Monday, May 30, 2016

Why I Don't Do Amway?

I was an IBO back in the 1990s'. Back then I was younger and I got sucked into the hype that there might be a "shortcut" to riches and early retirement. When you're in your 20's or 30's, the idea of retiring in 5 years with enough money to enjoy life is very enticing. While I was a bit skeptical, I wanted to believe it and because my sponsor was a good friend, I ended up getting involved, believing that my friend would be able to guide me to the promised land. For a while, I appeaered successful, sponsoring people and growing my volume (PV). I became what the diamonds called a "mover and shaker". I got to ride to some meetings with the diamond and whatnot. What I didn't realize at the time was that was how the upline nurtured a potential future "platinum" or direct distributor at the time.

While it looked like I was successful and climbing the ladder of success, what I saw behind the scenes was making some money but losing it right back because of functions that required air travel (I'm in Hawaii) or because following upline advice, I was investing in books, and tapes (now cds) and doing everythin I could to "duplicate" my upline so I too, could be financially free.

At the time, our upline stood on stage and swore that nobody profied from tools. I thought that was odd because at big functions, we paid more than the cost of a rock concert for example, and I know that the rock stars were making good money, or they wouldn't hold concerts. And there's also the smaller functions and I also knew that rock stars made mooney selling (tapes at the time) cds. So I knew there was money involved but at the same time, our trusted diamonds said nobody profited and at the time I believed them. Eventually, I quit because at 4000 PV, I had no net profits as promised by upline. THy kept telling me not to quit, the money will be there. But they also started trying to control my life. For example, they wanted mt to ask permission to get married, or to buy a new car. These were factors in why I eventually quit, plus the lack of a net profit.

Shirtly after I quit, I came across a Newsweek article that completely exposed the fact that the diamonds had lied and thay they made HUGE profits on tools. Some making more from tools than Amway. And the tools were supposed to be the secret to Amway success, but they were the secret to the diamond's success. And why wouldnt it? The tools had a much larger profit margin than Amway products, and basically only the emeralds and higher were getting any real money from the tools. I eventually forgot about the article and life went on.

Then one day I was googling to see wha had happened to my upline diamond and I came across a forum called "Quixtar Blog" (now defenct) and the entire tools scam and diamond lies were exposed. After learning much and finally understnding the scam that was pulled on me, I started a blog. My blog was very successful, with hundreds of thousands of hits. That blog crashed when it was hacked and sabotaged, probably by an IBO, or possibly David Steadson, AKA IBOFightback.

Then in 2009, I started this blog. I made some safeguards to prevent hacking and I've been fighting the good fight ever since. I update this blog so unsuspecting prospects or information seekers can google and find information quickly. At least is they decide to join anyway, it's with full disclosure. Many people find what they need and make informed decisions about Amway. I consider it a public service since there aren't many resources out there anymore.

In my opinion, Amway is a bad idea because the company name is soiled with a bad reputation. Their products are generic in quality but carry a premium price, making it hard to impossble to sell at full retail price to make money. And to succeed, you must recruit a lot of downline, something that most people are not suited for. Most people have a better chance at winning the lottery than succeeding in Amway, which is sad because Amway isn't a game of chance, yet success rates are similar to games of random chance. That's why I don't do Amway.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Amway WWDB Family Reunion Function?

Very soon, many IBOs, particularly in WWDB, will be gearing up for a major function called "family reunion". In some cases, it's called "Summer Conference". I still recall attending this function as an IBO. It was held in the Rose Garden in Portland Oregon. The Rose garden seats between 15 to 20 thousand people. Although the area behind the stage is closed off, the court area is full of seats so it could possibly hold up to 20,000 IBOs or more. Amway apologists like to denounce the experience of critics but they conveniently overlook the fact that many critics sat in crowds in tens of thousands of IBOs. My sponsor, in the years before I joined, spoke of an FED function at the (then) Seattle Kingdome where there were about 50,000 IBOs in attendance.

For me, family reunion was the most expensive function I had attended. The ticket itself was $250 and being in Hawaii, a round trip airfare ticket was quite expensive as July is peak travel. We also had to dish out for hotels, rental cars and meals. I believe my total expenditure for this function was more than $1200 when it was said and done. Now I know that not all IBOs live in Hawaii but even if you live in California, you likely had to fly or drive some serious miles to get to this function. I'm not sure where the function is held now as my understanding is that there aren't nearly as many IBOs attending anymore.

