Cash Dojo Review: Penny auctions via a complicated mess
There is no information on the Cash Dojo website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The Cash Dojo website domain (“cashdojo.com”) was registered on the 11th of May 2007, however the domain registration is set to private.
The earliest record I was able to find of Cash Dojo existing is the claim on the company’s LinkedIn profile that it was founded in 2013.
The Cash Dojo Terms and Conditions meanwhile represent the company as being based out of Cyprus:
This site (excluding third party linked sites) is controlled by the Company from its offices within Nicosia, Cyprus.
The Cash Dojo Network Inc 999 Canada Place Vancouver, BC V6C 3E2 Canada
That address however belongs to Regus, who sell rented virtual office space (mailing addresses).
The Cash Dojo compensation plan documentation clears this confusion up:
Company Ownership – Cash Dojo Corporation (IBC) is incorporated in Belize.
The Cash Dojo Network Inc is incorporated in Canada.
Company Location – The Company is headquartered in Vancouver, BC Canada.
Although why Cash Dojo is incorporated in Belize of all places is unclear.
Why Cash Dojo is located in Canada however is obvious enough, it’s where President and CEO Albert Liske is located.
Albert Liske, 34, has been the Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Shoppaholic, Inc., since 2007.
He has since founded Cash Dojo Corporation, a Canadian, United States and Belizean company, and was named President and Chair.
The board also named him Chief Executive Officer of Penny Dojo Inc on December 1 and board chair on December 2 of 2013.
Somewhat confusingly, Natalie Wood is also cited as CEO of the company, with Kevin Grimes credited as the compay’s “attorney at law”.
Yes, that’s Kevin Grimes of Zeek Rewards notoriety.
I will state that the “business plan” document this information was obtained from appears to be dated late 2013 or early 2014. Whether or not Grimes is still involved with Cash Dojo is unclear.
A native of Vancouver, Canada, Mr. Liske is credited as the inventor of the modern day penny auction.
Albert Liske meanwhile first popped up on BehindMLM’s radar when he signed on as CEO of the Bidsson, the penny auction attached to the Bidify Ponzi scheme.
Liske resigned from the position just two months after he was appointed.
What exactly went down between Liske and Bidify has remained a mystery.
According to the Cash Dojo LinkedIn profile, later that year Cash Dojo was Founded, with the company only recently having gone into prelaunch.
Read on for a full review of the Cash Dojo MLM business opportunity.
The Cash Dojo Product Line
The Cash Dojo Network hosts one of the largest advertising, blogging platforms and ad publishing platforms online, as well as provides high-level online educational products and services to online users.
The only Cash Dojo service I was actually able to verify was that of Penny Dojo, which is running the Penny Auction Soft script:
Penny Auction Soft has featured on BehindMLM before, as part of the Albert Liske and Bidify controversy back in 2013 (see January 29th, 2013 update).
With no listed auctions however, quite obviously the Penny Dojo website is currently non-functional.
Regardless, the Cash Dojo compensation plan mentions Penny Dojo bids as the company’s primary product.
Other products mentioned in the Cash Dojo compensation plan include “SEO products”, an energy drink, coffee and “beauty products”.
From what I’m seeing, the SEO stuff (including website hosting) is aimed at Cash Dojo affiliates, with the other products mentioned (bar the penny auction bids) currently MIA.
The Cash Dojo Compensation Plan
The Cash Dojo compensation plan is a complicated swamp of a mess, with the official documentation coming at a whopping 48 pages.
Most of it is irrelevant (for some reason they’ve combined a FAQ with the comp plan), but I’ve done my best to break it down into something that makes sense below.
Franchisees and Affiliates
Confusion in Cash Dojo begins with a three-tiered affiliate structure.
You have Bid Franchisees, Belt Franchisees and affiliates.
Bid Franchisees are the only ones who can sell Penny Dojo bids, Belt Franchisees gain access to “higher earnings” and affiliates can earn commissions on the sale of Penny Dojo bids, but they need to purchase them first from Bid Franchisees.
Belt Franchisees meanwhile are what we’d otherwise refer to as regular affiliates, with what Cash Dojo refer to affiliates not having anything to do with the MLM income opportunity.
For the sake of simplicity, I’m ignoring Cash Dojo’s “affiliates” altogether. Instead I’ve used the term to refer to what they call “Belt Franchisees”.
