Friday, September 30, 2011

Condemning Testimony About Amway & WWDB

This was posted by a former IBO in Hawaii:

"I personally had experience with Quixtar. It is a "tool based business'. Did I buy their books and tapes (yes...back then it was cassette tapes)? Yeah, i did.

I realized there was a problem when things started getting "shady". My gf was a downline of mine. My upline said that buying tools will help build my business. I agree that some of the information they provided could be legit and work for some people. The problem was that I was purchasing tools on a weekly basis, but my gf was not. My upline refused to "teach" me and give me any support unless my gf was buying the tools too!

Are you serious? My gf, who lived in the same house as me, had to buy tapes and books when I was already buying tapes and books?

I got out and soon afterwards, never really heard much about Quixtar or Amway again."

Joecool asked who the upline diamond was and the response:

I believe Matt was the Upline Diamond. The name sounds familiar. He's short? I think he used to be the GM of T&C or something like that.

Are you considering the business?

I wont deny that some people can make money....its just the lies I was told before and while I was in it that made me quit. I hardly even hear about them anymore....or any other MLM for that matter.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WalMart Beats Amway?

I recently saw an Amway supporter talk about how Walmart is so bad and Amway is good. But let's just look at the details. Walmart and Amway are both billion dollar companies, although Walmart makes Amway look like a midget. Walmart has over 400 billion in sales while Amway last reported about 10 billion.

Walmart eliminates the middleman and sells all kinds of products to consumers at rock bottom prices. Amway adds middlemen to the process, thus making distribution inefficient and the result is $50 cases of water or $80 for a month's supply of double x vitamins. While Amway apologists will make quality and concentration claims, there's no unbiased evidence that organic vitamins have any special advantage over the much cheaper vitamins you can get at Walmart. Even if products may be concentrated, it doesn't necessarily mean they are better or cheaper than Walmart. Walmart will match any advertised price for an exact same product. Thus if Walgreen's has an ad for something cheaper than Walmart, take the ad to Walmart and you get that price. Walmart's slogan is live better, save money. Amway's slogan is "now you know". LOL

Walmart's employees all get paid and have a net paycheck at the end of the month. Amway salesforce of comissioned sales people often make nothing or lose money if the IBO is caught up in the training program (cds and functions) Walmart adds to the local economy by providing jobs and good prices whereas Amway might be a drain on local economies as the profits go to Michigan and/or the tools companies.

Yes, you can google and find all kinds of negatives about Walmart. Walmart sometimes ends up shutting down mom and pop stores, they may have customers slip on their floors. But unlike Amway, Walmart doesn't have the terms "scam" or "pyramid" attached to them when you google their names. Amway does and because of unethical IBOs and tool companies, it would seem that the reputation is well earned over the years.

In the end, Amway is no competition to Walmart, where you live better and save money.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amway Uplines - The Root Of Many Evils?

Over the many years of Amway's existence, their reputation in the US and Canada has tanked. And it's not due to Amway the corporation, but rather Amway IBO leaders who teach and condone unethical behavior. Of course, I don't know of any significant measures that Amway has taken to discipline some of their wayward IBOs, but that's another story.

During my blogging career, I've seen young people who were discouraged from attending college so they could build an Amway business. I've personally seen people go bankrupt and lose their homes because they followed the advice of their all knowing uplines. Sure, people have some responsibility for their actions but I feel as if some of these kinds of actions by some IBOs and IBO leaders is predatory, and focuses on people who can least afford to funnel money into the business and the leech teaching systems such as WWDB or Network 21.

I've seen ridiculous product claims such as people claiming that bottled water could cure ills and make you athletically superior. Of course this water costs about $50 a case when you could buy 10 cases of water at WalMart for the same price. They claim superiority in their vitamins without unbiased scientific evidence to support their claims. Perhaps that is why the Amway vitamins seemingly are consumed nearly exclusively by IBOs themselves.

Despite claims by Amway supporters and IBOs that things are changing in Amway for the better, there is plenty of evidence that nothing has changed. Outrageous income claims. I thought the Dateline show exposed some crazy stuff with an IBO leader claiming that people could eanr $250K per year with a part time effort, but then my friend Rocket finds this gem with an IBOAI member and crown ambassador in WWDB/Amway claiming you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month:

I wonder if Brad Duncan himself even makes that kind of money. Ironically, his triple diamond brother wasn't even close to that when his bankruptcy papers were exposed a few years ago.

So to Amway prospects and apologists, the Amway corporation itself may be perfectly legal and clean, but the root of many evils comes from Amway uplines and AMO leaders. It is for this very reason that many get turned off just at the mention of the Amway name. Amway can stop them, but will they?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amway And MLMs A Con Game?

Great Thread posted at

It is stunning to realize the enormity of this con. Multi-million and billion dollar companies, stock exchange listed companies, companies that put on the facade of being a good corporate neighbor and innocent "business" (cough) next door.

Nework marketing is a flawed and unsustainable business model that effectively is fed and supported by those on the bottom. Those on the bottom work a job to fund their product purchases. Those spoils of war then are divided up by the upline and sponsor company. Those on the bottom, who use funds from their jobs (rather than product sales) to sustain the "business", are an ever expanding rotating door of new recruits.

Although the products may be of high quality and slickly packaged, and give the impression that you are a marketeer of these sundry goods...the reality is much different. You are required to buy monthly quotas for personal use and recruit your ass off to gain entry into the promised land. The product you are really selling is a dubious "business opportunity"...your real market is "opportunity seekers".

A real business markets and sell goods and services. They are sustained by real retail sales. They order only what they know they can sell. From what I see all these mlms push recruiting as the ticket to the good life. Products and retailing mean nothing.

Another major difference is a real business owner holds title to his business...something he can sell. In mlm, you own nothing but your small product inventory.

The nature of this false and flawed business model will always have in its wake a vast turnover at the bottom of the pyramid structure. Its the nature of the beast and can be no other way, all math aside. The many "losers and the quitters" and dreamers who hang in there waiting for their ship to come in are those who support the top and sponsor company. There will always be a relentless drive to recruit at the bottom as it has nothing to do with true product retailing to support the business but finding and recruiting opportunity seekers. The emphisis is always on finding new recruits rather than selling product. And indeed, many of these mlm businesses put restrictions on the associates ability to retail the product...which subtly strengthens its true goal of recruiting as the primary revenue stream...not product sales.

These "businesses" (cough again) are predatory and prey on the many by appealing to dreams of luxury and a life of ease, especially those with troubles in their life. The start money is low to get into the "business", which is unlike a real business that takes more sizable seed money, some knowledge and guidance and a real business plan.

Those few that actually make sizable incomes from these schemes must live with the knowledge that their life is supported by the broken dreams, efforts and losses of those on the bottom. They conveniently set aside any feelings of culpability after stepping on the bodies of their fellow man so they can proclaim that they worked hard and made it.

There simply is no parallel between a network marketing model as a "business" and how a "normal?" business really works. I understand this because I own a real business that retails real product.

Network marketing is simply the greatest con game of all time. They should all be shut down.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Amway Is Cheap And Low Risk?

One of the stupid things said by IBOs and Amway apologists is that the Amway business is cheap and low risk. While it can be true, it is not a good reason to get into business. While upfront costs can be somewhat cheap, these same people often to do not mention the ongoing costs and the cost of tools, which can add up to tens of thousands of dollars after a relatively short period of time.

Even if the opportunity is cheap to get started, wouldn't a bigger factor in starting a business be how likely you are to succeed? Amway's own numbers reveal that the opportunity is a poor one. That the average IBO earns $115 a month and that about one half of one percent of IBOs reach the Gold/Platinum level, where you might earn about $1000 a month or so. So one out of more than 200 IBOs reach a level where you earn close to minimum wage equivalent earnings (gross).

Even if something is cheap, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Wha if you were being sold a car? The car is dirt cheap, but it looks like it may have trouble running and may have mechanical problems. Would you jump in and buy it because the salesman says it's cheap and low risk? Or would you decide that it's not worth it, even at a very low cost?

Many Amway leaders and/or those who show the plan, like to show the very best case scenario to IBOs, without giving the prospect a realistic and likely result. It's like saying the lottery is a good way to make money because the lottery winners can show off mansions, sports cars, and other fancy things they bought with their winnings. While the Amway business is not a game of chance, the presentation is done in a similar manner. A diamond is probably a 1 in 20,000 proposition, yet it is presented as if everyone in the room can go diamond. It is mathematically impossible. What is truly sad is even if that one diamond were truly wealthy (I have my doubts though), nearly all of that diamond's downline is losing money.

Cheap and low risk might sound like justification to get started, but people should ask if their small investment is worth it. Most people, the vast majority, would be better off taking the family to a movie or a nice dinner.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Better Way To Do Amway?

