Monday, August 31, 2009

Amway - Business Owner Or Customer?

IBO = Indepdenet Business Owner. Most Amway folks consider themselves IBOs, or independent business owners. To some, owning a business sounds cool. It sounds like you are achieving something and it may even seem that there is status involved in being a business owner.

Based on what I see and hear from Amway related blogs and forums, most people involved in the Amway opoprtunity are not business owners. They are simply customers. They are customers of Amway and they are customers of the system, consisting of voicemail, cds, books, and seminars. Does this sound confusing? Think about it. Many groups teach "buy from yourself" and get others to do the same. If you belong to one of these groups, you are being taught to be an Amway and system customer, nothing more and nothing less.

If you stop for a minute and truly think about a business, what business can thrive without customers? I cannot think of any businesses where there are little or no customers. Why would the Amway opportunity be any different? If you are you only, or your own best customer, then maybe you are not even a business owner, but simply a customer of Amway and a customer of the system.

Without any sales to customers, or people who are not Amway IBOs, any profit simply comes out of the pockets of the people in the Amway system. When you receive a rebate, you are simply getting some of your own money back. You have not generated any real profit. The only way to generate real profits is to sell to outside customers. This brings money into the system or Amway economy if you will. If not, an IBO is just a glorified customer bringing profits to Amway and the tools systems.

So are you a business owner or a customer?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Amway - What Are You Duplicating?

Duplication. It was sold as the key to success when I was an IBO and I believe it is still promoted as an important component to succeeding in Amway. But I believe IBOs are misguided in understanding what duplication really is. Sure, it's very easy to stand on stage as a tenured diamond and talk about duplication, but in practical application, can it be done? In my opinion, duplicating sounds great in theory but will not work in practice. In the US, I believe Amway is not experiencing growth. The name change from Quixtar back to Amway was made for a reason. I believe that reason is because Quixtar had a bad reputation. Now I also believe that Amway has a spotty reputation as well, but the company braintrust must have felt it was still better to be Amway than Quixtar.

So back to topic. What are you duplicating? Many IBOs do little or nothing. That is not a mystery. So duplicating nothing gets you nothing. But let's look at the 6-4-2 plan. The majority in the plan do 100 PV and get about $9 or $10 as a bonus. In order to succeed, upline will expect these IBOs to be on standing order and to attend functions. Thus these IBOs will earn $9 or $10 but spend about $150 to $200 a month on training materials. So duplicating yourself will compound the overall losses of the group or team as some like to call themselves. If you sponsor a few people and move up to 300 PV group volume, you will earn about $30 but still spend about $150 to $200 in training materials. So duplicating yourself still creates more losses. Even if you achieve platinum or higher, you may finally reach a point where you have a net gain, but your downline will continue to lose money, primarily due to the cost of the training materials.

So duplication is the key to Amway success. Amway and the people selling the education materials become very successful by your promotion of "duplication", but the IBOs themselves get no benefit from duplicating themselves unless they can get enough downline to absorb the losses for them. It is why some people consider the Amway opportunity a pyramid. While legal, the opportunity still resembles a pyramidal compensation plan as you will only make a significant net gain when you have enough downline "under" you to take the losses. While you can outearn your sponsor, you will never overtake one of the tenured "crown ambassadors".

So the question for IBOs is, what exactly are you duplicating?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amway - IBOs, Time To Man Up?

In recent blogging, I have seen many IBOs on this blog and on other forums continue to attack others with the same old vile tapespeak about non-ibos lacking guts, being afraid, and unable to create more income for their families. I find this humorous because IBOs come and go and not even one out of the tens of thousands of site visitors here has perservered and came back to show a tiny shred of success. I had some very colorful visitors in the past such as "going crown" and "going diamond" and a few others. Not a single one of them remains and not a single one of them ever demonstrated that they were capable of building an Amway business. Amway's biggest internet defender appears to fall into the same category with the exception being that he still runs his blogs.

