Tuesday, October 16, 2018

There's No PV For Watching TV?

Often times, upline would give you advice, such as "there's no PV for watching TV". It makes sense when you hear it but when you critically analyze the advice carefully, you can easily see that it's BS. The idea was that "broke people" with no direction in life waste their lives away watching TV and doing other activities that do not affect their financial futures while Amway IBOs are out trying to better themselves. On the surface, this sounds like completely sound advice and it makes perfect sense if you're an IBO. Why spend time on your couch when you could be out trying to build your Amway business? Right? Broke people watch TV after all.

But wait a secon, let's turn this around. There's no PV in attending a function. There's not PV in reading some self help book or a Kiyosaki book. There's no PV in subscribing to standing orders or to communiKATE. There's no PV for attending any meetings and there's no PV most of the CORE steps. Technically, IBOs would be better served by concentrating on personal use and by actually selling products tto customers. Only by increasing your PV does your volume get larger. Now sponsoring also has the possibility of increasing volume but most IBOs never sponsor a single downline, ever. So if you follow upline ad vice not to do things that don't get you PV, remind them that those activities include Amway related activities.

To compound the problem, the Amway activities such as standing orders and functions cost money and takes away resources from the IBO into products and activities that the upline profits from. Therefore, the upline is dishing out advice that is self serving: "attend all functions and listen to audios every day". When you really think about it, what direct benefit was there for your business by doing the Amway related activities? Unless you move more volume, your activities are for nothing. It doesn't increase your business and your PV/volume. All you are doing is making your upline wealthy with loyal purchases of tools and functions. That is the Amway business. IBOs think they will be getting rich from Amway while the upline diamonds get rich by selling tools to their downline. To coin a phrase, "you live with the classes when you sell to the masses". That's what the diamonds are doing. Capitalizing on a captive audience whose loyal purchases makes nice profits.

This week, Joecool will not be posting anymore blog posts. I'm flying to the mainland to see an NFL game. I'm accomplishing things that I wanted to do, but now I have the time and resources to do, from saving and investing. Without Amway, I might add. It's been a great life, sans Amway. :)

Upline Profits?

One of the things that many IBOs do not understand is where the upline profits actually come from. They think they will obtain passive residual income but most do not understand how it works or where the money comes from. What most people see instead, is a photocopy of an upline's check, or they may see upline driving a nice car or something like that. They do not understand how the business works and the fact that there are two businesses at work. The Amway opportunity and the tools business. Frankly, most IBOs would be much better off giving their upline a check for $50 each month and never getting involved in the Amway opportunity.

Upline earns some income from the movement of products. Amway returns about 30+% of their gross in the form of bonuses. Most (active business building) IBOs earn 3% while uplines split up the remaining 27+% of the bonus. Not such a great deal when you think about it. Also, most IBOs overspend on Amway products. They are not simply replacing what they normally buy. If they did, then there would be tons of former IBOs continuing to move 100 PV or more. Instead, when an IBO quits, they either buy nothing from Amway anymore, or they may use a few products here and there. The opportunity and the way it is promoted simply creates an artificial need for Amway products. If the products were so great, why then after 50 years of business, that IBOs sell few of their goods to non IBOs, making IBOs the primary and possibly the only consumer of Amway products?

Then you have the tools business where IBOs don't even get a measly 3% of the profits. Uplines keep all of the tool profits. While this may seem acceptable on the surface, keep in mind that the tools do not work. There is no unbiased evidence that I know of that suggests that the tools create a natural progression of IBOs. I cannot name more than a few new diamonds in the US since I left the business in 1997 or 1998. And even if there were some new diamonds, I believe there were even more who quit or left Amway for other reasons. One might wonder why a diamond would quit in the first place if there really was residual passive income involved.

So where does upline profits come from? Simple, it comes directly out of the pockets of downline. If IBOs actually sold products, then some profits would come from sales and customers. Instead, most Amway sales are simply made from upline to downline. And virtually ALL sales in the tools business comes from upline to downline. Thus many IBOs spend $500 to $600 a month on products and get back $10 if they reach 100 PV. Then you factor in the $150 to $250 monthly that IBOs typically spend on tools. Suddenly that cheap or no risk opportunity doesn't sound so cheap. And try working it for several years and IBOs can easily rack up tens of thousands of dollars of expenses.

That where upline profits come from folks. Do the math, most IBOs truly would be better off giving upline a check for $50 a month and doing nothing else.

Monday, October 15, 2018

What's Great About Amway?

Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for upline success. Amway's admission that sales to non IBOs are low, confirms this. Thus certain upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunities have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal. Amway is perfectly legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business building IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competitively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago. Diamonds losing homes to foreclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It os quite possible that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Bad Amway Upline?

A recent comment left on this blog stated that perhaps I had a bad upline, which may have led to my bad experience in Amway. While this may be true, I have to ask how anyone can possibly know who might be a good or a bad upline? As far as I know, all of the Lines Of Sponsorship such as WWDB or BWW or Network21 sell tools which consists of books, cds/audios, functions, meetings and voicemail. They all earn profits from the sale of these materials, thus they all promote these materials. I have heard that many uplines make more from selling tools than they do from Amway.

It makes perfect sense that some upline would make more money on tools than from Amway because the tools have a larger profit margin than Amway products and because to promote these tools, the uplines must travel from city to city to run functions, thus taking time away from running their Amway businesses. And while they may say verbally that tools are an optional expense, many groups promote them as a defacto requirement. For example, I heard that tools were optional but so was success. Or that nobody ever succeeded without tools but I could be the first to try. My sponsor also told me that Greg Duncan was a multi millionaire and he thought that tools were vital but if I thought I knew better, I could try it on my own. What is a new IBO to think? It sure sounds like only a fool would try to build the business without tools.

What's also amusing in some ways, is to debate with Amway supporters or defenders who tell me that I simply had a bad upline, and then to find out that they have the same upline that I had! It amazes me because I was in WWDB and basically, the same leaders are on stage today. The same leaders who were on stage when I was an IBO. These leaders at one time told bold lies, such as nobody made a cent of profit on tools, or that WWDB was a non profit organization. For some reason, IBOs don't seem concerned that upline leaders told these lies. They also mistakenly believe that everything upline tells them now is the truth.

IBOs even deny things that are of public record such as Greg Duncan's chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, or Brad Wolgamott's divorce. It seems that uplines just revise history and downlines believe it and do not ask questions or hold upline leaders accountable for their actions. I believe that these leaders should be held accountable and to a higher standard because they have profited handsomely over the years from the sale of tools. But another concern is the utter lack of success from the proven system. Where are the new diamonds? I cannot even think of more than a handful of new WWDB (My former LOS) diamonds from the US since I left the business in 1998 or so. And it might be noted that some diamonds have left since my time in the business.

So I ask the question again. How would an IBO or a prospect know what a bad upline is? Most find out when they finally see the light or when they notice the losses mounting month after month. I hope this blog helps information seekers to see the light.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What Is Your Amway Business Worth?

Many many people see the Amway plan, sign up in the hopes that Amway income will help them fulfill their dreams and that they will walk away from their jobs and collect lifelong residual income while walking the beaches of the world while living in the lap of luxury. Sadly, most IBOs will never make a profit or even sponsor a single downline. These IBOs may continue in the business for a while but will eventually quit when they see the writing on the wall. Unfortunately, many IBOs suffer a financial loss before they realize what's happening and walk away. Most people don't complain or seek refunds. They just quit and leave, a life lesson learned.

But wait, you're an "independent business owner". So instead of quitting, why not sell your Amway business? I wonder if any IBOs actually think about what their business is worth. I mean a diamond could either walk away and collect income, or sell their business and live happily ever after right? Here's some food for thought. Why are there any instances of diamonds quitting or resigning from Amway? Why would they just quit when they could either walk away and collect an income "forever" or sell the business? Maybe there is no residual income. After all, when a significant number of IBOs never even last in the business for a year, it's hard to keep that volume moving month after month.

I believe diamonds quit and resign because their business is worth very little or nothing. And most Amway businesses do not even generate a net profit. For IBOs who are seriously pondering on this very important message, try looking up this topic in Amway's rules. There are very complicated steps to be taken when selling your Amway business as each person upline must be offered ownership (To the best of my understanding). This process can go on for a long time and the attrition of your business could render it worthless before you can find a buyer, if you have a buyer at all. Also, if you quit, the downline in your group would be surrendered to the immediate upline anyway. So why would your upline want to buy your business? They can just tale it over if and when you leave, without compensating you.

Also, as an Amway business owner, what do you own? You don't own your downline, although their volume runs through your business, you have no assurance that the downline will continue in the business and not just quit. You don't have staffing and you probably don't have equipment or a rental property or any real business assets. You may or may not have some inventory but you are not required to hold any.

So IBOs, I ask you. What is your business worth? What is the value of your business? The value is likely ZERO.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Amway Numbers?

