Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Fruit On The Tree?

When I was an IBO, I often heard that phrase "look at the fruit on the tree". I came from the LOS WWDB, or Worldwide Dream Builders, or Worldwide Group. Back in the 1990's, Amway and WWDB were doing quite well. Amway was expanding into foreign countries and it seemed as if Amway and WWDB had gained a great deal of momentum. I recall hearing the term "look at the fruit on the tree" and it was somewhat true. There were new diamonds emerging in Amway WWDB and Amway had experienced worldwide growth.

Then Amway turned into Quixtar and it was comical to see Amway IBOs denying that Quixtar = Amway. The terms "Ecommerce" and "private franchising" became common but it didn't fool many people. This was a time when Amway folks were very active in defending Amway and Amway related blogs and forums were all over the Internet.

But let's look at the "fruit on the tree". Where are all the new diamonds? Sure there were 1 or 2 new diamond couples in the US since the 1990s', but what other fruit is on that tree? Brad Wolgamott, who said "WWDB saves marriages", got divorced, and Greg Duncan declared chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. David Shores had a home foreclosed around 2009 or 2010. Jim and Betty Jean Brooks got divorced, Ron Puryear passed way (condolences to his family) but Ron, a crown ambassador worked until he passed. Where's the freedom?

Sure, a diamond may not have a tough life working but you still need to be somewhere at a particular time to earn money. That's not much different from a job. Where is even a single person or couple who built it once and built it right, and walked away to enjoy "financial freedom" amd lifelong "residual income" from Amway? Why can't anyone for all my blogging years, show clear evidence of a diamond or emerald who built it once and built it right, who walked away from Amway and is living in luxury while collecting just collecting bonus checks in the mail?

Maybe there is no fruit on he Amway/WWDB tree and there is no residual income? If that were a true possibility, why has nobody opted for that? The answer is clear. There is no true residual income from Amway due to the high attrition rate and there is littl to no fruit on the WWDB tree. The tree is bare and barely surviving.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Real Amway Pitch?

Many people have experienced some kind of pitch by an Amway IBO. My first Amway pitch was an invitation to a beer bust while I was in college. I arrived to the meeting expecting beer and pizza only to see people in suits giving a presentation. THey spoke about how you could generate income by eliminating the middle man from product distribution. Creating efficiencies was a way to generate money and Amway was it. On the surface, it can seem as if everything the speaker said made sense, although real life practice doesn't bear it out.

Sell and use consumables. Consumables need to be re-purchased so obviously it is a good way to run a small business. What wasn't discussed was the higher prices of the products. What manny people do not see is that Amway's generous bonuses have to be built into the price of the products. For this reason, Amway cannot compete with big retailers who don't have to add sales people bonuses into their prices.

But if you look beyond all of this and still think Amway is a good opportunity, then the real Amway pitch comes in. People get excited about working part time, 2-5 years to earn will able and residual income which will allow someone to retire early and leave a legacy to future generations. This is the point where the Amway presenter makes the pitch about people needing training.

You need tools. After all, a carpenter can't build a house without tools right? So many people who think Amway will make them rich, start to invest in their "tools". Sure, the Amway functions and some other materials can make you feel good or motivated, but in the end, the tools are supposed to help you generate sales and to increase your business revenue. What goes unnoticed in many cases is that the Amway tools are the reason for an IBO's net losses. The upline will justify this by telling stories about how success is right around the corner or that you should never quit and you will eventually make it.

All of this rhetoric from Upline is nice, but people who don't quit have no assurance of making it. Look at the fruit on the tree.
My former LOS, WWDB, has fewer diamonds now than when I was an IBO 20 years ago. My former sponsor is still active in Amway after 25 years and he's not even a platinum. You don't see many new diamonds except for in foreign countries. To me, this is evidence that Amway is saturated and there is little chance of future success. This is why there are mostly tired old diamonds working until they pass away. If the diamonds were so "awesome", why aren't all of their kids and close friends also in diamond club?

