Friday, August 22, 2014

Amway Is Get Rich Slow?

One of the things upline used to say was that Amway is not "get rich quick". I suppose they say this because most people would more likely think scam if they promoted it that way. But when you stop and think about it, 2-5 years, build it right and you have willable, residual income for life while walking the beaches of the world? That's not get rich quick? Or is it more of a disclaimer so that the opportunity doesn't sound "too good to be true"? One thing is for sure, even if uplines tell you that it's not get rich quick, it's obvious that IBOs think they will eventually get rich, even if it's not quick. Sadly, the only ones getting rich appear to be the ones who are getting a share of the money generated from the sale of tools and functions.

What most IBOs don't figure out quickly enough, is that they are unlikely to break even , much less make a profit, let alone getting rich in Amway. How many of these peoplle exist? Where are all of these retired Amway IBOs who built a business in 2-5 years and then walked away from their business and will be collecting a significant residual income for many years to come afterwards? I don't know of a single person who has done this and none of the Amway defenders and zealots I have encountered over the years has been able to supply this information either. Recently, two crown ambassadors passed away and they were still working until they passed. You can argue whether their works was easy or not, but having to be somewhere at a certain date and time is still the criticism against people's jobs.

I can acknowledge that Amway is a business opportunity and will definitely take some work to be able to achieve something. But thinking realistically, what business could you actually be able to walk away in 5 years and not work again? More than likely that business doesn't exist, whether it's Amway or not. Say you opened a conventional business. There wouldn't be many scenarios where you could walk away after a number of years. The business would still require work and maintenance. But for some reason, people are mislead to believe that you can do this in Amway where there is a high attrition rate and where your business can only expand by person to person. How can you actually build a business when most people who join either do nothing or do little and quit in the first year?

Sadly, many of the people who are attracted to the Amway opportunity are often young people looking to get more out of life. They are often ambitious but may lack a means to gain wealth, thus the appeal of the opportunity is there. Unfortunately, these nice young people are more likely to end up channeling their hard earned dollars into standing orders and functions which will almost guarantee that they end up with a net loss. The bottom line is that not only is Amway not get rich quick. The more likely scenario is that your involvement with Amway will very likely be not getting rich at all. A net loss is the most likely result. I challenge anyone to try and prove me wrong on this point.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fighting For Your Amway Dreams?

One of the things that many IBOs are badly misguided on is the concept of dreams and fighting for dreams. A dream is basically a long term goal. Someone might dream about playing in the National Football League. To accomplish that dream, one might play high school and/or college level football. For most, the dream will end. No matter how much someone wants to play in the NFL, only so many people are proficient enough to be able to make the team. Even fewer are elite players that become stars. So while you might fight for your dreams, there is also an alternate reality.

In the Amway business, via the "systems" such as WWDB or Network 21, the leaders will often sell hopes and dreams to the downline. That the downline can be retired at the age of 29, walking the beaches of the world while the income just rolls in forever and ever. These kinds of "dreams" would be the same as hoping to win the powerball lottery. You may have seen a few who did it but the chance of you duplicating it is very unlikely. Slim to none is your chance in reality.

Another things uplines will often do is tell anecdotal stories about crabs keeping each other in a bucket when one tries to escape, or about monkeys preventing each other from grabbing bananas at the top of the pole. While the stories may be interesting and even true, it doesn't necessarily apply to the Amway business. While it is true that an IBO may have friends and family who are skeptical about Amway, it is with good reason. Many people have gone through the Amway business with no success. Many people have lost money doing everyting they were advised to do by upline. There is a track record of financial disasters associated with Amway and the attached "systems". It's not like there's a long list of people who have walked away from Amway with the cash rolling in and not a care in the world. Ever wonder why none of the crown ambassadors have exercised the option to "walk away"?

I think people should have dreams. I think people should pursue their dreams. I also think people need to know that certain dreams can come true. There also needs to be a degree of reality in their dreams. There will always be some inspirational person such as a "Rudy" who overcame great odds to accomplish a dream, but the untold reality is that there were probably many many young men who dreamed of playing for Notre Dame that year. Likely, no one else accomplished the unlikely dream like a Rudy. What I am saying is that earning a nice income and having the option of early retirement can be acomplished in many ways. You might be choosing to use Amway to accomplish your financial dreams and that is your right. But the reality is that very few people have made all their financial dreams come true due to the Amway opportunity, as compared to the tens of millions who have tried.

Keep fighting for your dreams, but keep in mind that you might need a plan B and a dose of reality.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Amway's Defense?

