Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Amway "System"?

"Tools are optional, but so is success" One of the things that seems to be the common reason for IBOs losing money in Amway is the tools system. While IBOs may say that the system is optional, it certainly is not promoted that way. In my opinion, it is a defacto requirement. Especially when you may be told that nobody succeeds without the system, but you can be the first to try. Or that your upline double diamond accomplished that level with dedication to the system, but if you think you know better, you can try it on your own. To a prospect or new IBO, that certainly would not sound like the system is optional.

For most new IBOs, there really is not much of a choice is there? If you're lucky, maybe your upline will loan you some cds or books, but eventually, if you are to be a "serious" business owner, you will have to buy your own. Some uplines may compare these tools to a carpenter who needs a hammer and nails, or it might be compared to a college student who needs books to complete their coursework. But a carpenter certainly doesn't need 100 hammers and a student would not need multiple copies of the same book. And a carpenter can get many years of work out of a single tool whereas IBO's consumption of tools in endless.

Basically, the system never ends for Amway IBOs, unless they quit the business. And obviously, that explains why many IBOs quit, because they never recover the expenses they shell out for the system. What is also scary, is if you have a pushy upline who may encourage you to hyper consume tools. We were advised to purchase additional tapes/cds every week because they would help you grow and because you were to pass them out to prospects. We were told that you should not cancel standing orders (an audio subscription) if your downline quits because it was too much trouble to call upline to cancel the standing order. We were encouraged to buy extra function tickets because you don't want to sponsor someone just before the function only to have the function sold out.

What was also scary was how some diamonds would talk about how long someone could skip mortgage payments before a foreclosure would occur. I am guessing because IBOs could then skip a payment in order to attend a function. IBOs were told to go in debt if it was to invest in their Amway business (Meaning it was okay to go in debt to buy tools). IBOs were edified if they made it to functions at any cost. I recall a man dying of cancer being edified because he left his (real) family to attend a major function while he was basically dying (literally).

Amway implemented an accreditation program some years ago to try and curb some of these abuses, but I believe at least some, and possibly most/all of these abuses still occur, under Amway's radar. My hope is that someone seeking information might recognize the warning signs I have posted and can decide for themselves if their upline is leading them astray.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Amway IBOs Are Sharp People?

One of the things taught to our group by upline was to recruit "sharp" people. And in general, I agree that many/most IBOs were sharp people. Most of them nice, motivated and wanting more in life. Certain Amway defenders wrongly claim that I am against Amway and IBOs to a degree where I am maniacal against them. I am not. I recall that most of my group and my cross line were mostly educated and had decent jobs. We all hoped to achieve the dream of walking away from our jobs and living in luxury. We got the idea that is was very reasonable and achievable if only we did as upline advised and immersed ourselves in the "system", which in my case, was WWDB. We were told that WWDB had much fruit on its tree and at the time I was an IBO, that appeared to be true.

However, we did not know that some WWDB leaders made significant income from selling us tools. You see, we were lied to and speakers at major functions told the audience that nobody made a cent from tools and that upline makes pennies only after you earn dollars. We know know that this is not true and that these speakers were lying. What's more, these leaders were never made accountable for their lies. They just revised history and acted like nothing happened. Sadly, many downline IBOs simply accepted the explanation and continued to buy tools. Currently, the WWDB tree is getting barren, with little "fruit". There are very few new diamonds from WWDB in the US, and some of their more apparently dynamic leaders have left WWDB to start their own systems. Thus it looks like WWDB is left with the same old tired speakers today, as the ones who were around prior to my involvement with Amway.

But what's puzzling, or maybe not, is why aren't there more successes if many, possibly most IBOs are "sharp" people? Surely large groups of smart and motivated people can accomplish much, but for whatever reason, they are unable to accomplish much in Amway and WWDB. In fact, many of these sharp people cannot sponsor a single downline and have difficulty in selling Amway products. After many years of blogging and analyzing the Amway opportunity, my conclusion is that Amway products are priced too highly and cannot compete with similar products on the open market. Sure, Amway defenders will cite quality or concentration as reasons why Amway is competitive, and in some cases, Amway is competitive, but the general public doesn't care, they just want cheap stuff and Walmart fulfills that need better than Amway. It leaves the majority of Amway sales being made to active business building IBOs. Apparently the artificial need to buy Amway goods disappears when the diamond dream disappears.

