Let’s Talk About Tools I

Probably the last major “unresolved” issue in the public arena with regards Amway is the “tools” or Business Support Materials (BSM), and in particular controversy over profits earned from BSM by “higher pins”. If you spend even a small amount of time on the internet researching Amway you’ll find many claims that “the real money” in the Amway business isn’t in promoting Amway products, but in promoting BSM, and some claim that Diamonds and above typically earn in excess of 90% of their income from their BSM side businesses. In the last few days, following the release of Amway’s 2008 sales data I’ve even seen quite a few comments on newspaper websites and other sites claiming the majority of Amway’s $8.2billion in sales was not from sale of Amway products, but from the sale of “motivational materials”.

So let’s clear that one up first. Except for a few minor exceptions, Amway’s sales data includes virtually no sale of motivational materials. The controversy over profiting from the sale of motivational materials is primarily one surrounding third parties, typically Amway business owners rather than Amway itself. And that’s where things start to become not so simple. In this first post I’d like to try and clarify what is meant by “tool profit”. Tools are things promoted as useful for building or supporting an Amway business. Amway Europe’s BSM policy from 2007 says the following –

The definition of Business Support Materials (‘BSMs’) is intended to be interpreted broadly and includes, by way of example: printed materials, audio-video and multimedia productions, internet-based products and services, extra Amway recognition and award systems, meetings and other events, and other materials or equipment used to support information or sale of Amway product or services, as well as coupons, vouchers, tickets or standing order/subscription programs relating to any of the foregoing.

This is indeed “broad”. A pen I use to show the plan or write out a receipt is “other materials or equipment used to support information or sale of Amway product or services”. I use the computer I’m typing on to support my business – it’s BSM. I use an Internet Service Provider to provide me with Internet Access, and I use that access to support my Amway business. My ISP is thus “selling”, and I assume profiting, from selling me Business Support Materials.

It’s not this BSM that has been the source of controversy however. It’s BSM that has been produced by Amway IBOs, or companies owned and/or operated by Amway IBOs, and promoted and sold through the Amway network – from IBO to IBO. This is typically tapes and CDs, books, seminar tickets, and internet and telephony (voicemail) services.

The major controversy is the claim that “high-level” IBOs (normally Diamonds and above, though some claim Platinums and/or Emeralds and above) typically make far more from the “side business” of promoting BSM to their Amway organisations than they do from promoting Amway products. Whether there’s any truth to this or not I’ll discuss in a future post, for the moment I just want to define what we are talking about.

It seems to me that when discussing “tool profit”, there are actually three different types of income under discussion and that they really need to be considered separately, particularly when looking at the ethics of the situation. The areas are –

  1. Income earned through the production of BSM and reselling at a markup to Amway business owners
  2. Income earned by an IBO by reselling BSM at a markup through their Amway networks
  3. Income earned through speaking fees

It’s my opinion that many of the myths around BSM income have occurred through a failure of folk to consider these three different aspects to it. For example, from my research it would appear that income #1 is where the largest BSM related incomes may be generated, but that income tends to be limited to a small number of people – yet it is often assumed that all (or most) Diamonds and above are earning it.

I’ll talk more about these three areas in part II.

Update: Part II – Do Diamonds make most of their money from selling tools?

60 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Tools I”

  1. Just curious, but do you ever think Amway will “ban” the third party tools from the kingpin distributors and just sell them directly to the distributors themselves? And if so, do you think that would fix most of the problems and complaints that people have about the tools business?

    I look forward to your response.

    1. The “complaints” about the tool business tend to be extremely old and overblown. The Pokorny class action settlement data proved beyond doubt that (a) very few distributors actually spend much money on them and (b) even fewer thought there was any concern over them.

      So (a) why would you ban them and (b) how would you ban them? Tell IBO’s it’s against the rules to go to onlinemlmcommunity.com and buy any of your services? Or only if you’re an Amway IBO? So what if you’re running it as a corporation, which isn’t an IBO? Ban that too? So IBOs can’t buy books from Amazon if there are IBO shareholders that might profit? etc etc

      The whole idea of “banning” people from selling something that the market finds of value – because a minority don’t like it or abuse it – is entirely antithetical to the concept of free enterprise.

  2. I look forward to your next post about BSM which I hope also reveals your views about the concerns mentioned in these comments.

  3. exAmway’s were really on the dot and totally reflective of my concerns. I do not know what Amway’s policy is outside my country but what I do know is that the problems with tools do exist here as well.

    “In addition to my post above, if you guys are feeling obligated or coerced into business, then leave Amway.” ~DC

    Many of us probably likes the idea of direct selling and enjoy the benefit provided as an Amway member and the problem doesn’t lie with the business. I believe most people are more than happy to be able to do such businesses. The true problem, at least for me that is, is that because of their system, we have to tolerate and at times give in to the pressure from our upline to buy the tools. I do not know why but at many of the talks, at least one of the diamonds will mention “Do what your upline tells you to, they know the best” or something along the lines. We aren’t comfortable with buying the tools, but most uplines and above aren’t going to let us feel happy about our business until we do as told.

    “But what you say at the beginning is really the issue, it’s overpromotion of the tools without accounting properly for an individuals circumstances. I actually think part of the “blame” here rests with the individual IBOs though, because in my experience they’re often unlikely to tell their upline about financial challenges they’re having.” ~ibofb
    “I was suggesting that Amway corp. itself could identify what techniques are currently working for people, and produce training dvds, or cd with those techniques… and either supply it to the IBOs as a tax deductible expense… or in a worst case scenario charge the IBO’s the cost price.”~exAmway

    These points are actually linked to Amway’s system itself. I am inclined to believe it may be some system they came up together with Jager or BWW but since I have nothing to substantiate the point, I’ll leave it at that. What I am concerned with is that they have a “trust your upline and do as he says” thing going on and even though the uplines are using the same materials, I don’t get how the same information can be transmitted to us or how we can be sure our upline will make the correct decision. IMO, I don’t feel like an independent business owner, it feels more like I am emulating other people on my path to success instead of trying to better them when I need to follow these step by step. The control is stifling and creates no room for individual flare or innovation to emerge. From the way I see it, it is effective for many of the people involved in Amway because they lack education or knowledge in such areas. The system provides a rigid yet comprehensive structure for them to progress but for others such as myself who are studying to be entrepreneurs, we (or I) feel suffocated. It is creating an environment where we have to strictly follow the system just because “Jager/BWW is a company over a few decades old with a lot of experience and have learnt a lot of lessons from their own mistakes over the years, so if they say it work, it should work as they are seasoned professionals”, as quoted by an upline in my group. If you do have a personal experience where innovation triumphs, please enlighten me.

