Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Amway's Broken Dreams?

One of the things Amway promoters use to entice prospects into joining is to get them to think about financial dreams and goals that they would like to accomplish. After all, who wouldn't want to be retired at age 35 and walking on the exotic beaches of the world? Or who wouldn't want to live a life of leisure and excitement with unlimited barrels of cash rolling in to finance all of the fun and frivolity? Of course most people get excited by this. Sports cars, mansions, jetskis, exclusive vacations are all the lure of what Amway promoters use to entice recruits to sign up.

Sadly, the things that people get excited by, or the things that people join for, often become less accessible because of people's involvement in Amway. Not necessarily due to Amway itself, but because of the leach organizations that attach themselves to the Amway business. These organization will promote their materials as the key to success in Amway, but in reality, these organizations reap handsome profits while basically bankrupting the downline IBOs. What is also sad is that the system does not deliver the success that is promoted. Less than one half of one percent even reach the platinum level, which is allegedly the level where you break even or make a small profit. According to stats issued by Amway, .26 reach platinum, or about 1 out of 400 IBOs. That's nothing to brag about is it?

During my tenure in the business, uplines taught us to buy all the materials. Books, standing order tapes/cds, functions, and other materials. In fact, in addition to standing order, upline wanted IBOs to purchase an additional 5-7 tapes or cds each week. Afterall, you should be listening to new material daily right? In fact, upline wanted people to "invest" or spend all of their income on these materials. In an open meeting setting, a diamond said that your family could skip a meal to get another tape/cd because the information was so valuable that you might hear the one thing that propels you to diamond. Almost as if buying a tape/cd was like some lottery ticket.

And sadly, some IBOs did go "all in". They bought tools like there was no tomorrow. In my crossline, there was a couple who went bankrupt and a couple whose home was foreclosed. Now was this financial difficulty all due to their involvement in Amway? I don't know, but certainly, buying hundreds of dollars of materials on a monthly basis can certainly contribute to someone's financial problems. And these IBOs did this on upline's advice. Thus upline advised this even when they likely knew that these IBOs were in financial difficulty. If they would tell you to starve your kids, then surely they will not be concerned about your other issues. I also sat in a function where a diamond taught about how long you can put off paying a mortgage before foreclosure would occur. Probably so people could go in hock to attend a major function.

It is a sad thing indeed when uplines will try to sell you dreams. What's worse is when they are actually selling you broken dreams.

Monday, February 8, 2016

No "Negative" In Amway?

One of the silly things many IBOs are taught is to avoid negative. I believe this is taught today by uplines and it was certainly a point of emphasis even in my days as an IBO. The upline diamond would say that the world of full of negatives and that we as people take in too much of these negatives. Therefore, the IBOs were told to avoid television, newspapers and other forms of communication with the outside world. The group was also told to avoid people who speak negatively about Amway. For this reason, many people have considered Amway groups such as WWDB or N21 as cultish or cult-like. (information deprevation or information control).

I can agree that you surely don't want to only take in negatives as it can wear you down eventually, but not seeing the news or reading about current events in the paper simply makes you apathetic and uninformed. For example, wouldn't you want and need to know if there was a deadly storm heading your way? I live in Hawaii and we occasionally have hurricanes. Avoiding news could be very detrimental to your family and home. If you lived in the midwest of the US, wouldn't you want and need to know if a tornado was headed your way? Do you avoid the doctor because his assessment of your health might not be "positive"? For these reasons, I believe that many Amwayers walk around wearing a mask with a false smile, trying to overly positive.

Another important thing that many IBOs cannot distinguish is the difference between negative and the truth. If your wife asks you if her new dress makes her look fat, the truth might be that the new dress indeed makes her appear fat. That answer may be uncomfortable for you to deliver, but the truth is the truth. The truth at times can be positive or negative but it is still the truth.

Most IBOs earn less than $100 a month. That is the truth. Most IBOs lose money if they participate in functions and standing orders and such. That is the truth. Most IBOs will never even sponsor a downline. That is the truth. Most IBOs, filled with motivation and dreams, will never see those dreams fulfilled. That is the truth. Many upline diamonds, who advise IBOs to purchase tools and attend functions, and fill the IBO's heads full of dreams, make significant incomes from the sale of tools and functions. That is also the truth. In a 1 year timespan, approximately 50% of IBOs will quit. That is the truth.

Is it negative to tell the truth? Or can IBOs not handle the truth?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Amway Island?

Imagine an a city or 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 ($25,0000 in expenses minus the $7500 in income generated from Amway) from their local economy each month. However, there is one resident IBO who is making a nice income urging everyone one. Let's evaluate the group.

The platinum IBO is making a nice income and will also 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 collectively, 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 closed up 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 more than likely, 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 I believe would happen if there was a city/island 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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Returning Amway Stuff?

When I was recruited into Amway, one of the catch phrases was that you are now a business owner. It sounds cool to be a business owner, but in reality, it appears that IBOs are simply salesmen for Amway who are afforded no guaranteed wage or any fringe benefits. In fact, many Amway salesmen do Amway a favor and go out recruiting other salesmen for Amway without any compensation. It makes sense though, because to attain levels of significance, you need to have downline. While it is possible (but nearly impossible) to reach platinum and even ruby without downline, any levels higher will require you to have downline.