Also, the crazy and sometimes deceptive behavior of past and some present IBOs gives the Amway name a bad reputation, making it difficult to get anyone to see the plan, and sponsoring becomes nearly impossible. It is for this reason, I believe Amway is growing in foreign countries and not in North America, where saturation has occurred. When you factor in all of these variables, it is easy to conclude that large groups of sharp people fail is not because they are not capable. It is because the Amway opportunity comes with so many handicaps that even sharp people cannot overcome them. It is why so many former IBOs, including myself, have done quite well for themselves after leaving Amway. Did I learn some things about business while in Amway? yes, I did learn some things of value, but I also learned that I was lied to and deceived by WWDB leaders and for that reason, my blog continues......

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Amway Bait And Switch Scam?

In my informed opinion, Amway is a huge bait and switch scam run by the diamonds. The crowd sees the diamonds as someone to be worshipped. The arrive to standing ovations when they appear to show the plan and/or to speak at a function. The diamonds speak of untold wealth beyond the reach of most people. They show slide shows of fabulous trips and events that they attend and possibly golf outings and other fun things that are associated with people who have money. The diamond often has some sports car or a nice sedan such as a Lexus or Mercedes. And all of this alleged wealth comes from Amway. Just join and get the secrets to wealth from the diamonds and you too will be living in fabulous wealth. 2-5 years, build it right and build it once is what I heard.

But it's a bait and switch scam. They show you wealth and speak of their large incomes (without verification of course) and people tend to believe what they are told. The diamonds claim to have the key to the secret of success. All you need to do is get plugged into their system and you are nearly assured of success. Right? Listen to those diamonds. They are the pinnacle of success and all you need to do it copy what they have done. So simple even a dog can become a platinum. All you need is 2-5 years, do it right and do it once and you're set for life.

So you subscribe to their system of voicemail, books, standing orders (audios/CDs), meetings and functions/seminars. In the teachings, the theme seems to be similar. Never quit, and the answer to most Amway problems are to consume more tools and functions. If you are struggling and losing money, the solution seems to be to invest more in tools and functions. It's like a struggling business spending more on overhead without simply trying to increase sales. This is why so many IBOs quit, because they struggle to make sales and/or to sponsor downline. Despite all of the teaching and tools and seminars, it is apparent that very few IBOs make any profit.

What people don't see is that the Amway business itself is just a shill for the real business. Amway IBOs unknowingly recruit prospects into Amway thinking they can make a fortune in Amway. In the meantime, the diamonds are raking in the dough by selling monthly subscriptions for voicemail, books, audios and meetings and seminars. Additionally, the diamonds put on a "major" function each quarter where they can make possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single weekend. I believe some diamonds make way more income from the tools and functions than from Amway. A diamond is a lifetime achievement so someone could qualify diamond for 6 months, never qualify again, but still make a nice living from speaking honorariums and selling other tools. The tools business is the real business. The Amway business is like a "front" to conceal the real business, much like the Italian restaurant is a front for the mob. The restaurant is a legal business that helps conceal the illegal activity. And that my friends, is the Amway bait and switch scam.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Amway Sales?

One of the things IBOs like to tout is how Amway had over 8 billion dollars in sales. That's great for Amway. The Amway corporation surely made a good profit from those sales. I'm pretty sure that the DeVos and Van Andel families would use Amway products. But I'm also sure that their purchases are an insignificant portion of the Amway Global sales. Most of their sales are to IBOs and to customers of IBOs. After paying operational costs and their employees, Amway makes a nice profit, which is why the families who own Amway are (last I heard) registered as billionaires.

IBOs, regardless of level, make up the sales force for Amway. But IBOs do not work for Amway. They are "Independent Business Owners". They are supplied products from Amway and receive their bonuses from Amway for the amount of volume they move. They can also sponsor downline which helps them to move more volume since downline's volume is also credited upline.

Many IBOs however, in the past and even today, hold the philosophy of "buy from yourself and get others to do the same". I believe this method of running an Amway business was created because many people do not like the prospect of selling products, especially when the business often requires a "personal touch". Thus many IBOs simply buy from their own business and hope to sponsor a lot of downline. Sadly, most IBOs cannot sponsor anyone and cannot or do not sell Amway products.

Many IBOs are taught to move at least 100 PV, which is equal to about $300 in sales. However, if an IBO fails to sell any products, then effectively, the $300 in sales belongs to Amway and the IBO had nothing, rendering the IBO as a customer.
If the IBO sells a few items and consumes the majority of their 100 PV, then Amway still gets most of the sales and the IBO gets the rest.

