Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Amway Tools Works?

One of the biggest points of contention between Amway critics and Amway defenders is the debate about tools, or business support materials (BSM). These materials commonly consist of voicemail, website fees, cds, standing order, books and seminars or functions. I agree that some training might be helpful to a new IBO, but how much training? A sponsor is obligated to train those whom they sponsor, so how much training do you actually need? Also, I used to wonder why you couldn't buy a certain book at Barnes and Noble if it was cheaper than buying it from Upline?

The Amway business, broken down to very simple terms, is buying and selling products, and recruiting/sponsoring others. If you desire to build volume and perhaps to achieve a "level" in the business. The tools, or BSM are often touted as the key to your success as an IBO, but it is often a conflict of interest for upline to promote this as some of them profit from the sales of BSM. Also, according to the Amway accreditation rules, a written and transparent compensation plan for their professional develop program (tools/BSM) is required, but I have yet to actually see IBOs who know about this. Seems this aspect of accreditation is either not policed or ignored, and/or it seems IBOs are certainly not aware of this. After all, if IBOs and prospects are told that there is income for IBOs via tools at a certain level, how do you know if you qualify, and for how much? Nobody seems to have a definite answer.

But aside from that conversation, what purpose do the tools actually serve? I have heard IBOs talk about how they benefit from tools, but when asked if the tools resulted in a net profit from Amway, the silence was deafening. When I was an IBO, and apparently even now, the tools rarely contain specific material about how to actually run a profitable Amway business. There were no standing orders that told me how to track profits and expenditures. There were no speeches about record keeping and how to file business taxes. There were no meetings where we discussed return on investment of both time and money.

There was talk about dreams, and ignoring facts if the dream was big enough. There was talk about it being okay to go into unscured credit card debt, as long as it was to buy tools or more function tickets. There was talk about sacrificing family needs if it meant buying more tools. Sure, upline didn't force you to do this, they simply convinced you that it was a good idea, much like how a conman makes you think you are making a good decision when they are playing you.

This blog doesn't serve to convince you one way or another about the many subjects, but to offer a differing opinion for IBOs and new prospects to base their decisions on. If you see things here that make sense, I urge you to read more, and to ask your upline or sponsor the tough questions about the tools, or your continued involvement, especially if you are at a net loss at the end of the month.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Attend "All" Functions?

One of the things Amway defenders will spout is how tools are optional in the Amway business. While Amway says this, many Amway AMO leaders do not. One of the things I remember hearing was how an IBO "needed" to attend "all" functions. So many IBOs asked the upline questions such as what if by brothers is getting married and the wedding is on the sAme day as a function? Or what if my kid has a soccer game or an event that was scheduled on the same day as a function? The answer from upline was simple. "All means all".

So upline may teach you that God is #1, spouse is #2, kids #3, job #4 and Amway is a distant #5. That's what they said but that isn't what they meant. Anytime there was a conflict with anything, I heard the same thing: "all means all". Meaning that one needed to attend all functions. Amway defenders are quick to jump in and claim this doesn't happen or that they have never heard it, yet I continue to see stories and testimonies indicating that this is still happening in most of not all AMO groups. Sure some upline might be more lenient than others, but in the end, it seems that most uplines want their downlines to attend all functions, regardless of whether an IBO is profitable or not.

I recall even an IBO who had worked hard and was not profitable. He was given the same answer about "all means all". Some upline want you to believe that hard work equals success, but in Amway, hard work doesn't guarantee success. And I believe it is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned salesperson amd in that kind of business, hard work can go unrewarded. It is not a matter of working hard, and even working hard and smart can go unrewarded at times. It is because Amway's prodcuts are difficult to sell and Amway IBOs previously unthethical behavior makes it hard to find people who are interested in Amway. Thus even finding someone willing to see the Amway sales plan is a great challenge.

What does your upline say about attending meetings and functions? Do they advise you to pick and choose the ones you can afford or do they tell you that you should attend "all". Do they look at your business profitability before advising you to do they ask you to trust their guidance and leadership? Do they also advise you to buy other tools in the same manner? That is advising you to be on voicemail or standing order without knowing about your business parameters? Do they really want your auccess or their own? Keep in mind that some upline make much more money from tools than from Amway. What say you now?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Submit To Your (Amway) Upline?

In taking a look back at my IBO days, I can now laugh at some of the bizarre things 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.

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 5 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 sutpidity 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?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's In A Name (Amway)?

Over the years, I believe that Amway has earned a bad reputation with the general public in the US. It is because IBOs have lied, IBOs had deceived and tricked people into attending recruitment meetings, and IBOs have done zany thing that have turned people off about the Amway opportunity. Factor in the bad experiences some people have had because of the "tools scam" and it's easy to understand why just mentioning the name "Amway" can result in funny looks from others.

