Friday, December 1, 2023

Fake It But Don't Make It?

 One of the things I was taught as an IBO was to "fake it til you make it". I believe this is probably still true today, based on my interaction with and observation of IBO behavior. If you have followed the trials on various upline leaders such as Shores or Duncan and their financials, you can likely conclude that even the diamonds can be in financial difficulty. Some former diamonds who have left the business or quit have also expressed some similar sentiments.  And if you think about it, why would any diamond leave the business if you can walk away and collect residual income?  You probably already know the answer to this question.

But if you examine functions like "Dream Night", where the diamonds show off pictures of mansions, sports cars, boats and jetskis, you can conclude that the diamonds are implying that all of these goodies are a part of their regular lifestyles, including the notion of waking up at noon and never having to work. I believe for most diamonds, this is just a facade, or an exercise in deception of the downline. I recall the diamonds urging the crowd to "come join us". Some IBOs want it so bad that tears roll down their cheeks as they watch the presentation. They honestly believe that 2-5 years working the system assures them of success.

The sad reality is that most IBOs, even with much effort and hard work, will end up making nothing, or if fully engaged in the system of functions and cds and books, will end up with a net loss. IBOs who stick around for a few years might see losses in the thousands or tens of thousands. All the while their upline may have been telling the group the perseverance is the key or that you will "make it" if you don't quit. Nothing could be further from the truth. There's no evidence that working hard and never quitting will result in anything but financial losses.

If diamonds and high pins are putting on a show, what about the average rank and file IBOs? I believe that many of them are also fakes. They may wear suits and talk about success but ask one of them if they actually make a net profit and you'll get more excuses than answers. The typical answer will be that it's none of your business, or that their results are not indicative of yours because it depends on effort. This is just a diversion. If someone is promoting the opportunity and then flaunting a lifestyle that can allegedly be attained through the opportunity, then the folks making the claim should be able to qualify their claims. It is normal in everyday business for potential business partners or investors to seek evidence or proof that the business produces what is being advertised. Why Amwayers believe otherwise is puzzling, but not surprising. I believe it is because many Amwayers are fakes, starting from the top.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

An Amway Observation?

It's refreshing to see so many good people on this forum telling the truth about Amway. It looks like the pro-Amway shills here and on other sites are becoming increasingly outnumbered and desperate. I've read through this entire thread and think it is hilarious how many times the shill has to move the goal-posts or play word games to make Amway look like an amazing business opportunity.

I was originally introduced to Amway many years ago in my late teens by an uncle of mine. I attended a few of their seminars, and was impressed at first. But the whole thing started to seem ridiculous and unrealistic and so I didn't get involved any further. Also, I'm not that materialistic, so Amway's message doesn't appeal to me. I wish my uncle had been more skeptical.

My uncle was very devoted to Amway for a few years. He bought all their products(especially the tapes and books), tried to get others to buy them, and also tried to recruit all his family and friends into his new religion. He eventually lost money and friends and alienated himself from much of his family.

Already heavily in debt, he eventually fell for another, even bigger get-rich-quick scam shortly after quitting Amway(to Amway's credit, they don't threaten to kill anyone for leaving Amway). This one robbed him of his entire life savings. The scammers got away with it because they knew how to play him right(he met one of them through Amway). His wife divorced him soon after.

As if this wasn't enough, after making a modest financial recovery with his business over the course of several years, he loses it all to yet another scam. He had to borrow heavily from the few friends he had left since no bank would ever give him a loan, and almost no one in the family has anything to do with him anymore. I haven't seen him for 15 years.

One thing I wonder about my uncle is if all those seminars and inspirational tapes and books softened him up to fall for all those other scams he fell for after quitting Amway(he didn't have a reputation for being gullible before joining Amway, though he was never that bright to begin with). If I remember correctly, he tended to blame himself for failing at Amway, and may have never understood that it was a big scam or at least not a good business opportunity.

I still remember those crazy seminars and how they told everyone that joining the Amway cult will likely lead to yachts, exotic vacations surrounded by hot bikini babes, and shiny expensive cars, among other symbols of wealth. Everyone is told at the seminars and in the "tools" that they have all this unfulfilled potential, but to realize this potential we must avoid those small-minded "dream killers"(skeptical family members and friends).

The story about my stupid uncle is true. There are many other people out there just like him who have fallen for Amway and others MLMs. The few people I've met who claimed they were very successful at Amway usually seemed sleazy or I would find out years later they were up to their eyeballs in debt.

The person who said before that the people who regularly attend these seminars are mostly fools and misfits was spot on.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Con Game?

 Great Thread posted at

It is stunning to realize the enormity of this con. Multi-million and billion dollar companies, stock exchange listed companies, companies that put on the facade of being a good corporate neighbor and innocent "business" (cough) next door.

Nework marketing is a flawed and unsustainable business model that effectively is fed and supported by those on the bottom. Those on the bottom work a job to fund their product purchases. Those spoils of war then are divided up by the upline and sponsor company. Those on the bottom, who use funds from their jobs (rather than product sales) to sustain the "business", are an ever expanding rotating door of new recruits.

Although the products may be of high quality and slickly packaged, and give the impression that you are a marketeer of these sundry goods...the reality is much different. You are required to buy monthly quotas for personal use and recruit your ass off to gain entry into the promised land. The product you are really selling is a dubious "business opportunity"...your real market is "opportunity seekers".

A real business markets and sell goods and services. They are sustained by real retail sales. They order only what they know they can sell. From what I see all these mlms push recruiting as the ticket to the good life. Products and retailing mean nothing.

Another major difference is a real business owner holds title to his business...something he can sell. In mlm, you own nothing but your small product inventory.

The nature of this false and flawed business model will always have in its wake a vast turnover at the bottom of the pyramid structure. It's the nature of the beast and can be no other way, all math aside. The many "losers and the quitters" and dreamers who hang in there waiting for their ship to come in are those who support the top and sponsor company. There will always be a relentless drive to recruit at the bottom as it has nothing to do with true product retailing to support the business but finding and recruiting opportunity seekers. The emphasis is always on finding new recruits rather than selling product. And indeed, many of these mlm businesses put restrictions on the associate's ability to retail the product...which subtly strengthens its true goal of recruiting as the primary revenue stream...not product sales.

These "businesses" (cough again) are predatory and prey on the many by appealing to dreams of luxury and a life of ease, especially those with troubles in their life. The start money is low to get into the "business", which is unlike a real business that takes more sizable seed money, some knowledge and guidance and a real business plan.

Those few that actually make sizable incomes from these schemes must live with the knowledge that their life is supported by the broken dreams, efforts and losses of those on the bottom. They conveniently set aside any feelings of culpability after stepping on the bodies of their fellow man so they can proclaim that they worked hard and made it.

There simply is no parallel between a network marketing model as a "business" and how a "normal?" business really works. I understand this because I own a real business that retails real product.

Network marketing is simply the greatest con game of all time. They should all be shut down.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

8-12 Hours Per Week To Prosperity?

 One of the myths that my Amway upline used to, and likely still perpetuate is the claim that you can build an Amway mega empire on 8-12 hours of effort per week. I'm venturing an educated guess that this number is used because while it still represents time, it is probably less hours than working a part time job. But let's take a closer look at this 8-12 hours per week.  (Some groups might teach 10-15 hours per week, etc.)

If you listen to one (1) cd/audio per day as recommended by upline and read one of their "success" books 15 minutes each day, you are already close to nine to ten hours of activity used per week and neither of these activities produces any income for your Amway business. In fact, both activities cost you money and produce no tangible result or income.  Upline says you are getting better and "educating" yourself, but how much education do you need to buy stuff, sell stuff and recruit downline?   If you spend another 15 minutes a day contacting people, you are close to 12 hours per week. Where will you find additional time to show the plan and to expand your name and contact list? What about servicing retail customers, at least for IBOs who actually may have some customers. 

What about attending meetings and functions? These are also non income producing activities. It's no wonder the vast majority of IBOs don't make money. Their upline has them running around participating in activities that produce no income for their businesses. Ironically, these non-income producing activities such as listening to a cd/audio, produces a lot of income for certain uplines who produce and sell them. To me, it is just an elaborate game of bait and switch played by upline. They tell you that their system is foolproof and that you will make it if you don't give up. Not true.  All these activities accomplish (listening to audios, reading books and attending meetings and functions) is to provide upline with a stable and sizable regular income.  Many people don't know this, but a diamond may have a small monthly income, possibly $5000 a month.  Of course, it depends on business structure, etc.  But the average run of the mill, non Q12 diamond (the vast majority) probably makes a small monthly income and the rest of that $100 to $150K they speak of comes in the form of annual bonuses.  

