Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Only Amway IBOs Are "Winners"?

One of the things that my upline taught, and I believe is still taught today in various groups is that winners join Amway and losers do not. Or that you were a winner because you were doing something to better your financial future and those who didn't were losers. or broke minded. Of course the upline who said this had no knowledge about those who were not in Amway. Some of them may already have been financially sound or may have been doing something to better their financial future. I'm not sure why these uplines, who promote "positive", had to resort to calling people losers simpy because they did not agree that Amway was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In many games or sporting events, there will be someone or a team that wins the game and someone or a team that loses the game. Losing a game doesn't make you a loser and certainly, a team that wins the game would not say the losing team were losers. Can you imagine a pro football team's coach taking the podium after a game and saying his team won because the other team was a bunch or broke minded gutless losers? That would never happen, yet we see that frequently in the Amway/IBO world. The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos had once said in a recorded message that just because people do not agree with you (paraphrased) about Amway, does not make them losers and that IBOs should not call people losers.

In all of this, people's jobs are also criticized. That a job stand for "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss" and other blurbs. Many IBO's goals and dreams consist of ditching their job so they can sleep all day and live a life of luxury. Ironically, it is most IBO's jobs that continue to produce income so they can pay their bills and feed their family. It is also an IBO's job that funds their Amway and AMO expenses such as product purchases and functions and voicemail, etc. Without having a job, most people could not even join Amway or pay for any tools. Sadly, most IBOs won't make any money in Amway either, and will have to continue to work at their jobs. I do not believe that someone earning an honest living working a job is a loser. Ironically, the folks calling people losers are often not even netting a profit from their Amway business!

Yes, in this business or the sports world, there will be winners and there will be losers. The question is whether you are the one who is allowed to be the judge of who is and who isn't. I would also suggest that IBOs are completely shutting down potential future business by their behavior. What if I went to a store to purchase something but the item was not available on that particular day, so I don't purchase anything and leave. As I leave, the store owner says I am a loser for not buying something there. Will I go back? Very unlikely. If an IBO truly sees themselves as a store owner, all prospects should be seen as potential business, whether future or present. If your upline tells you that people not interested are losers, you should hand him a mirror.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Amway IBOs Should Face The Facts

One thing that appears to be common amongst IBOs is how IBOs are in denial. They truly believe that their uplines are working in their best interest and that upline wants their success. I don't believe that to be true. If uplines were truly making a fortune from Amway, why would an downline IBO have to pay for practically every bit of help they get from upline leaders? Do upline leaders actually evaluate your business before advising you to buy more tools?

To show the plan, you would need to pay to attend an open meeting, and pay for your guests, even if they do not register as a result of the presentation. You pay for voicemail to communikate with your upline and downlines. You pay for standing orders and you may end up paying twice if you were in attendance at the function when the standing order was recorded. You pay for books and other materials as well.

What's more, many IBOs turn their heads when ugly facts rear their heads. For example, some IBOs deny that a prominent triple diamond was involved in bankruptcy proceedings. They continue to edify and pay for financial advice from someone who could not even manage his own finances. They believe that Amway saves marriages even when the leaders who speak this may be getting divorced. It's like upline simply revises history and downlines buy it without question. Many IBOs do not even see it as a problem that some upline boldy lied and said there were no profits from tools in the past. I find this odd because tool profits are still shrouded in secrecy and downline simply believe that they will eventually get a cut, even without a written compensation plan and agreement.

I believe too many IBOs are simply in denial. They give upline their trust and upline abuses it. IBOs are told they are successful for attending a function even when they might be losing money month after month. They may be told that the Amway business is not about money but about making friends. They may be told that they are nicer people because of their participation in Amway. What too many IBOs do not see is that they are in denial about their business. Most IBOs are losing money, a little at a time, perhaps $100 or $150 a month. For the hardcore, maybe more. But they are taught to ignore these simple facts and deny that there is a problem.

