Friday, October 31, 2014


Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What Is The Likelihood Of Amway Success?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that the top 1% (platinums) of IBOs on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's very possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done. Why would it be different when there are more expenses today than when the Wisconsin study was done.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Not all 100 are active. Some do little, some are highly dedicated and some may be off and on, depending on whether they feel inspired at the moment. I should also mention that people routinely quit and drop out and therefore, new recruits must be brought in all the time. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. It is also, apparently rare to maintain that level. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today. So you have a less than 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are unlikely to be able to maintain that level even if you manage to reach it.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a business where you have such a small likelihood of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible? I know the Amway supporters like to show what is possible, which is fine, but a real business owner will also want to know what is likely and what they can expect given certain levels of effort.

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month or more on tools. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality. They dream of only the best case scenario or what is possible. They seem to ignore what is likely. They are sold on hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams are nice but people also need to know what the reality is.

The reason why so any people fail is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, try to stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success? While you seem interested in attending functions and buying tools, you'll be patted on the back and encouraged but the moment you stop, you'll become a quitter or broke loser.

try it and see for yourself.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Real Amway Business?

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

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

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

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

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

Based on my observations, I can only conclude (quite easily) that there is substantially more profit from the sale of support materials for upline to enjoy, and I can also conclude that the support materials are ineffective in training downline IBOs so they can progress to higher levels of the business. But as PT Barnum once said, a sucker is born every minute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Amway And The Tool Scam?

There's been much debate recently on the James Randi Educational Forum (JREF). Most call Amway a scam and one prolific defender cites the point that IBOs are not Amway. And Amway doesn't sell training materials. While that is legally true, the owner of Amway, back in 1983 acknowledged that the sale of tools was, basically unethical and possibly illegal. However, inaction by the Amway corporation led to the heyday of the tool scam and financial abuse of downline. There's the loophole that covers Amway. IBOs are independent.

However, these same IBO leaders could not run free scamming downline if Amway were to intervene. I believe Amway doesn't take any apparent significant action for fear that these leaders would move their groups to another MLM. The result over the years is a lousy reputation in the US where the name Amway is associated with pyramid, scam and other undesirables. I suppose Amway has survived though, because of a saying by PT Barnum. There's a sucker born every minute. I suppose there are enough pockets of young or unsuspecting people who can still be convinced to join, so it's business as usual.

Which brings to to the next point. Unfortunately, new IBOs are basically suckers. They pay a fee to Amway, in order to become an unpaid Amway salesperson. You absorb your own time and expenses in order to move Amway products, and if you move enough of them, you can get a minimal bonus. You also at your own time and expense, recruit other unpaid salespeople for Amway. Your reward for this is you get credited for a portion of their sales, provided they use or actually sell anything. Most IBOs do little or nothing so your efforts are usually in vain.

But the real trick is to have IBO leaders convince downline that voicemail and cds and live meetings (seminars) can actually help you succeed. There is zero unbiased evidence to suggest that this training or tools do anything but make handsome profits for the people who sell them. Even if many IBOs sign up and do nothing, there are enough serious ones to support the pharoah diamond leaders. And food for thought, do IBOs really need voicemail in an age of email, twitter, facebook and other more efficient means of commincation?

So yes, Amway IBOs are not Amway. Amway diamond leaders are not Amway.

But if Amway cannot or will not stop those who taint their name, then they simply must live with the reputation of being a scam or a pyramid. They can be legal to the letter of the law, but most people see it for what it is. Being legal doesn't necessarily mean ethical or moral. It is my opinion that when you sign up for Amway, you are nearly assured of losing money. It's not your fault though, it is the result of a bad system. I encourage everyone to do their due diligence before joining any business, Amway notwithstanding.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Facade Of Amway Leaders?

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 mansions, slideshows of sports cars, jets, and 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 within 5 years of retirement, and they earn mucc much 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 for a triple diamond, and not enough to save Mr. Duncan from filing bankruptcy back in 2009 or so. 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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Only Amway Folks 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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Truth About Amway?

What is the truth about Amway?

