Thursday, January 28, 2010

Amway - A Likely Experience?

One thing Amway promoters and apologists like to do is to paint a best case scenario when promoting Amway. I can't blame a promoter for wanting to show the best case scenario, but in my informed opinion, it's a matter of whether there is deception or outright lies in displaying that best case scenario. For example, when other "financial" gurus air their infomercials, they have a disclaimer to explain that success testimonials are a "unique" experience. Many Amway promoters apparently do the opposite and make it seem as if financial success in Amway is the norm and not the exception. But what is the more common or likely experience for an IBO?

I am not going to discuss the IBOs who sign up and do nothing, even if this may be common. (That's because there may also be reasons for this, such as deception or harrassment used by the recruiters).

I believe that for many, they will see the plan, usually the 6-4-2 plan which is to show how you can become a platinum. The speaker may slide in how all you need is six of these groups and you will be a diamond and make hundreds of thousands of dollars and walk the beaches of the world.

The reality for many is to sign up full of excitement, and thinking that certainly, some of their friends and family will agree that this is viable. So the new IBO will buy or consume 100 PV and may try to sell a few items. Eventually, this same IBO will talk to family and friends and many of their friends and family will show sour faces as they already had, or know someone who had a questionable or bad experience with an Amway IBO. I myself got tricked into a meeting at one time. They may listen to the standing orders and attend the meetings with the intent of succeeding as per the plan.

But after a few months, not many people are interested in registering, not many want to buy the products and it becomes increasingly harder to make contacts and to get new people to see the plan. The expenses start to add up. You have products such as laundry detergent or LOC that you don't need to replace but you have your defacto 100 PV quota, so you end up buying other things to reach that all important 3% bonus bracket. By now, you have a cache of household products and goods that you never really used prior to Amway, you notice that your checking account is shrinking as the products and the other expenses such as voicemail and functions are starting to add up.

You finally quit, in some cases with the now former IBO feeling embarrassed or ashamed that they even got involved in all this. They disappear and all of their former "lifelong" IBO friends could care less. They won't bother to complain about their experience, but may feel the need to vent if someone discusses Amway again.

In the final analysis, the bad experience and financial losses likely came at the hands of an AMO such as Network21, WWDB or BWW, but the attachment of a bad experience will be tied to Amway. This is a more likely experience than someone quitting their job to walk the beaches of the world.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Amway - Diamond Freedom?

When I was an IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to think why does he keep working if he can walk away and collect residual income? My sponsor told me that the diamond only works because he cares about his downline and wants to help them. So there are two possible scenarios, the diamond is working to help his downline out of a genuine concern, or possoibly he is working because he has to! The only difference now is that the diamond works the nite and/or graveyard shift, because many IBOs are building the business after they complete their day jobs. **We should also note that my former upline diamond dropped down to the emerald level around 2005 and has since re-established his diamond level.

Now Amway has stated that the average diamond earns about $146,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after taxes and paying for basic expenses such as medical and dental insurance, the average diamond probably lives a very middle class lifestyle. Keep in mind that a large portion of a diamond's income comes in the form of an annual bonus, thus a diamond's monthly income may be quite small. Yes, diamonds may have other sources of income such as speaking engagements and income from standing orders and functions. But this income depends on the diamond's continued appearances and efforts.

So is it likely that a diamond is "free"? I would have to conclude that a diamond is not free, and may actually have to spend more time maintaining his group than if the diamond simply had a 9-5 job. For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain a personal group to keep qualifying for bonuses. With a poor retention rate in Amway, I am fairly sure that a diamond spends much time recruiting personally sponsored IBOs to maintain this group. Additionally, a diamond must help his six or more groups of downline platinums to maintain their businesses or face the possibility of falling out of qualification. My former diamond dropped down to the emerald level but has since re-qualified at diamond. A diamond must also dedicate time to reward up and coming movers and shakers, to keep them motivated. I got to spend time with my upline diamond when I was considered a promising up and coming pin.

In order to continue to receive tools income, a diamond must also travel to numerous functions and speaking engagements. Although the tools income allegedly doubles a diamond's income, it also adds a lot of expenses, especially if the diamond and his family travel first class to show off the diamond lifestyle.

