Thursday, June 03, 2010

I get Amway mail, part 2

As promised, this is a followup to the previous email.

Listen I am not upset so when you read this don't take it in a way to make you upset. Remember you don't know me nor I you and if you knew me I love debating and we are two people with totally different views. You are hard core against Amway and I'm hard core for it. I am not looking for your approval or looking to win you over so it's cool. I'm just testing my knowledge and your ignorance :)

So lets get educated.


Bring it!

[In response to my point that the vast majority of people signing up dump money into it that they never see again.]

The reason behind this is because there are over 3 million IBO's or more by now. With this each has developed their own way to become successful using this business program. Some have developed their own teams and their own training material. With that said, this is why sometime you will find negative people out their because they base this whole business on what other people do and not on Amway itself. Amway never promises you anything the Team does, All Amway promises you is that if you order something they will send it to you, and if you earn a bonus then they will pay you. If you look at anything else out there you will find dumb people in all types of businesses that make a bad name for that business.

Amway must attract an unusually high number of dumb people, then, because the actual measurable success rate is abysmal compared to making a legitimate living.

Take, for example, these numbers that were put out by Britt Worldwide in 1997. (Note: I wish I could get you some more current stats, but Amway is generally pretty stingy with the figures. If you have something more recent to share, let's see it and we'll work with those.)

  • Approximately 41% of distributors were considered "Active" -- which means, they are not just the non-participants joining to get "discounts" on stuff; they are selling. So basically, guys like you.
  • Among the active distributors -- not all distributors, mind you -- only 2% of them reached the direct level which, as far as I can tell, is where you need to be in order to make any profit at all, even a trivial one.
  • Platinum, Emerald, and Diamond distributors combined make up less than 0.2% (one in 500) of active distributors, with Platinums accounting for most of those.
  • So, if you are in the top 0.2 percentile, you finally have a shot at making... significantly less money than I make now, with my worthless graduate degree and my soul-crushing J.O.B. Woohoo!

Amway folks like to tout the figure that 90% of small businesses fail. If that were true -- which it isn't -- then it would still mean that you are about 50 times more likely to run a successful business than you are to earn a decent living through Amway.

Also, the over priced items, have you ever heard you get what you pay for?

Ah, so you admit that they're overpriced. ;)

Well the items you buy from Amway are in the top Ten of most products[*] out their such as Artistry which is in the top 5 makeup brands who sponsored Miss America, or Nutrilite which is the Largest Multi-vitamin company in the world and now is only sold online they have been around longer then Amway as well 75 years plus.

* Note: Rankings obtained from Amway Consumer Reports™, the official product rating magazine of Amway™. Ask for your subscription today!

They have sponsored major Athletics such as Marta Vieira, and Teams such as AC Milan, and many more. They just got a new ARTISTRY Creme LuXury with Sandra Bullock's name all over it.

Wow! I don't use Artistry Creme LuXury™, but if I did, I would know it was a quality product because some celebrity got paid for granting permission to use her name! How could I have been so blind?

[In response to my statement that the financial performance of investing in an Amway business is much worse than college]

College is just as bad if you don't use the knowledge you have learnt and just sat on you rear end with it.

Ah, I see what you did there. You want your Amway participation to compare favorably to education, so you decided that if you compare the laziest people who also got a degree to the most successful people in Amway, then the second group comes out on top. It makes sense that you want to skew the data that way, because otherwise you're stuck recognizing that a college education directly correlates to a substantial measurable increase in income, while the success rate of an Amway distributor is around 0.2%.

The main problem is that there are people who don't believe that there is something better out their then a dumb job.

And then there are the ones who have not-dumb jobs, and also know how badly Amway distributors do.

Amway isn't for everyone and their are few[*] that truly make it BIG and that's because they are not willing to do more then the other guy.

* Extremely few.

Anyone can do this business to some level of success, but it takes a person to become a Leader to really make the income most desire and because of that people quit, or they lack faith in themselves to actually try to do anything Better then what they are doing now.

So you're saying that the vast majority of people who join Amway are not making it because they are huge failures. Unlike you, who's been seriously working it for eight whole months, and your income must be, what? Surely equivalent to minimum wage at least, am I right?.

I on the other hand would rather try to work for something that "could" be true then work for the rest of my life for a pay check that doesn't come close to what I am or anyone is really worth.

Are you worth the $100 a month that a typical distributor makes?

If you think Amway is a scam check out the Government and the Social Security. Look up the structure of Corporate America, Presidents make all the money and it takes forever to get an advancement to a better paying status. You'll have to work equally hard at that as you would this. I'd say that's more then a Pyramid then Amway.

You'd say that, of course, while conveniently glossing over the fact that even the lowest paid person in the company is guaranteed to make at least minimum wage. No employee is dumb enough to actually pay for the privilege of showing up for work every day. And stupid me, I waste my time in this foolish pyramid scam where I make more than an emerald (or at least a 1997 emerald), which means that a whole 0.01% or so of active distributors are totally schooling me.