The answer is that the Amway pitch can sound good, but it doesn't work. From 2013 to now, Amway revenues are down abot 25%. From a peak of 11.8 billion in 2013 to 8.6 billion in 2017. I believe Amway is a sinking ship. Beware of the Amway pitch,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Amway Still Sucks?

Sorry gang, I was enjoying life in fabulous Las Vegas for the last week. I got to enjoy great food and great company. I also got to visit IKEA, the Grand Canyon and Hoover dam. It is amazing how the people of Ls Vegas have rallied around the Las Vegas Knights hockey team. The New York hotel had a Knights uniform draped around the Statue of Liberty. Weather was pretty nice and I came home with more money than I went up to Vegas with, thanks to a bit of luck. I had an amazing Cuban sandwich and some other Cunard delights. While Las Vegas is not anywhere near my dream vacation, it was a fun vacation. Next year my life will be filled with travel scheduled which may require me to ignore this blog for a bit.

But as I return and get re-acclimated to life, I realize that Amway still sucks. Nothing changes. Despite the fact that Amway IBOs insist that things are better and different than before, and that Amway is different, my observation is that not much has changed at all. The "plan" is still the same and people are still trying to hide the Amway name by trying to pretend that Amway is something that it isn't. Does anyone remember when Amway was "Quixtar"? The IBOs insisted that Amway and Quixtar were very different to which I asked why "Quixtar" sold Amway products and Quixtar IOS received bonuses from Amway corporation.

I then realized that Amway sucks. They sucked then and not much has changed, therefore you could say that Amway still sucks. People still lose money in hoards and a few "diamonds" get to parade around while showing off weath as they convince prospects to join and trust them. All the while these diamonds are basically peddling their tools and business support materials to hopeful prospects who want to get rich in a short time span. (2-5 years). The multitudes of hopeful prospects spend their hard earned dollars in the hopes that they will also strike gold and "make it". Sadly, they eventually realize the scam, snap out of their Amway induced trance and quit.

Even more sadly, some people like my former sponsor get hooked so badly that they stay involved for 20 years or more, chasing the end of a rainbow that they will never attain. My former idolized our diamond and he did anything an everything to please him. Alas, my former diamond moved away from Hawaii and my former sponsor is still chasing the dream with fewer contacts with the diamond. All I can emphasize is that Amway used to suck and they still suck. Nobody has yet proven me wrong.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Money For Nothing?

In my opinion, Amway is a product pyramid scheme. They have not been found to be illegal, but still a product pyramid. The reason why they remain legal, apparently is because they do not pay anyone for direct;y recruiting downline and they claim to sell products to actual customers. But most everyone has been, or knows someone who was recruited by a zealous Amway IBO. The emphasis of most active IBOs is on recruiting and much of the teaching by upline is on techniques to recruit and/or how to talk to people without tipping their hat to reveal the Amway name. Most IBOs are not very good at this and they stick out like sore thumbs in many cases. It's also comical when uplines teach crazy antics, like how some IBOs use to deny that Amway and Quixtar were even remotely connected, or if anyone remembers the "perfect water" fiasco a number of years back.

One of the reasons IBOs use to justify their involvement in the product pyramid is that they can earn more than their sponsor. While that is true, it is only because everyone below the emerald or diamond level is basically expendable, or a slave in the pyramid. There are many many IBOs who achieve fairly high levels who quit, or had upline wreck their businesses. Thus even platinums are expendable to upline. In fact an upline might make more money by removing the platinum. For new IBOs or recruits, do you really believe that you are going to ever surpass your current upline diamond or higher? If you believe that, you are sadly mistaken.

And for those who dream of achieving diamond and walking the beaches of the world. How do you think you can ever achieve that? You don't get something for nothing unless someone gets nothing for something. In order for you to receive income for little or no efforts, your downline IBOs must keep purchasing products and replacing IBOs who quit. If your downlines cannot keep up with the attrition rate, your business will collapse in a hurry. Come to think of it, if a diamond can walk away and collect a large income forever, why hasn't anyone done it? I mean we still see crown ambassadors still busy working functions and I don't know of any who walked away to spend their lives jet setting on the beaches of the world.

