Category Archives: Steve Nakamura (JoeCool)

Debunking the critics. Claim: the one who does the work receives the smallest compensation

In recent weeks I’ve done a couple of posts where I’ve highlighted some of Amway’s online critics and their hypocrisy and sometimes downright fraudulent behaviour. But what about the claims they make about Amway? Do they make legitimate points? Occasionally they do. But not often. Here’s a recent example:

Over the weekend Joecool aka Steve Nakamura did a blog post that claimed -

One of the issues I have with the Amway plan is that the newest IBO, possibly the one who does the most “Work”, receives the smallest compensation. Amway pays about 32% of their income back in the form of bonuses. An IBO who does 100 PV receives a 3% bonus and somewhere, uplines and sponsors receive the rest.

Later he says -

Here’s a challenge for IBOs and/or prospects who are being recruited into the Amway business. 100 PV will cost around $300 a month and dedication to the tools system will cost you around $200 a month on average. Would you not be better off simply writing a check to your upline for $100 and not even joining?

Let’s examine these two claims. Joecool points out that Amway pays back around 32% of their income, and the IBO doing 100PV (points volume) will receive 3% volume rebate, or a little less than 10% of this. It sounds like the “upline” makes more, right?

No.

There are several ways to generate income in the Amway business. Joecool dishonestly only includes one of them, the volume rebate. The first income source for IBOs is retail margin, which on Amway products ranges from 20 to 30%.

Let’s take an example. Say an IBO sells 2 x Perfect Packs and a 1 x Farmers Market Vibrant Health Combo and 1 x Kid’s Chewable Multivitamin. IBO cost is $244.19.

ProductPVBVProfit
Perfect Pack41.95PV121.6652.73
Perfect Pack41.95PV121.6652.73
Health Combo15.75PV45.6719.78
Kids Chewable4.97PV14.406.22
Total104.62303.39131.46

First of all you’ll note that the IBO cost for *more* than 100PV is only $244.19. Joecool, who was an IBO for less than a year in the mid 1990′s,  claims 100PV will cost the IBO $300. He is still stuck in the mid 1990′s and completely ignores the fact that Amway increased the PV/BV ratios for their major brands several years ago.

So, the IBO profits $131.46 in retail margin, then gets a 3% volume rebate (on 303.39 BV) which is an additional $9.10.

Total gross profit for the IBO “doing the work”= $140.56

What does the upline get? In the US the volume rebate scale goes up to 25%, then there’s an additional 4% leadership bonus, plus various other Emerald, Diamond, Depth etc etc bonuses. I believe it averages roughly 32%, so less the 3% given to the original IBO, that’s 29% of the BV (business volume) or $87.98.

  • The new IBO doing the work gets $140.56
  • The upline IBOs who helped share in $87.98.

So for the total profit available, the IBO gets 61.5% and the upline share in 38.5%.

Joecool’s claim is false.

Joecool gets to this point because he completely ignores retail profit and is most likely assuming an IBO is only “buying for themselves”. Of course, if that’s all they do, then they’re not even operating a business and they have done no work. They’ve merely shopped! If they bought the above for their family (say 2 adults, a teenager, and a younger child), then they’ve saved $131.46 by shopping at the wholesale price and got an additional $9.10 discount.

Not bad.

But Joecool isn’t talking about a shopper, because in the next statement I cite from him he says this person is spending $200/mth on “tools” . If they’re building then they’re trying to recruit customers for the products, and other IBOs to market them. As such that IBO must have at least 50PV in customer sales in order to receive a bonus on downline sales. Where does he account for that? He doesn’t. What about increased volume from their work recruiting others? He ignores that too. As he does an increased bonus thanks to that extra volume.

Even more ridiculous, he seems to think that the money spent to obtain 100PV is 1) a business expense and 2) you receive nothing in exchange for the money!

Both are absurd. Firstly of course, you receive products in return. Products that are some of the best in their categories and have won awards around the world.

As for it being a business expense, have you run that past the IRS, Joecool? Can a business owner who withdraws stock for personal use, or accounts for it as a sale to themselves, claim that as a business expense?

It’s absurd, and sadly Joecool isn’t the only MLM critic who asserts this.

If anything, a $300 product purchase for personal use is an income for their Amway business, from a sale to a customer (themselves). There’s no profit since it matches the $300 expense for the IBOs business to purchase the stock from Amway.

Was this how Joecool ran his Amway business? Spending money not for products he wanted and thought were good value, but merely to try and qualify for a bonus? That’s not only stupid, it’s also potentially defrauding his upline of commissions they should have received.

Unfortunately, we already know Joecool has no problem committing fraud.

Who is Amway critic Joecool? And does he owe me $50000?