One of the things that irks me about some Amway leaders is their blatant revisionist history. They never take responsibility for anything except for the miniscule amounts of success that seeps through their system. Real problems and issues are ignored, or leaders pretend they never happened, or they simply rewrite history to fit their goals and agendas. And to make matters worse, these same leaders teach their downline to accept personal responsibility for their failures, even when downline faithfully purchase and apply teaching from tools such as voicemail, standing orders and functions. The truth is that the Amway leaders are given a pass and are not held accountable to anyone.

One good example from the past was the complete lie that nobody made profits from tools. Then when caught red handed, leaders now admit that they make profits from tools but nobody seems to know exactly how much, or how you actually qualify to receive compensation. And there was no backlash for having told such blatant lies. Today's IBO's were not present when the lies were told and most current IBOs would have no knowledge of it. Nobody was accountable.

Leaders in my former LOS, WWDB used to teach how so few IBO couples ever gets divorced. I heard that Amway couples had a 2% divorce rate as compared to the rest of the world where over 50% of couples get divorced. Yet, WWDB uses their own revisionst history. One good example is Howie Danzik, who WWDB says built his business as a single and later married Theresa Tsuruda. I guess I must have imagined the emerald function I attended where Howie and his wife at the time, Susan, said they built the business together. There are other examples of this, but what amazes me is how the downlines seem to ignore these facts.

Another fairly recent example was how an IBO insisted that a prominent triple diamond in WWBD did not have homes foreclosed or was not involved in bankruptcy proceedings, even when there are numerous public documents providing ample evidence that it was true. It's mind boggling. If Tiger Woods were a diamond and denied that he had any affairs, I bet his downline would believe him as well. Scary.

I just have to wonder when IBOs, who dedicate themselves to various systems, will ever hold these leaders accountable for their actions. If you buy a television and it didn't work, you would ask for a refund. Well, if those standing orders and functions contain vital information and you apply them and they don't work, you should ask for a refund as well. People should also ask upline the tough questions. If someone gives you bad advice, they should be held accountable. If someone tells you buying a home with a mortgage is stupid because of the interest you will pay, then you find out they have "interest only loans", that makes them a hypocrite and their advice should be questioned.

Don't allow these well compensated leaders to simply rewrite history to ignore their mistakes and trangressions. This blog contains many "truths" about Amway and it may not be pretty and won' be what your upline says. Ask questions and be discerning. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Amway Dream Stealers?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hypocritical Amway Upline?

Now that the internet is so accessible, information flows freely and some of the dark secrets of the Lines Of Sponsorship have been exposed. Also, as times passes, it is becoming clear that a bunch of upline leaders are major hypocrites, apparently motivated by greed and personal gain. I believe this trend will continue as well. It appears that these same leaders have managed to get around Amway's accreditation guidelines, which appears to be toothless.

Many upline leaders appeal to their audience by talking about how the Amway business can save marriages. I remember sitting in an audience when some diamonds spoke about how couples who build the business have a less than 2% divorce rate as compared to the national figure of 50% or so. One major reason cited was the financial stress that J-O-B people had (not enough cash). But now we see some upline diamond leaders getting divorced and in some cases, no explanation is offered, as if the missing spouse was beamed up by aliens. Many leaders simply revise history or deny that certain events happened. Some leaders just pretend nothing happened and it seems like IBOs are very forgiving, thus no real accountability has ever been applied to upline leaders.

People also found that some diamonds make a lot of money from tools. When I was an IBO, we were told very clearly, that nobody made profits from tools. That profits went back into the functions to make them better and cheaper. (Has any function gotten cheaper in the last 12 years?) In fact, when I was an IBO, I was told that WWDB was a non-profit entity, which was a bold lie. I will admit that upline later changed their story to WWDB was a for profit company, but nobody kept profits, thus the channeling money to make events better and cheaper. Agsin, when have events ever been cheaper. Now I don't think that events should be run pro bono, but the leaders should be transparent about it rather than the lies and shroud of secrecy that often accompanies talk about tools and tool income.