I've been blogging for many years now and one of the conclusions I have made is that there really is no defense for debating the merits of an Amway business when the IBO is participating in a system such as WWDB or Network 21. I have no issues with IBOs who sign up and sell actual products to non IBO customers, but these sales oriented IBOs are very rare. Most IBOs who are entrenched in a system are often focused on sponsoring downline because that is the only way an IBO can achieve certain levels such as emerald or diamond. The emerald or diamond level is the goal of many because it is allegedly the level where an IBO can "walk away" and enjoy barrels of cash rolling in for the rest of their lives. I find it ironic that even crown ambassadors keep busy schedules and have not walked away into a quiet life of retirement and uncountable amounts of money.

In general, it would take about 100 IBOs or so to make up a platinum level business. That's 1% at best and even less when you factor in IBOs who do nothing or IBOs who start and quit. In my estimation, a very dedicated hard core IBO would only begin to break even or make a little bit of income at the 4000 PV or platinum level. Of course, your business structure would be a factor in determining how much you can earn. Sponsoring width gives you more profit and sponsoring depth allegedly gives you some stability. Thus you could reasonably argue that about a fraction of 1% of IBOs break even or make a little bit of income. What real businessman would even consider opening a business where your chance of making a profit is less than 1%? Yes, you can argue that Amway is a business and not a game of chance, but a prudent decision also factors in your chances of success.

Other factors that would make Amway unattractive is that the products are priced higher (in general) than comparable or the same products that are available at people's local retailers. Yes, Amway folks will argue quality and concentration factors but those arguments are simply justification for the higher prices. The vast majority of people are satisfied getting cheaper prices at Walmart. Also, IBOs are restricted from advertising their goods, thus are relegated to person to person advertising, which is probably the least effective methos of getting the word out. Higher prices and unfamiliar products results in what many groups have - IBOs who "buy from themselves" in order to earn their bonuses. Also, any bonus that is earned by most IBOs is just a partial refund on having overpaid for a product. Not to mention unless you are at a higher level in the business, your upline(s) get most of the bonus, whether they helped you or not.

Yes, it is possible for some people to make some money in Amway. Yes, some people do make some good money from Amway. It is not possible for all IBOs to make money unless they are selling products to non IBOs and we know that most IBOs don't sell anything or sell just a few items to others. We also know that the tools systems generally eat away any small bonuses IBOs earn and leave them with a net loss. For the truly dedicated IBOs, the losses can mount into thousands of dollars and more.

Can someone make a living with Amway? The answer is that it's possible but not likely. But as to whether the Amway business and associated tools is a good idea? For thet there is no defense.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Amway Is Great!

Over the years I have been debating with Amway supporters, I cannot see what is so great about the Amway opportunity. Are some of these Amway defenders that stupid or dense that they truly believe that a business where one out of a few hundred people might make a profit and most of the remaining IBOs will lose money is a good opportunity? I'm not talking about people who sign up and "do nothing". Many IBOs sign up and put in a great deal of time, effort and money, only to find out that the system simply does not work (especially in the US) and they make a business decision to quit and/or to do something else.

Of course there are some people who make money in Amway. If nobody made money, then the opportunity would cease to exist. But it is basically exploitation of the downline that accounts for upline success. Amway's admission that sales to non IBOs are low, confirms this. Thus certain upline make their income from their downline's PV volume, and on tool purchases. I mean even a lottery has winners. Even ponzi schemes and other questionable opportunties have some winners. This is not to suggest that Amway in not legal. Amway is perfectly legal, but the way the opportunity is set up, those who profit, primarily do so at the expense of their trusted downline.

There are no groups that I know of where all the IBOs can win and earn a profit. I would guess that there might be a few rogue groups who only focus on retail sales, and while these groups can be profitable as a group, they are few and far between. This is because most IBOs fall under an LOS such as WWDB, BWW, LTD or N21, and these groups all seemingly focus on recruiting of new IBOs. Yes, they may sprinkle in some suggeestions about selling goods, but generally speaking, their "training" materials consist of motivation speeches, feel good stories (whether true or not), and the theme of never quitting while continuing to purchase more tools.

Some upline have the nerve to start teaching downline that their Amway business is not about making money, but to save your marriage, make you a nicer person, or some other diversion to make you forget that you are losing money month after month after month. Some groups even mix in religion and politics into their functions and meetings. As far as I can see, the typical business buildiing IBO signs up, gets some of the tools and attends a few functions, and finds that the products are hard to sell because they are not priced competetively with other retailers, and that a damaged reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. These IBOs realize they are not going anywhere, and they walk away, chalking up the losses as a life lesson. But apparently, many uplines who lied and deceived in the past are continuing to do so today, often just revising history for their benefit (i.e. lying about making any profit on tools).