It is my hope that exposure of some of these tactics will be beneficial to information seekers and perhaps new IBOs who have not yet been fully indoctrinated. I encourage people to ask tough questions, demand answers and use due diligence when checking out this oppportunity. The fact is that very few people every make a profit and people should know this before getting involved. Don't deny the obvious.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From Joecool

With Thanksgiving upon us, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thankgiving! For those on the roads, I wish you safe travels and a blessed return trip. I hope families can truly reflect on what they are thankful for that that any differences can be reconciled.

I hope everyone has enough to eat and can enjoy a nice meal with friends and family!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Amway - Vertical Alignment?

When I was an IBO, and even now, there is ample evidence that uplines continue to teach contradictory and poor business practices. I believe the abuse of downline continues because nobody has ever corrected or held upline accountable for their bad advice or even outright lies, such as the previous claim that nobody made a profit from tools. While some of the teaching might make sense on the surface, I believe that much of the upline teaching has an under current designed to profit the upline at the expense of those they are advising.

For example, upline may teach you to get out of debt and live below your means. While that may seem like good advice, it is rendered meaningless if your sacrifices and savings are spent on purchasing tools. I've recently been following the blog of an IBO who got out of debt by selling his home and cashing out his 401K. I believe he was advised by upline to do this. The sad thing is that I believe he is overspending on tools and products with the savings he realized by wiping out (most of) his debts. The upline likely wants you to live below your means and eliminate debt so your disposable cash can be channeled towards tools. I seriousbly doubt that the hard tool pushers really care whether IBOs profit or not, as long as they buy tools. It is why a failure to progress in business often leads an upline to advise the IBO to buy more tools.

A really interesting piece of advice would be to get into vertical alignment. Which is God = #1, Spouse #2, family #3, job #4 and Amway #5. Yet anytime a conflict comes up with a function or a business meeting, the "priorities" somehow turn out where the Amway meeting becomes #1. Sadly, I have seen some dedicated IBOs miss their kids childhood days chasing the Amway dream and they never earn a net profit. If your upline teaches this, I would urge you to consider keeping Amway at #5 and not reschedule family or church gatherings.

Selling products are vital to running a business, yet many uplines do not place emphasis on this aspect. Many IBOs are taught to self consume products. If this happens, then the only way for IBOs to earn an income is to recruit downline. This borders on the parameters of legal. Also, it creates an artificial need for Amway products. How many former IBOs consistently use 100 to 300 PV? How many current IBOs actually use that much without being taught it? How many of you spent over $100 a month on vitamins? How many if you drank energy drinks or $48 for a case of (perfect) water?

Some uplines also emphasize the "side benefits" of the business such as you being a nicer person, which may or may not be true, depending on the perspective of others. They may say that they are your friends for life, at least until you miss a function. They may claim that Amway saves marriages, while not talking about IBOs who may have divorced BECAUSE of the Amway opportunity. Try this, stop being CORE and see how long some of those lifelong friendships last. Once I stopped being CORE, I never heard a peep from any of my lifelong Amway friends.

Many uplines will teach downline IBOs things that benefit the upline and not the IBOs themselves. If you see or hear some of these ideas or others. I urge you to ask tough questions about why the teaching may be contradictory to the princioples of business or of what they are teaching. If you are taught to get out of debt, I do not believe your savings from doing this should be spent on functions. You should seriously reconsider adding debt to build your business, afterall, you were probably told that the Amway business has little to no risk or overhead. Hold your upline to their promises. Do not allow them to manipulate it for their own benefit.

Good luck to IBOs and prospects, but seriously think about teaching that does not add up.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Amway IBOs And Tax Deductions?

One of the things that I have observed is how IBOs are so misguided by their upline, that they think that their business losses, which result in a tax refund is somewhat like a profit, or that they are getting a free pass with the government footing the bill for their standing orders and functions. In the past, IBOs have been audited and had many business deductions disallowed because the tax department ruled that they were not truly running a business, but participating in a hobby called Amway. Sadly, this only made some IBO's losses even worse as they had their losses magnified because of their participation in Amway and the systems.

I know that most IBOs are deducting the cost of their training materials on their taxes, but the issue at hand is whether the training materials are resulting in increased sales for your business. If you are running a "buy from yourself" business, then there is a strong possibility that your expenses may not be valid deductions come tax time. If you are not selling products to customers for a profit, then there is a chance that your expenses are not valid deductions. It would be sad indeed to be audited at tax time a few years after you have been an Amway business owner, only to find out that your expenses are not valid and that you may owe tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Another apparently common mistake of IBOs is to think that their business expenses are basically free from the government because they may end up with a tax return. Your expenses are deductible from your taxable income. Thus if you had $10,000 in business expenses, your return would depend on your tax bracket. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, then $10,000 in expenses would get you about a $1,500 tax return, depending on other deductions you may have. But IBOs get duped into thinking they made a score and now get back $1,500 when they may not have had a refund in the past. Obviously in this case, the IBO would have been better off saving the $10,000 and never getting involved in Amway. Some IBOs proudly proclaim their refunds as basically a windfall, almost like it is a profit. That is truly scary.

Folks, there is no free ride. If you are spending money on legitimate business expenses with an intent to make a profit, then there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are traveling to conventions hoping to learn the secret of sponsoring more downline, you could be walking on thin ice should the IRS ever decide to audit your business. There have been many cases in the past where not only did IBOs lose their shirts due to the business support materials they purchaed, but they got double whammied later when the IRS disallowed tax deductions, leaving them in financial ruin. I truly hope you aren't on that path.

Check out this link:
http://www.apollowebworks.com/amway/irs.html

"TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT have always been areas of abuse. Sections 162, 262, and 274 are always applicable and sometimes Section 183. Since most of the travel is primarily to attend social gatherings for entertainment and motivational purposes, any real business purpose is suspect. Unless the taxpayer can show that attending seminars, meetings, etc., meets the requirement of Section 162, the travel should be disallowed. Amway people have been unable to show that attending these meetinqs increased their sales. The agendas of these meetings appear to be primarily for entertainment, socializing, and listening to motivational speeches. The meetings have nothing to do with promoting the sale of Amway products to the general public. In fact, Amway distributors are specifically warned aqainst mentioning either Amway or selling when recruitinq potential downline people. Since it is not likely that the taxpayer will increase his sales by attending these functions, then there is not a reasonable business purpose for the trips"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

IBOs, The Real Losers?

One of the things I recall as an IBO was thinking how sorry I felt for people who were not IBOs because we were all going to be rich and everyone else was a loser. Our upline used to tell us that we were winners - and if you weren't a winner, then obviously, you are a loser. Many times, the term "broke" was attached to the term loser. That was my mindset back then, but having been out of the system more than ten years, I can look back and laugh, realizing that the losers were the ones buying stuff they don't need, stalking people at malls and bookstores, and wasting their time and money on tapes (cds), books and functions.

What goes unnoticed in many cases, is how much time and money really goes down the drain for IBOs who work the system. Your life revolves around the business if you are dedicated and hard core. You are always looking for prospects and people to show the plan to, and you have to rearrange your schedules, or outright skip social or family gatherings because of the neverending number of meetings and functions, many of which teach you nothing about running a profitable business. When I first left the Amway business, I was sort of angry at the time and effort that was wasted, along with the cahs I threw down the crapper.

But after I did finally cut ties with the business and the people associated with it, I got back into a routine of sorts. I focused on my job and after some years of gaining experience and working my way up the corporate ladder, I received some promotions and I am scheduled to be retired before the age of 60 with a decent retirement income and will likely have my home paid off by then. So while I did have to work a dreaded job to be able to retire, pretty much all IBOs are also working a job or business PLUS having to expend their time and money to run their Amway business which has little to no chance of providing a long term stable and significant income. And if I may add, it is the systems such as WWDB or N21 that usually end up costing the IBOs the most money because of things like the functions.

So I will ask the question. Who's the real loser? The person diligently working and saving for their future or the person chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize? Factoring in the expenditure of time also makes the systems even more costly than it appears on the surface.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Anyone" Can Succeed In Amway?

