Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amway - How AMOs Suck People Into Their Systems

While each of these Systems claims to be different from and superior to the others, they seem to me mostly indistinguishable from each other, sharing a number of common characteristics:

1. Recruits are lured in by exaggerated income claims and ostentatious displays of wealth.

2. Once they are in, it is repeatedly stressed that they will not have any chance of attaining said wealth unless they strictly adhere to the System, meaning they should buy at least one tape per week, attend all meetings and rallies, and spend most or all of their free time trying to recruit others. Amway's rules state that the purchase of motivational motivational tools is optional, but it seems clear that those who sell the tools have figured out how to pay lip service to these rules while continuing to exert pressure on their downlines to buy the tools. "The tools are optional, and so is success," goes the oft heard refrain.

3. Retailing is downplayed or ignored completely in favor of self-consumption of Amway products. It's not surprising that these Systems have been the subject of a series of lawsuits, as they are inherently deceptive and fraudulent. Distributors are routinely not informed that their upline may be making as much or more from the sale of motivational tools as they are from the sale of Amway products. Without this vital piece of information, distributors naturally assume that the incomes and lifestyles of their upline are attributable to their Amway businesses, and they buy the motivational tools in the hopes of achieving a similar success. It's an insidious and self-perpetuating cycle: the more motivational tools the masses of downline distributors buy, the more successful the upline distributors appear to be in their Amway businesses, which in turn inspires the downline distributors to buy more motivational tools, and round and round she goes. Lower level distributors are either bled dry and quit, or hang in long enough to make it to the level where they start to get a cut of the tools profits.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Amway - Do Uplines Use Amway As A Bait And Switch Scam?

One thing I have noticed over the years is IBOs talking about how great Amway is and how they will be rich and retire early. They also talk about how they are nicer people, better spouses and perhaps even a Christian as a result of their involvement in the Amway business opportunity. This is a nice side benefit if it is true, but people are recruited into what appears as a business opportunity. A business opportunity that is touted as low risk with potentially great rewards.

But is the opportunity one that produces results? Amway's own numbers suggest that it is not. After disregarding IBOs who don't do anything, the remaining IBOs average $115 a month, which I believe includes the big crown ambassadors who may earn millions. Thus the median income of an IBO is probably much lower than the average.

I believe that many upline use a cleverly disguised bait and switch scam on their unsuspecting downline IBOs. They use talk about dreams and display a "diamond" lifestyle which allegedly is no job, waking up at noon, taking naps, fabulous vacationsm fancy cars and clothing, and a host of other luxuries. This can be confirmed by many and there is a function, currently called "Winter Conference" that used to be called "Dream Nite". Dream Nite was supposed to expand an IBO's mind to allow them to see what is "possible" (Not what is likely) if they build the Amway business.

The business is also made more attractive when the recruiter says low overhead, no employees, not as many problems as a conventional business. But what most IBOs soon discover is that building an Amway business comes with a hoard of practically insurmountable challenges. The Amway name has a pretty bad reputation in the US. One mention of the name Amway usually is enough to turn off a prospect, and sponsoring is very difficult. The products are generally priced high compared to other retailers, thus IBOs must find ways to justify the prices. It is also why a small percentage of Amway products are actually sold to people who are not IBOs. There is also a big issue with the cost of voicemail, standing order and functions. These expenses can run an IBO literally bankrupt after a while. At a minimum, many IBOs build up debt purchasing these materials while some Uplines profit lavishly from selling these materials.

The bait and switch part of the scheme, is when uplines switch their teaching from the dreams and monetary wealth to how the business has helped you make more friends, the business has made you nicer, the business made you a better person, the business is not about money. That is a load of horse manure. Business is about making money. Most people would not have joined the Amway opportunity to learn to be nice or to make friends. They join to make money. Unfortunately, joining your upline in the Amway business more likely costs you money instead of making money.

A clever bait and switch scam?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Amway - Broke Losers!

I recently had a discussion online with an IBO. Of course we did not come to an agreement in our opinions about Amway. Then the "tapespeak" came into play and I was called a "broke loser". It is evident to me, that someone upline must still teach this garbage. How common is this teaching? I don't know but I see and hear it often enough to be able to conclude that it is more common than IBOs or Amway supporters will admit.

For some reason, IBOs seem to think that anyone who does not think Amway is the greatest thing since sliced bread was invented, must be crazy. They also seem to think that these same folks have "employee mentality", or for some odd reason, IBOs think that those not interested in Amway are "broke" or are "loers". I will suggest that in fact, it is probably the exact opposite. I say this because of direct personal experience.