Many IBOs, prospects, information seekers and critics read this blog. My question is very simple. What is so great about the Amway opportunity? For most, it is just a bad use of time and money. While some may exist, I don't know of a single person who "did the work once" and sat back collecting barrels of Amway money while sipping Mai Tais on the beaches of Jamaica. I see crown ambassadors working as hard today as they did many years ago. Diamonds losing homes to forclosures, a prominent diamond in bankruptcy proceedings, and a hoard of WWDB diamonds apparently selling off mansions that they allegedly paid for in cash. (It os quite possible that their lifestyles are simply not sustainable).

Where is the benefit in the business for the typical IBO? Just as there are some diamonds, there are lottery winners. Displaying a lottery winner doesn't make it prudent to spend your money on lottery tickets. Displaying a diamond's lifestyle doesn't make Amway a good opportunity. While Amway is a business and not a game of chance, the results of either, sadly are eerily similar - that is a few winners and millions of non winners.

What is so great about the Amway opportunity? I don't see it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amway Korea Running Into Problems?

http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5734/multi-level-shady-amway-korea-flaunts-regulations-receives-slap-wrist

Amway Korea (CEO Park Sae-joon), the largest multi-level marketing company, received correctional orders from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for flaunting the regulations set for multi-level marketing companies. However, the FTC has also been criticized for handing out a too-light punishment. - See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5734/multi-level-shady-amway-korea-flaunts-regulations-receives-slap-wrist#sthash.k9X6r8Nn.dpuf

Unilateral Arrogance Amway CEO Park Se-joon. ​According to the FTC on July 29, Amway forced its salespersons who resell Amway products to not sell products cheaper than a stated purchase price. If any salesperson violated this order, they were temporarily disqualified from conducting any sales activities.

Disqualified salespersons are not eligible for support allowances, usually paid depending on each person's sales performance and that of their subordinate salespersons. Disqualified salespersons can no longer recruit subordinates, either. This is a clear violation of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (Section 21). Amway salespersons are not employees of the multi-level marketing company, but are considered to be independent retail distributors. Accordingly, salespersons can legally dispose of products they buy from the company via any method, including price discounts. This possibly helps consumers buy daily necessities at lower prices.

The FTC gave Amway corrective orders to stop the price fixing activities and delete the relevant clause from their sales guidelines. The FTC said, “Amway deprived consumers of the opportunity to purchase products at low prices by controlling the sales price.” - See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5734/multi-level-shady-amway-korea-flaunts-regulations-receives-slap-wrist#sthash.k9X6r8Nn.dpuf​

Allowances Less than Top 10 Average

The incomes of Amway salespersons are already quite low. According to an investigation by the FTC, the average annual income of salespersons in the top ten multi-level sales companies in Korea is only 1.08 million won, or US$1,045. But salespeople in Amway, the number one sales company in the industry, received on average only 770,000 won (US$745) per year, less than the average of the other top ten companies.

Furthermore, the top 1 percent of Amway sales employees earned 56 million won (US$54,150) per year each on average, whereas the other 99 percent earned only 470,000 won (US$455) yearly. A source in the industry said, “Due to the limit of the pyramidal multi-level sales method, income differences between top sellers and non-top sellers are inevitable.

Top sellers take the majority of all allowances.” Amway also got penalized for enlisting 103 teachers and public officials in its ranks. According to the relevant laws, national, local, and educational officials cannot join multi-level sales organizations, since they could force civil petitioners or parents to buy products using their social status. - See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5734/multi-level-shady-amway-korea-flaunts-regulations-receives-slap-wrist#sthash.k9X6r8Nn.dpuf

Despite its actions, blame is falling on the FTC now.

There is controversy over the measures taken against Amway. Based on its web site, Amway officially started to control sales prices from September 2008. They were only caught in October 2012, even though the FTC investigates multi-level marketing companies every year. It took another two years for the FTC to impose corrective orders.

The commission commented on this by saying, “It took quite long for us to impose corrective orders. We have limited human resources, and internal policies and procedures to conduct complete investigations every year.” The punishment for Amway is also considered to be just a slap on the wrist. Other than the FTC’s command to delete the relevant clause, there were no additional punitive measures, even fines. Regardless, the FTC said, “This case will ring an alarm for other companies.” -

See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5734/multi-level-shady-amway-korea-flaunts-regulations-receives-slap-wrist#sthash.k9X6r8Nn.dpuf

Amway's Empty Promises?