But diamonds sell the prospect the dream of financial freedom. You tell the IBOs that Amway is their best chance. You tell them that you can help them and that the tools of the business (standing order, voicemail, books, functions) are the key to their success. Those who are serious enough to commit to the system likely won't quit without making some effort and will allow uplines to earn some nice profits before these downline eventually realize they aren't profitable and quit. Because many IBOs are sponsored by family and friends, you don't see too many formal complaints about the business. Most people chalk it up as a life lesson and do not complain.  

But IBOs and information seekers, do not be fooled into thinking that you will create a financial empire by working 8-12 hours a week. That would be far-fetched, almost too good to be true.  If that's not a get rich quick scheme, what is?  The number of highly successful Amway IBOs versus the number who sign up are likely fewer than lottery winners.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Are Diamonds Just Middle Class People?

 I recently read an article on what constitutes wealth. Some say an annual income of $100,000 would make them wealthy, some say assets exceeding $4 million would do it, and some estimated that $2 million would make them "rich". Of course, everything is relative and someone earning $25,000 a year would think that $100,000 a year is wealth, etc. College students might think $40,000 a year is awesome because many have little money to begin with. I'm sure someone like Bill Gates would not consider $4 million to be astonishing. It's all relative. If you are content with what you have, you are likely relatively well off already.

But let's talk about Amway diamonds. I say diamond because it is basically the pinnacle of success in Amway. It is the crowning achievement of the 6-4-2 plan (or other variations) that many groups show. The average diamond earns more than $200,000, according to Amway. Now $200,000 sounds like a lot of money to young people or to those with lower wage types of jobs, or those who are just starting out in their careers. But we also know that diamonds earn income from the sale of tools. Some groups advertise (verbally) that someone might earn $100,000 a year from the tools and honorariums (speaking income).

Let's be generous and say the diamond earns $300,000+ a year from Amway and tools income. Income tax and medical insurance for the family will eat up about 40% of that right off the top, leaving about $180,000. Fantastic you might say? Well, a diamond certainly would live in a million dollar mansion, which would give you about a $6000 a month mortgage (So much for buying homes in cash) or $72,000 a year, leaving $108,000. Fantastic right? Well, diamonds are constantly traveling to various functions, flying first class and staying only at 5 star hotels right? So an average of 1 trip per month with a family, first class and a 5 star hotel would probably cost about $5000 or more per trip, or about $60,000 a year, now leaving $68,000 for this diamond's yearly budget. A good diamond with a family surely consumes 300 PV per month for household goods, or about $900 a month or about $11,000 a year, leaving $57,000 for the rest of the year. A good diamond is often a Christian who would faithfully tithe 10% of his income, or about $30,000 a year, leaving the diamond with $27,000 a year, or about $2250 a month to pay for their monthly electric and utility bills, gas, car payments, meals and entertainment.

Yes, some expenses may be slightly higher or lower, but what I am trying to illustrate is that even an above average diamond with tools income is more likely to be broke than wealthy if they live the lifestyles portrayed at functions such as dream night or other major functions. Do the math. It is unlikely that diamonds pay cash for everything and it is unlikely that fabulous lifestyles can be sustained on a diamond income. There is plenty of evidence out there. Diamond's homes foreclosed, diamonds behind on income taxes, a prominent triple diamond formerly in chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, many diamonds selling off their homes in a bad real estate market.

I truly believe that it is quite possible for many diamonds to be broke. Many people live in debt these days. Are diamonds any different, even with more income? The math says diamonds are just like anyone else.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Business Owner Or Customer?

 One of the silly things IBOs say is how they need to be their own best customer. That a McDonald's owner would never eat at Burger King, etc. That is complete hogwash. While there is nothing wrong with supporting your own business, IBOs are blinded by the fact that their business produces nothing. They are simply middlemen distributors. Do you really think diamonds consume thousands of dollars of standing orders because they own or profit from tool companies, which are for profit companies that produces training materials? Of course not. When you purchase something from your Amway business, you make no profit. Any "false" profit you see is simply money out of your own pocket moving to the other pocket. The Amway corporation makes the profit. Yes, you may receive a volume bonus, but that is still a lot of your own money being given back to you. Spend $300 and get back $10. If you can get enough people to follow you and move volume, your bonus will increase, but the increase then comes out of your follower's pockets instead of your own. The only real profit would be selling product to actual non IBO customers.