So as an Amway salesman, you have no minimum sales requirement. That may seem like a good thing but many uplines will impose a defacto 100 PV requirement for "serious" IBOs. If you are planning to sponsor someone, your upline will likely tell you that your donwline will duplicate your efforts, therefore the 100 PV "requirement". 100 PV will cost about $300. While it is possible to sell some products, it would seem that most IBOs simply buy their own goods and do not sell to non IBOs. It's puzzling to me that so many IBOs argue about Amway's superior quality of products, yet so few former IBOs continue to use Amway products at all once they are not IBOs and even those that do, would rarely ever attain 100 PV. So much for that argument.

What many IBOs do not realize is that their upline diamonds are also salesmen. In addition to moving Amway volume, they will be selling you voicemail, standing orders, premiere club, functions, book of the month. All of these materials brings in a higher profit margin than Amway products. Thus it would only make sense that your upline salesmen would want to sell tools more than Amway products because it has more profit. Where this gets shady is when your upline tells you that they have your best interest at heart or that you virtually cannot succeed without these tools. Imagine your reaction if a vacuum cleaner salesman told you that he has your best interest at heart and that you cannot possibly clean your home without his vacuum. In an odd way, that is exactly what is happening when you purchase tools from upline. What's even worse is that the tools rarely ever work out for the IBOs who buy them. What if you bought a vacuum that didn't work? You would return it for a refund. What if the salesman said you can't return it because you used it?

I find it odd that IBOs accept this BS from upline. That you can only return unused tools. You should be able to return a product because it didn't work! Did that standing order actually help you to sponsor new people? Did you sell more products because you attended a function? Whether a tool is used or unused should not matter. You should be able to get a full refund if the tools didn't work. If not, IBOs who cannot return tools should complain to Amway and the better business bureau, and file formal complaints. Many IBOs simply quit and walk away, giving the tool sellers a break. If the tools don't work, you should return them on that basis and demand a refund. If I bought a product at Costco or WalMart and the product did not work or I was not satisfied, I can return it no questions asked. I challenge IBOs and former IBOs to do this with their products and tools.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Amway Reality?

I heard a great comment from someone 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 nearly all IBOs have no success and must 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, 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 opprtunity. 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!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Boiling An Amway Frog?

One of the stories my upline used to tell, and I believe is still told today is how to boil a frog. Basically, the idea is that you can't just drop a frog in hot water, they will react and jump out of the pot. You need to place them in cool water, and the little by little, raise the temperature. When the water gets warmer and warmer, the frog will slowly relax and their muscles will get so relaxed that eventually when you start to boil the water, the frog will basically be paralyzed and will cook. Of course this story isn't really true since a frog would likely have to be gutted and cleaned before cooking, but hey, I get the point.

Now uplines used this story to relate to a man in the working world. Where you get into a routine and you go to work, pay your bills, take your annual vacation, raise your kids, etc. Next thing you know you are close to age 60, close to retirement and you realize you don't have enough money. The sad result they say, is senior citizens working at WalMart, working jobs because they have to. While I suppose some senior citizens might be financially strapped for money, there are many many people I know of who live quite comfortably. Their homes are paid off, they take trips every other month and do not have any apparent financial problems. I know a few senior citizens who do volunteer work to keep busy, and some who do part time work at something they enjoy. For example, I know of a guy who works 2 days a week at a local golf course and in addition to a pay check, he receives free golf on weekdays. That's a great benefit!

So while uplines relate having a job to boiling a frog, what goes unnoticed is that IBOs are the frogs being boiled. Many newbies might be told that meetings are optional, and tools are optional. Your sponsor or upline might even loan you cds. They may even give you some of theirs. If you show signs of interest, then the temperature of your water is being raised. You might be told that a serious business owner buys their own cds, or that a serious business owner attends "all" functions and meetings. At first, it will seem like you are simply doing what is necessary in order to succeed. It's all an investment into the 2-5 year plan and you're likely to be assured of success. Your upline might even edify you if you are sold out to the system, and/or if you bring in some downline. Then like the analogy of the frogs, your water is now boiling. You have reached the crossroads.

You have already put in some serious time and effort. You more than likely have not made any serious money, and certainly not even enough to cover your standing order, voicemail, functions and other expenses. If you quit, you will have wasted all that time and effort and expense, but at the same time, if you continue, you are likely to be throwing more money in the pit. It is at this point that most serious business people end up quitting, thus cutting their losses. For some of the hard core, they press on. A rare few may end up going platinum or higher, but the vast majority will end up losing possibly tens of thousands of dollars, not including the money spent on purchases. Your upline has successfully put you in a pot, got you to relax and then boiled you alive.

My former sponsor and some of his downline are still active. From 1994 or so until now, fully CORE, dedicated to the system. My former sponsor reached the platinum level back in 1997 or so. He has never been Q12. He is a physician and because of functions, he probably closes his practice an extra day each month. It is my guess that he has lost more than $500,000 in lost wages, and expenditures for cds, functions, and other training materials. Last I heard my former sponsor was at the 2500 level or so and he had sponsored over 100 downline during his time.

How do you boil a frog? You sponsor them and sell them tools.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Can Be Better Than Amway?

One of the silly comments I often receive on this site 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 $25 a month, there are many things better than Amway. Working part time for a wage would be more beneficial 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 income than an Amway business. Even staying home and watching TV is better for most people instead of building Amway because watching TV has no business expenses.

What makes the Amway business financially dangerous to many, is not necessarily 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 more than 10 years ago are still there and there are very few 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 I'm certain they would mention it if it were an actual benefit of being an IBO.

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. I have been running this blog (and another blog previously) going back to 2006. Many people have commented and came and gone, some making big claims that they will go diamond and come back to rub my face in it. Not a single IBO has returned with any evidence of achievements from Amway in all these years.

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.