The point is this. If your consumption dollars exceed your sales dollars, then whatever income you receive, is simply coming out of your own pocket. It would be like clipping coupons and then when you use them at the store, you count the coupon value as profit. Ridiculous right? But sadly, it is what many IBOs have done, and continue to do today. What makes things worse is when an IBO spends their hard earned money to purchase standing order, voicemail, and seminar tickets where they teach this garbage. It's like paying your upline and Amway for the privilege of consuming and selling Amway products. Everyone makes a buck except the lower level IBOs.

Amway had over 8 billion dollars in sales last year. How much net profit do you think they would have if the DeVos and Van Andel families consumed most of that volume? Right, they would have massive losses. What makes IBOs think they are any different?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Real Purpose Of Amway Tools?

As an Amway/WWDB IBO, I was told that I "needed" to attend all functions. Attending all functions meant "all" is what I was told. Brad Duncan once had a tape in the true north series where he said that downline should not cancel standing orders even when IBOs quit, because there would then be an urgency to replace that person. I was in WWDB and while not everyone in WWDB may have taught this, our group was told that we should purchase 5-7 additional tapes/cds/audios in addition to standing order because we needed to listen to new material daily and because we should be passing out these materials as they will sponsor new people. To date, I do not know of anyone who passed out a tape or cd and had someone decide to join the Amway business as a result of listening to that tape or cd.

When I was in the business (In WWDB), our group was told that WWDB was a non profit organization. That was quickly retracted, but still, the WWDB leaders stood on stage in front of tens of thousands of IBOs and said nobody made a profit from tools. We now know that it was a lie. We also know that many of these leaders are still teaching, and as far as I know, not a single WWDB leader has ever been accountable for these lies. Some of these lies may have caused untold financial damage to downline. I'm certain I would have been less dedicated to tools if I had known that some uplines made most of their income from tools and that their advice was a conflict of interest. Some Amway defenders are currently talking about how some negative misinformation about Amway is hurting their business, but ironically, it would appear that most damage to Amway has been done by IBOs themselves, such as tricking people to meetings. As far as I know, not a single person has ever been held liable for the financial damages to downlines and former IBOs who lost money by being told lies about Amway.

Now I also would like to emphasize that I do not believe the tools work and do not produce any results. While Amway defenders will claim that most if not all new emeralds and diamonds are on the system, they fail to mention that there are also tens or hundreds of thousands of people who work the system without results. As far as I know, there is no bonafide unbiased evidence that suggests that the system produces any results. It is why IBOs end up later talking about being a nicer person of how their marriage was strengthened by joining the system. While these are nice side benefits (if true), these reasons are not why you started a business. A business exists to make a profit, yet uplines make all kinds of excuses as to why IBOs did not profit, even placing the blame on the IBOs who trusted them.

It brings me to the real purpose of having tools. The REAL purpose of tools is to make profits for your upline. I believe the tools were invented as a way to motivate and train new and distance IBOs, but apparently, GREED eventually set in and many uplines started emphasizing tools, not because they wanted downline success, but because their tool businesses were wildly successful with thousands of captive downline dedicated to the system. I believe it is why I saw many IBOs who worked hard, never missed a meeting or function, did nto sponsor any downline, but were still told they needed more and more tools.

I believe the real purpose of having tools is so your upline's tools business can be profitable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Amway Losers?

Over my years as a blogger, many - an - IBO has called me a loser. I decided to look at for a defintion and here's what I found:

los·er (lōō'zər)

One that fails to win: the losers of the game.
One who takes loss in a specified way: a graceful loser; a poor loser.
One that fails consistently, especially a person with bad luck or poor skills: "losers at home seeking wealth and glory in undeveloped countries" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
One that is bad in quality: That book is a real loser

And: an inept person; an undesirable or annoying person; a social failure. : Those guys are all losers. They'll never amount to anything.

The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos made a speech sometime ago, stating that IBOs should not refer to people not interested in Amway, as losers. And it is not the Amway corporation or Amway employees that call others "losers". It is some IBOs in some LOSs that coined the phrase. But when I took a closer look at the definition, I could see that truly, it is IBOs who fit the definition better than the rest of the population. Amway's biggest defender, IBOfightback, is the one who said many times that "most" IBOs don't do anything, not even place an order. Wouldn't that already make these IBOs "losers"? What about those who try very hard but never make profits? Wouldn't that make them "losers"?

The average IBO earns less than $200 a month (Amway's figures) which is well below the US poverty line. Does that make the average IBO a "loser"?

Diamond is the pinnacle of Amway success, if you have ever seen an Amway 6-4-2 or 9-4-2 "plan". But only 1 in 10,000 or 20,000 ever reach diamond. (Those figures may be lower) Are the rest of the IBOs "losers"? Those functions must be filled with losers?

