Sunday, September 24, 2017

Defending Amway?

Recently, every once a week or two, someone leaves some kind of humorous, yet somewhat rude comments. These comments may claim I'm lying, without identifying what I lied about. Or they will claim I'm wrong, without citing what I"m wrong about. Often, the comment is made and the person making the comment never returns to explain. Sort of like a "drive by shooter". It would actually be good for someone defending Amway to actually make a good case as to why they think Amway is a good business opportunity because the actual facts, many of which come directly from Amway, indicate that Amway is a crappy business opportunity and likely some kind of scam.

We know that uplines can make significant profits from selling CDs, functions and other training materials so of course they will tell downline that these items are the "key" to success. But to say it at a function with thousands of people is a scam in my opinion, because that person hasn't analyzed everyone's individual business to be able to make that claim. I've heard upline compare a function to a buffet, where you take what you want and go with it. That's total BS. Most IBOs have no business experience and wouldn't know what to take and what to leave behind at a function.

Amway must be defended because in my opinion, the vast majority of people figure out that it's a crappy business opportunity and blogs like mine, provide practical and real life experiences that are detrimental to Amway prospects. That's why the income disclosures, the prices of products and other things must be justified. Things such as many IBOs do nothing and that's why the average income is low. Well I might add the Amway "millionaires" are also a part of that average income and the average is still low. The high prices are justified by "quality" or "concentration", but only Amway people consider Amway products to be premium and only Amway biased people think Amway's price per use is a good deal. For example, Satinique shampoo costs like $8-10 for 10 ounces and I can get shampoo at Walmart for $3 for 24 ounces. But Amway folks twist it so it seems that Amway is still a good deal. The vitamins are the worst bargain. You can find equivalent vitamins to Nutrilite for a small fraction of the price.

How about actually making money from Amway? THe vast majority of IBOs on the system, lose money because of the system. Amway defenders use lines like "everyone who succeeded was on the system". My answer? Tens of millions made nothing or lost money because of that same system. I can counter by saying every lottery winner bought a ticket. Just because there's a few winners doesn't mean Amway or the lottery are good ideas, but at least buying a lottery ticket doesn't take up a lot of time and effort like Amway.

So defending Amway is futile and only Amway supporters buy the guano that defenders use to defend Amway. I have yet to see anyone use a good argument with evidence that Amway is a good business opportunity. And I have yet to see even one example, with actual evidence of someone who built Amway, went diamond, "walked away" and collected large residual income while they lounged on the beached of the world. Defending Amway is as futile as building an Amway business. That is something you can bank on.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Amway Success, A Fraction Of 1%?

Many people consider the platinum level in Amway as a significant achievement in Amway. While it may be nice to achieve that level and gain recognition from the Amway corporation, I will point out that there was a study done in Wisconsin where the attorney general analyzed and found that platinums on average, lost money. The study is somewhat dated, but I will also point out that today, there are MORE expenses associated with running an Amway business than before. (Voicemail, books, functions, standing orders, shipping). I would guess that it's possible that platinums lose more today than when the Wisconsin study was done.

A typical platinum group often has 100 or more downline IBOs. Thus a logical conclusion is that less than 1% of IBOs can reach that level. It is also, apparently rare to maintain that level. Factoring in people who quit, one can conclude that only a fraction of 1% ever reach platinum. Amway.com also confirms this as they state that .26% of IBOs reach the Gold level. That's roughly 1 in 400. My former upline diamond had 7 frontline platinums in his heyday. Actually, 6 of them were ruby level. None of them hold the platinum level today. In fact, I'm not even sure any of them are even in the Amway business anymore. So you have a less than a 1% chance of reaching platinum and then you are unlikely to be able to maintain that level.

What serious prospective business owner would even consider opening a real business where you have such a tiny chance of success? Even those who achieve platinum are likely to lose that level. If platinums cannot maintain their level, then it's easy to see why there are former diamonds as well. It seems that people are willing to take a chance on an Amway business because the start up cost is low. But what is the point of doing all of that when the chance of making money is negligible?