While certainly, the blame is not entirely because of Amway the corporation. But certainly, I cannot give Amway the corporation a pass because I believe they have known about the tools "kingpins" and allowed them to operate without resistance. As a result, many IBOs suffered bad experiences such as bankruptcy, homes lost, and other financial devastation as uplines would advise downline to "do whatever it takes" to attend more functions and to buy more tools. While the tools are optional by the letter of the law, the uplines operate from a position of trust, or a position of a trusted friend or mentor. Thus bad self serving financial advice was disbursed by many uplines and they apparently helped fund their diamond lifestyles with the proceeds from tool sales (voicemail, websites, standing orders, functions, book of the month, open meetings).

I believe when I was a WWDB IBO in the later 1990's, the tool kingpins were in their heyday. The internet wasn't as readily available with information for prospects. IBOs didn't use the internet to place orders, thus the kingpins ran their unethical businesses unbridled and unchecked. I believe Amway's efforts (if any) to suppress these kingpin's efforts were ineffective, and I believe it is because the kingpins and indoctrinated IBOs were the ones recruiting new members for Amway, and taught them the 100 PV (defacto) quota, along with Amway product loyalty.

I remember a meeting in our group where our upline platinum told us that the key to Amway success was the ability to overcome the name "Amway". For the very reasons I have cited here, our group was taught to avoid mentioning the name Amway and to use the term private franchise and other catchy names to avoid detection from prospects. Some people in our group must have outright lied because I attended more than a handful of smaller meetings where guests walked out ticked off, muttering something about being tricked or wasting their time for the meeting.

When I finally quit Amway in 1998 or so, I went on with my life and things were great, having left Amway, which left me with more time and money than previously. It wasn't until I later discovered the blatant upline lies (such as there are ZERO profits from tools) and that IBOs were still subjected to such lies. Having learned that the same uplines were still teaching basically the same things with many of the same lies, I began my blogging career. While Amway apologists claim that my experience is old, I keep running into evidence that suggests that things are more the same than not, save for the internet ordering and automated issuance of downline bonuses.

Many of the leaders who deceived and lied, are still in leadership roles and teaching many of the same abusive advice. Why I keep blogging, is because these leaders continue to profit at downline's expense and they have never been held accountable for bad advice or for their lies. I hope this blog provides enough information so prospects and IBOs can make informed choices.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Leadership Conference?

I read about this topic on another blog and was inspired to write about my experience with Spring Leadership. I attended a leadership function as an IBO and I remember it quite well even though I've been removed from Amway for some time now. The leadership function was where the upline diamond would have all of his new leaders (platinums and up) speak. Kinda makes me wonder how this function is going these days when it sure doesn't seem like a lot of new leaders are emerging, at least in my old group.

These new leaders would talk about their trials and how they stuck to the system and now they have arrived. Some of them spoke about how they were able to retire their wives who now stay at home to care for their children. A noble task indeed. I had thought this was the great part about the business. It might interest my readers to know that not a single one of those leadership speakers from my IBO days are at the platinum level and in fact, all but one or two of these nice folks are even in the business. My former sponsor was a platinum and he is one of the few holdovers from the old days, but he is no longer at the platinum level. Last I heard, he was somewhere around 2500 PV, which means he is likely operating at a loss if he is still dedicated to "core".

Spring leadership is the beginning of a run of functions that can really bankrupt IBOs. I'm from Hawaii and leadership was held in March, followed by family reunion (summer conference) in July and Free Enterprise Day (FED) in October. All of these functions are held during peak travel times, thus IBOs who need to fly to functions pay a premium price to travel. Sadly, there was no visible significant growth in the groups after these functions. Looking back, the major functions were just quarterly paychecks for the upline diamonds. If you do the math, you can easily discern that these diamonds may have made millions for a weekend of speaking and showing off their "diamond lifestyles".

I hope this information can help a prospect or an IBO to understand how some of these things work and allow for informed decisions to be made about joining Amway or for deciding whether or not to attend that next function. IBOs need to honestly assess their risk versus reward in making these decisions.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Amway Or A Part Time Job?

Many people pitch Amway as simple, and a 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. IBOs who trick people into meetings or lie about Amway don't help the cause either.

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 flawed 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, you can work very hard and not earn a dime.

With the Amway business, 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 among 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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Amway Millionaires?