The sad reality is that you see new faces at meetings and functions, just as often as you see familiar faces disappear. With that kind of attrition rate, you may have to work even harder at the higher levels just to keep your business status quo. In Egypt, the slaves built the pyramids. Do you have enough slaves? What many Egyptologists find amazing is how the Egyptians were able to motivate the slaves to keep on going, doing backbreaking work all of their lives. The same can be said of a diamond level business (or higher)

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Your Best Interest?

The really insidious part about some of the Amway LOS leaders, such as the ones I had in WWDB, is that they apparently are cutthroat businessmen with nice suits and nice smiles. They are disguised as your mentors and friends. They get you to trust them, and they will tell you that they have your best interest at heart, or that they would never purposely lead you astray. On the surface, you may think this is true, but look at their actions and you can easily discern that some of these uplines are absolutely ruthless businessmen who would take every cent from you if they could. I was in WWDB and I have good reasons to believe that they are still doing this, based on a WWDB IBO blog and some other bitt of information I am privy to. On this blog, I see all the same teachings today, that I heard as an IBO and some of the same claims such as buying homes in cash. It's scary.

As an IBO, the diamonds would tell you to never miss a function, ever. The only good reason for missing a function was for your own funeral. I recall some crossline IBOs rearranging pre-planned anniverssary parties, weddings, and other special family events in the name of being core and attending all functions. Some IBOs actually did quit their jobs to attend functions and they very well may have done so because some uplines taught this. I know of an IBO who did just that. He quit his job to attend a major function and got into all kinds of financial problems when they got back to real life. IBOs were also encouraged and told to go into debt to attend a function. This was okay because it was an "investment into your business". This is scary advice and why I maintain this blog.

Our group was also strongly encouraged to buy 5-7 extra cds (tapes) every week (or more). To be core, you needed to listen to a cd (tape) each day and you cannot listen to the same one each day right? Couples were told to buy their own separate standing orders. Brad Duncen even had a true north tape (cd) that said sponsors were to eat the standing orders for downlines who quit because it was too much trouble to call upline who calls upline who calls upline to cancel a standing order. Oddly enough, they didn't mind upline calling upline calling upline to add a standing order.

In the end, I was lucky enough to have been progressing up the pin ranks so my losses were not that devastating. I ended up losing in my early months of the business but mostly broke even when I was at 4000 PV. Sadly though, my crossline did not fare so well. I know of one couple who declared bankruptcy. I don't know how much their WWDB involvement contributed to bankruptcy, but I am certain it was a major factor and I know of two couples who had homes foreclosed, and I believe that their allegiance to WWDB was a factor in those foreclosures. But I guess hey, two WWDB diamonds had homes foreclosed so maybe they were duplicating?

Do not be fooled. The diamonds may have a nice smile and a nice suit, but they are ruthless businessmen who will take your last dime if you allow them to.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Real Business?

I have been reading some ongoing debates about whether the system income for higher pins is more than their Amway bonuses. I believe the systems such as BWW, WWDB, N21 or LTD, does generate more profit for upline than the sale of Amway products. How the system income is divided though, is still a mystery as it doesn't appear that there are bonafide written contracts explaining how tools income is split up among the higher pins. There is also the debate of whether diamonds themselves or their "corporations" receive the profit, which is laughable as a defense.

But it's very easy to determine that more income is made from the system than from Amway. If you move $100 worth of Amway products, Amway will pay about $33 back in the form of bonuses. These bonuses will be split among the Amway IBOs (middlemen), depending on your level. On the other hand, if your group bought say 20 cds at $5.00each, the system will profit about $90 as cds cost about 50 cents each to produce in bulk. Some Amway apologists will cite the fact that some groups sell cds for $2.50 or $3.00. While this is true, there is a "member's fee" which must be paid. And when you add in the member's fee, the profit for the system is the same or possibly higher! Even when you factor in the system employees, you can easily see the math and determine where the real money is made.

