Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ineffective Amway Training?

After years of studying Amway and blogging, I've noticed some things 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". These same leaders may encourage you to disregard facts and just follow them. Blind loyalty like that can end up costing you a lot of money.

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. The training might motivate you with the "rah rah" tactics, but in the big picture, are ineffective in generating more sales and getting IBOs to sponsor more people. If Amway tool and training worked, Amway sales would far greater than the approximate 8.3 billion they did last year, which is down more than 25% since 2013.

Also, "buy from yourself:, a fairly common practice, is a bad idea. 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. Also, for this reason, IBOs are always recruiting because they need downline to try to generate more sales volume. But because sponsoring people into Amway is nearly impossible, most people wind up recruiting but never sponsoring a single downline.

Sponsor others. So you are struggling as an IBO. But the key to success is to try to open other stores by sponsoring downline. As a famous Amway apologist likes to claim, you do not get paid (directly) for sponsoring others. So why is this the emphasis for so many IBOs? Why would you think that opening more (Amway) stores will make you successful when you are running a failing Amway store yourself?? Yes, it is a way to possibly generate more volume, but your "success" will only come by having a bunch of struggling businesses sponsored by 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 inviting someone to see the plan.

Folks, a business needs 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 unless your job income continues to fund your Amway business. But I'm assuming you don't work a job just to keep your Amway distributorship going. Bottom line, if your Amway business can't support itself through sales, why are you still running it?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Are You "Buying From Yourself"?

One of the biggest shams taught by some upline is the nearly exclusive "buy from yourself" philosophy. I'm not saying that supporting your business is a bad idea, but are you really supporting your own business? If your upline teaches this, you are being mislead and I will explain why.

When you think you are buying from yourself, you are really buying from Amway. Amway makes the profit from the sales. If you buy enough, they toss you a small rebate. Basically, you spend about $300 and get a rebate of $10. An IBO is in reality, a distributor or a middleman. Also, if you are a new IBO at the 100 PV level, you will receive 3% in the form of a bonus while your uplines and sponsor will split up approximately 29% to 30% in bonuses off your efforts, thus you get about $10 while your uplines will enjoy a share of about $90. Also, your upline might say that the "profit" you make from buying from yourself is the same as if you shopped at Costco. But wait a minute, if you shop at Costco, you get to keep the savings. If you earn a profit in Amway, you'll likely be expected to use that profit to spend on tools and functions.

Think of it this way. If your spouse was in the business of making and selling cookies, would you make money by eating all of the cookies? Even if you received a small rebate for cookie making materials, you would not profit by eating all the cookies yourself. You would have to sell the cookies to customers to have cash in your pockets. I truly do not understand how IBOs get duped into thinking they can be successful and earn money buy purchasing and consuming Amway products without selling much. Amway's own numbers suggest that IBOs do not sell much, except to their own downline and to themselves.

And upline who sell tools that teach this method are more than likely selling you a flawed system that nearly guarantees you will lose money. A rare few IBOs will emerge now and then who can overcome overwhelming odds and barriers and reach higher levels in the business, but I would have to say that more than 99%+ of IBOs who sign up will never even get close to emerald or diamond. Sadly, the buy from yourself system will only profit the higher level distributors, as well as your purchase of tools, which rewards upline for teaching a flawed system.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Personal Responsibility?

One of the disturbing things I have noticed 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. Why should IBOs trust in their upline and then be held accountable for failure even if they did everything they were asked to do?

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 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. But many IBOs who put forth real effort should see success if they do as they are advised. But still, this doesn't seem to be the case when you analyze Amway in depth.

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 at best. . Factor in that time spent by husband and wife and these folks are breaking even or making a fraction of minumum wage or even taking losses, depending on your level of commitment.. Is this the dream that will allow you to buy mansions with a cash payment? A couple working for break even money is wasting their time. Their kids lose valuable time with parents and the net result is negligible. How many people will actually look back at their time in Amway and say the time was well spent?

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 or more likely 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 power ball lottery. I've heard of more big lottery winners than new diamonds emerging in Amway North America.