One of the major reasons why I think Amway is not such a good opportunity is because of the unfair multi tiered compensation plan. I have heard that Amway pays out about 32-33% to their IBOs, but I find it unfair in that you get rewarded for sponsoring people who move volume more than you do for actually selling products. I believe this is why so many IBOs are desperately trying to sponsor people and in some cases, deception and trickery is used in recruiting, which contributes to Amway's bad reputation.

This multi tiered compensation plan also rewards a few people at the expense of the masses. If an IBO works really hard and sold 100 PV worth of goods, that IBO would get $9 or $10 in a bonus from Amway and layers of upline would split up about $90. I fail to see how that is fair, especially when IBOs seemingly say "do the work and get paid". In this case, you do the work and your uplines get paid.

I think Amway would be more efficient by giving all IBO's 20-25% back as a bonus, with the remaining 8-13% in bonus (33 - 20 or 25) going to certain levels os achievers. I believe that this would truly allow someone to change their buying habits and gain some value. It would also be good for retention of IBOs because a 100 PV would get you a monthly bonus of about $60. If you sold 100 PV to customers, you would get the retail profit plus the bonus. I believe there would be less of an emphasis on sponsoring and more of an emphasis on selling. It would put less pressure on IBO's to recruit and sponsor, and I believe that Amway's reputation could be repaired in this manner. While you would have less emphasis on "going diamond", those who did achieve it could still get handsome bonuses.

I believe implementation of this type of compensation would also eliminate the endless need for cds and seminars. Sure, product expos and some teaching on salesmanship might help, but I believe that compensating the "majority" of IBOs would keep them interested in doing business and would lessen the need for tools. I believe this is a win-win for the majority of those in the business.

I'm sure some Amway apologists will find fault in my line of reasoning, but I believe this is a long term sustainable solution for Amway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Amway Complaints?

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.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Upline Wants My Money And Not My Success?

One of the things my upline alway said was how they loved us, how they would never lead us astray, that our success was their success, that they didn't make pennies until we made dollars. Now as I look back, I know that our uplines in WWDB were full of crap.

First if all, some of our upline are hypocrites, talking about the 2% divorce rate of IBOs while the rest of the world is at 60%. Well, that is BS and WWDB leaders have a higher divorce rate. They speak about financial integrity but allow their homes to foreclose, which exposed the lies told by WWDB leaders that they pay cash for everything, including homes. I wonder if triple diamond Greg Duncan has settled his bankruptcy issues?

On the surface, the talk about downline IBO success makes sense. That a diamond and higher pins want IBOs to succeed because their level depends on movement of volume. It makes sense until you factor in the little detail that some, possibly most diamonds, make more from tools (standing order, premiere club, voicemail and functions) than they do from their Amway businesses. If diamonds make tons of money from tools, they don't need new leaders (platinums and above) because they would have to share tool money. It is more beneficial to these diamonds to have people join and buy tools, and quit, only to be replaced - because IBOs who succeed get a cut of the tools money.

It makes sense. Tool money is a sacred issue. The fewer slices of the pie, the bigger your cut is. It is why you can google and find so many instances of lawsuits putting diamonds versus diamonds and why diamonds break away from their beloved mentors - to get more tool money.

Ask yourself this. If your upline diamond cared so much about you and your success, why do you have to pay for just about every instance where you see him/her? (payment for functions, open meetings, etc.)

Try this. Ask your diamond if they truly want your success. If they say yes, ask why you need to pay for standing order, functions and open meetings if they benefit the diamond's business more than yours? Sure, it costs money to run functions and meetings, but why do the diamonds in general make more from these "tools" than from Amway? If not more, they certainly make a significant amount.

Does your upline want your success or your money??????

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beware Of The Dream Stealers!

Some debates over Amway recently churned up some accusations once again about critics being "dream stealers". I thought I would address this but first I wanted to print the definition of a dream from

[dreem] Show IPA noun, verb, dreamed or dreamt, dream⋅ing, adjective
Use dreams in a Sentence
1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
2. the sleeping state in which this occurs.
3. an object seen in a dream.
4. an involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake.
5. a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie.
6. an aspiration; goal; aim: A trip to Europe is his dream.
7. a wild or vain fancy.
8. something of an unreal beauty, charm, or excellence.

–verb (used without object) 9. to have a dream.
10. to indulge in daydreams or reveries: He dreamed about vacation plans when he should have been working.
11. to think or conceive of something in a very remote way (usually fol. by of): I wouldn't dream of asking them.

–verb (used with object) 12. to see or imagine in sleep or in a vision.
13. to imagine as if in a dream; fancy; suppose.
14. to pass or spend (time) in dreaming (often fol. by away): to dream away the afternoon.