    That’s my main concern as an IBO, the system where it is implied that we have to follow our upline, with the phrase “it’s always optional” as the cover up. They are using emotional blackmail, you know it, but they’ve covered their asses.

  4. In addition to my post above, if you guys are feeling obligated or coerced into business, then leave Amway. You can’t stop a winner from winning and you can’t keep a quitter from quitting. People will do exactly what they want to do. If you don’t want to buy educational materials from a business, you are going to buy educational materials from a school for years that you will never use and will teach you how to work for someone else. The question is will a job allow you the opportunity to obtain everything you want and saw you could have in business which was the reason for getting in business in the first place. There is only room for one dream in a corporation and that is the owner’s. If you don’t make your own decisions, someone else will by default. Instead of being negative about it, take it for what it is. It’s an opportunity to create your own income buying things you are going to buy anyway. Consumers spend money, producers make money, and prosumers make money everytime they spend money. It’s a brilliant concept. The point is, whether it is the Amway business or another, you will still need to possess the discipline, commitment, positive mental attitude, and proper thought process required to be successful. If you don’t learn to discipline yourself, you will inevitably work for the rest of your life for someone else who will tell you when you can eat, use the restroom, take vacations, and how many times you can get sick. If you aren’t signing your own paychecks, you’re not in control. This is referred to as being “normal”. Normal is nothing more than a life of average, mediocrity, and insignificance. LTD all day.

  5. Don’t confuse the simplicity of building this business with the complexity of building yourself. That should take care of the “tool” situation. Here’s a tip, if you are being forced to listen to CDs or to attend functions or weekly workshops then you are not an IBO (Independent Business Owner) in any sense of the word. Personally I believe that is the reason why upline promote tool flow and attendance. It is so that people recognize the value of it and so that they eventually think for themselves. It’s better for an upline to promote tool flow than volume as volume is not the only indicator of the growth of your business. Sometimes the best growth in your business is the growth that only you can see. In addition, if an “IBO” feels obligated to buy educational material that is going to help build their business, then that IBO has not yet seen the value of it, hence why the upline is promoting it. If you use the system, the system will build your business. The primary reason why tools are promoted is because the business is based on duplication. Duplication and repitition are the mother of all skills. If you don’t get educated, neither will your downline. You will have a revolving door business and will be more like a non-profit organization because exertation without explanation leads to frustration. That’s the reason why your upline promotes tools.

  6. I was in Amway in Canada for the better part of 5 years and have nothing bad to say about Amway/Quixtar itself, in fact, I still use the products. But I’d like some clarification on certain statements that have been put forth on this blog and give my own personal experiences concerning these topics.

    Point: “We’re forced to listen to tapes/CD’s/function speakers.”
    Counterpoint: “No one is forcing you to do anything.”
    My personal experience: being told “The system is optional but no one has ever succeeded in the Amway business without it.”

    No, I wasn’t “forced” to take part in the system, I was coerced and blackmailed into taking part in the system. Buying into a business, then being told I’ll never make it work unless I also buy into the training system is, in fact, coersion. There are many people in the Amaway business selling products and making a profit without ever having spent a single cent on books, tapes or function tickets. I was told a bold-faced lie to get me to sign up for the “Tape(s) of the Month”. The internet is not to blame for the damage that Amway has sustained over the last decade…it’s cause by greedy IBO’s selling over-priced tools and draining the bank accounts of unsuspecting newcomers to the business.

    Point: “Yagers makes nothing from Amway out of most people who buy Internet Services products.”

    I joined Amway in the early days of the internet, before everything became password protected. I checked out Internet Services Corp website and was surprised to find no mention of Amway. I could, however, get a cassette tape duplicated for a mere 75 cents US if I ordered in bulk…say, for my downline. Which I could then sell for $8.00 each.

    So, the new business model: First, I rent a big auditorium say that will hold 10,000 people. I charge $20 US per person which gives me a gross at the door of $200,000 dollars. Subtract $50,000 for rental fees and $50,000 for speaker’s fees to the guest speakers and you put a cool 100 grand in your pocket…for one nights work. Oh, but there’s more… You rent some recording equipment and record the function. Then you get Internet Services Corp to make you 10,000 copies which you can then sell to the same people that bought the function tickets. At an average net profit of $7.00 US per tape, there’s another $70,000 generated from that same function. Pretty sweet, but it doesn’t stop there. You pack everything into a tractor-trailer and drive to the next city and have another function the next week, and so on… Assuming you take a 3 month vaction and a full month at Xmas Holiday time to be with family, this business can NET you over 2 million dollars a year. How do you get people do do this? You keep lieing to them: “Look how rich you can get from Amway! See how rich Amway has made me! I have 2 Caddy’s, a Ferrari and 3 houses…all thanks to Amway!”

    Don’t believe it. As my former upline Mr. Casey Combden used to say:

    “The System is the Secret.”

  7. I just came from a conference with the Britt system. The stuff I heard was worth far more than the S$65 i paid for it.

    In the next hall at the same facility people paid S$2000 to listen to Anthony Robins. I am sure he is good but as you all know motivation needs to be continuous. What impresses me with Britt system is the fact that motivation is continuous. It is helping me set priorities with my job and life like never before.

    There is no free lunch. If you haven’t figured that out there is not much anybody else can do.

