Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Not Working Hard Enough?

One of the things Amway IBOs are taught is to blame themselves for is not working the business hard enough or not doing things right, even if they do exactly as upline advised. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that uplines want to be absolved from any responsibility so they teach downline that failure in Amway is their own (The downline's) fault. Upline is also quick to take credit for any success, of course. Sort of a case of flipping a coin and playing "heads I win and tails you lose".

But the reason is why hard work doesn't equal success is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned sales person. In commissioned sales, one can work hard for no reward and at times, little effort may reap large rewards. But in Amway, with a spotty reputation, Amway IBOs are given a handicap that most simply cannot overcome. Getting new people to recruitment meetings is hard enough, not even factoring in the abililty to sponsor others. When factoring in these tidbits, it's easy to see why uplines teach buy from yourself and selling is not important. It deflects the fact that selling is nearly impossible with less than competitive prices (in general).

Amway IBOs like to argue how Amway products have magical qualities or have premium features. But the fact is that Amway is basically a generic brand that carries a premium price. That's a tough sell. And to be honest, if you're selling cleaning products or laundry soap, most people don't care about paying extra for dish soap. They are content buying a gallon for $5 at Costco rather than shelling out $10 for a liter of dish drops.

The work involved is very simple. Sell products and sponsor other IBOs in your downline to be able to leverage your volume. Many IBOs work hard and attend all of the functions and do all of the steps as outlined by upline, but very few reap rewards and most quit when they realize that the system doesn't work. It is sad that on top of losing money, that IBOs are also taught to blame themselves for their demise. Where is the upline when IBOs bust their butts working har and get no rewards? On top of that, to make it worse, uplines profit from selling training and motivation to their downlines. Why aren't they held acountable?

I've read comments by some Amway defenders wanting to sue Amway critics for a potential loss of business. But most critics, like myself are simply stating our experiences and opinions. Many of which are true and still happening today. So I will ask, what about the millions of former IBOs who may have lost billions of dollars because of false claims which led them to believe that they would get rich following upline advice? Maybe former IBOs should unite and file claims against unethical upline leaders who led them astray?

In any case, hard work doesn't equate success in Amway and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Amway IBOs Taught That Losng Money Is Success?

Looking back at my Amway 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.

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.

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.

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. What's your conclusion?

Monday, August 14, 2017

"CORE" Is Not The Secret To Amway Success?

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use. Some things may have changed but the general premise is likely the same:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)

2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)

3 – Tapes/cds

4 - Books

5 - Functions (attend all)

6 - Accountability

7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)

8 - Buy 100% of your own products

9 – Communikate



Many upline will tell you that your success is 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't. :D

Friday, August 11, 2017

What's The Big Deal About Amway?

Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for most of upline success. Thus, upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunities have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are either non existent, or few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggeestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools. The primary purpose of the tools is to motivate you and teach you to recruit more IBOs, which is vital to Amway's existence.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business buildiing IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competetively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago, and some dying while still working. Diamonds losing homes to forclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It is quite apparent to me that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions (or more) of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What's Better Than Amway?

One of the silly comments I often receive on this blog is that Joecool should offer suggestions about what might be better than Amway since I make comments against the Amway opportunity. First of all, I would like to make clear that most of my point of contention is against the tools companies and not Amway itself. Having said that, I believe Amway can and should have done more to prevent IBO abuse by upline and tool selling companies. But I believe Amway has not because the uplines are the ones who recruit new IBOs and teach (defacto) 100 PV quotas to new IBOs, thus keeping Amway sales consistent. Uplines also teach product loyalty.

But what can be better than Amway? Well, since most IBOs earn less than $15 a month, there are many things better than Amway. I might add that the $15 I refer to is gross, not net income. Thus after expenses, the vast majority run their Amway business at a loss. Working part time for minimum wage would be more benefioial to most people who get involved in Amway. Buying and selling items for a profit on Ebay is likely to get you more income than selling Amway products. Heck, a lemonade stand on the roadside is likely to get you more net income than an Amway business. Since most IBOs lose money, staying home and watching TV makes you better off as well.