Some upline leaders also spoke of how utterly stupid it was to take out a loan as the banks make so much money off the interest. We now see some of these very leaders having their homes foreclosed! Some of these diamonds were the very ones who said their pay cash for everything, including their homes and cars. It is not in the hopes for these folks to suffer, but it is exposing the lies and deception that leaders used to entice IBOs to join and to purachse tools that were supposed to help IBOs to attain the same lifestyle as the diamonds. However, rather that more diamonds, I believe WWDB and some other LOSs, at least in the US, have fewer diamonds now than 15 years ago. Where's the evidence of success?

What's even more amazing is how the hypocrisy of some of these leaders are exposed to downline and the downline simply ignores it and continues to follow blindly without an explantion or questioning the leaders after the incidents are exposed.

IBOs should ask their leaders questions when these kinds of issues arise. And you should think twice if the answer you receive is silence or deflections.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Amway Retirement Myth?

I was watching a show on Discovery channel the other night about Sasquatch. It was followed by a show about evidence of UFOs. It made me start to think about these phenomena. It seems like everyone has heard about or knows something about Sasquatch (Big foot) and/or UFOs. There are many documentaries showing pictures and evidence of both, but to date, there is no bonafide evidence that these things exist. You'd think that a body or bones of a Sasquatch would turn up somewhere, sooner or later, or we would find compelling evidence of a spaceship from another galaxy.

It sounds just like stories of people who built a diamondship, then "walked away" from their businesses, retired in the lap of luxury and did nothing while the money kept rolling in. I heard numerous scenarios about this happening, but looking back, all the diamonds kept working and since Joecool left the business, the diamond either kept working, or quit or got terminated or died while working as a diamond. But I never heard anyone name some higher up Amway pin who built a business, and then walked away from it to travel the beaches of the world while hundreds of thousands of dollars kept rolling in. Many have heard about it but nobody seems to be able to name any of these folks. I mean after over 50 years in existence, you'd think some of these folks would exist, especially when it seems to be a selling point of the business for many AMOs.

It is my opinion that Sasquatch, UFOs and retired Amways diamonds (with significant Amway income) are non existent. If these folks existed, there should be at least some shred of evidence of it. The lack of evidence indicates to me that it is either non existent or so rare that nobody can display bonafide proof. I mean there aren't any T-Rexs roaming the earth anymore but fossil evidence proves that they existed at one time.

Keeping in mind that the Amway business has a high attrition rate, coupled with low sales to non IBOs and you can easily conclude that residual and significant income is nearly impossible. An Amway business that is left alone will deteriorate like a sandcastle does as the waves wash it away. You (in theory) could possible walk away from an Amway business for a while and collect some income, but you won't be collecting enough income to live the "diamond lifestyle" as portrayed by diamonds in their functions and open meetings. I'm not even sure that active diamonds can comfortably afford that lifestyle even when building their businesses. There is ample evidence to support my claim. Diamonds losing homes to foreclosure, former diamonds revealing secrets about their income. If you really believe you can walk away from your Amway business and collect untold wealth, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A JOB Versus Amway?

One of the ways that upline diamonds would put down jobs was to toss in the phrase that a job was simply trading hours for dollars. As if it were demeaning to have a job where you got paid for your time. I believe it's all relative. Being that many IBos are young and maybe working in more entry level types of jobs, then yeah, your hourly wage might not be that great. If you earn say $10 an hour, then you might be struggling financially and it may take time before your skills and knowledge increase to a point where your experience is worth more money. What if you had a job paying $1000 an hour and earned $160,000 a month? Is that a lousy deal trading hours for dollars? I think not!

Conversely, having a business can be good or bad also. If you have an Amway business earnning less than $100 a month and you spend $200 on functions, standing orders and other training and motivational materials, then you are losing money. You would be better off working for free. That is still a better alternative than working a business where you are losing money. I think most people agree that a platinum group typically has a 100 or more IBOs. Thus a platinum is in the top 1% of all IBOs. I have heard that the platinum level is where you start to break even or make a little profit, depending on your level of tool consumption. If platinums are barely making a profit, then the other 99+% of IBOs are likely losing money. How much is that worth per hour?

