Friday, November 21, 2014

Whose Amway Dreams Get Fulfilled?

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 regularly, 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 and/or how your business is progressing.

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 $150 to $250 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?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Do Amway IBOs Actually Sell Amway Products?

I've been debating with some IBOs about retail sales to customers. While many IBOs claim to have real customers and to teach retail, the reality seems to paint a different picture. Even an Amway corporate blogger at one time wrote a piece stating that sales to non IBOs were 3.4% of Amway (Quixtar) sales some years back. Apologists will say that many IBOs are actually customers who only buy stuff and do not build the business. While there might be some IBO customers, I highly doubt that the majority of IBOs are paying renewal fees just to buy soap and overpriced vitamins.

I know some groups have their schtick down. They will say they "teach" their IBOs to have sales to about 20 customers which gives them a monthly income and allows them to qualify for a PV bonus. It certainly sounds great, but I would bet that IBOs with 20 actual regular customers are about as common as a founder's diamond. In many groups, the IBOs are taught to "buy from themselves" primarily. Thus the income generated for the diamonds simply comes out of the pockets of their downline IBOs. Sadly, "serious" IBOs often wind up paying their upline (via tool sales) to learn that this sham is a good idea.

I can prove right here that IBOs are not focused on selling products. The focus is on selling the opportunity. How can I prove it? Very simple. Every single time I have seen or heard about the Amway business, there was talk about the economy, inflation, etc. The speaker talks about his easy lifestyle, and how he made it big by capitalizing on an opportunity, the Amway oportunity. Then the 6-4-2 plan or some similar variation is shown to the audience. It is shown as "simple", "reasonable" and "doable". The plan is about making money, typically six figures at the diamond level and a decent income at the platinum level. There is little mention about having to sell products, and little or no mention about the actual products that Amway carries. The hype in the meetings is to sell the opportunity. Sure, after the plan is over, a prospect might be given some samples and such, but the emphasis is still on the business opportunity. The products are usually a side note in the presentation.

While IBOs might talk a good game about selling products, the reality is that many active IBOs have very few actual customers. It is my informed opinion that even the few real customers are often sympathetic friends and family of the IBO, rather then people who are genuinely seeking Amway good and services. I wonder if anyone in Amway has ever "shown the plan" by starting out with product presentations and samples? When you really think about it, unless the business has real customers, all you are doing is exploiting those you sponsor for their personal consumption, which might benefit your business a bit, but won't benefit your downline unless they can dupe others into joining them.

So take a real look at your business. Are you actually selling goods to outside customers are are you engaged in a personal consumption game? My understanding is that an IBO does not qualify for a bonus without sales to actual customers. Are you legit or not?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Night Owl Meetings?

Based on my personal experience, and based on having read numerous acconts from other former IBOs, it's pretty clear that the higher uplines, absolve themselves of issues and problems by having others do their dirty work. While some leaders are bold enough to make dumb statements on stage, many uplines will have their "eagles" or platinums do their dirty work, which is to pass bad and often self serving advice to their downline. Advice that will help them (upline) to profit directly from the losses suffered by downline.

For example, a diamond may stand on stage and talk about the merits of getting out of debt. Now getting out of debt is a good thing and nobody should get caught up in credit card debt and other piles of debt. But so many times, I sat in meetings where the group was told they needed to be at the next funtion - no matter what. Do whatever it takes to get there, even if it meant selling personal belongings. Ironically, the solution to getting to the next major function did not involve selling Amway products. So many IBOs made sacrifices of time and money to get to the next function, but their business did not experience any growth in volume or downline. I saw many crossline IBOs attend meeting after meeting and function after function without any downline. They faithfully spent their time and money chasing a dream based on lies by the upline leaders. Our group was told that upline made zero profit on tools. While some groups now admit that profit is made on tools, there is still a lack of transparency about the tools profits and as far as I know, there are no formal written agreements with regards to the tool profits.

I also recall our platinums having platinum and above meetings while we were at major functions and it seemed that the platinums always had something to teach the group that was contrary to what we had just heard on stage and the platinum would tell us that he had the freshest information from the meeting. It's like the platinum was just a henchman for the diamonds and carried out their dirty deeds. Another example is how the diamonds taught vertical alignment where God is first, then your spouse, your kids, your job and in 5th place was your Amway business. But anytime an event such as a friend's wedding or an anniversary dinner or your kid's soccer game conflicted with an Amway event, the group was told "attend all meetings". All means all, is what our group was told. That is directly contrary to the concept of vertical alignment. In fact, the Amway IBOs became less useful to their communities and churches as they are constantly attending meetings and functions and unable to serve in other capacities. I also wondered whether the Amway business and tools consumption took away their abililty to tithe and give to the local charities. Our upline would tell us to go diamond and then send in $10,000checks as if that made it okay not to serve others and help the needy.

