Despite being bordered by the likes of Amway Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Scandinavia, the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have until this week been officially excluded from the Amway family. I say officially because it’s clearly not been the case unofficially! Many times in the past decade in Scandinavia I’ve encountered citizens of those countries who had been buying and using Amway products for many years – some were even ABOs. When looking at google search trend data, Lithuania has also been, per capita, the number one country in the world for people looking for information about Amway.
Well, as of May 4, 2010. Citizens of those countries may no register with Amway Poland as “member plus“. Member plus is an option in some European markets where you can purchase Amway products at ABO price, and you can build a downline organization – but you’re not allowed to resell the products, and you can’t receive a bonus on downline volume. You can still receive a rebate on your own purchases though, which means they become cheaper and cheaper as your downline volume grows. This option is essentially available so people can get started without needing to be concerned with acquiring official business licences. They can try out the products and business, and later convert to full “Amway Business Owner” status and acquire the necessary licences.
For now, the citizens of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia can not officially yet register as ABOs, their member plus registration must be down through Amway Poland, and while their mailing address may be in the baltic states, their product delivery address must also be in Poland. The goal is to start local deliveries by then end of the year.
Frankly this is a pretty weird initial setup! Indeed, not only weird, it makes me more than a little angry. A letter from Amway about the market openings, posted on Amway Talk, reveals that Amway is even giving advice on how to change your mailing address from Poland to the Baltic states – in other words, fully acknowledging and legitimising large numbers of ABOs that have actively and knowingly breaking Amway’s rules by operating in those states and importing products from abroad. ABOs, like myself, who have been following Amway’s rules and actively been rejecting requests from citizens of those countries to join Amway have essentially had it confirmed that Amway’s rules are apparently mere guidelines and don’t need to be followed. I’ve previously encountered this problem, with active retail websites selling Amway products online in Scandinavia – complete with Amway approval numbers – despite Amway rules explicitly stating that such sites are not allowed.
This type of laissez faire attitude to their own rules is what resulted in Amway UK being threatened with closure, and is also the source of a lot of Amway’s reputation problems. If ABOs don’t know what the rules are, and what’s to be followed and what doesn’t have to be followed, then they quite simply a left to make it up as they go along.
Amway – shouldn’t every single ABO who requests a change of address to the Baltic states for their Amway Poland business have their businesses terminated? Shouldn’t their leadership be terminated?
In any case, it’s good news these markets are now opening. I hope Amway Bulgaria, Amway Belarus, and Amway Azerbaijan are not far behind as I have many contacts there who wish to get started. Of course, it appears I’ve been wrong in delaying them and I can probably go sign them up now. Amway will assist in changing their registrations when they’re ready.
Welcome to the Amway world, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia!