Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Amway Presentation?

I’m not sure whether this plan was carefully crafted out or whether it just evolved, but the way some uplines show the plan is cleverly designed to suck people into their systems. If you aren’t aware or careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the presentation. The presentation is full of deception and I will try to point out these items in my analysis.

The speaker may talk about how he once thought he was “doing okay” in life. That he was making a living and able to meet his financial obligations. But he thought there might be more. One day he saw the plan and it changed his life. He did not realize he had gotten into a rut of going to work and going home every day and looking forward to his 2 weeks off each year. (This is relatable for many) That time and money are so important in life. Control of time and money is the key to success. Many people have lots of money but work all day and nite. Or people have time but are broke and can’t do much. The speaker might mention dreams or goals such as having an extra $500 a month or more. What would you do for an extra $500 a month. What about an extra $50,000 a year? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the wife stay home with the kids instead of leaving the family to go to work? Like the “Leave it to Beaver” days? (This gets the women excited)

The speaker will likely mention something about the economy and how prices always go up. The speaker may mention the 4 “I’s” that suck money out of your paycheck. The four I’s are Interest, Income Tax, Insurance and Inflation. The speaker may talk about how the government will take their cut and so on until you get your “net”. The speaker may mention how so many Americans are dead or broke by age 65, and that social security will collapse. (This instills fear in many people).

The speaker might also go on to mention how so many marriages are falling apart in the US because of financial stress. That couples work so hard that they have no family time and it hurts marriages. That people work so many hours these days that they are married to their desks. The “manager” of the office is the first one there and the last one to go home. That despite all of this work and effort, people are falling into debt. Credit cards maxed out, loans, trying to keep up with the Joneses. (Many people can relate to this)

But now, because he was looking for opportunity/open minded one day, he saw an opportunity. This opportunity changed his life and can do the same for you! The speaker now wakes up at the crack of noon. His wife stays home with him and the kids. They take nice vacations and they do what they want when they want. (Of course, who doesn’t? But is this true?) The opportunity takes advantage of the internet and allows you to leverage your time and money so that you can create a residual walk away income. (But nobody walks away do they?)

This is approximately the point in the presentation where they mention “Amway” At this point, the speaker will defend Amway, stating that if you can make money, does it matter.? If you can save money, does it matter? The speaker may go into the product line and mention partner stores and will likely show a 6-4-2 plan or a variation of it. In every case, they will show a best case scenario, not what is likely. Many prospects will leave thinking “all I need is six”. They don’t understand how unlikely it is to sponsor six platinums and there is no mention of the retention rates, the income most IBOs can expect, and firm questions will be deflected to the prospect’s inviter. The speaker may also discourage you from speaking to friends and family as they may have a bad experience but the diamond is successful and knows more about Amway than your family and friends.

Joe’s commentary: So the speaker becomes very relatable from the start. His situation in life will be like many in the audience. He will talk about doing okay,. But wanting more or looking for more. He talks about debts and many in the audience will also relate. They get people to think about dream cars or vacations. He talks about walk away income, but doesn’t mention that very very few ever make significant money and apparently, not many actually walk away either. They say you will make money and save money by doing the business. It’s hard to argue against that,.except most people will not make money or save money. In fact most people, if they participate fully or partially in the training system, they will lose money. For the dedicated IBOs, many of them LOSE LOTS OF MONEY. The plan is crafted out to sound sensible and relatable, but many IBOs will give it a try and shortly after, will realize that the system doesn’t work, that the reputation of Amway IBOs is soiled and sponsoring people or even getting people to see the plan is a barrier that most people simply cannot overcome. At least if you know what’s going on, you may be able to avoid the trap.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Get Rich Quick?

One thing many IBOs will talk about is how they were told that they would have to work hard and that they would not get rich quick in the Amway business. That Amway was not a get rich quick scheme. I do believe this, but what many Amway IBOs and Amway enthusiasts will not mention is that somewhere in the plan or when they were recruited, they were either directly told or implied that they would eventually "get rich" by joining Amway, whether it was "quick" or not.

