ABOs – Please stop selling Amway as a way to save money

Tuesday night I was at an Open Plan, the presenter did a great job, but he did one thing that irritates the heck out of me and in my opinion is problematic and potentially dishonest. What did he do? Well, as is unfortunately not uncommon, when explaining the various benefits of becoming an Amway Business Owner (ABO), one he promoted was the idea that “you’ll save 30% on stuff you’re already buying”. Leaving aside the issue of whether saving money is a sensible way to promote starting a business or not, this is a problem, because for many people sitting in the audience it is at best misleading, and indeed usually completely false.

The idea behind this claim is that as an ABO, you get to buy Amway products from Amway at “wholesale price“, approximately 30% discounted from the recommended retail price. If you are an existing client of an Amway business owner, purchasing Amway products from them, then you will indeed save 30%. If you’re buying competitive products from elsewhere that are priced about the same or more than the Amway products at retail pricing, then, yes, you will indeed save 30% or so.

But how many people are? Amway’s two major product lines are Artistry and Nutrilite. Both are award winning brands and, in my opinion, excellent value. However …. Artistry, for example, has been independently judged as competing in the “prestige” cosmetics and skincare category along with other well known brands such as Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, and Chanel. In general, if you compare Artistry to these products, Artistry is cheaper. If you’re buying these products now, then switching to Artistry as a retail client will likely save you money and switching to these products as an ABO will save you even more than 30%.

So where’s the problem? Most folk aren’t buying cosmetics of the quality of Artistry, Estee Lauder etc. For them to switch to Artistry might get them a better quality product, and even, in my opinion, get them better value for money – but it’s likely to cost them more money than they are spending now.

Similarly with Nutrilite products. Many folk take no nutritional supplements at all. Of those that do, most are buying cheap synthetic substitutes, nowhere approaching the quality and effectiveness of Nutrilite organic, plant based, products. Unless you’re purchasing high quality supplements, generally only available from Nutrilite or other direct sales companies, then joining Amway is not going to save you money.

We can look again and again at different Amway brands. Satinique hair care products are fantastic, I wouldn’t buy anything else. But they’re salon quality products, not the $2 shampoo you can get down the local ‘mart. SA8 washing powder beats every other washing powder hands down. It’s better for your clothes and better for your health, but at full retail price it’s also a little more expensive than most other brands. Some brands, like the LOC concentrated cleaning products, are both best of breed and will save nearly everyone money, but the reality is that, overall, Amway products are not the cheapest, and neither do they aim to be. What they are is some of the best quality products in the world, at an excellent price, offering great value for money.

Promoting “savings” as a reason to register as an ABO is not a sensible way to build the business. In our case, on Tuesday night one of our downline had a guest along, checking out the business, and I sat with him afterwards. One of his first questions was about the prices and how much he would save by joining. To make things worse, the first product he asked about was Body Series Liquid Hand Soap, in our market one of the least price competitive products. This did give me an opportunity to explain the benefits of concentration, and the quality of Amway’s products, but in his case the presenter’s claim that he would “save 30% on stuff he’s already buying” simply wasn’t even close to true. It immediately makes the prospect concerned about what else the presenter said that was misleading or exaggerated. Not exactly the best way to start a business relationship!

In my opinion this issue has had an even more drastic negative effect in older Amway markets such as North America and Australia. Ten years ago, when sites like Quixtar and a2k were launched, there was a lot of enthusiam for promoting the new “internet-based business”, and leaving some of the old “Amway baggage” behind. In the late 90’s and early 21st century, the clear target market for an “internet business” was the young, internet-savvy folk – university students and such. Most older folk simply weren’t yet comfortable with computers and the internet.

