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.