Recently, a site visitor here named Gina posted a profit and loss statement from her business which showed realistic expenditures and and business income. IBOs came to hem and haw and criticize the statement, but not a single one of them had any evidence to show progress in their Amway businesses. In a recent blog post I wrote, the Amway IBOs, for whatever reason, appear to have a need to display wealth that they apparently do not have. According to Stanley and Danko who authored "The Millionaire Next Door", it seem that those who display wealth are the ones who don't have it. I would strongly suspect that many diamonds, and possibly even some much bigger pins live in debt or have little equity and financial stability. I base that on the fact that the lifestyles portrayed by some diamonds, especially the ones shown at certain functions, such as Winter Conference, formerly known as "Dream Night", cannot be sustained, even with over a half million dollars in income a year. Multi million dollars mansions and fancy cars and aircraft comes at a hefty price. I do not believe these lifetyles can be attained by many, possibly most of the diamonds who portray it, at least not on Amway and BSM income.

So IBOs, is anyone ready to "man up" and actually show evidence of how an average Joe IBO can actually profit? One Amway defender always talks about IBOs not being paid to recruit. I agree that there is no direct payment for recruiting, but apparently there is something to it, otherwise why do IBOs spend so much time and money in recruiting? Think about it, an IBO who sells a few items and earns a few reail dollars is better off than someone who has 3 active downline (each doing 100 PV) who actively buys standing order and attend all functions. IBOs are welcome to prove me wrong.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amway - Complaints About Amway?

Over the years, I have seen literally hundreds (if not more) blogs and testimonials about Amway. Most of them decry the pitfalls of being an Amway IBO. Most of the complaints cite the fact that Amway in general has higher prices than comparable retailers and the fact that the system consisting of voicemail, books, cds and seminars ate up any profits the IBO may have made and resulted in net losses for most. One particular Amway apologist bemoans the fact that the internet is full of bad testomonials about Amway. The reason why there are so many negative testimonials about Amway is because over the years, thousands, possibly millions either had a bad experience for the reasons I cited above, or personally know of someone who had a bad experience.

Amway defenders will often cite the fact that many IBOs sign up and "do nothing" as their defense to this. But I will easily point out that I haven't seen anyone say they signed up, failed to do anything or order products, quit and started blogging about a bad experience in Amway. These defenders will also compare Amway to the gym where people sign up and "do nothing". Whether true or not, I also do not see people who sign up and "do nothing" complain about not receiving health benefits by simply signing up. It is a very weak defense. Conversely, I have seen numerous accounts of folks like myself who did put in effort, some for many years, who did what upline advised and did not see the financial rewards that is promoted in "the plan".

Amway defenders will then try to justify themselves, saying that the better business bureau (BBB) receives few formal complaints about Amway. I will agree with this. Many IBOs never bother to file formal complaints to the BBB or to Amway because in many, probably most cases, the person who quits and may have had a bad experience, was sponsored into the business. The sponsor was often a friend or family member of the IBO who left the business. Many will simply leave and forget the episode and chalk it up to a learning experience in life. Some will complain, but really have to ne venue to voice their remorse about joining. Some of us have found the interent to be quite effective in sharing our experiences and our opinions on why the business did not work. This is what one Amway defender calls the "internet war". What I have pointed out is that critics most often simply point out what the IBOs themselves have done. In many cases, the IBO is his own worst enemy. Afterall, critics didn't deny Amway and Quixtar had a connection, nor did critics make up claims about perfect water, etc.

It would appear that most of the problems has a root in the AMO systems, such as WWDB, BWW, LTD, or N21. Now, not all upline leaders are unethical, but it appears that many are, and new IBOs have no way to identify the good from the bad. It also appears that some of these upline leaders will issue bad avice. Advice that is detrimental to the IBOs, but financially beneficial to themselves, such as telling IBOs to never miss a function, or to buy more cds. In many cases, these unethical uplines do not care about IBO success, their goal is just to move as many support materials as possible, so they can fund their "diamond" lifestyle. Sadly, it is also apparent that the diamond lifestyle may be a facade in some cases. An illusion of wealth portrayed as a recruiting tool.

