One of the things Amway is often criticised for is “overpriced products”. Often the criticism is unfounded or unfair (see my earlier post Anatomy of Deceit – an Amway Critic’s price comparisons), but one common thread is that when people criticise Amway’s prices they more often than not don’t mention Amway products, but rather 3rd party products available through Amway. Usually though, when you actually go and compare the same or similar quality of product elsewhere, Amway is price competitive. Still, this isn’t always obvious. Who knew there were so many different types of toilet paper? How many people actually care?
When people compare Amway prices, they normally just compare with what they’re used to. That’s part of the reason why ABOs are important – it’s our job to explain to consumers why Amway products are better value than the competitors. Nutrilite vitamins are generally not cheaper than the vitamins you can buy down the local store. If you don’t understand why they’re better, it’s quite natural to think they’re “overpriced”. Same goes for any other product. Even the LOC spray cleaners, which work out significantly cheaper than the competition, can seem expensive if you don’t understand that you mix it with water to make a lot more than you get when buying Brand X.
Sometimes though, Amway just makes it easy for the critics, and hard for ABOs. This week I received an email that Amway Scandinavia had launched a new “partner store”. The idea with partner stores is that ABOs can purchase products through other companies websites and get points towards their overall business volume. Nominally this should be a good idea. One would think that by introducing a company to tens of thousands of new potential customers that Amway should be able to negotiate better pricing. Indeed, the letter sent to Amway Sweden ABOs says –
Stokvis Connection A/S är från och med idag ny Partner Store hos Amway!
Vi önskar dig välkommen till vår webshop där du som ABO kan hitta välkända design- och märkesvaror.
Klicka in på Stokvis webshop och se vad vi kan erbjuda dig idag – länken finner du på www.amway.se, under “Partner Store”.
Vi önskar dig välkommen till vår webshop där du som ABO handlar till bra priser och med PV/AV!
Translated that says –
Stokvis Connection A/S is from today a new Partner Store with Amway!
We invite you to our webshop where you as an ABO can find well known designers and brands.
Click in to Stokvis webshop and see what we can offer you today – you’ll find the link on www.amway.se , under “Parter Store”.
We welcome you to our webshop where ABOs can shop at good prices and with PV/AV!
Sounds good, right? So I went and visited the Amway StokvisShop. All sorts of interesting things, from Weber barbeques, to designer hammocks, high quality business shirts, even a few laptops and electronic goods. Naturally, one of my first questions was to see what kind of good deals ABOs could get compared to shopping elsewhere. Being a gadget loving guy, first thing I looked under was “Electronics”. I recently went on a driving holiday through europe, so a TomTom GPS caught my eye –
TomTom GO 930T – your price: SEK 4552.75
That’s a top of the range GPS. I then did what is one of the most common uses for the internet today – comparing products and prices from different suppliers. One of the most popular sites in sweden is prisjakt.nu, which collates product pricing from lots of different webstores. Here’s the page for TomTom GO 930T.
More than 65 listings were shown. The best price was SEK 2809, the worst was SEK 5064. Stokvis via Amway was more expensive than all but four competitiors, and more than 80% more expensive than the best price.
Not exactly a good deal. Let’s try something else. I clicked on Weber, who make great barbeques, and had a look at the Weber Grill One Touch Gold 57cm then had a look on prisjakt.nu –
Amway Stokvisshop price – SEK 2912
Best prisjakt.nu price – SEK 1579
Worst prisjakt.nu price – SEK 2195
Amway 84% more expensive than best price
Ouch. Still no good. How about a nice FatBoy Hammock? This is a top of the range hammock, excellent quality. It wasn’t listed on prisjakt.nu or a similar site, pricerunner.se, but a quick google found the first listing at pid.se and other listings much the same price as pid.se –
Amway Stokvisshop price – SEK 5243.25
pid.se price – SEK 4599
Amway 14% more expensive
How about an OBH Nordica Pulsewatch? For this I went straight to the OBH Nordca homepage to check the recommended retail price.
Amway Stokvisshop price – SEK 726.50
OBH Nordica RRP – SEK 595
Amway 22% more expensive than the manufacturer’s recommended retail price!!!!!!
This is absolutely scandalous. Even with a maximum platinum rebate the deals are bad. I checked product after product after product. A book, a laptop, shirts, designer bowls. Every single time the Amway “deal” was WAY more expensive than I could get elsewhere for the exact same product.
How was this deal done? Did nobody actually bother checking prices? It’s so blatantly a bad deal I wonder if someone in the Amway office got a kickback for setting this up?
But guess what …. it gets even worse!!
I suddenly had the thought I should check if Stokvisshop has a public website, and they do – www.stokvisshop.com. Every single product I compared – it was more expensive to buy from Amway Stokvisshop than direct from Stokvisshop! Now, granted, it wasn’t that much of a difference this time round and currency fluctuations can be used as an excuse, nevertheless it’s clear that Stokvisshop is expensive even if you go direct … and worse if you go through Amway.
This type of deal does nothing but give Amway a bad name. A new ABO or a prospect for the business might be told by their sponsor that Amway does deals with other companies – such partnerships are often used for promotional purposes. And what does the new ABO or prospect discover if the check up Stokvisshop? It’s not a good deal at all, indeed it’s a terrrible one! There is no benefit at all from this deal, and it only impacts badly on Amway’s reputation and makes the ABOs job harder.
It’s a dumb deal. I wish I could say it was an unusual case, but unfortunately I’ve found similar issues with other Amway Partner stores in Scandinavia. Someone is not doing their due diligence.