I have heard from IBOs that they believe that Amway has created more millionaires than any other company in the US. I call complete BS on that claim. I am not saying that Amway hasn't created any millionaires. Obviously, the Amway owners are worth billions of dollars. But what the IBOs are apparently implying is that the diamonds are millionaires. I'm sure there are some diamonds who indeed are millionires, especially if they are tenured diamonds, in particular the crowns and higher. But conversely, I believe that many high level diamonds are not millionaires. I believe it is just as common for a diamond to be in debt as it is 100 PV IBOs. I also believe that many diamonds did not accumulate their alleged wealth exclusively from Amway. I believe many diamond's wealth is a direct result of the tools sales and not so much from Amway. It makes perfect sense because the tools have a higher margin of profit than the Amway products.

The reason why this is an issue is because these big pins will stand on stage and show off excessive wealth and imply that it is their Amway income that pays for these mansions, sports cars, jet skis, and in some cases, aircraft. In the US, I attended a function called "Dream Nite" where these kinds of luxuries are displayed, to the tune of the song "I wanna be rich". The diamonds would say that you can have what they have, if only you will do what they advise. These functions still go on today and I believe it is now called Winter Conference for some groups. The diamonds imply that they all wake up when they want and travel and do whatever they want with no monetary worries. I believe they just performing as illusionists. A diamond's income as reported by Amway, cannot support the lifestyles portrayed at these dream nights. and certainly not paying for mansions and aircraft in cash.

Stanley and Danko's book, "The Millionaire Next Door"

This book makes some very interesting points which I believe applies to Amway diamonds. I will outline the significant ones and I will comment below:

**Predictably, the data shows that most people who you believe to be very rich are not.

**High net worth individuals, statistically, tend to be people that live within their means. They don’t spend a lot of money. They don’t waste money. They tend to be pretty frugal people.

**The authors point out that most of the richest people you know aren’t driving expensive luxury automobiles. That’s what the people who want everyone to think they’re rich drive.

Joe's commentary. The book does say that about 1/3 of millionaires acquired their wealth thru a J-O-B and saved and invested, but did mention that many millionaires were also business owners, such as a pest control company owner, etc. But based on the points made by the book above, I can see where it is likely that diamonds portray a wealthy lifestyle as a recruitment tactic, when the reality is they may be living very middle class lifestyles off stage, or may even be in debt. I have seen evidence of diamonds having their homes foreclosed and being in debt (Ruth Carter's book: Amway: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors). Recently, there was also a report that Triple Diamond Greg Duncan filed for bankruptcy. The report indicated that he could not make his mortgages, or something to that tune. Odd, because when I was in WWDB, some of the upline leaders said diamonds paid cash for everything because paying interest to the bank wasn't very smart.

My question is why IBOs continue to make up these claims? Try googling millionaire or Amway millionaire. There is nothing to indicate that Amway was responsible for creating the "most millionaires" of any US company. If this were true, wouldn't Amway state it on their website? If someone finds any veracity about this claim, inform me and I will post it. Alas, you won't/

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Joecool's Conversation With An Amway IBO

An apparent IBO recently engaged me on facebook. I copied his statements and my responses. He goes by the name "Mike". He engaged me for a few exchanges and then he later comes back a month later to try and recruit me. In the exchange I catch him in a lie. Maybe he is learning fake it till you make it? Maybe his upline taught him how to lie? Maybe he is a liar who is also an IBO?

August 17 at 2:54pm Mike:
you wouldn't know a real biz if it hit you in the face.... who r u fooling???

Joe says: Who are you? Some Amway dude?

August 17 at 2:58pm Mike:
10.2 bil this year WITHOUT you... will be over 12 bill when the #'s all shake out... all WITHOUT you... r u stupid... this is fact!!! oh you must have a job... mike

Joe says: Amway 10 billion, Walmart 400+ billion. No comparison.

August 17 at 3:04pm Mike:
lets see ... yes walmart great co... what do they do... oh they distrib.... only prob. with walmart can't have a biz... 15,000 new ibo's per day... over 40 mil. hits on the web everyday... the ONLY debt FREE co on the web that doing over a bill in biz .... income i'm plat. yrly 35-40 k...

Joe says: Debt free? Good for Amway. You are not Amway.

August 17 at 3:27pm Mike:
first thing you can do is call corp... they will give you doc... have been debt free from day one when rich & jay started... i don't know where you went to school but you must have flunked math... your crazy to think over head is 3k per month... no one gets sucked in... they join on their own... how many people start college and never finish... oh lets see ... they quit... mmmmm spent $$$$ on tuition/ books/ room-board....

Joe says: So are you profitable? Mike responds with the broke loser statement but a month later, he’s back………..

September 14 at 4:45pm Mike:
hey Joe... mike here.... do you want me to sponsor you??? had 3 new people at a home meeting on thur. last week... 2 are in and 1 customer... things are going well... mike

Joe says: It’s great that you had people at your meeting. Having people at a meeting doesn’t make you any money does it?

September 15 at 11:51am Mike:
have ALWAY'S been profitable.... i make a profit in EVERY biz i have... have been since i was 22... mike

Joe says: Are you making a net profit? What level are you?

September 15 at 2:24pm Mike:
yeh.. hi Joe... gas, cd's, functions and other expense 300-400.00 monthly... biggest expense are function weekends... run bout 300.00 for ticket,room and food... made over 50k... high margin of profit... must hang in to build the biz right... mike

Joecool commentary: So this IBO admits his expenses run about $300 to $400 a month to “build the business right”. You will notice that a month ago he was a platinum making $35 to $40K. Now, a month later he says he is making $50K. Clearly he is lying, probably faking it but not making it. Why do so many IBOs need to lie?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Your Amway Business Run As A Pyramid?

Let me start out by saying that Amway is a perfectly legal company, and therefore I am not saying or implying that Amway is illegal. But I believe that the way Amway businesses are run, are like pyramids. In most groups, you will have the lowest level IBO's efforts and tool purchases being responsible for the upline bonuses and tools income. Many many IBOs are fooled into thinking that the ability to surpass your upline or that you don't get paid to recruit downline means that they are not running a pyramid. Not true. I believe the tools business is a pyramid that might very well be illegal. Keep in mind that the FTC did not clear the tools business as being legal.

Unless you have a very rare group where actual product sales to non IBOs in sufficient to cover the costs of running your business, functions and all, then it is true that the lower level IBO's jobs are likely the source of income for the uplines. How many groups sell almost exclusively to non IBO customers? None that I have ever seen or know of. In fact, how often do IBOs even sell enough products to cover their expenses for even one month out of the year? The groups that teach "buy from yourself" end up doing the most financial damage to their groups because the downline's expenses are then covered exclusively from the downlines jobs, bank accounts, or drive the downline into debt.

I've seen and discussed group structures in forums many times and I can only conclude that tool sales wipe out what little profits/bonuses some of the downlines might receive. Only when an IBO is able to sponsor enough downline to absorb the losses for them will they finally breal even or make a little profit. I would guess that the 4000 PV level or platinum is where a dedicated CORE IBO would breal even and possibly start to make a real profit. But we also know that most platinum groups have 100 or more IBOs in order to generate 7500 PV. Thus we can also conclude that less than 1% of IBOs make a net profit. The only way IBOs can earn a net profit at a lower level is to avoid purchasing tools and to avoid paying for functions. Those who get involved in a system such as WWDB or N21 almost guarantee that they will have a net loss.

Sure, my job may have a pyramid structure with the CEO making the most money. But the difference is that in a company, even the lowest paid employee still receives a paycheck and has money at the end of the month. The same claim cannot be made by IBOs. For these reasons, I believe Amway to be a legal pyramid. IBOs and information seekers are free to participate, but I challenge them to sit down and really analyze their ability to make a net profit. In most cases, the analysis won't be favorable. If you are in the US in particular, you may have great difficulty in even being able to discuss "Amway" without getting strange looks your way from others. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Few Months Into The Amway Business?

I send this message to inform IBOs that they should be aware of their circumstances in business. What are your expenses and income like? What I mean is when you are a new IBO, it is common for you to buy/sell your 100 PV, and perhaps listen to some cds. If you basically did what your sponsor or upline advised, you made your 100 PV bonus level and you will receive a bonus from Amway for about $10. If you did as advised by your upline/sponsor, then you likely made a namelist and started contacting some potential business partners aka prospects. You're probably a bit excited because things are going as you expected. You did your part and a bonus is on it's way to your doorstep. Heck, you may have even sponsored a friend or relative because of your newly found excitement and enthusiasm.

But what happens after a few months? If you are still doing 100 PV and have no downline, then what are the chances that you will ever achieve anything? Your excitement is wearing off and now the Amway opportunity is becoming "work". You are also starting to notice that it is starting to get expensive to continue to purchase products, many of which you never purchased before. For example, were you buying cases of energy drinks and "high end" vitamins before Amway? Did you buy $50 cases of bottled water before Amway? Supposedly their laundry soap and other cleaners are highly concentrated, therefore your consumables are the nutrition/vitamin products.