The function was about hype and excitement. The speakers told tales of struggles that was overcome by perserverence and the never quit attitude. That you will make it one day if only you will sitck it out and never quit. Of course what goes on unnoticed by many is that in a crowd of 15 to 20 thousand IBOs, only a handful of diamonds can be supported by a group of that size. At the time, I didn't stop to do the math myself or I would have seen through the line that anyone can go diamond.

The Saturday evening portion of the function was about some diamonds flaunting their alleged wealth. We saw displays of jewelry, fabulous vacaations, mansions and sports cars. Of course, the diamonds never said they actually owned these goodies. Makes me wonder if some of them rented fancy cars to bring to the function as some of the diamonds probably could not afford it. After the function ended for the night, our upline expected the group to go without sleep trying to "associate" with the diamonds and other pins. We were told that their success would somehow transfer to us if we spent enough time with them.

Of course everyone went home all fired up but within a week or two, it was business as usual with no noticeable growth in anyone's group.

My question to IBOs or information seekers. Did you get what was sold with these functions? Did your PV go up in a sustainable manner? Did you start getting a flow of new downline? Was the money spent on this function ever made up by increased business? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, then what was the purpose of attending? Looking back, I'd have to say that in a business sense, the function was a waste of time and money, which is ironically what most people join the business for, but end up with less of when they get involved.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Amway "Millionaire" Mentality?

A recent comment left by an anonymous site visitor:

"I love Amway. I just don't understand why people have to be negative about it. I don't hurt or steal from anyone yet I make money. I'm not a millionaire as of yet but working towards that goal. It's called "millionaire mentality". Joecool you will never succeed with penny mentality."

Joecool's commenttary:

Most diamonds do not have a millionaire mentality. If you see how they spend money and how they flaunt excessive wealth, I see people who could win the powerball lottery and wind up broke. They might earn a nice income (even if it may come by lying and deceiving), but they spend it all, and possibly more by portraying the diamond lifestyle. In my opinion, the diamond lifestyle as portrayed in functions such as "dream night" are not sustainable. For this reason, we are now seeing evidence of this such as we saw a triple diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, diamonds losing homes to foreclosures. We are seeing diamonds selling their mansions. Sure, they might be downsizing or liquidating their assests, but if these homes have been paid in cash as they claim, why sell them in a bad real estate market? Why not wait a few years?

In the past, I have posted some articles showing the traits and characteristics of millionaires. Many of these articles cite saving, investing, and living below your means. Many wealthy people drive regular everyday cars and live in the suburbs. They don't commonly have porsches, and jaguars. And for the record, the average diamond income, as reported by Amway, isn't all that much when you factor in business expenses and taxes. So why do diamonds try to show off excessive wealth?

I believe diamonds show off excessive wealth because it is a way to attract recruits. Because the Amway opportunity has a high turnover rate, nobody can reasonably "walk away" from their business and have cash rolling in for long. Attrition would eat away your business in a matter of days or weeks. It is why I believe diamonds do not walk away from their businesses, because they can't afford to. The business requires constant attention or it will crumble faster than stale cookies.

Most IBOs are simply fooled into thinking they are developing into having a millionaire mentality. An honest question for IBOs. How do you even know if your upline diamond is a millionaire? Anyone, even a broke guy can wear a nice suit and show off pictures of mansions and sports cars. For that matter, how do you know if your upline diamond is currently qualified as a diamond? Amway doesn't release that information except for new pins. And as far as I know, diamonds don't disclose their business financials. I strongly suspect that the diamond lifestyle is commonly riddled with debt. How else can someone live the way they portray themselves in functions? Do the math and go backwards and you'll see a different picture than what the diamonds are painting.

In my opinion, diamond's displays of excessive wealth and luxury portrays something, but it's not the millionaire mentality.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Amway Plan - The 2-5 Year Hoax?

One of the things I heard, and is still promoted is the concept of a 2-5 year plan to go diamond, or to financial freedom. As a prospect, 2-5 years of hard work in your spare time sounds reasonable. Afterall, anyone can work an extra 12 hours a week for a couple of years with that kind of reward awaiting you at the end. The sad reality is that you are likely to suffer 2-5 years of financial losses without getting any closer to financial freedom. The vast majority of people won't even make a net profit at all.