One of the things Amway IBOs are taught is to ignore facts, or to ignore numbers. I believe this is because the numbers are not pretty when you take a business like approach to the math behind the Amway business, for most IBOs. It is why upline teaching often "evolves" into things such as Amway saves marriages, or Amway makes you a nicer person, or that Amway is not about money, it is about friendships. That is a load of garbage. Business is about making a profit. If you hear some of these lines from your upline, it should be a red flag. Upline may also feed you other deceptive lines such as an IBO being successful because they showed up at a function, or because they just signed up for standing order. These are all just false lines to encourage an IBO who is not making money.

When you take a good look at the Amway presentation, the majority of IBOs are at the 100 PV level. At that level, they are spending about $300 monthly to reach 100 PV and for their efforts, they receive approximately a $10 check from Amway. Most IBOs will be encouraged to participate in some kind of system, often consisting of voicemail, websites, cds/audios, books, seminars and other meetings. MOST IBOs will not recoup enough cash to cover any of these expenses, let alone all of them. At a glance, the system expenses may appear nominal such as $6 or $7 for a cd/audio, (WWDB cd/audios cost less if you pay the $50 monthly membership fee, which is basically pre-paying for for cds/audios) $6 or $7 for an open meeting, $100 to $150 for a major function, $12 for a book. It is how upline gets you involved, and then after a while, an IBO starts to notice the negative cash flow and then a tough decision needs to be made. Either quit and cut the losses, or press on hoping that the system will eventually deliver on its promises.

What most IBOs don't notice, is that less than one half of one percent ever reach platinum. A fraction of one percent! And in many cases, platinums might break even or even suffer losses! So why would IBOs want to work so hard to reach platinum? They have less than a 1% chance of reaching that level. They have a tiny chance of maintaining that level, and they are still unlikely to earn any significant income at that level. A stody done by an attorney general in Wisconsin (Bruce Craig) revealed that platinum level IBOs averaged a net loss of about $900 annually. While Amway defenders will decry that the study is a bit dated, I will say this: The basics of the Amway business has not changed since that study was done, AND there are actually more system expenses today than there were back then, thus platinums may actually be losing more money annually than before. While not all platinums will lose money, I believe hard core dedicated platinums would stand to lose money.

As an IBO, I hope you are tracking your expenses versus your income. Most IBOs will see a negative cash flow month after month. Even though the Amway business is often promoted as low or no overhead, the system expenses (overhead) eventually begin to add up. Beware and please follow the numbers.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Trusting Upline?

One of the things my upline told me as an IBO was that we didn't have to "reinvent the wheel". We just need to copy what they have done. We needed to simplt "trust them" as they have our best interests at heart and they would never lead us astray. Furthermore, we should not venture out and do things without checking upline because out downline needed to do what we do, thus anything an IBO does has to be "duplicatable". Looking back I find that ironic as many a diamond would speak about buying a home in cash, as if that was duplicatable.

My upline flat out lied about making money from the sale of motivational tools such as standing orders and functions. In fact they even lied about WWDB and claimed it was a non profit organization. Since then, the upline's lies were exposed, but to this day, uplines are less than honest about the profits they earn from tools. Sure, now that the internet has exposed this side of the Amway business, it cannot be covered up so upline will admit they earn money from the tools but how a rank and file IBO can actually qualify to share in the profits, and how much they can earn still appears to be a mystery. Some Amway advocates will make up obscure reasons why this topic cannot be spoken about, but I believe selling tools without any degree of transparency becomes a huge conflict of interest as some uplines make more money from tools than from Amway, while swearing that Amway is the key to financial success.

Another thing my upline said was that as IBOs, we are helping people and saving the world. I thought that was odd as we were always in meetings and we never did a thing for anyone unless they were interested in becoming an IBO. We were also told that it was important as IBOs to "submit to upline". If you are being taught this, then you have to wonder why you are called an "independent" business owner. Shouldn't final decisions be made by the business owner? This is also why some Amway groups are compared to cults.

Lastly (for now), does your upline diamonds and leaders display wealth? Do you see slide shows of fancy cars, mansions, jets, boats yachts and other fabulous goodies? In my former LOS, WWDB, they still have a function called "Dream Nite" where the diamonds display many of these kinds of trappings and tell the audience that you can have what they have if only you will do what they did. But try asking a diamond to verify his claims by showing you their business tax returns or earnings. You will probably get an answer like "none of your business". Sure, they may show you a copy of a check or something like that, but it shows you nothing about how much they keep out of that check.

So the question is, how honest is your upline?