Even if you managed to find some downline, are they duplicating what you do? Are they also moving volume and sponsoring downline? If not, what are your chances of fulfilling the 6-4-2 plan or some similar version of it. When I saw the plan, I thought it was reasonable and I was on my way to platinum. What I discovered though, is that as you progress, upline has greater expectations of you and that includes more tool purchases. (I was in WWDB). In the end, my recommended tool purchases ate up any profits I had and at the 4000 level, I was just about breaking even, which means I was at a loss when factoring in my time spent and other miscellaneous expenses such as gas money.

Where are you at? If you're been in for more than a year, are you on schedule to become platinum or are you at 200 PV with one downline? Maybe you have a small group with 600 PV? You still aren't close to a net profit. For the vast majority of people, success is not right around the corner. What's around the corner for most is more time lost, more money expended, and no progress. If your group is now growing each and every month, you are sliding backwards. If you don't constantly have new IBOs coming into the group, you are probably stagnant. With about half of IBOs dropping out each year, keeping a group together is a tremendous task.

IBOs, where are you at after a few months? Where are you at after a year? If you haven't gone platinum, it is nearly a certainty that it will never happen, despite what your upline might say. The facts are there, it's a matter of whether you want to believe it or not.

Friday, March 8, 2013

An Anonymous Amway Testimony

A blog visitor sent me this email yesterday. It might he helpful to some people so I'll post it.

We were part of what im coming to find out as a smaller more unknown team in our region. I’ve run into many Amroids since I first joined until now, and they’ve always seemed to be part of N21 or BWW or WWDB but im not sure if our group was any of those? We were part of something called the UR Association. I believe through some unspoken issues years ago in upline, our group was adopted either to Dexter Yagers organization or from his organization. Its never been fully or properly explained to us. Anyway, my upline always had CDs from multiple organizations teaching systems, and we purchased them all. This was because we partly refused to sign up with URA and partly because we just didn’t have to money for that type of monthly fee. We weren’t on Kate either because of this. When my significant other (SO) and I first joined almost 4 years ago, we were typical for this business; broke, unemployed, and young. We went through the paces or coming out to the meetings as guests for free, attending some product expos, etc, until one day it started costing us as guests (we were still evaluating at the time) to attend the regular open meetings. Foolishly, we figured “well we might as well sign up then!”

Looking back now, all the signs were there for us to see since the start. After we got in, our uplines group slowly fell apart. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen his group grow or be on the rise since I joined. I was told of the glory days just months before of how there were over 100 people in his group attending functions, all the pin levels on his team, the recognitions they’ve received, etc. When we joined and he was on the decline, we thought nothing of it, as it was played off as normal and that “Some Will, Some Wont, So What, Some Where, Six Will, so Stop Whining, and Start Working”. We also attended a major Family Reunion shortly after officially signing up and again, the signs were always there, but we just never noticed. That function that we went to was the largest our upline Diamonds organization was we’d ever see. Our open meetings slowly began getting smaller, and we had to increase ticket costs to “pay for the room”. It went from an open meeting every 2 weeks at $5 to an open meeting once a month at $10. Over the years it started switching locations as well, from one hotel conference room to another, and now it is currently held at a Condo, in the main floors’ lobby room (I believe there is still a cost incurred)

One of the CDs that we were always so “keen” to listen to was one by a young diamond from the US, who built a good portion of his organization in Hawaii and in the western states. He’s young, funny, relatable, and therefore an obvious hit with our young group. Anyway, on his CD he mentions that the only “negative thing that can be found online about Amway is that we allegedly make all our money off books and CDs”. Im loosely paraphrasing, but basically he went on saying “…like that’s a bad thing. Think about it, whats the first thing you do when you are successful at something? Golfing, any sport, a business? Don’t you write a book, cut a CD and go on public speaking events?!” Which of course when twisted around it does seem to make sense, so we never really questioned it. We thought Wow these are totally honest about it! Theres not really much else to write about at this point, like I said earlier, a lot of your blogs were 100% correct about what still goes on. The mind games, what uplines say, whats said at opens, all of it. My SO and I reached a max of I believe 300/400 PV and 200PV respectively. SO had a slightly larger group (we were building it separately at the time) with maybe 5-6 downline at its peak, and I had maximum 2. We’ve been in it for 4 years and have seen no results. Despite having no money for monthly subscriptions to books and CDs, we were core. We tried our best to get the proper 50/150, we always used all the products and promoted it like crazy. We tried contacting all the time, and showed plans whenever we could. We listened, read, attended all functions, were accountable, honest, and the only thing we didn’t have was Kate. But the results were never there. Even with the amount of downline each of us had at our maximum, we still never broke more then 300-400PV. It just wasn’t happening. Since we’ve stopped, I have purchased a new(er) car, 2010 top trim, and with a 1 year delayed gratification goal, we saved enough money for a destination vacation paid for in cash. We spared no expense while we were there and bought all sorts of gifts for our friends and ourselves. We are also planning more trips in this coming year.