Amway say you earn what you do and get paid for the volume you create for them.

And you fall for it!

Social Security is not going to be around for my generation and people think that they will work 40 years or more of their life and retire nicely. They are the ones in a pipe dream. Look up and see the numbers in that equation it will shock you on the % of people that actually make it on their Social Security Income.
http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/ Look at the Average monthly pay out which is $1100 and lets double it to $2200 a month at age 65 that is still hard to live on if you tack on inflation and anything else you might have, such as medical bills and any debt you haven't paid off yet.

I'm not going to sugar coat things. You've made a lot of mistakes already in describing social security, but if you wind up living on nothing but social security because you do not save and invest any of your own money, you're not going to live comfortably. On the other hand, if you are one of the 98% of distributors who spends more money on Amway than you make on the business, then your position will certainly be that much worse.


[In response to my pointing on that I'm not someone who "failed at the business"]

First off I'm not bothered, secondly I skimmed through your story, and now look at what you just now wrote, let me highlight it for you. I can totally say this with utmost confidence, you have no clue about this business, your like a professor in college teaching his students how to run a business when he himself never ran a business. How does that make since, so you telling me you never even started and your telling other people why not to do this without even being involved in the business for yourself? Wow, that a mind blower, I mean does that really make since to you?

You know what's funny? When you first wrote to me, you said I wasn't qualified to have an opinion about Amway because I tried it and "failed." Now that you know I didn't do it, you think I don't know anything about it because of that. In essence, it's a perfect little self-perpetuating delusion you've set up. You believe that the only people who are qualified to tell you anything about Amway are the 0.2% of active distributors who are making a decent income at it. Of course, those are the ones with the most incentive to lie to you. It also means that you aren't qualified to tell me anything you know about Amway, since I'm assuming you're not platinum yourself.

Let me ask you this, though. Suppose, hypothetically, that Amway actually is a scam, not a good business opportunity, and folks at the top are actually not representing the opportunity accurately. Under the set of rules that you've constructed about who you are allowed to listen to, how would you ever find out?

[I'm an atheist]

Well I don't push my beliefs on anyone but I will tell you it doesn't matter what you believe either in God or not, personal beliefs are person beliefs and if someone were using this business in the wrong way then they will get what is rightfully due to them. Carma will find them. If not God will judge us all in the end for what we did with his gift while we are here on this earth. If you were wondering what I was referring to as a Gift it is you he created you if you like it or not, and if you Believe it or not.

While I'm always willing to have this conversation, I'm pretty sure that would take us off on a massive tangent that would make a completely different thread. Feel free to call The Atheist Experience any Sunday if you want that chat. Right now I'm passing.

[I'll be glad if people get driven away from Amway based on what I wrote]

Yet again like I said before you have no Idea what your talking about, and if someone would listen to you when you yourself have never even attempted this business, then they are not bright at all. Why I say this is because the people I work with teach a Win-Win scenario that if I help you succeed then in return I will succeed. Just like the great leadership speaker Zig Zigglar says " You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." "Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly." ~ M. Scott Peck . That's what we offer people with this business Freedom of a Job and give them options to obtain Time & Money.
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/z/zig_ziglar_2.html
http://www.twu.ca/academics/graduate/leadership/servant-leadership/quotes.html


Mmmkay. Thanks for the advice, now you be sure and let me know when you start making more than minimum wage.

[I'm not lying about Amway being a bad business.]

I really don't care if you choose to do this or not because it's your choice and God has given us all the Free Will to choose what we want to do in life. Like I said before this isn't to "Get You". There are millions of people out in the world who will do this and who I would want to work with to accomplish their Dreams what ever that may be. I look forward everyday to helping those who want my help and are looking to do more with their life then work a dumb job for the rest of their life. If it was a mistake or not only time will tell, but I would encourage you be more positive in life and help other be more positive because we have enough negative in this world.

I am positive! There are lots of things I write about with enthusiasm. I've got an education and an interesting job, I live in an era filled with cool technology, and I have a family that I love. I only say negative things about Amway because Amway sucks so much. :)

[Thanks for correcting the $500 figure.]

Your Welcome. Thanks for the Motivation to press on, people like you are the reason why I do this Crazy Business as some would say, to prove to all the haters that they are all wrong. But that's my opinion, just someone who has actually done this long enough to see a great return and a awesome impact to other people's lives in a positive way.

God Blessing be with you,

Chris


Thanks! And may the Flying Spaghetti Monster touch you with His noodly appendage.

Russell

28 comments:

  1. Wow, this character started his first paragraph of his first post with some cohesion but almost immediately started falling apart. The slow logical and grammatical errors culminated in some religious nonsense. I really don't have anything to add, but I enjoyed seeing you dissect him thoroughly. You know he is reeling for some sort of reassurance when he whips out the god arguments.
    How do these sorts of things typically end? Do you expect maybe one or two more exchanges before he stops communicating?

