Monday, November 20, 2017

Returning Products That Don't Work?

When I was recruited into Amway, one of the catch phrases was that you are now a business owner. It sounds cool to be a business owner, but in reality, it appears that IBOs are simply salesmen for Amway who are afforded no guaranteed wage or any fringe benefits. In fact, many Amway salesmen do Amway a favor and go out recruiting other salesmen for Amway without any compensation. It makes sense though, because to attain levels of significance, you need to have downline. While it is possible (but nearly impossible) to reach platinum and even ruby without downline, any levels higher will require you to have downline.

So as an Amway salesman, you have no minimum sales requirement. That may seem like a good thing but many uplines will impose a defacto 100 PV requirement for "serious" IBOs. If you are planning to sponsor someone, your upline will likely tell you that your donwline will duplicate your efforts, therefore the 100 PV "requirement". 100 PV will cost about $300. While it is possible to sell some products, it would seem that most IBOs simply buy their own goods and do not sell to non IBOs. It's puzzling to me that so many IBOs argue about Amway's superior quality of products, yet so few former IBOs continue to use Amway products at all once they are not IBOs and even those that do, would rarely ever attain 100 PV. So much for that argument.

What many IBOs do not realize is that their upline diamonds are also salesmen. In addition to moving Amway volume, they will be selling you voicemail, standing orders, premiere club, functions, book of the month. All of these materials brings in a higher profit margin than Amway products. Thus it would only make sense that your upline salesmen would want to sell tools more than Amway products because it has more profit. Where this gets shady is when your upline tells you that they have your best interest at heart or that you virtually cannot succeed without these tools. Imagine your reaction if a vacuum cleaner salesman told you that he has your best interest at heart and that you cannot possibly clean your home without his vacuum. In an odd way, that is exactly what is happening when you purchase tools from upline. What's even worse is that the tools rarely ever work out for the IBOs who buy them. What if you bought a vacuum that didn't work? You would return it for a refund. What if the salesman said you can't return it because you used it?

I find it odd that IBOs accept this BS from upline. That you can only return unused tools. You should be able to return a product because it didn't work! Did that standing order actually help you to sponsor new people? Did you sell more products because you attended a function? Whether a tool is used or unused should not matter. You should be able to get a full refund if the tools didn't work. If not, IBOs who cannot return tools should complain to Amway and the better business bureau, and file formal complaints. Many IBOs simply quit and walk away, giving the tool sellers a break. If the tools don't work, you should return them on that basis and demand a refund. I challenge IBOs and former IBOs to do this.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Making Millions In Amway?

I was sponsored into Amway by a good friend back in the 1990's. My friend had gone "direct" at the time so he recruited me by saying that going direct was "easy" and that he could easily show me how to do it. I had been recruited by an Amway IBO before and it was not a good experience where I was lied to in order to get me to "see the plan". I was in college and a friend had invited me to a "beer bust". I attended the meeting wearing a T-shirt and jeans only to arrive to see people wearing suits and ties and I was thinking WTH? My friend who invited me assured me that we would down some beer after the meeting. I was mad even though I stayed for the meeting.

I didn't join and my friend eventually told me that he may not be able to hang out with me in the future because he would be rich and may not have time to hang out anymore. I went home a bit mad and spoke to my friend who I came with. We talked about whether money could be made in Amway and decided that the Amway opportunity was likely saturated so we decided not to join.

Fast forward to the 1990's and a friend of mine has gone "direct". I didn't really know exactly what that was but I knew that the term "direct" meant you accomplished a significant level in Amway. I decided to join and see if my friend could deliver on his promise that he could show me how to go direct. I should have taken it as a red flag when I asked him about his Amway income and he told me it was none of my business. But he smoothed that over by assuring me that we would both be "Millionaires" traveling the world together in the future.

I worked really hard and managed to sponsor 12 frontline legs in about 7-8 months and I was climbing the Amway ladder. I was considered a "mover and shaker" so I got exclusive time with the upline Diamond. I even got to attend special meetings and house "plans" with the diamond.

The ironic part of thei story is that I purchased a home in about the year 2000 and I made the purchase for about $300K. My real estate agent also knows my Amway sponsor and contacted him about purchasing a home on Oahu (Hawaii). My former sponsor told the agent that he would only buy a home in cash (Amway/WWDB teaching). Fast forward to 2017 and my $300K home is worth nearly one million dollars so my home equity alone nearly makes my net worth a million dollars. When you add in my cash savings and investments, I am worth about 1.3 million. Sure, nothing to brag about and it's still not a life of luxury, but my former sponsor from Amway who is a physician is still renting a home and is nowhere close to retiring. I will be retired soon, with enough cash to live comfortably which includes frequent travel other luxuries.