  8. I have been reading all you guys comments and posts on this site. And I’ve read multiple sites about Amway.

    passed: i’m sured that exAmway was just trying to share his experience with other people so that people can see both sides to this story, not because he has “no life”

    I don’t know what conclusion I have come to about Amway, but what I do know is that it does for SURE sound crazy and cult-like, getting people to join, forcing people to by these ridiculous cds with MULTIPLE people saying the SAME thing
    over
    and
    over
    and
    over
    and over

    i.e. : “my experience…. ” “if you don’t believe it then fine, I got financial freedom and I have all the time in the world now”

    seriously, why do we have to listen to sixty cds like that?
    and go to 60 seminars EVERY thursday to hear some speaker because he/she is SO wealthy now and about their experience about how they went from being so broke to one of the wealthiest people….

    the only reason i was considering doing it was to sell some products maybe, or just you know as a side thing during school

    but all the pressure and all the forcing and all the crazy websites on this business
    not only do they make me skeptical, quite frankly it’s just ridiculous
    it shouldn’t be this way if it’s such an amazing business opportunity

    it’s like vector marketing/ cutco
    has anyone seen what they do/experienced it/seen all the websites and such that people have wrote about it

    =/

    1. almostibo, I don’t know what “conclusion” you’ve come to about Amway either, but it’s clear you’ve decided to do so based on falsehoods. For example you claim people are “forced” to listen to CDs, which is ridiculous. Like everything else, it’s a choice, and most IBOs chose not to listen to CDs – so much for being “forced”! You also claim the say the same thing over and over! How many have you listened to? I don’t know which CDs you’ve listened to, I’ve never listened to any two CDs that have said the same thing. Each have different perspectives and different information. And what’s 60 seminars every thursday? I’m guessing you’re talking about an open plan … which isn’t for you to sit in alone … it’s for you to take people to so you can leverage other people’s knowledge, experience, and success to help build your business. Yes … you should even be able to learn some stuff yourself! But hey, if every thursday is some kind of problem for you … why not try college instead? Then you have to go nearly every day!! Or a job? Yup, 5 or 6 days a week.

      If all you want to do is a “side thing”, then do that. Sell a few products. Thursday’s aren’t for you. The majority of CDs aren’t for you. That’s fine. Nobody forces you to do anything, it’s your choice.

      It’s just unfortunate you seem to have decided to unquestionably believe “all the crazy websites” rather than actually checking it out yourself. If you’re idea of a good life is to have other people do your thinking for you … well, Amway is not for you, so you’ll make the right choice by not being involved.

  9. Very interesting that such time and effort is spent on trying to figure out something so simple. I’ve had experience with Dornan’s group and have never been forced into buying tools, nor have I been encouraged to overexagerate the significance of tools. Tools are to learn and to grow. Just like buying my own books in college. Or for that matter, paying thousands just to go to classes in college. I am young, but also very skeptical. This should not be something that is mused over. Any large scale business ex. McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, have been in business and had enough business associates/contacts to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Check them all out. All will have critics. All will have believers. All have people at the top (CEO’s, presidents, managers) making more money than basic employees or consumers. All have the very top people having considerable more expenses than those at the bottom. The “tool systems” of any organization whether Amway or someone else (McDonald’s, Wal-Mart) are created to benefit the whole organization. That’s how they get so big. They figure out a system that works, stick to it, adjust slightly if neccessary, teach it to others, and keep expanding, and expanding. Tap into the system and you too can benefit if you do the same sweat work they have done. There is no robbery in that. No scams. No nothing. Just plain guts and genius. I commend all the successful business men and women in each and every country. Amway has given many ordinary people a great way to move out of current financial situations into better ones. Hoorah to those who are able to do more with their Amway business than many can imagine. They are the ones who have changed the most. Check out all the great businesses and their founders heart. You’ll find they do much more than hang out eating burgers, buying more stuff for wal-mart, or buying more Amway products. They are out fulfilling passions. Helping the poor, helping the disabled, helping people who don’t have a hope. Showing mercy. Making a difference. Tools don’t make the money. They pay for the cost of running a tool business. Building an organization makes the money. The freedom for IBO’s is from the Amway checks. Check out the bonus’ you can earn. Some of them are crazy money. Tools don’t supply that. Don’t get lost in the fact that people still make money other places. Many people diversify. It’s kinda a smart thing to do.

  10. exAmway:
    Business is not so complicated that you need to Join and quit multiple times to understand it. You should not need multiple times to figure out if this is for you or not, if you would have given enough time to understand it first time itself. Yes, circumstances changes and you may have to leave, but if you rejoin their should be a reason for joining back. You can not leave same business multiple time for same reason. Also no one is here to convince you about the business, we all believe in it and working to make it work for us. If you are not going looking to join back, then why are you still snooping around and putting inputs in Amway Forums? I guess you should find better things in life to concentrate on..or you still have some hopes for you in business? 😉

    IBOFB: You are absolutely right about point 7 in previous comment.

    I have personal experience about people getting excited after seeing the opportunity. They get started, promise to do everything and then almost disappear. They never place any order, never tried any product, never came for any association, absolutely did nothing. And if you somehow get chance to talk to them they will say and it is not for them. This is so absurd, I mean you started this believing it is for you, you knew what you are suppose to do (I am upfront about this in plan all the time) and now all of sudden you are saying that it is not for you without doing anything?

    Just like any other business, this business also has many options, people come in to make money and you can make it many different ways. You need to find out which way suits you. Just like in college, you have good professors & Bad professors, You have bright students & have stupids too..but do you just look at the Bad professors and stupid students to decide whether you want to finish college or not, is total abusrd thing to do.

    I belong to BWW in US and I liked what Bill Britt once said in one of the Major functions. I dont remember the exact words, but the meaning of the talk was “If the person is not ready to listen to you, don’t waste your time with them”. ofcource we are not looking for followers, but we are looking for people who are open minded to find out what they can do in this business, then they can figure out where they want to concentrate on. Find your strengths and start working on it.