If people were told that they would not get rich/wealthy and that they would have to work hard and that they would have to overcome the name reputation, how many people would join? As evidence to prove my point, many IBOs and former IBOs know about a major function occuring around this time of the year called "Winter Conference". Back in my IBO days, it was called "Dream Night". A handful of diamonds would host a dinner and they would show slideshows of extravagant wealth. Since in my days, IBOs were told there was NO PROFIT IN TOOLS, it was implied that all the luxurious trappings were a result of Amway income. (We now know that to be false)

The slide show was shown while the song "I wanna be rich" was playing in the background. There were pictures of jet skis, yachts, boats, jets, fancy cars, golf courses and designer suits and mansions. The audience was told that diamonds paid for everything in cash. The diamonds would stand on stage and tell the audience that they will work 24/7 but it was so worth it to go diamond. That you could catch up on sleep when you are a diamond. That the IBOs in the audience needed to hurry up and join them so they would have more playmates.

Looking back, it was a nice function. It got people to dream of having all of this material wealth. Sadly, I don't think a single one of the audience I was in ever got close to achieving that kind of success. In fact, the line of sponsorship I was in, WWDB, didn't have many new diamonds since I left Amway and in fact I think some diamonds have disappeared! Maybe they became negative losers like myself?

Yes, when you are prospected in Amway, the speaker may tell you that Amway is not
get rich quick.

What they don't tell you is that you won't become rich at all.

Monday, November 28, 2016


I recently saw commentary which I thought was very significant about the Amway "educational" system. This system is not run by Amway, but the for profit motivational systems such as BWW, WWDB, LTD, N21 etal. In many cases, these systems are touted as the key to an IBO's success. Unfortunately, there is no unbiased evidence that I know of to suggest that these materials do anything to help an IBO progress towards their business goals. Furthermore, these materials cost money. If upline didn't succeed until downline succeeds, woudn't they want everyone moving along, tools or not? As far as I know, uplines don't offer much help unless you are on tools. Do they rally want your success or do they simply want your money?

Also, what is interesting is that IBOs do not have a indivudual training plan. Uplines are often refered to as "mentors". I disagree. A mentor would work with someone one on one and make an assessment as to how to train someone. That isn't what happens for most IBOs. IBOs receive generic information from the diamonds and are expected to know what information to use and what not to use. Some refer to the information as a "buffet" where you pick and choose what you want and need. But how can an inexperienced prospect or IBO know what is useful or not? The label "mentor" sounds like total BS to me. There is little individual attention given to IBOs.

Instead the upline will generalize all of their downline and tell them that that books, tapes/cds and seminars is how they should learn. That eliminates many people from succeeding already. Many people do not learn in these types of learning environments. Many people have difficulty in picking up information from a tape or cd. Some upline may not be good at transfering information to downline in this manner as well. After all, what qualifies someone to teach? They signed up before you and achieved some level of success, even if you can't verify that they are currently qualified.

But still, upline convinces the masses that a one size fits all teaching system. They may also encourage some people to overspend on these materials, without any regard to an IBO's finances or progression in the business. Techinically, a sponsor is supposed to train any downline without cost, yet the downlines literally spend millions to get "trained" but very few people actually make a net profit.

I wonder what sincere efforts your uplines make to train and to mentor downline? Flying to a seminar where they might make $100,000 for a weekend doesn't seem like much personal attention when perhaps over 10,000 may be in attendance.

These training materials might be the key to success. But that success is much more likely to be enjoyed by the people who are profiting by selling these materials, and not those who are purchasing them. That much I'm certain of.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Amway Friends?

You hang out with friends. Generally, they are people you like and have similar interests. You have good and bad times, but your true friends are there for you when you need them. You move residences, your friends are there to help you move. They may play a round of golf with you, or watch some sporting events, dinners, backyard barbeques, etc. These are folks you will likely end up retiring with and enjoying your golden years.