I think uplines cleverly trick IBOs into thinking that a job is bad. Trading hours for dollars, afterall, sounds like some kind of indentured servant of sorts. But in the end, what matters is your bottom line. If you are an IBO with little or no downline, and/or not much in terms of sales to non IBOs/customers, then you are losing money each and every month if you are attending functions and buying standing orders. Your 10-12 hours a week of Amway work is costing you money! But if you spend 10-12 hours a week, even at minimum wage, then you might be making about 300 to 350 a month gross income. After taxes, you make about 250 to 300. At least trading hours for dollars gets you a guaranteed net gain at the end of the month, whereas Amway is getting you a net loss.

Uplines trick you into a "business mentality" where you think that working for a net loss is just a part of business. IBOs should realize that a business promoted as low risk and no overhead should be one where you can profit right away. Instead, IBOs are taught to delay gratification, or to reinvest any profit back into their business in the form of tools and functions, which results in a net loss. If that's the case I would choose trading hours for dollars.

Remember, trading hours for dollars is not a bad deal if you are making enough dollars per hour. And even those who make less, are better off that those who "run a business" but end up with a net loss. It's all relative and hopefully, this message will help new or prospective IBOs who are being enticed to join the Amway business opportunity. Good luck to those with jobs and those with businesses. You can be successful either way. Remember that!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

People Quitting Amway?

I often see commentary about people quitting Amway and Amway loyalists are quick to call them broke, losers, lazy, lacking guts. Ironically, these same lazy and loser types of people were "sharp" and motivated prospects before they signed up for the Amway opportunity. Someone recently left a comment on my blog about how AMOs should conduct exit interviews with departing IBOs to get to the root of the problems. The root of the problem in my opinion is that Amway products are priced too high and the business opportunity is a poor one. It really is that simple.

However, based on my years of blogging and Amway experiences, I can honestly say I believe that people quit Amway primarily for one reason. The money isn't there. Amway's own numbers show that the averahe IBO earns just over $100 a month and that is before taxes and expenses. Business building IBOs earn most of the bonuses, but business building IBOs generally have the most expenses, often participating in the system of standing orders and functions.

When I was an IBO, I did as upline advised and I achieved a fairly significant level (4000 PV), but due to the expenses associated with tools and helping downline, I didn't earn net profit. This is confirmed by a study done by the Wisconsin attroney general who examined the tax returns of platinume and found that they averaged a net loss of about $1000 a year. While the study was a bit dated, I would suggest it is still very valid as platinums today, have more tools (business building materials) that they are expected to buy from upline. If I made nothing at 4000 PV, anyone with half a brain can conclude that IBOs below 4000 PV and fully participating on the system would end up with a net loss because their expenses would be similar to mine, but with less bonus money.

The bottom line is that people are very likely quitting because they aren't profitable. If people made a few hundred a month with 8-15 hours of work per week, they would continue to run their businesses. But those who work and make nothing or lose money have no reason or motivation to continue. Thus they simply make a wise business decision and quit. What seemed like a good idea during the presentation simply did not pan out when reality set in. It's also reasonable to conclude that the products are not that great either because if they were, those who quit would become loyal customers, thus even if the sales force turned over, sales would consistently rise as former IBOs would become customers. It's apparent that most former IBOs do not become loyal Amway customers. In fact, for those who later discover they were lied to or deceived about the Amway opportunity, become critical of Amway instead.

Why do people quit Amway? I think the answer is crystal clear.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Amway Systems?

Many uplines and IBOs will talk about their system. More often than not, the various systems such as WWDB or Network 21 will tout themselves as the best, fastest growing, proven, and most profitable. I know that was promoted when I was an IBO and I believe it is still promoted this way. There are many comments on the internet from IBOs and recently former IBOs that indicate that this is true. But let's take a look at these claims.

