Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Amway - Why IBOs Struggle To Move Products?

There's been much debate recently over the issue of IBOs selling products. Now of course in the IBO world, there are going to be some IBOs who are exceptional at selling products and possibly in foreign countries where Amway has not spoiled their reputation as it apparently has in North America, it might be possible to sell some products. But the experince of a typical IBO probably cannot be one where products flow to customers regularly. A blog post by an Amway corporate blogger as linked on the Quixtar Blog Forum revealed that only about 4% of Amway products were sold to non IBOs. Now I do not wish to debate the merits of whether or not downline are considered customers as that is an endless and pointless debate because the bottom line would be that uplines are making their income on the backs of their downline, thus confirming the appearance of a product pyramid.

But why do rank and file IBOs struggle to sell Amway products? Surely Amway has some decent and some good products. But in North America, Amway's goods are generic in nature but sell at premium prices. So unless you are convinced that their quality is that great for the price, the average Joe is simply going to buy a similar product at WalMart or a Costco. Also, when you must justify and explain to potential customers that you actually provide a better value due to concentration and/or cost per use, it not only becomes labor intensive, but confusing for the average consumer. Add in the past reputation of the Amway name being associated with a scam or a pyramid and you have an extremely tough sell.

Partner stores are often used by IBOs to bring name credibility but I wonder how many of these products are actually sold to customers? I susoect that very few products are sold because the price is not that competetive and because many consumers, like myself prefer to touch and feel certain products before making a decision to buy. Even with a money back guaranteee, customers don't want to be bothered wuth returning something via the mail. Also, the term partner store seems odd because Amway IBOs sell partner store goods, but "partner" stores don't sell Amway products. The relationship is not a two way street, in other words.

Aslo, while Amway recently started to market their opportunity and goods with national advertising, I believe the advertising is more of a retention issue. IBOs can say "see, we're on TV, we must be credible". I believe it may be too late in North America. In the past. IBOs would say they had greater bonuses because Amway saved money on advertising. Thus IBOs engaged in the most inefficient manner of moving products. They did it person to person and in the past, door to door. The reason why superbowl commercials are so expensive is because they can read tens or hundreds of millions of people worldwide. But basically, Amway IBOs to sell the products and the opportunity, must do it one person at a time, and they must also overcome the many negative opinions that North Americans have about Amway. I believe/suspect that the Amway sales have been stagnant, if not decliding in North America, but it cannot be confirmed since Amway did not release sales for North America seperate from Global sales.

But it is for these reasons that IBOs probably cannot move many products except to some family and friends. In what REAL business can you make a sustainable living, much less fabulous wealth by selling some goods to family and friends? I can't think of any, and you are seriously mislead if you think you can do this with Amway products.

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