It is my informed opinion that this still goes on today, despite the claims of Amway appologists that my experience is twelve years old. There is ample evidence suggesting that very little has changed from 20 years ago. In fact, many of the leaders from my IBO days are still teaching unethical things to this day. Many Upline passes bad advice downline, but they do it in sneaky ways such as having their downline leaders pass the information on. This is also how Amway itself can skirt some of their issues, as IBOs are not Amway employees, they are "independent". But most people in North America now know the truth and hopefully this article shines some light on that truth.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Part Time Job Or Amway?

Many people pitch Amway as an easy, and somewhat shortcut to riches. It's all over the internet, it's what I saw as an IBO, and I have good reason to believe that many still pitch Amway in this manner. I believe that people want to believe that you can create wealth part time in 2-5 years. IBOs and prospects may be told "it's not get rich quick", but 2-5 years to quit your job and live off residual income sure sounds like the pitch of a get rich quick scam. It is what has contributed to Amway's current reputation.

A typical IBO (not counting those who do nothing), according to the "plan" will consume and possibly sell some goods on their way to 100 PV, which will earn them about a $10 bonus from Amway. There might be some profit from sales to customers, but there are also expenses involved in running a business. If an IBO is on the system, then their expenses might run from $100 or so to $500 a month, depending on level of commitment (brainwashing). In the end, a falwed system and generally non competitive pricing and products leads to most IBOs eventually quitting. The vast majority of IBOs on the system will wind up with a net loss, even with a tremendous amount of effort. Seems that effort has no relationship with success in Amway. Based on my experience, deception and lies seem to be a better way to succeed in Amway than by hard work.

But what if someone basically worked a part time job instead of Amway? If someone simply got a 20 hour a week job at $10 an hour (not that difficult), someone could earn about $800 a month gross income, or about

$9600 a year. In ten years, even with no raises in salary, that person would have earned close to $100,000 more income. That money, if invested into a diverse portfolio can be the nestegg that allow someone to retire early, or to retire more comfortably than most. And that salary is guaranteed if you work the hours.

In Amway, there are no assurances of anything, even if you work 40 hours a week. The only assurance if that you will help your upline earn more than yourself by moving products. If you are on the system, you are basically paying your upline (via tool puchases) for the priviledge of boosting your upline's volume. It is why uplines teach you to "never quit" and to be "core". These virtures help assure your upline of profits, but does little for the rank and file IBOs. I write this blog post just to stimulate thought amongst IBOs and prospects. There are better and easier options than the Amway opportunity. If you are reading this, you are looking at one potential alternative. It's your job to decide.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Amway Challenge?

I often hear stories and testimonies about how some people (usually newbies) have this incredible belief in Amway, their sponsors and their LOS, such as WWDB or Network 21. Being that many, possibly most IBOs are sponsored by a friend or family member, means that there is an inherent trust in the sponsor or upline. If that were not true, then we would likely see many more complaints about Amway and/or the uplines and lines of sponsorship. Also, what are the realistic challenges of sponsoring people by cold contact? I would think your chance would be remote at best.

But an important facet of being an IBO is to have a dream. Don't let "naysayers" steal your dream, is what many IBOs are told. But what is that dream? Is it a dream (a long term attainable goal) or a wish such as winning the powerball lottery? Many prospects and IBOs want to succeed. They are willing to work hard, and are very dedicated, I would say that these folks usually will end up failing, not for lack of effort, but for a flawed MLM/Amway system that cannot possibly reward more than a few. The famed 6-4-2, 6-4-3 or some other variation of the plan will illustrate that only 1 in 100 or so can be "platinum". And that's with nobody quitting. Factor in attrition and "do nothings" and it might be 1 in 200 or more who can reach platinum. Even if the whole world signed up for Amway, that fact doesn't change.

Do you really believe in Amway and your line of sponsorship such as WWDB or Network 21? If you truly believe in Amway and your mentors, I challenge you to do one of these things. If you can't or won't, then I question your level of commitment. I question your belief. I'm not here to steal your dream. I am just challenging you.