There are little details here and there im sure i could mention about the really crazy BS we've been through, but perhaps another time :) we're in a phase right now of not thinking about it or dealing with it.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

IBOFightback Explains Why The Amway Business Is Not Sustainable?

IBOFIghtback, AKA Icerat AKA Insider inadvertently explains why the Amway business is not sustainable. It would also explain why residual income is basically a myth. Of course he was doing this to justify the low average earnings, but instead explained why the Amway business is not sustainable and why most IBOs should not expect to make money, even with sponsored downline.

Yup, and that's just fine. [i]Since the vast majority of them have no expectation to make money and indeed don't even try[/I]

He is saying that the vast majority of IBOs have no expectation to make money and indeed don't even try. That alone means most people who attempt to build an Amway business are doomed for failure? Why? Because the vast majority of people have no expectation of making money and don't even try.

What can someone expect when they sign up downline? That they will do nothing? IBOFightback goes onto say that indeed most IBOs never even bother to place an order!!
WIth most IBOs doing nothing and/or not even bothering to place an order, what can an IBO expect when they sponsor people? They can expect their downline to not place and order and to not make any money!!

Amway's own literature suggests that only about 1 out of 5 IBOs sponsor a downline to begin with. And when you do sponsor someone, chances are that they will do nothing. Indeed they are unlikely to even place an order!

Having this knowledge, you can easily discern that making money in Amway and sustaining it is virtually impossible. First off, Amway has a soiled reputation in the US. You will need to get some training in order to present the business in order to recruit downline. The training and other business expenses may vary depending on your upline or LOS. And then after you are trained, if you sponsor someone, your likely result will be downline who have no expectations of making money and indeed don't even try.

IBOFightback has a (bad) reputation for using any manner to defend Amway, even resorting to personal attacks to divert the conversation away from Amway. But in this instance, he unknowingly explains exactly why IBOs don't make money, but he also explains why even an exceptional IBO is unlikely to be able to sustain a steady business.

Because the vast majority of IBOs have no expectation to make money and indeed don't even try. The rest is self explanatory!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Amway J-O-B Opportunity?

Amway IBOs like to call themselves "Independent Business Owners". But when you sit down and think about this for a minute, I believe that the Amway opportunity is more like a job. As an IBO, you are basically acting as a commissioned salesperson without any benefits coming from the Amway corporation. It's great for Amway as they only pay you for products that are moved. You receive no guaranteed salary or wage, and you get no fringe benefits such as health insurance. The time and expenses involved in moving product belongs to the IBO and the compensation plan doesn't pay very well unless you move a lot of volume.

The Amway corporation can sit back, and simply issue bonuses to downline IBOs. It is the IBOs themselves who recruit others, train others and move the products. Many IBOs are fiercely loyal to Amway products even when they could get the exact same product or a similar product, in many cases, at a fraction of the cost at a big box retailer, or even a local retailer. The IBO can also spend a significant amount of money learning to build an Amway business, as well as recruiting downline and trying to move some products.

Uplines get you to see the world differently. That you do not equate an hourly wage with your business. But if IBOs did think of their earnings that way, they would easily see that they are working to lose money or to make pennies an hour. For the larger majority of IBOs, working minimum wage would be far more lucrative than spending countless hours and money chasing an Amway dream that is very unlikely to materialize. Uplines also get you to think you are "investing" in your business by purchasing tools, but in reality, you are just a customer of your upline's tool business. They earn money by selling you training, even if you business is a failure despite your hard work and adherence to upline teaching.

You dedicate yourself to attending meetings, working the phones, meeting with uplines and downlines. You drive a lot of miles. But what many IBOs do not notice is that the priority in building a business should be a focus on getting more customers and expanding sales. But because Amway products can be hard to sell, most IBOs are focused on expanding their business by recruiting others. An endless chain of recruitment, which is why many people think of Amway as a pyramid scheme. Whether it's legal or not as is, is not my call. The continuous recruitment and attrition of downline make the Amway opportunity unsustainable in the long term. It is why the dreams of residual income is a myth. IBOs think they can earn lifelong residual income but how many IBOs can name even a single person who is doing this?

But the bottom line in my view, is that Amway is more like a job than an independent business. Call it what you will, but in either case, business or job, it doesn't pay well for most. You can also have your income stopped by Amway and restrictions placed on your business. Does that sound like independence to you?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Amway and WWDB Teaching?

A comment left on my WWDB blog. I thought it might be helpful to other readers who share a similar situation:

My husband wasn't abusive when we met and were first married. That started happening maybe six months after we were married.

