Nutrilite passes $3 billion in sales

As you may have already seen on Amway Watch and elsewhere, Nutrilite has now passed US$3billion in annual sales for the first time. I’m not sure if this was for last financial year, or a month-month rolling calculation, either way it’s an astounding result.

Interestingly. on the Nutrilite website, Alticor has embedded a “thank you” video to IBOs along with the press release – check it out.

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Quixtar begins product advertisements

By now you’ve probably seen the Quixtar/Amway Global Now You Know TV and print advertisements. Well, a week or so ago Quixtar begin a new phase in it’s marketing push, with a “direct response” campaign promoting Nutrilite Brainiums DHA supplements for children. As well as the Television advertisement (below) there are direct mail and print ads for Brainiums and Nutrilite.


Interestingly, in the IBO area of the Quixtar website it says -

To fully leverage the national exposure and attention these key products will receive, make your status as a Quixtar IBO known! You can advertise yourself in local newspapers, bulletins, or play programs – anything that people in your area turn to for news or information.

It goes on to give contact information for getting ads reviewed and approved, but it’s been a long time since Amway/Quixtar has publicly encouraged IBOs to advertise in newspapers! If anyone has an example of an “approved” ad, I’d love a copy.

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A critic visits the IBOAI

Debra Masselink is the granddaughter of one of the original founders of the American Way Association, Walter Bass . She has been a prolific contributor to a number of anti-Amway websites, and in 2006 was involved in a dispute regarding allegations by Amway Critic Scott Larsen against Crown Jody Victor.

In an interesting move, several weeks ago, Jody Victor invited Deb along to the IBOAI offices. Here is her post about it (reprinted with permission from Deb) -

Yes, my beloved friends – I spent 5 hours with Jody Victor yesterday!!!! I wasn’t sure where to post this, and decided the “Quixtar Critics” section because you folks are the ones who made this all possible!

I was greeted warmly at the IBOAI offices in downtown Grand Rapids by Connie Altschwager, the Executive Director; and by Mr Markerman himself. I received a tour of the offices – a far, FAR cry from the rows of filing cabinets at the Walter Bass Co that my Mother presided over back in the ’80s when she was the Executive Director….LOL!! I particularly enjoyed what Connie calls the “Denny Crane” balcony (for those of you not in the USA, it refers to a TV program’s character) overlooking the Grand River.

I can tell you the place that I’d LOVE to sit and read for a few hours, or days…. Jody’s Office, where there are beautiful leather binders with the minutes of every IBOA and ADA meeting ever held!!! The entire history of Amway is there, neatly cataloged – and he pretty much knows every bit of it!!! And always watching over everything Jody does are 4 large portraits: his father Joe Victor, my grandfather Walter Bass, Jere Dutt and Fred Hansen; the Founding Fathers of the ADA. (Amway Distributors Association)

And in my “moment of personal triumph” (HAH!) – I sat at THE table – the huge table where the IBOA meets, and defiled some Kingpin’s seat with my non-SA8-washed pants Wink

So yes, I sat at the huge Board table and talked for a LOONG time with Jody Victor – we reminisced about the past and talked about the future. I didn’t cut him any slack about the abuses many IBOs have had at the hands of their uplines, and he acknowledged it. Admits there are horror stories that make him cringe. I talked about some of the stuff I’ve been saying on this forum for years – what it will take for Amway to be a respected name and how to keep IBOs happy and renewing. He took notes, folks!!

He, in turn, explained where he hopes to take things; for one, an even more stringent Accreditation system that is designed to help a new IBO be truly profitable while they learn the business. I learned more about the current Accreditation – and really like what I hear! Yes, the Corp does have “monitors” who interview random IBOs to find what they know – stuff like “Do you understand that BSMs are completely optional?” and “What makes you feel uncomfortable at a meeting”. As it stands right now, an Accredited AMO submits a certain percentage of tapes/CDs to Amway for review; Jody chooses to send ALL that he makes (and it sounds like he makes a LOT fewer than some AMOs) to the Corp for review.

He explained how the Board handles complaints about IBOs – it is carefully documented and all parties are well-aware of any charges brought against them: it’s all recorded in black 3-ring binders. Some folks’ binders are thin; and some folks’ binders rival those that hold the recorded history of the IBOAI :) Despite claims to the contrary by certain disgruntled ex-IBOs, changes to the Rules of Conduct are laboriously hashed out; then announced to the general population of IBOs for MONTHS before they are enacted.

We talked about Arbitration – something I generally questioned – but he has a valid point: in resolving a dispute between an IBO and the company, let’s say – it’s in the IBOs best interest to have someone who understands the business. PV and BV and all the other catchwords are going to go sailing over the heads of an arbitrator who’s not in the business. Also, arbitrators are chosen based on their lack of LOA (or AMO) connection to the disputed parties. In other words, if a Britt IBO has a beef, the arbitrators will be chosen from LOAs not affiliated with Britt.