Cash Dojo Affiliate Ranks
There are seven affiliate ranks within the Cash Dojo compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Blue – spend a minimum $99.99 a month, accumulate at total of at least 300 points and generate at least $300 in retail customer sales (minimum 3 customers) or $600 in advertising revenue a month
- Yellow – spend a minimum $199.98 a month, accumulate a total of at least 500 points and generate at least $2000 in retail customer sales (minimum 5 customers) or $4000 in advertising revenue a month
- Orange – spend a minimum $299.97 a month, accumulate a total of at least 25,000 points and generate at least $25,000 in retail customer sales (minimum 250 customers) or $50,000 in advertising revenue a month
- Purple – spend a minimum $399.96 a month, accumulate a total of at least 100,000 points and generate at least $100,000 in retail customer sales (minimum 1000 customers) or $200,000 in advertising revenue a month
- Black – spend a minimum $499.95 a month, accumulate a total of at least 1,000,000 points and generate at least $1,000,000 in retail customer sales (minimum 10,000 customers) or $2,000,000 in advertising revenue a month
- Red – spend a minimum $599.95 a month, accumulate a total of at least 2,000,000 points and generate at least $2,000,000 in retail customer sales (minimum 20,000 customers) or $4,000,000 in advertising revenue a month
- Brown – spend a minimum $699.93 a month, accumulate a total of at least 4,000,000 points and generate at least $3,000,000 in retail customer sales (minimum 40,000 customers) or $8,000,000 in advertising revenue a month
“Points” are accumulated via a variety of tasks within Cash Dojo.
“Advertising revenue” refers to revenue generated via use of Cash Dojo online properties an affiliate purchases (blog page, web hosting etc.).
Rank Advancement Bonus
Cash Dojo affiliates are paid a Rank Advancement Bonus when they qualify at certain affiliate ranks for the first time:
- Orange – $25,000
- Purple – $100,000
- Black – $1,000,000 paid over 12 months
- Red – $2,000,000 paid over 12 months
Retail commissions are paid out on the sale of Cash Dojo products and services to retail customers (non-affiliates).
How much of a commission is paid out is determined by a Cash Dojo affiliate’s rank:
- Blue – 15%
- Yellow – 20%
- Orange – 25%
- Purple – 30%
- Black – 35%
- Red – 40%
Cash Dojo affiliates can earn commissions on the sale of Cash Dojo products to retail customers.
Commissions are paid down four levels of recruitment, using a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any of these level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a total of four levels.
How much of a commission is paid out is determined by what level within a unilevel team a product or service sale was made:
- level 1 – 20%
- level 2 – 15%
- level 3 – 10%
- level 4 – 5%
The sale of Penny Dojo bids attracts a commission, however only “Bid Franchisees” can sell Penny Dojo bids.
Penny Dojo bids retail for $1 each and are sold in bundles (no specific price for bundled is provided either on Penny Dojo website or in the Cash Dojo compensation plan material).
For each pack sold (be it directly to retail customers or to Cash Dojo affiliates for resale, Bid Franchisees earn up to a 40% commission.
How much of a commission is earnt by a Bid Franchisee depends on how much they spent on their Franchisee membership:
- $500 Bid Franchisee – 1% (residual down 1 level of recruitment)
- $5000 Bid Franchisee – 10% (residual down 3 levels of recruitment)
- $10,000 Bid Franchisee – 20% (residual down 5 levels of recruitment)
- $15,000 Bid Franchisee – 30% (residual down 7 levels of recruitment)
- $25,000 Bid Franchisee – 40% (residual down 10 levels of recruitment)
Note that Cash Dojo affiliates who resell the bids are paid a separate percentage commission to their regular retail sales commission.
How much of a commission a regular affiliate earns on the reselling of a bid pack to a retail customer is determined by their Cash Dojo affiliate rank:
- Blue – 3%
- Yellow – 5%
- Orange – 7%
- Purple – 8%
- Black – 9%
- Red – 10%
Residual commissions on pack sales are also paid (same rules using the unilevel structure outlines in “residual commissions above”), but with the following percentage amounts:
- Blue – 7%
- Yellow – 5%
- Orange – 3%
- Purple – 2%
- Black – 1%
- Red – no residual
These percentages appear to be in reverse. I’ve copied them verbatim from the Cash Dojo compensation plan but I suspect 0% is supposed to be the white affiliate rank (no MLM).
Auction Revenue Commission
Each Penny Dojo auction has a generated revenue amount, based on the amount of bids used in the auction (revenue is generated when the bids are sold, but for the purpose of commission calculation the same term is used to refer to the value of the bids used in an individual auction).
Cash Dojo split this revenue with the affiliate who sold the winning bid to the auction winner:
- Blue – 8%
- Yellow – 10%
- Orange – 12%
- Purple – 14%
- Black – 16%
- Red – 18%
- Brown – 20%
Check Match Bonus
Using the same unilevel structure used to pay residual commissions, Cash Dojo pay a 10% matching bonus on residual commissions paid to unilevel team affiliates between levels 5 and 10.
How many levels a Cash Dojo affiliate can earn the Check Match Bonus on is determined by their affiliate rank:
- Yellow – level 5 only
- Orange – levels 5 and 6
- Purple – levels 5 to 7
- Black – levels 5 to 8
- Red – levels 5 to 9
- Brown – levels 5 to 10
To qualify for a $2000 a month Car Bonus, a Cash Dojo affiliate must have
- a minimum 5 personally recruited affiliates on level 1 of their unilevel team, each generating a minimum 1000 Dojo Dollars a month
- a minimum 25 recruited affiliates on level 2 of their unilevel team, each generating a minimum 1000 Dojo Dollars a month
- a minimum 125 recruited affiliates on level 3 of their unilevel team, each generating a minimum 1000 Dojo Dollars a month
Franchisee Bonus Pools
The Franchisee Bonus Pools are made up of 15% of the company’s global non-affiliate sales volume (sales to retail customers).
