Monday, October 31, 2016

Defending Amway?

Many companies have critics. Amway defenders are quick to point this out. WalMart may have hurt small businesses, maybe they don't have the greatest compensation. Microsoft may have faulty software or whatever. It's funny but I don't see WalMart or Microsoft employees writing on blogs and calling their critics losers, or acting like cyber bullies. Seems these bigger companies just do their thing and ignore criticism, yet these companies are very successful.

Corporate Amway Global has some blogs and they are mainly about Amway and Amway related stories, employees and the like.

But various IBOs have taken it upon themselves to defend Amway. Sometimes it has been done in less than ethical manners. For example, Amway biggest champion, IBOFightback (David Steadson), has been refered to as a cyber bully by more than one website, and has more blogs about Amway than Amway. His reason for so fiercely defending Amway is still a mystery because he said he is not compensated by Amway or Alticor, or by any motivational groups. He has admitted that he is not even active in building a business, therefore he is not making any significant money from the Amway compensation plan.

What makes this interesting is the tactics that IBOfightback and many of his fellow IBOs employ. They will attack the credibility of the critic or try to discredit someone by saying their experience is not valid, or their experience is too old to be counted, even when IBOFightback himself (apparently) hasn't done much in Amway since 1998. In some instances, defenders resort to shameless lies to defend Amway or product schemes such as perfect water, and then get mad when critics point out the antics. It appears that IBOs are their own worst enemies because IBOs themselves are guilty of most of what critics point out.

It is my informed opinion that many IBOs defend Amway because they were enticed by Amway upline leaders into believing that facts don't matter, that the dream is alive, that success is around the corner. Many IBOs see their $10 bonus checks and they have to justify themselves in order to claim success, to keep hopes alive that they will cross stage as a new diamond. To not defend their IBO bretheren is to admit failure. It is why much debate here is about IBOs analyzing their business and tracking profits and expenses. If IBOs are losing money and pretending to be successful, they are simply justifying their mediocrity and failure.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Why Amway IBOs Fail?

One of the things touted by many upline leaders as the "key to success" is CORE. I have outlined the elements of CORE here. The reason why so many Amway IBOs fail is because these alleged foolproof steps taught by upline, contain practically nothing but non income producing activities.

1 - Show the Plan
2 - Retail the Products
3 - Tapes/cds
4 - Books
5 - Functions
6 - Accountability
7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)
8 - Buy 100% of your own products
9 – Communikate

In these nine steps, only #2 (selling products) may actually net the IBO a profit, but this step is not emphasized in the teaching of many groups. In all the other core steps, you either spend time and money doing things that do not produce income for your business. If you, as an IBO, spend most of your time in non income producing activities, guess what? You will suffer losses. It is no wonder nearly all IBOs lose money, they are taught to spend most of their time in activities that do not produce income! And to make t worse, these steps take money out of an IBO's pocket. It's no wonder Amway IBOs are doomed to failure once they register as IBOs.

Imagine owning a brick and mortar store where you open the store for one hour a day. The rest of the day you are reading books, listening to tapes/cds, and paying to attend seminars and listening to voicemail messages. Oh, and in addition to opening your store for an hour a day, you don't advertise except for word of mouth. Could you survive in business? I think you can't possibly survive. But this is basically what IBOs are doing. What makes it worse is they are doing this as advised by their upline.

So can an IBO make money by spending most of his/her time in non income producing activity? The answer is clear to me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Amway Fruit On The Tree?

I had a good chuckle recently when some Amway apologists spoke about looking at the "fruit on the tree". One commentator said his parents were broke and he looked to his diamond since the diamond apparently had fruit on the tree. I thought about this concept and I agree, that perhaps we should look at fruit on the tree. The real question is whether or not the diamonds will let you see the fruit they claim to have.

IBOs and Amway prospects, please ask your upline platinum or diamond to show you the fruit on their tree. Ask them to see their (business) financial statements. This is actually a common practice in real business. When a friend of mine sold his business a few years back, he made three year's worth of income tax returns to show prospective buyers. My friend showed his business and personal taxes, because the prospective buyer wanted full disclosure, and he provided it.

As far as I know, not one single bigger pin has ever shown their business financials. In fact, if it made certain bigger pins look good, why wouldn't they want to "show their fruit". They certainly don't mind showing off diamond rings, fancy clothes, sports cars and the like. What many IBOs don't understand is that fancy cars and other toys is not evidence of fruit on the tree. We don't know who owns the things they show you on a slide show. I could go take pictures of mansions and sports cars and show them from a stage, but it doesn't mean I own them.