  11. ibofightback

    1. Are you suggesting that no other problems have ever existed in any other Amway organization?

    2. I could be wrong, but isn’t the Yager organization one of the biggest in Amway?

    3. Should we delete all websites over a certain age because they are out of date?

    4. I told you the direct I spoke of closely associated with many of the diamonds etc. He could easily get the information direct from the source, he had no need to go anywhere else for his information.

    5. Buy giving platinums a cut of the pie, there is an incentive for the platinums to promote the tools system and and increase tool sales. Therefore the size of the pie should also proportionately increase. Would the big guys give the platinums a cut if it was not in their own best financial interest to do so? I suspect they don’t do it to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 😉

    6. I have been in Amway three times over 20 years… and I have not seen any significant changes in the way they do business in regard to tools.

    7. If you are satisfied that the vast majority of people you introduce to Amway are better off financially after their association with Amway than before they joined… that is terrific… and I wish you every success. Amway is not of me though… I could no longer honestly recommend it.

    I seriously doubt that I will change your mind regarding Amway. I also seriously doubt that you will change my mind regarding Amway. We could go on debating forever, but it would not accomplish any useful purpose.

    Regardless of how good or bad my arguments were… I also know that it is your website… so you will get the final say.

    So… I would like to thank you for allowing me to give voice my opinions… especially because they differ greatly from your own. I have enjoyed our debate. Thank you.

    1. 1. Never suggested any such thing, indeed to the contrary if you follow my site
      2. Yes, it’s one of the largest in the US, but still represents only a minority of Amway, even in the US, and given the lack of similar issues raised with the rest – the majority – of Amway, it would suggest those types of problems are primarily within that group and it’s offshoots.
      3. Huh? No, but you clearly shouldn’t cite them as evidence to make claims about what is happening now.
      4. But in short – you don’t know. It’s clearly to me having read pretty much every bit of information in this area, including all the lawsuits, that it’s primarily rumour feeding on rumour
      5. It’s also in their best interest to promote tools that increase their Amway sales volume
      6. What groups were you in, and can you please provide some details on how they handle tool profits.
      7. That’s a straw man/red herring. Many people join or remain with Amway primarily for the products. I don’t buy Nutrilite to be “better off financially” – though I could argue that joining Amway did indeed make me better off financially – as a customer I’d have to pay a lot more! Stats out of the US indicate that 50% of folk who join there never even order a product, let alone anything else. One could argue they’re finacially worse off, having paid a few bucks for a membership they didn’t use, on the other hand, they got exactly what they were promised – an opportunity. If I buy a ticket to go to Disneyland and then decide not to use it, it’s a bit much to blame Disneyland for it.

  12. IBO, what does this mean? “Wow!what an irony who’s the site owner here. He is writing against Amway and the Amway people are discussing it more here.”

    How did you come to the conclusion “he is writing against Amway”? Did you mistakenly think you were on an anti-Amway site? You recognized that this site has a higher proportion of IBOs and ABOs contributing than your average independent Amway site. Wouldn’t that be a clue that this could be a pro-Amway site? The other clue would be the content of the blog-posts written by IBOFighBack.

  13. Wow!what an irony who’s the site owner here. He is writing against Amway and the Amway people are discussing it more here. Great. Amway rocks. It will keep rocking no matter what.
    About business tools:
    In the concept of Franchising, when you buy a Franchise, you get to know the standards being followed by the Franchiser and you get the right to follow those standards and earn from it.
    Now, Amway is a concept called as Private Franchising. Here we buy the Franchise and can further sell it and become Franchiser also. So being a Franchisee why not to follow all the standards. The difference is that the standards are classified and are optional. You can buy anyone you want to implement or all of them. It depends on you. Now see if you don’t follow the standards being set by your uplines, its something like you buy a Mc Donalds Franchisee and you say that I will not use the name Mc Donalds but something else and will sell your own type of burger and not the one which every Mc Donalds sell.

  14. I told you that if it turned out that I was not “banned for life” that I would let you know and apologize. While not quite at that point, there has been a development in that area, and in the interest of fairness and honesty… I thought I would tell you about it.

    When the original issue regarding my website surfaced I was told that my “platinums could lose their business” as a result of my actions, and that “the last time something like this occurred it took down a diamond”.

    I thought it strange that someone could be punished for something they had no knowledge of, but I did not want anyone else to be punished for anything I had done so I panicked and resigned in an attempt to limit the damage to myself only.

    The next day I was informed by my upline that because of my resignation the matter was not going to be taken any further, but that I had been “banned for life”, and a number of conditions were imposed upon me.

    In my resignation I explained my point of view.

    I have now received a letter from Amway stating that they are sorry to see me go, and there is no mention of a life ban, or any of the other conditions that were supposedly imposed upon me.

    The letter seems to be a form letter though, and it may have been sent by mistake. So, I have asked for clarification of the issue. Something is not right here somewhere. I will keep you updated.

    In regard to “If the majority of the higher ups money is actually made through tool sales as claimed by many, and also suggested by my own inquiries…”:

    There are plenty of sites out there dealing with this issue, but if you are interested http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Amway/AUS/tools.htm will get you started.

    In regard to my own inquiries…

    The second time I was in Amway, my then wife, and I had lunch with a direct that was considered to be a “hotshot”, and who closely associated with a lot of the Amway leaders.

    He said to us “I can’t wait to be a Diamond”.

    I asked “So you can earn lots of dollars in bonuses?”

    He said “No… I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but it is because as a diamond… I can get a cut of the tools money. They don’t like this to be known… but… that is where the big money is made.”

    This information just about floored me.

    Further to this… I also talked to a Diamond about it… and I am personally satisfied by his response that a significant proportion of the income is made as tools income.

    I got the sense that this was a widespread phenomenon. After reading more about the court cases that have involved Amway… and other websites related to the issue… this feeling has only been reinforced.

    I have nothing against Amway the company, I like the majority of their products, their marketing plan is quite acceptable to me… but I still have issues with the “tools” business.