After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a middle to upper middle class lifestyle, and probably works as much as a man with a 9-5 job, except that a diamond works nites and weekends. A good portrait of this is shown in Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke and Mirrors). In the book, the diamond had a net income of over $300,000, but lived in debt, could barely pay his mortgage, and was always on the run from one function to the next.

I believe that diamonds may actually be busier at the diamond level than an average Joe who has a 9-5 J-O-B. The difference is that the diamond works the night shift. Is this the freedom you are seeking?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amway - You Can't Decide to Go Diamond?

One of the things I see around some forums, and what I remember from my Amway days is hearing about how someone "made the decision" to go diamond. You cannot "decide" to go diamond anymore than you can decide to win the lottery. You can decide to work hard and you can decide to try and follow all of the recommended advice for achieving in Amway, but you cannot "decide" to go diamond. Going diamond requires you to have certain group structures, which requries sponsoring. Sponsoring others is something that is not directly within your control. Maintaining retention in your group is also something you may not have direct control over.

One familiar theme I recall hearing on WWDB rally tapes is that someone, usually the man of the house, finally made a decision to go diamond. I don't recall a detailed explanation of what that meant. When I was prospected into Amway, my sponsor never could tell me in a straight answer what you actually do as an IBO. All he kept assuring me of was that I could be taught everything I needed to know. Looking back, he was right. In a nutshell, the Amway business is simply this: Buy, sell, and sponsor. But of the three components, the only one an IBO can directly control is to "buy". To sell or to sponsor is something that you have no direct control over. Yes, some people can improve and get better at selling or prospecting, but I believe the vast majority of people, even those who work hard and give effort, simply do not have the skills to overcome the reputation and high prices that apparently stigmatize the Amway business.

As I have stated, you can decide to try Amway. You can decide to buy tools and products, you can decide to work hard and give your best effort. You can decide that this is a good opportunity for you. But you cannot decide that you will go diamond. Many have tried, very few have made it. Even those who attain the apparent pinnacle of success, often find that maintaining the level is a near impossible task. Good luck to you if you "decide" to go for it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Amway - Join Or Be A Loser?

One apparent theme of some Amway advocates is to call someone a loser if they don't join the business or if they have an opposing view of the Amway business. I find that very strange, since most people who register for the Amway opportunity end up with less money than they started with. Yet, those who are considered leaders in the Amway business will often refer to non IBOs as "broke" or as "losers". You can be a "winner" in Amway as long as you join and continue to purchase tools.

I believe the term loser is used as a form of subtle pressure by upline to prevent people from quitting. IBOs get the impression that they will be considered a "loser" if they leave the business or that they will not have the hope of a bright future if they leave the business. For most, nothing could be further from the truth. I found that I had much more time and money after I left the Amway business.
The business had consumed a lot of my time and I also spent a lot of money investing in my Amway business.

The reality of the business is revealed by Amway's own numbers. $115 average IBO income, after Amway disregarded the "inactive" IBOs. 1 out of 5 IBOs manage to sponsor another IBO. Less than 4% of products are sold to non IBOs. While these numbers can be twisted to look differently, I believe they speak loud and clear to the layperson who is simply looking into the business. In fact, if you are thinking of joining, I simply challenge you to do your due diligence. For current IBOs, I challenge you not to ignore facts. To look at your profit and loss statements, and to determine if you are achieving what you have been sold on as a business.

I really don't know why some IBOs and uplines will call people losers for not joining Amway. In fact, I think for most, the opposite is true. Food for thought.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Amway - More Money Made On Tools?

I have been reading some ongoing debates about whether the system income for higher pins is more than their Amway bonuses. I believe the systems such as BWW, WWDB, N21 or LTD, does generate more profit for upline than the sale of Amway products. How the system income is divided though, is still a mystery as it doesn't appear that there are bonafide written contracts explaining how tools income is split up among the higher pins.

But it's very easy to determine that more income is made from the system than from Amway. If you move $100 worth of Amway products, Amway will pay about $33 back in the form of bonuses. These bonuses will be split among the Amway IBOs (middlemen), depending on your level. On the other hand, if your group bought say 20 cds at $5.00each, the system will profit about $90 as cds cost about 50 cents each to produce in bulk. Some Amway apologists will cite the fact that some groups sell cds for $2.50 or $3.00. While this is true, there is a "member's fee" which must be paid. And when you add in the member's fee, the profit for the system is the same or possibly higher!

