Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Amway Pigs?

I recently came across some comments on a blog indicating that they had recently heard comments about "Pigs don't know pigs stink". This stems from a tape/cd recorded by a diamond named Dave Severn. The slogan was very popular when I was an IBO and I'm sure that some IBOs still toss around the phrase. It was basically used to describe people who wren't in Amway. They worked hard at their jobs but they were "broke" and weren't getting anywhere. At least the IBOs (who were also broke) were doing something about their financial situation (Amway!). So the ignorant rest of the population didn't know any better, thus the term pigs don't know pigs stink. (but at least people with jobs actually earned money)

Having been out of the business and having done a great deal of research about Amway and the Amway groups such as WWDB and BWW, I can say the exact same thing about IBOs. IBOs don't know IBOs stink. Of course I don't mean that literally, but business building IBOs order their products each month. They pay for their standing orders and attend all the functions. They try to recruit new prospects and they use all the catchy phrases taught by their upline or off a cd. They are very likely losing money each and every month, all the while thinking they are becoming successful and better or nicer people. At the end of the year, they sometimes suffer massive losses in the thousands because purchasing all of the tools and training materials add up to a tidy sum of cash after a while. Add that to the cost of "personal use" and Amway can cost you hundreds of dollars or more. It would depend on your dedication to the cause, or as some upline say, "how teachable you are".

At the functions, the IBOs smile and act positive, even when they are losing their shirts. Upline will edify their dedication and teach them two very important, but self serving pieces of advice. They will teach IBOs to never quit, and that if IBOs quit or fail, it is always their own fault, even if they did everything upline taught them. In this manner, upline removes themselves from any responsibility for the IBO's failure. Ironically, upline is quick to accept responsbility for any success (even if there is little). All the while, IBOs are attending all the meetings, doing all the steps they have been taught. They act alike and in many cases, look alike. Most of them also share a common result. They are losing money, and many are losing lots of it. They are simply taught to ignore the losses and to remain positive. Most people eventually figure it out and walk away from Amway. Most will never mention their involvement again and because many are sponsored by friends and family, will never file any formal complaint or dicuss their displeasure. Many just move on and chalk it up as a life lesson.

The IBOs continue to associate with their positive and active fellow IBOs, all the while their bank accounts are shrinking and transfering funds to upline. Pigs don't know pigs stink indeed.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Amway Diamonds Pay Cash?

When I was an IBO, I was always taught that diamonds pay cash for everything. That one day, after following the foolproof WWDB system, that I too, would be strolling on the beaches of the world, with cash rolling into my bank account with no worries in the world. We were told that diamonds pay cash for all purchases, even homes and other large ticket items. As evidence, the diamonds would show slideshows of mansions and sports cars, golf club memberships and other lavish items. All paid for in cash we were told. I have reason to believe that WWDB still teaches this except that it is a bunch of lies.

First of all, in looking back, the group really had no way of knowing what was paid for or not. We just assumed that diamonds made so much money that everything the diamonds spoke of were true. However, there have been events, some very recent that exposed some of the apparent lies told by these diamonds. There were two (2) diamonds whose home foreclosures became public knowledge and a prominent triple diamond who was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. Now your home cannot be foreclosed if it's paid for in cach right? Technically, nobody would care whether a diamond's home was mortgaged or paid for, but when diamonds parade in front of a crowd bragging about wealth, and then telling the audience that they too will achieve the same success by following the system and upline advice, well that's a bit misleading in my opinion. So many people in the audience are practically crying because they want what the diamonds are flaunting, except that possibly, many of these diamonds don't even have what they are selling.

A average diamond might make about $150,000 (according to Amway) and let's just say another $150,000 from selling support materials. When you factor in taxes and business expenses such as travel to and from functions, what's left over certainly is not going to allow you tp purchase million dollar mansions. Some higher up pins might make a bit more, but still, purchasing mansions and other luxuries in cash is a stretch. It would be my guess that most diamonds indeed have a mortgage on their homes and may even have car payments. That's not a crime but it is unethical to lie about your income in order to recruit new downlines. The average diamonds likely live closer to a middle class lifestyle than that of a jetsetter.