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  2. Depends. I would expect Chris to come back a few more times before it peters out. And I don't know that he'll be the first one to lose interest and drop it, either; eventually there could come a point where any new contributions to the topic are just repetitive.

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  3. Typical misguided IBO. Here's the facts about the Amway Tool Scam: http://thenetprofitgroup.yolasite.com/

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  4. I linked back to see how he signed of his prior note to you. I can't help but notice that in his first letter, he uses a secular sign off. Then, in this one, after you let him know you're an atheist you get a godly sign off. I wonder if he signs off letters to Jews with "Jesus loves you"?

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  5. It's interesting that this should come up again now - just the other day someone at work approached me with an exciting opportunity to join a company called Primerica (it seems to be some kind of direct insurance sales thing, but you wouldn't have known that from the pitch I got). He pitched it as though someone he knew had just moved into town and was looking for people to join his business, but I started to smell a rat almost immidietly, especially when he refused to tell me what the actual job was (when I asked, he responded that he was "in the showing and helping people business, not the telling business"). When I couldn't get a straight answer from him, I asked for the company's URL so I could see for myself what they were looking for - and he went right into an obviously prepared response about how you have to be careful looking things up on the internet because there are all these disgruntled bloggers saying things about the business, but have they ever been to a meeting? So how would they know, huh?
    I think I'm sharp enough that I would have smelled a scam eventually anyway, but having read your Amway page may have saved me a lot of time because I recognized the bullshit straight off. So thanks! :)

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  6. MLMs in general... but AMWAY more so than all the rest, are an odd breed. I've never seen a company try SO hard to pretend to be something they are not (at the root of the ACTUAL business they sell consumer goods, and yet they BEND OVER BACKWARDS talking about everything BUT the producst and the sales thereof.) The irony is that the average person in the organization would probably be AT LEAST twice as successful if he/she focused A LOT more on knowing the products and trying to sell things and a lot LESS time on redundant self help mantras.

    I was particularly turned off when I started to get involved with a different MLM and my direct rep started giving me crap about it (using essentially the EXACT same arguments most people use against AMWAY). The hypocirisy turned my stomach (to say the least).

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  7. Now, I don't know why that the average person in Amway makes so little because I don't and I'm happy about that to. I would say it is because they do not really know what they have their hands on or they just don't believe it is a real business, just like you guys. I also think that people have been told that they can make a fortune in their first month of business which is a lie and they think it should happen faster then what it really is going to take. Also, you have to consider this is designed to work around you Job so not a lot of people are able to do this because they are already somewhat maxed out on time, or so they think. If you don't have a calendar then thats your problem, start tracking you time and where it goes and I'll bet you'll get more done. There can be a lot of things that could hinder a person to become successful. Just like anything in life you have to work hard for success. Just think about all the hard work you have put into your current career would you say what your getting paid was worth the sacrifice you made to get their? See everyone looks at the struggle more then the victory, why is that? Just like Micheal Jordan and his story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by6J1ii5m80
    Now for my story: and probably why others take so long in making a return with this Business.
    When I did get started I didn't listen to the person that was tiring to teach me because I was young and thought I could figure this out on my own. Well, it didn't work of course and the person that was teaching me made 45k a year with this business, which several people think you can't make money at. Now, he makes currently well over 70k and so does the person that taught him. But you guys won't believe that because you never tried it or was like me and didn't listen, and you ended up quitting. Or you could have been apart of another team that didn't know what they were doing, because there are 300k teams out there.
    Now, I am coached my someone else that have been their for me and my wife for the past 2 years and because of his support and encouragement we are able to get out of debt this year and replace my wives income by this Aug.
    I am a proud Christian and I am not one to push my beliefs on anyone and your walk is your walk not mine. We all will be responsible for our own mistakes and decisions. Who is right in the end only time will tell.
    Tell then I wish you all many Blessings.
    Chris