To compound the problem, many IBOs spend a lot of time and money building an Amway business that is unlikely to give them any return on their investment. I'd guess that the average serious IBO would spend $250 a month or more on tools and about $250 to $300 on Amway products. That money invested over a number of years in mutual funds would give you a much better chance of achieving some dreams. Even putting the money in the bank would make you better off than the vast majority of IBOs. A serious business owner would want to know their realistic chance of making money. For some strange reason, Amway prospects and IBOs seem to ignore this reality. They dream of only the best case scenario or what is possible. They seem to ignore what is likely.

It is because uplines are in the business of selling tools and distributorships. They are not truly interested in your long term sustainable success. If you don't believe me, stop purchasing standing orders and function tickets and see how much longer you are edified and given help from upline. Seriously, would a real business owner be interested in a less than 1% chance of success?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Amway Is Easy?

One of the reasons why upline and Amway presentations still manage to get people into the business is because the Amway opportunity is made to sound easy. Sure, the presenter of the plan might mention that it takes work, but prospects walking out of the meetings will get the impression that all they need is six, or that the task of going diamond is very manageable. It isn't until a prospect signs up and gets to work that he or she will find out how difficult it is to build an Amway business. In fact, the business in itself is not mind boggling, but overcoming the reputation issues that Amway has will doom most of the eager new IBOs.

Even seasoned IBOs who have been trained to counter attack people's objections about Amway will struggle when presented with the simple facts that Amway products are not necessarily the greatest and are not necessarily the best value. If this were true, Amway could move much more product simply by marketing these great products and selling them in stores. But since IBOs move and market Amway products for no salary and at their own expense, it's a great deal for Amway. I wonder what Amway sales would be if they did not count sales to IBOs for self consumption? Seems many of these IBOs will loyally buy Amway products while they are building the Amway business but that loyalty seems to fade once the dreams of early retirement and going diamond fades away.

One glaring problem that IBOs seems to ignore is how often platinums and high level IBOs like diamonds fall out of qualification. Yes, Amway has many new platinums, etc, but what about the people who worked their tails off just to end up falling out of qualification a year later? The income stops when your volume stops. There are countless stories of diamonds quitting or leaving Amway. IBOs should do some research and look for answers as to why this is. I think they would not like the answers. They will find that some diamonds are broke, in debt and struggling. In other words, diamonds are like the rest of the world, but have been elevated as special in the Amway world. Do you really think you can live a jetset lifestyle on 100K per year? Many people think $100K is great because they might earn far less, but $100K or $200K is really just a middle class lifestyle, and maybe less if the diamond is in debt because they show off a diamond lifestyle. Behind the smoke and mirrors of the diamond illusion, I think prospects would be shocked at how diamonds really live.

Amway may sound easy but the reality paints a very different picture. Go find out for yourself.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WWDB IBO's Broken Dreams?

This is a repost of an article I did some year ago. This Amway IBO "named it and claimed it: that he would be retiring in November 2011. It's now years later. His blog no longer exists and "Shaun" has gone back to a normal family life. I wish he would have come forward with his testimony about Amway and WWDB but I believe he's one who joined, was on fire for Amway, ended up losing money and quitting but just went back t his life, sans Amway.

His former blog site: http://expeditionoftruths.com/tag/wwdb/

I've been following the journal of an IBO who is in the WWDB LOS. Essentially, I believe the dude is hard working and wanting the best for his family. The problem I see is that he has apparently fallen for the deception that was and continues to be taught by WWDB. Pro Amway folks have criticized Joecool because they say my experience is old and outdated. Yet, here it is on the journal of a current WWDB IBO, pretty much verifies that the same material taught in the late 1990's is still taught today (2011). The only difference I see is that the WWDB leaders are not lying about nobody making a cent of profit from tools. Although they have their own spin on that as well.

Ironically, his website says "Sto Pro Veritate", which means "I stand for the truth". I would guess that Shaun honestly believes what his upline says is the truth but his blog is littered with material that is dicey, but because his upline said so, Shaun believes. I was once there myself, but realized the scam after a number of months. Sometimes it's hard to discern because your sponsor or upline is often a friend or family member. They get you to agree on various issues to build a degree of trust and slowly build up your level of commitment. Shaun is a perfect example of this.