How does one determine the best? You really can't. The best is an opinion unless there are established criteria on what constitutes the best. Of course, every upline will think their group is the best, but what can factually be derived from that claim? If you are an IBO or prospect of Amway, try asking that question. Based on what do you make the claim of being the "best" group or system?

Fastest growing can be proven or disproved. But for the most part, we know that Amway isn't growing by leaps and bounds in North America. During the Quixtar tenure, it appeared that Amway sales in NA either stagnated or even shrank. Amway supporters cite overall Amway sales going up, but it's reasonable to conclude that the increase in sales is primarily in foreign countries. For some odd reason, Amway no longer reports North American sales, but simply lumps everyhing into a global sales figure.

As for any system to be making claims of proven, all these systems have basically done is proven that they are dismal failures. Based on Amway's own figures, we can deduce that less than half of one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level. The platinum level is approximately where you might see a small profit if that platinum is CORE. There is some documentation indicating that platinums might lose money at that level. While the study is dated, the expenses associated with being a platinum have gone up significantly since that study (Wisconsin Attorney General) so it can be very possible that platinums continue to see a net loss these days. It's also very visible that there are fewer diamonds in north America today than a dozen years ago. Diamonds have quit and some were terminated. It appears that most new diamonds come from foreign countries where Amway has not yet suffered reputation issues.

Makng claims of fastest growing is also one that can be proven. However, try asking your sponsor or upline for evidence of this claim. Also, is the growth occuring in your area? Are you from the US or Canada? Citing growth in Korea for example, is unlikely to mean anything for the vast majority of IBOs. And even if there is some growth, how does that translate as leverage or an advantage for you? Ask these questions and see what answer you receive, if any.

The system is proven for sure. But it's proven to be a failure. The numbers supplied by Amway clearly back up this claim.

Friday, October 10, 2014

WalMart versus Amway?

I recently saw an Amway supporter talk about how Walmart is so bad and Amway is good. But let's just look at the details. Walmart and Amway are both billion dollar companies, although Walmart makes Amway look like a midget. Walmart has over 400 billion in sales while Amway last reported about 11-12 billion.
I might add that Walmart has millions and millions of customers. I'm not sure if that's the case with Amway as it seems that most of their customers are the IBOs themselves. What company can make a living selling products primarily to their sales force? But based on my experience, I would say that the vast majority of Amway products are consumed by the IBOs.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Reality Of An Amway Business?

One of the things that attracts many IBOs to the Amway opportunity is the idea that they can work part time, 2-5 years and gain a "shortcut" to ongoing and voluminous wealth. Many of the prospects don't have the kind of income or resources that they would like, so the possibility of a shortcut to these trappings sounds like a good idea. They sign up and get started, and then the realities of the business sets in.

100 PV, is the defacto minimum quota for business building IBOs. It costs about $300 to purchase 100 PV worth of products. How many young and single people or couples for that matter, use and/or need $300 worth of household products each month? How many of these same people can actually afford to expend that much cash on household products? The pitch is to change where you shop but how many people were buying these kinds of good prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, and I didn't need or use before Amway. But my desire to be teachable and to be an example to my downline kept me buying the goods, and trying to pawn off some stuff on friends and relatives to lessen my PV burden.

I also found that getting people to see the plan was no easy task. While my business was growing, it took more and more effort to recruit downline and I can see where many IBOs would reach the saturation point where there simply aren't anymore viable recruits and they might need to resort to cold contacting in order to generate potential prospects. This is probably why there are stories of IBOs stalking people in bookstores, malls and supermarkets. Even when people saw the plan, there wasn't a high percentage of new people signing up. It is why building and maintaining a business is a nearly impossible task, and it is why I believe there aren't people who retire, walk away from their Amway businesses and enjoy six figure residual incomes for life.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buy and using the products and tools and slowly but surely build up debt. There are countless stories of ex IBOs who got fired up, started building the business and fouond that in a relatively short period of time, found themselves in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt. All the while upline was encouraging them to buy more tools and attend more function, even when they were not profitable. In my opinion, this is confirmation that uplines care more about their tools profits that they do about downline success. I sat in functions where upline would teach about reducing debt, but in the same breath, say it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to purchase more tools. Self serving advice.