There are four pools in total, with affiliates able to qualify for a share in each as determined by their Cash Dojo affiliate rank:
- Core Pool (1%) – pay monthly affiliate fee
- Purple Pool (4%) – qualify at the Purple Belt rank or higher
- Black Pool (5%) – qualify at the Black Belt rank or higher
- Red Pool (5%) – qualify at the Red Belt rank or higher
Note that these pools are accumulative, with higher ranked affiliates able to qualify for a share in each of the four offered pools.
Joining Cash Dojo
Affiliate membership with Cash Dojo is tied to an affiliate’s rank.
This pegs the cost of Cash Dojo affiliate membership between $99.99 and $699.93 a month.
A Franchisee position costs between $500 and $25,000, and is in addition to regular Cash Dojo affiliate membership.
The main difference between how much is spent on affiliate and franchisee membership is income potential through the Cash Dojo compensation plan.
Back in 2013 when it was founded, Cash Dojo might have had a shot. What with penny auctions being all the rage after Zeek Rewards.
Unfortunately what Zeek Rewards and every MLM penny auction after it showed us was retail interest in the niche was non-existent.
To combat this Cash Dojo plan to release “me too” mobile games, which they claim are “based on some of the most popular viral concepts seen in the past 3 years.”
Why anyone would waste their time on clones of games that are already out beats me, but Cash Dojo seem to think it will work.
Behind these games are Dojo Dollars, which are an inhouse currency system used to bid on “sweepstakes” Penny Dojo auctions.
At this point I have to note there might be something else to Dojo Dollars, with my own research uncovering what appears to be attempts at a cryptocurrency:
Whether or not Cash Dojo launches its own cryptocurrency remains to be seen.
In any event, getting customers to play games and spend free points in Penny Dojo auctions won’t necessarily convert them into retail customers.
And what with Zeek Rewards being an $850 million dollar Ponzi scheme and the most succesful of the MLM penny auctions to date, Cash Dojo certainly have their work cut out for them.
The MLM penny auction niche has been home to a number of Ponzi schemes over the years, leaving a bad taste in mouths of both MLM affiliates and customers.
Discounting the history of the niche though, what Cash Dojo offer up is unnecessarily complex and, in my opinion, unlikely to take off.
The bid distribution model is kind of silly. You’ve got people who buy into Cash Dojo to the tune of $25,000, as the only ones who can actually sell the bids.
What happens if enough of them drop off and give up? No idea, but as it stands both affiliates and customers cannot purchase bids from Cash Dojo itself.
Otherwise Penny Dojo is nothing we haven’t seen before. Bidders pay real money for a shot at winning a “prize” at a deeply discounted rate, with the model relying on everybody except the auction winner getting ripped off (spending money and having nothing to show for it), in order for each auction to turn a profit.
Lose enough consecutive auctions and it doesn’t take long for retail customers to realize they’re being taken advantage of. Hence the complete lack of retail viability we’ve thus far seen in the niche.
Will some mobile games and a virtual currency change that? I doubt it.
I’ll also note some concern over the “buy-back” rule, which permits an auction winner to “sell” any product one back to Cash Dojo, for 80% of the advertised retail value of the prize.
Given that penny auction prizes aren’t typically stocked in inventory unless an auction is won, this effectively turns every Penny Dojo auction into a cash auction.
That brings with it regulatory issues, as you’re essentially auctioning off cash.
Penny Dojo auction concerns aside, what’s then left is an eclectic mish-mash of products and services offered – leaving Cash Dojo a difficult opportunity to explain because there’s nothing really tying any of it together.
Coffee, energy drinks, a blog platform, SEO and hosting services… what on Earth is the linking factor behind Cash Dojo’s product combination?
No idea… but combined with an overly complex compensation plan, you can bet it’s going to be a hard sell – both in terms of retail customer acquisition and affiliate recruitment.
Good luck explaining Cash Dojo to anyone in less than five minutes, by the time you’ve finished explaining just the Bid Franchise component you’ll have probably already lost them.
Ultimately based on the lack of traction the MLM penny auction niche has (it’s currently well and truly dead), I believe what we’ll see with Cash Dojo is a small number of Franchisees sign up, hype (or attempt to) the opportunity and then wonder where their money went.
Cash Dojo affiliate membership in and of itself is unattractive with the Penny Dojo auctions as a lead service (having to buy bids from other affiliates who paid more money to join than you? Please…). The rest of the product offering doesn’t really help, with everything available elsewhere through far more specialized and refined MLM companies.
Too little too late Liske. The time for resurrecting what you thought Bidsson was going to be has long-since passed.