Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Who Gets Paid For "Doing The Work"?

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most "Work", receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 32% of their income back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest. Some of the upline may not have even met the IBO who actually did the work. Is that really fair and is that a level playing field? What do some of these uplines do to deserve the lion's share of the bonus you worked to get? Yes, the upline diamond may show the plan in an open meeting, which may help you, but then again, you pay for entrance into that meeting.

Many uplines will talk about dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an IBO would stop and think for a moment, you can easily see that you are building the dreams of your upline, and not your own. You receive a tiny portion of the bonus for the volume that you move, and then in addition, if you are on the system, then you are also paying upline in the form of tool purchases for the priviledge of giving them bonuses with your product purchases.

It is why your upline diamonds can parade around on stage with designer suits and show you their fancy cars and mansions and other toys. It is because they are cashing in on your efforts. You are making their dreams come true. Your dedication to moving volume and purchasing standing orders are fulfilling dreams. The upline dreams. Yes, someday you can hope to have your own group of downline to exploit for your own benefit, but unless you are adding members to your group, you will never achieve the kinds of dreams that uplines talk about. In the meantime though, you are definitely helping someone upline achieve their dreams with every function you attend. Ironically, the upline leaders will tell you to never quit, even if they don't know your personal circumstances.

Here's a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month and dedication to the tools system will cost you around $200 a month on average. Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining? Would you not be better off staying home and watching television instead of joining? If you read all of the information available on this blog and still decide to join, goo d luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation? Yours or your upline?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building Amway?

Many new IBO's and prospects get excited about what they think will be a "shortcut" to retirement and untold wealth. They see the plan and think they will be "going diamond" in a few years and everyone who opposes them are broke loser. Some uplines encourage their downline to avoid family and friends who are "negative". Some IBO's think (because they are taught) that they must avoid all negative and only hang around smiling people who sing the praises of Amway and the teaching they receive from their mentors. What's humorous to me is how these fabulously wealthy uplines show pictures and slideshows of their "wealth" and tell stories of how they don't work or work or worry about money. But ask them for financial disclosure and you get excuses. It's common in business for people to disclose their business financials when selling a business or courting partners. A lack of disclosure or refusal should be a red flag.

Building Amway is not impossible. That is obvious because some people are successful at it. But so few people succeed as there are so many challenges in building Amway. I will outline those challenges. The prices are too high. In Amway, the prices are typically higher than comparable products you can get elsewhere. Sure, Amway has some decent products and some prices are competitive, but overall, you will be hard pressed to find enough good deals to be able to find customers. Sure, Amway products are allegedly concentrated and of high quality. But think about it, when you must break down concentration and make justifications for higher prices, consumers will just go where prices are cheaper. Walmart is a great example of that.

The Amway name is soiled. Amway has a spotty reputation. Many IBO's in the past have resorted to tricks and lies to get people to an Amway meeting. Over the years, Amway developed a bad reputation due to the bad behavior os IBO's and at least a part of this is due to the teaching from the Amway motivational groups such as BWW or WWDB. They teach things that IBO's go out and share and sometimes these are lies and deception. In the past, some groups taught IBO's to buy their own Amway goods and not to sell anything (which may be illegal). Some groups might still be doing this, but on it goes. I still see some unethical IBO behavior but although supporters claim Amway has changed and is new, I don't see much different now than from many years ago. My old LOS still teaches almost the same stuff I saw as an IBO. Some current IBOs confirm this.

You can try to build Amway but more that likely you will end up making nothing or losing money like the vast majrity of IBO's. Good luck to you if you decide to try.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Financial Freedom In 8-12 Hours A Week?

One of the myths that upline used to, and likely still perpetuate is the claim that you can build an Amway mega empire on 8-12 hours per week. I'm venturing an educated guess that this number is used because while it still represents time, it is probably less hours than working a part time job. But let's take a closer look at this 8-12 hours per week.