Basically, Shaun's wife got involved and eventually, Shaun also jumped in. The couple went 1000 PV in March 2010 and even posted copies of their checks. Nothing indicating further progress has been posted since. I would assume any new pin level would have been an article that was newsworthy on such a blog. Lately, there has been more mundane material, and Shaun does not allow comments on his blog anymore, which in itself is interesting. Shaun, in 2009, posted that why wouldn't someone want to work hard for 2-3 years and never have to do it again? 2012 is around the corner, about 3 years since he got started. Food for thought.

Some of the interesting things that can be found on the blog:

The couple plans to purchase a home in cash.
Denied that Greg Duncan (One of their mentors) had chapter bankruptcy issues
Amway/WWDB IBOs have a 2% divorce rate compared to 60% for the rest
Will be Double Eagle Rubies making $117K in 2011
Will be job optional in November 2011
Debt Free (Sold their home and cashed in 401K to get debt free)

Here's a recent quote: "We’ve got some pretty big dreams and today the dream of owning an aircraft was at the forefront. Don’t laugh, get your own dream!"

**Now let me say I wish Shaun and his family well. I hope he does succeed and is able to fulfill his goals and dreams, but not exclusively at his downline's expense. What troubles me is how the leadership at WWDB is apparently teaching him the same junk in 2011 I saw as an IBO in the 1990's. WWDB is filling his heart with false hopes and dreams that are unlikely to ever come to fruition. Even the miniscule number of people who do succeed in Amway, do so at the expense of their trusting downline. Seems that Amway accreditation did nothing to alter or shape the teaching of these LOS's. I will continue to follow his progress and hope that he will eventually see through the facade.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Amway "Winners"?

One of the things that my upline taught, and I believe is still taught today in various groups is that winners join Amway and losers do not. Or that you were a winner because you were doing something to better your financial future and those who didn't were losers. or broke minded. Of course the upline who said this had no knowledge about those who were not in Amway. Some of them may already have been financially sound or may have been doing something to better their financial future. I'm not sure why these uplines, who promote "positive", had to resort to calling people losers simpy because they did not agree that Amway was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In many games or sporting events, there will be someone or a team that wins the game and someone or a team that loses the game. Losing a game doesn't make you a loser and certainly, a team that wins the game would not say the losing team were losers. Can you imagine a pro football team's coach taking the podium after a game and saying his team won because the other team was a bunch or broke minded gutless losers? That would never happen, yet we see that frequently in the Amway/IBO world. The owner of Amway, Rich DeVos had once said in a recorded message that just because people do not agree with you (paraphrased) about Amway, does not make them losers and that IBOs should not call people losers.

In all of this, people's jobs are also criticized. That a job stand for "just over broke" or "jackass of the boss" and other blurbs. Many IBO's goals and dreams consist of ditching their job so they can sleep all day and live a life of luxury. Ironically, it is most IBO's jobs that continue to produce income so they can pay their bills and feed their family. It is also an IBO's job that funds their Amway and AMO expenses such as product purchases and functions and voicemail, etc. Without having a job, most people could not even join Amway or pay for any tools. Sadly, most IBOs won't make any money in Amway either, and will have to continue to work at their jobs. I do not believe that someone earning an honest living working a job is a loser. Ironically, the folks calling people losers are often not even netting a profit from their Amway business!

Yes, in this business or the sports world, there will be winners and there will be losers. The question is whether you are the one who is allowed to be the judge of who is and who isn't. I would also suggest that IBOs are completely shutting down potential future business by their behavior. What if I went to a store to purchase something but the item was not available on that particular day, so I don't purchase anything and leave. As I leave, the store owner says I am a loser for not buying something there. Will I go back? Very unlikely. If an IBO truly sees themselves as a store owner, all prospects should be seen as potential business, whether future or present. If your upline tells you that people not interested are losers, you should hand him a mirror.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Illusion?