One of the "false hope" things my upline used to tell our group was that everyone was going to succeed. That although things are tough, one day we will all be at diamond club together looking back at the struggles and laughing. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the things that Amway promoters like to state is that "anyone" can succeed", but in the same line of reasoning, I could also say that "anyone" can win the lottery. The same thing can apply to not "everyone" can succeed in Amway and not "everyone" can win the lottery. Amway is not a game of chance like the lottery, but this still applies.

Using the term "anyone can succeed" is simply a statement that gives people hope. It appears that Amway promoters love to use the psychology of giving people hope as a means of recruiting and retaining IBOs. Hope is what keeps people motivated. The problem with the Amway opportunity, is that it is false hope. It is very easy to see that in most groups, the majority of downline IBOs will lose money. The majority of active IBOs, if they receive a bonus, will get only about $10 a month from Amway. If they use voicemail, or subscribe to standing order, they are already at a net loss for the month. Never mind the open meetings, major functions and other expenses associated with the Amway business.

I believe it is hope that makes gambling popular. One pull on a slot machine handle can change your life. Many IBOs believe that one good run of business can change thir lives. Unfortunately, the Amway business has not appeared to produced much fruit in North America. It seems that any new success is simply replacing older pins who no longer qualify. In my opinion, it is a telltale sign that Amway has stopped reporting North American sales. I'm sure if sales were up, they would stand on their rooftops and trumpet out such success. While Amway reported an increase in sales, there is insufficient data to determine the cause and effect of the sales increase. I have heard some chatter that it could be a result of increased prices. I wish the corporation would just be more transparent about these issues.


To summarize, "anyone" can succeed. But that simply means that you never know who the next platinum or diamond may be. You don't know where they will come from. And it is unlikely to be a new recruit. If you are using a system such as N21, WWDB, or BWW, then I can say with certainty, that "everyone" cannot succeed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What If Everyone Joined Amway?

The point of this blog post is to illustrate that the Amway opportunity is simply not sustainable and that the market is basically saturated in North America. I know Amway recently released some propaganda on the average IBO income being up, but once again, a clear explanation of how they derived the numbers was not given. For all we know, they have hve simply excluded more IBOs by declaring them as "inactive". Anytime I heard the word Amway, it frequently draws funny looks from people. I know that Amway proponents will claim that Amway is not saturated, but in real life, you aren't going to have people lining up to join. It is why there are countless stories of people being lied to or tricked into attending recruitment meetings.

So in reviewing the common 6-4-2 plan, there are 79 IBOs and one becomes a platinum. And that is with the generous assumption that all of these IBOs are moving 100 PV consistently each month. Factor in some folks who do little or nothing and some who order infrequently and anyone can reasonably conclude that a platinum business will commonly have well over 100 downline IBOs. Now with that being said, what if everyone in the entire world suddenly had an epiphany and decided to join Amway?

Well, the structure of most platinum businesses won't change. You will still likely have more than 100 downline in each platinum group. The platinum will make some money and most downline, especially those on the system of cds and functions will lose money. Thus less than 1% of the IBO population can realistically be a platinum at any given time. Whether is now or whether the entire planet signs up for Amway, it will always be less than 1% of the IBO population at the platinum level. That is how the system is set up. The only exceptions to this rule would be for IBOs to sell enough PV to make up for a lack of downline. But there is ample testimony and evidence to indicate that many IBOs simply self consume their PV because they cannot or do not like selling. Some AMo groups teach IBOs to almost exclusively consume their own volume. My former LOS, WWDB did not emphasize selling, but focused on recruiting. And why not? The reality is you cannot go emerald or diamond without many downlines.

So even if every person on earth joined Amway, there would still be less than 1% of IBOs at the platinum level and very likely that less than 1% of IBOs would be at a net profit. Some proponents argue that many IBOs sign up and do nothing or sign up and don't order products. So what? They are still IBOs and even if you didn't count them in averages, what I have posted above explains why the success rate (platinum) still cannot amount to much more than 1% even at the best case scenario.

Still thinking about registering for Amway? Do your research and you may want to think about this article.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Looking Beyond The Amway Facade?