    In regard to “Who would be in the videos?”…

    Firefox (the internet browser software) is arguably one of the best browsers in the world. How much do they charge for Firefox? Not $100, not $50, not even $5, but yours for the low, low, K-tel price of “free”. (The makers are happy to make their money in other ways.)

    So… there is no direct correlation between the price we pay for something and it’s quality, or the value it has to us personally.

    If I was a diamond and had large, secure income from Amway… I would be grateful to Amway… I would be more than willing to help other people whether I made anything from it personally or not.

    If people were less greedy… and more giving… more willing to share… the world would be a better place.

    All the best.

    1. exAmway, you might want to reread the article above and evaluate anything you read in that context. I’ll do a part II shortly. You might also want to read Amway/Quixtar Myths, Psycho-facts and the Internet Echo Chamber. You quote a decade old website article that, outside other flaws, mentions nobody outside of one Amway organisation! Why is it you think that every single lawsuit on this issue and every single news report or “book” on this issue are all about just one organisation and it’s affiliates? And why doesn’t it come up with anybody else? Worth thinking about, don’t you think? Even your conversation with your “direct” tells a lot. First I wonder where he got his information? The internet? Secondly, his statement itself shows the differences. What happens to an income if it is split up amongst many more people? It goes down, right? So imagine if this “diamond” tool money is spread amongst the many more Emeralds and the many many many more Platinums as well – everyone’s cut would be a lot less, yes? Well, today I believe every organisation offers volume rebates (ie tool money) to Platinums and above, and many of them have always done this. You’re information is outdated and you’re unfairly generalizing it from one group to all of Amway.

  15. tools reports with summaries of all purchases are sent to all platinums and above monthly in N21, and I assume similar is done in BWW and other organisations.

  16. I feel tools are really important to the very simple fact that u can’t say how good is ur business unless u have a system how to track what is the tool flow, how many are in monthly CD program, how many are attending seminars etc…
    As simply, ur PV tells u where u are but ur Vital signs tell u where u will be.

    Hence I feel buying from 3rd party companies can’t tell us where will or business be unless we have systems like N21 or BWW.

    What is needed is more transperancy & some kind of P/L statement sent to all the participating ABO’s in the system at the end of the Amway year.

  17. Conceding that tools are necessary for the sake of argument, what happens to downlines when they tell their sponsors or other ULs “no thanks, I can get a/v tools on eBay for $.10 a piece or less?

    1. If the tools are up-to-date, approved for use by Amway, and your downline can do the same thing and their downline the same etc etc, go for it. The reality is that none of the above is true.

  18. ibofightback,

    I respect your views.

    We must be traveling in vastly different circles if over a period of years you have not had a single negative reaction regarding Amway.

    In regard to tools…

    I would say that there would be many people who join Amway who have had no previous business experience, many young people also join Amway.

    In my view they are looking for leadership, they are thinking “show me the money”. The idea promoted is that you will get all the necessary training to succeed.

    So, in a way, the new IBO with no previous business experience is either largely or solely dependent on the information and training that they receive in Amway.

    I therefore believe there is a duty of care on behalf of Amway and or the tools producers to ensure that the training is teaching them things that are in the best interest of the student.

    If that training encourages them to overspend… and get their cashflow patterns out of whack… to focus on being positive rather than positive cashflow… it is the training that is at fault.

    “No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher say, student do. ” Mr. Miyagi Karate Kid

    If the majority of the higher ups money is actually made through tool sales as claimed by many, and also suggested by my own inquiries… and the IBO is lead to believe that the tools are being supplied to them at cost.. and only to help the IBO… that is unethical in my view.

    I do agree with you regarding a focus on retail sales though. Profit rules (providing you put people first of course)

    If the investigations had nothing to do with tool sales then why would the profits made in tools be important to fund a legal defense? Aren’t the Amway business and the tools business largely separate businesses anyway?

    I don’t have a problem making profits through the marketing plan… the issue for me is tools profit.

    I was thinking about the training… and Amway could set up a website specifically for training IBOs… the could post videos that IBOs could view free of charge… and allow IBOs to download and distribute them free of charge to any downline that were not connected to the internet. It would cost them bugger all… and everybody but the tools sellers would benefit greatly.

    It would kill the tools controversy once and for all… and save each IBO thousands of dollars over the course of their association with Amway… with the all the associated beneficial knock on effects that it would produce for the average IBO.

    I am not going to hold my breath though.

    1. Amway Global has a website setup with videos for training. I believe Amway UK has something similar too? The question is – who is on the videos? Wouldn’t top teachers who are also top achievers be the best ones to be doing the training? And you think top achievers should train their competitors for nothing?????

      You say – If the majority of the higher ups money is actually made through tool sales as claimed by many, and also suggested by my own inquiries…

      I’d like some more details on this. My own enquiries have found the opposite.

      And to the original point – if you’re treating people as business owners that doesn’t mean you’re not providing training and support and advice – it means you’re expecting the IBOs to make the decisions, not act like employees and just do what their told whether they agree with it or not.

  19. I can understand that it can get some what messy when we look at every possible sales..
    But in that case we need to see if the sale of a tool by a ABO to another ABO can only benefit Amway business & no other business. Sale of Computers, cars, petrol, self help books can benefit any business not just Amway..But Tapes/CDs, seminars, website subscriptions specifically can be used only for Amway business hence can’t be sold for profit.simple…

    Ideally, I would like to see System owners make no money from tools, but by the growth of Amway Business only. If they want to make profit let them be transparent about it.
    U can say as a private business they need not disclose it but that’s where the problem & doubt starts & Amway should make sure they disclose it.
    U may even say they should disclose their Amway income as well but that may not be necessary as Amway recognitions that happen every year & pictures in Amagram does tell who is growing.

    I meant – “If u say that BWW or Yager does work for other companies who have nothing to do with Amway then why are they accredited or in the process of accredition by Amway in the first place?”