While I may not be a diamond living the "diamond" lifestyle you see at functions on a slide show, I suspect that I'll be better off that some of the diamonds who live "bouts check to bonus check" trying to portray a lifestyle of "keeping up with the Joneses". Diamonds portray an excessive lifestyle of wealth but I suspect that many of them cannot afford the lifestyle they portray. There have been "factoids" that support my claims. The fact that a triple diamond in WWDB declared chapter 7 bankruptcy and another diamond had a home foreclosed (diamonds pay cash for everything?) shows that diamonds may not be as financially free as they claim.

So who's making millions in Amway? IMO, they folks selling CDs, voicemail, functions and books.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Amway Reality?

One of the things that attracts many IBOs to the Amway opportunity is the idea that they can work part time, 2-5 years and gain a "shortcut" to ongoing and voluminous wealth. Many of the prospects don't have the kind of income or resources that they would like, so the possibility of a shortcut to these trappings sounds like a good idea. They sign up and get started, and then the realities of the business sets in.

100 PV, is the defacto minimum quota for business building IBOs. It costs about $300 to purchase 100 PV worth of products. How many young and single people or couples for that matter, use and/or need $300 worth of household products each month? How many of these same people can actually afford to expend that much cash on household products? The pitch is to change where you shop but how many people were buying these kinds of good prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, and I didn't need or use before Amway. But my desire to be teachable and to be an example to my downline kept me buying the goods, and trying to pawn off some stuff on friends and relatives to lessen my PV burden.

I also found that getting people to see the plan was no easy task. While my business was growing, it took more and more effort to recruit downline and I can see where many IBOs would reach the saturation point where there simply aren't anymore viable recruits and they might need to resort to cold contacting in order to generate potential prospects. This is probably why there are stories of IBOs stalking people in bookstores, malls and supermarkets. Even when people saw the plan, there wasn't a high percentage of new people signing up. It is why building and maintaining a business is a nearly impossible task, and it is why I believe there aren't people who retire, walk away from their Amway businesses and enjoy six figure residual incomes for life.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buy and using the products and tools and slowly but surely build up debt. There are countless stories of ex IBOs who got fired up, started building the business and fouond that in a relatively short period of time, found themselves in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt. All the while upline was encouraging them to buy more tools and attend more function, even when they were not profitable. In my opinion, this is confirmation that uplines care more about their tools profits that they do about downline success. I sat in functions where upline would teach about reducing debt, but in the same breath, say it was okay to go deeper in debt if it was to purchase more tools. Self serving advice.

It is why I believe this opportunity, along with the tools system, will nearly guarantee IBO failure. It is sad, but it is also a reality.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What Is Typical In Amway?

Many IBOs join Amway thinking they will go diamond and their lives will be easy after that. No more job, no more boss, and living in the lap of luxury. Afterall, uplines parade themselves on stage showing you slide shows and picture of jets, mansion, sports cars, etc. I suppose they don't aloways tell the audience that the trappings may not actually be owned by them. But still, it draws a great deal of excitement from the audience and the speaker may tell everyone to dream about having the same luxuries - if only you will listen to their advice and follow their system.

Oddly, most IBOs don't do a thing. Many who sign up don't even bother to place an order and most who sign up won't renew their business after one year. But these folks who basically do nothing aren't the victims of deception. These folks who "do nothing" got what they put into the business. It is the IBOs who do put in an effort and purchase what is often promoted as "foolproof" tools that fall victim to the promoters of the system. Many new and ongoing IBOs who are determined to succeed are often told that they "need" the system, that they cannot possibly succeed without tools, just as a carpenter cannot build homes without a hammer and nails. So many IBOs, wanting a better life, will make the investment in the tools, thinking their success is assured with that investment and and some elbow grease tossed in.

Sadly, the system does not work. Of course there are some new diamonds emerging every now and then but they are the exception and not the rule. My former LOS, WWDB seems to be going backwards. I believe there are fewer diamonds today than when I was active some years ago. Furthermore, some WWDB diamonds were embroiled in home foreclosures, bankruptcy, and some actually walked away from WWDB altogether.

