Thursday, December 18, 2014

Do Amway IBOs Actually Sell Amway Products?

I've been debating with some IBOs about retail sales to customers. While many IBOs claim to have real customers and to teach retail, the reality seems to paint a different picture. Even an Amway corporate blogger at one time wrote a piece stating that sales to non IBOs were 3.4% of Amway (Quixtar) sales a few years back. Apologists will say that many IBOs are actually customers who only buy stuff and do not build the business. While there might be some IBO customers, I highly doubt that the majority of IBOs are paying renewal fees just to buy soap and overpriced vitamins.

I know some groups have their schtick down. They will say they "teach" their IBOs to have sales to about 20 customers which gives them a monthly income and allows them to qualify for a PV bonus. It certainly sounds great, but I would bet that IBOs with 20 actual regular customers are about as common as a founder's diamond. In many groups, the IBOs are taught to "buy from themselves" primarily. Thus the income generated for the diamonds simply comes out of the pockets of their downline IBOs. Sadly, "serious" IBOs often wind up paying their upline (via tool sales) to learn that this sham is a good idea.

I can prove right here that IBOs are not focused on selling products. The focus is on selling the opportunity. How can I prove it? Very simple. Every single time I have seen or heard about the Amway business, there was talk about the economy, inflation, etc. The speaker talks about his easy lifestyle, and how he made it bbig by capitalizing on an opportunity, the Amway oportunity. Then the 6-4-2 plan or some similar variation is shown to the audience. It is shown as "simple", "reasonable" and "doable". The plan is about making money, typically six figures at the diamond level and a decent income at the platinum level. There is little mention about having to sell products, and little or no mention about the actual products that Amway carries. The hype in the meetings is to sell the opportunity. Sure, after the plan is over, a prospect might be given some samples and such, but the emphasis is still on the business opportunity. The products are usually a side note in the presentation.

While IBOs might talk a good game about selling products, the reality is that many active IBOs have very few actual customers. It is my informed opinion that even the few real customers are often sympathetic friends and family of the IBO, rather then people who are genuinely seeking Amway good and services. I wonder if anyone in Amway has ever "shown the plan" by starting out with product presentations and samples? When you really think about it, unless the business has real customers, all you are doing is exploiting those you sponsor for their personal consumption, which might benefit your business a bit, but won't benefit your downline unless they can dupe others into joining them.

So take a real look at your business. Are you actually selling goods to outside customers are are you engaged in a personal consumption game? My undedrstanding is that an IBO does not qualify for a bonus without sales to actual customers. Are you legit or not?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Amway IBOs In Denial?

One thing that appears to be common amongst IBOs is how IBOs are in denial. They truly believe that their uplines are working in their best interest and that upline wants their success. I don't believe that to be true. If uplines were truly making a fortune from Amway, why would an downline IBO have to pay for practically every bit of help they get from upline leaders? Do upline leaders actually evaluate your business before advising you to buy more tools? Why would your upline diamonds want to share their tool money with new downlines?

To show the plan, you would need to pay to attend an open meeting, and pay for your guests, even if they do not register as a result of the presentation. You pay for voicemail to communikate with your upline and downlines. You pay for standing orders and you may end up paying twice if you were in attendance at the function when the standing order was recorded. You pay for books and other materials as well. And you also must spend money to attend functions and seminars. Sadly, the training hasn't proven to be effective except for those who profit from selling the training.

What's more, many IBOs turn their heads when ugly facts rear their heads. For example, some IBOs deny that a prominent triple diamond was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. They continue to edify and pay for financial advice from someone who could not even manage his own finances. They believe that Amway saves marriages even when the leaders who speak this may be getting divorced. It's like upline simply revises history and downlines buy it without question. Many IBOs do not even see it as a problem that some upline boldy lied and said there were no profits from tools in the past. I find this odd because tool profits are still shrouded in secrecy and downline simply believe that they will eventually get a cut, even without a written compensation plan and agreement.