–adjective 15. most desirable; ideal: a dream vacation.

—Verb phrase
16. dream up, to form in the imagination; devise: They dreamed up the most impossible plan.


Based on these definitions, I do not see how it is possible for anyone to steal a dream. This dream stealing verbage is just more upline propaganda designed to get IBOs to shut off their critical thinking skills and to blindly commit themselves to buying more standing orders and function tickets, whose profit goes into the pockets of your beloved upline leaders.

I believe #6 is the most appropriate definition for an IBO. A long term goal. But if an IBO's long term goal is retirement and riches, they should analyze their involvement in the Amway business and determine if that is the appropriate vehicle to achieve their goals. For the vast majority of people, this is not the appropriate vehicle and facts confirm this. It's a matter of whether or not an IBO was told to ignore the facts by his/her upline.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Real Amway Business - Selling Tools To Downline?

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. There is also the debate of whether diamonds themselves or their "corporations" receive the profit, which is laughable as a defense.

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! Even when you factor in the system employees, you can easily see the math and determine where the real money is made.

If you buy a major function ticket for $125, the cost of that function might be in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per attendee, so the system may generate $100 profit on a $125 sale. I believe the smaller functions such as open meetings, books and voicemail have smaller profit margins, but still overall, it's easy to conclude that the profit from the system is greater than profits generated by moving Amway products. I might add that the sales on these functions are often made in cash, thus who knows if the diamonds are even paying the IRS taxes on these sales.

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, helping downlines.

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 that the use of tools cannot be justified. 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. But as PT Barnum once said, a sucker is born every minute.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are There Benefits In Organic Vitamins Or Foods?

Apparently not. Thus, one could conclude that there are likely no benefits in paying high prices for double x?

Organic food has no added nutritional benefit, says Food Standards Agency
Expensive organic food is no better for you than conventionally-grown farm produce, according to the Government's food watchdog.

In the most comprehensive study ever to be carried out into the nutritional content of organic food compared to ordinary fare, scientists found no significant difference in vitamins and minerals.

A separate study found there are no extra health benefits to eating organic food rather than meat, fruits or vegetables grown on intensive farms.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which commissioned the research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, concluded there was no reason to buy expensive organic food for nutritional reasons.

The study is likely to come as a blow to the billion-pound industry which is already struggling in the economic downturn as shoppers turn away from more expensive goods. For example, an organic chicken costs three times the price of a more conventionally-reared bird.

But celebrity chefs and organic farmers said the studies failed to take into account the health impact of the "cocktail of chemicals" left on conventional food and the environmental benefits of growing organic food on wildlife-friendly farms. Advocates claim the produce is better for you, with some claiming it can help cure skin conditions, asthma and even cancers.

However previous studies have proved confusing, with some claiming organic foods can provide more vitamins, while others find no difference to ordinary foods.

The new research looked for the first time at the best evidence over the last 50 years. After looking at 160 studies on the nutritional content of organic foods versus non organic it concluded there was no significant difference in vitamins and minerals that are important to human health. A further study of more than 50 studies on the health implications found no good evidence that organic food is better for you than non-organic.

Dr Alan Dangour, of the LSHTM, who carried out the studies, said the report was the most comprehensive review of the health benefits of organic food ever carried out.

"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority," he said.

Gill Fine, FSA Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health, said there is no need for people to buy highly-priced organic food for the health benefits.

"The study does not mean that people should not eat organic food. What it shows is there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Should An IBO Trust Their Upline?

Part of what Joecool perceives as the problem with the Amway opportunity is the utter lack of accountability of some upline leaders. They may tell you to trust them, to submit to them and simply copy or duplicate what they have done, and they imply that you will get the same results. Many downlines over the years have put in blood sweat and tears into the business only to suffer massive losses following the system. Upline will then place the blame on the downline. Citing that they either did not try hard enough or they didn't put in enough time and effort. Despite a shockingly low success rate of system IBOs, nobody seems to fault the system as being flawed. And nobody seems to question whether upline is at fault.

In my observations, I would say that many financial systems are similar. Whether it be BWW, N21, WWDB, real estate gurus or other systems, the success rate is low. Many systems that advertise on television will have a disclaimer that a success testimony is a rare or unique experience. I believe it is similar to the systems in Amway. Dedication or continued spending on the system is not the problem. The problem is often the system itself. It can work for some exceptional people. These people were likely to succeed in other venues anyway. The problem is that is does not work for the majority of people.