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  8. Well I'm not an English major nor do I have a College Education. I really don't care want anyone thinks about me or about what I do. I am an individual that cares for everyone and like I said before I like to debate and get others opinion.
    I think that the Amway company stands for a great cause but their has been several people who have gotten into it that have really made it out to be something bad when it really isn't. I've been taught by my family that you can always believe what you hear so I looked into it myself by getting started I mean $225.00 to get started is a lot better then some businesses that cost a lot more then that to get things up and running. Also, their is a money back guarantee so we don't get people started to get their money.
    If you compare Amway to any other Retail store it is the same they need employee's to work for the store, we need a team to expand our Networks. The Retail store needs customers or they won't be a business and make money, so do we.
    The best thing about this business vs. the other is that you don't have any overhead and if so it is less then $100.00 a month and you don't have to have a location to run the business out of. Also, you have support of a Team that is willing to help you become successful and that are willing to train you so that you can Teach others to do the same. The reason why the large Retail store does better then this business on the front end is because you are Advertising it like crazy and customers can come and go when they want and they can see the products right then and there. But like i said before you have to have a large amount of capital to get it off to a good start.
    Our team does small events called Expos or Grand Openings for New IBO's that get started to get them on the right Track, kind of like Pamper Chief, Avon, Cookie-Lee and an other similar MLM Business. I personally have helped several people make more then $100.00 their very first Expo, which takes 2-4 hours to do and prepare for. So that person made $25 an hour that day, wow that's a lot more then minimum wage, and then that income becomes Residual income and growing income from that point on, as long as the customer was satisfied. Just like a happy Walmart shopper who loves Walmart.
    Now the networking part comes in just like Facebook and any other social networking site out their and just like this one was built. People referring people with a common goal in mind. This site was made for discussions, debating, and information sharing. Where we now happen to be talking about Amway. Now, with our networking we are looking for other Entrepreneurs that are looking to start a business with low cost and have something that they can own and put forth effort to obtain what ever they want, because if you can make a little money with this business then you can make a lot. You have proved that this works with that simple statement "the average IBO make less then minimum wage." Well guess what it is something. It's more then Walmart is going to pay me for shopping with them and most of the prices now are comparable if not better some are more of course but I still get a return.

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  9. Well I'm not an English major nor do I have a College Education.

    --No surprise there.

    I really don't care want anyone thinks about me or about what I do.

    -- Oh really? Then why are you spending so much time trying to defend yourself?

    I am an individual that cares for everyone and like I said before I like to debate and get others opinion.

    ---hmmm... those who actually value other's opinions tend to actually spend the time necessary to think about them and offer reasoned responses... you don't appear to have done either

    Ok, I'll leave the rest up to Russel...

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  10. Ok - I lied.

    Chris, if you really are a doing well with Amway (or would like to)there are some very valid points being made on this thread which, if you would actually take the time to consider, would HELP YOU to be a better distributor.

    Then again, I suspect that your claim of success (largely because of a. your attitude, and b. the idea that someone already sucessful in the business would waste his time in a forum like this when he could be working the business) is a charade and if that is the case please stop wasting our time. The amusement factor got old fast.

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  11. Russell,
    I'll continue here to address some of your misconceptions. First, Amway's statistics. Amway actually provides some of the statistics you cite regularly, including on documentation that is available on the Amway website. For most of the last decade they were published on a website "thisbiznow" however the site has recently been retired. Having said that, the stats have been a little out of date, the most recent I believe are from 2005. They're not significantly different from what you quote though, of more importance is your misinterpretations. Let's look -

    Approximately 41% of distributors were considered "Active" -- which means, they are not just the non-participants joining to get "discounts" on stuff; they are selling. So basically, guys like you.

    Your interpretation is not correct and very misleading. Amway's definition of "active" includes anyone who went to just one meeting in a whole year. It includes anyone who ordered enough products for themselves that they got a bonus back (only about $300 worth in a month). Heck, it includes people who just once, in a whole year, asks their brother if they'd like to buy something - and that person says no! In the most recent survey (2001) this covered 66% of distributors, not 41%.

    I suspect if the level of effort you put in to your job was similar to any of those, it wouldn't take long before your job income was approaching zero - same goes for Amway. Amway though is entirely performance based, and achievement requires a lot of learning and hard work.

    Among the active distributors -- not all distributors, mind you -- only 2% of them reached the direct level which, as far as I can tell, is where you need to be in order to make any profit at all, even a trivial one.

    Again, incorrect and a myth unfortunately promoted by the likes of "Tex" as well as yourself. I personally reached profitability well before the "direct" level, and have had people in my group reach profitability in their first month in the business. Much of the misunderstanding in this area arose from a Wisconsin "tax" study from many years ago. The study looked at tax data and there are three pieces of vital information that need to be considered when interpreting them - (1) all business owners try to minimize their taxable income (hopefully through legitimate means, and with Amway there are many) (2) When you achieve a level the first time in Amway you may receive a "title", like "direct" (today called "platinum") which you can continue to use, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are continuing to qualify at that level of achievement. Thus while you might be called a "direct" you may no longer be generating the business to be earning a "direct" income. (3) In the past you had to reach the volume level in just one month to get the title, later it was extended to 3 months then 6 months. Today there is are further recognitions for people who hold that volume for 12 months and longer. Since qualification for the titles are tougher, they're far more likely today to have developed a stable business, and stable income.

    Platinum, Emerald, and Diamond distributors combined make up less than 0.2% (one in 500) of active distributors, with Platinums accounting for most of those.

    Not correct, the most recent data ,supplied to IBOs on amway.com, is that 1.0820% of all IBOs in 2008 (not just active ones) achieved Platinum or higher. That included 0.269% who were Platinum.

    Apart from being outdated, I suspect the "Britt" data you were looking at was using different definitions, and as noted your definitions seem to be different again.

    continued ....

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  12. part II ...

    So, if you are in the top 0.2 percentile, you finally have a shot at making... significantly less money than I make now, with my worthless graduate degree and my soul-crushing J.O.B. Woohoo!

