Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Retail Sales Or Charity From Your Friends?

I know Amway defenders will talk about some of the sales they make, and that's fine and good, but when I look at the kinds of sales they make, it is usually insignificant. I recently read some comments that sort of made me laugh. A prospect apparently was invited to an Amway recruitment meeting by a friend, and out of courtesy, sat through the presentation (which nobody else attended) and politely declined to register. The commenter went on to say that after the meeting, he felt sorry for his friend and purchased something off of his friend's IBO website, and it felt like making a charitable contribution. Makes me wonder since Amway's products are mostly consumed by IBOs themselves and I believe less than 5% of Amway good actually made it into the hands of a non IBO customer.

But now I wonder out of the tiny amount of IBO retail sales, how many of those sales are basically charitable contributions made to IBOs by family and friends who simply feel sorry for their acquainted IBO? When I first declined to join Amway under my eventual sponsor, they did ask me to buy some of their goods. But being a single male, my age group demographic didn't really match me with the products they were pushing. If I remember correctly, I ended up buying the liquid Amway car wax. While the car wax worked as well as the other leading brands, I recall that I paid about $12 for it back in 1995 or so. I can currently get a jumbo sized bottle of Nu-Finish or Astroshield liquid car wax for $7.99 at Target or other local retailers, and at times, the store puts them on special sales for $5.99. So basically, I am getting about twice as much car wax for the price if I purchase my car wax on a store special. I know Amway zealots will want to compare the price with an online source but as I said, I make my purchases in person and wait for store soecials which occurs every couple of months.

I know at times, I have seen other family and friends involved in MLM. And while I was once there, I now see their attempts as somewhat pathetic, especially when they are basically walking the same path I did about 12 years ago as an IBO. I do not discourage them, but simply decline to see their plan or register as a downline. I have at times, also made charitable contributions to some friends who had become involved in MLM. If nothing else, just to be supportive of a friend. Ultimately, these MLM friends eventually figured things out on their own and quit as I did. Some of them follow my blog and some just quietly faded into the sunset. They do not run an informative blog as I do, but not everyone can or will. (Sound familar?)

However, after reading the comments about the polite friend who bought an Amway product from a friend, I have to wonder whether IBOs are making true retail sales or merely receiving charitable contributions from friends and family in the form of Amway product purchases?


Jerry D. said...

Isn't purchasing MLM products from friends just encouraging them? :)
On another front, I wanted to ask you, how would you feel if Amway/WWDB changed their approach, and became completely upfront and honest with new prospects in the 1st sitting, fully disclosing everything including that upline makes a profit off of tools and events, and that new members can one day get a cut as well, when they have ascended the pyramid, how would you feel about Amway/WWDB then? Thanks.

Joecool said...

In a way, making purchases is sort of encouraging them. That said, you don't want to be a jerk to family and friends.

If WWDB came clean and were upfront an honest, I would feel less inclined to expose their scam, but honestly, Amway is still a poor business opportunity and your likelihood of success would still be minimal at best.

Anonymous said...

Joe, the crux of the matter is DEMAND. If there is a genuine demand for a product, it isn't that hard to sell it. Sure, advertising helps somewhat. Pricing helps somewhat. Nice packaging helps somewhat. But if a product simply doesn't appeal to the general public, it is going to be what used to be called "a drug on the market" -- i.e. something that just isn't moving off the shelves.

There wouldn't be any need at all for an MLM structure in Amway if Amway products actually could appeal widely to people. But the simple fact is that they don't. That's why so many purchases of the stuff by non-IBOs are purely what you call "pity" purchases by family and friends.

Amway defenders talk about "self-consumption" of Amway products by their IBOs. This is truly insane. Nobody can "self-consume" $300 worth of Amway products per month. The stuff will just pile up in their garage or cellar, as many a former Amway IBO will attest.

And the really evil root of all this is the fact that, for Amway, the products have very little meaning. They aren't that important. The absurd propaganda that they are "concentrated" or "of higher quality" is ridiculous nonsense. The Amway products are just a cover for what is the real engine in the Amway scam -- hyping up enthusiasm in new recruits to get them roped into a perpetual money-hemorrhaging scheme. Hell -- Amway could be selling horseshit for all they care. The thing is NOT the products. It's "The Plan."

Joecool said...

The problem with Amway products is they are generic in branding but they are premium in pricing.

Yes, it's hard to consume $300 in Amway products, which is why they push vitamins and cosmetics on the IBOs. The overpriced vitamins gives you a lot of PV but it also costs a lot of money.

You can get comparable vitamins at Costco for a fraction of the price. Amway apologists will argue quality or "organic" but the fact is that the Costco vitamins affect the body in the same way that the Amway vitamins do, but it's cheaper.

You're right, they aren't really selling products, they are selling hopes and dreams in the form of a business opportunity.