If you recognize some of these warning signs, ask tough questions of your potential sponsor and visit this or some of the blogs linked to this one for more information.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amway - IBOs - All Show And No Go?

Back when I was in college, many young folks were car enthusiasts and tried to fix up older classic cars like a 67 Camaro for example. Some folks would just buy a new car and add on some trinkets to make the car stand out in a crowd. But one of the sayings we had for cars that looked nice, but whose engine had no power, was "All Show And No Go".

Many IBOs and Uplines are very likely to be "All Show And no Go". They talk a good game. They make claims and try to show off fancy toys and things, allegedly obtained with success in Amway. But shine the light on the truth and you will likely see a different picture.

On a bigger scale, I believe the major function called Winter Conference, formerly called "Dream Nite", is one where diamonds would show videos or slide shows of mansions, yachts, sports cars, jet skis, golf club memberships, shopping sprees and others kinds of fabulous wealth, all the while proclaiming that it is through Amway that all of this can be achieved. Do as we do, and you will have what we have, is what I heard, and I believe it is still the case today. But despite these claims, more and more evidence is available to show that diamonds may not be what they seem.

Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke And Mirrors) exposed a diamond who had a nice, income, but lived beyond their means and were actually heavily in debt. We have also seen diamonds whose homes were foreclosed. Some of these diamonds may have spoken about paying for everything in cash, including their homes. Diamonds quitting (busts the lifelong residual income myth doesn't it?), diamonds moving to a new MLM, etc. It all points to one thing which is clear in my mind. The diamond lifestyle is not what it is portrayed to be, in many cases. Now I am not saying that a crown ambassador or some other tenured diamonds are not wealthy, I'm sure there are some who are, but they are few and far between. They are the exception and not the rule, in my opinion.

It's all show and no go. Like the Texan with the nice hat with no cattle, or the nice car with a weak engine. It's a show, or a facade for many. They give the appearance of success in order to attract new recruits but behind the scenes, might be living in debt, and/or living from bonus check to bonus check. Let the buy beware!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amway - Amway Creates Millionaires - Another IBO Myth?

I keep hearing from some IBOs that they belive that Amway has created more millionaires than any other company in the US. I call BS on that claim. I am not saying that Amway hasn't created any millionaires, obviously, the Amway owners are worth billions of dollars. But what the IBOs are apparently implying is that the diamonds are millionaires. I'm sure there are some diamonds who indeed are millionires, especially if they are tenured diamonds, in particular the double diamonds and higher. But conversely, I believe that many high level diamonds are not millionaires. I believe it is just as common for a diamond to be in debt as it is for a diamond to be living large. I also believe that many diamonds did not accumulate their alleged wealth exclusively from Amway.

The reason why this is an issue is because these big pins will stand on stage and show off excessive wealth and imply that it is their Amway income that pays for these mansions, sports cars, and in some cases, jets. In the US, I attended a function called "Dream Nite" where these kinds of trapping are displayed, to the tune of the song "I wanna be rich". The diamonds would say that you can have what they have, if only you will do what they advise. These functions still go on today and I believe it is now called Winter Conference.

Stanley and Danko's book, "The Millionaire Next Door"

This book makes some very interesting points which I believe applies to Amway diamonds. I will outline the significant ones and I will comment below:

**Predictably, the data shows that most people who you believe to be very rich are not.

**High net worth individuals, statistically, tend to be people that live within their means. They don’t spend a lot of money. They don’t waste money. They tend to be pretty frugal people.

**The authors point out that most of the richest people you know aren’t driving expensive luxury automobiles. That’s what the people who want everyone to think they’re rich drive.