If IBOs and AMO leaders wish to continue to use the term "loser", perhaps they should learn the definition and look in the mirror before using the term?


Monday, November 19, 2018

The Merits Of Your Amway Business?

So many IBOs like to point out that Amway has a satisfactory rating from the better business bureau, or that Amway owns title sponsorship of Amway arena where the NBA's Orlando Magic plays. But what so many IBOs fail to remember is that they are not Amway. Amway has over 8 billion dollars in sales but IBOs are not Amway. And IBO stands for "Independent Business Owner". Amway supplies you with products and bonuses based on movement of volume, and Amway also sets the rules by which you can advertise and market your goods. Amway also sets the rules by which disputes are settled.

A big part of being an IBO, is to recruit other IBOs. This is an important focus for many because an individual cannot generate enough volume to reach the higher levels of the business where significant bonuses kick in, along with the recognition and the ability to speak at functions and other types of meetings. When some IBOs reach this level, it is apparently expected that the IBO, who may now be an "emerald or "diamond" will show off the fruits of success, or may show a copy of some bonus check. IBOs like to use these things to entice others to join. The entire process is ridiculous. Can you imagine being enticed to work for a company by seeing the paycheck of the company CEO? If you saw the CEO's home or car, would that entice you to work for a company? Of course not because the CEO's salary has nothing to do with you as an employee, just as a diamond's success is no assurance of a new IBO being able to achieve diamond.

But why do IBOs use these methods to attract others? Is it because their Amway business cannot stand on it's own merit? I believe that to be true. I believe that even the platinum level IBOs mostly lose money. The State of Wisconsin attorney general did a study of all platinum (direct distributor) IBOs in their State and found that they lost $900 a year on average. While the study is a bit dated, I would suggest that nothing has changed. In fact it is very likely that platinums lose even more today because there are more tools and functions that platinums must attend.

It would be very easy for a platinum or a higher level IBO to simply open their books and reveal their schedule C (business tax return) which is common among REAL business owners. But I suspect that most platinums lose money and therefore can't do this, and I also suspect that the higher level pin winners do not make as much income from Amway as they like downline to believe, and do not want to reveal how much they earn from the sales of business support materials (such as voicemail or functions). In a few cases where a diamond's income was revealed, there was less earnings than expected and in some cases, debt where there should have been none.

Can your Amway business stand on it's own merits? Do you use the curiosity approach and leave the Amway name out of your pitch? Are you upfront with prospects when they ask you about what you earn? If not, then your business does not stand on its own merits.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Amway Quota?

Most LOS groups that I know of, use 100 PV as the benchmark when promoting the Amway business. Many groups also teach that you simply "change" your shopping habits and you can easily reach 100 PV. This teaching creates an artificial demand for Amway products and I believe that Amway sales would take a huge dip if not for this teaching. I also am of the opinion that for this reason, Amway had/has done little to reign in LOS abuses of downline.

100 PV is roughly equal to about $250 to $300 worth of products. Of course your cost may vary, depending on whether you purchase a lot of CORE Amway products such as laundry detergent, and nutrilte vitamins. For many people, the 100 PV benchmark is seen as the minimum for a business building IBO. The problem for many is that Amway products are not competitively priced, thus it is a hard sell. If I can buy the same or a similar product elsewhere for a fraction of the price, I will. And most consumers feel the same way.

It is why some LOS groups adopted the "buy from yourself and get others to do the same" philosophy. Since most people do not like selling, and because of the high prices of Amway products, simply telling prospects to buy from yourself made the concept palatable. The problem with buy from yourself is that it reaches the borders of being illegal, in my opinion. That is because in a buy from youself environment, the only way for an IBO to make a profit, is to recruit downline to benefit from the volume rebates. That is because there is no outside customers to bring in cash from outside the circle of IBOs.

What makes this issue even worse is when you have LOS groups such as WWDB creating an even greater problem with programs such as eagle. If 100 PV is an inflated demand for Amway products, incentive programs such as eagle make it worse. How can a single person reasonably be expected to move 200 to 300 PV when most of it is personal consumption? The upline leaders use these programs as an incentive for downline IBOs, but in turn, they benefit financially by having more downline volume, as well as potentially enhanced tools sales by dedicated downline IBOs.