I’ve occasionally participated on a website called scam.com. There’s regular duels there between MLM supporters and anti-MLM zealots with their usual falsehoods and misconceptions. Back in August 2011 a poster joined using the nickname Joecool44. As of writing this post, he has, since joining scam.com contributed 3,473 posts, at an average of nearly 10 posts a day. The majority are posts attacking Amway.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s not surprising. Back in March of 2011 I highlighted the obsessive and fraudulent behaviour of an anti-amway blogger and internet commentator who goes by the name of Joecool. In that post I pointed out his obsessive behaviour, averaging more than one fully fledged blog post a day, and literally thousands of comments on blogs around the ‘net. I also showed how he was setting up multiple blogs and pretending to be different people. All in an effort to disparage Amway and Amway IBOs.

Joecool has continued his obsessive blogging, with nearly 400 blogposts across the 3 blogs he admits to since I wrote that post a 15 months ago, as well as continuing with his anti-amway commenting around the internet.

But here’s where things begin to get interesting. Over on the scam.com site, several of the other members have been challenging Joecool44 about his identity. As regular follows of Amway critics know, it was revealed some years back (not, initially, by me) that Joecool, the anti-amway blogger, was a former IBO in Hawaii by the name of Steve Nakamura, downline of Diamonds Scott and Cris Harimoto. He had been an IBO in the mid 1990′s, for less than a year. Internet sleuths, and some people who apparently knew him offline, had revealed that Joecool aka Steve Nakamura, a married man, had been a regular contributor to a sex and prostitution focused website, World Sex Guide, describing his exploits with illegal prostitutes in Honolulu. (as Joecool18, Steve411, and Steve Nakamura). While initially defensive, joecool/Steve eventually owned up to all of this, said he was working for forgiveness with his pastor, and he deleted his blog, where he had been accusing someone of threatening his family and blaming me for it.

Fast forward to 2011/2012 and joecool the blogger, as well as joecool44 the scam.com poster, have been denying they are Steve Nakamura or even knowing who he is. Whenever commentators have addressed him by the name Steve, he’s responded with comments like “Who’s Steve”? What’s even more bizarre is that obsessive anti-amway scam.com poster Joecool44 refuses to even acknowledge he is obsessive anti-amway joecool the blogger. It’s gone so far that over the past year he has challenged two other posters there “every cent they’re worth” to prove he is Steve Nakamura, and last week he bet me $50000 his name isn’t Steve Nakamura. Not surprisingly, he refuses to put any funds in to an escrow account to back this “bet” unless any of the people he has challenged does so first, and he has also refused to agree to any conditions which might prevent him getting out of things on a technicality (eg getting someone else to write the actual text whenever he says “I am not Steve Nakamura”.)

It’s all a bit silly and childish, but I’ve had a little fun baiting him over the whole thing. Frankly who he is doesn’t really matter that much, unless Amway or IBOs need his real identity in order to sue him for tort defamation, which – after this post – they very well might consider.

So, despite knowing the chance of him ever paying out on his bet is below zero, I figured I may as well dig up and post the evidence, just to show him for the fraud he is. Little was I to know that I’d make further discoveries that offer even more proof of this man’s utter lack of integrity and illegal behaviour.

Now,  please forgive me, this is a very long post. But bear with it, it’s worth it! And let me know in the comments if you think Joecool owes me $50,000.

Who is Joecool?

Continue reading

1222 new Founder Platinums and above for Amway North America!

I saw a tweet from Jody Victor earlier today that was so incredible I had to confirm it before posting about it here -

What I needed to confirm was this was just for Amway North America. It seemed too small for Amway globally, but an almost unbelievable result for just Amway in North America. Well, Jody confirmed it. Amazing.

Just for fun, let’s see just how accurate that a certain prolific anti-Amway blogger and obsessive has been over the past year -

Sep 1 2010 - I believe that Amway is shrinking in North America

Nov 29 2010 - It sure looks like Amway in the US and Canada is shrinking

Feb 11 2011 - it appears that Amway is shrinking in the US and Canada

Feb 12 2011 – I believe Amway is alreadu [sic] shrinking

Feb 28 2011 - it appears that Amway is shrinking in the US

May 24 2011 – especially in North America where Amway appears to be shrinking instead of growing.

June 23 2011 - I have heard recently that Amway and WWDB is shrinking in the US.

But don’t hold your breath expecting a little thing like reality to change his tune.  You’ll note three of the quotes above, in February 2011, were made just days after Amway revealed North American growth the previous year had been 5%. Who are you listening to?

Exciting times for Amway IBOs in North America – 1222 new Founders Platinums and above! Wow!

Are you recruiting your competitors?