Joe's commentary. The book does say that about 1/3 of millionaires acquired their wealth thru a J-O-B and saved and invested, but did mention that many millionaires were also business owners, such as a pest control company, etc. But based on the points made by the book above, I can see where it is likely that diamonds portray a wealthy lifestyle as a recruitment tactic, when the reality is they may be living very middle class lifestyles off stage, or may even be in debt. I have seen evidence of diamonds having their homes foreclosed and being in debt (Ruth Carter's book: Amway: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors). Recently, there was also a report that Triple Diamond Greg Duncan filed for bankruptcy. The report indicated that he could not make his mortgages, or something to that tune. Odd, because when I was in WWDB, some of the upline leaders said diamonds paid cash for everything because paying interest to the bank wasn't very smart.

My question is why IBOs continue to make up these claims? Try googling millionaire or Amway millionaire. There is nothing to indicate that Amway was responsible for creating the "most millionaires" of any US company. If this were true, wouldn't Amway state it on their website? If someone finds any veracity about this claim, inform me and I will post it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amway - The Problem With IBOs, No Business Mentality?

One of the things IBOs "think" they posssess, but in reality they are far from it, is "Business Mentality". It is not necessarily the fault of the IBOs. Many are sponsored into Amway by trusted friends and lacking business experience, they will "submit" to upline as they are advised and will try to learn about the Amway business. The problem is that many upline leaders teach self serving business practices such as hard core dedication to their tools system, from which they often handsomely profit. Let's examine some of the questionabley practices.

"Buy from yourself". If you have a business owner mentality, you only buy from yourself if it's beneficial to your business. Many IBOs talk about ridiculous things like a McDonald's owner would never eat at Burger King. That's bull crap. Just because I own a McDonald's doesn't mean I am eating Big Macs the rest of my life. You cannot spend yourself to prosperity. If I sold pens for $1.00 and my cost was .50, and my competitor had a special on the same pens at 3 for $1.00, I'm buying them from my competition. Also, buying from yourself makes you a customer, not a business owner.

"Ignore facts if you have a dream". This is probably the biggest heap of bull crap taught by some upline. I have seen this spouted in particular by IBOs downline from WWDB and BWW leaders. A business owner studies the facts, not ignores them. Any REAL business owner wants to know how much he is bringing in and how much is going out. That's how you detect the heartbeat of your business. A site visitor named Gina on this site, recently posted a profit/loss statement from her real business. Naturally, IBOs were at a loss to discuss it because it was foreign material to them.

"Submit to upline" Another load of hogwash. Why should someone submit to upline simply because they "sponsored me" or whatever? A real business owner would think independently and make business decisions based on facts and numbers, not on the advice of someone upline who hasn't taken the time to assess each IBO on a personal level to be able to give advice on an IBO's "Indepdendent Business", or worse, advice on their personal lives".

"Dedication to the system". Silly advice as well. What dedication does the system have for an IBO? If an IBO succeeds (which is very rare), the system takes credit, but for the more than 99% of people who never make a significant income, it is their own fault if they don't make it. Amway apologists will defend this by saying that many may not have signed up wanting a significant income. While that may be partially true, tell me where people show "plans" designed for the guy who wants an extra $100 a month? The plans shown are always (AFAIK) to go platinum or diamond.

IBOs and information seekers, does any of this sound familiar? Is this a part of your experience? If so, I encourage you to ask questions here and get more information before proceeding with any more "business" activity.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amway - Downline Exploitation?

Some big companies and some private entrepreneurs have been accused of being "sweat shop owners". This is when they exploit workers, often in foreign countries by having them work for a very small wage. For example, a foreign operation may have a warehouse full of women and children working all day under poor conditions for a few bucks a day. The owners of these operations can rake in the dough as they save a ton of money in labor costs.

Some uplines operate just like sweat shop owners, but in many cases, they are worse then sweat shop owners because even exploited workers earn something. At the end of the month, they have a net gain, even if it might be small. In the case of many Amway IBOs, they spend money on Amway products, and uplines take the lion's share of the rebate/bonus that is generated by those sales, and then in turn, these same uplines try to get many of their downline to also become customers of their system of cds, books, voicemail and seminars or functions. In many, probably most cases, uplines will make just as much if not more income from the system, than from Amway.

