Friday, June 23, 2017

The Sad Reality Of Amway?

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. Upline might be able to justify or deflect the concerns for a while, but eventually, the sad reality will set 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 goods prior to Amway? My guess is none. I know I purchased many items, including vitamins, that 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. Basically, the 100 PV was just a business expense for me.

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. This is why maintaining an Amway business is a monumental task.

The more likely scenario is an IBO signing up, buying 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 found that in a relatively short period of time, put 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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tax Refunds Are Not Business Profit?

One of the things that I have observed is how IBOs are so misguided by their upline, that they think that their business losses, which result in a tax refund is somewhat like a profit, or that they are getting a free pass with the government footing the bill for their standing orders and functions. In the past, IBOs have been audited and had many business deductions disallowed because the tax department ruled that they were not truly running a business, but participating in a hobby called Amway.

I know that most IBOs are deducting the cost of their training materials on their taxes, but the issue at hand is whether the training materials are resulting in increased sales for your business. If you are running a "buy from yourself" business, then there is a strong possibility that your expenses may not be valid deductions come tax time. If you are not selling products to customers for a profit, then there is a chance that your expenses are not valid deductions. It would be sad indeed to be audited at tax time a few years after you have been an Amway business owner, only to find out that your expenses are not valid and that you may owe tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Another apparently common mistake of IBOs is to think that their business expenses are basically free from the government because they may end up with a tax return. Your expenses are deductible from your taxable income. Thus if you had $10,000 in business expenses, your return would depend on your tax bracket. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, then $10,000 in expenses would get your about a $1,500 tax return, depending on other deductions you may have. But IBOs get duped into thinking they made a score and now get back $1,500 when they may not have had a refund in the past. Obviously in this case, the IBO would have been better off saving the $10,000 and never getting involved in Amway. Some IBOs proudly proclaim their refunds as basically a windfall, almost like it is a profit. That is truly scary.

Folks, there is no free ride. If you are spending money on legitimate business expenses with an intent to make a profit, then there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are traveling to conventions hoping to learn the secret of sponsoring more downline, you could be walking on thin ice should the IRS ever decide to audit your business. There have been many cases in the past where not only did IBOs lose their shirts due to the business support materials they purchaed, but they got double whammied later when the IRS disallowed tax deductions, leaving them in financial ruin. I truly hope you aren't on that path.

Check out this link: http://www.apollowebworks.com/amway/irs.html

"TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT have always been areas of abuse. Sections 162, 262, and 274 are always applicable and sometimes Section 183. Since most of the travel is primarily to attend social gatherings for entertainment and motivational purposes, any real business purpose is suspect. Unless the taxpayer can show that attending seminars, meetings, etc., meets the requirement of Section 162, the travel should be disallowed. Amway people have been unable to show that attending these meetinqs increased their sales. The agendas of these meetings appear to be primarily for entertainment, socializing, and listening to motivational speeches. The meetings have nothing to do with promoting the sale of Amway products to the general public. In fact, Amway distributors are specifically warned aqainst mentioning either Amway or selling when recruitinq potential downline people. Since it is not likely that the taxpayer will increase his sales by attending these functions, then there is not a reasonable business purpose for the trips"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The 6-4-2 Plan?

Let’s break down the 6-4-2 plan (Re-print)

Basically, it’s a plan to go direct (platinum) and all you need to do is sponsor 6 of these direct groups and you’re a diamond and will retire early and life in luxury right?

Assumptions: 1PV = 2.5BV. 1PV costs about $2.70.

The 6-4-2 plan has the premise that you do 100 PV, and you sponsor 6 frontline who do 100 PV. Your six frontline in turn sponsor 4 (24 IBOs) each who do 100 PV. And each of these 4 IBOs sponsor two IBOs (48 IBOs).

So your direct empire looks like this:

1 platinum Sponsored 6 who sponsored 4 who sponsored 2 6 1300 PV groups Sponsored 4 who sponsored 2 24 300 PV groups Sponsored 2 48 100 PV IBOs

Total 7900 PV. 7900 PV = (1 PV = 2.5 BV) 19750 BV. 19,750 BV @25% = $4937.50 per month. Annualized = $59,250. Add Q12 bonus 69,250 (platinum group yearly income, not counting retail sales profit. Cost of product (approximate) $21,300 per month or $255,960 per year to maintain 7900 PV.

