"Tools are optional, but so is success" One of the things that seems to be the common reason for IBOs losing money in Amway is the tools system. While IBOs may say that the system is optional, it certainly is not promoted that way. In my opinion, it is a defacto requirement. Especially when you may be told that nobody succeeds without the system, but you can be the first to try. Or that your upline double diamond accomplished that level with dedication to the system, but if you think you know better, you can try it on your own.
For most new IBOs, there really is not much of a choice is there? If you're lucky, maybe your upline will loan you some cds or books, but eventually, if you are to be a "serious" business owner, you will have to buy your own. Some uplines may compare these tools to a carpenter who needs a hammer and nails, or it might be compared to a college student who needs books to complete their coursework. But a carpenter certainly doesn't need 100 hammers and a student would not need multiple copies of the same book.
Basically, the system never ends for IBOs, unless they quit the business. What is also scary, is if you have a pushy upline who may encourage you to hyperconsume tools. We were advised to purchase additional tapes/cds every week because they would help you grow and because you were to pass them out to prospects. We were told that you should not cancel standing orders if your downline quits because it was too much trouble to call upline to cancel the standing order. We were encouraged to buy extra function tickets because you don't want to sponsor someone just before the function only to have the function sold out.
What was also scary was how some diamonds would talk about how long someone could skip mortgage payments before a foreclosure would occur. I am guessing because IBOs could then skip a payment in order to attend a function. IBOs were told to go in debt if it was to invest in their Amway business (Meaning it was okay to go in debt to buy tools). IBOs were edified if they made it to functions at any cost. I recall a man dying of cancer being edified because he left his (real) family to attend a major function while he was basically dying (literally).
Amway implemented their accreditation program to try and curb some of these abuses, but I believe at least some, and possibly many of these abuses still occur, under Amway's radar. My hope is that someone seeking information might recognize the warning signs I have posted and can decide for themselves if their upline is leading them astray.