If you buy a major function ticket for $100, the cost of that function might be in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per attendee, so the system may generate $70 profit on a $100 sale. I believe the smaller functions such as open meetings, books and voicemail have smaller profit margins, but still overall, it's easy to conclue that the profit from the system is greater than profits generated by moving Amway products.

The only question is how much each individual earns. I have "heard" that platinums get a discount on the sale of standing orders and cds, but I have never heard of a platinum sharing any profit for functions, voicemail, or any of the other materials. This is puzzling to me as I believe the platinums do the most work in the system.

So for the lower level IBOs, if you move $300 in Amway sales (Approximately 100 PV), you will receive about $10 or 3% while upline enjoys the rest of the $90+ in bonuses from Amway. And then when you purchase and move tools volume, you receive nothing and some of your uplines enjoy all of the profit. While I don't see any problem in upline making a profit for selling training materials, I see a problem in the fact that the tools don't work. So few IBOs progress to levels where an actual profit is earned. Amway supporters will point out the new platinums emerging each year, but do not mention the platinums who do not re-qualify.

Based on my observations, I can only conclude (quite easily) that there is substantially more profit from the sale of support materials for upline to enjoy, and I can also conclude that the support materials are ineffective in training downline IBOs so they can progress to higher levels of the business. I welcome opposing views on this issue.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amway - Quitting Amway Is Not Failure!

One of the things that uplines will teach their downline IBOs is that you are a failure if you quit. Some uplines will tell you if you never quit, you will eventually make it. That success might be right around the corner. Or if you go diamond after 30 years, it's still better than a job. Some uplines will make analogies of sports figures "never giving up". This is a subtle form of pressure to keep IBOs in the business. Many IBOs think they will be failures in life if they quit Amway. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the world of business, sometimes quitting is simply a wise business decision. Can you imagine a stock broker who "never quits"? A stock will go bankrupt because the broker will "never quit"? Ridiculous. Sometimes the best option is to quit, regroup and come up with a better plan. An analogy to an athlete is insincere at best. Top athletes may never quit, but eventually, the game or tournament will end and that athlete will make adjustments or practice more to be better in the next game or tournament. Just as a business owner may quit several businesses before finding one that works for him and can deliver the goals that business owner has.

If you have big dreams of fancy cars and homes, quitting Amway doesn't mean you cannot accomplish these dreams and goals. It simply means you have to find another vehicle to accomplish it. You may have to do another kind of business, or maybe you will focus on your current job or business and allow it to flourish. I found that life after Amway was quite good for me. I progressed in my occupation and I currently earn a decent living and I am quite content. I have managed to save and invest and plan to retire comfortably with no debts.

If your Amway business is not what was advertised to you and if you aren't making a net profit that is worth your return on investment, then quitting is not a failure. It might be a wise business decision. You as an independent business owner, will have to assess your situation and decide what's best for you and your family.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Amway - The Psychology Behind The Presentation?

The Psychology Behind The Presentation

I’m not sure whether this plan was carefully crafted out or whether it just evolved, but the way some uplines show the plan is cleverly designed to suck people into their systems. If you aren’t aware or careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the presentation. The presentation is full of deception and I will try to point out these items in my analysis.

The speaker may talk about how he once thought he was “doing okay” in life. That he was making a living and able to meet his financial obligations. But he thought there might be more. One day he saw the plan and it changed his life. He did not realize he had gotten into a rut of going to work and going home every day and looking forward to his 2 weeks off each year. (This is relatable for many) That time and money are so important in life. Control of time and money is the key to success. Many people have lots of money but work all day and nite. Or people have time but are broke and can’t do much. The speaker might mention dreams or goals such as having an extra $500 a month or more. What would you do for an extra $500 a month. What about an extra $50,000 a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the wife stay home with the kids instead of leaving the family to go to work? Like the “Leave it to Beaver” days? (This gets the women excited)

The speaker will likely mention something about the economy and how prices always go up. The speaker may mention the 4 “I’s” that suck money out of your paycheck. The four I’s are Interest, Income Tax, Insurance and Inflation. The speaker may talk about how the government will take their cut and so on until you get your “net”. The speaker may mention how so many Americans are dead or broke by age 65, and that social security will collapse. (This instills fear in many people).