It has been discussed that some diamonds may rent cars or fancy homes and try to imply that they own these items. Some diamonds, possibly many diamonds in the past have lied or embellished the truth about paying for everything in cash, including their homes and cars. They also at times, have given the audience the impression that these luxuries are all purchased with Amway income, and we know that many diamonds have probably had supplemental income from the tool systems, or other business ventures outside of Amway.

We also know that some diamonds are in debt, but simply try to portray an excessive lifestyle. (See Ruth Carter's Book: Amway Motivational Organizations, Behind the Smoke and Mirrors). Some diamonds may have a substantial income, but it doesn't mean they are financially free and able to live a jetset lifestyle that many portray. It is an illusion, possibly to be able to attract new prospects into the business. The stark reality is diamonds living in debt, or diamonds living beyond their means (keeping up with the Joneses)

So yes, let us actually see the fruit on the tree. Is there any fruit?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fake Financial Gurus?

Based on my experience in Amway, my blogging experience, and observation of other people who give financial advice such as real estate gurus who teach you to buy property with no money down, or others such as Robert Kiyosaki for that matter, all show testimonials of sucessful people. Obviously they do not show you the vast majority of people who try their systems and fail. Many have the disclaimer that success is a "unique" experience. There's a good reason for that.

It is my informed opinion that whether it is Amway, WWDB, BWW, N21, real estate or the cashflow business, the vast majority of people who try these systems do not make any kind of significant income or any net income at all for that matter. Sure, some do, and those are shown as the possibilities. But if you watch infomercials, you will see many testimonials from smiling people who claim they made money using the alleged system. What you won't see if whether the income made is sustainable and the tens of thousands of people who may have tried the system but were unable to generate any income.

Some Amway diamonds have been heard saying that doers do, and those who can't do, teach. So what do you think Amway diamonds and alleged financial gurus like Kiyosaki are doing? They are teaching and not "doing", are they not? If Kiyosaki could make millions by doing his own methods, he wouldn't need to pimp his books and seminars. I'm pretty sure he's not writing books and pimping seminars out of the pure goodness in his heart to help people. Same goes for the Amway diamonds. But if you only take away one point from this message, it's that the diamonds themselves are teachers and not doers.

These systems in general do not work for various reasons. Many people simply do not have the acumen to work the system. Or the system has too many variables for the system to work, or the system calls for things beyond your control. For example, success in Amway generally requires you to sponsor others, something that is beyond the control of most people. Add in the lazy and people who are hoping for a quick score and it is understandable that most will fail. But these systems are often set up where the majority simply cannot all succeed. Nowhere is that more true than the Amway business where the pyramidal compensation plan nearly guarantees failure for the lower level IBOs. In the common 6-4-2 plan, there is 1 platinum and 78 downline who aren't. And that flawed plan assumes that all IBOs actually did enough to earn a bonus.

So what can someone do? Well, it may not be as sexy or attractive but a part time job and investing and saving might be something to think about. Even a part time business where you focus on selling products for a profit might work. It just seems prudent to avoid these "systems" as the primary beneficiary of these "systems" are the ones who sell them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Duplicate Your Way To Amway Success?

Duplication. It was sold as the key to success when I was an IBO and I believe it is still promoted as an important component to succeeding in Amway. But I believe IBOs are misguided in understanding what duplication really is. Sure, it's very easy to stand on stage as a tenured diamond and talk about duplication, but in practical application, can it be done? In my opinion, duplicating sounds great in theory but will not work in practice. In the US, I believe Amway is not experiencing growth. The name change from Quixtar back to Amway was made for a reason. I believe that reason is because Quixtar had a bad reputation. Now I also believe that Amway has a spotty reputation as well, but the company braintrust must have felt it was still better to be Amway than Quixtar.

So back to topic. What are you duplicating? Many IBOs do little or nothing. That is not a mystery. So duplicating nothing gets you nothing. But let's look at the 6-4-2 plan. The majority in the plan do 100 PV and get about $9 or $10 as a bonus. In order to succeed, upline will expect these IBOs to be on standing order and to attend functions. Thus these IBOs will earn $9 or $10 but spend about $150 to $200 a month on training materials. So duplicating yourself will compound the overall losses of the group or team as some like to call themselves. If you sponsor a few people and move up to 300 PV group volume, you will earn about $30 but still spend about $150 to $200 in training materials. So duplicating yourself still creates more losses. Even if you achieve platinum or higher, you may finally reach a point where you have a net gain, but your downline will continue to lose money, primarily due to the cost of the training materials.