He was already in Amway when we met, but he wasn't very active. After we got married, he started to get more active in "the business."

I didn't know much about Amway when I met him. I met his upline sponsors when we got engaged and I thought they were just good friends. After we were married, I went to a rally and was struck by how the wives seemed to be so supportive. Then I heard the Emerald wife speak, and all she did was edify her husband or go on to "us gals" that we needed to let go of any negativity. As I went to more functions, I heard the wives tell "us gals" to be submissive - that we were wrong for having any needs or requests. It's one of the kids' birthday or your birthday and there's a function? Guess which one takes priority. You can celebrate later when you're "Free," when you're a Diamond.

I thought there would be some sales training. I went to an Artistry clinic - they taught us how to put on makeup and showed us some of the latest colors. But there was nothing about how to find customers, generate sales, or even have a makeup party. At one time, there was a tape by Bettyjean Brooks (wife of Jim Brooks, WWDB) about how to build a retail business. I ordered it, but never received it. She and Jim divorced. Jim stayed in WWDB and the tape suddenly became "unavailable."

Husband really followed the "fake it 'til you make it" teaching. To everyone, he was Mr. Successful. After our child was born, I became a stay at home mother. He led everyone to believe that it was our Amway income that allowed me to stay home. We weren't even at 1500 PV. We never made any money. I kept my mouth shut and played the submissive/supportive wife role. Keeping the books, running call-in and pickup for our downline, and trying to peddle the products to "customers." He never tried to sell anything - that was the wife's job. WWDB taught that.

It all came to a head when the police got involved because of the abuse. He had to move out of our house. He lied to everyone, saying that it was all really nothing and that the courts (and I) were blowing everything out of proportion. After going through counseling and therapy, it was clear to me (and to the therapist) that he was not being honest with any of us. I filed for divorce.

It was then that the upline contacted me. Our sponsor (the wife), platinum and emerald each called me. It started out that they were "concerned" about me and wanted to counsel me. When I told them exactly what happened and why I was leaving, they told me that it was "unbiblical" for me to leave my husband. Yelling at me. Accusing me of negativity. They also said that there was no way he could have done those things, that they just couldn't believe it. I offered to let them see a copy of the police report. Nobody ever took me up on that offer.

Now, I can't say that Amway taught him to be abusive, but I wholeheartedly believe they taught him to be a good liar and how to hide the truth and dodge questions. They did everything short of preach that the "little lady" stay at home, pregnant and in the kitchen. Wives on stage used to brag about how the couple drove a hundred miles and left their kids sleeping in the car while they went inside someone's house to show a plan.

Freedom, indeed. More like servitude.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Amway Is Efficient?

I remember seeing the plan as a prospect back over a dozen years ago. I remember the speaker talking about how you can capitalize on distribution efficiencies to make money. We as IBOs would simply cut out the middleman and that savings would be psssed onto us as IBOs. In its simplest form, it made sense and and misconception passed onto the audience that you will actually save money by ourchasing Amway products. I even remember the speakers saying that even if the whole world signed up for Amway, even the last guy getting would would have the benefir of saving money. Looking back now, much of it was deception and lies. And to think, people now and back then paid good money for training on how to become, in my opinion, the least efficient manner in which to move products.

We recently enjoyed the Superbowl. And as you know, superbowl commercials can cost millions of dollars. But do you know why? It's because hundreds of millions of people across the world are tuned into the superbowl. Companies probably have their best staff working on developing these commercials because they want to leave a lasting impression on their viewers. And it apparently works because people today are still willing to shell out serious coin for these commercials.

Amway IBOs advertise person to person, one person at a time.

What are the chances of an IBO ever moving a significant amount of products or being able to reach out to potential new downline when they prospect person to person, face to face, one at a time? To me, that is the most inefficient manner of expanding business. And let's face it, Amway's rules don't help when you are not supposed to advertise online without special permissions and you are not supposed to sell product on Ebay or Craigslist. In today's technological society, it seems almost crippling to be so inefficient.

And even your beloved uplines, at your expense, run the most inefficient manner of doing business. Who needs voicemail when we have facebook, email, twitter or text messaging? Not to mention the added expense IBOs face by these outdated technologies. Also, with video conferencing, skype, or webcams, why do people need to travel long distances for meetings and functions? The answer is simple, your upline might not want your success, they simply might just want your money. All of the training and motivation is a profit center for upline and modernizing would simply reduce their tool profits.

Try asking that of your upline. Why do we keep using the most expensive and inefficient means of doing business and communicating? I'd be curious to hear that answer.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Amway IBOs Can't Sponsor Downline?