The platinum must pay his 6 1300 PV groups. 6 frontline 1300 PV = 3250 BV = $390 per month, or $4680 per year. $4680 x 6 = 28,080.

The Platinum keeps 69,250 – 28,080 = 41,170 (net, but not including operating and system expenses, but this includes the Q 12 bonus)

Now, the 6 frontline must pay their 4 IBOs who sponsored two. 300 PV = 750 BV = $45 Per month, or $540 per year. Thus the 6 frontline earn $4680 per year but pay out $2160 downline for a net of $2520 per year, or $210 per month.

Ok, and then each of the IBOs who earn $45 per month or $540 per year must pay their downline (2 each) $7.50 per month, or $90 per year x 2 = $15 month or 180 per year. Thus the 300 PV IBO earns $30 per month or $360 per year.

Let’s review:

1 platinum earns $3430 per month, or $41,170 per year 6 1300 PV IBOs earn $210 per month, or $2520 per year 24 300 PV IBOs earn $30 per month, or $360 per year 48 100 PV IBOs earn $7.50 per month, or $90 per year This is before taxes and expenses, but also does not include retail profits, but hey, we teach buy from yourself right?

OK, let’s look at tools expenses. Let’s say only the platinum, the 6 frontline and the 4 each who sponsored others are on tools (Fair assessment?) That would be 31 IBOs out of a group of 79 IBOs on tools or 39% of the group, and remember that all of these IBOs do 100 PV every month.

Tools cost: KATE, Website, standing order, book of the month, open meetings, monthly functions, major functions (some IBOs have to fly to functions), gas, incidentals, babysitters. Let’s estimate these tools and other expenses to be $160 per month (Very conservative IMO). $160 per month = $1920 per year.

Now let’s review the group NET income.

1 platinum $3430 - $160 = $3270 per month, or $39,240 per year 6 frontline (1300 PV) $210 -$160 = $50 per month, or $600 per year 24 (300 PV) $30 - $160 = <$130> per month loss of $1560 per year 48 IBOs earn $7.50 per month or $90 per year.

Group income = $69,250. Group Tools expenses = (31 x $160 = $4960 per month, or $59,520 per year) Group profit = $9,730 for the year.

79 IBOs putting in 10 hours per week = 790 hours per week or 9480 hours per year.

These IBOs on average made a whopping $1.02 per hour for the year collectively. Or………

The Platinum made $78.48 per hour

6 frontline IBOs made $1.15 per hour

24 – 300 PV IBOs lost $3 per hour

48 100 PV IBOs made 17 cents per hour.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Critical Mistakes Made By Amway IBOs?

In professional sports, whether it be football, basketball or baseball, there are many close games. In close games, a critical mistake made will likely cost your team the game. A good example of this would be a football team trying score the winning touchdown but they commit a game changing turnover. Or a baseball pitcher slips and throws a fastball up in the zone and it gets hammered for a home run. Or a basketball player shooting fouls shots but missing in the last minute of the game. A critical mistake nearly assures you of failure.

In my opinion one of the most critical mistakes that many IBOs make is to ignore the bottom line when analyzing their Amway businesses. I recall, in my experience, business building IBOs, sadly, taught by their uplines to ignore losses, or to view losses as investments into their businesses, or that money is really not important, because you keep building the business and the "money will be there", which is not true. Some uplines may teach that the business is really about making friends or being a nicer person. All of these things may be nice side benefits of reading personal development books or attending functions, etc., but when running a business, the most important goal should be to turn a profit. The sole purpose of a business should be to sell a product or service for a profit. Period.

For many IBOs, their businesses consist of listening to standing orders, attending functions and meetings, but not focused on selling products and earning a net profit. And for most IBOs, nobody can blame them as upline may give them bad advice and because the Amway business is person to person selling, it is so inefficient that many groups end up teaching IBOs to simply buy their own volume and get others to join the business. For groups who operate primarily in this manner, you are probably running an illegal pyramid business because new and existing IBOs can profit only by continuing to add more downline IBOs in the hope that they too, will buy their own volume and sponsor others.