So Amway and Quixtar business owners, encouraged by Amway and LOA leadership, actively targeted the young, internet savvy, primarily male demographic. This leads however to a conundrum – of all the possible target markets for Amway’s consumable products, which one is least likely to be buying high quality nutritional, cosmetic, and household and personal care products? Yup – young, internet savvy males. The business opportunity was targeted to them, but, at least not until the introduction of XS Energy, the products were not. When you combine this with a common, and reasonable, teaching that as an Amway/Quixtar business owner you should “buy from yourself” and “support your own business”, this is problematic. Add on the “strategy” of building the business as a “shopping club” with few or no sales to retail customers, and it’s quite predicatably going to cause major problems.

Young people would join, excited by the possibility of an affordable internet-based business, then, as taught, change their shopping habits to Amway products. They were now spending significantly more than they were before joining, not saving money. Add on the inevitable costs associated with starting and maintaining a business, and it’s 100% predictable that many of these folk would stop after several months or so, find themselves stressed and in financial trouble, with numerous expenses having increased and, not surprisingly, not yet having built a significant enough business to be generating a profit.

So they quit building the business, and they quit buying the products.

Others of course never even got that far. They joined, or considered joining, heard the presenters tell them they’d “save money”, then asked to see the prices, and, completely predictably, discovered it wasn’t true for them. Would you want to go into business with an organisation that was being dishonest with you, right from the start?

Scroll forward a years. Is it any wonder that today, a number of these folk ended up as “critics” on the internet, with a common complaint being they spent a lot of money and the products are too expensive? Is it any wonder that few of them would remain as customers after they cease building the business? Is it any wonder growth stalled in markets that took this approach?

At that time, the Amway Products and an internet-focused Amway Business Opportunity had mutually incompatible target demographics. The only way it could work is if the business owners aren’t the focus for product sales, but instead were looking for customers who were part of the right demographic. Even then it may have been a challenge, as these potential customers were, at least 10 years ago, some of the least likely to be interested in shopping via the internet. They’d have to be personal customers – not exactly the “internet business” the budding young internet entrpreneurs signed up for.

It’s my belief that today things aren’t quite as bad. Folk in their 20s and 30s a decade ago are now in their 30s and 40s, they’re comfortable with the internet, as indeed are older folk now, and they’ve got more income to play with. Nevertheless, a significant number of prospects are still buying cheaper, lower quality products, particularly the younger generation, and this younger generation is still a popular “target” for the business opportunity. Might they like and prefer Amway’s quality products if they tried them? Absolutely. Might some of them save money as ABOs? Sure. But it’s simply not smart business to blanket promote joining Amway as way to save money on your shopping. For many folk it’s simply not true and it damages our reputation.

So please, ABOs – stop selling Amway as a way to save money

74 thoughts on “ABOs – Please stop selling Amway as a way to save money”

  1. Jeffrey,
    I am in total agreement with you. I started about four months ago and quickly realized that there was more than meets the eye. Do not get me wrong, I think it is a great opportunity and the products are excellent. However, the pushing of tools and events that are not totally necessary is my complaint. One is made to feel that if they do not buy tools or go to the functions, their business will suffer. Further, why is it necessary to buy these every month? I would think every quarter would suffice. The functions would impress me if they teach you how to target certain demographics to get the products to and teach you real marketing strategies. Rather, it is mainly motivational speaking to appeal to the emotions. I think prospects should be told upfront about the sacrifice in time (open meeting, phone meeting and pace meeting) and finance (functions, meetings, website and the communication system) before they start so they can make a decision that is well informed.

    1. Ann, if I was your Doctor and I believed it was necessary for you to start taking some expensive drug or you will die, wouldn’t it be extremely unethical of me not to tell you that, perhaps because I was worried you couldn’t afford it? It’s my personal experience and the experience of hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions!) of others that people who don’t use the tools and functions simply don’t grow profitable businesses. This isn’t some unique to Amway or even MLM thing. Sales trainer Todd Duncan in his book “Killing the Sale” says that his average client spends over $3000/yr on CDs/Books/seminars. Brian Tracy, another top sales trainer, reports in “The Psychology of Selling” that he doesn’t know a single top salesperson that isn’t listening to sales/motivational CDs every day.