I challenge any IBO or prospect to take a close look at your Amway purchases. Are you truly just changing your shopping habits and achieving 100 PV or are you buying things to give away, or buying things that accumulate somewhere? Unless IBOs are selling half of their purchases, they are probably overbuying Amway products. I believe it is simply because of upline teaching which creates a defacto 100 PV quota and an artificial demand for Amway products. I challenge you to examine this closely and make your own conclusions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Amway/WWDB Eagle Program?

Eagle Parameters:
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

What is Eagle? Basically, Eagle is a made up goal. I believe it was originally made up by WWDB. In fact, I think Eagle was around when I was an IBO back about 12-13 years ago. The reason why I say it is a “made up goal” is because it is. It was not a part of the Amway sales and marketing plan. You receive ZERO additional compensation from Amway for achieving the designated level of Eagle, aside from your volume rebate. In a previous post (recently), I broke down the numbers, giving the IBOs the benefit of the doubt in sales, and the only conclusion I could arrive it was that most Eagles must be losing money.

The Amway sales and marketing plan, as shown in many groups, assume that an IBO will move 100 PV in volume, though a combination of personal use and selling of products to family, friends and customers. To be an Eagle, you are expected to move 300/200 PV (Couples/singles) in personal volume. In many, and probably most cases, an IBO typically will consume most of that 100 PV by him or herself. That means the Eagle program artificially inflates the need for Amway products. If you disagree, name one former Eagle (and I am one) who consumes Amway products to the tune of 300/200 PV per month. *crickets chirping*

I believe the Eagle program was simply the brainchild of some LOS leader who wanted to create some kind of incentive to prove an IBO’s loyalty to upline and to secure a certain level of tool purchases from downline. If you do the math, and consider that fact that IBOs on standing order and attending functions are somewhat serious business builders, then every individual in the Eagle program is likely to be losing money. The person designated as “Eagle” may be duped into thinking they have a net business profit, but when you factor in the extra 200/100 PV that you are expected to move, you are losing money, possibly lots of money, unless you are selling that extra 200 PV. If not, you are simply absorbing an extra $300 to $600 worth of products that you probably do not need, If Eagle was truly something worth attaining, wouldn’t it be promoted by Amway and given some kind of financial incentive?

As an IBO, you are MUCH better off simply by moving your 100 PV with a combination of personal use, and selling to friends, family, and most importantly, retail customers. In fact, someone simply selling 200/100 PV in products at full suggested retail price is likely to be better off than someone who is at 1000 PV with an Eagle structure, but self consuming the majority of the 300/200 PV personal circle that is in the Eagle parameters. I challenge anyone to show how a group can be better off financially by maintaining an Eagle structure. *crickets chirping*.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What's Better Than Amway?

One of the humorous things that Amway IBOs say on my blog is if Amway isn't such a great deal, then why don't we offer a better solution? I guess it's not enough that there are facts and experiences posted here so that information seekers can find and make informed decisions about joining or not joining Amway, but we must also suggest better options? Well, I will offer some. While I am not advising anyone to listen to my thoughts, nor do I think you should act on what you read what's here without doing your due diligence your own soul searching, here are my opinions on what may be better than Amway:

1. Be a better steward of the money you already have. Many people have enough income but simply channel too much of it to things they don't need. A daily $5 cup of Starbucks for example. Disciplined saving and investing. Are you trying to "keep up with the Joneses"? Are you racking up consumer debt?

2. Get a second job and set aside a portion for saving and investing. You will not only have more discretionary cash, but also more to be able to set aside for your golden years. I did this when I was in my 20's and I am now seeing the rewards adding up.

3. Start your own small business. The biggest issue with Amway, in my opinion is the endless supply of training that uplines sell. It causes most "serious" IBOs to end up with a net loss. You can find a niche product and sell it on ebay or craigslist, unlike Amway products. Another type of small business might be something like learning to do minor household repairs or installing hardwood flooring. These kinds of services are quite common and can be lucrative.

4. Do nothing. Since most business building IBOs lose money, doing nothing, although comical, actually makes you better off than losing money because of functions and standing orders, book of the month and/or voicemail and audios.

5. Spend more time with your family. Ironically, many IBOs have this as a goal, but actually spend less time with family because of Amway related activities.

There you have it folks. There are some general ideas of what might be better than spending your time and money participating in the Amway business and the Amway motivational organizations. While these are only ideas, only you can decide what is best for you and your family. In whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.

Friday, November 9, 2018

When Will Amway IBOs Be "Walking The Beaches Of The World"?