    Again, your numbers are wrong. Your conclusion rests on a false comparison. Income from jobs and income from business sources are not directly comparable. In one your trading your time for money (at a level determined by experience/performance), in the other you are both trading time for money and developing an asset based income. I built an Amway business more than a decade ago that I have not touched in 10 years. I've put no time or money into at all. Every month it generates an income. How much did I make from the work I put in in 1998? I've no idea, I'm still getting paid for it. The closest you can do is calculate for similar ROIs. I did a post about this on my blog some time back - What is an Amway or Quixtar business worth?

    * Note: Rankings obtained from Amway Consumer Reports™, the official product rating magazine of Amway™. Ask for your subscription today!

    Your facetiousness says more about you and your interest in accuracy than anything else. The "source" for the statistic on Artistry and Nutrilite is Euromonitor International, a well respected major market research firm. Nutrilite has been the top selling nutritional brand in the world for many years and year after year wins consumer awards. Artistry has globally been one of the top 5 prestige skin care and cosmetics lines for almost as long. Amway products have been winning awards for years.

    Ah, I see what you did there. You want your Amway participation to compare favorably to education, so you decided that if you compare the laziest people who also got a degree to the most successful people in Amway, then the second group comes out on top.

    No, that (in reverse) is what you are doing. He is suggesting that perhaps time and effort is the more valid metric to compare on. You on the other hand are comparing the income resulting of many years of study and hard work with a group that includes data points resulting from once in a year saying "hey bro, wanna buy an XS? No?"

    Please, a little more thought.
    ....

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  13. Part III ... (or was it IV? losing track ... :-) )


    . It makes sense that you want to skew the data that way, because otherwise you're stuck recognizing that a college education directly correlates to a substantial measurable increase in income, while the success rate of an Amway distributor is around 0.2%.

    This is one of the more irritating, and if I may say, arrogant, habits of "the Amway critic" - feeling they have the right to determine what "success" and "failure" is to someone else.

    On what basis are you (with incorrect statistics) are determining that "platinum" is success in Amway? Why do you consider someone who joins Amway to make a hundred bucks a month, and does so, a "failure"? Why is someone who joins Amway to shop at a discount, does so successfully, but likes the products so much they order more than $300 or so in a month and get a further rebate a "failure"?

    These are not hypotheticals, numerous surveys both within Amway and the direct selling industry report that most people who join companies like Amway have modest goals like this. Heck, according to the DSAthe vast majority of direct sellers spend less than 10hrs a week on their "business", and around a third are their soley just for discounted products, yet you want to compare their income to full time jobs after years of college?

    Seriously?

    You'd say that, of course, while conveniently glossing over the fact that even the lowest paid person in the company is guaranteed to make at least minimum wage.

    Even ignoring the false comparison of a business to a job income, can you show me a single Amway distributor who puts in a 40hr week into their Amway business and makes less than minimum wage?

    No employee is dumb enough to actually pay for the privilege of showing up for work every day.

    No, that's the privilege of the tens of millions of entrepreneurs around the world. It's normal to have expenses in a business or has that experience passed you by?

    And stupid me, I waste my time in this foolish pyramid scam where I make more than an emerald (or at least a 1997 emerald), which means that a whole 0.01% or so of active distributors are totally schooling me.

    Really? Building an emeraldship over 10 years is roughly the equivalent of earning $14000/mth for that time frame. You make more than that? Well done. Oh - and in 2008 0.2% of all distributors (not just "active") are Emerald or above, not 0.01%.

    From your various links and other posts you're clearly a secular "rationalist" much like myself. Tell me - if a study came out on say, homeopathy, and it was full of incorrect data, false comparisons, and false assumptions, how accurate would you consider it's conclusions?

    How should people evaluate your conclusions on Amway?

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  14. @Allen Marshall - you'll be please to hear that Amway agrees with you, and after a decade or two of focusing on international expansion and leaving strategies to "the field" have (finally) realised there's been a lot of people running Amway businesses in a pretty dumb (and destructive) manner. They've put in lots more incentives to encourage people to actually get out and promote the products, which truly are some of the best in the world. They've also cracked down substantially on field misbehavior and and added further incentives to promote professional strategies and approaches.

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  15. @IBOFB:

    I want you to know that I am reading your comments and seriously considering what to say. You don't seem to be the intellectual lightweight that Chris is, and I'm far more inclined to have an extended conversation with you.

    If you don't mind, though, I only have time for a few hit and run questions before I head out for the evening. I hope that you don't mind and I look forward to going over the rest of your feedback later.

    A lot of your message implies the tantalizing hints of actual data, but doesn't really make it available. For instance, you suggest that a full statistical breakdown of incomes is available from Amway.com, but it doesn't seem to be visible to unregistered users like me. You posted a link suggesting it was there, but your link goes to "void(0)." Is there any way that you can send me a more complete version of this information? I'm kind of a numbers geek, and went through a lot of data mining work, so I'd like to get to pore over them myself.