But suddenly, you get enticed to join Amway. You see the "chance" to get rich, with a shortcut (not get rich quick, but a "shortcut"). You sign up and your sponsor is your new "best" friend. Most of the people you enjoyed being with think Amway is a questionable venture to get involved in. Suddenly, because of what you have been told or taught, you view these same nice people as "broke" or "losers", simply because they do not share the same ambition of untold wealth working 12-15 hours a weeek. Suddenly, you friends become prospects, or people you want to sponsor so you start recruiting them. Some may join, but most won't. Suddenly you are immersed in recruitment meetings, functions, and avoiding "negative", which is people and events that do not support your Amway business.

Now you are missing birthday parties, barbeques, and other social events. Your social events are now recruitment meetings, seminars and Amway business related events. You are taught that these events can be put off and your gratification delayed. You can do whatever you want when you go diamond. (Even though there me be only one (1) diamond out of every ten or twenty thousand IBOs) Your dedication will pay off right? Sadly, for most people, even very dedicated people, all they will see is losses on their yearly tax returns, mainly due to the purchase of cds, books, voicemail and function tickets. But these are your "friends" right?

Here's my take on it. Try missing a few meetings or functions. Stop buying cds and see how many "friends" remain from the business. It is likely that your upline will claim that you walked away from the friendship by slowing down on the "system". If that happens, then you have conditional friends, or fairweather friends. They are your "friends" while you are pursuing the same cause. They are your friends when you are attending functions. Are they there for you in bad times?

A short while after I attended my last function (I was still an IBO, just not a business builder), my dad passed away. Not a single one of my IBO "friends" bothered to attend the memorial service. Not a single one of my IBO friends called or dropped by the home to pay their respects. All of my "real" friends, who saw through the AMO smoke and mirrors called to talk to me and/or attended the memorial service.

Are your IBO friends conditional friends? Mine were.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Your Failing Amway Business?

After years of studying Amway and blogging, I've noticed something taught by IBO leaders that simply does not make any sense. It doesn't make sense business wise and it just doesn't add up. I know that sometimes, you need to think outside of the box and go against the grain to succeed, but some of the IBO practices are simply insane and it's no wonder that so many IBOs fail in their pursuit of their Amway "dream".

Most IBOs never sponsor a a single downline and relatively few products are sold to non IBOs. These are the reasons why most IBOs do not turn a profit but for some reason, many IBOs still seem to think that training materials are worth the money they pay for them. When you buy from yourself and sell very few products to real customers while losing money in the process, you are basically participating in a product pyramid scheme.

Buy from yourself. A fairly common practice. It is okay to support your business, but if you are the primary or only customer, you won't make money. Any profit you might turn is coming out of your own pockets. I don't know of any successful stores where the primary customers are the owner and the store employees. Yet some IBOs think this is how they will succeed. It's insanity.

Sponsor others. So you are struggling as an IBO. But the key to success is to try to open other stores by sponsoring. As a famous Amway apologist likes to claim, you do not get paid for sponsoring others. So why is this the emphasis for so many IBOs? Why would you think that opening more stores will make you successful? Yes, it is a way to possibly generate more volume, but your "success" will only come by having a bunch of struggling businesses under you. Is that how you wish to succeed? Also, the quest to sponsor others is probably how Amway got a bad reputation when IBOs tricked people into attending recruitment meetings and/or being deceptive when invitig someone to see the plan.

Folks, you need customers to succeed. I live in Hawaii and when tourism is slow, our local economy suffers. It's a very similar concept to your Amway business. Without customers circulating money through your business, you will eventually go out of business.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Big Amway "Dreams"?

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 privilege of giving them bonuses with your product purchases.

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, 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.

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 $200 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, goo d luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Buy From Yourself?

One of the apparently common practices among major IBO groups is still the concept of "buy from yourself". I believe IBO leaders teach this because most people are not familiar or not comfortable selling goods and services. Therefore, to teach buy from yourself makes the business an easier sell. In reality, an Amway IBO is simply a comissioned salesperson with no benefits. But presenting the opportunity that way is unlikely to yield results either, thus the buy from yourself has become a common practice. It makes the prospect feel at ease and they might think they can do this business.

