Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Your Upline Helps Themselves To Your Money?

Over the years, I have encountered many IBOs and they often have a common theme. They trust their upline and in some cases, consider them "mentors". Now in a business venture, it might be good to have a mentor or someone to teach and guide you, but in the Amway opportunity, most of the upline mentors make money off those who they mentor. That is a major conflict of interest but IBOs simply fail to see it. Just about any "help" you receive results in compensation for someone upline. A true mentor relationship in my way if thinking would be perhaps a grandfather teaching his grandson how to be a good man or how to have a good work ethic.

When an IBO sees the plan in a big meeting or function, the speaker will often be built up as a financial guru, and possibly as an expert on how to succeed in Amway. An IBO may hear something about the trail was already blazed by upline and you just need to follow the trail. Don't re-invent the wheel, just copy what upline did. But as I have said many times before, duplication sounds easy and looks good on paper, but in real life, the vast majority of IBOs run into problems that they simply cannot overcome, such as the bad reputation that the Amway name has in the US. High prices for products don't help either. And since most IBOs don't do much and most can't sponsor a downline, how can you build a growing business?

What is troubling however, is that IBOs are taught to trust upline and do as they say (defacto requirement), but they are also taught that failure is their own shortcomings, even when they do exactly what upline (their mentors) told them. It is also troubling that many uplines will tell their faithful followers that they need to purchase more and more tools (voicemail, cds, seminar tickets). In some cases, an upline may advise their downline to sacrifice basic family needs to buy these tools. I saw some IBOs who were advised to skip meals to buy a cd, or skip paying the mortgage to be able to attend the next big function. The results are devastating for some.

I might also add that as a newer IBO or prospect, you may have heard that "everyone starts at zero", or that it's a level playing field. It is not. As a new IBO, you will likely be in the 100 PV bracket. Since Amway pays out about 33% in bonuses, your upline(s) will split up about 30% in bonuses off your efforts while you get a 3% bonus. That doesn't sound very level to me. In addition, you as an IBO are paying for this priviledge when you buy tools. You are being taught that this unfair distribution of bonuses is a level playing field when clearly it's not. Why should people upline get the lion's share of those bonuses simply because they signed up before you?

So each IBO should look at things objectively and see if your upline is actually helping you or simply helping himself by giving you advice that ends up in profit for himself with little or nothing for you. Has your business and abilities been carefully assessed? You certainly won't receive that kind of help in a function or on a cd or in a book. When your upline advises you to do more PV or to buy more tools and functions, they are simply helping themselves to your money.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Is Amway A Scam?

I've seen many debates recently on why some people think Amway is a scam. Normally a defense of all this is that the abuses or the scam part of business, being the tools, is not the fault of Amway. It is true that Amway the corporation does not scam anyone, or sell them these tools. However, the groups such as WWDB, BWW, or Network 21 are run by IBOs. They are run by Amway IBOs. Even though the Amway corporation is a seperate entity from these tool companies, these tool comapnies are still run by Amway IBOs and they use the Amway opportunity to capitalize on the downline as customers of the tools.

While there is nothing wrong with some personal development and motivation, I believe there is a lack of honesty and tranparency in how the tools business is administered. For example, how many IBOs actually know exactly how to qualify for a cut of the tools income and is there a specific compensation plan for these tools? Allegedly, there are some documents explaining this but I do not believe the rank and file IBOs know about the details. In cases where diamond income was revealed, diamonds made significant income from the sale of tools. Some diamonds make a lot more from tools than from Amway. Also, since a diamond recognition is forever, even non qualifying diamonds can be getting significant income from Amway.

So why the label of scam? Because so few people actually make money from the Amway opportunity. Amway defenders like to cite that most IBOs simply do nothing. While it may be true, this in itself represents a problem with the recruitment process or the recruiters. Even if you examine a big function where there may be tens of thousands in attendance, I wonder how many have a net gain after expenses? I would guess the answer to that is a fraction of 1%. Amway's own numbers reveal this. $115 a month average gross income. And .5 (one half of one percent) of IBOs reach the Gold/Platinum level where you earn about $1000 a month gross income, or near the equivalent of full time minimum wage.