For IBOs and other newbies, if your uplines are bragging about paying for homes and other things in cash, ask them to show proof of these claims. I can show you pictures of multi million dollar mansions and sports cars, it doesn't mean that I paid for them in cash or that I even own them. But then again, admitting to having a mortgage or having monthly car payments are not quite as attractive or exciting as paying for these things in cash.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Your Amway Friends?

You hang out with friends, generally people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business.

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there me be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fairweather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Amway Motivational Scam?

Based on my experience in Amway, my blogging experience, and observation of other people who give financial advice such as real estate gurus who teach you to buy property with no money down, or others such as Robert Kiyosaki for that matter, all show testimonials of sucessful people. Obviously they do not show you the vast majority of people who try their systems and fail. It is just like the Amway leaders who edify some downline who "drove the miles" or made sacrifices and achieved some level such as platinum. Sadly, for each minor success in Amway, there are probably hundreds or people who tried and failed, despite earnest efforts.

It is my informed opinion that whether it is Amway, WWDB, BWW, N21, real estate or the cashflow business, the vast majority of people who try these systems do not make any kind of significant income. Sure, some do (although extremely rare), and those are shown as the possibilities. But if you watch infomercials, you will see in small print on the bottom of the screen, "unique experience", you results may vary. I believe that a similar message used to be at the end of Amway motivational recordings as well. A real business owner would want to know what is the likely result, not just the "best case scenario". Unlike some Amway leaders say, the facts do matter and should not be ignored.

These systems in general do not work for various reasons. Many people simply do not have the acumen to work the system. Or the system has too many variables for the system to work, or the system calls for things beyond your control. For example, success in Amway generally requires you to sponsor others, or to sell a lot of product. Many of these vital factors are beyond the direct control of most people. Add in the lazy and people who are hoping for a quick score and it is understandable that most will fail in Amway. I don't understand why apologist either deny or try to minimize this fact.

But these systems are often set up where the majority simply cannot all succeed. Nowhere is that more true than the Amway business where the pyramidal compensation plan nearly guarantees failure for the vast majority of lower level IBOs. You can only have one platinum for approximately 100 downline IBOs. Unless IBOs are somehow moving large amounts of volume, you need more IBOs to reach these levels. A diamond is six of these groups, all of which are churning through prospects and IBOs each month. Replacing people who quit is a massive undertaking. The common 6-4-2 plan consists of 79 IBOs all moving enough volume to earn a bonus. That scenario is highly unlikely to downright impossible.

So what can someone do? Well, it may no be as sexy or attractive but a part time job and investing and saving might be something to think about. Even a part time business where you focus on selling products for a profit might work. It just seems prudent to avoid these "systems" as the primary beneficiary of these "systems" are the ones who directly profit from them. Kiyosaki and the diamonds likely earn most of their money selling tools and training and not by doing what they proclaim.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Amway IBO Expenses?

Many uplines will use slightly deceptive recruitment tactics when getting new people to see or register into the Amway business. One of the common things was how joining Amway has very little risk, no or very little overhead. This is true, if an IBO is not involved in any of th system related training. However, it is the goal of many if not most uplines to get as many IBOs involved in the system as possible. This is probably because selling standing orders, voicemails and seminars has a higher profit margin for some uplines than the actual movement of Amway volume. So some newbies might join thinking Amway won't cost them much, only to find out that 100 PV might run them more than $300. They may not be aware that standing orders and functions never end and can add an additional cost of up to several hundreds of dollars more. Uplines will then justify the expense by saying the IBO is investing in his/her business.

New IBOs, and especially IBOs who are single should seriously think about the cost of being a business building IBO before joining. Many or most prospects don't know that building an Amway business using system tools and "coaching" can cost them up to$500 or more each month. A single person more than likely cannot possibly consume 100 PV worth or products on a monthly basis unless they almost exclusively consume XS drinks and Nutrilite vitamins. And secondly, how many singles or prospects were consuming cases of energy drinks and vitamins ($300 monthly) before being presented with the Amway business? How many people were willing to fork out hundreds of dollars for a weekend function that may require airfare and hotel stay? I don't think too many people like this exist. But I believe they do so because they have been sold a dream of financial freedom, of early retirement and not having to work a job anymore. But the evidence would suggest that once the dream disappears or reality sets in, how many (former) IBOs continue to purchase Amway products and attend seminars?