Buying from youself makes you a customer and not a business owner. Buying from yourself doesn't generate your business a profit. Would you open a car dealership to buy a car? Now I am not suggesting that supporting your own business is a bad idea. What I am suggesting is if you are the primary or exclusive customer of your Amway business, then you aren't really running a business. You are simply a glorified customer. No business can prosper by having the owner make the majority of the purchases.

What an IBO is really doing is paying his upline's bonuses. Amway overcharges more than 30% of the cost of their product. They have to do this in order to be able to pay IBO bonuses. Since most IBOs are at 100 PV or less, the lion's share of the bonuses earned are channeled upline when a purchase is made. It is not a level playing field as some IBO leaders might suggest. The upline has a huge advantage even though they might ay it's a fair system.

What compounds the situation and makes it worse is when an IBO pays for standing order or attends functions where some of these IBO leaders may teach this bad business practice. You as an IBO already pverpay for products for which upline gets most of the bonus, but then the problem is compounded by IBOs paying to receive this bad advice. When I was an IBO, I heard speakers talk about skipping rent or mortgage payments to attend more functions, or having your family skip a meal so you can buy standing orders. Buying from yourself is just another example of bad advice given fro upline to downline. What makes it worse is that some uplines profit by giving bad advice.

Are you buying from yourself almost exclusively? Can you think of any truly successful business where the owner is the main or possibly the only customer? I can't think of any.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Amway IBOs Help People?

When I was an IBO, I remember at many meetings, the speaker would talk about how Amway IBOs are helping people by getting them in the business or at least by showing them the plan. Looking back, I fail to see how inviting someone into a business where they are virtually assured of losing money (in the systems) is helping them. This is also how some IBOs think that they are suddenly "better" people because they think they are helping people by being an IBO.

On average, Amway products cost more than retailers so a prospect is not helped by purchasing Amway products because they are paying a premium price. For IBOs purchasing Amway products, they are taking away from their local economy by purchasing Amway goods, although I guess you could argue that the IBO is helping Amway to succeed.

IBOs who are actively building a business usually have many meetings to attend, and hard core IBOs are taught not to miss any meetings. Therefore an IBO has less time to spend with his or her family and friends. The IBO has less time to spend at church, and less time to help with any community projects. The IBO will probably miss someone's wedding or birthday celebration because of the hectic schedule of an IBO. It's a part of being dedicated to the Amway business and the system of teaching.

While all of this activity is happening, IBOs also have less money because the voicemail, standing order, functions and books and other expenses eat away at an IBO's resources. Thus IBOs have less to contribute to charity or even for their entertainment and enjoyment.

So an honest question. How do IBOs help people by building an Amway business? How are they better people by showing someone the plan or sponsoring them into a business that nearly assures they will lose money?

Im my informed opinion, the nicer and better person is what upline teaches as a side note to distract an IBO from the FACT that they are losing money because of the defacto 100 PV and tools requirements. They also make it seem as if IBOs are "helping" people by showing them the business plan. When you think about it, perhaps just the opposite is happening. This is another tactic, IMO, that uplines use to justify an IBO's lack of progress, much like how they tell downline that they are successful just by getting themselves to a function. If you are an IBO or a prospect, please read this article carefully.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Amway Prospects?

When I was an IBO, my upline used to advise us to recruit people who had a financial need or young people who were open minded as they may not have preconceived ideas about Amway. When I was recruited, I was not where I wanted to be financially as I was about 29 years old when I first got recruited by my sponsor. I believe that this is still common practice today, to look for people who are in need and then offer Amway as a solution. Young people will often be open minded about it because they are often just starting their careers and have many years to work before retirement can be thought of.

In my opinion, this is why some people defend Amway so fiercely. They accept Amway as their solution for long term financial stability and to admit that they were in error is difficult as it would not only expose the error, but would leave the IBO as not having that "hope" of long term financial freedom. After all, the pitch "2-5 years, part time" sounds pretty good for financial freedom.