It is why I believe this opportunity, along with the tools system, will nearly guarantee IBO failure. It is sad, but it is also a reality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

IBOs Or Customers?

I've been debating with others about the concept of customers. Amway's most prolific defender is arguing that IBOs are customers and holds the position that there are alot of people who register with Amway simply to be customers. Now I don't know how anyone can possibly make that determination, but regardless of whether it's true or not, these folks are still considered IBOs. I don't want to debate the legal ramifications about the 1979 FTC ruling and the 70% rule, although the spirit of the rule was to prevent IBOs from buying their bonus. I would also note that Amway doesn't consider IBOs as customers and Amway defines a retail sale as a sale to a non IBO.

IBOFB/Insider/Icerat/David Steadson apparently contends that IBOs who purchase and then resell to downline are meeting the retail sales requirements and the downline are customers. Okay, let's go with that. But wait, IBOs do not buy and then resell to their downline. IBOs order directly from Amway do they not? If IBOs order directly from Amway, their upline gets some volume credit for downline purchases but the upline doesn't buy and then resell anything to downline. So are IBOs actually making any sales to non IBOs, save for sympathetic friends and family?

If in fact, IBOs are not selling their goods, and are primarily self consuming them, it means that most of the upline bonus is basically generated from the pockets of the downline. I believe the tools business is a pyramid as only IBOs are buying standing orders and attending functions. The lack of selling Amway products to the public would put the Amway business opportunity in pretty much the same category. I wonder what the FTC would rule today if that were the case? I wonder what the FTC would rule on the tools systems as it is today?

Something to think seriously about. If you are an Amway business owner, and you are selling little or nothing, where do you think your bonus comes from? It either comes from your own pockets, or it comes from taking advantage of your downline, who then pony up a portion of your bonus from their pockets. In a system such as this, the only way to maximize your bonus is to recruit as many downline as possible. Because the more people you can leverage, the more bonus you can get. The problem with this system is that people realize they aren't making money, and that paying in some cases, ridiculous high prices for "prestigious" soap and vitamins is not worth it, and they quit. When these folks lose their Amway dream of mansions and jets, they somehow lose their desire to keep making purchases and revert to shopping at WalMart or Costco.

If former IBOs kept on buying Amway goods, then Amway sales would climb pretty much every year as the former IBO's purchases coupled with current IBO purchases should keep going up, not down. But that's not really the case is it? In what business can the employees or company owners be the primary customers and prosper. The answer is none and Amway is not an exception.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Tragic Amway Story

This is the tragic story of someone who bit the Amway scam hook, like and sinker. This is the story of my sponsor. He joined around 1994 and he went (Gold) direct distributor after about a year. Being a close friend of mine, he was able to sponsor me despite me having a skeptical view of Amway. He went "direct" after all and he was going to show me how to do it. He said it wasn't that difficult. Trusting a friend, I figured I could follow his direction and accomplish the same thing. I remember him telling me that since he was direct, he was nearly assured of making at least $2000 a month for the rest of his life. I was interested and I also wanted that so I signed up and got started.

I managed to sponsor people fairly quickly and I was excited as I was on track to be the "next one". I had gotten the interest of the upline diamond and was invited to accompany him to some home board plans and "special" meetings for the movers and shakers. I honestly thought I was headed for direct and more. My group kept growing and soon enough I was out showing the plan 5 nights a week for myself and my downline. I had learned quite well and I was very excited. Until that one fateful night. My sponsor (my doctor friend) met with me to "counsel" me on my business. I was growing and he told me that I should ditch my fiance'. He said I would be better off single and could focus on going diamond. (My fiance' was supportive on Amway) I felt sick. I was shocked, but my sponsor said he would divorce his wife if his upline told him to. After some soul searching and thinking, I decided that money wasn't important enough to ditch someone I was committed to. (I have now been happily married for 18 years).