    You've mentioned repeatedly, both here and on your own blog, that (1) MOST people work Amway part time, and (2) Directs/Platinums and above are making far more from their investment than it appears, in view of the fact that they work fewer hours. What I'm wondering is, does that data you have actually give a breakdown of time spent as well? For instance, suppose we take all people who are making, to throw out a number, $20,000 a year. If they work 40 hours a week all year, they are not really doing very well; if they work 10 hours a week, they are doing extremely well. How can I verify what percent of people are in each camp?

    And finally, I looked at the link you posted to supporting the claim that "Building an emeraldship over 10 years is roughly the equivalent of earning $14000/mth for that time frame." Rather than finding verifiable data, I saw that you based this entire claim on one ambiguous statement from a diamond. You interpreted it to mean that once you reach the emerald level and then stop working at all, you can expect to earn 33% less than your peak year, every year in perpetuity, and this number will never decline again. How do you know that this is accurate, leaving aside the fact that what the Diamond said didn't specify a timeframe?

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  16. If you don't mind, though, I only have time for a few hit and run questions before I head out for the evening.

    No problem at all - heck, I've been planning on a detailed response to your site for years, and this is the closest I've got :) Off to bed in my corner of the world, but I'll hit and run your hit and run questions first ...

    Is there any way that you can send me a more complete version of this information? I'm kind of a numbers geek, and went through a lot of data mining work, so I'd like to get to pore over them myself.

    We have similar backgrounds. Sorry about the broken link, the one I gave should have worked. The other data on percentage qualifiers is supposed to be for "IBO eyes only" so to speak, so I'll have to sponsor you first ;) I'll drop you an email in the morning, but to be honest I'm hesitant as they too have their problems of interpretation. You might want to check out another post of mine on the problematic use of statistics - Amway IBOs get all their products free plus extra cash

    Really though, it all comes down to this question of yours -

    does that data you have actually give a breakdown of time spent as well?

    This information we pretty much don't have in hard data and it's difficult for Amway to get. The only real way to acquire it would be some sort of survey and that will undoubtedly be heavily skewed by sampling bias - those who answer the survey will be those most likely to be actually active. Attempts by, for example, the DSA show very few people work these businesses even remotely close to full time, and logic would dictate this to be the case too, since it's by design something you start part-time, and unlike a job there's no real immediate incentive or disincentive to actually do anything. Indeed, stats revealed in a court case in California showed that 50% of people who join Amway never even order a product after joining. That can be interpreted as indictment of IBOs "overselling" the opportunity or Amway and sponsors being poor at getting people started, or it could just be that it's really easy to join, doesn't cost much, and really easy to do nothing - things that can be just as easily interpreted as positive aspects of the model. Or more likely, a mix of both.

    Having said that, MonaVie, an MLM company which expanded primarily through recruiting existing "stars" from other companies, publishes more comprehensive statistics including average hours. MonaVie has the "advantage" of being a much more homogeneous company, with only a handful of products and thus approaches, and the stats have their own weaknesses, but as you can see even at significant income levels the average hours worked is quite low. There's no reason to believe Amway (or other MLMs) are substantially different.

    Regarding "Rather than finding verifiable data, I saw that you based this entire claim on one ambiguous statement from a diamond", that's not quite true. A lot more data than that goes in to the discussion there! What's more, the guy in question wasn't a Diamond :). What he does have is (a) decades of experience, which include a stint as a regional Amway executive before he became an IBO (b) a significant Amway downline spanning the globe that includes thousands of Emeralds and above - ie lots of data points. Alas it's all I've got.

    My personal experience is that his data tends to be conservative - for example he predicted the business I left wasn't yet large enough to be self-sustaining and should have atrophied and disappeared by now - it hasn't! :)

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  17. For arguments sake I'd like you to just consider a scenario, and leave aside all other issues.

    Imagine you have a range of products that are excellent quality and there is a significant market segment that would consider them good value. Then imagine you tapped that segment and introduced them to your products. They could then order them from your website, pay you, and have them delivered to their door without any further intervention from you, with all logistical type issues outsourced.

    Why wouldn't that be a legitimate business model, that, given enough people using the products, couldn't develop a significant "passive" income?

    That's pretty much the model these days (with some tweaks to deal with, for example, attrition).

    It seems to me Amway critics arguments lie in one of four areas -

    (1) the products are not of value and have no legitimate demand. If true then there is no legitimate business opportunity, no argument there.

    (2) they are criticisms (often legitimate, but in my opinion usually overgeneralized) of particular approaches and marketing strategies, not the actual business model or products

    (3) the compensation plan and model itself is misunderstood, for example claiming "endless chains" or significantly more layers of costs than "traditional" marketing and distribution, or simply thinking the MLM model is the same as the pyramid model and attributing the all too real flaws of the latter to the former.

    (4) they are criticisms that apply to pretty many or all businesses or product-oriented businesses - for example the idea that you "recruit your competitors" so it's fundamentally flawed.