Many prospects see big dreams when the diamonds parade on stage with designer suits and talk about waking up at noon and enjoying a lifestyle chock full of luxuries. It's almost like dreaming about hitting it big in Las Vegas or winning the lottery. I can't fault prospects for wanting some of these thing. I know I certainly had some of these same dreams when I was an IBO. But isn't it shady to sell prospects on those dreams, know they are very unlikely to get anywhere close to those dreams?

But the sad reality is that some diamonds are simply putting on a show, like a illusionist or a magician. Diamonds may indeed earn a six figure income, but after taxes and other expenses such as medical insurance, a diamond is very likely to live a very middle class lifestyle. Now I'm fairly sure that a crown ambassador type may have a million dollar income, but these Amway corwns are very rare, and the ones who exist have been in the business for a long time. There is not much chance of any new IBO coming in and achieving that level. In fact as time rolls on, it seems that more diamonds drop out due to divorce, better MLM opportunities or simply quit, or even pass away while still working the Amway business. It is apparent that long term residual income is a myth.

Amway currently reports that the average IBO earns $202 a month. That number is deceiving because Amway mentions in fine print that the "average" income is based on "active" IBOs. Only 47% of IBOs are considered as active, thus the real average income is about $100 a month. That $100 a month includes the diamonds and big shots who drive up the average. But that income also is gross and doesn't factor in time and business expenses used up building the Amway business. For this reason, you can easily see how IBOs can end up losing money. If Amway prospects knew about this, how many would actually think twice before joining?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Amway "Sweat Shop"?

Some big companies and some private entrepreneurs have been accused of being "sweat shop owners". This is when they exploit workers, often in foreign countries by having them work for a very small wage. For example, a foreign operation may have a warehouse full of women and children working all day under poor conditions for a few bucks a day. The owners of these operations can rake in the dough as they save a ton of money in labor costs.

Some uplines operate just like sweat shop owners, but in many cases, they are worse then sweat shop owners because even exploited workers earn something. At the end of the month, they have a net gain, even if it might be small. In the case of many Amway IBOs, they spend money on Amway products, and uplines take the lion's share of the rebate/bonus that is generated by those sales, and then in turn, these same uplines try to get many of their downline to also become customers of their system of cds, books, voicemail and seminars or functions. In many, probably most cases, uplines will make just as much if not more income from the system, than from Amway.

These same upline will also teach firece loyalty to the system. Never miss a function. Make sacrifices to buy more books or cds, and make sure you are always looking for people to sponsor to add to the system. Joining the system almost guarantees that you will suffer a net loss in the Amway business. It is why I continue to write about what IBOs and prospects should look for when they are being recruited or indoctrinated into these systems. It is why there are so many defenders of Amway, most of whom are losing money, but think they are still successful because it is what upline teaches.

I know most IBOs won't believe this, but I will say it anyway. IBOs on the system are probably worse off than sweat shop employees because they are paying their upline to do their work. At least sweat shop employees get a salary. Upline will teach you that it is an honor to drive them around, or to do tasks for them. Many platinums works are free doormen and ushers at meetings and functions. Upline benefits by maximizing profits from functions. It is pure downline exploitation and I hope eventually that more and more IBOs will recognize this.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Get A Job!

One of the things that IBO leaders do quite often in their recruitment pitch for Amway, is to put down people's jobs. They criticize people's bosses and the fact that an employee needs to report somewhere to earn a living. They try to paint the picture of a job being compared to slavery. They do this apparently to make people feel uncomfortable with their present situation so they will be open to looking at the Amway opportunity as a means to make a living.

So I will ask - What's wrong with a job? A job is not slavery. People apply for their jobs and they agree to a wage or salary in exchange for their services. Certainly, you can leverage a higher wage or salary if you have an education or a skill, such as being able to work in the construction field. A job ususally offers more than just a wage. A job often allows one to have benefits such as medical insurance, a 401K retirement plan, and some other benefits such as vacation and/or sick leave.