After I decided to leave the business, I told my downline about why I made the decision and most of them quit immediately. My sponsor had killed his own golden goose. I was on track to go platinum but he had killed off his best leg. His business immediately fell below 7500. He didn't quit and kept pressing on. I believe that at that point, he started to lose serious money because he had serious tools flow that he was paying for. I was an eagle at the time and he was now eating the cost of all my group's standing orders (WWDB says you can't cancel them). I went my merry way and was actually relieved I had gotten out. While I was a 4000 pin, I really made nothing because of the tools and functions. Being from Hawaii, functions are really expensive because we needed to fly to the mainland US for major functions 3-4 times a year.

After I quit, a few years later, (I had suspected) I was able to confirm the tools scam. Out upline diamonds swore on stage that nobody made money on tools and functions. I suspected as an IBO but some information on Newsweek (the magazine) and some other sources exposed the scam. Eventually Dateline exposed more in 2004. By then I had discovered more of the Amway scam via the internet and learned more of the sordid details. I started blogging in 2006 to help spread the word about the Amway scam and the tools. My blog has literally provided information to thousands of people who could now make informed decisions about joining Amway or not.

The tragedy of the whole thing is that my sponsor (the physician) never quit. I knew some of his employees and occasionally asked if he was still active and they confirmed it. I was able to confirm that he is still active. He is still dreaming of diamond and still showing the plan and attending functions after nearly 20 years. His kids are now in high school and he is farther away from diamond than when I was in the business. It's such a waste of life if you ask me. I was hoping he would see through the scam and quit but he is completely and hopelessly brainwashed. I see this as tragic. I physician could have owned a nice home and could have saved enough to retire very nicely. instead, he is still chasing an Amway dream that will not materialize. Sadly, he does not see this. With my slightly above average corporate job, I will be retired living off a pension and investments (residual income) before my former sponsor. If you ask me, that is a tragedy and I hope and pray he will snap out of it. But I have my doubts. I wish him well.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Your (Upline's) Dreams Fulfilled?

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most "Work", receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 30% to 33% of their income back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest. Some of the upline may not have even met the IBO who actually did the work. Is that really fair and is that a level playing field? What do some of these uplines do to deserve the lion's share of the bonus you worked to get? Yes, the upline diamond may show the plan in an open meeting, which may help you, but then again, you pay for entrance into that meeting.

Many uplines will talk about dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an IBO would stop and think for a moment, you can easily see that you are building the dreams of your upline, and not your own. You receive a tiny portion of the bonus for the volume that you move, and then in addition, if you are on the system, then you are also paying upline in the form of tool purchases for the priviledge of giving them bonuses with your product purchases. For that reason, the vast majority of IBOs will shed blood sweat and tears only to show a net loss at the end of the year.

It is why your upline diamonds can parade around on stage with designer suits and show you their fancy cars and mansions and other toys. It is because they are cashing in on your efforts. You are making their dreams come true. Your dedication to moving volume and purchasing standing orders are fulfilling dreams. The upline dreams. Yes, someday you can hope to have your own group of downline to exploit for your own benefit, but unless you are adding members to your group regularly, you will never achieve the kinds of dreams that uplines talk about. In the meantime though, you are definitely helping someone upline achieve their dreams with every function you attend. Ironically, the upline leaders will tell you to never quit, even if they don't know your personal circumstances and/or how your business is progressing.

Here's a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month and dedication to the tools system will cost you around $150 to $250 a month on average. Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining? Would you not be better off staying home and watching television instead of joining? If you read all of the information available on this blog and still decide to join, good luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation?
Yours or your upline?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What's Your Amway Business Worth?

Many many people see the Amway plan, and sign up in the hopes that Amway income will help them fulfill their dreams and that they will walk away from their jobs and collect lifelong residual income while walking the beaches of the world. Sadly, most IBOs will never even sponsor a single downline. They may earn some bonus and might even show the plan, but likely these IBOs may continue in the business for a while but will eventually quit when they see the writing on the wall (continued losses). Sopmeone mentioned on another forum that people who want to work 2-5 years and do nothing thereafter are probably lazy and therefore, are not capable of achieving in anything, much less in Amway. While that might be true, it is also true that people are not working 2-5 years and then retiring due to Amway income.