The bigger problem, is that for many many years, some uplines have lived high on the hog off of the dedicated tool purchases of their downline. All the while, quesitonable or bad advice was given to the faithful downline. Advice such as quitting a job to attend a function, skipping financial obligations such as the rent or electric bills to buy more tools. One upline even said your family can skip a meal because the standing order may contain the one thing you needed to hear to make your business grow. I have personally seen couples lose their homes and go bankrupt because they followed upline advice. Upline allegeldy "has their best interest at heart". Granted, the couple has some culpability in these decisions, but uplines who give this advice seem to get a pass.

Where is the accountability? Some of these uplines who give and gave bad advice, are still active today, and some are still giving bad advice to their downlines. Advice that profits upline and drains downline's resources. Even with valid complaints, it appears that many uplines avoid any accountability. For some, perhaps there is poetic justice, such as diamonds having their homes foreclosed. But as many uplines have nobody to hold them accountable, do you really want to do business with these folks? Would you invest your retirement money with a broker who could not be held accountable? Would you have your car repaired by a shop whose mechanics could not be held accountable? I believe the answer is no to these questions, yet many people are asked to trust and follow the advice of an upline who is not held accountable for their advice.

The system is credited for the few successes that are visible, but the individual is held accountable for any shortcomings or failures. IBOs, I encourage you to hold your upline leaders accountable for the advice they give you. If they won't answer tough questions or take responsibility, then one should wonder why the upline should be given your trust.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Amway Success?

When I was a young IBO, I saw the plan and thought it was realistic to go direct and to find six (6) downlines who could do the same thing. I didn't know the realistic chances of doing this, but the presentation made sense so I went with it. I basically built my group on excitement and it seemed like the system could work. Sadly, as I climbed the ranks, my bottom line did not change. I did not "net" $200 at the 1000 PV level, and I did not "net" $1000 a month at 4000 PV as my upline taught. I had the parameters they taught, but the reality was my leaders taught everyone to pump what little profits we earned into buying more tools.

My leaders also taught people to get out of debt, which was good advice on the surface, but at the same time, any disposable income left over was to be channeled into tools, and for those who did not escape debt, they were told it was okay to go deeper in debt, but only if it was to "invest" in their businesses by purchasing more tools. Thus it certainly appears that upline's advice was purely self serving and had nothing to do with an IBO's individual success.

I was in WWDB and they (upline) said that WWDB was breaking the most new diamonds and that WWDB diamonds were the most profitable. So here it is a dozen years later, where are all these new diamonds? Aside from from foreign diamonds, there are (I believe) less than 4 new diamonds from WWDB in the US from the time I left the business. Now I may be wrong, but even it was a few more than 4 new diamonds, that is a miserable success rate given the amount of cash spent by downline on tools and the claims made my upline about the tools.

We have also seen some WWDB diamonds end up in home foreclosures. Where is the integrity and financial acumen these leaders boasted about? Where is the success and long term financial security available to everyone that was touted? I believe more diamonds and emeralds fell out of qualification than new pins emerged. The business was promoted as one that would stand the test of time. Sadly, I believe WWDB and the Amway opportunity as promoted by WWDB has been a miserable failure. There is little success to speak of, just he same old tired diamonds showing off a lifestyle that some of them apparently can no longer afford. Where is the success?

It is years later and we are still waiting.......

Friday, September 9, 2011

Losing Money Is Success In Amway?

Looking back at my IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the strange stuff we did and believe it or not, I have reason to believe that my old LOS, WWDB still teaches some of this and some other major groups also teach it. I believe some of these practices were the reason why some people refer to the Amway business as cult or having cult like qualities. If you recognize some of these practices, you might be in an unethical group and you should ask your upline the tough questions and possibly reconsider or reprioritize your involvement in the business.

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline. Afterall, upline had experience and probably had all the answers. Some of this checking upline included asking permission to get married, buy a car or a home, or even something as small as purchasing a camera. The upline said maybe someone upline might have advice on how to get a good deal on a camera so no harm in checking upline before making a purchase. It is my guess that upline didn't want your disposable income being spent on anything other than standing orders and functions. Our group was taught to reduce debt, but ironically, upline said it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to attend a function or to buy more cds.

Late meetings. Our upline was into late meetings, many occuring after midnight. I suppose it was a show of loyalty and dedication to the upline and the system. In reality, it made most people angry at their jobs because they had to wake up early to go to work. For me it made me mad at our upline because the meetings taught us nothing of substance and it just made us tired. Our upline used to talk about time being important but it was never important enough to make him show up on time for his own late night meetings. Another cult like factor - sleep deprivation.