A recent site visitor bemoans concept of working for minimum wage, where a husband and wife would earn in the neighborhood of 30K if they both work full time at minimum wage. Of course, a high school student can earn minimum wage so two adult only able to generate that kind of income makes me think my site visitor is speaking of people with very little to offer an employer. Most people may start out as entry level, but earn more and more as they gain experience and can offer more to their employer.

What does the average Amway business owner experience? $115 a month income (which is probably way above average)? Most IBOs as outlined in "the plan" earn about $9 a month and may have expenses such as standing order which will take away from that tiny profit. Thus an average business building IBO stands to net a loss. It is very easy to look at the math and make that conclusion.

So I ask again. What's wrong with a job? You have a net gain each and every month, be able to pay for your living expenses, and allow you to contribute to society by paying taxes. The average CORE IBO is a drain on the US tax paying society by spening money on standing order and functions and then deducting these expenses when filing their taxes. The only beneficiary is the upline leaders who sell standing orders and function tickets. So what's wrong with a J-O-B?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why Amway IBOs Fail?

Most IBOs fail. That is not a wild guess. That is a fact. Amway supporters will argue that many IBOs do little or nothing, and while that might be true, even the remaining IBOs who work hard, still find little or no success. The system is set up that way. If you see a diamond "walking the beaches" as the cash rolls in, that means someone is putting forth the effort to make that happen. It is the downline IBOs who purchase Amway products and tools that allow these diamonds to enjoy what they portray as success.

We also know that some diamonds overhype their success. There has been evidence that the diamond lifestyle is often not what people think it is. If you could truly earn residual income by the bucketload, why do diamonds quit, resign, lose homes in foreclosure proceedings, and even wind up in bankruptcy court? One could argue that some diamonds are failures. The diamond lifestyle is an illusion created by upline leaders as a means to entice recruits.

Many Amway zealots and apologists try to make ridiculous claims comparing a company owner to a diamond. The big difference is that a company owner has employees who get a regular paycheck. These employees generally wanted the job and probably applied for the work. And if and when an employee leaves, there are other applicants who are willing to step in and do the work. Thus the business continues to meet their demands and continues to profit.

In the Amway opportunity, the IBOs spend money purchasing products, and then upline leaders expect these same folks to spend even more money to learn how to be motivated to do the Amway business. But in reality, if IBOs made profits, that would likely be sufficient motivation to run their businesses. Because it is hard to find enough (suckers) IBOs to join the business and fork out cash while they lose money, other IBOs have resorted to trickery, deception and outright lying at times, in order to attract potential downlines.

The 6-4-2 system ensures that the majority of business builders must "do the work" to uphold their platinum, who (probably) barely earns a net profit. And then you need 3 or 6 groups of IBOs losing money in order to maintain an emerald or diamond.
Amway has revealed that less than 4% of product moves to non IBOs. The absence of non IBO customers nearly guarantees that most IBO groups will lose money or make very little. Most IBOs are destined to fail. And it is not necessarily the IBO's fault. The system itself comes with many flaws which most IBOs cannot overcome, even for those who put forth much effort. It is why most IBOs fail. It is why I hope prospects will find and read this information before making a final decision to sign up or not.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Personal Resposnibility?

One of the things that I heard, and I still hear today is how an IBO can become successfuly simply by duplicating, copying, or following the advice of their upline. The concept is simple, do as you are told and you will succeed. You don't have to be brilliant, you just need the ability to copy and follow advice. I'm sure many Amway IBOs have heard this from someone in their upline. On the surface it seems logical, just do the same things that your upline did and the results will be the same.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. You cannot simply re-create your upline's circumstances and copy it. Your upline likely had a different circle of influence in their lives. They knew and associated with different people and had a different set of skills and/or qualities. Some people are more charismatic and are better at interacting with others. Some people are more convincing and some are not. Some uplines may have worked with a lot of people, thus having many contacts, whereas someone who works alone at nite may not have any contacts. It is not a simple matter of copying. Even if you can get someone "in front of your upline" to see the plan, you still need to talk to people to make this happen.