There is ZERO, I repeat, ZERO unbiased evidence that any of these system tools help someone to build an Amway business. Showing a new diamond on stage as evidence of system success proves nothing. The diamonds don't show the hundreds of thousands of people who may have made the same effort only to fail. It's like showinng off the winners of the lottery. Sure there are winners but the reality and the typical result will be multitudes of losers contributing their money in order for one big winner to emerge. While the Amway business is not a game of chance, the ultimate outcome and results are just like a lottery.

Amway diamonds and promoters like to show people "what is possible", but they neglect to discuss with prospects "what is likely". If you are researching a business opportunity, you should be wanting to know "what is likely" or what are the typical results. If people only search for best case scenario results and ignore what is likely to happen, they are almost assured of failure. For most IBOs, the typical result is to spend $300 a month on products, many of which you never used before, and another $200 to $300 for training that doesn't work. That is typical and likely for many IBOs who work the business. Their return on their investment of time and money is about $10 in monthly income. Sure, there are some diamonds who earn over $100,000 a year from Amway, but that experience is unusual, not the likely result of joining the Amway business.

Someone researching a franchise opportunity such as McDonald's for example, will want to know what the average owner/operator earns. Knowing only the best case scenario doesn't help and while a real business owner may be interested in the best case situation, that same owner is likely to be more interested in the likely results. Why should Amway IBOs be different?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Amway Fruit?

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. My former LOS, WWDB had diamonds get divorced, , had homes foreclosed, go bankrupt, and some even left WWDB for greener pastures. That's some heavy duty fruit for sure.

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. If your upline dodges the issue or tell you to mind your own business, red flags should pop up all over the place.

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 no evidence of fruit on the tree. Diamonds might be in debt or may not even own some of the toys they show off.

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 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.

So yes, let us actually see the fruit on the tree. Most likely the tree is bare.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Undeniable Amway Success?

Success is subjective. Someone making ten dollars might be considered successful, for others, nothing less than a barrel of cash will suffice. One other important point is that there are undoubtably some very successful people in Amway. I am sure that some Amway diamonds are quite well off and enjoy some of the finer things in life. But the reality is that these successes are very very rare and many of these success apparently are not sustainable as many people are led to believe.

But the bigger issue in the Amway opportunity is where the success comes from. Sure, many people want to "go diamond" and live in luxury while barrels of cash roll in. But what is unknown to many, is that the few who enjoy the lifestyle and trappings do so at the expense of their downline. The downline move the volume and the downline purchases the system materials, both of which is profitable for the upline. Because Amway products, admittedly are not commonly sold to people who are not IBOs, then anyone can conclude that upline success comes from the pockets of the downline. Most downline would be better off writing a check for $100 each month to their upline and not participating in the business or buying products at all.

This in itself would not be such an issue if the system actually churned out new successes frequently AND if the downline were not led to believe that the system is the key to their success. But less than one half of one percent of IBOs ever reach platinum and out of those who do, only a tiny fraction of one percent ever attain the diamond level. But the business has tens of millions of people who tried and could never achieve what was promoted. Lack of effort may be a factor, but when that many people try and fail, it's evident that the system is flawed as well.

To summarize, it is possible for someone to achieve a level of success in Amway, but it is so difficult and so rare that IBOs probably have a better chance of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning than they do of achieving a significant level in the Amway business. Some people are successful, but it is usually at the expense of their downline. The catch is that uplines will teach their faithful downline IBOs that attending a function or buying a standing order is success, regardless of whether an IBO is earning a profit. So many IBOs think they're successful but they are simply fooling themselves with the help of their upline.

Success is undeniable, but sadly for the vast majority of IBOs, it is also unattainable, at least in the Amway opportunity.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Amway Tools?

As an 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 5-7additional tapes/cds 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 strenghthened 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.

A carpenter needs tools is what you might be told. While that is true, a carpenter only needs 1 hammer or nail gun and doesn't have to buy new tools weekly. Nor do they need to pay for seminars and conventions to teach them their trade. And the tools directly allow the carpenter to do their job and get paid. What tangible monetary gains do IBOs get from voicemail, books, cds and seminars? They likely earn minimal bonuses and wind up with a net loss. A comparison of Amway tools to a carpenter is a straw man argument.

I believe the real purpose of having tools is so your upline's tools business can be profitable and so your upline can achieve their dreams. And that's despite what they may tell you a meetings and functions.