If you buy a major function ticket for $125, the cost of that function might be in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 per attendee, so the system may generate $100 profit on a $125 sale. I believe the smaller functions such as open meetings, books and voicemail have smaller profit margins, but still overall, it's easy to conclude that the profit from the system is greater than profits generated by moving Amway products. I might add that the sales on these functions are often made in cash, thus who knows if the diamonds are even paying the IRS taxes on these sales.

The only question is how much each individual earns. I have "heard" that platinums get a discount on the sale of standing orders and cds, but I have never heard of a platinum sharing any profit for functions, voicemail, or any of the other materials. This is puzzling to me as I believe the platinums do the most work in the system, helping downlines.

So for the lower level IBOs, if you move $300 in Amway sales (Approximately 100 PV), you will receive about $10 or 3% while upline enjoys the rest of the $90+ in bonuses from Amway. And then when you purchase and move tools volume, you receive nothing and some of your uplines enjoy all of the profit. While I don't see any problem in upline making a profit for selling training materials, I see a problem in the fact that the tools don't work. So few IBOs progress to levels where an actual profit is earned that the use of tools cannot be justified. Amway supporters will point out the new platinums emerging each year, but do not mention the platinums who do not re-qualify.

Based on my observations, I can only conclude (quite easily) that there is substantially more profit from the sale of support materials for upline to enjoy, and I can also conclude that the support materials are ineffective in training downline IBOs so they can progress to higher levels of the business. But as PT Barnum once said, a sucker is born every minute.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Truth About Amway Is Negative?

One of the silly things many Amway IBOs are taught is to avoid negative. I believe this is taught today by uplines and it was certainly a point of emphasis even in my days as an IBO. The upline diamond would say that the world of full of negatives and that we as people take in too much of these negatives. Therefore, the IBOs were told to avoid television, newspapers and other forms of communication with the outside world. The group was also told to avoid people who speak negatively about Amway. For this reason, many people have considered Amway groups such as WWDB or N21 as cultish or cult-like. (information deprevation or information control). It's ridiculous to be apathetic about current events and important local news because you deem it as "negative". If you live in the Midwest, you certainly need to know if a tornado is heading your way. Or if you live in Hawaii like me, you need to know if a hurricane is heading your way. To avoid news because you see it as "negative" is stupid and ignorant.

I can agree that you surely don't want to only take in negatives as it can wear you down, but not seeing the news or reading about current events in the paper simply makes you apathetic and uninformed. For example, wouldn't you want and need to know if there was an escaped criminal roaming your neighborhood? Avoiding news could be very detrimental to your family and home. Do you avoid the doctor because his assessment of your health might not be "positive"? For these reasons, I believe that many Amwayers walk around wearing a mask with a false smile, trying to overly positive. But this behavior is detrimental to IBOs, not helpful.

Another important thing that many IBOs cannot distinguish is the difference between negative and the truth. If your wife asks you if her new dress makes her look fat, the truth might be that the new dress indeed makes her appear fat. That answer may be uncomfortable for you to deliver, but the truth is the truth. The truth at times can be positive or negative but it is still the truth. IBOs seem to be unable to make this distinction.

Most IBOs earn less than $100 a month. That is the truth. Most IBOs lose money if they participate in functions and standing orders and such. That is the truth. Most IBOs will never even sponsor a downline. That is the truth. Most IBOs, filled with motivation and dreams, will never see those dreams fulfilled. That is the truth. Many upline diamonds, who advise IBOs to purchase tools and attend functions, and fill the IBO's heads full of dreams, make significant incomes from the sale of tools and functions. That is also the truth. In a 1 year timespan, approximately 50% of all IBOs will quit. That is the truth. You can't build a business with residual income where 50% of people constantly quit. That is also the truth.

Is it negative to tell the truth? Or can IBOs not handle the truth?