The speaker might also go on to mention how so many marriages are falling apart in the US because of financial stress. That couples work so hard that they have no family time and it hurts marriages. That people work so many hours these days that they are married to their desks. The “manager” of the office is the first one there and the last one to go home. That despite all of this work and effort, people are falling into debt. Credit cards maxed out, loans, trying to keep up with the Joneses. (Many people can relate to this)

But now, because he was looking for opportunity/open minded one day, he saw an opportunity. This opportunity changed his life and can do the same for you! The speaker now wakes up at the crack of noon. His wife stays home with him and the kids. They take nice vacations and they do what they want when they want. (Of course, who doesn’t? But is this true?) The opportunity takes advantage of the internet and allows you to leverage your time and money so that you can create a residual walk away income. (But nobody walks away do they?)

This is approximately the point in the presentation where they mention “Amway” At this point, the speaker will defend Amway, stating that if you can make money, does it matter.? If you can save money, does it matter? The speaker may go into the product line and mention partner stores and will likely show a 6-4-2 plan or a variation of it. In every case, they will show a best case scenario, not what is likely. Many prospects will leave thinking “all I need is six”. They don’t understand how unlikely it is to sponsor six platinums and there is no mention of the retention rates, the income most IBOs can expect, and firm questions will be deflected to the prospect’s inviter. The speaker may also discourage you from speaking to friends and family as they may have a bad experience but the diamond is successful and knows more about Amway than your family and friends.

Joe’s commentary: So the speaker becomes very relatable from the start. His situation in life will be like many in the audience. He will talk about doing okay,. But wanting more or looking for more. He talks about debts and many in the audience will also relate. They get people to think about dream cars or vacations. He talks about walk away income, but doesn’t mention that very very few ever make significant money and apparently, not many actually walk away either. They say you will make money and save money by doing the business. It’s hard to argue against that,.except most people will not make money or save money. In fact most people, if they participate fully or partially in the training system, they will lose money. For the dedicated IBOs, many of them LOSE LOTS OF MONEY. The plan is crafted out to sound sensible and relatable, but many IBOs will give it a try and shortly after, will realize that the system doesn’t work, that the reputation of Amway IBOs is soiled and sponsoring people or even getting people to see the plan is a barrier that most people simply cannot overcome. At least if you know what’s going on, you may be able to avoid the trap.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Amway - These Are Whose Dreams?

One of the things used as a recruitment tool my upline is to get a prospect to think of dreams. Dreams could be extravagant like owning a yacht or it could be simple like taking a cruise ship to Alaska. The recruit is told to dream big and to envision things they would like to enjoy. Perhaps it is not having a job, or perhaps it is having a stay at home mom. These are all great dreams and goals. Dreams and goals are good things to have. The speaker will then tell the audience that these are all possible thru the Amway opporunity.

Now some people have achieved great success thru Amway. But these people are so few and far between that you could argue that the lottery has the same kind of success. Granted the lottery is a game of chance, and Amway is not, but the "likely" results can be comparable. In Amway and the lottery, you have the vast majority accomplishing nothing and losing money. You have some "best case scenarios" where a few are successful. You then focus on and display the success testimonies as evidence that "anyone can succeed", just as anyone with a ticket can win the lottery.

Some uplines will often tell their faithful downline that someone who speaks negatively about Amway is a "dream stealer". Of course this is ludicrous. Your dream is in your heart and mind. Nobody can steal that. Secondly, whose dream is being compromised? It is the upline diamond who has all the goodies and the large checks right? The downline are basically ones paying for their upline's dreams. It is fairly well known that less than 5% of Amway products are sold to people who are not IBOs. It is also well known that 99% of tools and business support materials are sold to IBOs. So guess where your upline diamond's success comes from? That's right. An IBO's product volume and an IBO's tool purchases provide the upline diamond with a nice income. Stop and think about it for a moment.