These same upline will also teach firece loyalty to the system. Never miss a function. Make sacrifices to buy more books or cds, and make sure you are always looking for people to sponsor to add to the system. Joining the system almost guarantees that you will suffer a net loss in the Amway business. It is why I continue to write about what IBOs and prospects should look for when they are being recruited or indoctrinated into these systems. It is why there are so many defenders of Amway, most of whom are losing money, but think they are still successful because it is what upline teaches.

I know most IBOs won't believe this, but I will say it anyway. IBOs on the system are probably worse off than sweat shop employees because they are paying their upline to do their work. At least sweat shop employees get a salary. Upline will teach you that it is an honor to drive them around, or to do tasks for them. Many platinums works are free doormen and ushers at meetings and functions. Upline benefits by maximizing profits from functions. It is pure downline exploitation and I hope eventually that more and more IBOs will recognize this.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Amway - How To Silence An Amway Critic?

There's been a lot of debate and activity on Joecool's blog lately. IBOs come and go. They make interesting claims, but they never silence any of the criticism because they never prove their case. Or they make ridiculous claims or analogies such as comparing the Amway opportunity to a McDonald's franchise, or silly comparisons to colleges. The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos said in 1983, something to the effect that the tools business was basically an illegal pyramid. If the abuse of downline IBOs had been addressed back then, there might be little criticism of the opportunity today.

I recently had a discussion with an (apparent) IBO who claimed that Amway has created the most millionaires in the world. When asked for the source of this claim, that same IBO disappeared. Now I am certain that Amway has created some millionaires, but the most in the world? Also, based on evidence amd simple math, it appears that most IBOs who participate with the tools systems lose money, so even if Amway did produce many millionaires (which is not verified), then we could also claim that Amway produced many many bakruptcies and failures as well.

Various IBOs have also claimed that because they are successful, that it serves as proof that the system works. But when asked for evidence of that success, or to show that their downline share some of that success, they disappear into the night.
You know what? Sweat shop owners are usually successful. They succeed by taking advantage of their underpaid workers. Basically, greedy tools kingpins diamonds are the same thing, maybe worse because at least sweat shop workers have a net gain, although it may be small. The only difference is that occasionally, an IBO might be able to break through and join the diamond ranks.

Some of the zealous IBOs dared a critic to post a profit/loss statement, and it was produced. After that, not a single IBO came forward to post the same, or to even discuss their business income and expenses. Why do IBOs avoid discussion about their business? Is it because it makes you look bad? I'm sure if it helped to prove their points, they would discuss it. Maybe the IBOs who post on blogs have nothing? It appears that the biggest defenders of Amway, do so without any ammunition?

How to silence an Amway critic? Simple, back up your claims and show mathematically how the business can work for the group. It's easier to silence an Amway defender, simply ask for proof that it works.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amway - Debating With Amway Supporters?

I recently had a debate with an Amway supporter and I sometimes wonder how some Amway supporters can continue to defend some of the claims they make even when they have no facts to back them up. For example, the supporter insists that Amway has created more millionaires than any other company. So I asked where he found that information because as far as I know, Amway has never made that claim and if it were true, there would be no reason for Amway to hide it.

The Amway supporter also insisted that he is proof that Amway works because he is successful. He never spoke about the financial condition of his downline, nor revealed anything about his level or structure. Instead, challenged Joecool to talk about my former business and why I wasn't profitable. As I explained in a previous post, my Amway business didn't prosper because I followed upline advice to reinvest my profits into tools. And I am certain that I am not alone in having been given this advice. I do not claim they don't exist, but it is my guess that a group where even half of the IBOs make a net profit would be very rare, especially when some groups teach their downlines to primarily "buy from themselves".