When you look carefully at the business plan, whether it is 6-4-2, 9-4-2 or some other variation, the majority of these business building IBOs will have low volume and likely to earn only about $10 a month. But to earn that $10 a month, you are likely to have to spend $300 on products, and if you are on standing order, voicemail and functions, then you likely spend anywhere from $150 to $250 monthly (or more) to participate in the teaching system. Thus these IBO's bottom line is a net loss! It is only when you are able to sponsor many downline that your losses will get smaller and you will only profit when you have a sizable downline. That means your bottom line is a loss. And while Amway defenders will argue that Walmart doesn't even give you $10 a month, you can certainly get more products from Walmart for $300 than you can get from Amway for the same price. Walmart will match any advertised price on a product that they and a competitor may carry. Also, Walmart's advertising reaching millions of people, which is much more effective than person to person. While Amway runs some ads now days, they do not directly drive customers to IBOs. The vast majority of IBO business is still to themselves and their downline, and not to non IBO customers.

I challenge IBOs to look objectively at their bottom lines. It is likely a net loss. If it is, ask your upline how long this is expected to last. Set hard goals and if you are doing what is advised by upline and results do not improve, you may have to ask yourself what will change to make your business profitable? Basically, if you aren't adding active downlines and customers regularly, you aren't going anywhere and are likely to be running your business at a loss month after month after month. It won't take long before you realize that you have lost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Uplines often say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

As a former IBO with a 4000 PV business with eagle parameters, I was not making a net profit. I saw my bottom line and although doing and achieving what my upline advised, there was little to no money. I decided the effort, time and money invested wasn't worth it. Plus my upline started to interfere in my personal life. I saw my bottom line and wasn't satisfied, and I left Amway. I later discovered the lies my upline had fed me to keep me in the business and to keep me buying tools. It is why I started blogging. For now, my bottom line is to get the truth out about the tools scam run by upline. That is Joecool's bottom line.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friends For Life In Amway?

I read on another blog recently written by an IBO, that your real friends would not walk away or cease to be your friends because of involvement in Amway. I do not believe your good friends would abandon anyone because of their involvement in Amway. However, they might avoid you for a while if you are always talking about Amway, or bugging them to join Amway. They might also feel that it is the IBO who has deserted the friendship in order to attend the endless number of Amway meetings and conventions.

As a former IBO myself, I know that I sacrificed many birthday parties and backyard barbeques. Our upline told us that these minor sacrifices would pay us back a hundredfold in the future. Looking back, not a single IBO crossline or my sponsor, ever got any significant payout from Amway. I believe that some IBO's relationships with friends and family may suffer, but not because of their involvement in Amway per say, but because the IBO is putting the relatiionships on hold while they pursue their Amway dream. It's almost like a friend who leaves home to attend an out of town college. Eventually they come home and your friendship is still there.

As an IBO, I remember our upline telling us that we needed to separate ourselves at times, to avoid negative. I believe this is still true today, based on what I see coming from current IBOs. IBOs might call it "association", where they think they are "hanging out" with successful people, but the reality is that the masses of IBOs are broke dreamers hanging out with each other.

Ironically, our upline taught us that we as IBOs were all friends for life. I recall a high level WWDB leader commenting that an IBO who "quits" is leaving their friendship, therefore the remaining group is not responsible for the failed relationship between current and former IBOs. When an IBO says friends for life, what they really mean for most is that you are friends for life as long as you never quit Amway. This is one of the reasons why Amway has been compared to a cult.

Shortly after leaving the Amway business, my dad passed away. Not a single person upline or crossline called or visited to pay their respects or to express their sympathy. Friends for life indeed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mind Your Own Business?

One of the things I heard as an IBO, and still witness today, is IBOs telling prospects that their income is none of your business. That you can refer to the compensation plan and see that you are compensated for volume. That your effort will yield different results than their efforts. All I can say is what a load of baloney. If you are researching the Amway business opportunity and the person contacting you won't disclose financial details of their business, red flags should pop up all over the place. Sure if your potential sponsor is new, they may not have much to share, but are they willing to share or claim that it's a trade secret?

