editing we can make something special.
Seeking to capitalise on this demand comes Pixingo, an online digital photo editing suite and publishing platform.
Read on for a full review of Pixingo.
Formerly LifeShare, Pixingo is currently in pre-launch with the company set to launch in February 2012.
LifeShare was founded by Michael Yanke (photo right) and launched only last year in June 2010. I’m not entirely sure why, after only a year and a half of business, the company is finding itself in a position where a complete relaunch is necessary, but you’d want to hope that whatever went wrong the first time has been rectified with Pixingo.
Another company relaunch sometime in the next eighteen months would be a PR disaster for these guys and raise serious questions about the longterm viability of the digital photo processing combined with MLM business model.
The Pixingo Product Line
Pixingo let’s users transfer their digital photos into cards, photobooks and posters – all online and with no software to install.
Once you’ve created your card, photobook or poster using Pixingo’s online digital editing suite, you can then either publish your creations online yourself, or have Pixingo mail out hard copies of your creations to either yourself or anyone with a mailing address.
Products are purchased with what the company calls Pixingo Points, and shipping is an additional charge calculated at checkout.
The Pixingo Compensation Plan
The Pixingo compensation revolves around a unilevel structure and also pays out retail commissions and a recruitment, matching and Fast Start bonus.
The details for these individual commissions and bonuses are below:
At the heard of the Pixingo compensation plan is a unilevel structure. This structure places any customers or members you recruit to Pixingo directly underneath you in a you lineage leg.
If the members you recruit to Pixingo recruit new members of their own, these newly recruited members form level 2 of your unilevel organisation. If they in turn recruit new members, those members form your level 3.
Naturally, any customers you enrol do not advance beyond level 1 of your unilevel organisation.
Under this unilevel structure, Pixingo pay out their members a percentage commission up to eight levels deep.
- Leve1 = 10%
- Levels 2-4 = 5%
- Level 5 = 10%
- Level 6-8 = 5%
Note that these levels are unlocked as members advance in their membership rank within the compensation plan (see ‘Pixingo Membership Ranks’ below).
It is also possible to get paid out a 1% commission beyond level 8 called the ‘Infinity Bonus’. The Infinity Bonus is paid out to ‘Star’ members only and pays on all levels beyond level 8, until another ‘Star’ member is found in any leg of your unilevel organisation beyond level 8.
If no Star members exist in your unilevel organisation, the Infinity Bonus pays out on all levels after level 8.
For every customer you bring to Pixingo, the company will pay you a flat 30% commission on the products purchased by the customer.
Note that this does not equate to the Pixingo Points purchased by the customer, it has to be product purchases.
You don’t earn a commission for signing up a new Pixingo customer, but if a customer wants to become a Pixingo member (what the company calls ‘going pro’), existing members earn a once off $50 commission for signing new member up.
Fast Start Bonus
If a new Pixingo members signs up three new members (not customers) within their first 30 days of joining the company, Pixingo pays that member a one time $50 bonus.
This $50 Fast Start Bonus is paid in addition to the $50 recruitment bonus the member earns on all three newly joined members.
In addition to this, Pixingo members who achieve the Fast Start Bonus are also awarded a ‘Rising Star Bonus’. The Rising Star Bonus increases the recruitment commission from $50 to $80 for one year.
In order to maintain the Rising Star Bonus, Pixingo members must again enroll 3 new members on their anniversary (13th) month of membership.
This recruitment quota must be met every anniversary month if a member wishes to maintain their Rising Star Bonus of $80 for each new member signed up, instead of the standard $50.
For the top four membership levels of the Pixingo compensation plan, the company pays out what is called a matching bonus. This matching bonus applies to the income of members you’ve personally recruited into the company and is a percentage payout.
The percentage commission y0u earn is dependent on your membership rank and is as follows;
- Achiever – 5%
- Director – 10%
- Producer – 15%
- Star – 20%
Pixingo Membership Ranks
Within the Pixingo compensation plan are seven levels of membership, each with their own requirements. These levels dictate how much members earn in unilevel commissions and matching bonuses.