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

JoeCool Published On Forbes

One thing I recall one of our upline diamonds saying was that Forbes had credibility because they had published something that was somewhat positive about Amway, although this was back in the 1990's. This article is a re-print but one that I believe is very relevant and worthwhile because it's about taxes (and we are in tax season) and because the article in Forbes directly quotes an article written by yours truly. I have provided a link and the quoted portion of my blog article:


The article was written by Peter Reilly who quoted my article. It's about how the tax courts basically hose Amway IBOs who try to use functions and other excessive tools as tax write off, which are promoted by some upline. Mr. Reilly states that the tax courts seems to align with what critics (such as JoeCool) says:

""Tax Court Seems To Align With The Critics

What I found most intriguing about this decision, is that way that it mirrors critiques of the Amway experience, which seem to have their own section of the blogosphere. For example Joecool of Amway - The Dream Or The Scheme? recently wrote in a post called Amway Success?""

Submission to upline was one of the things we were told. Our group was told that upline would never purposely lead us astray so we should trust them and never try anything without checking upline.

Our group was taught to reduce debt, but ironically, upline said it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to attend a function or to buy more cds.

Anytime we asked about how much income uplines may have been earning, we were either told it's none of our business or shown a photocopy of a 10 year old bonus check that someone upline may have received. Our proof that the business worked was upline showing off pictures of sports cars and mansions.

Losing money is success. Many times, our group was told that losing money was a sign of success. It was success because we were investing in our futures. That the business really is not about money but about friendships. I suppose upline taught this because everyone was losing money so it was nice to hear that success was around the corner, and that we were all nicer people and on our way to success if we just attended more functions and bought more standing orders.

JoeCool is on Forbes. I guess that makes me legit!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Amway Diamonds Are Free?

When I was an Amway IBO, I often saw my upline diamond driving around town dressed in a business suit. I used to think why does he keep working if he can walk away and collect residual income? My sponsor told me that the diamond only works because he cares about his downline and wants to help them. So there are two possible scenarios, the diamond is working to help his downline out of a genuine concern, or possibly he is working because he has to! The only difference now is that the diamond works the night and/or graveyard shift, because many IBOs are building the business after they complete their day jobs. **We should also note that my former upline diamond dropped down to the emerald level around 2005 and has since re-established his diamond level. And this diamond moved from Hawaii to Washington State (Due to a lower cost of living???)

Now Amway once stated that the average diamond (non founders)earns about $150,000 a year. That is a decent income, but after taxes and paying for basic expenses such as medical and dental insurance, the average diamond probably lives a very middle class lifestyle. Keep in mind that a large portion of a diamond's income comes in the form of an annual bonus, thus a diamond's monthly income may be quite small. Yes, diamonds may have other sources of income such as speaking engagements and income from standing orders and functions. But income from speaking engagements and other functions depends on the diamond's continued appearances and efforts.

So is it likely that a diamond is "free"? I can only conclude that a diamond is not free, and may actually have to spend more time maintaining his group than if the diamond simply had a 9-5 job. (You could argue that a diamond's duties are preferable to a 9-5 job I suppose) For one thing, a diamond needs to maintain a personal group to keep qualifying for bonuses. With a poor retention rate in Amway, I am fairly sure that a diamond spends much time recruiting personally sponsored IBOs to maintain this group. Additionally, a diamond must help his six or more groups of downline platinums to maintain their businesses or face the possibility of falling out of qualification. My former diamond dropped down to the emerald level but apparently later re-qualified at diamond. A diamond must also dedicate time to reward up and coming movers and shakers, to keep them motivated. I got to spend time with my upline diamond when I was considered a promising up and coming pin. All of this takes up valuable time and diamonds can get spread pretty thin at times.

In order to continue to receive tools income, a diamond must also travel to numerous functions and speaking engagements. Although the tools income allegedly doubles a diamond's income, it also adds a lot of expenses, especially if the diamond and his family travel first class and/or take fancy vacations to show off the diamond lifestyle.

After breaking down projected income and considering projected expenses, I can only conclude that a diamond probably lives a middle class lifestyle, and probably works as much as a man with a 9-5 job, except that a diamond works nights and weekends. A good portrait of this is shown in Ruth Carter's book (Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind The Smoke and Mirrors). In the book, the diamond had a net income of over $300,000, but lived in debt, could barely pay his mortgage, and was always on the run from one function to the next. A high income means nothing if you live beyond your means.

I believe that diamonds may actually be busier at the diamond level than an average Joe who has a 9-5 J-O-B. The difference is that the diamond works the night shift. Is this the freedom you are seeking?

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Ineffective Amway Tool System?