Remember that your sponsor will receive a financial benefit from your purchases and/or sales for the life of his/hers and your business. Volume that you move, plus your downline volume will be a part of your sponsor's and upline's volume. For that kind of reward, you'd think that people would be open to sharing. Now I'm not suggesting you ask to see the sponsor's personal job income, but surely, you'd want to know what kind of time, effort and expenses you might expect, along with the kind of expected results that your potential sponsor may be experiencing so you can decide whether it's worth the investment of time and money, especially if you will be encouraged to purchase training from the upline.

If your potential sponsor has a downline, and has been around for a month or more, wouldn't you want to know what their results and expenses are? It's perfectly reasonable to ask and expect a response. Since Amway leaders often talk about duplicating, wouldn't you want to know what you would be duplicating? I wouldn't want to put in 12 hours a week plus a few hundred in expenses if the likely result would be a net loss. Now I understand that a new business might not prosper right away but what are the indicators that a profit is coming? If you have trouble selling and sponsoring downline, you will more than likely never make a net profit. If you are selling and sponsoring, but still not profiting, then what? Are the tools and training expenses eating up all your profits?

It is my conclusion that uplines and potential sponsors don't share this information because it would not be attractive to prospects. Most IBOs run at a loss, especially if they have tools and training expenses and they might be putting in a tremendous effort. We know that some diamonds have financial difficulty. We also know that some, possibly many diamonds make more money from the tools and training than from Amway. I believe that the Amway opportunity is a far cry from how it's presented with the mansions and sports cars. I believe the reality is a sad one. If you are told by your potential sponsor that their business income and/or results are none of your business, you should pack up your bags and run!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Most Amway IBOs "Do Nothing"?

I see and hear this quite frequently, that most IBOs do nothing and quit. Quite often, it's some Amway apologist using this as a defense as to why the average earnings of an IBO is so low. Even if many IBOs "do nothing", they are still registered IBOs, and therefore count if you are measuring an "average". What Amway apologists like to do it exclude those who achieve nothing, but at the same time, count the high achievers in the average, thus giving a false impression of what the earnings are for a rank and file IBO. A better way in my opinion, would be to exclude the lowest and highest earners. That will give a more accurate idea of what someone can expect to earn in Amway.

But let's look at the term "do nothing". I cannot accept that most people do absolutely nothing. They were open enough to talk to someone about a business. They were motivated enough to be looking for something. They were motivated enough to (likely) attend a presentation and they were motivated enough to spend money on a starter kit. I would add that in many cases, groups such as BWW, WWDB or Network 21 for example, will add on somem charges to that starter kit, which may include some tools or possibly a ticket to the next function. If you actually visit the Amway website, you will see that actual enrollment costs less than $100. With the motivational groups tacking on fees, startup kits might cost several hundreds of dollars. That being the case, I can't accept that people did all of the above, paid to join and then let the starter kit sit there collecting dust.

It would be my educated theory that many people "achieve nothing". but they don't "do nothing". A more likely scenario in my opinion, is that people sign up, and they do contact others, try to sell the business or some products, but because of past IBO behavior, they encounter the term scam or pyramid, and an extremely low rate of people open to joining Amway. Knowing that you cant "go diamond" without sponsoring, many or possibly most IBOs try to get others to join. Because a lot of Amway products are not competitively priced and because of previous reputation issues, it is a very tough sell for new people. In my opinion, this is why Amway is growing faster in foreign countries, because IBOs have not yet damaged the name of Amway. Keeping this is mind, it is my guess that the real life average income is about $100 a month, not the $200+ that Amway recently reported, as they conveniently excluded over 50% of the IBO sales force.

If people are saying that all these folks "did nothing", ask them how they could possibly know if someone "did nothing". The answer is that they don't know. In my time as an IBO, I saw people come and go, some doing little, some doing a lot, but I never saw a single person sign up and not even open the starter kit or at least try to prospect and/or sell. I believe the Amway system is simply flawed and the low achievement levels of IBOs in general is a product of that flawed system. You're welcome to try and prove me wrong (but you can't).