What makes the Amway business financially dangerous to many, is not Amway and Amway products, but the involvement in Amway training such as voicemail, standing orders, functions and other materials. This training is promoted as the key to Amway success, but as far as I know, there is ZERO unbiased documented evidence that any of this materials work. In my old LOS, Worldwide Dream Builders, or WWDB, the same leaders I saw 12 years ago are still (minus those who left or passed away) there and there are no new diamonds that I know of. I would guess that there were "some" new diamonds, but there are also many diamonds who are no longer in business. Kind of makes me wonder why diamonds would quit or resign from Amway if they could "walk away" and continue to collect "residual income". Perhaps this residual income is a myth prepetuated by your LOS. Afterall, Amway doesn't mention anything about residual income and income from your business would come from Amway.

What is really discouraging is that so many eager and motivated people get caught up thinking their financial dreams and goals will be achieved by their involvement with the Amway opportunity. Sadly, most will end up losing money because of the very training that was supposed to bring them success! Even the fiercest of Amway defenders have no documented proof of success. It appears that Amway success is elusive even to the most dedicated of IBOs.

So what's better than the Amway opportunity? Seems just about anything. In fact if you are involved in the training system, donating $100 a month to charity and doing nothing else would make you better off financially than particpating in Amway and the related training. Doing nothing would make you better off. Watching football games would also likely make you better off financially than Amway and the training systems. My recommendation (but you must make your own decision) is to simply find part time work and invest your extra income wisely. It isn't quick or flashy, but you are likely to benefit long term. Of course, your mileage may vary. Good luck on whatever you choose to do.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Losing Your Shirt In Amway?

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 30% 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? Of course your upline will teach you that it's a level playing field because that's what they want you to believe, while they take the lion's share of your bonus.

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. You pay for cds, voicemail, books and functions. You pay for any help you get from that diamond. While these expenses might not be exorbitant, they add up to a lot of money over time.

Many uplines will talk about having dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an Amway 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. And your diamonds and "big pins" earn significant money from tools and functions.

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 constantly 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. Why would someone be told to never quit if they aren't making a net profit and there is very little likelihood that they will ever turn a profit?

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 to $300 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, good luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation? Yours or your upline?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Amway Dreams Come True?

As an IBO, I was a member of Worldwide Dream Builders, or WWDB. We often told prospects, when recruiting, that we were with WWDB and did not mention Amway unless the prospect asked. If the prospect didn't ask, then we didn't tell. Apparently, part of the appeal of WWDB was to appear successful, even if you were not. It is probably why in some functions, we were taught to "fake it till you make it". Basically, the premise was to appear successful until you actually became successful. Sadly, there were very few who were "successful".

WWDB also scheduled a major function called "Dream Night". This was a one evening function with a sit down dinner at a cost or about $65 to $75 per person. A major portion of the function was a slide show of he diamond lifestyle. We saw mansions, yachts, jetskis, sports cars and fabulous trips, jewelry and all kinds of extravagant luxuries not intended for the mortal man. But, all of this was yours if only you would follow the foolproof WWDB system. I thought it was real when I was an IBO, but I now wonder if these luxuries were really owned by the diamonds. I suspect they may not have been. The money these diamonds supposedly earned was unlimited, or so we thought. I know know that a diamond lifestyle isn't as rosy as they want you to think.

Diamonds apparently must keep working. Even if some of them might collect Amway income for a while without much effort, I believe their lucrative tools and functions income would stop the moment they stopped working the business. I know there are reports from Amway that sales are up and retention of IBOs is up, including the North American market. (I kinda wonder who true those reports are)

Anyway, getting back to the subject, I ask this question. How many dreams have been built as a result of someone's involvement with Worldwide Dreambuilders? David Shores apparently had his homeforeclosed. Greg Duncan apparently suffered the same fate plus some involvement with bankruptcy. Brad Wolgamott is not with his wife or WWDB anymore, along with Dean Kosage. I don't see reports of any new WWDB diamonds and in fact, I believe there are fewer diamonds in WWDB now than when I was an IBO. Where are the diamonds? Where are the dreams? Whose dreams have been built? Conversely, I have seen people's finances wrecked with WWDB being a major contributor to that problem.

If you are being prospected or seeking information on WWDB or other LOS groups, ask them where the success is. Do not accept pictures of checks or pictures of sports cars as proof. Ask for bonafide financial records like real business owners do. If you need more information, my contact information is on my profile. Good luck!