      If that’s their experience, if that’s Amway leaders experiences, wouldn’t they be derelict in their duty if they didn’t tell you that? Now, if you think you don’t need them – well, go for it. There is no requirement. You’re perfectly free to ignore advice you get. If you think quarterly is enough, try quarterly, your choice. As for targetting demographics and more technical marketing strategies, this stuff is taught. Have you been on Amway University? Have you been to the roadshows? Have you read recommended books (like the aforementioned “Killing the Sale”?) Have you read the marketing materials and sales guides produced by Amway Global?

      The major functions held by the third-party training companies do tend to be more motivational – because that’s what’s needed. Keeping onself motivated and focused is one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur (I say this as an entrepreneur outside the Amway business). Remember also that the general sessions, outside of the leadership sessions, are primarily for new people. While they’re motivational and inspirational for longer-term IBOs as well, their prime business use is for the newer people in the audience. So why attend? Well, how on earth can you ask new people in your group to attend something without you attending? Isn’t it going to be much more effective if you’re going to? Again, if you don’t think it’s necessary, you don’t need to take the advice – feel free to ignore it! The great majority of IBOs *do* ignore it!.

      As for your final point about being “told upfront” about the necessary time and financial costs – yes of course. I was, and I do. Even if people don’t understand it straight away, the have up to 6 months to learn about it all and change their mind and get their money back. As far as I’m concerned any time you can still get a refund is still part of the researching phase, not the decision to do it phase.

      So, in short – your business, your decision. If you think the advice you’re getting is poor, then ignore it. But before you do so you might want to consider asking the advice give for the thinking and reasoning behind that advice. I fully encourage people not to just follow blindly – understand why things are suggested and why they work.

  2. How does a $20,00o as a start bonus check sound? by just generating ceratin level Points in your own business, this is the best opportunity that I can think of especially right now, while everybody is going down Amway is going up from $6.2 B to $8.28 B in sales in 2008because verybody is looking for a new way to make money and make ongoing income, amazing and money is unlimmited. You wont be able to say that it doesnt work or that you failed until you try it….:)

  3. with a proper knowledge when it comes to products you are definitely end up saving your money even if you will compare the price to other brands in the market, when people get the knowledge about how concentrated and the benefits they get from using Amway products they will stick to it for example the dishdrops that cost $12.00 will sound expensive for people who don’t know more about it. But this bottle of Dish drop will last you longer because of the concentration so you have to dilute it with water using the dish drop dispenser and the ratio is 4:1 you fill the dispenser with water from 100-400 ml then from 400ml to 500ml is the dish drop.the first mix I made last me for 2 months so I am saving money by just using the dish drop. and I can talk about every product but I just gave an example.

    1. m2i_ireneus, of course it’s true for some products, but how many? The plan is often shown with 100-200 pv circles. How many folk buy that in personal use every month with these concentrated products? Very few. Furthermore, these days the company focus is on Health & Beauty – Nutrilite and Artistry – not on concentrated cleaners. Few people buy products of the class of Nutrilite and Artistry every month before they joined. How does the average person “save” money when they start buying Nutrilite? How about Artistry? How about Satinique?

      1. Well for starts I saw a red bull add for 4.99 for only 2 cans. I do the math on all the products. Amway sells XS energy for just under $2 yeah it looks like more because you are buying a case (like soda) instead of one bottle at a time. The mascara for example has more fluid oz than marts. You have to actually look at it.

        1. You can always find more expensive – and cheaper – products. That’s very expensive for Red Bull, but I for one can’t stand the taste of Red Bull 🙂 so doesn’t matter! I think my point stands – Amway products should be marketed on quality, not price.