So duplication is the key to Amway success. Amway and the people selling the education materials become very successful by your promotion of "duplication", but the IBOs themselves get no benefit from duplicating themselves unless they can get enough downline to absorb the losses for them. It is why some people consider the Amway opportunity a pyramid. While legal, the opportunity still resembles a pyramidal compensation plan as you will only make a significant net gain when you have enough downline "under" you to take the losses. While you can outearn your sponsor, you will never overtake one of the tenured "crown ambassadors".

So the question for IBOs is, what exactly are you duplicating?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Why Amway Doesn't Work?

After years of studying Amway and blogging, I've noticed some thing taught by IBO leaders that simply do 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. I wonder if IBOs actually assess and analyze whether the tools actually help their business or not? You attend functions and listen to advice on cds but is your sales volume going up or not?

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. Many mistakenly think they will just buy from themselves and sponsor an army of downline. Congratulations, if you succeed, you'll have built an illegal pyramid with no retail sales.

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 nto 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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Personal Responsibility For Your Amway Business?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed over the years about Amway IBOs and IBO leaders is how they wlll tell downline to trust them. To trust them as they have already blazed a trail. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just ride the coattails of your upline to success. The system is proven. Many IBOs take this to heart and put forth tremendous effort. Then when they fail, upline will shun them and tell them that the failure is their own. That they are personally responsible for failure. Does that sound as if Amway leaders themselves take personal responsibility?

Now I am not talking about IBOs who sign up and do nothing, or never place an order. I do believe that the fact that many IBOs sign up and do nothing brings other concerns about how these IBOs were recruited, but I do not recall ever seeing an IBO do nothing and then complain that Amway was a scam or anything like that. I'm referring to IBOs who signed up and did what upline advised, including expending time and money to carry out that advice.

I have found, however, that many people who are critical of Amway and the systems, put forth much effort, did everything they were told, and did not find the success that upline promoted, or in some cases, guaranteed. My former sponsor was still active, last I heard and has been in Amway for over 20 years. I do not believe he has ever gone beyond platinum, and I know that he was never a Q12 platinum. Some Amway apologists might see being a platinum as a bonus, but when you are hard core sold out to the systems, platinum is a break even or make a small profit business. Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment? I'm honestly curious what return on investment a platinum couple would receive for all they work they do? I suspect it's minimal or even a loss unless they can push through to diamond. Then if you "make it", your income will be from the masses who try and fail using your advice. I couldn't live with that set up. Maybe the diamonds are too far invested to just quit?

What is also disturbing is how people will tout the system as responsible for any success, but hide the vast majority that the system doesn't help. Sure, some will succeed in Amway, but for every success, there are hundreds if not thousands or tens of thousands who fail. And if you consider diamond as the benchmark of success, the failures could be in the millions. As I said, some succeed, but very very few in relation to the number who try. Going diamond is probably less common in the US than winning the lottery. What's troubling is how leaders will make it seem like anyone and everyone can succeed, which is not being honest.

Succeed and the systems and upline take credit, but fail or quit and it is your own responsibility. Are these the kinds of leaders or mentors you want advice from?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Is Amway A Level Playing Field?

The Amway business is a level playing field. At least that's what my upline told us when I was an IBO. That everyone starts at zero. While that is somewhat true, there were other factors that existed, that most IBOs did nto know about. That factor is the possibility of PV manipulation. I believe that groups that are not on direct fulfillment (Groups still calling in and picking up) are able to transfer PV around. Thus certain groups or favored downline could be manufactured into higher pins. I believe most groups are currently on direct fulfillment but I did confirm about less than a year ago that some groups still are on call in and pick up.

But let's examine the concept that everyone starts at zero. While this aspect may be true, certain people are simply better at selling, or better and more adept at socializing and talking to others. So while your PV count may be zero, the skills needed to start and run a business is not a level playing field for most. I believe uplines state this to give prospects the idea that everyone has an equal chance at succeeding in Amway. I just cannot believe this to be true. Even current diamonds, while having achieved a certain level, probably could not "start at zero" again and build a diamond business.

Thus when you really think about it, the "old timers" of the diamonds should actually be given less credibility than the newer ones. Do you really believe that a diamond or higher pin who built his business in the 1970's can really teach people in 2016 how to build the business in a way to address people in 2016, and the fact that the business is mostly internet based as opposed to the old days, not to mention the advance of social media, text messaging and other modern forms of communication.