One of the things I often thought odd as an IBO was how our upline would keep teaching us that the Amway business was all about "helping people". Somehow, our upline felt that showing someone the plan or talking to them about the business was helping someone. That is because our upline felt that everyone was dooomed for financial failure if they didn't join Amway. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth now that I am looking back. In fact, I would have to say that building the business and purchasing tools was the CAUSE of financial disaster for some of my fellow IBOs. I remember reading about more than one home foreclosure and a couple of bankruptcies.

It's like IBOs held some dark secret and they could save the world by sharing this secret with prospects. So the theme of many voicemails (Amvox at the time) was about how IBOs in the group were saving the world by helping people. I used to wonder how we were helping people when we basically only "helped" IBOs who wante dto build the business. If someone declined to join, they were forgotten. Our upline said we threw them a life preserver but they rejected it, so we are moving on. it was often compared to a church activity where IBOs are saving souls. I actually found this extra weird because we were often taught that we could give the church money in the future ($10,000 checks) and we could serve in ministry after we were "free". I find this ludicrous now, but at the time, we were told that this was delayed gratification. After I left Amway, I spoke to the senior pastor of the church and he opined that Amway was harmful to many because it simply held too many empty promises. In other words, they promote big dreams and wealth, but very few ever attain any success, for whatever reason. The pastor said the reason for the low success was not relevent. The fact that it was rare to see success was enough to conclude that Amway was not a good opportunity.

In fact, some diamonds can be seen as prosperity preachers. They speak about wealth attained through Amway when in reality their wealth may come from other sourcse, such as tools income, yet they falsely promote Amway as their primary source of success. Then they bait and switch IBOs and tell them that the tools system is the only way to succeed, all the while profiting handsomely from the tools. They then justify their conflict if interest by claiming that IBOs are helping people and/or doing God's work by joining Amway. I believe many IBOs are giving false hope and promises to prospects as taught by upline leaders. All the while they themselves are losing money while thinking they are supporting a noble cause. I hope they awaken before it's too late.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Asking The Right Questions In Amway?

There has been much debate by both critics and Amway IBOs and supporters recently over an issue regarding a WWDB Dream Night function. The issue was an honest question over the cost of a Dream Night Ticket. Well, needless to say, the IBO in question ended up deciding that his blog will no longer accept comments. And while that is certainly his right, he made a statement that IBOs may be told, but makes no sense. Here is the statement:

"Here is a tip when doing research, if you have a question about a company why not give the actual company a call? Wow what a concept."

While on the surface, that me seem logical. If you have a question about how a company works, that might make perfect sense. But the Amway opportunity, along with the attached motivational tools companies, make that a touchy situation. What are you supposed to do? Call WWDB and ask if they are a good company? Call WWDB and ask if they scam downline? What if you call and ask WWDB if most IBOs on their system make money or lose money? If you look at the average income of the majority of IBOs amd factor in expenses such as voicemail, satnding orders and functions, I can only conclude that the vast majority of IBOs on the system have to be losing money. The longer you stay in the system, the more you lose. Furthermore, I believe there are more people winning the powerball lottery in the US than the number of new WWDB diamonds emerging in the US in the last dozen years ago or so.

Imagine if you had questions and simply asked the person? Hello? Mr. Al Capone, I heard you were a gangster in charge of organized crime. But I thought it would only be fair if I got the answer directly from you. What's that? You're not a gangster and you go to church? Okay, I see. Well that clears that up. Mr. Capone is not a gangster, I confirmed that by asking him. Do you see the ridiculous justification of just asking the person in question? Isn't a better way to ask a neutral thrid party?

Many IBOs will also suggest that you check the better business bureau. Well, Amway has a good mark from the better business bureau. But Amway isn't selling you voicemail and other support materials right? That would be WWDB or some other motivational group, or a particular double or triple diamond, whose business may not have been registered or known to the better business bureau.

I believe IBOs, information seekers, and prospects can find a ton of information on the internet using google. Upline leaders disourage this because too much frank and disparaging information exists about the Amway opportunity. But much of that information is real life true experiences. I was an up and coming "mover and shaker" in WWDB. This blog relects much of my real experiences and the realizations I came to after having left Amway and WWDB. Sadly, my experience was not a good one, but more and more I see evidence that what I was taught a dozen years ago is still taught today, and by some of the same leaders. I hope my experience can help others.