  4. I have been a distributor of Amway prod. for some time, Developed a direct distributorship at the 7500 level, it was done by sales and sponsoring. I do not have a prob. with the prod. they do exactly what they say. I lost my busi. when I moved, thinking that I had develped leaders to my level. The truth be known, I beleived in them more then they beleved in them selves, they did not quit in front of me, but when I was not there to look them in the eye, it was over as far as legs where concerned. And yes negativs begot negativs. I had the opportunity to sponsor a professor who sponsored a lawyer who sponsored almost a whole community, but even with thier daily
    positions, they felt that they had to buy thier way to the top even against my direction. Position where what they were after so to get more people to “work for them”. I have started the business again, but will not sponsor some one until they use the prod. and can on thier own refer costomers to me volunteraly. This lets me know that they can speak for the prod, This does 2 things, 1) forces me to get a new retail customer since I developed an other associate, Wal-mart offers me a job, nothing wrong with working, but will that job give me the opportunity to develop an additional $1000.00 a mth income for an average 6 hrs. a wk in a 12 – 16 mnth period? When I talk to a customer about the busi., I talk about that 12 -16 mnth period and its potential. 2) The new associate now has a very good pattern to duplicate, service should be our business, the qu;ity of the prod. is the tool, the concentration of the prod. is the savings. The busi. is simple, but not easy, learning about the prod. will make it easier to talk about that’s why it is important to use them. The average family uses about $75.00-$100.00 a mnth. on houshold goods, as I develope my busi. I find that because of pv/bv my cost becomes less every time I add an associate either personally or down line, leading to a bigger savings account, less stress, and more relaxsation. So far as motivation goes, I am my best motivator, I can because I will,I will because I can. so long as I have life. A solid 15% level is better than a now an then 25% level, remember pins can not make money, they omly indicate that you are headinjg in the right direction. You will learn balance, goal setting, porblem solving, you will develope the ability to deal with people what ever their background, You WILL develope patientce and offer sugestions on how you will be able to help others, you will find that a lettered person does not mean success, but the oerson that has nothing but the chance to do something will shine like no other if they choose to do so. To end this tale, I sponsered a teacher of middle school children, that was well respected in the community, as a result was building a sound busi. because people listen to them, the teacher quit because the money they were handeling as a result of growth became overwhelming to them. They could not see them selves handling that amount of money. Ask your self, is this who you would like to teach your child? Hey peace u-all, as I said it’s simple but not easy, but it will be if “you keep on keepin on”

    YEO
    The Roge

  5. I went to a network 21 meeting where they gave the 30% spiel not long after a friend invited me to join. I too found the logic less than convincing and, being a big nerd, I took the catalog and ran some price comparisons with the products I actually buy from the stores I buy them. In my case there was no cost benefit, since the only thing I would buy is the cleaning products. However, I ran the same comparison for a friend who is a high-end make-up/beauty product queen and her savings came out around 40% (she decided to join).

    I think the shopping savings idea can be presented, but as IBOfightback said, it is only appropriate for some individuals and can be used to market to them, which is basic business sense, isn’t it?

  6. In terms of sales, Nutrilite is the #1 best selling nutritional supplement brand in the world. (as judged by Euromonitor International, an independent provider of business intelligence)

  7. Hey guys,

    The post and comment are becoming irrelavent. While the thing we were discussing was about not posing Amway Business as a money saving tool..but as a business opportunity.

    It will be nice, if you guys can give some more insight about how to talk with prospect about benefits of joining amway. Being actively building business, I understand that having a right attitude is essential and is an important part of building this business, but at the same time, some hints from cross lines, also help.

    Looking forward to hear more on that term, than just bashing one ignorant person.

  8. john,

    Did you, when you had lunch with your Emerald, ask him about the bankrupcy?

    I just think that there is something wrong with gathering information from the Internet and taking it as Gospel, and not asking the person directly about it.

    I don’t know…I just feel that if someone heard something about me, whether it be from the Internet, from a mutual aquaintance, from a friend, or wherever, that they would come to me directly and ask me about it.

    I just think that that’s the respectful thing to do.

  9. If Amway and Quixtar were the same company, then why did new IBOs have to choose, as of 9/1/99 whether they wanted to by Amway IBOs or Quixtar IBOs?

    Those who were part of the Amway business prior to 9/1/99 actually were “grandfathered” in and were part of both the Amway business and new Quixtar business.