Upline leaders will often convince their downline that their tools are the key to success. My sponsor used to always tell our group that "tapes sponsor people". Although a tape may have helped sponsor someone, somewhere, I never saw a single person who got sponsored because of a tape or cd. I also have not heard of anyone who got sponsored by listening to a tape.

The issue at hand though, is for hard working IBOs who work the system, do the core steps only to fail. This is where upline then places blame on the IBO rather than the system. The IBO is taught to accept personal responsibility even though the system may have failed him/her. The system will take credit for successes, but will never take responsibility for an IBO's failure. This is a problem. It's like playing a game you cannot win. The system is touted when 1 in 20,000 or so reaches the diamond level, but noone mentions the system when talking about the 19,999 who did not reach the ultimate level.

Why doesn't the system and the upline leaders take personal responsibility for a change?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Wealthy Amway Uplines?

I remember the first time I saw the "plan" at a big hotel meeting. The person who invited me told me to be sure that I was there on time because in business, time is money. I was a bit disturbed when the speaker showed up 20 minutes late. Anyway, the speaker arrived to a standing ovation. The speaker host really built up the diamond speaker, saying the audience was really lucky as the speaker was sought all over the country and that the speaker was in the top one tenth of one percent of all income earners in the US (never confirmed though). This was common practice it seems, and some speakers got into how much money they had. At one open meeting, I remember Bill Britt proclaiming that he was close to being a "billionaire". The crowd went wild of course, even though it wasn't close to being true AFAIK.

At major functions, the IBOs would line up to watch the diamonds arrive at the hotel in their Mercedes, BMWs, Lexus and other fancy cars. We were told stories of fabulous wealth, early retirement, making large purchases in cash, etc. One major function, now called winter conference, used to be called "dream nite". We saw videos of jetskis, golf memberships, jets, cars, mansions and other toys to the background music of "I wanna be rich" sung by a group called "Calloway".

What went unnoticed by myself, and probably most IBOs was where upline's wealth actually came from. I mean we saw the big checks from Amway and all. At the time, the tools income was not disclosed, but most groups at least mention tools money now, even though details remain a bit sketchy as to who qualifies and how much you can earn. We know from Amway's own information that very few products are sold to people who are not IBOs, therefore one can reasonably conclude that the "wealthy" upline makes much of their income primarily from downline purchases. And the cds, books, KATE, functions and other support materials are bought only by IBOs, thus that source of income is almost soley from IBOs.

Basically, the fabulous wealth that some upline diamond portray simply comes out of the thousands of their downline's pockets. It's no secret that significant profit comes from selling tools. The problem though, is that some uplines gain all this wealth and the tools don't work for the vast majority, regardless of the amount of effort.

Now I already know that some supporters and apologists of the business and the systems will say that all businesses make money from people. While that is true, it is not done under the pretense of you buying and using tools that will make you wealthy or buying products for yourself that will make you wealthy. And you can't compare this to a job because everyone is an independent business owner. And besides in a job, everyone gets a paycheck and the income is derived from customer sales. In Amway, the "sales" are primarily from the IBOs themselves.

So prospects and IBOs, when you see your upline's fabulous wealth being flashed about, you no longer have to wonder where the wealth came from. All you need to do is look at your dwindling bank account and you will get your answers.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Amway Business Support Materials?

One of the biggest points of contention between Amway critics and Amway supporters 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 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, 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?

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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What Is The WWDB Eagle Program?