One of the things my Amway upline taught us ad nauseum was that we needed to have faith in our business and in our upline. That we needed to believe that we were going to be successful. IBOs are told that they should act successful even if they are still working their way up the ranks in the business. It is why they ask (require) IBOs to wear suits and business attire to all meetings and functions. This is one of the weird quirks about the business in my opinion. I live in Hawaii and I remember a function they held in the middle of July in a high school auditorium and there was no air conditioning. I think my suit needed special cleaning because it was completely saturated with persiration.

Anyway, with this part of the year, soon there will be thousands of IBOs shuffling off to a function called dream night, or in some cases, winter conference. The tickets are about $60 to $80 and includes a dinner. What IBOs are often unaware of is that many venues will allow you to run these conferences for $20 to $25 per person. The rest of that ticket prices goes directly into your upline's pockets. Anyway, the dream night function will feature slide shows of mansions, yachts, jet skis, sports cars, fabulous vacations and other trappings of wealth.

What many IBOs don't realize is that this display of wealth is just that. There is no bonafide evidence to indicate that these diamonds actually own all of those toys and goodies. The diamonds probably won't verbally confirm it either, because these toys and goodies may not really be owned by them. It could be rented, or maybe some upline corwn ambassador may own the mansion, but IBOs will assume that these trappings of wealth are common once you reach diamond. As an IBO, I never actually knew how much a diamond really earned. I just assumed it was a lot because we were shown all of these goodies and just assumed all diamonds had these kinds of lifestyles.

If I posted a picture of a mansion and a jet and said I owe it all to my earnings as a blogger, people would cry foul, that I am lying or making things up. And they would be right. Well, I would guess that many diamonds are doing the very same thing if they appear on stage and implying that they have jets and mansions. As I said, someone may own a mansion and a jet, but to imply that this is a part of the typical diamond lifestyle is a stretch. The evidence is there. Some diamonds have lost their homes to foreclosure. My old LOS diamonds (WWDB) taught us that diamonds pay cash for everything, including homes. Now confirmed as a blatant lie. Who knows what else they may have misrepresented?

I ask IBOs and prospects who may be attending dream night, to watch with a critical eye. What is being implied with the display of wealth? Analyze if those goodies can be purchased with a diamond income ($150,000 plus some tool income). Ask yourself if this lifestyle is truly sustainable? Ask yourself if you can live with yourself if deception is a part of earning your diamond lifestyle?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

You Didn't Work Hard Enough?

One of the things Amway IBOs are taught is to blame themselves for is not working the business hard enough or not doing things just right, exactly as upline advised. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. It's just that uplines want to be absolved from any responsibility so they teach downline that failure in Amway is their own (The downline's) fault. Upline is also quick to take full credit for any success, of course. Why shouldn't these same leaders be held accountable for their downline's results if their advice was followed?

The reason why hard work doesn't equal success is because an Amway IBO is basically a commissioned sales person. In commissioned sales, one can work hard for no reward and at times, little effort may reap large rewards. But in Amway, with a crappy reputation, Amway IBOs are dealt a handicap that most simply cannot overcome. Getting new people to recruitment meetings is hard enough, not even factoring in the abililty to sponsor others. When factoring in these tidbits, it's easy to see why uplines teach buy from yourself and selling is not needed. Buying from yourself seems easy enough and it allows volume to be moved. But after a while, how many "long lasting concentrated" products can you go through in a month's time?

The work involved is very simple. Sell products and get other IBOs (Sponsor) in your downline to be able to leverage your volume. Many IBOs work hard and attend all of the functions and do all of the steps as outlined by upline, but very few reap rewards and most quit when they realize that the system doesn't work. It is sad that on top of losing money, that IBOs are also taught to blame themselves for their demise. Where is the upline when IBOs bust their butts working hard and get no rewards? On top of that, to make it worse, uplines profit from selling training and motivation to their downlines. Why aren't they held acountable?

I've read comments by some Amway defenders wanting to sue Amway critics for a potential loss of business. But most critics, like myself are simply stating our experiences and opinions. Many of which are true and still happening today. So I will ask, what about the millions of former IBOs who may have lost billions of dollars because of false claims which led them to believe that they would get rich following upline advice? Maybe former IBOs should unite and file claims against unethical upline leaders who led them astray? Why not hold these leaders accountable?

In any case, hard work doesn't equate success in Amway and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong.