Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Amway Is An Upline Fundraiser?

A recent comment left on my blog inspired this article. The comment was that basically, IBO's are "donating" to their upline on a monthly basis. You start by donating upline in the form of monthly purchases. Your 100 PV is roughly equal to $300 and most of the bonus generated by that volume goes somewhere upline. This will go on forever until you either quit and stop buying, or unless you somehow manage to sponsor enough downline who will then "donate" to you.

If you attend those open meetings, you are again donating to the upline's coffers. As an IBO, I was strongly encouraged to attend these meetings even if I had no new prospects to bring. And of course, there was an entrance fee at the door. I don't think this was a major profit center but still, a room with perhaps 1000 attendees = $6000 collected and a room with chairs and a speaker doesn't cost that much for an evening.

If you purchase standing orders, you are not donating to your upline on a weekly basis. If the upline can reproduce cds for 50 cents a piece, this is a very healthy profit center. Also, most upline recommend that you listen to a cd each day, thus you need to purchase some additional cds in addition to the standing orders.

Voicemail and book of the month are also monthly donations. Who in the world needs voicemail these days? But uplines still recommend it as they make some serious coin from it. The book of the month might have some value but the uplines are still making profits from these. Think about it, these diamonds claim they want your success but they make you pay for just about any help you receive, regardless of whether that help is beneficial to your business or not.

The regional and major functions are like the monthly fund raisers for the diamonds. Major functions can have thousand or tens of thousands of people in attendance. If they pay $100 (or more) each, it is a serious money maker for upline. A convention center or arena has costs in running events but those costs (while they vary) might be $10 to $25 per person. The rest is pure profit for the diamonds.

All in all, the profit margin is much higher for these tools and functions than from Amway products. Thus it's perfectly reasonable to think that the diamonds can make much more money from selling tools than from Amway itself. For groups where current qualifications are not required for a cut of the tools, these diamonds might make nearly all of their money from tools and functions. It's more like a diamond fundraiser than a function to help IBO's. Afterall, who gets the biggest financial benefit from the tools and functions? The diamonds or the IBO's?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Living On Amway Island?

Imagine an island with 100 adult residents. One guy gets sponsored into Amway from a cousin in another area off the island. Well, the island residents are a pretty tight knit group so the one IBO immediately sponsors his six best friends and eventually, all 100 island residents. They are all dead serious about the Amway business so they all work hard, but because everyone is an IBO, they can only self consume 100 PV each. Thus the 100 IBOs move 10,000 PV each month. The group as a whole generates about 30,000 BV and the group receives $7500 in bonus money from Amway. Of course, the first IBO sponsored is now a platinum receiving most of that money with the rest of the group receiving smaller bonuses.

Being serious IBOs, they all get standing order, books of the month, and travel by air to functions. They pay on average about $250 a month for their Amway training/tools. Thus the group pays about $25,000 a month for the training that will one day allow them to retire and quit their jobs. The island community is losing a net of $17,500 from their local economy each month. However, there is one resident IBO who is making a nice income urging everyone on. Let's evaluate the group.

The platinum IBO is making a nice income and will receive a $20,000 bonus at the end of the year. His 6 downline friends make just about enough to break even (approximately 1000 PV) or lose a little. The rest of the residents have lost over $200,000 ($17,500 a month). The guy who owned the local grocery store went out of business and all the entertainment related business went down because the residents had no disposable income to spend money on anything except for Amway related activities. Eventually they all quit, including the platinum because once his group quit, he too, began to lose money.

Now Amway defenders will cry that this could never happen, but it shows that even if you could get everyone in the US to join, this scenario is what would happen. I believe the Amway name and reputation is for the most part, saturated in the US. Nearly everyone will have heard the Amway name and/or will know someone who had a brush with Amway. Because of the tool peddlers such as WWDB, BWW, or Network 21, there are likely millions of people in the US who ended up with a bad experience, perhaps tricked into attending a meeting, or lied to about something related to Amway.

While this story is fictional, it is what would happen if there was a city where everyone joined the business. It is what happens today. Few people benefit at the expense of their downline. And as usual, it is the tools that drive people to lose money - on Amway island, or anywhere else.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Amway Residual Income?

One of the things that many IBOs mistakenly believe is that they will build their Amway business and then they will have the ability to "walk away" from the business while the income continues to flow in. I believe if there was such an incredible benefit such as lifelong residual income that could be achieved from Amway, I'm fairly certain that Amway would advertise this as a benefit of being an IBO. But Amway does not. It is very likely that your LOS such as WWDB or one of the others will promote this benefit while telling you that your bext chance to achieve it is by subscribing to their "system".

One thing that goes unnnoticed all too often is that there seems to be nobody who is actually retired and living off the efforts of having built a big Amway business once upon a time. Seems that even the crown ambassadors still have busy lifestyles running from function to function and participating in other business related activities. While many of these leaders may claim they love their downlines or some other bunk, it is my belief that these leaders keep working their Amway businesses for one reason only. That is they need to keep working in order to keep the income flowing in.