So yes, there are some people who achieve their dreams in Amway. There are also people who achieve their dreams playing the lottery. There are millions of people who tried to build an Amway business and did not achieve. There are millions of people to play the lottery and do not win. Some dreams get built, but chances are they won't be yours. There is a good chance that your upline diamond's dreams will come true if you "never quit" and you stay on the system.

The question is whether you are seeking to build your dreams or someone else's?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amway - Diamonds, False Prosperity Preachers?

I remember pretty clearly, some of the things touted by upline to sell IBOs and recruits on the Amway business was to stress family values. That the man would do the work and that the wife would care for the children. I also heard prosperity preaching from various uplines as they spoke about how God wants you to be rich, or that Amway is a God pleasing business. Or that the business is more about friendships than about money.

I wonder how God would feel about uplines who lied to their groups about tools profits? I wonder how God would feel about uplines taking advantage of their downline in order to prosper? I wonder how God would feel about uplines advising downline to skip paying their rent or mortgages to pay for a function. Or how about having your family skip meals so you can buy more standing orders? I wonder how God would feel about IBOs worshipping the diamonds and money/material goods? As crazy as this sounds, these are actual things I heard as an IBO, and what’s crazier is that I believe some of these things are still taught today. There is ample evindence and testimony out there to indicate that many of these practices occur today.

The Good book (The Bible) says the love of money leads to all kinds of evils. (Timothy) I believe that the upline at one time truly wanted to develop training for their business. But what happened was GREED took over and corrupted the systems. It is why there are many lawsuits of diamonds versus diamonds. Diamonds moving their entire groups to form their own training systems, or diamonds even moving a another MLM altogether. It is quite evident that many uplines hearts are full of greed. It is why you hear blanket statements like never quit, or do what it takes to get to that next function, or that nobody can succeed without tools.

Power and adoration can be alluring. I believe many – a – diamond has become corrupt and greedy. Their needs come before those they pretend to serve. They are wolves with a nice suit and a nice smile. Their greed knows no bounds. They will tell you touching stories to tug on your heart. They will tell you anything that will increase their bottom line.

The most disturbing thing about these leaders is that they do these evil deeds under the pretense that they are serving God and/or promoting family values.

• Proverbs 22:16 - "He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty."

• 1 Timothy 6:7-10 - "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

• Luke 18:22-25 - "... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

• 1 Timothy 6:3-5 - "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Amway - IBOs Prey On The Needy?

One of the big things that was taught by my upline was to recruit people who are in need. People in need of time and/or money are perfect candidates is what I was told. You look for a need and use it as a chance to show the plan. Someone who may be looking for more income is likely to be more open minded. It is also why the upper level pins will display signs of wealth as an enticement, to get people interested and hopefully excited in seeing the plan, and hopefully to get people to register for the opportunity. IBOs will wave around a copy of an upline's check.
Recruits will be asked about their dreams. Amway recruiters will then show a "best case scenario" of people with trappings of great wealth. Of course they will not show you what is likely, which is a net loss due to the "system".

At this point, the recruit may start to wonder if he/she might be able to attain the same level of success. The recruit starts to think if he and find "six" as they talk about in the plan. In a 2004 Dateline segment, the show panned in on people in attendance at a function. Some people were in tears. They probably wanted success so badly that they can taste it. But it will never materialize.

Sadly, there are few people on the stage and thousands of people in the audience. That's the way it has always been. Unless the compensation plan changes, that's the way it is likely to be forever and ever. The 6-4-2 plan has 79 IBOs at 100 PV. Considering the people who never do a thing and those who quit, you can assume that you need much more than 78 downline to a platinum business. And a platinum business is approximately where you start to make a small net profit, according to my understanding. That is because of the costs associated with being involved in a system such as BWW, WWDB, or N21.

For most IBOs who decide to try the business and the systems, they will likely end up losing time and money. LOSING TIME AND MONEY. Unfortunately, most IBOs sign up hoping to gain more time and money. Ironically, what they seek is what they have less of due to their involvement with the systems.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Amway - Negative Cashflow?

One of the things I am hearing about right now by Amway supporters is the concept that Amway pays you to shop there. The problem with this statement is that many IBOs see this rebate but do not calculate the fact that you can still have a better bottom line simply by purchasing a product elsewhere. For example, if WalMart started some kind of cash rebate program, would you quit Amway and shop at WalMart?
Then when an Amway supporter is cornered with this information, they will switch gears and start to defend quality versus price. It's all very predictable.
Honest question for IBOs. Why do you use KATE instead of the Amway voicemail system? Amway pays you to shop there, your upline profits from and does not pay you to use KATE.