We talked about how some LOAs (AMOs) have been quick to adopt the new changes – Ron Puryear’s name was mentioned as one who’s making a difference. And others are moving at a snail’s pace, because their material-as-presented is not passing muster. The Corp and the IBOA are NOT simply rubber-stamping “business-as-usual” – and the proof is that not everyone’s Accredited yet.

I liked what I heard and saw. Jody listens and asks questions – even from a peon like me (although he DID refer to me as the “Mother of the Critics”…LOL!!!!!) He’s warm and friendly and funny – still has his boyish good looks even though he’s a few years older than me. We laughed about our “swapping blows” after the Cookware Crown accusation – and if any of you remember, I had said I’d be willing to “sit down with Jody and talk over a cup of cocoa”. Well, I still owe him that cup of cocoa, but Connie gave me a gift bag and Jody gave me a copy of “Success Magazine”; then we all had a WONDERFUL dinner at a local restaurant!! (Thanks again, Connie!)

As an aside – my Husband had been invited to attend also, but had to take his truck for repairs. I left him a note, (since I was not sure of how well I’d be received at the IBOAI), that said “In case I don’t return home, my feet are in cement and I’m “swimming with the fishes” in the Grand River. The Victors are the likely culprits….LOL!!” Jody thought that was pretty funny!

And yes, Dear Folks, Jody reads our forum when he gets a chance (keep in mind the man is BUSY – he’s like the Energizer Bunny!). He said there are “others” who don’t read “negative” sites – but he feels we bring up issues that need to be addressed. Personally, THAT is the kind of person I like seeing in charge – one who is willing to see the good AND the ugly – then work to fix it.

I didn’t get to meet Kathy, his wife. Hope to, some day, because she sounds like a “fighter” :) I get the impression that the “Boy’s Club” on the IBOA wasn’t exactly happy to have a woman break their ranks – but as a woman, I find it critical to see a female in a leadership role on the IBOAI – there SHOULD be more than one.

And Jody refers to Connie Altschwager as “The Most Powerful Woman On Earth” and all I can say is I wish that were TRUE. She is gracious, sweet, articulate, downright brilliant – and obviously keeps all the IBOAI members running as an efficient unit. I wish we could get her to run for president…sigh…

In the past, I’ve said that I would believe the “heyday of the Kingpin was over when the IBOAI was dismantled” – but I never anticipated the sweeping changes that are occurring within the organization. While I’d still like to see all “tools” abolished, I can live with the changes I’m seeing and like even better, some that will be proposed. Would I sign up again as an IBO?? If I did, it would be under Jody or Kathy’s LOS (Kathy has her own, separate business) – I like how they conduct their businesses because it’s the most like the way we used to run ours. But I still like “retirement” the best, and NOT being an IBO gives me the freedom to say things like Markerman IS different and better…..LOL!!

So far, I have just glanced at my copy of “Success from Home” magazine – but it’s startlingly honest! (Just seeing the name “Quixtar” in bold letters across the front page made me smile! No more hiding who they are!!) It tells about different IBOs (my copy tells about Jody’s two sons who are building their own businesses – they are both Founder’s Platinums!); plus gives business-building tips and product information. After each “success story”, there is a disclaimer saying the Average Monthly Gross Income for “Active” IBOs is $115. On page 5, they define the words “active” and “gross”. It clearly points out that business expenses are mostly discretionary and may be greater than income in the first years of operation.

I think something like this magazine has been needed for decades – it’s finally “training from the Corp”!!! It’s far more informative than the Achieve magazine, but I think you have to subscribe to this one – it’s not a freebie for all IBOs (but it SHOULD be – hey Jody – are ya readin’??? :) )

Now I realize that some of the critics are not going to be happy until Amway is out of business – and I seriously doubt that is going to happen. Some want the Corporation to apologize for turning a blind eye to the abuses heaped on the IBOs in the past – while that would be nice, from a legal standpoint, I can see why they wouldn’t do that. But as for me?? I’m happy. I like the new rules and the IBOAI having the guts to enforce them, even if it means huge groups of tool-mongers will leave as a result. I’m predicting that some day soon, Amway will be held as the “model” of MLM done correctly; and that other MLMs will be forced to follow that model (Geez – where will the Tool Mongers go then???)