When discussing the miserable average income of an IBO, supporters like to cite that some IBOs do little or nothing, but fail to mention that when calculating the average income, Amway disregarded the IBOs who were not considered active. And because we know that you need to move at least 100 PV pv to earn a bonus, then we can conclude that IBOs as a whole, earn very little, with a few big pins bringing up the average. I believe if we looked at the median income for IBOs, it would be far less than $115 a month.

So the question is how can an IBO actually prove that they are successful? Maybe the first step is to be willing to talk about your business. Most IBOs are anonymous commentor on this blog, yet outright refuse to disclose any details about their business, and downplay the expenses associated with the business, even when upline will promote "low overhead" as an incentive to join Amway. While $150 or $200a momth might be low overhead, it is very high if your monthly income is $10 a month. Somehow, upline will convince IBOs that taking losses is a sign of success. Or that an IBO is successful as long as they remain on standing order ot continue to attend functions.

Honesty and transparency is how an IBO can prove his or her success. Making a nice living on the backs of your downline is not success, that is exploitation of your downline.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Amway - Evidence Of Upline Abuse!

Below is an excerpt from an apparently newbie IBO in Britt Worldwide (BWW). Note how they are taught that they must ask upline before doing their work. This IBO also talks about not having to use his brain, just follow your upline’s advice. Submit to the leaders. Follow the system and success is guaranteed. Right, and Amway apologists have the nerve to deny that this stuff still goes on? I suspect it is more common than Amway defenders will admit.


*3 Cardinal rules

A. never pass negative advises or rumors to your down lines.

B. you must ask to your up lines before going on your first work.

C. never ever go bad with anyone’s self motive, money and family members.

*4 powers

1. Unity: unity is most powerful aspect. Do work in unity.

2. Power of submission to your work, up lines and customers: you must understand that you do not need to use your brain in this business. Just follow your leaders and submit yourself to them.

3. Power of spoken words: try out this simple but effective formula to gain success in your life. Speak out regularly about what you want in your life. It should be for this business, for family, for country or anything you want. This will reduce the negative energy and will create positive energy around you.

Do best and follow this system. Success is guaranteed!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Amway - Defending Amway?

Many people who comment here call themselves "Independent Business Owners", or IBOs. They seem to think that joining Amway and their tools systems will make them nicer people and that they will be wildly successful, financially. Yet, based on the comments I see here, I find that very difficult to believe. This is evidence of some of the cult like teaching by the Amway Motivational Organizations (AMOs), such as BWW, WWDB, and/or Network 21.

Just as Amway, the corporation's success or sales figures have no direct bearing on the success of an IBO, neither does the criticism of the AMOs or Amway have a direct bearing on an IBO Some IBOs run a perfectly ethical sales based business. but is seems that these businesses are the exception and not the rule. The bigger groups apparently teach the prosumer or buy from yourself techniques, which almost ensures failure for most IBOs and then you factor in the expenses for tools, and the problem is compounded.

But surpisingly enough, these IBOs, even those who are losing their shirts, have been trained to think they are successful, and will defend Amway continuously and fiercely. But it begs the question: Why does Amway need to be defended? They made their billions and the corporation is successful, and Amway has paid corporate bloggers to maintain internet PR for the company. What makes individual IBOs think they can do more good than harm by running blogs?

And conversely, what has Amway done for their IBOs? It's been pretty well known that some AMOs have taken advantage of their downline IBOs, but what has been done to curb the abuses? Accreditation was implemented, but what significant changes have occured as a result? Where is the transparency in the tools compensation?

The best defense for an IBO is to make a profit and show that their downline can actually duplicate it. In nearly every group in which I have spoken to IBOs, there may be an IBO who profits, but only with downline suffering losses. But surprisingly and apparently, those who lose money, defend the business the hardest.

A regular visitor here recently posted a profit loss statement from her business. I challenge an IBO to do the same. Success is the best defense.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Amway - Business Support Materials? What Is The Purpose?