One of the battle cries I heard as an Amway IBO was how one day, we would all be financially free and walking the beaches of the world. Being free and not having to own an alarm clock and not reporting to a boss. I mean it sounded like a cool deal. All you had to do was work the system 2-5 years and follow the proven system of success. At the time, I thought honestly that I was going to do just that. But as time passed, I started to notice things said and taught by the upline leaders that just did not make sense.

For example, why would we constantly be told to get out of debt and live below our means but it was okay to go deeper in debt to attend a function or to buy more standing orders? If debt is bad, then debt is bad. There wasn't much talk about using your business to generate profits to reduce debt. Just more recruiting and sponsoring. I suspect it's because it's just not feasible to generate enough sales to make any serious income from selling generic barnd products for top premium prices.

Of course now I know about how upline's apparent greed was what led to this type of advice. Or we were taught that God was our top priority, followed by our spouse, family, job and then the Amway business. But when anything conflicted with am Amway function or a meeting, the Amway function was ALWAYS to be the priority. "Never miss a meeting, period" was the advice we got from upline. Attend "all" functions. All means all. So much for prioritizing God, family and our jobs before Amway. It was just talk without any action.

Which leads me to ask prospects and IBOs. What progress are you making? When will you be walking the beaches of the world? Why aren't any of your upline leaders retired from Amway, collecting mountains of cash and walking the beaches of the world? Why doesn't Amway advertise residual income as a benefit of the business if it were true? Can you even name one or two people who built an Amway business and actually walked away from their business and collects income? Surely a 50+ year old business with this benefit must have hoards of people realizing this wonderful benefit? Why can't people name a single diamond who built the business, walked away and enjoyed this benefit that's used as a selling point for Amway?

What many people, including IBOs don't know is that you can never go inactive in Amway. Amway, as far as I know, will only pay bonuses on an active business, thus if you ever walk away, someone will have to run your business. You will also need to move a certain amount of volume in order to qualify for some of these bonuses, and you will have to hope that none of your downline ever quits or stop ordering products, or else your bonuses will dwindle down to little or nothing very quickly. For the higher up diamonds, if you stop, not only will your Amway business fall apart, but you will not receive tool money because you aren't participating. Thus diamonds work until they are physically incapable or until they pass away. That is not freedom.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nothing Changes In Amway?

If I'm not mistaken, Amway was booming in the mid 90's. Their sales had hit a new high of around 7 billion at that time. Recruitment was up and there seemed to be new diamonds and emeralds popping up all over the US. I joined the Amway business around 1997-1998 and the wave was still going. I later quit, discovered the lies and fraud that was used to entice me to join and eventually became an advocate for the truth about the AMOs (AMO = Amway Motivational Organization such as WWDB, BWW, etc) and some of the AMO leaders.

One of the things used by Amway defenders is that the experience of people who are critical of Amway are invalid because the experience may be dated, or because some people who are critical of Amway have never actually been IBOs. I don't buy that argument because you can be quite knowledgeable about certain things without having done them. I know that I would not put my hand on a hot stove because my hand would get burned. Even if I have never burned my hand on a stove before, I know this. Or if I burned my hand on a stove 15 years ago, would my experience be different if I put my hand on a hot stove now? Unlikely. I also know that jumping off a 10 story building would not be good for my health, although I haven't done it myself.

Yes, the Amway business has undergone some changes over the years. Most groups do not use the call in and pickup method of product movement anymore, although my understanding is that some groups still do this for standing orders and other tools. There is accreditation process for the tools which may have helped, but even with this, there is evidence of unethical practices going on, just that these issues are going on on small meetings rather than recorded functions. Many groups still focus on recruiting new IBOs and not on selling products for a profit. Many groups still focus on selling their downline tools and not ensuring profitability for new IBOs.

My former group, WWDB, apparently still has many of the leaders who were present when I was an IBO. There have been very few new diamonds in the last 15 years or so, relative to the number of IBOs that have come and gone. The lies and deception by the upline leaders were never accounted for. They have been exposed as basically frauds. Leaders who taught "pay by cash only" are found to have debts they cannot pay. leaders who swore that Amway saved marriages are getting divorced. Those who swore that tools were the key to success have little or no success to show for all the tools they sold. There is little "fruit on the tree", which was a common phrase back in my IBO day. The tree is close to barren.

What has changed in the Amway business in the last 15 to 20 years other than a name change to Quixtar and then back to Amway? Not much when you look at the big picture. The masses are still losing money today.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Amway Or A Job?

I recall many meetings and functions where the diamonds talked about how your job was making you "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss". They tried to put down jobs, as if working a job were some kind of cruel punishment for the masses. In reality, IBOs could not feed their families, pay their bills and they could not make the diamonds rich without their jobs. I remember seeing videos of people shooting their alarm clocks or a limousine pulling up to someone's place of employment and whisking off someone who recently went diamond or reaching some other pin level.