I know of many former IBOs and I don't know of any who purchase Amway products on a regular basis and I don't know of ANYONE who has ever forked out money to attend an Amway/AMO function after they stopped being an IBO. Amway's numbers bear out this claim as there is very little sales to people who are not IBOs. The IBO salesforce is responsible for consuming the lion's share of Amway's products and services. I myself have purchased an Amway product or two since I left the business. But I did so only to humor friends who were still in the business. They have all since quit. It is very reasonable to conclude that once the desire to build the business stops, the desire to purchase Amway products also stops.

Most eager young and motivated people who sign up often do not realize that these IBO expenses exist. While Amway acknowledges that these tools and systems expenses are optional, the uplines who promote the tools may suggest that it is insanity to attempt to build an Amway business without the tools or strongly encourage new IBOs to partake. A common statement was that we "needed" to be at the next function no matter what. Missing it would set your business back six months. New IBOs and prospects don't know better so they will often conform. Sadly, there is ZERO unbiased evidence that the tools and seminars do anything to increase IBO volume and/or the sponsorship rate. In my informed and experienced opinion, the tools are ineffective and the vast majority if IBOs would be better off handing their upline a monthly check for $100 and not building the business or buying any products.

IBOs and information seekers should be awar of these potential IBO expenses and determine if the expenses would be worth your while. Keep in mind that someone upline profits handsomely from the tools, even if you do not make a cent from your Amway business. You should have your best interest at heart, no matter what your upline tells you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Can You "Choose" To Succeed In Amway?

Many IBOs seem to think that success in business or in other aspects of life is simply a choice. They mistakenly believe that you can actually choose to succeed or not. They apparently believe that persistence and choosing to win will eventually land them a premiere spot at diamond club. If that were truly the case, wouldn't we see hoards of new diamonds each and every year? Instead, we see one here and one there, and while there are a few new diamonds in the US every so often, we see others quitting, dropping out or leaving Amway for greener pastures. Make you wonder if the prize is worth pursuing in the first place.

But IBOs and information seekers should understand quite clearly. You cannot simply "choose" to win or succeed. In a football game, both sides can believe and choose to win, but still, only one can be the victor. In Amway, it is common for a platinum to have 100 to 200 downline. Thus to be a platinum, you need to be in the top one half of one percent of IBOs. To be a diamond, you will need to be in the top 600 to 1200 IBOs, not counting the masses of IBOs who register and do nothing or register and do a little and quit. Only one in about ten to twenty thousand will ever reach diamond in North America.

Sure, IBOs may cite some touching story like "Rudy". Basically a nobody who dreamed of playing for Notre Dame. He busted his butt and did whatever it took to make the team and the movie ends with him getting in a game, making a sack and being carried off the field by his teammates in a blaze of glory. A great and inspiring movie. But what you don't see is the possible tens of thousands of young men who had the same dream, may have worked every bit as hard but circumstances and situations prevented them from achieving the same limited success. Uplines want you to think these kinds of stories can happen to everyone, but the fact is that there is only a little room at the top. If stories like Rudy were common, then there would have been nothing special about it. An elite athlete like a Michael Jordan or a Tiger Woods only comes along once or twice in a lifetime. It is like achieving diamond. It happens but it is a rare occasion, especially in North America where Amway appears to be shrinking instead of growing.

In the Amway business, many prospects and IBOs are motivated and driven to succeed. Many of them are fine young men and women who want more in life. But the vast majority of those who try will not achieve their dreams via the Amway opportunity no matter how hard they work and no matter how badly they want it. The reason is because there are too many variables that are not in direct control of the IBO. The Amway reputation in North America is spotty at best so sponsoring downline is nearly impossible. And when you can sponsor, chances are your downline will do little or nothing. Many new IBOs will work hard, but quit because they are faced with the challenges I just mentioned. And even if you can overcome the overwhelming odds, you still need to keeping working hard constantly to maintain the business, all for an unstable average diamond income of $146,995, which doesn't consider taxes, medical insurance and other perks you may receive at a job. All told, I believe the diamond income is not all it's cracked up to be when you consider the charade you must play to display the diamond lifestyle. Do the math and you will be able to see for yourself.