One of the biggest points of contention between Amway critics and Amway supporters is the debate about tools, or business support materials (BSM). These materials commonly consist of voicemail, website fees, cds, standing order, books and seminars or functions. I agree that some training might be helpful to a new IBO, but how much training? A sponsor is obligated to train those whom they sponsor, so how much training do you actually need? Also, I used to wonder why you couldn't buy a certain book at Barnes and Noble if it was cheaper than buying it from Upline?

The Amway business, broken down to very simple terms, is buying and selling products, and recruiting others, if you desire to build volume and perhaps to achieve a "level" in the business. The tools, or BSM are often touted as the key to your success as an IBO, but it is often a conflict of interest for upline to promote this as some of them profit from the sales of BSM. Also, according to the Amway accreditation rules, a written and transparent compensation plan for their professional develop program (tools/BSM) is required, but I have yet to actually see IBOs who know about this. Seems this aspect of accreditation is either not policed, and/or it seems IBOs are certainly not aware of this. After all, if IBOs and prospects are told that there is income for IBOs via tools at a certain level, how do you know if you qualify, and for how much?

But aside from that conversation, what purpose do the tools actually serve? I have heard IBOs talk about how they benefit from tools, but when asked if the tools resulted in a net profit from Amway, the silence was deafening. When I was an IBO, and apparently even now, the tools rarely contain specific material about how to actually run a profitable Amway business. There were no standing orders that told me how to track profits and expenditures. There were no speeches about record keeping and how to file business taxes. There were no meetings where we discussed return on investment of both time and money.

There was talk about dreams, and ignoring facts if the dream was big enough. There was talk about it being okay to go into unscured credit card debt, as long as it was to buy tools or more function tickets. There was talk about sacrificing family needs if it meant buying more tools. Sure, upline didn't force you to do this, they simply convinced you that it was a good idea, much like how a conman makes you think you are making a good decision when they are playing you.

This blog doesn't serve to convince you one way or another about the many subjects, but to offer a differing opinion for IBOs and new prospects to base their decisions on. If you see things here that make sense, I urge you to read more, and to ask your upline or sponsor the tough questions about the tools, or your continued involvement, especially if you are at a net loss at the end of the month.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Amway - A Real Business Or A Joke?

I find it somewhat humorous to see the kinds of stories and justifications that IBOs and Amway apologists use to try and pretend that they are running a legitimate and real business. That is not to say that none exist, but I believe that most IBOs are not truly running a business and I will suggest several bonafide methods of supporting this claim. If your sales are mainly to yourself, you are a customer, not a business owner. I read on a blog where an Amway apologist was claiming that Amway would still be legal even if IBOs never sold a product to a customer.

The issue is not whether Amway is legal or not. The issue is whether you as an IBO, are running a business or whether you are just a glorified customer? And just as importantly, are you also a customer of the tools systems? Some uplines operate in a conflict of interest, claiming they want your success, but what they really want is you to be a loyal customer of their tools system, where they make a significant amount of their income, in some cases, much much more than they earn from Amway.

But getting back on topic. Do IBOs really understand how their businesses run? Do they understand the recruiting plan? I believe most do not and they simply follow their upline or sponsor untio financial losses.

Try this, show your 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 recruiting plan to a loan officer at a bank and see what they have to say. I mean this quite seriously. Most likely, a real business owner who needed a loan would have to present a business plan to a loan officer. I challenge an IBO to do this and report the results. Will you be able to obtain a business loan or will you be laughed out of the bank? Seriously.

Or how about this? Try putting your Amway business up for sale. If you get any inquiries, tell the prospective buyer that your income is none of his business, or that you don't know your income or expenses because you don't track income and expenditures. Tell the prospective buyer that the facts don't matter if you have a dream. See how that conversation goes. Seriously.

So IBOs, Amway apologists and prospects, seriously, are you running a business or a joke? Because some of the answers I get from current IBOs is some humorous stuff. LOL

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amway - Your Chance Of Success?