But wait, you're an "independent business owner". So instead of quitting, why not sell your Amway business? I wonder if any IBOs actually think about what their business is worth? I mean a diamond could sell their business and live large happily ever after right? Here's some food for thought. Why are there instance of diamonds quitting or resigning from Amway? Why would they just quit when they could either walk away and collect an income "forever" or sell the business? I mean do IBOs ever stop and think about this? It is an honest and serious question that should get some consideration. Obviously there must not be any value in doing this. Nobody would quit or walk away from a business that had value and/or equity right?

I believe diamonds quit and resign because their business is worth nothing. And most Amway businesses do not even generate a net profit. For IBOs who are seriously pondering on this very important message, try looking up this topic in Amway's rules. There are very complicated steps to be taken when selling your Amway business as each person upline must be offered ownership (To the best of my understanding). This process can go on for a long time and the attrition of your business could render it worthless before you can find a buyer, if you have a buyer at all. Also, if you quit, the downline in your group would be surrendered to the immediate upline anyway. So why would your upline want to buy your business? They (The upline) would be better served to cause delays or even de-edify you and simply take over your downline rather than pay for it. After all, the are already a part of the downline to your upline.

So IBOs, I ask you. What is your business worth? You don't own your downline. They are independent owners like yourself. You should not have inventory, employees or some warehouse storage complex. Aside from the ability to add downline volume to your own, your Amway business likely has very little value in the real world. So IBOs and prospects, think about it for a minute. What is the value of your Amway business? All you "own" is your place on the pyramid, which isn't worth that much.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Retiring On Amway Residual Income?

I have heard or read that Amway has something like 3 million IBOs worldwide and several hundreds of thousands of IBOs in the US and Canada. Over 50 plus years, Amway must have had tens of millions of IBOs. One of the selling points that many people use in promoting Amway is how you can build your business once (and right) and walk away from the business and collect residual income forever, willable to your future generations and recession proof. At least that's how it was presented, and still apparently presented these days. And that is the draw for many. That you do the work and do it right, and reap the rewards forever.

What I find extremely odd is how these Amway retirees seem to vanish off the face of the earth. I mean the diamonds either quit, resign, or continue to work. Even all the crown ambassasdors are still working or died while still working the functions. Seems odd that someone can have the option of walking away from their Amway business while boatloads of cash keep rolling in. Freedom to golf, travel, have fun and do anything you want, whenever you feel like it. But why do diamonds quit or resign? Why don't any of the big pins exercise the option to walk away? Various defenders of Amway claim there are many people who have excerised this option but nobody has been able to name even one of them, let alone a few of them. Keep in mind that the folks making this claim are likely lying or making it up because only Amway would know who is getting paid, although Amway wouldn't know what kind of effort was made to maintain the business. In other words, claims of people building an Amway business and then collecting significant residual income is a claim that cannot be substantiated, not even by Amway. And I will say this: Amway doesn't advertise this as an IBO benefit. Current IBOs and prospects should think long and hard about this. If this were a true benefit of Amway, I'm sure Amway would shout about it from the rooftops.

I know of retired firefighters, teachers, lawyers, doctors, government workers, accountants, business owners and just about any occupation you can think of. A friend of mine recently retired from a construction material salesman position. Most of them have their homes paid off, and live comfortably on pensions, savings and other assets and investments. They are not dead or broke by age 65. Sure I do know of some people who are around the age of 65 who are not doing as well financially, but none of them are starving, needing government assistance or working at WalMart out of necessity. I believe ths is a scare tactic used by Amway promoters who want you to think that your only hope for financial security is by running an Amway business. Sadly, for most, the result is net losses in Amway because of the "systems". And I might add that the diamonds are likely to be earning significant income from these systems. Food for thought.

I've asked before, I'll ask again. 50 plus years, possibly tens or hundreds of millions of IBOs. Where are these Amway IBO retirees? Do they actually exist or are they as legendary as the Sasquatch?