Secrets. Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 10 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions. Of course we now find that some WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed, and one prominent triple diamond had some dealings in bankruptcy court. Looking back, I suspect that many diamonds have mortgages, which would be nor problem except that these leaders scoffed at the stupidity of having a loan. That diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. My former sponsor still lives in a run down rented home beause he won't purchase a home unless he's got the cash. My former sponsor is a physician so I find his position on buying a home preposterous. His oldest child, a son probably grew up deprived of his parents because of dedication to the system and the functions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders. People who sold off some of their personal property were edified if they did so to attend a function. Obviously these folks were not advised to run their business within their means. Upline even said that going into debt was okay, but only if the debt was to invest in the business or to buy extra function tickets.

While some of these practices seem bizarre, I believe it is because the upline advice was self serving and meant to channel their downline's dollars into tool purchases. It is the only conclusion I can make. What's your conclusion?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Free Enterprise Day (FED) Is Coming!

"Free enterprise is an economic system that allows individuals the opportunity to make their own economic decisions, free of government constraints, and as private profit-potential businesses".

In Joecool's opinion, the Amway opportunity has nothing to do with free enterprise. In addition to some governmental conditions, the Amway corporation itself has many restrictive features, such as no advertising without Amway's permission and approval, etc.

As an IBO, I attended a function called Free Enterprise Day (FED). It was held in a convention center in San Diego. I remember being excited when attending, and participating in the hype. But looking back with an objective eye, I can honestly say that it did nothing to help build my business. Sure, we got some motivation out of it, but being from Hawaii, a mainland trip in October, plus rental cars and hotel costed me over $1,000. It simply is not worth the expense versus what my business got out of it. I would rather have enjoyed a vacation somewhere else.

Also, the Amway business as an IBO is not free enterprise. An IBO is a commissioned salesperson with no guaranteed salary and no fringe benefits. Hard work does not equal success as in other sales occupations. It is possible to work very hard to receive zero dollars. What's more, much of an IBO's business expenses are not for business but for training and motivation. An Amway IBO's duties are to sell goods and to sponsor downline. Basically that's it in a nutshell but IBOs have fooled themselves into thinking that they are real business owners with real expenses. If only more IBOs knew this, they could actually make a net profit (without tools) and they would be motivated by net monthly ptofits.

Sadly, upline leaders lure their downlines into thinking that IBOs are engaged in free enterprise when they are not. At best an IBO is a middleman distributor and at worst, a commissioned salesperson. That is not free enterprise. What is also sad is that I did some research about renting space or convention centers and these can be rented cheap or possibly free, if the convention will bring many tourists to town. Go check for yourself. If it is free enterprise, it is your upline's tools business that is free enterprise. Sadly, for IBOs, free enterprise day is not free.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are Diamonds Broke Like Everyone Else?

I recently read an article on what constitutes wealth. Some say an annual income of $100,000 would make them wealthy, some say assets exceeding $4 million would do it, and some estimated that $2 million would make them "rich". Of course, everything is relative and someone earning $25,000 a year would think that $100,000 a year is wealth, etc. College students might think $40,000 a year is awesome because many have little money to begin with. I'm sure someone like Bill Gates would not consider $4 million to be astonishing. It's all relative. If you are content with what you have, you are likely relatively well off already.

But let's talk about Amway diamonds. I say diamond because it is basically the pinnacle of success. It is the crowning achievement of the 6-4-2 plan (or other variations) that many groups show. The average diamond earns about $150,000, according to Amway. Now $150,000 sounds like a lot of money to young people or to those with lower wage types of jobs, or those who are just starting out in their careers. But we also know that diamonds earn income from the sale of tools. Some groups advertise (verbally) that someone might earn $100,000 a year from the tools/speaking income.

Let's be generous and say the diamond earns $300,000 a year from Amway and tools income. Income tax and medical insurance for the family will eat up about 40% of that right off the top, leaving about $180,000. Fantastic you might say? Well, a diamond certainly would live in a million dollar mansion, which would give you about a $6000 a month mortgage or $72,000 a year, leaving $108,000. (Although many - a - diamond pays for their homes in cash) Fantastic right? Well, diamonds are constantly traveling to various functions, flying first class and staying only at 5 star hotels right? So an average of 1 trip per month with a family, first class and a 5 star hotel would probably cost about $5000 or more per trip, or about $60,000 a year, now leaving $68,000 for this diamond's yearly budget. A good diamond with a family surely consumes 300 PV per month for household goods, or about $900 a month or about $11,000 a year, leaving $57,000 for the rest of the year. A good diamond is often a Christian who would faithfully tithe 10% of his income, or about $30,000 a year, leaving the diamond with $27,000 a year, or about $2250 a month to pay for their monthly electric and utility bills, gas, car payments, meals and entertainment.