Prospects and new IBOs may wonder at times, what is my chance of succeeding in Amway? It is a fair question, and one that is likely to be spun into another debate, or avoided by upline and Amway apologists. It is why an upline may show you a copy of his diamond's bonus check, but fail to mention the expenses associated with the business. Or they may show you slide shows of mansions and sports cars, but not tell you about their mortgages or their proceedings in bankruptcy court. In other words, many Amway uplines will imply their financial success with displays of wealth and other "trappings", but apparently, none have ever come clean about their business income. In the real business world, this kind of disclosure is common. Now I am not talking about disclosing social security numbers or about how much one donates to charity, but simply the Amway business income and expenses as outlined on your schedule C business tax return.

Aside from all of this, what is the chance of an IBO succeeding? Well, obviously, if you sign up and do nothing, or sign up and never order anything, then you received fair compensation for your efforts, which is nothing. But what I am concerned with is the IBOs who are told about a virtual guarantee of success if they do the work. That is not true, many IBOs do put in an earnest effort only to lose money, most likely due to the expenses such as standing order and functions.

Only 1 in 5 IBOs manage to sponsor another. Thus if you are not able sponsor downline, you are unlikely to succeed in Amway. Even if you sponsor some downline, unless they can also sponsor, they are unlikely to stay in business for long. Can you actually sell products? That is another way you can succeed, but since Amway IBOs only sell about 4% of their goods to non IBOs, unless you are good at selling, you are also very likely to fail at Amway. And selling can be challenging with limited advertising, and the fact that generally, Amway products are priced higher than comparable products available at other retailers, because Amway must include their bonus payments in the cost of their products.

Then you also have the reality of the business. The 6-4-2 plan includes 79 IBOs, all doing 100 PV, and collectively, there is 1 platinum and 78 lesser IBOs. This shows that it is mathematically impossible for the majority of IBOs to make a significant income. Factor in the cost of business expenses and it's possible for everyone in the group to suffer a business loss, possible with the exception of the platinum.

So what are the chances of succeeding in Amway? Slim to none describes it quite well, in my opinion. Sure, Amway is not a gameof chance, but still, as someone involved or someone thinking of getting involved, you need to take a look to see what is the likelihood of success. Sure, some people can and will succeed, but you need to analyze your business objectively to see if you are progressing as per the plan, or are you simply becoming a statistic while being advised to ignore facts by upline?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Amway - Unethical Uplines?

It seems as if the most common problem with the Amway opportunity is the presence of unethical uplines. What is scary is that these upline may tell you that they care about you and that they want you to succeed. All the while, they are working on another agenda. The root of the problem is that some of the upline leaders profit from tools, thus they operating with a conflict of interest.

An IBO's business should be treated as such, and a case by case, person by person assessment of the business should be made before an IBO should be strongly encouraged to be involved in the tools systems. But most uplines don't do this. They will just address the audience and promote the system as the key to success, without knowing what each IBO is trying to achieve. In some extrememe cases, families are told to do without basic necessities in order to buy more standing orders or to attend another function. It boggles my mind when I think about it.

There are some red flags that may indicate if your upline has your best interest at heart, or his own best interest. A lack of emphasis on selling products is a red flag. A business exists to make a profit, and not selling products is a good way to fail in business. Not watching your profits versus income is another way to fail. If you are taught to ignore facts, you are likely being mislead by upline. Does your upline show off wealth and at the same time, spend time in bankruptcy court? Does your upline actually have wealth, or just the illusion of wealth? Are you told that total dedication to the system is all important?

If you see any of these signs from your upline, it may be in your own best interest to step back and take a close hard look at your business and see if you are getting to where you want to be. If not, there is no harm in doing something else or at least looking at making adjustments to what you are doing if it is not working. But the main thing, IMO, is to assess whether your upline leader is giving you advice that is in your best interest, or in his best interest?