I believe too many IBOs are simply in denial. They give upline their trust and upline abuses it. IBOs are told they are successful for attending a function even when they might be losing money month after month. They may be told that the Amway business is not about money but about making friends. They may be told that they are nicer people because of their participation in Amway. What too many IBOs do not see is that they are in denial about their business. Most IBOs are losing money, a little at a time, perhaps $100 or $150 a month. For the hardcore, maybe more. But they are taught to ignore these simple facts and deny that there is a problem.

It is my hope that exposure of some of these tactics will be beneficial to information seekers and perhaps new IBOs who have not yet been fully indoctrinated. I encourage people to ask tough questions, demand answers and use due diligence when checking out this oppportunity. The fact is that very few people every make a profit and people should know this before getting involved. Don't deny the obvious.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What Amway Success?

I heard a great comment from a commentator on a related Amway blog. Basically, he said if IBOs were so successful, people would just naturally be attracted. And that's true! Where I live, the local electric company is an attractive place to work with a good salary and benefits package. When there's a handful of openings, you might get as many as 6,000 people applying for these positions. When the federal government hires for the post office, you get thousands of applicants for a handful of jobs as well.

But IBOs have to justify their positions. The common ones are how Amway products are concentrated, or they have magical ingredients in their vitamins. It is my position that if these products were so good and the opportunity actually produced successful IBOs, there would be no need to be deceptive about the products or opportunity. The products could easily be marketed. In fact, customers would be seeking IBOs to find the products and there would be lines of people waiting to see the opportunity. Instead we can find stories about people being tricked into a meeting (I was one of them) or we hear about outright lies and deception by IBOs to get people to see the plan.

What really happens is IBOs themselves are the primary consumers of Amway products. Many IBOs are deceptive when inviting people to see the Amway plan. Some prospects are outright lied to when recruited for the Amway opportunity. The curiosity approach is still used by many, because mentioning "Amway" is more likely to get you funny looks than genuine interest. If what I am writing is not true, why do IBOs need to deceive people? Why don't some IBOs open their books and display the financial success they claim to have? Why so secretive? Why aren't there hoards of new diamonds and emeralds each month? Instead, you mainly hear of the Amway growth in foreign countries. Most likely because the Amway name and reputation has not yet been soiled as it has in the US and Canada.

In the US, I see primarily the same old diamonds who were in control of the functions and systems from more than 12 years ago. In fact, factoring in diamonds who quit or dropped out, I believe there are fewer diamonds now than when I was an IBO. Some of these diamonds also had some apparent financial difficulties. The opportunity is far from how it's promoted. Success speaks louder than words, and where North American Amway success is concerned, the silence is deafening. Do you believe the hype or your own eyes?

Friday, December 12, 2014

If It Looks Like A Pyramid?

Let me start out by saying that Amway is a perfectly legal company, and therefore I am not saying or implying that Amway is illegal. But I believe that the way Amway businesses are run, are like pyramids. In most groups, you will have the lowest level IBOs efforts and tool purchases being responsible for the upline bonuses and tools income. Many many IBOs are fooled into thinking that the ability to surpass your upline or that you don't get paid to recruit downline makes this a good deal. It's not. The money is basically flowing from the downline into the upline's pockets in the form of product and tool purchases with very little chance that a lower tier IBO will ever make it big.

Unless you have a very very rare group where actual product sales to non IBOs in sufficient to cover the costs of running you business, functions and all, then it is true that the lower level IBO's jobs are likely the source of income for the uplines. How many groups are like that? None that I have ever seen or know of. In fact, how often do IBOs even sell enough products to cover their expenses for even one month out of the year? The groups that teach "buy from yourself" end up doing the most financial damage to their groups because the downline's expenses are then covered exclusively from the downlines jobs, bank accounts, or drive the downline into debt.