    1. Well Zzz, I must respectfully disagree. For most of the last decade I haven’t been actively building an Amway business, but when possible I’ve been participating in “system” activities including attending seminars and buying books and CDs. They’ve been enormously useful. Heck I’ve even run seminars for third parties entirely based on materials I first acquired through “the system”, indeed I’ve got one coming up in a few weeks, and the organises will pay me more, and charge the participants more, than if I do the exact same seminar within the Amway system.

      I’d note also there are “systems” available for Amway IBOs, dedicated towards building an Amway business, that are owned by people that *aren’t* Amway IBOs. There’s also the many more generic systems and tools dedicated to network marketing that aren’t owned by Amway IBOs – and tend to cost significantly more than similar systems owned by IBOs.

      I still don’t understand the question? What does offering services to other people got to do with accreditation?

  20. ibofightback, you have misunderstood what I was suggesting.

    I was not suggesting that individual IBOs supply the training materials for other individual IBOs. I was suggesting that Amway corp. itself could identify what techniques are currently working for people, and produce training dvds, or cd with those techniques… and either supply it to the IBOs as a tax deductible expense… or in a worst case scenario charge the IBO’s the cost price.

    Why should Amway supply the tools at no cost/cost price? Ummm so their IBOs are better trained… that their IBOs make more money… are less likely to burn out… that Amway sell more product… make more profit… have a better reputation?

    They wouldn’t do it because it would make too many higher ups lose a considerable proportion of their income…. but if they did… it would certainly benefit individual IBOs. Rather than costing more… it should cost IBOs considerably less.

    Under this system there should be no need for ANY official investigations.

    In the past when I told my upline I was having financial challenges… they would tell me that I needed to buy MORE tools not less.

    I think one way around not knowing an individual IBOs financial position would be to give them advice upfront… “Don’t spend more money on tools or products than you can comfortably afford”. So the “Blame” is still with the upline … or probably more accurately “the system” as far as I am concerned. Blaming the individual IBO is blaming the victim in my opinion.

    If you want to study a fight or flight response, you just have to mention the word “Amway” to a lot of people and watch their eyes glaze over. I don’t know of any other company that causes this same negative reaction. I suspect it is a hint.

    I did find that Microsoft Mohave experiment interesting. I am however wondering how many people were in the original experiment, and were all results filmed, or just the ones that were positive for Microsoft? How long were the test subjects able to experience Vista before getting their reaction? If the continued to use Vista, and you visited those same subjects 6 months down the track would they still have that same positive reaction? Who funded the experiment?

    If 10 people were in the experiment and all 10 people were filmed… okay that’s impressive… If 1000 people took part… and afterward 990 opinions were unchanged or became even more negative, only 10 changed their minds for the positive and were filmed… that would be not so flash.

    If you can’t openly tell people what company that you work with without making your prospecting job more difficult… I think that is another hint.

    To each their own though. If you are happy doing what you are doing… that is all that matters I guess.

    I wish you all every success. Have great lives. 🙂 Peace and goodwill to you all.

    1. exAmway, over the last few years I’ve shown the Amway business to at least a dozen folk from “old” Amway markets like the US, Australia, and the UK. Not a single one of them had their “eyes glaze over”. Most were neutral or had never even heard of it. The balance were positive. Why am I getting such a different “hint” than you?

      Now with regard to Amway providing all the materials, that’s an option too. My personal opinion is that having a variety of different systems drives innovation, too much central control stifles innovation. On the other hand, a lack of central control leads to other problems of distributor behaviour. Some balance is needed, where the ideal point is I don’t pretend to know. Either way I don’t think anyone can seriously consider a few hundred bucks a month expensive to run a business. It’s cheap! To my mind the problem isn’t the expense, it’s the income. A “buy from yourself” model which many have promoted, minimizing or completely doing away with retail sales, means overall profit is less and takes longer to obtain. Focus should be on the poor income of new distributors, not the expenses.

      I’ve no idea how you can claim that under your proposal “there should be no need for ANY official investigations.”??? The UK investigation had nothing to do with tools. The Andra Pradesh investigation has nothing to do with tools. The FTC investigation in the US had nothing to do with tools.

      I also think your whole “it’s blaming the victim” approach exacerbates the problem of excessive tools! By claiming that, you’re effectively saying that IBOs shouldn’t be expected to take any responsibility for their own decisions. Don’t you think that treating IBOs like independent business owners, and expecting them to make decisions like independent owners … don’t you that would have a more positive influence on the problem you’re talking about?

  21. Well, the thing is the statistics show that doubling the tool and function numbers WILL tend to have a significant effect on your Amway business – if they new this, an upline would be derelict in the duty to not promote it.

    But what you say at the beginning is really the issue, it’s overpromotion of the tools without accounting properly for an individuals circumstances. I actually think part of the “blame” here rests with the individual IBOs though, because in my experience they’re often unlikely to tell their upline about financial challenges they’re having. Without that knowledge any advice can easily be wrong. Having said that, if we know that people are unlikely to tell us that, then we need to incorporate that knowledge into any strategy.

    The problem with going away from subscription type systems is that you don’t know what you need or want until you hear it, and even worse, you’ll tend to avoid stuff that doesn’t suit you, but it may be crucial for your downline. I had that experience early in my career where I signed up a bunch of new folk on our tape program and the very first tape that came through I thought was one of the biggest pieces of cr** I’d heard. I still think it. I was horrified about what the new downline would think. Then one called up and ordered 5 copies because he loved it and wanted to give it to friends! We have to experience materials that suite all types in our business, not just what we self-select.

  22. Guys the issue is not the tools or the tool money..the issue become when uplines start to push downlines to come to functions and buy more tools, when they actually don’t need it or can’t afford.

    Statements which created all these problems are:
    “Tools are optional, so is success”
    “We don’t make any money from tools”
    “You can skip meals to pay for functions”
    “Take loans to come to function or pay for monthly tools”

    These are things are said and implemented by various diamonds in different systems to get people to functions and buy more tools. While function and tools are great way of motivating someone, but you can not just promote that and push people to pay for it even if when they have money challenge and other issues.