One of the things that Diamonds and some other leaders do to attract new IBOs is to put on a dog and pony show. They want prospects to think that you can consume Amway products and get others to follow your lead and in a few years, you will be set for life financially, speaking on stages and securing the future for generations to come. They might use props such as pictures of mansion. slideshows of cars, yets, yachts. It looks impressive but based on what I know now, who knows whether the diamonds actually own this stuff or if they are simply showing you a slideshow of "lifestyles of the rich and famous". The reality is very likely that many diamonds are actually living in debt or bonus check to bonus check. It is a fact that more than half of NBA basketball pros end up broke, and they earn more than diamonds. Why would a diamond be different than the average Joe, especially when they appear to live beyond their means.

In the few cases where diamond income was exposed, we can see that they were not making the kind of money they would have you believe. Triple diamond Greg Duncan was making about half a million a year from Amway. A nice income for sure, but not what people would think, and not enough to save Mr. Duncan from bankruptcy. David Shores lost a home to foreclosure. Another diamond, unnamed but documented in the book "Amway Motivational Organizations, Behind the Smoke and Mirrors", talks about a diamond who had a gross income of over 3 million dollars, and a net of about $320,000. This diamond was in debt, had back taxes owed to the government, and was working hard to portray the diamond lifestyle.

Some of these leaders also use religion or Christianity as a means to justify their involvement in the business. For those who know, the Bible is clear that the love of money can lead to destruction. When you have functions such as Dream Night, what does that say? I would also like to note that in cases where these diamond's financials were exposed, there were no significant contributions to charity. I wonder if these charlatans talk a good game but do not contribute time or money to worthy causes? Where are the ten thousand dollar checks they talk about donating to charity? These leaders often refer to themselves as mentors, but any help they provide to downline results in some kind of compensation for them. This is not a mentor, but more like a paid consultant who is not getting effective results.

Behind the nice suits and the glitz of the functions, I believe that IBOs and prospects would see a world they truly would not want to be a part of. A world where deceit is practically needed to succeed. Where you take advantage of people who trust in you. Where you pretend to be wealthy and free, but in reality a slave to the mighty dollar. Where you traded a 9-5 job for a job that works the graveyard shift. If you look objectively behind the facade, you might see what I see.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Upline Wolves In Sheep's Clothing?

The really insidious part about some of the LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat ruthless businessmen with nice suits, and disguised as your mentors and friends. They get you to trust them, and they will tell you that they have your best interest at heart, or that they would never purposely lead you astray. On the surface, you may think this is true, but look at their actions and you can easily discern that some of these uplines are absolutely ruthless businessmen who would take every cent from you if they could. I was in WWDB and I have good reasons to believe that they are still doing this, based on a WWDB IBO blog. On this blog, I see all the same teachings today, that I heard as an IBO and some of the same claims such as buying homes in cash. It's scary.

They may even claim moral superiority such as using religion as a basis for building the business. I heard some leaders say "Amway is a God pleasing business". Really? God likes lying and exploiting others? I would beg to differ. They might tell you lies such as Amway and/or WWDB IBOs have a lower divorce level than the world. They may tell you a bunch of unsubstantiated details. I urge IBOs to verify and confirm claims like these.

As an IBO, the diamonds may tell you to never miss a function, ever. The only good reason for missing a function was for your own funeral. I recall some crossline IBOs rearranging pre-planned anniverssary parties, weddings, and other special family events in the name of being core and attending all functions. Some IBOs actually did quit their jobs to attend functions and they very well may have done so because some uplines taught this. IBOs were also encouraged and told to go into debt to attend a function. This was okay because it was an "investment" into your business.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy extra cds every week. To be core, you needed to listen to a cd each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own seperate standing orders. Brad Duncen even had a true north tape (cd) that said sponsors were to eat the standing orders for downlines who quit because it was too much trouble to call upline who calls upline who calls upline to cancel a standing order. Oddly enough, they didn't mind upline calling upline calling upline to add a standing order.

In the end, I was lucky enough to have been progressing up the pin ranks so my losses were not that devastating. I ended up losing in my early months of the business but mostly broke even when I was at 4000 PV. Sadly though, my crossline did not fare so well. I know of one couple who declared bankruptcy. I don't know how much their WWDB involvement contributed to bankruptcy, but I am certain it was a major factor and I know of two couples who had homes foreclosed, and I believe that their allegiance to WWDB was a factor in those foreclosures. But I guess hey, two WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed so maybe they were duplicating?