I've seen and discussed group structures in forums many times and I can only conclude that tool sales wipe out what little profits/bonuses some of the downlines might receive. Only when an IBO is able to sponsor enough downline to absorb the losses for them will they finally breal even or make a little profit. I would guess that the 4000 PV level or platinum is where a dedicated CORE IBO would breal even and possibly start to make a real profit. But we also know that most platinum groups have 100 or more IBOs in order to generate 7500 PV. Thus we can also conclude that less than 1% of IBOs make a net profit. The only way IBOs can earn a net profit at a lower level is to avoid purchasing tools and to avoid paying for functions. Those who get involved in a system such as WWDB or N21 almost guarantee that they will have a net loss.

Sure, my job may have a pyramid structure with the CEO making the most money. But the difference is that in a company, even the lowest paid employee still receives a paycheck and has money at the end of the month. The same claim cannot be made by IBOs. For these reasons, I believe Amway to be a legal pyramid. IBOs and information seekers are free to participate, but I challenge them to sit down and really analyze their ability to make a net profit. In most cases, the analysis won't be favorable. If you are in the US in particular, you may have great difficulty in even being able to discuss "Amway" without getting strange looks your way from others. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are Some Amway Leaders "Bad" People?

Over the many years of Amway's existence, their reputation in the US and Canada has tanked. And it's not due to Amway the corporation, but rather Amway IBO leaders who teach and condone unethical behavior. Of course, I don't know of any significant measures that Amway has taken to discipline some of their wayward IBOs, but that's another story. However, it's apparent to me that some Amway leaders really are just not good people. They will do and say anything even lie to recruits to make a buck off them. They will sell false hopes and dreams to make their living.

During my blogging career, I've seen young people who were discouraged from attending college so they could build an Amway business. I've personally seen people go bankrupt and lose their homes because they followed the advice of their all knowing uplines. Sure, people have some responsibility for their actions but I feel as if some of these kinds of actions by some IBOs and IBO leaders is predatory, and focuses on people who can least afford to funnel money into the business and the leech teaching systems such as WWDB or Network 21. Downlines are taught to trust in their upline and to follow their advice, and to make it worse, the uplines then blame the IBOs for any failures.

I've seen ridiculous product claims such as people claiming that bottled water could cure ills and make you athletically superior. Of course this water costs about $50 a case when you could buy 10 cases of water at WalMart for the same price. They claim superiority in their vitamins without unbiased scientific evidence to support their claims. Perhaps that is why the Amway vitamins seemingly are consumed nearly exclusively by IBOs themselves. Nobody except IBOs buy the stories and the prices of Amway diamonds.

Despite claims by Amway supporters and IBOs that things are changing in Amway for the better, there is plenty of evidence that nothing has changed. Outrageous income claims. I thought the Dateline show exposed some crazy stuff with an IBO leader claiming that people could earn $250K per year with a part time effort, but then my friend Rocket finds this gem with an IBOAI member and crown ambassador in WWDB/Amway claiming you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month:

I wonder if Brad Duncan himself even makes that kind of money. Ironically, his triple diamond brother (Greg) wasn't even close to that when his bankruptcy papers were exposed a few years ago.

So to Amway prospects and apologists, the Amway corporation itself may be perfectly legal and clean, but the root of many evils comes from Amway uplines and AMO leaders. It is for this very reason that many get turned off just at the mention of the Amway name. Amway can stop them, but will they?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get Rich "Slow" In Amway?

One of the things upline used to say was that Amway is not "get rich quick". I suppose they say this because most people would more likely think scam if they promoted it that way. But when you stop and think about it, 2-5 years, build it right and you have willable, residual income for like while walking the beaches of the world? That's not get rich quick? Or is it more of a disclaimer so that the opportunity doesn't sound "too good to be true"? One thing is for sure, even if uplines tell you that it's not get rich quick, it's obvious that IBOs think they will eventually get rich, even if it's not "quick".

