Over the years I have seen many debates about the legality of retail sales in Amway. At one time, an Amway corporate employee stated on a blog that about 3.4% of Amway products are sold to non IBOs or customers. Some Amway apologists like to justify the legality of the Amway opportunity by saying that sales to downline IBOs are considered sales, at least for satsifying Amway's retail sales rule. While I personally disagree that this fulfills the "spirit" of the rule, I want to instead speak about sales strictly to non IBOs.
Sales to non IBOs gives an IBO an immediate profit, and hopefully with enough volume combined with downline volume, an IBO can make a profit. But oddly, many IBOs are simply taught to buy from themselves, I presume because most people do not like selling good, so the AMOs just teach the buy from yourself mantra. While buying your own goods might seem like sage advice, it makes you a customer and not a business owner. What is also amazing is that some IBOs, possibly many IBOs do not sell a single product to anyone but themselves.
Not selling products to customers is building a house of cards. It may work for a while but it is not a structure that can sustain itself unless you continue to recruit and replace those who quit. The buy from yourself system also creates an artificial demand for Amway products and the only way to sustain volume is to keep replacing IBOs who quit. And IBO retention, being poor, makes this method of business building, unsustainable except for a very few exceptional IBOs who can recruit new IBOs to join the "treadmill".
A true customer base, one where customers truly enjoy and purchase the products, is the way to go in the long run, because you will have more predictable sales volume and immediate profits. You would be far better off with a hundred customers each buying 10 PV from you than you would having 10 downline all moving 100 PV.
Sadly, most IBOs have little or no customers and little or no downline. All they have that is predictable is a steady expense for voicemail, functions, books and standing orders. Over the course of a year or a few years, these expenses can extrat tens of thousands of dollars from an IBO, not counting the inflated prices of Amway and partner store products. It is why without real customers, the money in the Amway opportunity is simply transfered from the downline to the upline rather than from outside sources. Much like how a State like Hawaii is reliant on tourists to visit and spend money here. When tourism slows, so does the economy. Very similar to the Amway system with little or no customers.
Without non IBO customers, your business will not be sustainable. Where are you at?