When Amway morphed into Quixtar back in 1999, a very relevent question was how many diamonds were "quixtar only", meaning they signed up in 1999 when quixtar was implemented and then became diamonds in the advertised 2-5 years. As far as I know, there were very few (if any) new diamonds. The new diamonds that were named all seemingly came from other countries, not the US or Canada. Even now, my former LOS (WWDB) is touting "double eagle rubies" which is not a recognized achievement by Amway (as far as I know), and there is no assurance that achieving such a level makes an IBO profitable. In fact, I did an analysis of the eagle program and it basically ensures success for the people selling the tools as it's a program for measuring tools sales.

Even today, I do not see a steady stream of new diamonds emerging from Amway. If the 2-5 year plan actually worked, there would be new diamonds constantly emerging. Instead, my former LOS (WWDB), actually has fewer diamonds now than back in my IBO days. And of those diamonds who remain, some of them had homes foreclosed and it also appears that at least a few of them ran into some financial difficulties. Make me wonder what a diamond's finances actually look like. I suspect many of them live in debt, especially if they flaunt the "diamond lifestyle", which is probably not sustainable on diamond income as reported by Amway. Even a 6 figure income is not a first class and pay cash for everything lifestyle. That is a hoax. People who doubt me should ask to see their diamond's business financials and let me know what answer you receive.

So while it might be possible to achieve diamond in 2-5 years (some have done it), but tens of millions have tried. It is much more likely that you will win the lottery (provided you have a ticket) than it is likely that you will join Amway and go diamond. It is also unlikely that people in the US and Canada who join will go diamond in the advertised 2-5 years. The 2-5 year plan is not promoted by Amway, but by the LOS leaders. I believe it is a hoax and the numbers back up my claim. You are much more likely to be better off working part time for 2-5 years and saving and investing for your future. If not, you will end up with 2-5 years of losing money on functions and standing orders.

As many Amway leaders will state: Look at the fruit on the tree. In the US and Canada, the trees are bare.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Get Out Of Debt (GOOD)?

One of the things that many uplines will talk about with their downline is debt. Many IBOs and prospects join Amway, hoping that Amway will help them eliminate debt, by providing some extra income. What many IBOs find out though, is that they end up more deeply in debt, not because of Amway necessarily, but often because of the pressure to purchase tools and function tickets. So, people are attracted into Amway with the idea of wiping out debt, but more often, rack up even more debt because of unnecessary Amway business expenses.

Eliminating debt on the surface, is a good thing. However, I believe that many uplines only want IBOs to eliminate debt so they can free up discretionary monies that can be channeled into tool purchases, which uplines profit from. So while the advice seems sound, it still ends up as a self serving piece of advice. If you are an IBO or a prospect, is your upline advising you to eliminate debt and then turning around and telling you to attend "all" functions? Or that you should get out of debt, but it's okay to incur debt but only to "invest" in your Amway business?

As a WWDB IBO, I heard the mantra about getting rid of debt. It sounded good to me, but I was floored when the same upline told us it was okay to go deeper in hock, but only if it was to further our business, or in other words, to buy more standing orders or to attend functions. I could not understand why it was okay to create more debt, but only to "invest" in your business. If debt is bad, then functions and other tools should be cut as well, until the IBO can reasonably afford to participate in the system. In my opinion, IBOs should only be using profits from their business (if any) in order to purchase tools. If there is no net profit, then that IBO needs to decide whether or not the tools are worthy of an investment. Even if an IBO has some profits, the IBOs should determine whether to bank the profit or to channel them towards tool purchases. However, this is really a non issue in reality because hardly any IBOs are net profitable to begin with.

Too many IBOs blindly trust their upline and make initial and ongoing purchases of tools, and then continue to do so without seeing tangible results. I believe this is why IBOs are taught to trust and have faith. Or that success is right around the corner. It keeps an IBO going, even in the absence of results. Hopefully a post like this can bring awareness to IBOs and potential IBOs. You really need to watch your profits and losses. If you have a net loss, you need to determine if you even need tools and if you purchase any tools, you should analyze whether those tools results in increased sales or business. If not, then why would you make any more purchases? In fact, perhaps you should seek a refund for tools that do not result in more business profits.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Control Of Time And Money?