    In my brief experience with the business, I have seen that the LOS which emphasis of creating early retail profits have great success ratio, then the LOS which emphasis more on tools.

    The best option should be that IBOs should be able to buy the tools and function tickets directly from the system website (individual systems already have website), instead of have to pay for monthly subscription. That way IBOs can crontrol how much money they want to spend, when they want to spend. Uplines can always suggest which tools can be used..or better system can have emails sent to IBOs about new tools and a little information about what they can be used for etc.

    Recently we got an email from a Diamond, and at the bottom, he mentioned as goal “Double the Tools and Numbers to function”..these are few things which makes me think twice about the tool business..

  23. zigzagzoom, the UK business was not suspended because of tool money. The judge explictly stated in the court case it wasn’t about tool money. Some people tried to spin it as that, but the case was about misrepresentation of incomes.

    The ticket price comment is somewhat naive. No company in the events/education arena operates on a per-event basis. Some things lose money, some things make money. Amway apparently lost a LOT of money on the Expo events. They’re paying for this stuff by pumping money in from abroad. I’m also wondering how often the “leaders” as at the current seminars are from outside the UK/ROI? The “out of town expert with a briefcase” effect is real. Speakers you are not familar with are more effective. Local ones are cheaper, costs are lower. As it happens sources inside the company tell me N21 UK has been just like Amway UK – losing money for years, supported by operations abroad.

    I don’t understand this questions –

    If u say that BWW or Yager does lot more then why are they accredited or in the process of accredition by Amway in the first place.

    Finally you say –

    If ABO wants to start any other business let them start it but if they sell its products to Amway ABO’s to help Amway business they can make no money from those sales. Period

    The direct implications of this is that, for just one example, no Amway IBO can be a shareholder in Amazon. It’s also legally very very very shaky. Network 21 UK is not an ABO, it is an independent “legal person”. Amway has no right to tell it who it can market it’s products to. Amway can try to limit things through processes like accreditation, but even there if they went too far they would almost certainly breaking the law and could have their butts sued – successfully.

    Of course, given BSM is defined as anything that is used to support your business, then you’re also saying that any ABO who owns say a computer store would need to ask all their customers if they were ABOs or not, and refuse to sell to them if they were ABOs. Same with a bookstore, a petrol station, a car dealership, a phone shop, a phone company etc etc. ABOs wouldn’t even be able to be shareholders in any of those companies!

    You might think this all sounds ridiculous but those are the logical and legal outcomes of what you are saying should happen.

  24. Let Amway & the system company decide what percentage of profit as reserves based on their experience & also let the ABO’s vote how much they would like to see as reserves every year on system profit in the market they are building the business.

    Intention is not on whether reserves are kept or not but is it transparent or not.

    I am not saying specifically Jim or Yager is making more money from system but my question why they need to make that income at all & create doubt if they don’t want to be transparent.
    This doubt increases when u come to know that the seminar which was costing 15pounds is now costing 5.50 pounds in the same hall & the leaders are still happy to come & build the business when no one is making a penny from the system. The raise in the value of the ticket price just to put N21 tag don’t stake up that well.

    Amazon doesn’t profess to sell in the pretext that we help build successful Amway business. N21 or Britt or Yager services does that. If u say that BWW or Yager does lot more then why are they accredited or in the process of accredition by Amway in the first place.

    I am not suggesting that IBO’s shouldn’t have other businesses but when their other businesses supports only Amway then they have to come & Amway regulation.

    IBOFB- u may not be bothered how much money is made by the system but it bothers me especially when my business was stopped in the UK with no fault of my own.

    If ABO wants to start any other business let them start it but if they sell its products to Amway ABO’s to help Amway business they can make no money from those sales. Period

  25. Ok, so it seems you agree that need to have profits, even if just for reserves, who gets to decide how much?

    You say What worries me & a lot others that if Dornan or Yager makes X dollars from Amway & they seem to make lot more than X million dollars from their system.

    (1) How do you know this? (2) I don’t know about Dornan, but Yager Internet services and BWW does work for many companies that have nothing to do with Amway. You seem to be suggesting that IBOs should not be able to earn income from other businesses? At what point does this stop? Amazon.com makes money out of my Amway business because I by books from them. Are you suggesting Amazon.com executives and/or shareholders should not be allowed to be IBOs, or vice versa?

    If we look at the UK situation, you first of all make some unsubstantiated claims. Amway has no idea what incomes IBOs make from other businesses, including any tool businesses. The issue in the UK was that some IBOs (IBS was named in the complaint, nobody else) were stating Amway incomes on websites that they weren’t actually earning. But let’s take Jim Dornan again – he has no Amway business in the UK. He owns N21. Why shouldn’t N21 be allowed to sell products to Amway IBOs? If he became a major shareholder in Amazon.com, would amazon.com be barred from selling to IBOs?

    Finally, you say “income from systems is the most bothering issues even for ABO’s who are building the business.”

    Doesn’t bother me at all. Didn’t bother me a decade ago when I joined, and assumed that people made money on this stuff, and it doesn’t bother me now. Why should it???

    Well, we’re covering issues I was planning to talk about in Part II, III etc. Guess I better get to work on them 🙂

  26. IBOFB,
    My comments are just pulled to the extreme in one go. But I shall try to answer..

    1. Direct Answer: The reserves should take care of it. We can work on how much the reserves can be looking at these kinds of eventualities as a part of Accredition

    Indirect Answer: Why did the UK issue come up? Amway’s letter mentioned very clearly that ABO’s make more money from Systems than from Amway & nothing was transparent. Over the years the complaints built & BERR had to act.

    If we make it more transparent as I have mentioned then I am sure the issue like UK will not repeat

    2. Reserves again pays for new market Or other way is Amway pays for all new market launches

    3. R&D is a part of any business. Nothing is stopping it. What I want to see is how money is spent on this.

    What worries me & a lot others that if Dornan or Yager makes X dollars from Amway & they seem to make lot more than X million dollars from their system. If they make it let them state it as a part of annual statement that is will be sent to the ABO’s annually.