And to gain this full time minimum wage proposition, you must overcome incredible challenges, including being able to replace IBOs who quit, and to replace them ast enough so your volume doesn't diappear. Thus some IBOs, desperate to sponsor, resort to tricks and deception to get people to see the plan. I experienced it myself. These actions, coupled with a low success rate, make it seem like a scam for most, especially when the tools are claimed (by the tool sellers) to be a bonafide means to success in Amway. Add all of these up, and over the years, you develop the reputation of "scam". Amway can do more to restore their reputation, but it is unknown to the public in general what and if anything is being done about the abuses.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Join Amway And Become Annoying?

Many people see the Amway plan, and get unrealistic dreams of attaining incredible material wealth and retiring in a few years. I find it strange that nobody has been able to point out anyone who actually got in, worked a few years and then walked away from the business and is now enjoying buckets of cash rolling in while they spend their days on exotic beaches sipping mai tais. The more likely scenario will be debt, higher credit card bills, and boxes of unused cds and other various unused Amway products.

So why would someone joining the business become annoying? It's because to the average person, it beomes clear that to achieve this, you need to find "six" people. Thus to find six people, you need to make contacts to show the plan. Cold contacts of people on the street would be unlikely, even for the boldest of people, so new IBOs start lookin at people they know. They start with people they are familiar with, or family and friends. They may also think their family and friends will want to get rich with them.

Sadly for most new and enthusiastic IBOs, they will find that they are shunned by family and friends. Over the years, IBOs have done too much damage to Amway's reputation and overcoming this challenge is too much for the rank and file IBOs. They will hear stories of failures and opinions that Amway is a pyramid and/or a scam. Of course, IBOs will have "canned" answers to respond to from their upline. One of the humorous ones is that Amway is praised by the BBB or the FTC and is the shining example of an MLM. To those familiar with this line of reasoning, it can become side splitting humorous. Other silly comparisons will be comparing Amway to gym memberships or that 90% of small businesses fail. They forget that more than 99% of Amway businesses fail.

At first, the family and friends may humor the new IBO, but relentless persistence can eventually turn ugly. This is where uplines will teach the new IBOs to avoid "negative" and to shun these family and friends. This is why some people charge the Amway leaders with being cult - like. It's at about this point where IBOs might realize that Amway products are costly and try to sell off some of them to reduce their own costs. Often times, sympathetic family and friends might make a token purchase to show support. but that can get old in a hurry also. Most IBOs will eventually quit and make amends with family and friends, but some lose friendships for good.

To information seekers and new IBOs, hopefully this message is food for thought......

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bankrupt Following Upline Advice?

I have posted a comment and link to the forum where I unearthed it. Although the commentor doesn't specify which AMO he was involved with, it sounds very similar to teaching I heard (and still hear about) from Worldwide Group or WWDB. I also saw something like this happen to more than one IBO when I was an IBO myself:

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/forums/viewthread/11545/

"""I ended up filing for bankruptcy after trying to build a group myself for three years. I ended up having one person become interested, and they decided to sign with someone else when it got to time for me to bring them a start-up package. That was the last straw for me. I am still good friends with my sponsor, but they have also dropped out after their group of people petered out (sorry Peter).

I was encouraged to attend several conferences out of state and spend tons of money on motivational tapes and books even though I was failing to pay my mortgage and credit card bills… when I tried to get better financial advice from my “upline” - they continued to encourage me to spend, spend, spend… “fake it ‘til I make it”... and all that kind of garbage. When I finally filed for my bankruptcy they were nowhere to be found to assist me with life after Amway.

The people at the top of the sponsorship tend to make a decent amount of income while those at the bottom levels of things really have to struggle to make ends meet. I suppose if you are really charismatic you might be able to sponsor a bunch of people and bring in a fair amount of money, but to really make it big, you need to have connections inside… since support is how you make things work when you can’t."""

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amway IBOs Fail By Design

When I was being prospected into Amway, I saw the 6-4-2 plan. I am fairly certain that most groups still present the Amway opportunity using the 6-4-2, although I am aware that some groups use different variations of this. The plan sounds so simple. Just sponsor 6. The next layer does less than you and sponsors 4, and the next layer does even less and sponsors 2. First of all, most IBOs don't sponsor a single person to begin with. Many IBOs are unable to even show the plan to another person. So if you cannot achieve even the first step, how can you possibly make the plan come to fruition? The answer is you can't and most people never get past the first step. How do you build an empire that way?