Yes, some expenses may be slightly higher or lower, but what I am trying to illustrate is that even an above average diamond with tools income is more likely to be broke than wealthy if they live the lifestyles portrayed at functions such as dream night or other major functions. Do the math. It is unlikely that diamonds pay cash for everything and it is unlikely that fabulous lifestyles can be sustained on a diamond income. There is plenty of evidence out there. Diamond's homes foreclosed, diamonds behind on income taxes, a prominent triple diamond in bankruptcy proceeding, many diamonds selling off their homes in a bad real estate market.

I truly believe that it is quite possible for many diamonds to be broke. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Upline Said So!

When I was sponsored into Amway, it was by a friend. It wasn't my closest or best friend at the time, but there was still an element of trust. It was enough trust where I took his word as the truth, especially when it was related to the Amway business. I later started to see flaws and inconsistencies in what my sponsor and upline said, but at first I took things at face value, because it seemed to make sense and it seemed sincere.

For example, when my upline said they had our best interest at heart, and that they would do their best to help us succeed, it made sense. You build depth and solidify your business. Seems sensible. It seemed perfectly reasonable and sensible until I later learned how much money my upline was potentially making on tools. My upline (WWDB) stated explicitly that no profit was made on the sale of functions and tools, thus it only made sense that upline wanted downline to succeed. Knowing that there was no profit motive on tools, you'd trust that upline truly wanted the downline to succeed. Let me clarify that upline said there was tool profits, but that profits did not benefit the diamonds, and that the profits were reinvested back into WWDB to make the functions better and cheaper. As it turned out the no profits from tools was an outright bold faced lie told by WWDB upline. To this day, noone has ever been held accountable for these lies and it has since been forgotten.

Based on things written and information available on the internet, I have reason to believe that WWDB continues to teach the same stuff today, as they did 15 years ago. They teach that IBOs should purchase homes in cash, that jobs are no good, that the wife should stay home, that WWDB IBOs have a 2% divorce rate compared to 60% for the rest of the world. Some IBOs are so flippant that they believe that only Amway IBOs have integrity in this world.

What is scary is that so many downline get systematically brainwashed into thinking that everything but Amway is no good and that only IBOs are good. Some of these folks are good and hard working, but they have been caught up in a systematic scam. They believe their upline qithout question and anything said by upline is the gospel truth and everyone else is wrong. These folks also censor information and worship their leaders. It is why so many people compare some Amway groups to a cult.

It is a bit scary but it's happening on this very day. A sad sight to see.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Great For Amway But IBOs Are Still Losing Money?

I hear ridiculous claims from IBOs at times. They make all kinds of claims that have nothing to do with their business. For example, Amway recently reported their sales at 1 billion dollars in a month. It's good - for Amway! It has no bearing on IBOFightback Enterprises, or whatever you call your business. In fact, because most Amway IBOs lose money, you could concluude that more Amway sales could result in more IBOs losing money.

Amway Arena had a rock concert! Great for Amway - it has no bearing on John Smith Enterprises. The DeVos and Van Andel families are billionaires! Great - it has no bearing on an IBO's business. Amway winning awards has no correlation with an IBO making a net profit. Amway recently reported a partnership with the Detroit Red Wings. Great, but that helps IBOs in what way other than having a topic of conversation?

So many IBOs mistakenly or ignorantly confuse Amway's success for their own. Of course it helps when the corporation gets good press because it can help them recruit downline by having something nice to point out. But then again, many IBOs don't sell goods, they "buy from themselves". If you buy from yourself, then all of this good press does nothing to increase your sales. Without sales, you can't make money unless you recruit tons of downline, and even at that, without sales and many downline, you may be running an illegal pyramid.

All of the good things happening for Amway or because of Amway - is it increasing your bottom line? Is it helping your "Independent Business"? If not, then why brag about it? Aren't you an IBO - Independent Business Owner? Can you make the same or similar claims about your own business?

P.S. Amway is NOT endorsed by the BBB or FTC. IBOs who make these claims are possibly in violation of the Amway IBO rules of conduct. IBOs should go look it up if they don't know what I am referring to.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Make Money Exploiting Your Downline!