The diamond lifestyle that is often portrayed may seem like a great goal or dream to achieve, but the fact of the matter is that a "diamond lifestyle" cannot be sustained on diamond income. The average diamond, according to Amway, earns about $150,000 a year. While that may seem like a great amount of income, it's not nearly enough to sustain the kind of lifestyle portrayed by diamonds. Even if that income is supplemented by income from the sale of tools, you can't fly your family around the country first class to do all kinds of functions and still end up with much leftover to own fancy homes and cars.

If I deposited $1000 in the bank and never touch the money, the bank would pay me a certain amount of interest each year, guaranteed. That is residual income. In Amway, you can basically earn income in two ways. You can sell products for a profit, but there are problems with this. First off, Amway products in general are more expensive than local retailers. It is why you hear so many justifications about quality and concentration, because you are hard pressed to argue cost. Secondly, you are severely restricted from advertising, thus selling can be difficult. The other way to generate more income is to build a downline in hopes that the downline will help you to leverage your volume. But then your downline will have the same problem that you had in moving products. That being said, even if you achieve some level such as emerald or diamond, your business will immediately begin to fall apart once you stop working because attrition will take its toll. It is why there are hoards of "former" platinums. If platinums are not sustainable, then neither is any other level.

There are many many instances of diamonds quitting, resigning, or falling out of qualification. People come and go in this business every day. Do you really think you can bank on retirement and residual income under these circumstances? If you believe that, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What Fruit Is On Your Upline's Tree?

I had a good chuckle recently when some Amway apologists spoke about looking at the "fruit on the tree". One commentator said his parents were broke and he looked to his diamond since the diamond apparently had fruit on the tree. I thought about this concept and I agree, that perhaps we should look at fruit on the tree.

IBOs and Amway prospects, please ask your upline platinum or diamond to show you the fruit on their tree. Ask them to see their (business) financial statements. Or ask to see their schedule C or 1099 form from Amway to verify their Amway earnings. This is not a personal question, but a standard business question. This is actually a common practice in real business. When a friend of mine sold his business a few years back, he made three year's worth of income tax returns to show prospective buyers. He showed his personal and business taxes. It paints a real picture of your financials.

As far as I know, not one single bigger pin has ever shown their business financials voluntarily. In fact, if it made certain bigger pins look good, why wouldn't they want to "show their fruit". They certainly don't mind showing off diamond rings, fancy clothes, sports cars and the like. What many IBOs don't understand is that fancy cars and other toys is no evidence of fruit on the tree. Some diamonds were forced to show their financials due to financial problems. A triple diamond went bankrupt (chapter 7) and his finances were revealed. He made half a million dollars in a year from Amway. A great income but let's face it. You're not buying mansions and jets in cash with that kind of income. And his financial acumen is in question if he had to file chapter 7. (Never mind the lack of integrity in filing chapter 7)

It has been discussed that some diamonds may rent cars or fancy homes and try to imply that they own these items. Some diamonds, possibly many diamonds in the past have lied or embellished the truth about paying for everything in cash, including their homes and cars. They also at times, have given the audience the impression that these luxuries are all purchased with Amway income, and we know that many diamonds have probably had supplemental income from the systems, or other business ventures outside of Amway. The most common venture is getting paid for selling cds, books, voicemail, and seminar tickets. It's a lucrative business to sell people training, regardless of whether the training helps or not.

We also know that some diamonds are in debt, but simply try to portray an excessive lifestyle. (See Ruth Carter's Book: Amway Motivational Organizations, Behind the Smoke and Mirrors). Some diamonds may have a substantial income, but it doesn't mean they are financially free and able to live a jetset lifestyle that many portray. It is an illusion, possibly to be able to attract new prospects into the business.

So yes, let us actually see the fruit on the tree. What fruit? Bankruptcies and home foreclosures are not the kinds of fruit I want to consume.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Amway Leader's Accountability?

Part of what Joecool perceives as the problem with the Amway opportunity is the utter lack of accountability of some upline leaders. They may tell you to trust them, to submit to them and simply copy or duplicate what they have done, and they imply that you will get the same results. Possibly millions of downlines over the years have put in blood sweat and tears into the business only to suffer massive losses following the system. Upline will take credit for meager success, but place the blame on the downline when success is not there. Upline will claim that they either did not try hard enough, were not teachable enough, or they didn't put in enough time and effort. Despite a shockingly low success rate of system IBOs, nobody seems to fault the system as being flawed. And nobody seems to question whether upline is at fault. I believe it's obvious that the system and the upline advice is severely flawed.

In my observations, I would say that many financial systems are similar. Whether it be BWW, N21, WWDB, real estate gurus or other systems, the success rate is extremely low. Many systems that advertise on television will have a disclaimer that a success testimony is a rare or unique experience. I believe it is similar to the systems in Amway. Dedication or continued spending on the system is not the problem. The problem is often the system itself. It can work for some exceptional people. These people were likely to succeed in other venues anyway. The problem is that is does not work for the majority of people. People who succeed in Amway likely succeed in spite of the system and not because of it.