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  18. - Allen Marshall
    Well I'm not an English major nor do I have a College Education.

    --No surprise there.

    --Thanks for getting personal.I don't believe I made a direct stab at you. My Grandfather is a self made Millionaire and dropped out of High School. So you don't have to have the paper to tell you what you can or can not do. I do believe in education and self improvement, and College isn't the only place you can do that. I still can't get past the idea of college, they are more on the lines of a business and most of them are not out for the students best interest. I also couldn't get past that most professors that teach do not have real life experience in what they are teaching, or at least where I live. I will go back to College and finish up a degree in something I enjoy, and it will not have to be for a career and I won't go into Debt for it either. Besides if you put your mind to anything it can be accomplished. What separates us all is how hard we willing to work in order to get success.

    I really don't care want anyone thinks about me or about what I do.

    -- Oh really? Then why are you spending so much time trying to defend yourself?

    --Ha. I see you have me all figured out your such a Genius. ;) You have a preconceived notion that I am defending myself just because I am writing on this blog lol. The reason why I am responding is because I am defending everyone who reads this blog that is looking to do Amway.

    I am an individual that cares for everyone and like I said before I like to debate and get others opinion.

    ---hmmm... those who actually value other's opinions tend to actually spend the time necessary to think about them and offer reasoned responses... you don't appear to have done either

    -- Why just because I didn't have other Blogs and Links to back up what I was saying? See I respect others by allowing them to express their opinions about topics. Then I do think about what they are saying and if it does make since and is correct I will then chose to implement it into my life. The problem is that Russel and everyone else that has commented haven't been fully accurate according to my experience and according to the help of IBOFB <- someone who has done a lot of research and knows where to find true information.
    Thanks IBOFB I appreciate your input :)

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  19. -- Allen Marshall's post
    Chris, if you really are a doing well with Amway (or would like to)there are some very valid points being made on this thread which, if you would actually take the time to consider, would HELP YOU to be a better distributor.

    -- So something in here is what I was supposed to be listening to right? ;)

    --Your previous post-- MLMs in general... but AMWAY more so than all the rest, are an odd breed. I've never seen a company try SO hard to pretend to be something they are not (at the root of the ACTUAL business they sell consumer goods, and yet they BEND OVER BACKWARDS talking about everything BUT the producst and the sales thereof.) The irony is that the average person in the organization would probably be AT LEAST twice as successful if he/she focused A LOT more on knowing the products and trying to sell things and a lot LESS time on redundant self help mantras.

    --I heard you Loud and Clear. It's good to know that I don't do that and I do know my product because by trade I'm a Professional Sales Representative. I listen to the needs of my clients and fulfill them with what they are looking for. The best thing I love about Amway and their product is that I don't have to sell them, all I have to do is share them with others. It's called Endorsing use the products and share them with others.

    "redundant self help mantras."

    --This is actually intended to help you because if you get yourself right then you can help others to become successful and the more successful you will become. The problem is that you don't approach anyone to fix their issues right off the start, you do that when they come to ask you what they are doing wrong and what they can change to do better.

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  20. -- Allen Marshall's previous post.

    Then again, I suspect that your claim of success (largely because of a. your attitude, and b. the idea that someone already sucessful in the business would waste his time in a forum like this when he could be working the business)is a charade and if that is the case please stop wasting our time. The amusement factor got old fast.

    -- Yes one would think that they would be wasting time but when you work 9am-5pm there is time one could waste. Trust me I wouldn't ever waste time doing this then working my business. And since you think that success is someone who has a ton of money and credentials then you most like will think that I'm not that successful but I do not lie and what I have said thus far is completely true. So this is not a "charade"

    --Also, Allen to the "amusement factor" part of this, if you lost your amusement with this topic then quit responding. This message was originally written to Russel via email and not everyone else, but for his amusement I agreed to allow our conversation to be shared. It's not like I could have stopped him or anything, but I do respect that he asked. So we could have kept this whole thing in private and you would have never had a chance to put your two since into it. So if you have a problem with it then talk to Russel it his site anyway. :)

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  21. Chris,

    If you are as successful with Amway a you claim to be then congratulations. Russel never said that NO ONE is ever successful in the business, his point, primarily through research and anecdotal evidence, and mine primarily based on my experiences (for the record back in 95/96) is that the company seems to be founded on EXTREMELY deceitful business practices.

    The 'opening pitch' that was given to me was "I've got a business opportunity that I'd like to show you, but don't worry, you don't have to sell anything." I don't know about you, but that to me sounds like A BIG FRAKIN LIE (now that I know more that is). To summarize differently, the classic sales person fallacy in ANY business is to focus on sales for the sake of sales (with little or no regard for return attention to customers or familiarity with the product line). While I commend you for not falling prey to this trap, it is my experience (both internally as a representative and externally in my dealings with other 'sales people' that Amway and other similar businesses suffer from this problem significantly more than any other business out there.