Take your 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 or 6-4-3 plan to a loan officer at a bank and show them the plan. (Hey, it will help you be CORE) Ask the loan officer for their opinion of the plan and see if you can get a business loan based on the Amway plan. If not that, try seeking the advice of a real millionaire (Someone who has a net worth of a million bucks) and see if they think the 6-4-2 or other Amway (version) plans can work and whether they think Amway is a good idea. Heck, try asking your church Pastor. My church Pastor said Amway had too many false hopes and promises to be considered a viable business option.

How strong is your belief in Amway? Strong enough to take my challenge? Or will you ignore this and go on fooling yourself?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Exploiting Your Family And Friends?

Many people see the Amway plan, and get unrealistic dreams of attaining incredible material wealth and retiring in a few years. I find it strange that nobody has been able to point out anyone who actually got in, worked a few years and then walked away from the business and is now enjoying buckets of cash rolling in while they spend their days on exotic beaches sipping mai tais. The more likely scenario will be debt, higher credit card bills, and boxes of unused cds and other various products.

So why would someone joining the business become annoying? It's because to the average person, it beomes clear that to achieve this, you need to find "six" people. Thus to find six people, you need to make contacts to show the plan. Cold contacts of people on the street would be unlikely, even for the boldest of people, so new IBOs start lookin at people they know. They start with people they are familiar with, or family and friends. They may also think their family and friends will want to get rich with them.

Sadly for most new and enthusiastic IBOs, they will find that they are shunned by family and friends. Over the years, IBOs have done too much damage to Amway's reputation and overcoming this challenge is too much for the rank and file IBOs. They will hear stories on failures and opinions that Amway is a pyramid and/or a scam. Of course, IBOs will have "canned" answers to respond to from their upline. One of the humorous ones is that Amway is praised by the BBB or the FTC and is the shining example of an MLM. To those familiar with this line of reasoning, it can become side splitting humorous.

At first, the family and friends may humor the new IBO, but relentless persistence can eventually turn ugly. This is where uplines will teach the new IBOs to avoid "negative" and to shun these family and friends. This is why some people charge the Amway leaders with being cult - like. It's at about this point where IBOs might realize that Amway products are costly and try to sell off some of them to reduce their own costs. Often times, sympathetic family and friends might make a token purchase to show support. but that can get old in a hurry also. Most IBOs will eventually quit and make amends with family and friends, but some lose friendships for good.

To information seekers and new IBOs, hopefully this message is food for thought......

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Real Amway Or The Fantasy Amway?

Many people are recruited into Amway with a lot of hype and glamor. The reality however, usually paints a vastly different picture. If you've gone to a big Amway meeting, you likely met in a hotel of conference room and heard a lot about some guy who are just getting by until he dsicovered Amway and suddenly made it big financially. Now that diamond wakes up at noon and does whatever he wants to when he wants to. And better yet, you can do it to if you will only sign up and follow their foolproof system. It looks and sounds good but what you are doing is becoming a commission only Amway sales person who takes on the risk and expense of moving those difficult to sell Amway products.

The products are hyped as the best, or of very high quality. Yet you don't see or hear much about Amway products unless you are an Amway IBO. You can likely search ebay or craigslist and find some Amway products at IBO cost or at times, below IBO cost. This is puzzling because IBOs often claim that these Amway products are 100% guaranteed money back, Despite those claims, we still hear of IBOs with a garage full of Amway stuff when the leave the business. Maybe that guarantee isn't as real as the claims that IBOs make? And one thing you don't often hear is that only the Amway stuff allegedly has a guarantee. I don't believe you can get your money back on cds or a function. I've never heard of anyone getting money back on a function.

I've also heard claims of people retiring from Amway to walk the beaches of the world while money rolls in by the barrel full. But Amway's been around for more than 50 years. Other than the owners of Amway, can anyone name even 5 people who actually built an Amway business and walked away to collect those residuals? By the way, if you actualy name someone, how wold you know they are retired on Amway residuals? I've not seen or heard of any diamonds who were forthcoming with their financials and we've even seen some big pins such as Britt and Dornan pass away while they were still working the business. You could argue that their "job" was an easy one, but having to be somewhere at a certain time goes against the claims of freedom that IBOs make.

The Amway opportunity is made to look glitzy and glamorous in recruitment meetings but the reality is that you are signng on to be a commission only sales person who will take on the risk and expense of advertising and peddling Amway products. Amway's own figures show that inly about .26% reach platinum. That's nearly 1 in 400. That is allegedly the level where IBOs actually start to make a net profit. If you like those kinds of odds, I suggest
you buy lottery tickets rather than runnning a business.