    Those just registering had two separate, distinct forms, and had to choose which company with which to affiliate.

    After a year or so, my understanding is that mostly everyone was registering with Quixtar, and so the Amway business no longer existed in North America—until now we have Amway Global.

    As IBOFB mentioned, to say that they didn’t have anything to do with one other is dishonest. But to say they were one in the same (also remember that the Amway IBOs did NOT have access to the Partner Stores like the Quixtar IBOs did)is not accurate.

  10. rdk – they were different companies. That’s not something that’s up for “opinion”, it’s a legal fact.

    Saying they had “nothing to do with each other” or otherwise clearly denying any connection is clearly false and dishonest, but it’s also false to say they were the same company, and not fair to accuse someone of lying for saying they’re different companies. What’s more, when they went separate ways in 1999 their business models *were* significantly different.

    They were different companies, with, at the time, differences in business model, and contrary to your assertion, Alticor’s websites said the same thing.

    Sorry, but I won’t accept folk accusing others of being dishonest when what they were saying was in fact 100% correct.

  11. John et al. and others on this thread,

    I can’t speak to WWDB questions as I’ve never been associated with them. I do know that those kinds of issues and lies have been put forward, however, as I saw them first hand in INA for several years. I was blessed — and am still blessed — to have an upline who gave me straight and honest answers to tough questions. But the BS put forward by my former System and others was recognized by the Corp for what it was, and thus Accreditation and Transformation and the “no advance notice” change to Amway Global.

    The Corp has no problem recognizing that operationally and for all other intents and purposes Amway and Quixtar were the same entity, regardless of how you want to consider the Alticor reorganization. Same warehouses, products, etc., and the name change to Amway Global proves the point. To try to see how many angels can dance on the head of a pin is as productive a way of spending time as it is to defend the fiction that they were, in practice, totally different companies… Alticor doesn’t, so why would anyone else want to?

    Finally — John and others in your boat — those of us that saw through the fictions and lies being promulgated by System leaders, and found out about the bankruptcies and continued misrepresentations by System leaders, but stayed and continue to build (some as Independents, some continuing with Systems), have done so because we understood that our business contract was with Quixtar/Alticor, not our LOA, not even our LOS.

    That is likely the difference between having an independent business mentality and merely an employee mentality… although I do have to temper that statement by recognizing the genuine and legitimate anger that is natural when you find you’ve been conned, lied to and deliberately mislead by people you trusted and who wore the “sheep’s coat” of religiosity in order to fleece others.

  12. Looks like this guy is taking half-truths and rallying them here as if they were truths!
    He’s just giving some vague references and nothing sustancial!
    He took a ‘simple’ look and came to his own ‘simple’ cnclusion abt Quixtar and Amway’s relation!
    IBOFB talked facts – It’s time you showed some evidence too.
    How do you know that WWDB and BWW split due to other issues?
    And how do you know that “Kosage, Puryear, Head, Wolgamott, Felber and all the rest” havent got their “mansions and boats and hummers paid for by Quixtar”?
    I might be making a million a month from this business, so does that mean I can’t lose money elsewhere and declare bankruptcy? huh?
    So you want others to show their tax document? Why don’t you begin by showing yours to us first?
    You said:”I began to do a little research (just like any good business person would do) to see who our “partners in business” were. The more I researched, the more I discovered”
    Care to share with us what ‘research’ did you do and from what ‘sources’ did you get your info?
    And yea a really ‘Good business person’ will consider all the facts, without any bias.
    A really ‘good business person’ will not take ‘A simple look at the Virginia Secretary of State website’, but will instead take a serious look to get ALL the info!
    A really good businessman will not say “It is the exact same company. Same owners, same everything” without actually getting all the info!