One of the biggest problems with especially new IBOs is they ignore negative cashflow. And I cannot really blame them. They are ususally sponsored by someone they trust and they are often taught to ignore facts or taught that they are investing in their business, just like a real business, even though when recruited, they are told little or ZERO risk. Thus an IBO who intends to make a profit will generally get set up with a website and some other materials. While the cost may not be exorbitant, these few materials already exceed a new IBO's income unless they actully go out and sell some goods or are able to sponsor downline who sell and buy products. And the more dedicated an IBO is, the greater the chance is that the IBO's negative cashflow will be larger. When you start to add in standing order and functions, the cashflow gets more and more negative and there are many testimonies of massive debts built up by IBOs in a few years or less.

What's ironic is that many IBOs incur these debts at the advice of their upline, or if you will, "mentors". Many uplines will teach IBOs to "never quit". It is my guess that uplines will make blanket statements like never quit without knowing an IBOs circumstance. Just as a statement like you "need" to attend a certain certain function, or you need standing order. No assessment of an IBO's business or personal circumstances. It appears that uplines are simply interested in making a sale for their BSM business. You may ask why should a diamond assess a downline's business before issuing these statements. I ask why should downline call them "mentors". In the meantime these downline suffer negative cashflow from their Amway business. Ironically, some upline teaches that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Amway - Upline Advice - Your Best Interest Or Not?

IBOs, you are called an "Independent Business Owner". This means you are solely responsible for the bottom line of your own business. Apparently, one of the things that commonly happens is that some uplines will take advantage of this by giving advice that is more beneficial to themselves than to their downline. Some of the upline in your group will gain financially from an IBO's movement of product volume as well as tool purchases.

Thus if your upline is advising you to attend a certain function at all costs, or to sell off all your personal goods to buy more standing orders, these kinds of advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt and assessed against the performance of your business and the amount of disposable income you have. Also, you may want to consider what you have gotten out of previous functions or standing orders and decide for yourself whether or not expending the cash to attend a function will be cost effective and whether or not you will get a good return for your investment.

All too often, it would appear that uplines will encourage their downlines to attend all functions, regardless of whether or not they are profitable, and regardless of whether or not the IBO can afford to attend. In my former LOS, I was a member of World Wide Dream Builders. When i sat in the audience, people were taught how they could put off paying their mortgage or their monthly bills to be able to attend a major function. Or IBOs were encouraged to quit their jobs and find another one if they could not get time off from work to attend. Of course, these same uplines were never held accountable for teaching these bad practices.

IBOs, if you are hearing any kind of advice where tools and functions become a priority over your personal financial or family obligations, I would ask you to sit down and think about whether the said advice is truly in your best interest. If you will fall behind on your bills or mortgage, how will you ever catch up as functions come up every 3 to 4 months. You will likely face the same or a tougher decision again in a few months. Is your upline's advice truly in your best interest? If so, how so? Only you can decide that. I urge you to think about it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Amway - BBB Rating?

This is an article written by Beth Dornan, an Amway employee:

Amway Global Insider

The back story on what we do at Amway Global to support the business opportunity and IBOs

No, Quixtar doesn't have a "AA" rating from the BBB - it doesn't have any rating.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

There was an interesting exchange in a forum last week about Quixtar's BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating. One person suggested that neither Quixtar nor any LOA had achieved a "AA" rating from the BBB.

And that's true. Because the BBB does not rate companies against a scorecard and assign a rating with letters or numbers. NOTE: As it's been pointed out in comments, some local BBBs have rating systems but West Michigan, which administers Quixtar's report, does not. Rather, the BBB provides information on whether a company has a satisfactory record in dealing with consumer complaints and issues.
This from the BBB's FAQ:

The BBB reports on a firm's marketplace practices. It does not report either individual or business credit information. BBB reliability reports contain information about the nature of the business, its principal officers, a three-year summary of any complaints processed, and any government action involving the company's marketplace practices. Most Bureaus will also report a company's BBB membership in its public report and note whether it participates in any special BBB programs to improve customer satisfaction.

The BBB does not endorse or recommend particular companies; it provides information related to customer satisfaction and complaints so consumers can make informed decisions based on the experiences of others.

Quixtar is one of the most searched terms on the West Michigan BBB Web site. That's because the national Council of Better Busienss Bureaus refers inquiries back to regional offices that handle inquiries related to companies in their service areas. So if you go to the national site and type in a search for Quixtar, you'll be redirected to the West Michigan site and the most current Quixtar BBB report. You'll see that while inquiries are high, the small number of complaints filed have been resolved to the satisfaction of the BBB and we hope, the consumers.

Quixtar is a member of the BBB and also participates in the BBB Online Reliability Program, which provides specific rules pertaining to online retailers and consumer protections.

Now there are other companies that provide ratings of a company's credit and payment performance, like Dun and Bradstreet and Standard and Poor. But those are measures of a company's financial solvency, not how they resolve issues or deal with customer concerns.

We respond quickly to BBB complaints, but no more quickly than to other concerns shared with us by phone or e-mail. Anyone with a concern or complaint regarding our plan, products or other aspects of our business are welcome to contact us for discussion and if appropriate, investigation, and ultimately resolution of the issue. We're in the process of revamping the "Contact Us" section at to make it even easier to share a product or company concern or to file a complaint if there's a potential infringement of Quixtar's Rules of Conduct or Code of Ethics. Today, you can send rules issues to for follow-up. You can contact Quixtar Customer Support with product issues. If you have a question pertaining to Quixtar, you can contact PR at

The changes to "Contact Us" will just make it quicker and easier to share -- whether it's a concern, a complaint, or the occasional compliment!

Amway - The Business Is Fair?

One of the things my upline always taught was how the business was fair. Everyone starts at zero, we were told. Everyone does start at zero, but it is hardly fair when you break down the compensation and the layers of people between you and your uplines. I will also speak about how the sponsoring is somewhat cloudy as well. Despite the claim that you will be paid if you "do the work", it is not necessarily true. These are catch phrases that upline uses to make it seem fair.

The sponsoring system that Amway uses is a hit or miss. You could have tons of business acumen and insight on running a business, but your sponsor and others upline will always be your upline and will always profit on your efforts - simply because they were there first. In many cases, a sponsor has nothing to offer a downline. They are in no way shape or form able to advise or give sound business advice. But as long as they are in the business, they get to profit from your efforts. Does that sound fair to you?

Also, let's take a new IBO for example. If that new IBO sells and consumes 100 PV, that new IBO will receive a 3% bonus. Amway pays 32% to 33% of their take in bonuses. Thus the new IBO who "did the work" gets 3% and somewhere in the layers of upline, 29% to 30% gets split up among the upline. Some of the upline don't know that the new IBO exists, but they get a portion of the bonus, simply because they were there first. The new IBO has done the work and some of the uplines have done nothing to help this new IBO, but they enjoy a percentage of that IBO's bonus. Does that sound fair?

Tenured upline may also sell business support materials such as voicemail, websites, books, cds, and seminars. None of these materials have been proven to be effective in assisting IBOs in building a business. In fact, some of the biggest crown ambassador types built their Amway businesses before these materials existed. But because they were there first, they now claim to have the expertise on how to build a successful Amway business. Based on some numbers that Amway has provided, we can conclude that less than 1 in 240 IBOs ever reach platinum and out of those who reach platinum, less than 1% ever reach diamond. Not much evidence that the system works. Yes, I acknowledge that some people don't follow the system, but out of these ones who do follow the system, the success rate is still miserably low. If the system is so diffcult to follow and succeed, is it fair for IBOs to have to keep paying for a system that will not help them?

All of the above are reasons a new IBO has the deck stacked unfairly against them. Yes, some IBOs can overcome overwhelming challenges and succeed, but they are few and far between. Is this business set up in a fair manner? You decide.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Amway - Never Quit?

"Never Quit" was one of the things I often heard when I was an IBO. To quit seemed like the kiss of death as an IBO. I believe that the never quit mantra can be useful if the saying was meant to read as never quit trying, or never quit trying to better yourself. But in the Amway business, when uplines talk about never quit, what they mean is never quit doing 100 PV and never quit buying tools.

