When I was recruited into Amway, I was told that I could make money, which would roll in forever and ever. Residual income. That was the concept that appealed to me when I was recruited. I was also intrigued when I was told that I could do as much or as little as I wanted. I winded up signing up for Amway sometime in 1997 or so.
However, when I signed up, my sponsor told me that I would be wasting my time signing up to sell products (not verbatim). That if I was going to get involved and spend the time, I may as well try to build an organization and make the big bucks. I consented and then he immediately told me that I needed to get on standing order. I was told that standing order was a tape subscription and it was only $6 a tape. Nobody ever mentioned that every other week, it was a two tape set so basically, you are buying at least 6 tapes (now cds) per month minimum.
After a week or two, I had registered a couple of my friends into the business and my sponsor tells me that I cannot be a leader without attending all of the functions, and that I cannot listen to the same tapes (cds) over and over. That's when my expenses shot up like crazy. Of course I was excited with the folks I had sponsored so I went along with the plan, and I was edified for it so it seemed like I was "being an emerging leader" and was propped up as an example of how to build an Amway business.
Amway defenders question how I could possibly spend an average of nearly $1000 in a month for tools. Here's the breakdown, and although my WWDB group experience may not apply to all, I certainly continue to hear similar stories of abuse.
Standing order $36 a month. (6 tapes a month @ $6 each)
5-7 extra tapes each week $$120 - $168 a month
Amvox (voicemail) $24 a month
Open Meeting $6 a month (plus parking fees)
Regional functions $24 a month (plus parking fees)
Subtotal: $258/month (not including parking fees)
Major functions (4 times a year) I live in Hawaii, and major functions required mainland travel at peak travel times (January, March, July, October).
Round trip airfare $700
Hotel: $240 (for 2-3 days)
Rental car: $150 - 50 per day for 2-3 days)
Function tickets $100 to $150
Meals and other misc expenses pushed a major function to over $1200 for each trip.
These costs, not including gas money, totals about $8000 a year. Add in the cost of products and you are spending about $1000 a month on Amway. Yes, the products are not a business expense, but then again, how many of those over-priced products would you buy if you were not an IBO? Do any former IBOs still buy double x? Do IBOs actually sell any double x? I believe these customers are rare.
If your sponsor told you that Amway would cost you nearly $1000 a month (higher end, including product) or $100 a month (low end, not including products), would you still join? Once you agree to register, the expenses are then slowly revealed to you and in many cases, called investments into your business. Be wary and ask tough questions as to whether these items help you to make a profit, or whether they take away your profit.
Upine will often lure you in by giving you tools or cds and even paying for your first function or two. But if you show signs of interest or if you sponsor a downline, you will become a "business owner" and you'll be expected to do the same for the downline you sponsor. Amway can become an expensive lesson in why you should avoid MLM altogether. Caveat Emptor.