It is easy to stand on stage, tell people how great you are, show off material wealth and then tell prospects that everyone starts at zero and that anyone can build the business. I do not believe that it is true. I also strongly suspect that very few (if any) of the current diamonds would be able to "start at zero" and build a new diamondship here in the US, where the reputation and shrinking sales would be handicaps too great to overcome for the vast majority of propsective IBOs. I recall back in 2005 or 2006, WWDB had a commitment for personal growth amongst the diamonds and above. I do not believe much fruit was grown out of that effort. The diamonds had committed to duplicating their groups to prove it could be done. Not a single one of them, as far as I know, advanced to a significantly higher level (i.e. diamond to double diamond).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Debating Amway?

I recently had a debate with an Amway supporter and I sometimes wonder how some Amway supporters can continue to defend some of the claims they make even when they have no facts to back them up. For example, the supporter insists that Amway has created more millionaires than any other company. So I asked where he found that information because as far as I know, Amway has never made that claim and if it were true, there would be no reason for Amway to hide it. A better question would be to name 5 of these alleged Amway millionaires and prove that they are millionaires? Someone with a large income can still be broke and have a low net worth if they spend more than they make.

The Amway supporter also insisted that he is proof that Amway works because he is successful. He never spoke about the financial condition of his downline, nor revealed anything about his level or structure. Instead, challenged Joecool to talk about my former business and why I wasn't profitable. As I explained in a previous post, my Amway business didn't prosper because I followed upline advice to reinvest my profits into tools. And I am certain that I am not alone in having been given this advice. I do not claim they don't exist, but it is my guess that a group where even half of the IBOs make a net profit would be very rare, especially when some groups teach their downlines to primarily "buy from themselves". Buying from yourself only makes you a customer, not a business owner.

When discussing the miserable average income of an IBO, supporters like to cite that some IBOs do little or nothing, but fail to mention that when calculating the average income, Amway disregarded the IBOs who were not considered active. And because we know that you need to move at least 100 PV pv to earn a bonus, then we can conclude that IBOs as a whole, earn very little, with a few big pins bringing up the average. I believe if we looked at the median (Disregard the highest and lowest)income for IBOs, it would be far less than $100 a month.

So the question is how can an IBO actually prove that they are successful? Maybe the first step is to be willing to talk about your business. Most IBOs are anonymous commentors on this blog, yet outright refuse to disclose any details about their business, and downplay the expenses associated with the business, even when upline will promote "low overhead" as an incentive to join Amway. While $150 or $250a momth might be low overhead, it is very high if your monthly income is $10 a month. Somehow, upline will convince IBOs that taking losses is a sign of success. Or that an IBO is successful as long as they remain on standing order ot continue to attend functions.

Honesty and transparency is how an IBO can prove his or her success. Making a nice living on the backs of your downline is not success, that is exploitation of your downline. Whenever I debate about Amway, I can use actual facts and numbers that is supplied by Amway. Those defending Amway seemingly "knows a guy who knows a guy", who made good money in Amway, but supply no actual verifiable facts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Building Your Amway Business?

When I was an IBO, many people would talk about "building a business". But many folks who spoke about building a business didn't know what that meant. I believe it is because they were taught that building a business meant listening to cds or tapes and attending functions. Or building a business might mean sponsoring others. In my segment of the Amway world, building a business pretty much meant recruiting and showing the plan. Apparently I was mislead and many others were as well.

Building a business, generally speaking means building a customer base. A business moves products and services for a profit. In groups that focus on buying from yourself or prosumer nonsense, generally will struggle because the revenue they generate in their business is coming from their own pockets. Or their jobs are actually supplying the money for their own bonuses. In this model, the only way to profit is to sponsor many downline so the pyramidal compensation plan can work in your favor.

Many IBOs compare themselves to a franchise. Can you imagine a true franchise where your long term success depended on your ability to open other franchises? What if you as the owner and your family accounted for the majority of the sales? Could this franchise survive? More than likely not. Yet this is exactly what many Amway IBOs do and they mistakenly think they will be successful. The only reason why Amway IBOs are able to play out this model longer than a traditional franchise owner is because they do not have to rent office space or hire employees.

If an Amway IBO ran their business like a traditional business, the lack of retail sales to non IBO customers would be immediately apparent when the first month's electric bill or lease payment arrived.