Do not be fooled. The diamonds may have a nice smile and a nice suit, but they are cutthroat wolves in sheep's clothing who will take your last dime if you allow them to.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dear Amway:

This is an open letter basically explaining Joecool's position and why in my opinion, criticism of Amway doesn't stop.

Dear Amway,

Why does criticism of Amway continue Ad Nauseum? Because you have not taken any apparent visible action(s) against higher level IBOs who make their living by ripping off unsuspecting prospects and faithful downline by feeding them lines about how easy it is to build an Amway business and how they can ditch their jobs and live on easy street. I saw it and there are countless testimonies and experiences posted on the internet.

When I was an IBO in WWDB, we were fed outright lies by upline. Nobody made any money from tools being the biggest. Downline were taught how long they could string out their mortgages or electric bills so they can attend functions and buy more tools. Yes, IBOs have culpability as well, but the culture of these groups is one of trust and loyalty to the diamonds. Amway's owner, Mr. DeVos acknowledged this in his 1983 speech "directly speaking". But despite the speech, no apparent visible action was taken, thus status quo continued. Even the accreditation system which seemed nice on the surface appears to be a farce. I believe that possibly millions of people over the years have been adversely affected financially because of some of these Amway IBO leaders.

Many of the same leaders who lied to benefit themselves are still at it. A fellow blogger named "Rocket" recently reported a possible violation where crown ambassador and IBOAI member, Brad Duncan is caught on tape claiming that IBOs can make "hundreds of thousands of dollars" a month in Amway. Your response was to make non sensical remarks and then eventually no response when pressed for one. I also reported a WWDB IBO who was making disparaging and false statements about some competitor's products while making misleading positive statements about Amway products. Your response was no response and my comment wasn't even published on your "Amway Answers" blog. Ironically, one of the topics on that blog was about how Amway doesn't turn a blind eye to problems. Yeah, you can say it but your actions show something else.

Maybe someone can explain why actions in other countries indicate that the folks who sell Amway tools are scammers. For some reason, the regulatory agencies in the US have not taken notice of the tools business. The Dateline segment in 2004 exposed the tools and systems. It became a big debate on the internet with critics and proponents. While Amway can claim innocence because the unethical actions were taken by IBOs, or "independent" business owners, I still believe that Amway has a responsibility to reign is some of the sales force that represents them.

Food for thought: Joe Paterno was an assistant and head coach, an icon at Penn State University for more than 60 years. He was fired yesterday because he had knowledge of child abuse occuring at the program under his watch. While he was not personally guilty of this, and did many good things for Penn State and the community, still his inactions may have caused harm to befall innocent children. Ultimately, he had the ability and power to stop the wrongdoing but did not. It is a sad ending for a man who many consider a legend. I wish him well.

Amway can reign in the tool abuse and take control of some of the bad leaders, but apparently has not and will not. The fight goes on.....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Part Time Job vs The Amway Opportunity

Many people pitch Amway as an easy, and somewhat shortcut to riches. It's all over the internet, it's what I saw as an IBO, and I have good reason to believe that many still pitch Amway in this manner. I believe that people want to believe that you can create wealth part time in 2-5 years. IBOs and prospects may be told "it's not get rich quick", but 2-5 years to quit your job and live off residual income sure sounds like the pitch of a get rich quick scam. It is what has contributed to Amway's current reputation.

A typical IBO (not counting those who do nothing), according to the "plan" will consume and possibly sell some goods on their way to 100 PV, which will earn them about a $10 bonus from Amway. There might be some profit from sales to customers, but there are also expenses involved in running a business. If an IBO is on the system, then their expenses might run from $100 or so to $500 a month, depending on level of commitment (brainwashing). In the end, a falwed system and generally non competitive pricing and products leads to most IBOs eventually quitting. The vast majority of IBOs on the system will wind up with a net loss, even with a tremendous amount of effort. Seems that effort has no relationship with success in Amway. Based on my experience, deception and lies seem to be a better way to succeed in Amway than by hard work.