What most IBOs don't figure out quickly enough, is that they are unlikely to even make a profit, let alone getting rich in Amway. How many of these people exist? Where are all of these retired Amway IBOs who built a business in 2-5 years and then walked away from their business and will be collecting a significant residual income for many years to come afterwards? I don't know of a single person who has done this and none of the Amway defenders and zealots I have encountered over the years have been unable to supply this information either. It's like some kind of myth or urban legend that people have actually retired from Amway on residual income. We also know that due to attrition, it is virtually impossible to maintain a profitable Amway business. People quit the business daily, thus even what looks like a solid business can be gone in a very short amount of time.

I can acknowledge that Amway is a business opportunity and will definitely take some work to be able to achieve something. But thinking realistically, what business could you actually be able to walk away in 5 years and not work again? More than likely that business doesn't exist, whether it's Amway or not. Say you opened a conventional business. There wouldn't be many scenarios where you could walk away after a number of years. The business would still require work and maintenance. But for some reason, people are mislead to believe that you can do this in Amway where there is a high attrition rate and where your business can only expand by person to person.

Sadly, many of the people who are attracted to the Amway opportunity are often young people looking to get more out of life. They are often ambitious but may lack a means to gain wealth, thus the appeal of the opportunity is there. Unfortunately, these nice young people are more likely to end up channeling their hard earned dollars into standing orders and functions which will almost guarantee that they end up with a net loss. The bottom line is that not only is Amway not get rich quick. The more likely scenario is that your involvement with Amway will very likely be not getting rich at all. A net loss is the most likely result. I challenge anyone to try and prove me wrong on this point.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Join Amway And Pay Amway To Work For Them!

What happens to many unsuspecting people is they join Amway thinking they will attain wealth and riches by "owning their own business", but in reality, they have basically become unpaid commissioned employees of Amway. You don't get health insurance, vacation, or any fringe benefits. You get to work unlimited hours and you get commission by moving products. You can leverage your commissions by increasing this unpaid sales force by sponsoring others into your downline. But overall, you are basically working to move Amway products at your own expense. You even get to pay for catalogs so you can move Amway products. You'd think the product brochures would be free but they aren't.

Some people do succeed employing this method, but you will need to be an elite recruiter in order to get people to sell Amway products for no salary. You are also handicapped right from the start because past IBO behavior has soiled Amway's reputation in the US and Canada and possibly other locations. This point is supported by the fact that Amway's sales appear to be growing the most in foreign countries and not as much in North America. Seems that everyone I know has been at one time, involved with Amway (and had a bad experience) or knows of someone who had a bad experience (i.e. tricked into attending a meeting, or deceived in some way about the opportunity or the products). But somehow, there seems to be just enough unknowing or unsuspecting people who keep joining and the churn produces enough volume to keep the system going.

Even if you are a great recruiter, your likelihood of attaining Amway success (emerald or higher) is a tiny fraction of 1%. And for those who attain Amway success, they have great difficulty in sustaining that level. It is why there are hoards of "former" emeralds, diamonds and platinums. How can anyone succeed in a system where most people do little or nothing and where nearly half of the IBOs quit in the first year? If they survive that, they are still unlikely to sponsor others and move enough volume to help make a significant difference.

You may hear about how Amway was found "legal" by the FTC or that Amway is #1 in online health and beauty sales. All of this may or may not be true, but it doesn't change the fact that an IBO is basically an unpaid commissioned Amway salesperson. You absorb all the business expenses, pay for your own training, and you get to share your commission with layers of upine (more middlemen), some of whom do not help your business, and some who don't even know you exist. It's a great deal for Amway but not for IBOs. You move their products and aborb the expenses and in doing so and they pay out a commission. As for any awards or credits Amway receives, it's great for Amway, but you are an IBO - an independent business owner. You are not Amway.

Bottom line - if you can get people to work for free, you can find numerous opportunities to get rich that are much better and more lucrative than Amway. :-)