Building a business entails many things. These things may include advertising, marketing of products, and do not necessarily include any training. In its simplest form, the Amway business is about selling and using products, and getting others to do the same as you do. Why do IBOs think such extensive training (standing order and functions) is needed? I challenge IBOs to write up an actual business plan for their Amway business, including projected sales and expenses and see what you come up with. If you think I am just being negative, write up your Amway presentation and show it to a loan officer at a bank. See what they have to say. Seriously.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Controlling Time And Money = Amway Success?

One of the big things that the speaker hit on when I heard the plan was time and money. He said because of the job, you may have money, but not enough time to do what you enjoy. He went onto say that if you have no job, you may have a lot of time, but you'll be broke and won't be able to do what you enjoy. He also said that controlling time and money is essentially financial freedom. This concept appeals to many and makes sense in the big picture of life. Afterall, who wouldn't want to retire early and have enough cash to travel the world and only do fun things?

But the reality is that nearly ever single IBO who registers for the Amway opportunity and the tools system, will never realize this dream. An Amway recruiter may paint a nice picture of how simple the business is, and that you can simply buy products and get others to copy or duplicate you and before you know it, you will be in control of time and money, and live "happily ever after". At one time, I believed it myself.

The more likely case however, will be that the business, including the system of cd's and functions, will cause you to have less time and money. In general, the Amway (and partner store) products costs more than your local big box retailers, and the cost of the systems add up to at least several hundreds of dollars if you are "CORE" (CORE = following the Amway teaching system). Thus ironically, what many seek more of, they end up with less of, because of the business and the related activities. The functions and other educational materials take up valuable time and resources from the IBO and rarely ever results in any kind of significant return on the investment. Most IBOs would be better not getting involved.

Time and money, think about it. Are you getting more or less of it because of your involvement? I recall thinking how great it would be to actually have control of more time and money. But my involvement with Amway, ironically left me with significantly less of both. I spent much time working the business hard and it cost a lot of money to work the business hard. The only beneficiary was my upline who profited from my efforts and tool purchases.

Friday, October 14, 2016

How Much Money Can An Amway IBO Lose?

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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Amway Success Is Not Obvious?

One of the things the diamonds and other big pins like to do is to flaunt their wealth. They show up at meetings with fancy cars, they like to wear fancy suits and my former LOS, WWDB, even had and still has a function called "Dream Night". Dream Night is where the diamonds show off pictures of mansions, jets, cars and vacations and they claim that everyone will one day join them in their lives full of pleasure and excess. Despite these displays of wealth, there is much evidence to suggest that these diamonds may not be able to afford all of these goodies. In fact, I strongly suspect that many diamonds are living in debt because they cannot sustain these fairy tale lifestyles on their incomes, even adding up the Amway and tools income. Now I'm not claiming that all diamonds are in hock, but I would not be surprised if half of them were in debt.

Even lower level IBOs attempt to appear wealthy. They may dress nicely and whatnot, but in the parking lot at functions, might see a more accurate glimpse of reality when you see what these IBOs are driving around. I remember seeing a bunch of broken down cars, some of them on their last legs at the local functions. Yet if you were to speak to some of these nice folks, you would be told they are doing great and that business is booming.

But my question is why isn't all of this Amway success obvious? Why do IBOs dance around the questions about how much they earn from Amway? Why do diamonds like to copy some once a year bonus and pretend that they earn that kind of income on a monthly basis? If a room were full of IBOs and only the ones with a NET profit were to stand up, only a small handful or less IBOs would be standing. Most of the rest probably don't even make enough to cover the cost of their voicemail.

Why can't an entire group of IBOs earn a net profit? The answer is simple. In the vast majority of groups, the cost of tools exceeds the group income that is earned from Amway. Do the math and it's easy to see. Unless your group refuses to purchase any tools and focuses on selling products, then you are more than likely to end up losing money. Success is not obvious, and the reason for that is quite obvious.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Desperate Amway IBOs?

In some recent comments, one thing I have noticed about Amway IBOs is "desperation". I believe this to be true as IBOs who are trying to build a business are in a precarious position. For one thing, Amway products in general are not priced at a competitive level with big retailers so IBOs are at a disadvantage. Lacking retail sales, and IBO must self consume 100 PV, which can cost about $300 or so on average. Most people that I know do not spend $300 a month on consumables such as toilet paper and vitamins that IBOs claims simply "replaces your shopping habits" Even when I threw a party for 40 guests at my home, I still did not spend $300 at Costco that month for my own goods plus the party. Now maybe you would spend a lot on consumables if you have a really big family, but not for singles, couples or families with 1 or 2 kids.