In the end, it seems as though the prize isn't as great as it seems, and the trail to success is one that most cannot endure. And even if you achieve diamond, you can lose it quite easily as others have discovered. The bottom line is that you cannot simply choose to succeed in Amway or any other endeavor. Good luck if you decide to attempt it anyway.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Amway WWDB "Eagle" Parameters?

Eagle Parameters:
Signed Counsel Sheet to Upline Diamond
300 PV personal use/retail for couples, 200 PV personal use/retail for singles
6-5-3 (PB/SO/MF) - Explained below
6 legs at 100 PV or higher
5 legs on standing order
3 legs attending major functions


Being An Eagle Is Profitable? I think not!

I have listed the parameters for the eagle program above. I will provide an analysis and some comments about the WWDB Eagle program. In my opinion, the Eagle program is basically just a program where upline assures themselves of a certain amount of tools sales. The IBO with the eagle parameters is likely losing a ton of money.

First of all, an Eagle with minimum parameters/legs would be at about 1000 PV. That would equate to about $200 to $300 a month in PV bonus from Amway, with differences based on width, total number of legs moving volume, etc. For this example, I will asume the Eagle receives $300 in PV bonus.

200 PV for singles, 300 PV for couples. That’s $600 to $900 in personal use and retail sales. While IBOs may attempt to sell products, we know that many IBOs sell little or nothing. Even if an IBO manages to sell 50 PV to customers, that IBO would still be spending $450 to $750 a month on personal use, and perhaps earning $100 a month for selling 50 PV.

6 legs at 100 PV or higher. That is approximately $1800 a month in personal consumption and retail for these downlines. Assuming they each qualify at 3%, they would get about $10 in PV bonus each month. The $10 does not factor in business expenses.

5 legs on standing order. Depending on whether an IBO is on the premier club, their cost might be about $60 to $75 a month (or more) for standing order, and may vary if extra cds are purchased.

3 legs attending major functions. Major functions generally cost about $125 per person, per event. And the expenses does not include transportation which may include round trip airfare during peak travel months, rental cars, hotels, etc etc.


Let’s look at a single IBO with eagle parameters. And I will use “best case” scenario. Income might be $400 with the 1000 PV bonus plus the retail profit for selling 50 PV. $400 sounds like a nice tidy sum, especially for a single person. But looking deeper, we see that this person also had to consume $450 worth of goods for him or herself ($450 = approximate cost of 150 PV). Yes, he or she received products, but seriously, how many single people actually spend $450 a month on laundry soap, shampoo and other consumables when simply “changing your shopping habits?

Additionally, an “Eagle” would have to be a leader. More than likely, simply buying standing order is not sufficient. A leader should be consuming more cds as you cannot listen to the same cd every day. Factor in the books, monthly open meetings, average out the cost of major functions, gas money, and other business expenses. I would say it is safe to say that an “Eagle” would easily spend $300 a month (or more) on tools and other business related expenses (Tools = Books, cds, standing order, meetings, functions, voicemail workshops). If this Eagle has to fly to major functions, then that cost may be significantly higher on average.

So let’s summarize. In a “best case” scenario, an Eagle IBO would spend about $750 a month on products and tools. I understand that products are not a business expense, but if a single person is expected to consume/sell twice as much PV, I would say half of that expense is a business expense as it would be unlikely that a single person would ever use 150 or 200 PV worth of goods in a month. So lets use that case and say that an Eagle has $475 in expenses per month ($175 for PV and $300 for tools). The Eagle receives $400 a month in bonuses and retail income (best case scenario) with the IBO selling 50 PV worth of goods (which is not common).

In a best case scenario, an Eagle loses money! And what’s more, all of his or her downline, if they are also using tools, will also lose money! The only ones profiting from the Eagle program is Amway in the form of product sales, and the upline in the form of PV bonuses and the profit from the sale of tools!

Do you still want to be an Eagle?