Only a fraction of 1% of IBOs ever reach platinum. Out of those who do reach the milestone, few are able to maintain the business and even fewer ever go on and achieve higher levels such as emerald or diamond. WIth the attrition rate of IBOs so high, even recruiting new IBOs basically keeps you even. The effort required to maintain the business can become a full time job or more for some people. My former sponsor was out showing the plan for himself or for downline every night of the week, save for the functions and other meetings. Amway he said, needs to become your life if you want to succeed, and that's probably true even for diamonds. There is no "freedom" that these diamonds speak of. You switch one full time occupation for another, although you could argue that a diamond's work is still easier than a 9-5 job.

You have so many factors working against you that it takes an exceptional (and possibly lucky) individual to be able to overcome the challenges to reach a recognized pin level such as diamond. The spotty name reputation of Amway, the higher (on average) prices of their products, the high attrition rate and the fact that any higher level requires a large downline. These factors make it nearly impossible for anyone to go diamond and reach what appears to be the pinnacle of Amway success. Sure, some IBOs may not have such lofty goals, but the "plan" is designed to achieve diamond. I have not ever seen or heard of a plan for an IBO to achieve 600 PV.

In many instances, whether it's a business, or a sports team, or some other activity, you will notice that the winners or the successes often have a great system. Many fast food businesses for example, have a processing system. A great football team might have a great offensive or defensive system. A large business may also have a proven system. This is where the problem lies in Amway. The system is ineffective. The system as shown to many prospects, needs many "lower level" IBOs working in order for someone to achieve the levels such as platinum. Thus most people fail because the "plan" is designed that way.

As you cannot control the actions and beliefs of others, you cannot make people join your business. You cannot make them see the plan. Thus in the past, many IBOs resorted to deception and lies to get people in front of the plan. In college, I was invited to a "beer bust", only to walk into an Amway meeting. The person who invited me said we would do the beer bust after the meeting. Thus my first impression of Amway was a bad one. As one can reasonably conclude, Amway IBOs for the most part, end up failing. But they don;t fail for lack of effort. They fail by design. That's how the 6-4-2 plan is set up (or whatever version your group uses). It is in my opinion, failure by design.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flawed Amway Teaching?

One of the biggest pieces of garbage 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 yout 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. 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.

The reason why upline teaches this is because most people are not turned on by the thought of promoting and selling products. And that's not to mention that you must also promote the Amway business opportunity if you want to make any significant money from the Amway opportunity. I have never heard of anyone maintaining a large Amway business based only on sales and not sponsoring other people.

But let me toss out a relatable example: 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 if you are counting on selling to downline, then you need to have downline, and those faithful downline will be losing money so you can make a profit. It is partly why there is so much attrition in Amway. IBOs are not profitable and cannot easily sell products, and quit.

And uplines 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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Amway Dreams Fulfilled?

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most "Work", receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 32% of their income back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest. Some of the upline may not have even met the IBO who actually did the work. Is that really fair and is that a level playing field? What do some of these uplines do to deserve the lion's share of the bonus you worked to get? Yes, the upline diamond may show the plan in an open meeting, which may help you, but then again, you pay for entrance into that meeting.

Many uplines will talk about dreams and fulfilling your dreams. But if an IBO would stop and think for a moment, you can easily see that you are building the dreams of your upline, and not your own. You receive a tiny portion of the bonus for the volume that you move, and then in addition, if you are on the system, then you are also paying upline in the form of tool purchases for the priviledge of giving them bonuses with your product purchases.

It is why your upline diamonds can parade around on stage with designer suits and show you their fancy cars and mansions and other toys. It is because they are cashing in on your efforts. You are making their dreams come true. Your dedication to moving volume and purchasing standing orders are fulfilling dreams. The upline dreams. Yes, someday you can hope to have your own group of downline to exploit for your own benefit, but unless you are adding members to your group regularly, you will never achieve the kinds of dreams that uplines talk about. In the meantime though, you are definitely helping someone upline achieve their dreams with every function you attend. Ironically, the upline leaders will tell you to never quit, even if they don't know your personal circumstances and/or how your business is progressing.

Here's a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month and dedication to the tools system will cost you around $150 to $250 a month on average. Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining? Would you not be better off staying home and watching television instead of joining? If you read all of the information available on this blog and still decide to join, good luck to you, but remember this: Whose dreams are being fulfilled by your participation?
Yours or your upline?