If you listen to one (1) cd per day as recommended by upline and read one of their "success" books 15 minutes each day, you are already close to nine hours of time used and neither of these activities produces any income for your Amway business. In fact, both activities cost you money and produce no tangible result. If you spend another 15 minutes a day contacting people, you are close to 12 hours per week. Where will you find additional time to show the plan and to expand your name and contact list? What about servicing customers, at least for IBOs who actually may have some customers.

What about attending meetings and functions? These are also non income producing activities. It's no wonder the vast majority of IBOs don't make money. Their upline has them running around participating in activities that produce no income for their businesses. Ironically, these non income producing activities such as listening to a cd, produces a lot of income for certain iplines who produce and sell them. To me, it is just an elaborate game of bait and switch played by upline. They tell you that their system is foolproof and that you will make it if you don't give up. Not true.

You sell the prospect the dream of financial freedom. You tell that that Amway is their best chance. You tell them that you can help them and that the tools of the business (standing order, voicemail, books, functions) are the key to their success. Those who are serious enough to commit to the system likely won't quit without making some effort and will allow uplines to earn some nice profits before these downline eventually realize they aren't profitable and quit. Because many IBOs are sponsored by family and friends, you don't see too many formal complaints about the business. Most people chalk it up as a life lesson and do not complain.

But IBOs and information seekers, do not be fooled into thinking that you will create a financial empire by working 8-12 hours a week. That would be far fetched. The number of highly successful Amway IBOs versus the number who sign up can be compared to lottery winners.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Amway Suckers?

Quick disclaimer, I was once an IBO. Therefore, I was once a a sucker myself. Of course, back when I was an IBO, it wasn't so simple to google Amway and find so much information. Basically, I was fed many lies about the business and the training system. I was fed the 2-5 year plan. On the surface, it sounds very reasonable and achievable. However, the reality is that the Amway reputation is so tarnished that it's nearly impossible to get people to see the plan, let alone actually sponsoring people into your downline.

I was also told that the training system was vital and that nobody had eve succeeded without it. Of course, that is a lie because some of the current diamonds and crowns pre-date the emergence of tools. Also, the reality that maybe only 1 out of tens of thousands of IBOs achieve diamond in the US should be an indicator of your likely results. Many dream of diamond, but very few ever get anywhere near that level. Even those who do achieve diamond, likely find it nearly impossible to maintain it. This is evidenced by the number of diamonds who fail to qualify and end up quitting. Seems that only the ones who profit from the tools stick around. It looks like the tools is where the "residual" income comes from. But that income is from constant traveling and working and not from walking the beaches sipping exotic drinks.

Amway also charges exorbitant prices for some of their products. Take double x, basically Amway's flagship vitamin product. It retails for nearly $78 while IBO pricing is around $52. A site visitor once left me a message that Amway employees (not IBOs) can purchase double x from Amway for around $12. I tried to confirm with with Amway and they did not confirm it. I believe that Amway could probably make a healthy profit selling double x for about $17. Let's not even get into Amway's perfect water (bottled water) which retails for nearly $50 a case.

The somewhat entertaining part, is that with all the reputation issues and high prices, is that many IBOs are convinced that they need an endless supply of training in order to succeed. Some upline even have the gall to tell their audience to look at the fruit on the tree. Well, the trees are barren with the leaves falling off, like many trees in the winter. Basically, Amway and the AMOs survive by continuously recruiting new and unsuspecting suckers to join. If you truly believe your upline cares about you, try missing a few functions and see if they still edify you. Many people have been suckered in the past. Hopefully, with readily available information, the tools scam will finally die.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Deceptive Amway IBO?

Author: Wally

I live in the DC metro area and was approached by a guy in Best Buy about a "business opportunity". The word Amway was never mentioned once in the entire conversation. Instead, the focus was on his business and how there was a solid opportunity that shouldn't be missed. I figured it can't hurt, so I was open to listening. Even on his business card, it said nothing of Amway. The guy forwarded me a link to my email of his business which explored social networking. Again, kind of vague. It all came together when I went to my first Amway meeting.

Going in, I had no idea this was Amway. They all took pride in calling themselves entrepreneurs and were all extremely upbeat, positive, and social. The whole session was interesting, but when the speaker started talking about using your existing social networks on Facebook to potentially mine for sales clients...I was a little put off.

At this point, I basically said to my "sponsor", thanks but no thanks. However, he was strategic about his approach. He stayed away for a while, but came back later with a new opportunity to explore the world of the business. Honestly, even though I wasn't all that attracted to the business itself, I figured I may give it a go simply because it is taking me out of my comfort zone, is something brand new, involves numerous highly optimistic, social people, and seems harmless.

We reconnected, my sponsor and I, and I laid out the cash to get up and rolling. Every word out of my sponsor's mouth was a battle cry for victory. He did not know the meaning of defeat, or even the prospect of failing. He was relentless in his perspective that he is "winning". He is victorious in life and life is his to be conquered. It's here that I began to think that he is brainwashed. He seemed almost in denial to some things. Intentionally avoiding reality and choosing to be absorbed in a false notion. Weird.

After I was up and rolling, I attended the meetings, attended the social events, and mingled. I bought a bunch of stuff to meet the monthly PV goals, and also sold what I could. The selling was a lot more difficult than just buying the items myself. Even though the quality of the products are quite good, the prices are not exactly bargains.

After a few months of doing this, I realized that pitching products to family and friends, and in turn, alienating some of them, was not something I wanted to pursue any longer. It quickly became unappealing. And all the friendships made through Amway were friendships crafted through the desire for money. They were all financial transactions in form and substance. I was encouraged strongly to constantly bring new people in, and get them involved. Essentially, I would instruct them in the very same way that I was instructed by my sponsor. Inevitably, I would do my best to mentor them so that they have success, and their success became my success. Once one starts picturing how big the web can be, it can be hard to disengage.

My sponsor embodied very strong conservative Christian beliefs. He seemed to be infatuated with the Bible, and quoted freely from it. I think he thought of himself as a spiritual warrior as well as an entrepreneur. But it's not his products that he's selling. It's Amway's products. And he wasn't a savior; he is just a guy doing the best he can to motivate others to...sell products that are overpriced.

When I finally disentangled myself, he expectedly did not take it well. In so many words, he told me that your life won't be very meaningful once you leave Amway. He also said that he'll make a ton of money and is a part of a multi-million dollar business. That's all well and fine, but does he actually expect to be making millions? He is definitely brain washed by his upline guys. There's pictures of them rolling around in Ferraris and beautiful women...I guess he thinks this is his future.

In any case, I think the Amway business being a total failure. Why encourage marketing to family and friends? What does this say about the seller? That they value what the people closest to them can do for them on a monetary basis? What happens when the answer is no? Does this mean that this friend or family member is reprehensible or a traitor? Also, the products Amway makes can be bought at more or less the same quality at Target or Walmart, but cheaper. What's so special about Amway? Nothing. Starting a "business" is very different than "selling Amway stuff"".

And why the false sense of optimism, even when the reality is staring you right in the face? I suppose that a lot of these hardcore Amway folks are brainwashed into thinking that displaying vulnerability, or anything that might make you appear...human, is weakness. Too bad.

I think the correct term is used by the poster above, Terrance, "suckered". Please don't get suckered in. It all will look appealing. The Amway rep will likely be extraordinarily charismatic, friendly, social, and overall look like a very successful person. The people he's associated with will also be a positive, engaging bunch. However, beneath the surface lies a business, if it can be called that, which is a sham and a waste of time.

See all comments on this post here:

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Nuances Of Amway And WWDB?

Looking back at my IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the weird stuff we did and believe it or not, I have reason to believe that my old LOS, WWDB still teaches some of this and some other major groups also teach it. I believe some of these practices were the reason why some people refer to the Amway business as cult or having cult like qualities. If you recognize some of these practices, you might be in an unethical group and you should ask your upline the tough questions and possibly reconsider or reprioritize your involvement in the business.

Late meetings. Our upline was into late meetings, many occuring after midnight. I suppose it was a show of loyalty and dedication to the upline and the system. In reality, it made most people angry at their jobs because they had to wake up early to go to work. For me it made me mad at our upline because the meetings taught us nothing of substance and it just made us tired. Our upline used to talk about time being important but it was never important enough to make him show up on time for his own late night meetings. Another cult like factor - sleep deprivation. Our upline described this practice as Amway being a business of incovenience, designed to weed out the weak and undedicated.

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline. Afterall, upline had experience and probably had all the answers. Some of this checking upline included asking permission to get married, buy a car or a home, or even something as small as purchasing a camera. The upline said maybe someone upline might have advice on how to get a good deal on a camera so no harm in checking upline before making a purchase. It is my guess that upline didn't want your disposable income being spent on anything other than standing orders and functions.

Secrets. Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 5 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions. Of course we now find that some WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed, and one prominent triple diamond had some dealings in bankruptcy court. Looking back, I suspect that many diamonds have mortgages, which would be nor problem except that these leaders scoffed at the sutpidity of having a loan. That diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. My former sponsor still lives in a run down rented home beause he won't purchase a home unless he's got the cash. My former sponsor is a physician so I find his position on buying a home preposterous. His oldest child, a son probably grew up deprived of his parents because of dedication to the system and the functions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders. People who sold off some of their personal property were edified if they did so to attend a function. Obviously these folks were not advised to run their business within their means. Upline even said that going into debt was okay, but only if the debt was to invest in the business or to buy extra function tickets.

While some of these practices seem bizarre, I believe it is because the upline advice was self serving and meant to channel their downline's dollars into tool purchases. It is the only conclusion I can make.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Amway Credentials

I recently read a comment from an Amway zealot. She mentions that someone's credentials must be considered when looking at information that is presented. I will comment that showing me a sports car or a fancy suit is not proof of financial success. Strange how they question credentials of everyone except their beloved leaders, some of whom told bold faced lies in the past.

I find this subject ironic because not one single upline leader, as far as I know, has ever supplied bonafide credentials about themselves. The audience assumes that the person on stage has high credentials, but do they really? Certainly, if someone is wearing a diamond pin for example, that this person has at least achieved the diamond level as recognized by Amway, but the level may not be current, and the level doesn't indicate the kind of income this person earns from Amway. Also, the diamond pin is one that is like a lifetime achievement, meaning you could have been diamond for 6 months in 1982 and never qualified again, but you can still wear the pin as you are still recognized as having achieved diamond status. I guess Joecool should be refered to as 4000 PV if that is the case.

What many people wrongly assume is that the diamonds buy homes and cars in cash, that they wake up at noon every day and participate in leisure activities all day while the cash rolls in. I have heard from some new IBOs, that their upline makes more money taking a crap in the morning than a critic makes in a whole year at a job. That IBO became quiet when some critics offered to take that bet. I doubt that any diamonds would take that bet.

But the truth of the matter is that as far as I know, only former diamonds have come clean about their Amway income. They are the only ones who spoke of credentials and accomplishments. Even critics of Amway will often openly speak about their experiences and achieved levels in the business. In the REAL business world, showing business tax returns and credentials are a normal part of doing business. It appears that only in the world of Amway is the supply of credentials and financial statements a big secret. Now I am not suggesting that IBOs or upline leaders should disclose their financials to the entire world, but certainly prospects and some downline should be able to see what their upline is doing financially, especially if that is the basis for purchasing their standing orders and function tickets. And I refer to business (Amway and Tools) income and expenses only, not from other personal sources.

I believe that IBOs and upline leaders do not disclose that information because it would not be beneficial to them. If it were, they would likely publish it freely, just as they flash around copies of checks. IBOs and prospects should take this to heart and ask upline the tough questions