But what if someone basically worked a part time job instead of Amway? If someone simply got a 20 hour a week job at $10 an hour (not that difficult), someone could earn about $800 a month gross income, or about
$9600 a year. In ten years, even with no raises in salary, that person would have earned close to $100,000 more income. That money, if invested into a diverse portfolio can be the nestegg that allow someone to retire early, or to retire more comfortably than most. And that salary is guaranteed if you work the hours.

In Amway, there are no assurances of anything, even if you work 40 hours a week. The only assurance if that you will help your upline earn more than yourself by moving products. If you are on the system, you are basically paying your upline (via tool puchases) for the priviledge of boosting your upline's volume. It is why uplines teach you to "never quit" and to be "core". These virtures help assure your upline of profits, but does little for the rank and file IBOs. I write this blog post just to stimulate thought amongst IBOs and prospects. There are better and easier options than the Amway opportunity. If you are reading this, you are looking at one potential alternative. It's your job to decide.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Purpose Of Night Owls And Small Group Meetings?

Based on my personal experience, and based on having read numerous acconts from other former IBOs, it's pretty clear that the higher uplines, absolve themselves of issues and problems by having others do their dirty work. While some leaders are bold enough to make dumb statements on stage, many uplines will have their "eagles" or platinums do their dirty work, which is to pass bad and often self serving advice to their downline. Advice that will help them (upline) to profit directly from the losses suffered by downline.

For example, a diamond may stand on stage and talk about the merits of getting out of debt. Now getting out of debt is a good thing and nobody should get caught up in credit card debt and other piles of debt. But so many times, I sat in meetings where the group was told they needed to be at the next funtion - no matter what. Do whatever it takes to get there, even if it meant selling personal belongings. Ironically, the solution to getting to the next major function did not involve selling Amway products. So many IBOs made sacrifices of time and money to get to the next function, but their business did not experience any growth in volume or downline. I saw many crossline IBOs attend meeting after meeting and function after function without any downline. They faithfully spent their time and money chasing a dream based on lies by the upline leaders. Our group was told that upline made zero profit on tools. While some groups now admit that profit is made on tools, there is still a lack of transparency about the tools profits and as far as I know, there are no formal written agreements with regards to the tool profits.

I also recall our platinums having platinum and above meetings while we were at major functions and it seemed that the platinums always had something to teach the group that was contrary to what we had just heard on stage and the platinum would tell us that he had the freshest information from the meeting. It's like the platinum was just a henchman for the diamonds and carried out their dirty deeds. Another example is how the diamonds taught vertical alignment where God is first, then your spouse, your kids, your job and in 5th place was your Amway business. But anytime an event such as a friend's wedding or an anniversary dinner or your kid's soccer game conflicted with an Amway event, the group was told "attend all meetings". All means all, is what our group was told. That is directly contrary to the concept of vertical alignment. In fact, the Amway IBOs became less useful to their communities and churches as they are constantly attending meetings and functions and unable to serve in other capacities. I also wondered whether the Amway business and tools consumption took away their abililty to tithe and give to the local charities. Our upline would tell us to go diamond and then send in $10,000checks as if that made it okay not to serve others and help the needy.

It is my informed opinion that this still goes on today, despite the claims of Amway appologists that my experience is twelve years old. There is ample evidence suggesting that very little has changed from 20 years ago. In fact, many of the leaders from my IBO days are still teaching unethical things to this day. Many Upline passes bad advice downline, but they do it in sneaky ways such as having their downline leaders pass the information on. This is also how Amway itself can skirt some of their issues, as IBOs are not Amway employees, they are "independent". But most people in North America now know the truth and hopefully this article shines some light on that truth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Why" Are You Building Amway?

One of the reasons why I joined Amway at one time in my life was because a close friend of mine had joined, and had gone platinum and convinced me of how easy it was and that I could easily do what he had done. Additionally, I was sold by delusions of residual income flowing for the rest of my life. I honestly thought that the one day would come when there would be no job and life's toughest decision would be where to have lunch.