The seven membership levels within Pixingo and their qualification requirements are as follows;
- Pro – Starting level upon joining Pixingo. Pro pays out on level 1 and 2 within the unilevel structure.
- Mover – $1,500 monthly volume and at least 3 legs (customers or members) are required in your unilevel. Mover pays out on levels 1-3 within the unilevel structure. Rank Achievement Bonus – A Pixingo Camera.
- Shaker – $2,500 monthly volume (no more than 50% can come from any one leg) and at least 3 legs (customers of members) with each leg producing at least $100 in volume required. Shaker pays out on levels 1-4 within the unilevel structure. Rank Achievement Bonus – $500
- Achiever – $5,000 monthly volume (no more than 50% can come from any one leg) and at least 3 legs (customers of members) with each leg producing at least $100 in volume required. Achiever pays out on levels 1-5 within the unilevel structure. Rank Achievement Bonus – $1,000
- Director – $15,000 monthly volume (no more than 50% can come from any one leg) and at least 3 legs (customers of members) with each leg producing at least $100 in volume required. Director pays out on levels 1-7 within the unilevel structure. Rank Achievement Bonus – $2,500
- Producer – $30,000 monthly volume (no more than 50% can come from any one leg) and at least 3 legs (customers of members) with each leg producing at least $100 in volume required. Producer pays out on all 8 levels within the unilevel structure. Rank Achievement Bonus – $5,000
- Star – $60,000 monthly volume (no more than 50% can come from any one leg) and at least 3 legs (customers of members) with each leg producing at least $100 in volume required. Star pays out on al 8 levels within the unilevel structure as well as the 1% Infinity Bonus on levels 9 and beyond. Rank Achievement Bonus – $10,000
Note that the Rank Achievement Bonus is a one-time payment paid out to members upon initially achieving a new membership rank.
Customers can join Pixingo for free, but membership (and eligiblity to participate in the Pixingo compensation plan will cost members a one time fee of $200.
Pixingo has a solid product offering that is available at a retail level and to those wishing to join the company at a membership level.
There is a monthly sales requirement of $39 but this can either by via a member’s own purchase of points (via autoship) or from retail orders made by customers.
Compensation plan wise you’re looking at a pretty heavily sales focused offering that rewards members primarily for the sale of Pixingo’s products based on a genuine need for them.
Given that commissions are paid on product purchases, rather than the purchase of Pixingo Points (which are used to purchase the products), autoship becomes a non-issue and there’s a strong incentive to attract customers who are actually interested in using Pixingo’s services and purchasing their products.
I did consider the possibility of someone just buying up Pixingo points and buying any products just to meet the personal volume quota (whilst recruiting others and hoping to get rich off their sales efforts), but this is pretty much negated by the additional shipping charges – which cannot be paid for in Pixingo points.
You can just focus on recruiting people and game the system by making purchases you don’t really want, but there’s a pretty strong deterrent in the lack of cost-effectiveness of this approach vs. attracting genuine customers and members.
With a strong product offering and sales based compensation plan, the weakest aspect of the Pixingo business opportunity I believe is the marketing side of things.
Even within the Pixingo promotional material, there appears to be a strong focus to market Pixingo, either directly or indirectly (by answering ‘how do you do that?’ when someone sees a photo you’ve made into a Pixingo product) to people a member directly knows.
This inevitably translates over into family and friends. With the small exception of people who for one reason or another might be in a position to gain mass exposure of their created Pixingo products to a large audience, the biggest challenge a Pixingo member is going to face is finding a way of breaking through that warm market.
Given that sales are the key to making money in Pixingo, attracting people who have a regular and heavy use for the company’s product is your number one hurdle. Make no mistake, unless you know thousands of bored mums, once they’ve played around with their photo albums their initial spike in usage will no doubt drop off to infrequent levels.
After all, there’s only so many photos these people are going to be converting – even those who carry a camera phone or some such around with them 24/7.
Still, with a thought out business plan and solid marketing campaign to address this challenge, I don’t see why someone can’t give the Pixingo business opportunity a decent crack. Good luck!