    As for my personal attack, yeah, your first comment on this thread was so full of spelling errors and such that it was genuinely painful to read. Spell check exists for a reason and it shouldn't be THAT difficult to proof read your own post. So yeah, I was a little snarky. - deal with it

    IBOFB - Thanks, I'm not exactly sure what to think of you but you definitely have some cajones and have earned my respect. Hypothetically if we were sitting in a diner and you and Chris were both trying to show me 'the business plan' I'd probably ignore Chris and at least hear you out and then engage you in a short discussion of politics or current events.

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  22. Chris,

    Touche on your point about the 'amusement factor'. Obviously I'm getting something out of the debate or I wouldn't still be here would I?

    As for the statement that a successful person is 'someone who has a ton of money and credentials' those are your words, not mine. From a career/business perspective I would say someone is successful who is getting more out of the business than he is funneling into it, or, is involved in a pursuit that he or she enjoys so much that he would continue doing it for free if need be.

    IF this fits you then congratulations, again, based on any numbers available such 'success' has been elusive to 99% of those who paid the 200/300$ and tried out being an 'amway distributor'.

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  23. @Kazim/Russell - my apologies, having multiple family crises at the moment, I'll send you some info/data as promised when I get the chance, probably next week.

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  24. IBOFB,

    Don't worry about it, I've been meaning to follow up on this thread but I've been extremely busy myself. Talk to you next week.

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  25. Allen,

    "Opening Pitch"

    I would agree that Amway distributors should be open and up front about the way we do business. In defense of those who do say that you don't have to sell anything they are right in a way, but there are sells that take place of course and that every true business should focus on to some degree.

    Why someone would say, "you don't have to sell anything" is because of the things your currently using in your home Amway has, and some things of course you can find at a better price or better quality at a higher price. The fact of the matter is, that people you talk to are currently using household products that they buy each month that Amway has as well. So instead of having to sell a product that no one wants or use, we just show them how we can save them time and money by shopping through Amway instead and get the exact same thing they are currently using at the same price or a product similar and comparable to the same cost. I mean you should know that if you were at all involved longer then a few months.

    The difference in the "Sells/Sales" that takes place with Amway is that you do not have to go Door to Door to sell these products. I personally don't "sell" anything I just endorse my products that I like and that make since for me to buy. I then share them with someone else, and if they like it then I point them to my website where they can get it for themselves. I will then set them up as a Customer of mine and after they have purchased a few times and I have followed up with them about their experience with the shopping and the products I then let them know that if they were interested in doing this to make extra money that the option is their for them.

    I work in sales currently and what I do with Amway is nothing like what I would do at a Sales Job. So why some Amway distributors use that approach is because if I said it's sales then some people I talk to would be turned off about it and wouldn't even give it a time of day. The reason why most people would be turned off about it is because they have this general idea of what Sales is and they think that they can't do it because they are not the Sales Type. If everyone knew how easy it was to actually do this then most Jobs out there, then more people would do this Business. I think that most people just don’t believe in themselves enough or they listen to other people that just don’t know what they are talking about. Those people might have a general Idea by basing that idea off of another business or hear say. The true of the matter is that those who are seeking the information about doing this or not really should consider the source that they are getting their information from. Amway is a real business opportunity if you like it or not that is True, what the difference maker is with this business is what Team your working with and who your listening to and what your willing to do to get what you want.

    Now, don't get me wrong there are sells transactions that take place but you don't have to physically sell our products they pretty much do that themselves.

    Since I am in Sales, the only thing I do is point out why they are better then what’s on the market but other then that it as easy as giving someone a Free Sample to try for the first time and then follow up on if they like it or not. If you call it sales then I guess you’re entitled to your opinion, because that isn’t anything like what I’m doing now at my current Job.

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  26. Chris,

    I am VERY familiar witih the script your playing from. I just don't happen to believe it.

    Are Amyway products decent? yes
    Are they better than average?- maybe

    Do they, or ANY other product on the market really 'sell themselves'? Far from it.

    Yes, word of mouth and showing by example are great sales tools, but they only go so far, and ironically Amway seems rather RELUCTANT to use them. I receive email and snail mail newsletters from a sports supplement company that I order from and in every one there are at least half a dozen testimonials that list the names of the persons endorsing the product and in their letters specifically address how they used the product and what they liked about it. In looking online at the nutrilite site I see very little use of this same tactic.

    You keep insisting that you are a success using the Amway system and yet you seem reluctant to define in even general terms what you mean by 'success' or how succesfull you have been (for example... approx how many customers do you have, approximately how many people do you have in your downline, or how has being involved in Amway allowed YOU to step away from your other job(s)?

    "If everyone knew how easy it was to actually do this then most Jobs out there, then more people would do this Business."

    -- For the record, you may think a line like this is a great sales pitch. It's not, it comes across as rather condescending and arrogant.

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  27. Sandra Bolluck? Well she's not trust worthy at all! She stole casino chips from Harlan Ellison after all.

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