When I was an IBO, I often found myself buying more goods than I needed because a single person simply has no use for 100 PV worth of Amway goods on a consistent month to month basis, save for eating double x for breakfast or something. In general, Amway's prices are higher than many retailers, because the cost of the IBO bonus is built into the price of their goods. Probably more than 30% additional markup is needed for Amway to cover all of the IBO bonuses paid to layers upon layers of upline and downline.

Because of this "disadvantage" that IBOs have, it is a very rare IBO that is able to sell enough goods to make an income. There's some documentation that Amway sells only about 4% of their goods IBOs(Http:// This supports my claim about the prices. Because of this disadvantage, the only other way an IBO can build PV volume is to sponsor downline who will hopefully consume their 100 PV or more. You basically can't build a sustainable and profitable Amway business without downline.

But sponsoring is a big problem. Most IBOs are unable to sponsor others. This is where many IBOs have become their own worst enemy. I was once tricked into attending an Amway meeting, and many many others have left comments on blogs expressing the same experiences. Other were outright lied to about the business or were deceived. These practices, while not employed by all IBOs, have saturated North America. It is hard ti find someone in the US who has not experienced, or knew of someone who had a bad experience with an Amway IBO. Because of how some groups operate, there are also allegations of cult-like behavior, and some groups greatly exaggerate the amount of upfront cash needed to register. I understand that signing up to be an IBO can be less than $100 but some groups charge $200 or more, and I saw a prospect who said a network 21 group charged over $600 to register in Amway.

You add in all these factors such as high prices and a spotty reputation and it's easy to see why IBOs cannot move volume and cannot sponsor downline. New IBOs are almost assured of this fate when they register. It is only a rare few who can overcome these major handicaps. And even those who "make it" are often unable to retain their levels for very long. Is this truly a way to generate "residual" income? I think not.

How Amway IBOs Justify Themselves?

I remember how our upline diamond used to talk about how people justify themselves. They'll compare themselves to a neighbor or a co-worker and justify that they are doing okay. Or they may say that they went to public school, therefore public school is good enough for their kids. Or a man might respond to a wife's request to see Alaska by telling his wife to look in the freezer if she wants to see ice. We justify ourselves by finding someone equal or worse off than ourselves. It makes us feel better to know that we aren't that bad off. Keeping up with the Joneses is one way some uplines talk about how people feel better about themselves in life, by keeping up with their friends and family. But what about IBOs?

Uplines will tell you that you should strive to be better, which is good. Ironically, they'll also tell you that the way to do better is to join Amway and to dive into the tool system. While there might be initial excitement and euphoria, it wears out quickly, especially when the quick profits and advancement in the business never materializes for most. It is then that the uplines cleverly inject subtle pressure to keep you active by labeling people who quit as losers or failures. Their tools will tell you to never quit, or that you will eventually make it if you keep pressing on. The standing orders are filled with stories of guys who were broke, signed up for Amway, had struggles, but they never quit and now they are diamonds living large and only working functions out of the love for their downline. Don't you ever wonder why nobody can name people who actually built a diamond business, and then walked away, collecting hoards of cash and living happily ever after? I do not believe these people actually exist.

Then sadly, but ironically, the IBOs begin to justify their business losses. The phrases are common. I am a nicer person, I am a better father and husband. I am doing God's work (Amway is God's work?). I learned about business from being in Amway. There are many nice reasons people give to explain their involvement in Amway and the systems, but making a nice income is rarely ever one of the reasons. I do hear some outrageous income claims, but not a single IBO has provided any evidence or proof of this income. If you did learn things or became a better person, that is great. I'm not begrudging that, but you still got shorted in terms of the business opportunity. If I drove to the store to buy a $99 50" flat screen TV and the store said they made a mistake and it's really $1199, I might have learned some patience and tolerance, but the bottom line would be that I still didn't get what was advertised.

Another justification that IBOs make is that Amway products are the best, therefore they cost the most. They also justify the cost with the concentration factor (I hope you don't spill any). Of course, product quality is subjective and secondly, many people are not concerned about quality when it comes to ordinary household goods such as bar soap or toilet paper. I see people proudly showing off a lexus. How many people show off their soap and bathroom products? Most people look at price and value, which is why WalMart and Costco are wildly successful. It's really humourous at times when you see IBOs in action justifying their products and their business opportunity.

Obviously, it's a tough sell in North American where it appears that Amway IBO'
tricks don't work as well. Seems everyone has experienced or knows someone who;s had an encounter with Amway IBO's. In many cases, the experience is negative or comical.
"Is this Amway"? LOL