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for upline success. Amway's admission that sales to non IBOs are low, confirms this. Thus certain upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunties have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal. Amway is perfectly legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggeestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business buildiing IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competetively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago. Diamonds losing homes to forclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It os quite possible that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Amway Opportunity Is "Fair"?

One of the bogus things my upline taught us was that the Amway opportunity was fair. That it was a completely level playing field. On the surface, that sounds right because "everyone starts at zero". While everyone does start at zero, the compensation plan is unfair to those who "do the work" and in my opinion, should be revamped so lower level IBOs make more money. It would probably help with IBO retention and maybe, some higher level leaders wouldn't have to work so hard to keep replacing people who quit. It is my informed opinion that many IBOs quit because they aren't making a profit. Real profits would motivate people to stay involved in the business.

If you are a new IBO, then you might not be really familiar with the Amway compensation plan. Amway pays out about 30+ percent of their gross as bonuses. Thus if you move 100 PV in goods, or about $300 in sales, then Amway pays out about $100 in bonuses. You as a new 100 PV IBO, would receive about $10 and your uplines, some of whom don't even know you exist, will split up the remaining $90 in bonuses. It truly is not a case of doing the work and getting paid. You are doing the work so upline gets paid. To add insult to injury, upline wants you to purchase materials (functions and other tools) that tries to convince you that this is a good deal.

And something very significant to think about. In what other sales profession are you compensated so low (3%)? I can only think of real estate, but in real estate, your sales are likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In just about any other sales related profession, you get a much higher cut than 3%. Yes, your bonus or commission can be higher if you move more volume, but then you are likely receiving more money because you are now exploiting people doing 100 PV who get only $10 back. In other words, your profits come from your downline's pockets.

Even after you consider the unfair compensation, you must factor in the cost of tools. Most uplines promote tools (cds, voicemail, functions) as vital to an IBO's success. Some uplines push the tools harder than others. But the tools purchases will often be the primary cause of IBO financial losses because the cost of tools will normally exceed an IBO's bonus. It is very common in the US for monthly tool purchases to exceed $200 a month on average, and very very few IBOs will ever reach a high enough level in the Amway compensation plan to earn enough just to break even. Also, the tools apparently do not work. There is no unbiased evidence to suggest that tools have any causal relationship to IBO success.

With Amway's spotty reputation and the unfair compensation plan, IBO retention is spotty. Many IBOs sign up and do little or nothing, and many IBOs don't even last a full year before they quit. What happens is IBOs begin to figure out that recruiting downline is next to impossible and therefore, generating more volume is nearly impossible, even for individuals with skills. If you are a new IBO or a prospect, I encourage you to sit down and really look at the math and factor in the cost of tools. There are many ways to earn a dollar, I just don't feel that Amway is an efficient way to do that.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amway Makes Me Nicer?

When I was an IBO, I remember at many meetings, the speaker would talk about how IBOs are helping people by getting them in the business or at least showing them the plan. Looking back, I fail to see how inviting someone into a business where they are virtually assured of losing money (in the systems) is helping them. This is also how some IBOs think that they are suddenly "better" people because they think they are helping people by being an IBO. My upline used to talk about how IBOs were helping people. Yet when community projects were going on, we were in meetings and functions.

On average, Amway products cost more than big retailers so a prospect is not necessarily helped by purchasing Amway products. For IBOs purchasing Amway products, they are taking away from their local economy by purchasing Amway goods, although I guess you could argue that the IBO is helping Amway to succeed. But they certainlt aren't helping anyone.

IBOs who are actively building a business usually have many meetings to attend, and hard core IBOs are taught not to miss any meetings. Therefore and IBOO has less time to spend with his or her family. The IBO has less time to spend at church, and less time to help with any community projects. The IBO will probably miss someone's wedding or birthday celebration because of the hectic schedule of an IBO.

While all of this activity is happening, IBOs also have less money because the voicemail, standing order, functions and books and other expenses eat away at an IBO's resources. Thus IBOs have less to contribute to charity.

So an honest question. How do IBOs help people by building an Amway business? How are they better people by showing someone the plan?

Im my informed opinion, the nicer and better person is what upline teaches as a side note to distract an IBO from the FACT that they are losing money. Much of this is because of the defacto 100 PV and tools requirements. They also make it seem as if IBOs are "helping" people by showing them the business plan. When you think about it, perhaps just the opposite is happening. This is another tactic, IMO that uplines use to justify an IBO's lack of progress, much like how they tell downline that they are successful just by getting themselves to a function.