The bigger problem, is that for many many years, some uplines have lived high on the hog off of the dedicated tool purchases of their downline. All the while, quesitonable or bad advice was given to the faithful downline. Advice such as quitting a job to attend a function, skipping financial obligations such as the rent or electric bills to buy more tools. One upline even said your family can skip a meal because the standing order may contain the one thing you needed to hear to make your business grow. I have personally seen couples lose their homes and go bankrupt because they followed upline advice. Upline to "has their best interest at heart". Granted, the couple has some culpability in these decisions, but uplines who give this advice seem to get a pass.

Where is the accountability? Some of these uplines who give and gave bad advice, are still active today, and some are still giving bad advice to their downlines. Advice that profits upline and drains downline. Even with valid complaints, it appears that many uplines avoid any accountability. For some, perhaps there is poetic justice, such as diamonds having their homes foreclosed. But as many uplines have nobody to hold them accountable, do you really want to do business with these folks? Would you invest your retirement money with a broker who could not be held accountable? Would you have your car repaired by a shop whose mechanics could not be held accountable? I believe the answer is not to these questions, yet many people are asked to trust and follow the advice of an upline who is not held accountable for their advice.

The system is credited for the few successes that are visible, but the individual is held accountable for any shortcomings or failures. IBOs, I encourage you to hold your upline leaders accountable for the advice they give you. If they won't answer tough questions or take responsibility, then one should wonder why the upline should be given your trust.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Amway IBOs Lie?

Just abut everyone has heard some Amway horror stories. Stories about being tricked into a meeting or being deceived. The Amway name omitted when presented with the opportunity. Outright lies at times. Usually these things happen when IBOs are on the rerruiting trail. They are so desperate to find downline that they will do anything to get a prospect, not thinking that deception will almost ensure that nobody wants to do business with you. There are countless stories of someone being tricked into an Amway meeting. My first brush with Amway was just that. I was invited to a "beer bust" in college, only to find out that I was at an Amway meeting.

But why do they do it? I beieve because uplines still teach it, They teach fake it till you make it. Claims of untold wealth, residual income, easy life. Think of this. Has a single diamond ever disclosed their actual income so people can see if their claims support the lifestyles they portray? In the past, some diamonds due to court proceedings, had to disclose their earnings. While nice incomes, it was nowhere near enough to support the "cash" diamond lifestyle that the big pins show off. The cash lifestyle that the diamonds often brag about is a myth. If you do the math, you can easily discern this.

Many use $100 or $200K as the pinnacle of success, but many do not realize that after taxes and business expenses, that doesn't leave enough for more than a middle class lifestyle. I suspect many diamonds are in debt trying to show off a lifestyle to recruit hopeful downlines, I certainly don't believe that diamonds pay cash for everything as many of them claim. I also believe that many diamonds actually live in debt trying to portray a lifestyle that they can't afford. Many in the US live in debt. Why would diamonds be the exception?

So why to IBOs llie? I believe it's because they have to. The truth would not be enough to attract recruits into Amway. The average IBO makes pennies and those on the tool system lose money. The products are not competitively priced and so even the products must be boosted up at times with false claims (i.e. perfect water). I beieve IBO's lie about Amway - because they have to.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Amway and WWDB Years Later?

When I was a young IBO, I saw the 6-4-2 plan and thought it was realistic to go direct and to find six (6) downlines who could do the same thing. I didn't know the realistic chances of doing this, but the presentation made sense so I went with it. I basically built my group on excitement and it seemed like the system could work. Sadly, as I climbed the ranks, my bottom line did not change. I did not "net" $200 at the 1000 PV level, and I did not "net" $1000 a month at 4000 PV as my upline taught. I had the parameters they taught, but the reality was my leaders taught everyone to pump what little profits we earned into buying more tools.

My leaders also taught people to get out of debt, which was good advice on the surface, but at the same time, any disposable income left over was to be channeled into tools, and for those who did not escape debt, they were told it was okay to go deeper in debt, but only if it was to "invest" in their businesses by purchasing more tools. Thus it certainly appears that upline's advice was purely self serving and had nothing to do with an IBO's individual success.

I was in WWDB and they (upline) said that WWDB was breaking the most new diamonds and that WWDB diamonds were the most profitable (although the claims were never proven). So here it is many years later, where are all these new diamonds? Aside from from foreign diamonds, there are (I believe) less than a handful of new diamonds from WWDB in the US from the time I left the business. Now I may be wrong, but even if it was a few more than a handful of new diamonds, that is a miserable success rate given the tens or hundreds of thousands of IBOs churning thru the system and the of amount of cash spent by downline on tools and the claims made my upline about the tools.

We have also seen some WWDB diamonds end up in home foreclosures. Where is the integrity and financial acumen these leaders boasted about? Where is the success and long term financial security available to everyone that was touted? I believe more diamonds and emeralds fell out of qualification than new pins emerged. The business was promoted as one that would stand the test of time. Sadly, I believe WWDB and the Amway opportunity as promoted by WWDB has been a miserable failure. There is little success to speak of, just he same old tired diamonds showing off a lifestyle that some of them apparently can no longer afford. Where is the success?

It is many years later and we are still waiting.......