One of the big things that the speaker hit on when I heard the plan was time and money. He said because of the job, you may have money, but not enough time to do what you enjoy. He went onto say that if you have no job, you may have a lot of time, but you'll be broke and won't be able to do what you enjoy. He also said that controlling time and money is essentially financial freedom. This concept appeals to many and makes sense in the big picture of life. Afterall, who wouldn't want to retire early and have enough cash to travel the world and only do fun things? I certainly agreed with that concept. The only problem was that I initially thought I could achieve this through Amway.

The sad reality is that nearly ever single IBO who registers for the Amway opportunity and the tools system, will never realize this dream. An Amway recruiter may paint a nice picture of how simple the business is, and that you can simply buy products and get others to copy or duplicate you and before you know it, you will be in control of time and money, and live "happily ever after". At one time, I believed it myself. Many others also bought the lie. What's worse, the secret to achieving this was contained in standing orders and functions. Another lie.

The more likely case however, will be that the business, including the system of cd's and functions, will cause you to have less time and money. In general, the Amway (and partner store) products costs more than your local big box retailers, and the cost of the systems add up to at least several hundreds of dollars per month if you are "CORE". Thus ironically, what many seek more of, they end up with less of, because of the business and the related activities. The functions and other educational materials take up valuable time and resources from the IBO and rarely ever results in any kind of significant return on the investment. Most IBOs would be better off never getting involved. In fact, many IBOs would be better off writing a check to their upline for $100 a month and not participating at all.

Time and money, think about it. Are you getting more or less of it because of your involvement in Amway and the systems? Most IBOs ironically, end up with less time and money because of their involvement with Amway. What's worse is when IBOs get sucked into staying with the system for more than a year, possibly racking up thousands in losses not to mention the countless number of hours spent pursuing the business. And to top it off, I'm not even sure the diamonds have total control of time and money. And we'll never know because the diamonds will never reveal their financials, which is another reason to beware of Amway.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch And Amway Retirees

"Build it right and build it once" and collect residual income. Work the business 2-5 years and go diamond and be able to walk away from Amway while collecting residual income. Now what does that have to do with the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch? Well, Amway retireees who walked away from Amway while rolling in the big bucks are legendary and many people have heard about them but like the other legendary monsters, nobody has ever provided bonafide evidence of their existance. Sure, lost of people have heard about these things but in all my years, not a single shred of solid evidence.

I once had a debate with IBOFightback AKA Davi Steadson about these Amway retirees and he claimed there was a long tenured emerald who had a trust fund set up through Amway. So I called it an unsubstantiated claim unless he could provide details about this trust fund. Of course, he couldn't provide any evidence other than his word, which is not worth a cent in my book. Also, we don't know what kind of income is derived from this alleged trust fund. Afterall, it takes big bucks to fly first class to exotic beaches around the world to sip mai tais while walking them. And isn't that what the diamonds and other big pins advertise in functions? It's all about lifestyle and financial freedom right?

Well, in my opinion, these legendary Amway retirees do not exist. Why not? Because for one thing, an exotic lifestyle with mega luxuries cannot be had on 100K or 200K per year, which is what you would be lucky to have when you stop building Amway. Think about this, if about 50% of your downline quits each year, how can the residual income keep coing unless these IBOs are replaced? Also, a large portion of a diamond's income comes from tools and functions, but I would presume that you would no longer receive speaking fees if you're not speaking. Ad there are other examples of diamonds quitting and resigning from Amway. Now why would anyone quit or resign and leave residual income on the table? It's because there is no residual income. It's an urban myth.

So next time you see an IBO spouting off about Amway retirees and lifelong residual income, ask them to name 1 or 2 people who achieved it with some supoorting evidence. That's when the insults, excuses or dead silence will begin. Is it possible there's someone out there collecting some residual income? Well, mathematically it's possible but When you factor in attrition and keeping in mind that recently, 2 crown ambassadors died while still working Amway, you'd have to wonder where the truth lies. In my opinion, there is no true residual income. Because in Amway terms, that would be getting something for nothing, with IBOs claim doesn't exist. And these Amway retirees are as easy to find as a Sasquatch or the Loch Ness monster. Lots of people know about it, some claim to have seen them, but not a single shred of credible evidence.

Joecool out!