  13. Michigan companies cannot “change” to become Virginia companies. QUIXTAR, INC. was a Michigan company formed 7-21-1999. It was merged into AmwayUSA, Inc, a Virginia Company, 11-01-2000, the same day AmwayUSA, Inc was created – which is the part your “sources” neglect to mention. AmwayUSA, Inc lasted mere minutes on November 1, 2000. It was not “Amway” as anyone without an agenda and more than half a synapse would consider. It never had any IBOs or it appears any assets at all until it took on Quixtar, Inc’s (Michigan) assets and became Quixtar Inc (Virginia)

    What was Amway Corporation, a Michigan company, became Alticor in 1999 and then Amway Corporation (as a trading name) again in 2006. Some assets were split off to form Quixtar, Inc. in 1999 but Amway become Alticor, not Quixtar. As outlined above, Quixtar was a new company. Sept 1 this year, Quixtar Inc became Amway Corp. (Virginia) and earlier, in February, took on the Amway Global trading name as well.

    I’m not sure where Amway distributors were included from 1999 to 2001 when they were operating separately to Quixtar, it would appear they remained part of Alticor.

    Different companies. This is all clear if you actually read the Virginia and Michigan documents yourself instead of just taking the word of folk with an agenda.

  14. When I introduced myself to this site, a firestorm was created because I opined that Amway was an alternative to the traditional Economic Model.
    That thread degenerated to the point where nitpickers argued over their nit being better than someone elses nit. Just like this thread.

    Seems to me, with hundreds of thousands of plans being shown every 8:00 PM, by people of the entire spectrum of experience, there will be misstatements and un-truths and some will be intentional. That is the nature of the business.
    That somebody fails to point out the necessity of comparision of the Amway core products against similar civilian products indicates an ‘event’ to me and not a ‘trend’ which is something that ought be rectified. My experience, ancient though it is, is that once a person learns the mistake, change takes place.

    The fact is that Amway is not a very good place to save money, unless the consumer lives far from an urban area where there are Costco, Sam’s Club and the other cheapie places….not to mention the fact that the internet is crammed full of stuff at lower prices than we IBO’s can offer or obtain.

    What this business offers is a financial system that does, indeed make the products within the system, or store called Quixtar/Amway/your own business, more economical to purchase than anywhere else.
    BUT
    You have to create the business to create the volume to make the ‘circles’ work.

    So, while the original post was mostly accurate; I say mostly because lots of people with money and big cash flow business reasons will enter ‘bankruptsy’ in the form of Chapter 11, simply to reorganize things, and so it isn’t a big deal at that level, I find it somewhat offensive that an inditement of the business I am part of is made by someone hiding his identity.

    Michael Shatto.

  15. john,

    Your earlier statement about the reason why WW and Britt parted ways still has nothing to back it up.

    We’ve acknowledged that there are problems in this business, heck its got people in it just like you and me! Like any large organization or even a small one for that matter, there are always problems and negatives. But, we are working to make it better.

    Have you ever acknowledged that there are 10’s of thousands, and more likely 100’s of thousands of people just like me? Who have a better life because of this business and organization? Who are not only making money, but also have better personal lives?

    I’m certainly not any better than you, but perhaps I just worked at this biz a little longer than you, maybe I just had a little more faith in my upline, maybe I just believed a little more than you. I have an honest business that produces good profit for the time that I spend into it.
    I help people to live better lives, either through quality products, or with a business that can help them achieve their goals if they so choose.

    I feel sorry for you, you definitely are bitter, angry over past problems. You bring up the same things over and over again. “Bitterness is a poison that hurts the jar it is stored in more than the one its directed at.” When I had a problem with a car salesman, I’m glad I didn’t start blogging negative comments about car salesman over the internet.

    I hope you start putting your time into productive things that helps people.

    Ibofightback, sorry about continuuing the off-topic thread. I’ll end my comments here.

  16. IBOfightback,
    A simple look at the Virginia Secretary of State website with a search of Quixtar will show that Quixtar, a Virgina corporation (Corporation # 054053502)became active on 11-1-00. The old name of this corpration listed on the Secretary of State website, “Amway”. Amway changed its name to Quixtar (a Michigan company) in 1999 that was then changed to Quixtar, a Virginia company in 200.
    It is the exact same company. Same owners, same everything.

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