Anyway – yes, Anon, I DO talk to Kingpins :) And they DO listen :)

Deb

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Amway Australia update – and names

The IBOAI blog has recently posted an article about some “rumours” circulating with regards Amway Australia and some Amway Australia Diamonds, “rumours” I kickstarted a couple of weeks ago and will address further at the end of this post. The IBOAI post points out that Amway Australia business owners are free to be in as many MLMs as they like – a Quixtar-like no-compete does not exist. (That information should send our friends from Team into a frenzy!). The relevant rule is 3.19, which states /

3.19 An IBO shall at no time:
(a) during authorisation as an AMWAY IBO; or
(b) for a period of six (6) months after ceasing to be so authorised:
3.19.1 supply or sell to other AMWAY IBOs, or persons who have applied to become AMWAY IBOs, or persons whom the IBO or other AMWAY IBOs (to the knowledge of the IBO) have approached with a view to applying to become AMWAY IBOs;
3.19.2 induce other AMWAY IBOs, or any such prospective AMWAY IBOs, to supply or sell or acquire;
3.19.3 be directly or indirectly engaged or interested in, or permit or allow any servants or agents to be engaged or interested in, the supply or sale or the promotion of the supply or sale to other AMWAY IBOs or such prospective IBOs of; products or services which are sold or supplied by or through another multi-level marketing company or business.
The restrictions imposed by this Rule are separate, distinct, independent and severable, and in the event that any one or more of them is wholly or in part invalid, then the remaining restriction or restrictions shall nevertheless be valid and effective.

So you’re free to operate a competing business, just not to solicit existing IBOs or immediate prospects for it.

The IBOAI also points out however, that it makes little sense to invite folk who are also operating competing businesses along on discretionary “free trips” where Amway Australia’s future strategies are discussed. Amway Australia Rules of Conduct clearly state -

2.26 Attendance at New Platinum IBO Forums, IBO Leadership Meetings, Leadership Seminars, Diamond Meetings and Forums, Founders Invitational and other AMWAY recognition events is by invitation only which may be issued or withheld in AMWAY’s absolute discretion.

The IBOAI then addresses the question of Q-12 and QBI-like bonuses and Accreditation. In Amway North America these are discretionary bonuses and to receive them after September 28, an IBO must be individually accredited or belong to an accredited organisation. No such system exists in Australia.

Finally, the IBOAI post refers to the newly opened Amway Australia Business Centres. These are “bricks and mortar” Amway locations and have been used with some success in Asia. This Amway Australia Business Centres video on Amway Watch gives a great overview. I think they’re an excellent innovation.

Now, to the rumours. As I reported a week or so ago, (some?) participants in Amway Australia and New Zealand’s Emerald Plus trip were apparently asked to sign a statutory declaration with regards their or their families participation in other multi-level marketing companies. As explained above it simply makes no sense for Amway to invite people also working with competitors on these trips. Several Diamonds reportedly refused to sign the declarations. When I first was told about this I was given three names. Since then, and before I published anything about this, an IBO from outside Australia informed me that a MonaVie Black Diamond had told them that two Amway Australia Diamonds had joined Mona Vie after being presented with the statutory declarations. A third source confirmed two of the names, that their children were registered in Mona Vie, and that the children’s participation was essentially a front for the parents. Finally, a fourth independent source again confirmed one of the names involved, and that registration of children was being actively “taught” as a strategy to others in similar situation. If the latter is true, then it would appear to me that rule 3.19 is being broken.

Meanwhile, new Mona View recruit and former Quixtar Executive Diamond Orrin Woodward showed the true colours of his supposed integrity by directly taking a large portion of my original post about this and reposting them on his website, without any attribution or link to the source. Not only a clear violation of copyright law, Orrin, but pure and simply unethical. A commenter on Woodward’s site, claiming to have “close knowledge” of the situation, says that futher letters threatening termination based on violations of rule 3.19, have been received by the Diamonds in question.

(update: Woodward has since edited his posts in an extremely cynical and disappointing manner – more on this in a later post)

Probably the same anonymous poster continues in a further comment to rail against the supposed failures of Amway Australia, and Woodward highlights this in a new post. Some of the comments -

  • I predict that the Amway turnover in Australia – which has sunk to an all time low of about $120 million (a high of $290 million in 1993 – gee the Amway model has lost just a little bit of ground since 1992) – will now plummet to below $60million in the next 12 months
  • It has been a massive struggle for people to reach 21% in the past 8 years. Only those who focused on product sales have achieved anything. Of course these sales orientated groups have had a slide backwards – as their sales team grew tired.
  • No Diamonds from 24 (there were 6 of them) have requalified at Diamond since. There are some Diamonds (like Roland & Jenny McGready) who qualified back in 199 – that are no longer even qualified at the Saphire level.

and on and on ….

What’s interesting about this “insider” is how disingenuous, and downright wrong, some of his comments are. For example, he claims 1993 Amway Australia turnover was $290 milllion. It wasn’t – Amway Australia sales for 1993 were $148 million, a little more than half what the poster is claiming.