I suppose that for someone young, who may be in their 20's or 30's, the prospect of working another 30 years seems like a daunting task, thus a "shortcut" such as working 2-5 years sounds like a good alternative. It makes sense, until you actually start trying to build the business and find the name reputation and products difficult to sell. At some point, your investment into standing orders and functions starts to add up. You start to wonder if you made a mistake in trying to find a shortcut to financial freedom. You start to wonder if financial freedom even exists in the Ama-world. Why are the diamonds still working? Why don't any of them "walk away" and collect residual income for life while walking on the beaches of the world?

Luckily, you did not quit your job. While your current job may not equip you with financial freedom, you are likely able to pay your bills and put food on your dinner table. That is more than most people can say about the income they receive from Amway. I used to wonder how much money these diamonds actually make. While they may earn a nice income (if they are actually qualified), a diamond lifestyle can render them even more broke and in debt than the people they recruit into Amway. I believe many diamonds are living month to month, worrying about their finances because they portray a lifestyle that cannot be sustained on the kinds of incomes that Amway reports (i.e. $147,000 average diamond income). A recent triple diamond in bankrupt proceedings revealed that while they earn a nice income, they may not be able to sustain an excessive lifestyle, and certainly not without making a significant income from selling functions and other tools to downline.

Rather than getting excited about seeing a Mercedes Benz, ask your diamond how much they earn from Amway. Ask them why there aren't any diamonds taking advantage of residual income for life, thus walking away from the Amway business? While working a job and saving money may not sound that attractive, it is still a much better alternative than working a job while channeling your income into standing orders, voicemail and functions that do nothing except make your bank account lighter. Financial security and long term sustainability takes hard work and discipline. Many who promote Amway trick prospects into thinking that Amway is a shortcut to get rich. It isn't, save for the owners of Amway and a few old time Diamonds who control the systems. The facts are there, you just need top recognize them.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Making Money In Amway?

A recent comment left on my blog asks the question - how does someone actually make money in Amway? It's a great question and one that deserves to be addressed since it seems that so few people actually make any real money in Amway. The Amway corporation reports that the average IBO earns $115 a month. That $115 a month is after disregarding IBOs who "do nothing" and that also includes Amway diamonds. If you have ever been involved in Amway, then you know as a new IBO, you are likely to earn about $10 a month if you are in the lowest PV bracket (100 PV).

One of the things that Amway leaders like to talk about is how Amway returns about 33% of their income to the IBOs in forms of rebates or bonuses. In North America, that turns out to be over 300 million. Sounds like a great deal right? What they don't mention is that for the vast majority of new IBOs, the compensation plan is very unfair, with new IBOs basically getting peanuts while layers of uplines take the lion's share of that bonus. The only way an IBO can move up the bonus bracket is to find downline who will then sit in the unfair positions so you can get a bigger piece of the action.

But it still begs the question. How do you make the serious money in Amway? Apparently, the real money is made by acting wealthy, and showing off wealth, even if you don't have it. By showing off untold luxuries and lifestyles that most people only dream of, you can then get unsuspecting prospects interested and sell them materials such as cds/audios or seminar tickets and convince these nice people that these materials contain the secrets to obtaining the same wealth that you have attained. Even if more than 99% of the participants never make a profit, you simply blame them for not working hard enough or by claiming that they didn't follow your system exactly how you prescribed. Then when someone actually breaks through, you tout them as a shining example of success, just as lottery promoters show the winners but not the harsh reality of the masses. Now Amway is not a game of chance, but certainly, the final outcome is eerily similar to that of a lottery. A few winners and masses of losers.

Even when your faithful followers start to realize that your system is not really working, you can keep them hanging on and purchasing more training materials by convincing them that quitting means they cannot succeed in life, or that quitting means you are doomed to poverty for the rest of your life, or that quitting means you are a broke loser.

So to summarize, you can make a lot of money in the Amway opportunity by pretending to be rich and then selling training materials to unsuspecting IBOs who think they can attain the same level of success as the tenured diamonds. Sadly, that apparently is how many diamonds and above make their "real money".

Friday, November 2, 2018

Some Random Observations About Amway?

Observation #1: In general, IBOs are less successful in life than others. That is why they are more open to the business and why they can be convinced that there is a shortcut to retirement and perpetual wealth. When I was an IBO, I was not where I wanted to be financially, as I was younger and at the earlier stages of my career. I would not be open to “options” right now, however, many people looking for more in life or a shortcut to retirement may be more susceptible to looking at options. It's just that the Amway opportunity, in my opinion, ir a poor option.