So why are IBOs "desperate"? I believe it is because the cost of the goods starts to become a burden for most IBOs and the disadvantage in cost makes selling products very very difficult. So with that in mind, the only other way for an IBO to increase volume is to sponsor downline IBOs in the hopes that they will also move volume. Thus IBOs do not get paid directly for recruiting (which allows Amway to remain legal), but the emphasis of most business builders is to sponsor downline because selling is more difficult. And because many IBOs are "desperate" to generate volume, they resort to trickery, deceit, and sometimes outright lies in order to get people to a recruitment meeting. It is why Amway has developed a reputation in North America. I believe Amway sales in North America is shrinking because of this, but I cannot confirm it since Amway no longer reports North American sales seperate from their global sales.

But this continued emphasis on sponsoring and showing the plan is the very reason why most IBOs can never build a sustainable business. For example, the Walton family can take a trip to Mars and WalMart will continue to have their sales go through the roof because they offer good products and rock bottom prices. Customers see value in WalMart goods and will shop there loyally for decades to come. Amway IBOs rely on IBOs joining and primarily self consuming products. This doesn't work because two thirds of IBOs quit in less than a year, possibly because there's not enough value in remaining, and the vast majority of the remaining IBOs quit within a year or a few years thereafter. Some diamonds may be able to keep replacing the quitters, at least enough to sustain some Amway income, but probably not enough to "walk away" from their businesses. For smaller volume IBOs, they simply cannot keep replacing what few downline they may have had, and eventually, they quit too.

For many, it's hard to quit if they were "serious" for a while because they have invested time and money and they are hopeful that their investment will eventually pay off. But at some point, it seems that desperation eventually sets in. Even diamonds who may be living bonus check to bonus check, probably cannot quit because they too, have invested much time and effort into their business. But recently, we have seen evidence of what I speak about. Diamonds quitting, diamonds resigning, and diamonds in financial difficulty. The writing is on the wall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Amway Compensation?

One of the major reasons why I think Amway is not such a good opportunity is because of the unfair multi tiered compensation plan. I have heard that Amway pays out about 32-33% to their IBOs, but I find it unfair in that you get rewarded for sponsoring people who move volume more than you do for actually selling products. I believe this is why so many IBOs are desperately trying to sponsor people and in some cases, deception and trickery is used in recruiting, which contributes to Amway's already bad reputation.

This multi tiered compensation plan also rewards a few people at the expense of the masses. If an IBO works really hard and sold 100 PV worth of goods, that IBO would get $9 or $10 in a bonus from Amway and layers of upline would split up about $90. I fail to see how that is fair, especially when IBOs seemingly say "do the work and get paid". In this case, you do the work and your uplines get paid.

I think Amway would be more efficient by giving all IBO's 20-25% back as a bonus, with the remaining 8-13% in bonus (33 - 20 or 25) going to certain levels of achievers. I believe that this would truly allow someone to change their buying habits and gain some value. It would also be good for retention of IBOs because a 100 PV would get you a monthly bonus of about $60. If you sold 100 PV to customers, you would get the retail profit plus the bonus. I believe there would be less of an emphasis on sponsoring and more of an emphasis on selling. It would put less pressure on IBO's to recruit and sponsor, and I believe that Amway's reputation could be repaired in this manner. While you would have less emphasis on "going diamond", those who did achieve it could still get handsome bonuses.

I believe implementation of this type of compensation would also eliminate the endless need for cds and seminars. Sure, product expos and some teaching on salesmanship might help, but I believe that compensating the "majority" of IBOs would keep them interested in doing business and would lessen the need for tools. I believe this is a win-win for the majority of those in the business.

I'm sure some Amway apologists will find fault in my line of reasoning, but I believe this is a long term sustainable solution for Amway. Comments are welcome.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Is Amway A Real Business?

Many IBOs are taught to "buy from themselves". Although in some of these groups, retailing may be mentioned, it certainly is not taught in a serious manner. I believe it is because people in general simply are not comfortable with selling products. Thus the concept of buy from yourself makes the masses comfortable. What they do not realize is that they are simply loyal Amway customers and not running a business. As I mentioned in a previous post, in what business do you not have customers? It is why IBOs must ask themselves, are they running a "real" business?