The next comment about it “being a struggle to reach 21%” is interesting. Amway Australia Because Magazine recognized 38 new Platinums in 2007. While the sales data clearly show Amway Australia, like Quixtar in North America, has been struggling to achieve growth, by population 38 new platinums is equivalent to around 640 new platinums in North America. The actual figure for Quixtar in 2007? 544. In other words, per capita Amway Australia is doing about 18% better than Quixtar. Given Quixtar’s poor recent performance this isn’t necessarily something to shout about, but clearly there are people in Australia building successful businesses, and according to the sales data, and contrary to Orrin Woodward’s anonymous commentator, that hasn’t changed all that much since 1993.

The poster also claims there were 6 new Diamonds in 2004. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to establish who they all were. However I do know that Amway Australia Network TwentyOne Diamonds Guy and Tania Wilson qualified Diamond in 2003 and may be included in that. The commentator is right, they haven’t requalified as Diamond – they’ve gone on to Executive Diamond. Graeme & Debbie Owen , who qualified Diamond in the 90s, have also gone on to Executive Diamond in 2006. Mitch & Deidre Sala, who qualified Triple Diamond and Crown in the late 90s, have gone on to Founders Crown Ambassador. Peter & Debbie Cox, who qualifed as Diamond in the early 90s, have gone on to Crown Ambassador. Gad & Melissa Ghabriel, who qualified Diamond in 1996, are now Founders Executive Diamond. What’s more, there are folk like Ingrid Peskops, who joined in 2002 (or thereabouts), went Platinum in 11 months, and qualifed as a Diamond in 2007, and Ronnie & Jane Kagan, who joined in 2000, spent several years inactive, then went Diamond in 18 months, qualifying in 2004.

All of these folks were doing this in the last decade in Australia. Yes, some of the higher award qualifications likely resulted from international legs, however they must be qualifying (and requalifying) at least at the Emerald level in Australia & NZ alone. Clearly there are Australian IBOs building and maintaining this business successfully in Australia. The anonymous poster claims they’re “sales oriented” groups, and Orrin Woodward goes on to imply they’re doing old style Avon-like selling and “door to door”.

Well, Orrin and friend, you’ve got it wrong. All those names I mentioned above are part of the organisation I work with, Network 21. While yes, we do actually spend some time focusing on getting people to know and buy the products (shock horror!) and even having customers as per Amway rules (oh my!), we are foremost a networking organisation. We build networks of network builders, and their customers and other consumers. Heck, Orrin, we even use a version of your “Team depth strategy” to do it.

So what does this all mean for the current Australian situation? Well, in an ongoing dispute between former Executive Diamond Trevor Chatham and Amway Australia (Amway Australia v ClifOne Pry Ltd), Chatham claims the following -

It is my experience that at least 80% of the Diamonds in my organisation are no longer qualifying at even the Emerald level. They are still being promoted to the IBO’s as Diamonds, but in fact only ever qualified at the Diamond level one time. I also believe this type of deliberate deception is occurring through out the Amway business.

and the 1990s compared to today -

IDA had about 30,000 attending FEC each year. Now it is down to about 4,000. A lot of IBO’s will remember what it was like when reminded.

Assuming the decline in IDA FEC (annual conference) reflects a decline in the size (and sales volume) of IDA as a whole, then this represents a nearly 90% decline in IDA! While Amway Australia sales have clearly been poor over the same time frame, they are nothing near a 90% decline.The only logical answer to the inconsistency I can think of is that while IDA has apparently been haemorraghing, other groups must have been growing. Clearly, as outlined with the qualifiers above, Network 21 Australia is probably one of those groups. IDA and Network 21 are operating there in the exact same market, with the exact same products, the exact same business opportunity, and the exact same economic circumstances. Logically, this implies any major “problems” are not with Amway per se in Australia, but with differences between the groups.

How does this all tie together to the original post? Well, the heads of IDA Australia are Tom & Caryn Avelsgaard.

Which names have been mentioned by all four of my sources as being at the centre of this dispute around the Emerald Plus tour and reportedly building Mona Vie? Tom & Caryn Avelsgaard.

I’m told that Trevor Chatham is also with Mona Vie, as are other former Diamond members of IDA, Peter & Lynne Maddison.

Perhaps IDA Australia’s Amway business has been imploding because some of their leadership, headed by the Avelsgaard’s, have been actively working with an Amway competitor, actively working against the thousands of Amway Australia IBOs in their downline.

With all respect to the honest, hard working leaders that may remain with IDA Australia, back when I started with Amway in Australia I was told to watch out for Idiots Doing Amway - IDA. Again and again, both online and offline, I would encounter reports of some of the less than professional approaches some (many?) IDA IBOs were using to build their Amway businesses, damaging the Amway reputation along the way.  Hopefully they are now IDMV, and the rest of IDA and Amway Australia can repair that reputation and move on to a bigger and better future.

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