Observation #2: The biggest zealots/supporters appear to have the smallest businesses. They talk the talk - but no evidence of walk the walk. Also, any discussion about their personal success with the business is limited and shrouded in secrecy or they will make vague references about their level of success. They will say that their incomes are not relevant to the discussion or will point out a copy of someone's check or show a picture of a diamond's mansion, but will never disclose real financials like a REAL business owner would.

Observation #3: The business has a bad reputation and cannot be marketed to the general public without some degree of deception. It’s why there are so many testimonials of people tricked into attending meetings (including myself). Being straight forward with information will likely get you a resounding “No thanks”.

Observation #4: It would appear that much upline teaching is not focused on actually running a profitable business, but dedication to the system. It’s why so many IBOs don’t seem to know what a profit loss statement is, and don’t bother keeping one themselves. It’s also why the content of many BSMs is to purchase more BSMs. At functions, they will tell you to attend more functions and buy more standing orders, and on standing orders, they will tell you to never quit and to attend more functions.

Observation #5: IBOs in general don’t seem to have planned out their retirement. They are convinced that the Amway opportunity will provide for them when they reach their retirement years. They put down people who are working jobs and investing for their futures. They feel that purchasing function tickets is their investment for retirement. While a fraction of 1% might make some significant money in Quixtar, the vast majority do not. The fact that the majority may not have put forth a Herculean effort is irrelevant in my opinion. The bottom line is that the vast majority will not make an income from this opportunity. To ignore this fact is burying your head in the sand.

***Here is a link to a new Amway blogger. I checked it out and enjoyed the articles:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Amway Creates Debt, Not Wealth?

One of the things I noticed is that many IBOs who support the Amway opportunity seem to be in debt. I know that being in debt is one of the reasons these prospects are drawn to the oppportunity, because they believe that they will earn so much cash that their debts will go away. I remember seeing a presentation where the speaker touched on how people were in debt with credit cards maxed out. Thus this business is for you because you can earn enough to pay off those credit card bills or maybe go diamond and pay cash for everything.

In my informed opinion, the speakers who promote Amway in this manner are unethical at best, because they will teach IBOs to live below their means, cut expenses, and reduce debt, only to turn around and have the IBOs spend their cash on tools. It's not really debt reduction, but simply redirecting an IBO's purchases towards things that benefits the upline. It is why I often wondered why a speaker would say it was okay to go in more debt, only to invest in their Amway business. I mean, debt is debt and if IBOs are to reduce their debts, they should also be cutting their Amway expenses and focus on selling products, which can result in immediate cash.

I also believe many diamonds to be hypocrites. I heard many of them speak about how diamonds pay cash for everything, including their homes. I find it quite humorous and very hypocritical of some of these speakers who were exposed as having their homes foreclosed. One of these speakers, Greg Duncan, a prominent triple diamond, apparently had filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy some years ago because he could not service his debts. This was public record in the State of Montana.

I also believe that many diamonds may be drowning in debt, more so than the downline that they teach. Why do I believe this? Because they portray lifestyles that are not sustainable on the incomes they have. Sure a diamond may have a $250,000 income consisting of Amway payments and tools. But if anyone does the math and considers taxes and business expenses, these magical diamonds suddenly don't have much cash left over to be able to purchase mansions and sports cars. So how do they obtain these trappings? I believe many diamonds might be financing their cars and homes, and may actually be in heavy consumer debt while trying to portray a diamond lifestyle.

Amway pundits may argue that hey, at least these folks don't have to answer to a boss and wake up early to go to a job. While that may be true, most job people don't have to stay up until 3:00 in the morning showing plans and having nite meetings to motivate their downline. Furthermore, a diamond must have to live in fear that a scandal could tear apart their group or that a disagreement with an upline could get you cut from tools profits.

To summarize, I don't believe diamonds are that different than the rank and file IBOs. They get divorced, they have debts. They may have bigger incomes, but that is all relative. A man with a $50,000 a year salary could live comfortably and debt free while someone who earns $250,000 can be drowning in debt because they live beyond their means while the $50K man lives below his means. The evidence is there, diamonds live excessively and many flaunt wealth. In the book, the millionaire next door, Stanley and Danko say that people who flaunt wealth, often are not wealthy. Are you as an IBO, drowning in debt? Maybe you are simply following the example of your upline diamond? Maybe?