I find it ironic that so many IBOs think of the diamonds on stage as being mentors to them. In fact, these diamonds don't know most of their faithful downline IBOs. They don't know their personal circumstances or whether they are progressing in building their business, thus a blanket "never quit" statement is insincere at best. It seems that the never quit saying is a self serving thought, especially since the upline diamond benefits financially by an IBO staying on board with the tools program.

When you stop and think for a moment, your upline benefits financially from almost every aspect of the business. You move 100 PV and you get 3% while somewhere upline, about 30% bonus gets shared by your sponsor and further uplines. Your voicemail account is profit for upline. Your website profits upline, standing order, book of the month and functions all pour money into your upline's pockets. In fact, it seems that IBOs pay through their teeth for almost every bit of information they receive, regardless of any success in Amway.

If your upline truly had vital information that would make your business grow, why would they want to withhold that information from downline? Maybe your uplines don't truly want your success? Maybe they only want your money? Is that why the "never quit" battle cry is made? Does your upline diamond take the time to get to know as many IBOs as possible on a personal level? Do they know your individual circumstances? Do they truly care about your success? If they did care, how could they stand on a stage and shout "never quit"?

Ironically, many - a - diamond did not take their own advice. Many a diamond has quit in recent years. Makes you wonder why someone would quit after achieving diamond? Makes you wonder why someone would quit when you can "walk the beaches" and continue to collect an income. Maybe this opportunity is not all that you have been led to believe?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Amway Tools - A Conflict Of Interest?

Over my Amway and blogging experience, I have come to a conclusion which I will stand by. And this, in my informed opinion, is a signficant problem with the Amway opportunity. The Amway owner, Rich Devos acknowledged this issue back in 1983 in his "directly speaking" tape and unfortunately, nothing apparently substantial was ever done and therefore, the problem exists today.

The Amway opportunity is one part of the issue, with the tools systems being the other prong. Over the years, the Amway opportunity and the tools systems have formed a symbiotic relationship. It is as if Amway needs the system and the system needs Amway. What I mean is that Amway provides the opportunity, and then the system uses the opportunity to sell the system. In the meantime, the system leaders teach 100 PV, product loyalty, and do most if not all of the new IBO recruiting. Amway benefits as the system teaches movement of PV whether by sales or self consumption, and new IBO recruitment, and the system leaders benefit by having a captive audience to sell their cds, books, seminars, voicemail, and website fees.

The conflict of interest occurs when uplines tell their new IBOs that they "need" to attend a certain function, or that they "need" standing order to succeed. The upline is smart enough not to say the system is "required", but certainly, they will put a defacto requirement by sayimg things such as nobody has ever succeeded without the system, but you can try to be the first, or they may say the system is optional, but so is success. Of someone may say so and so diamond (insert) name is a multi millionaire and he advocates the system, but you can go against his advice if you think you know better.

The bigger problem is that these upline leaders will tell you that you basically cannot succeed without these tools, but at the same time, the more tools you buy, the more profit these uplines make. Some Amway apologists will justify this by saying a college professor may sell his own books to his students. But this is not the same thing. A college professor may spend years researching to write that one book. He will be teaching his expertise that is written in the book. When you attend seminars or listen to cds, you do not have one expert guiding you with clear documentation on how they succeeded. You have very general generic experiences coming from various speakers who may or may not have any common background with IBOs. Thus these upline leaders will profit from their downline IBO volume and also from tools that they advise downline to purchasem regardless of downline success or progress in the business.

As evidence of these bad practices by upline, consider this. If upline truly has "valuable" information that would help you succeed, they would get that information to you in whatever means they could. Either by voicemail, MP3, Youtube or whatever. Why would they withhold trade secrets if they really wanted your success? Has it ever occured to IBOs that maybe uplines doesn't want your success? Maybe it is why you must pay for any piece of advice or support you receive. Maybe upline is perfectly happy with people coming and going as long as there are tool purchases because then there are no new IBOs (platinums and up) to share the tool profits with.

There is a definite conflict of interest with profiting uplines advising you to buy tools. The question if whether you see it or not?

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!