For many IBOs, the focus of their efforts is on recruiting others. But why would someone want to join a system where they basically sign up to be a loyal customer and be a recruiter for other loyal customers? The pyramid like compensation plan is what drives many IBOs. Find enough downline and eventually, your downline will absorb the financial losses for you and will become the srouce of your income. I believe that the 4000 PV or platinum level is about where you as an IBO can find teh break even point if you are dedicated to the "system" consisting of tapes, cds, books, voicemail and functions.

Secondarily, in addition to signing on as a loyal customer of Amway, if you join a system and participate in standing order and/or functions, then you have also become a loyal customer of the "system". Sadly, many upline will push IBOs to keep purchasing tools regardless of the IBO's progress in the business.

So I ask the question again for IBOs and potential recruits. As an IBO, are you running a real business? Can you get a business loan using the 6-4-2 plan? Have you tried showing it to a loan officer? Can you cite BWW or WWDB as educational credentials when applying for a job or will you be laughed out of the room? For these very reasons, I can only conclude that many, possibly most IBOs are not running a "real" business. They are simply doing what their upline advises. These uplines are more concerned about selling their tools than they are about their downline IBOs. It appears that downline IBOs are expendable. They quickly become bitter, broke, or not having expended enough effort if they do not "make it".

So are you running a real business?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How Amway Teaching Evolves?

One of the things that is clear. Many Amway recruits are shown fancy cars and toys, along with luxurious vacations and trappings. This is a way to get prospects excited and interested in signing up for the Amway opportunity. Many sign up, the excitement fades and they quit. Many do little or nothing. But what many people do no understand or realize is that there is a reason for this. Many do little or nothing, I suspect because the business is much harder to build than adevrtised.

Because Amway has a stigma in the US (and growing in other locations), finding prospects is a daunting task. Add in the high prices of Amway products and you have major challenges that IBOs simply cannot overcome. Most simply quit and fade away into society. Some, like myself were lied to and abused, with upline leaders (WWDB)who were never held accountable for their actions. Thus I blog so others may share my experiences and can decide if they wish to climb insurmountable challenges for a miniscule chance of financial success.

What many leaders do is evolve their teachings. They start to teach their IBOs that the Amway opportunity may have made them nicer people, better fathers or husbands and other nice to hear stories because it covers up the fact that these IBOs are not making money. Sometimes I wonder how someone can be a better person by deceiving others about the business opportunity, or how you can be a better father or husband when Amway meetings become a priority over your family and friends. Or how you can be a nicer person and leave threatening messages on forums with those who disagree about Amway being a great business opportunity.

Rather that justifying your involvement or looking ar side benefits, IBOs should be looking at their bottom line. If your Amway "Business" is not generating enough money to pay for your voicemail and other expenses and leaving you with a net profit, then what exactly is your upline teaching you that is worth the ongoing expense? If you are like most, you are told that Amway has no overhead and has little risk. Well, that becomes untrue after months pass by and you have spent hundreds if not thousands on support materials that do not deliver you a net profit.

Are you new or a tenured IBO? Has your teaching from upline evolved away from making money as the bottom line? If so, what do you do next?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Amway's Empty Promises?

One of the things I often thought odd as an IBO was how our upline would keep teaching us that the Amway business was all about "helping people". Somehow, our upline felt that showing someone the plan or talking to them about the business was helping someone. That is because our upline felt that everyone was dooomed for financial failure if they didn't join Amway. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth now that I am looking back. In fact, I would have to say that building the business and purchasing tools was the CAUSE of financial disaster for some of my fellow IBOs. I remember reading about more than one home foreclosure and a couple of bankruptcies.

It's like IBOs held some dark secret and they could save the world by sharing this secret with prospects. So the theme of many voicemails (Amvox at the time) was about how IBOs in the group were saving the world by helping people. I used to wonder how we were helping people when we basically only "helped" IBOs who wante dto build the business. If someone declined to join, they were forgotten. Our upline said we threw them a life preserver but they rejected it, so we are moving on. it was often compared to a church activity where IBOs are saving souls. I actually found this extra weird because we were often taught that we could give the church money in the future ($10,000 checks) and we could serve in ministry after we were "free". I find this ludicrous now, but at the time, we were told that this was delayed gratification. After I left Amway, I spoke to the senior pastor of the church and he opined that Amway was harmful to many because it simply held too many empty promises. In other words, they promote big dreams and wealth, but very few ever attain any success, for whatever reason. The pastor said the reason for the low success was not relevent. The fact that it was rare to see success was enough to conclude that Amway was not a good opportunity.

In fact, some diamonds can be seen as prosperity preachers. They speak about wealth attained through Amway when in reality their wealth may come from other sourcse, such as tools income, yet they falsely promote Amway as their primary source of success. Then they bait and switch IBOs and tell them that the tools system is the only way to succeed, all the while profiting handsomely from the tools. They then justify their conflict if interest by claiming that IBOs are helping people and/or doing God's work by joining Amway. I believe many IBOs are giving false hope and promises to prospects as taught by upline leaders. All the while they themselves are losing money while thinking they are supporting a noble cause. I hope they awaken before it's too late.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Amway Losers?

One of the things I recall as an IBO was thinking how sorry I felt for people who were not IBOs because we were all going to be rich and everyone else was destined to be a loser. Our upline used to tell us that we were winners - and if you weren't a winner, then obviously, you are a loser. Many times, the term "broke" was attached to the term loser. That was my mindset back then, but having been out of the system more than ten years, I can look back and laugh, realizing that the losers were the ones buying stuff they don't need, stalking people at malls and bookstores, and wasting their time and money on tapes (cds), books and functions and perhaps voicemail. (Who needs voicemail these days?)

What goes unnoticed in many cases, is how much time and money really goes down the drain for IBOs who work the system. Your life revolves around the business if you are dedicated and hard core. You are always looking for prospects and people to show the plan to, and you have to rearrange your schedules, or outright skip social or family gatherings because of the neverending number of meetings and functions, many of which teach you nothing about running a profitable business. When I first left the Amway business, I was sort of angry at the time and effort that was wasted, along with the cahs I threw down the crapper.

But after I did finally cut ties with the business and the people associated with it, I got back into a routine of sorts. I focused on my job and after some years of gaining experience and working my way up the corporate ladder, I received some promotions and I am scheduled to be retired before the age of 60 with a decent retirement income and will likely have my home paid off by then. So while I did have to work a dreaded job to be able to retire, pretty much all IBOs are also working a job or business PLUS having to expend their time and money to run their Amway business which has little to no chance of providing a long term stable and significant income. And if I may add, it is the systems such as WWDB or N21 that usually end up costing the IBOs the most money because of things like the functions.

So I will ask the question. Who's the real loser? The person diligently working and saving for their future or the person chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize? Factoring in the expenditure of time also makes the systems even more costly than it appears on the surface.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Amway "Systems"?

Many IBOs and Amway supporters adhere to the idea that their system works. As far as I know, there is zero unbiased evidence that the system works. The system generally consists of a website, voicemail, standing orders and seminars or functions, as well as meetings to show the plan, etc. While Amway supporters will claim that nearly everyone who succeeds is on the system, they won't mention how everyone who succeeds also has hundreds if not thousands of downlines who do not succeed, even with earnest effort in building the business using the stsem.

Edward O. Thorpe was a math professor at M.I.T. who studied and wrote a theory on Blackjack, and found that it was mathematically possible for a blackjack player to have an edge over the house in a game of blackjack. Casinos scoffed at the theory and said it was just that. A theory with no real life application. Well, Mr. Thorpe started playing small and found that his theory was correct. He was counting cards in blackjack and making consistent money. His book eventually became a best seller. The casinos were ticked off and started kicking out people who were obviously winning and counting cards. Counting cards is not illegal but casinos can refuse to allow a player on their premises. But what casinos did not notice right away, was that their profits were skyrocketing because so many people knew the theory but could not or were not capable of executing the card counting system.

But hey, the system works so everyone should count cards for a living right? Afterall, it is proven by math that the cards will eventually favor a player and in the long run, you can make huge profits from playing blackjack. Of course not, it is ridiculous for people to think that card counting is a good way to make a buck. Not everyone has the bankroll, the skill, and the patience to succeed in card counting. Most people are better off not even trying this.

In my informed opinion, this card counting system is just like WWDB, BWW, LTD, N21 or other Amway systems. For one thing, card counting is a proven system. The Amway systems are not. But it can be viewed as similar in that very few people can use the system and make it work. Even when hundreds of thousands may try it, very few will succeed in both Amway and card counting. In both "systems", those who do not succeed can lose thousands of dollars. In both systems, doing things right can still result in losses.

In both systems, it is "possible" to succeed, but it is highly unlikely. The vast majority of people simply do not possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to make the systems work for them. You also need some money, some patience, and some luck in order to be a long term success. This article is not about comparing the Amway systems to gambling, it is about a person's ability to make the system work. The difference is that nobody promotes card counting as a good way to make a buck. The same holds true about Amway and their systems. It is not a good system to make money.