I know some business owners and they are never the best or sole customer of their own stores. Many Amway business owners are their only customers or their best customer. That simply is not how a business is run. Any REAL business cannot support itself by having the owners and perhaps the owner's employees as the primary customer base. For any business to thrive, you need customers and a demand for products. Without customers and a demand for products, you have no business. But some upline leaders still teach "buy from yourself" as the primary means of doing business. Other leaders may ask you to sell, but to focus on sponsoring others because they are hopeful that this will result in increased volume. Sadly, most IBOs will never sponsor a downline and many will never acquire a customer other than themselves.

It seems as though many IBOs think they are business owners but the reality is that they are simply glorified customers of their own business. Their only hope of making a profit is to sponsor others. In my opinion, this method of doing business is a pyramid because the only way to eventually make a profit is to sponsor enough downline until you can leverage enough volume to finally break even or profit. An IBO with a real customer (and not buying tools) can make a profit by selling a single product. But many IBOs are not taught this because their upline makes a much bigger profit by selling to their downline IBOs standing orders, voicemail, books and seminar tickets. Many IBOs do not realize that they are simply customers of Amway and customers of the tools system.

For people already involved or considering involvement in the Amway opportunity, you are highly encouraged to seek more information and to fully understand how a profit is made in this business. Simply seeing circles drawn oversimplifies the process as most IBOs never get close to finding six (6) like minded people. Even those who find six are unlikely to be able to retain them. Over time, the cost of the products and the cost of the training will start to add up and the losses will escalate. For real business owners, an assessment of profit/loss and return on investment should be done and if the return is not good, a real business owner would consider other options.

So are you a business owner or a glorified customer?

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Climbing A Pyramid?

 Let me start out by saying that Amway, at least to the letter of the law, appears to be a perfectly legal company. Therefore, I am not saying or implying that Amway is illegal. But I believe that the way Amway businesses are run, are like product pyramids. In most groups, you will have the lowest level IBOs efforts and tool purchases being responsible for the upline bonuses and tools income. Many many IBOs are fooled into thinking that the ability to surpass your upline or that you don't get paid to recruit downline makes this a good deal. Think about it for a bit. Aren't most Amway gatherings about motivation and recruiting?  Also, if most IBOs do little or nothing then quit, it wouldn't be that hard to earn more than you sponsor right?

Unless you have a very very rare group where actual product sales to non-IBOs is sufficient to cover the costs of running your business, functions and all, then it is true that the lower level IBO's jobs are the primary source of income for the uplines. How many groups are like that where selling is nearly exclusively to retail customers and not downline? None that I have ever seen or know of. In fact, how often do IBOs even sell enough products to cover their expenses for even one month out of the year? The groups that teach "buy from yourself" end up doing the most financial damage to their groups because the downline's expenses are then covered exclusively from the downlines jobs, bank accounts, or drive the downline into debt. 

I've seen and discussed group structures in forums many times and I can only conclude that tool sales easily wipe out what little profits/bonuses some of the downlines might receive. Only when an IBO is able to sponsor enough downline to absorb the losses for them will they finally break even or make a little profit. I would guess that the 4000 PV level or platinum is where a dedicated CORE IBO would break even and possibly start to make a small profit.  On the other hand, a hard-CORE dedicated IBO can still lose money at 4000 or at platinum.    But we also know that most platinum groups have 100 or more IBOs in order to generate 7500 PV. Thus, we can also conclude that less than 1% of IBOs make a net profit. The only way IBOs can earn a net profit at a lower level is to avoid purchasing tools and to avoid paying for functions. Those who get involved in a system such as WWDB or N21 almost guarantee that they will have a net loss. 

Sure, my job may have a pyramid structure with the CEO making the most money. But the difference is that in a company, even the lowest paid employee still receives a paycheck and has money at the end of the month. The same claim cannot be made by IBOs. For these reasons, I believe Amway to be a product pyramid. IBOs and information seekers are free to participate, but I challenge them to sit down and really analyze their ability to make a net profit. In most cases, the analysis won't be favorable. If you are in the US in particular, you may have great difficulty in even being able to discuss "Amway" without getting strange looks your way from others. Good luck in whatever you decide.