A supposed “criticism” of Amway, and indeed of multilevel marketing, that I’ve seen turn up regularly is the idea that it’s inherently flawed because “you are recruiting competitors”. For example, Robert T. Carroll, in his “Skeptic’s Dictionary” says -

Why, you might wonder would you recruit people to compete with you? For, isn’t that what you are doing when you recruit people to sell the same products you are selling? MLM magic will convince you that it is reasonable to recruit competitors because they won’t really be competitors since you will get a cut of their profits.

Australian MLM critic Peter Bowditch (ratbags.com.au) says for example regarding his own business compared with MLM -

I am a certified consultant and an authorised reseller for several software and hardware products. I can open a retail shop to sell these things, I can sell them on eBay, I can walk door-to-door around the neighbourhood, I can ask retailers to stock them and computer builders to include them as packages with their machines …I am not expected to find and recruit competitors for my business

Anti-Amway obsessive JoeCool comments on one of his (many) blogs -

 you are very strongly encouraged to RECRUIT YOUR OWN COMPETITION. If Amway were a business where the goal was to make money selling products, it is a suicidal business plan

So, what are they on about?

Well, the claim has some truth to it because when you sponsor someone in to your business, that person is indeed now a potential competitor for a retail customer. For any given customer, you’ll make more money if you sell to them personally than if your downline does.

One flaw in this “complaint” is that the same thing applies in traditional business as well. If you owned a small clothing store, every time you sell something, you get to keep all the profit. But what if you employ someone? In the clearest example, if you simply paid them on a commission basis, then they are a direct competitor to you on each retail sale. They get that commission instead of you. The same really applies even if they’re a salaried employee. The money your paying them could have stayed in your pocket if you hadn’t employed them and sold it yourself!

Or how about Coca-Cola? If you buy a coke from an official coca-cola vending machine then are you’re buying it direct from Coca-Cola. Yet you could also buy it from your local corner store. Every time Coca-Cola reps try to get a store to sell their products, they’re recruiting competitors!

Or let’s take Pete Bowditch’s own software example. As he mentioned, he could sell the software directly himself, or he could ask retailers to stock them. In other words – he could recruit a competitor! By having a reseller sell to a customer, that’s a potential retail sale he is missing out on.

Why does Coca-Cola recruit competitors? Why does a  small business owner recruit salespeople? Why does Bowditch suggest recruiting retailers?

No “MLM magic” is needed to answer that. It’s because you can make more money that way! By recruiting resellers, you can hopefully get much larger total sales volumes than by trying to do all the sales yourself. Yes, you’ll make less money per sale than if you did a sale personally, but you still get a percentage on the wholesale sale to your recruit, and you should be able to get a lot more sales for the same time invested. Asmaller percentage of a larger volume can easily be worth more than a larger percentage of a smaller volume. What’s more, the larger discount you get thanks to your recruit’s volume means you get an even bigger profit margin on your own retail sales!

Unless the marketplace for your products is saturated, and there is no room for expansion, recruiting other sales people to increase your sales volume is a smart and sensible way to increase your profitability.

Amway’s most prolific internet critic – what we already knew, confirmed.

Last month I hinted about some information proving the dishonesty of one of Amway’s most prolific internet critics. As I expected, that critic guessed who I was talking about and has attempted to cover his tracks. Alas, he hasn’t succeeded.

JoeCool is the (main) internet pseudonym of a former Amway and WWDB IBO by the name of Steve Nakamura. He’s based in Hawaii and has been literally obsessed with criticizing Amway since at least 2004. On the (now moribund) Quixtar Blog forums he has made over 6500 posts since 2004 (that’s more than 2.5 posts a day) and has been the originator of almost all new posts on that board for the last 2 years – most of the time by simply trawling the net for old posts critical of Amway, and reposting them.

In 2009/2010 alone, just on the two blogs he puts his “name” to, he published over 470 blog posts critical of Amway and at least a thousand comments on other Amway related posts on the internet. So far this year he has already published 90 posts just on the two “joecool” blogs. That’s nearly a post a day that he admits to.

The man is truly obsessed. Continue reading

Amway critics and credibility – another one bites the dust

When you read stuff on the internet, it’s difficult to know what’s true and what’s not – generally all one can do is assess an authors credibility by what they say and how accurate it is. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally, but if people are making major errors of fact in their posts … well, it damages their credibility. If those errors are about what their entire post and/or blog is about, it damages the credibility of everything they post. Amway critics regularly try to damage the credibility of this site by attacking me (with often wildly inaccurate claims) rather than what I say and the information I present. It doesn’t matter, this site isn’t about me, I don’t care what you think about me - judge the credibility of what I write. Is it generally accurate? Do I backed it up by sources when I can? Judge what I write, not me. When someone resorts to ad hominem what it really does is reveal how little logical and factual basis the attacker has to try to discredit the other person – if you can’t attack the argument, attack the person. Continue reading