When I was in Amway, I was younger, and newer in my career. My annual salary wasn't quite what I wanted. $5,000 a month seemed like a whole lot of money, and it actually is if you earn an annual salary of $25,000 or $30,000. That was the bait that got me interested. A part time business where you could potentially earn a full time salary. Afterall, a platinum was alleged to earn $40,000 annually and if that could be achieved, life would be easy. Of course, at the time I was recruited, nobody mentioned standing order, functions or any of the other expenses that were touted as "highly necessary".

At this point in my life, an opportunity, Amway or not, would not interest me. $5,000 a month for all of the effort required of an IBO, would not be worth it. A stable job with a stable salary comfortably covers my living expenses and allows me to invest for my retirement and even to have some luxuries. I don't have to recruit anyone, I don't have to lie or deceive anyone, and I don't have to harrass friends and family. I am able to contribute to charity and volunteer some of my time at church. I guess I am a broke loser. LOL

Monday, April 27, 2009

Amway - Your Business Or Your Hobby?

Many Anway IBOs get into the business with high expectations. They get in with oftentimes, a dream of early retirement, living a fabulous lifestyle, mansions, sports cars and "walking the beaches. In order to do thism IBOs are taught that they need to "plug into the system". So IBOs get on standing order, they attend all the meetings and functions, they read books and show the plan.

But because the Amway business has so many handicaps and shortfalls, the IBO soon falls into the trap of "playing Amway". The IBO will do their 100 PV, either by self consumption or selling, or a combination of the two, and will continue to listen to the cds or tapes, and will continue to attend every meeting. When I was an IBO, our group had many who did not sponsor a single person, yet they were at all of the meetings and functions. These folks, in my opinion, had Amway as a hobby.

A hobby is something you do in your spare time, usually something you enjoy. For many people, Amway meetings are a social event. It is evidenced when some people say they enjoy the meetings, being with "positive people", and they have become nicer as a result of their involvement. While this may or may not be a side benefit of the functions and meetings, it is not relative to the bottom line of a business. A business exists to make money. If a business is losing money, expenses are usually cut.

If you have been an IBO for more than a month or two, have you actually sponsored someone? If the excitement of being a new IBO has not resulted in acquiring new downline, it is unlikely that you will ever have a downline. If you have been in the system reading books, listening to stnding order and attending functions and showing the plan, and you have no results, you have Amway as a hobby and not a business. Don't feel bad, sponsoring other IBOs is not a common or easy feat. But as a business owner, you should think about your involvement in the business and if you find you are participating in a hobby rather than running a profitable business, then you should decide whether or not you are accomplishing what you set out to do.

Are you running a business (to make money) or are you playing Amway?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Amway - Why Joecool's Blog"

Recently, I've had comments left here, some deleted and some published, with IBOs and/or Amway supporters calling me names, and accusing me of "bashing" Amway. I believe that these folks are misguided. If you carefully read my blog posts, many are not about Amway the corporation, but are aimed at the abusive practices of certain AQMOs, or the groups that sell their system of tapes, cds, books, KATE, and functions. I believe that Amway the corporation is somewhat culpable as they did not reign in the abusers, but still, it is certain LOSs who teach bad business practices and give IBOs bad advice, which incidently, costs the IBOs money.

Joecool officially quit Amway sometime in 1998. The name quixtar was already floating around. I quit, got on with my life and basically forgot about Amway. But more and more, I discovered that my upline leaders had been liars and had seriously misrepresented the business. I am from the era where upline leaders told us that nobody made a cent from the tools, which is now known as a lie. They told us that diamonds pay cash for nearly everything, which includes homes. We know that is a lie. Based on what I heard about my sponsor, I believe it is still taught as my sponsor, who is a physician, is still renting a small home in a rural area on Oahu. I started to participate on Quixtar blog to learn more about the tool scam, and I started blogging to be able to help others learn about what I had discovered. My blog gets about three to four thousand visitors each month, although there are many repeat visitors. I have helped many people over the years who benefited by the experiences and information that I have shared. I do not receive any financial compensation for blogging.

For those who call Joecool a loser, let me talk about some things I have accomplished in life sine I quit Amway. I received several promotions at work, and recently started a new job where I was offered a pretty nice salary. I own my home (I did not pay in cash, LOL). I bowled a 300 game, made a hole in one, and ran several marathons. I'm just an average middle class citizen in Hawaii. I started Joecool's blog in 2006 or so. My old blog has been deleted as the host did not maintain the site well and I eventually got hacked and sabotaged. I started this current site on blogger in late 2009.

I am not here to "steal" anyone's dream. I am not here to "bash" Amway. But Amway, the business opportunity is one where most people do not make money to begin with. Add in the expenses for tapes, cds, voicemail and functions and you have almost a 100% chance of failure. Yet some upline leaders will promote Amway as a easy shortcut to retirement with a surefire chance of success if you dedicate to the system. But the system does not work. There is no bonafide evidence that the system works. This is what Joecool's blog is about - primarily the systems and its problems.