I got serious and started building the business and eventually reached various levels, eventually topping off at the 4000 PV level. At that point, my upline had assured me that my net income would be $1000 a month with the right parameters. I had those parameters but my net income was zero because upline expected IBOs to reinvest all of their earnings into tools (standing orders, functions, etc). At that point, I began to question why we would do all the work and get no financial reward. I was told that the money would be there if I just kept working the business.

Apparently, many IBOs get in for various reasons and I'm sure that teh displays of mansions, jets and cars made some people salivate. Some really enjoyed the thought of telling off their boss and quitting their jobs because Amway was so lucrative. Many people believe it because they want to believe it. Many people would love financial freedom, especially when you have a 2-5 year shortcut to achieve it.

I recall some nite meetings where upline asked the group "why" we are building Amway. It was to spend more time with family, or to possibly gain financial freedom. A popular one was to retire the wife so she can be the one to care for the kids and eventually the dad wouold soon follow. In a nutshell, many people joined Amway as a means to have more time and more money. Money from your residual income and time because you won't need a job. The truly sad thing is that for the vast majority of people who try, even those who work hard at it, end up with less time and money as a result of Amway and the systems.

Rather than why you should build an Amway business, people would think about better and more realistic ways of securing their future. That hard fact is that only a fraction of 1% of people will ever make any decent money from Amway, and even those who might make some coin from Amway, much of that profit is rechanneled back into tools. IBOs would seriously be better off doing nothing than doing Amway.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Problems With Amway?

The reason(s) why I feel that Amway is a poor business opportunity is for various reasons. While upline leaders and recruiters give recruits the pie in the sky view, the reality for most is not so pretty.

The products in general are priced uncompetitively. That isn't to say that there is no value in any Amway products, but overall, with the internet and big box retailers, you can almost guarantee that you can find products of equal value at a better price somewhere. It is why Amwayers end up talking about product concentration or "quality", which is subjective. I find it ironic that the quality and concentration doesn't seem to be enough to keep former IBOs as faithful customers.

The compensation plan is unfair to those who do the work. An IBO who moves 100 PV, roughly $300 in sales, usually gets the smallest cut of the bonus. $300 in sales generates about $90 to $100 in bonus money. Approxinately 90% of that bonus goes to layers and layers of upline (middlemen) and the IBO who did all the work might get $10 or so. Some of the upline who enjoy the bonus may have done nothing and may not even know the IBO who did the work. Most IBOs would be better off just selling some other products without being in an MLM and they could then keep all of the business and not have a minimum (100 PV) in order to qualify for a bonus.

The system consisting of voicemail, website fees, cds, books and functions do not work. Sure, some people may learn some techniques and gain some self improvement benefits. But a business exists to earn a profit and the system fails miserably in that regard. The system may churn out a diamond here and there, but these few successes amount to a tiny fraction of 1% of IBOs. Even IBOs who put in tremendous effort often find out that their hard work doesn't pay off. Instead, the system slowly drains IBO resources which is why most system IBOs end up with a net loss at the end of the month. IBOs who stay on the system for several years can be out tens of thousands of dollars, one cd and one function at a time, with no profit to speak of. This is despite uplines claiming that the system is so vital to your success. Recruits need to carefully analyze their progress or they can wake up a few months later and be out thousands of dollars.

I also wonder whether or not Amway actually takes any action against IBO rule breakers. I have, and seen others report obvious violations with no results. In some cases, the Amway folks would not even acknowledge or publish my comments when I have exposed rule violations. The accreditation process was a joke and there's plenty of evidence that nothing has changed, save for some cosmetic changes. The real issue was identified by Amway owner Rich DeVos in 1983 (Directly speaking)but it looks like doing the right thing hurt Amway sales so the violators were left alone and the result has been millions of people being adversely affected by the non action.

It is why I have had the resolve to keep blogging all of these years. to get the word out. That if you join Amway and the tools system, you are nearly assured of a net loss. Do the math and it is an easy conclusion to make. Good luck to all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where's The Money?

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.......