In the Amway business, most active IBOs are advised to trust upline. To think of upline as a coach or a mentor. These upline mentors or coaches are supposed to have your best interest at heart and they will guide you to success if only you will be open to learning. Many uplines, including my former uplines used to coin the term "copy" or duplicate. If you can do that you will be successful. Even the simplest of people can copy. The upline may crack a joke about getting thru school by copying. Thus, many IBOs follow exactly what their upline advises them to do.

But then uplines turn the responsibility away from themselves. Many Amway defenders will also claim that downline should not simply follow the advice of upline. They may make a ridiculous claim that standing orders and functions contain advice that must be discerned. That information is like a buffet. You pick and choose what you need and discard the rest. If you are a new IBO or prospect, let me tell you that is a load of guano (crap) that is being heaped on you. Your upline is touted as having experience and wisdom in the Amway business, which is why you are paying good money for voicemail, books, cds, and functions. So why would their advice be something you pick and choose? How would a new IBO know what to pick and choose?

Imagine hiring a guide for a trek in the wilderness. The guide is supposed to be an experienced outdoorsman, perhaps an expert. So if he recommends that you eat certain plants or fruits, you trust that he is going to guide you right. Imagine eating something that made you sick to your stomach, only to have the guide tell you that he just points out plants and fruits and you have to discern which is good for you and which is not. You would fire the guide and tell everyone you know not to use that guide anymore.

But here we have these "systems" such as Network 21, WWDB or BWW that have been "guiding" IBOs for up to 20 years or more in some cases, and the number of diamonds are negligible. Sure there are many new platinums, but many tool consuming platinums have been found to be losing money or making very little money for their efforts. What's more, it would appear that Amway is losing ground in North America based on sales. One can reasonably guess that any new platinums that break are simply replacing the volume for a platinum that no longer exists or a platinum that no longer qualifies. My former upline diamond appears to have all new qualifying platinums from the time I was in the business and here's the kicker. My former diamond had 6 downline rubies. As far as I know, none of these rubies are qualified as platinum anymore, although I have heard that some of these are still active.

Uplines also program their downline to take responsibility for the failure. Thus you have IBOs who did everything that was asked of them, only to fail. Yet these IBOs often blame themselves for their failure. It is my opinion that former IBOs who did everything asked of them only to fail should file a formal complaint against their LOS with the better business bureau. Amway defenders like to think that a lack of formal complaints means that the system works when clearly, there is no unbiased substantial evidence to suggest that the system works. It looks like some succeed in spite of the system, not because of.

The catch in all this is uplines skirting responsibility for the outcomes of those they "mentor" and profit from. IBOs should ask if upline really cared about their success, why do you have to pay for any help that you receive from your upline diamond?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Things To Do Besides Amway?

One of the humorous things that Amway IBOs often bring up is that someone who sees Amway in a critical eye should bring up viable alternatives. I mean if someone prevents you from falling over a cliff, they should have warned you and given you alternatives right? If I recognized you getting were conned by a conman, I should find viable financial investments for you before warning you of the potential scam you are about to walk into right? It sounds completely ridiculous but Amway IBOs have actually made those comments on this blog and some other Amway related websites.

Well, let's explore a few of these alternatives anyway just for fun. How about you stay home and do nothing? For most IBOs, you would be better off financially than committing your time and resources into Amway's products and their ineffective training materials and functions. If you are really dedicated to tools, sending your upline a check for $50 monthly and not buying Amway goods or related training materials would make you better off. Isn't it ironic that
doing nothing makes you better off than Amway?

A second job where you actually receive a paycheck is a better alternative. While there's no hype and hopes of getting rich in 2-5 years, you can do much for your future by saving a portion of that pay check each month. If you are young, this especially applies to you. But anyone can help their future by saving and investing. Even someone who panhandles is more likely to have more net cash than most Amway IBOs since most Amway IBOs make nothing or lose money.

Sure, some people do make money in Amway and some make a lot of money. The problem is they make money by exploiting their downlines and those hopeful downlines basically have no hope. In other words, you profit by selling false hope and false dreams. Basically, you can gain wealth in Amway by being a conman. Can you live with yourself in order to profit at any cost? What the upline does is extract $100 or a few hundred dollars a month from a lot of people.

I haven't even gone into the amount of time lost chasing prospects and attending functions. Your time might be the most valuable commodity that is lost chasing the 2-5 year dream. Ask yourself this question. Where are these diamonds who did the 2-5 year plan living in luxury and doing nothing? I have asked this over the years numerous times and not a single Amway defender can name someone and provide a shred of evidence that it's true.