A frequent site visitor has asked numerous times and has doubted that there is such a thing as "Eagle" parameters. Now I don't know if WWDB still has this program, but I believe they do as I have seen some newbie IBOs mention that they are striving for Eagle. While Eagle may look like a "winner's club" of sorts to IBOs, I believe that the Eagles are basically the big money makers for the lines of sponsorship, which is probably why this program was created. Here are the general details:

Signed Counsel Sheet to Upline Diamond
300 PV personal use/retail for couples, 200 PV personal use/retail for singles
6-5-3 (PB/SO/MF) - Explained below
6 legs at 100 PV or higher
5 legs on standing order
3 legs attending major functions

Amquix info has more information:

This is the Eagle program. Since most IBOs are not able to sponsor a single downline, you can see that Eagle is probably a fairly exclusive club. But if you look at the cost of 300 or 200 PV ($900 or $600), most families would be hard pressed to move that much personal volume. Of course you can sell product, but my upline did not emphasize selling, but more personal use.

In addition to the PV, you have 5 legs on standing order and 3 legs traveling to major functions (I'm from Hawaii). The Eagle program made a lot of money for upline, but not necessarily for the IBO who held the Eagle parameters. It is possible to be an Eagle and not be at 2500 PV. However, a structure like this without the tools might be profitable. But I have never heard anyone be glorified for selling products in Amway.

But overall, the eagle program is one that ensures maximum profitability for the upline diamond, and not for the IBO. That alone, speaks volumes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Amway Works If You Work It?

The business works if you work it! That's what many Amway enthusiasts will claim. I do not believe that is true and I will further explain in this post. Many IBOs who claim that the business works are usually new and are unable to show any evidence that the business works, except perhaps to show a photocopied check from an upline diamond or the like. Or they may have a story of how they know a guy who retired at the age of 29, etc etc.

Let me make a disclaimer that some people do make significant money from Amway, but most of those folks are tenured diamonds who are almost in an exclusive club. There is only a short list of new diamonds that I know of in the US, and I have heard that even these new diamonds may have had legs in other countries. It would seem that Amway is not growing in the US and Canada, as evidenced by the large decline in sales the last couple of years. Also of note, Amway did not release figures that are seperate between Amway North America and the rest of their overseas operations but overall, Amway saw a large decrease in sales in the last two years, dropping from 11.8 down to 9.5 billion.

Ok, so Amway enthusiasts claim that the business works if you work it. Business in its simplest form is selling a product or service for a profit. Yet many many IBOs spend so much of their time doing other things, as advised by their upline "mentors" who sell them training materials that take up much of their valuable time. Listening to tapes/cds, attending functions, reading books, and other training activities not only costs the IBO money, but takes up valuable time in non -income producing activities. Nobody makes sales reading books or attending seminars. Inviting people to see "the plan" may be a way to help generate volume but with Amway's reputation, even this is a hit and (mostly) miss activity.

Yet IBOs spend almost all of their time doing these activities (the work) when they could be better off not getting the training and focusing on selling the Amway products and services. Even that comes with a handicap as Amway products as a whole, costs a lot more than purchasing similar or the same products as a big retailer such as Costco or WalMart. It is why most IBOs eventually get discouraged and quit far before the promoted 2-5 year plan.

Few people will even bother to see the plan once you mention "Amway" and for those who are open minded and motivated to register end up having to deal with a hard to sell opportunity along with high priced common commodities such as soap, vitamins and energy drinks. It's pretty easy to see that the business does not work, even for most of those who actually work it. There are simply too many issues with the business that handicaps those brave enough to try. It seems even the fiercest defenders of Amway are unable to provide a shred of evidence that they have actually made a profit from this opportunity.
That speaks volumes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How To Lose Tons Of Money In Amway?

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. The plan seemed achievable at first, until the realities of the business began to sink in.

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, 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 you are committing to 6 tapes/cds a month and upline also expected that you purchase more because you can't listen to the same ones each day and learn.

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 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".

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. I've also seen and heard of others with similar experiences.

Standing order $36 a month. (6 tapes/cds a month @ $6 each)
5-7 extra tapes/cds each week $120 - $168 a month
Amvox $24 a month
Open Meeting $6 a month
Regional functions $24 a month
Subtotal: $258/month

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 - $150
Meals and other misc expenses pushed a major function to over $1200 for each trip.

These costs, not including gas money and other incidental expenses, 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 really 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 (high end, including product) or $150 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.