    Systems based on Amway business owned by ABO’s are not normal businesses. Hence they need to be regulated. Problem arises because Amway never regulated them in the past. Also this is a franchise business & the attitude “we are different from other Amway guys” doesn’t work. If one falls everyone gets bad name.

    Free market- Let me ask u why is the world in crisis today economically.. If feel it is because of free market. Free market is great but it can be screwed up if not regulated.
    I will tell u that a news paper reported more sales of Karl Marx books now than ever before.
    I don’t want to get into the discussion on Communism or Free market here but free market has it pitfalls.

    I understand the crap will not go but an ABO should atleast have an answer for the crap(not for every crap but most common craps) & what Amway has done about it especially if a prospect brings a print out on ur followup.
    U should agree that income from systems is the most bothering issues even for ABO’s who are building the business.

  27. Oh, and one last thing. You say – This will reduce all the crap out in the internet and make it more credible.

    How exactly? Most of “the crap” that comes up on the first couple of pages of a google search of Amway is a decade old! It’s not going anywhere. It’s not suddenly going to be deleted just because Amway’s changed something. The fact there’s hardly any “new” stuff might indicate things have changed already – but the crap is still there.

  28. ZigZagZoom, a few questions –

    (1)Who pays the millions in legal fees if a “system company” is investigated by a government body driven by zealotry, as happened in the UK, and the case is dropped even before it gets to court. Does the company go around to all the IBOs and ask for money back to pay for it?

    (2)Who pays the millions needed to be invested when Amway opens in a new market? Does the “system company” go around and ask for donations from all the IBOs that might someday have a downline in that country?

    (3)Who pays the hundreds of thousands of dollars that need to be invested in R&D for new “tools”, like WWDB’s customer portals, or N21’s Channel-21 streaming service etc etc etc. Do the “system companies” go around and ask IBOs to invest?

    Wouldn’t it be simpler for them just to be normal companies like any other company?

    Finally, why on earth should a company sell products to people for no profit? Dornan makes nothing from Amway out of most people who buy N21 products. Yagers makes nothing from Amway out of most people who buy Internet Services products.

    Such a restraint of trade seems completely contrary to the very free market principles Amway is about.

  29. Hi Guys,
    I do want to still argue for a global system managed by Amway & IBOAI but that does wind up a lot of people.

    But I feel looking at all the comments, it is time that the tool income is made transparent & ABO’s can’t make money from Tools & systems is made clear by Amway.
    I am not saying profit shouldn’t be made but the profit has to be only paid for salaries for employees working in the system, seminar hall costs, some percentage is kept for reserves. Finally if after settling all this if profit is lying around it should be given back to the ABO at the end of the Amway year based on the share that each ABO who contributed for the system by buying tools & attending seminars.
    Just the Amway sends a bonus statement to us, we can get a tools statement showing the break up & clearly mentioning what is the share of the profit.
    This will reduce all the crap out in the internet and make it more credible.
    Remember everyone is in the business to make money from Amway not from the system that helps u build Amway.

  30. I think one of the biggest problems with the tools, is that people do not use it, and also don’t apply what is in there if they do read it/ listen to it. I haven’t been able to translate the training into a successful Amway business personally, we’re still bouncing along at 9-15% leader’s club. But then I have also applied the same learning to my consulting activities, and my income there has increased 3-4 fold in the last 5 years, and I am currently negotiating a contract that will double that again.

    I think people sometimes think that buying the tools, gives you a big business in return. It doesn’t, it gives you some information to use while learning how to build a big business. And I will not miss a Weekend Seminar if I can help it.

  31. exAmway,
    The “tools” (which are simply professional, business training materials) are optional. At all times. Period. We ask people where they’re at when they start. For example, are they at the retail client, prosumer or business builder level? If they tell us business builder, we will consistently promote the ‘system’ so they get trained, get motivated, get the association they need to build a strong foundation for their business. I always tell them about the “free” training via the Amway Global website as well as the “free” websites they can take advantage of. We do their first Grand Opening for them, we even provide some samples & brochures to help get them started. We offer to show the first few plans & product demo’s for them until they feel comfortable (they should be present for training purposes). But, after that exAmway, they’re on their own. These are, after all, adults. And this is, after all, a business.

    By the way, if we hand-held every new business builder IBO and personally spent all our time, samples, brochures, money & energy on training them, we would run out of time, samples, brochures, money & energy with nothing but debt as a result!

    There’s a reason this system is in place and there’s a reason so few have succeeded (relative to the number of those who have tried). That is, because MOST people are not willing to do what it takes, period.

    Our experience has been that when we are CORE, we make money. When we’re not, our business shrinks and we make less money.

  32. Bridgett I understand your confusion, I am a little bewildered myself. Although I did not mention Amway by name on my site… I apparently gave enough detail that it could have been identified by a process of elimination. I am not in China no.

    To my knowledge the distributors in my upline don’t have the power to ban me, and so I assume that it is coming from Amway itself. I further assume that I will be getting written conformation soon.

    It is all very strange. If you don’t believe me… that is okay… I can understand that… it is however true to the best of my knowledge. If it turns out to be not the case… I will apologize post an update.

    ibofightback I agree that there are certain skills needed for success in Amway. I agree that training, and a system is required… but if your upline has the skills to get where he/she is… why shouldn’t they share that information with you for free? It would be mutually beneficial.

    Most companies I have had anything to do with have training as an expense… they don’t expect their employees to pay for it. I realize that IBO’s are not employees, but I think the same principle should apply. That’s my view anyway. I could be wrong.

    No I am not in the USA, but we have Amway here too.

    My treatment has made me a bit cranky, and I just needed to vent. Sorry about that.

    Good luck with it all. I wish you all the very best.

    Best Wishes,
    exAmway

    1. exAmway, in general, at least in my LOA, upline does share their skills for free in smaller LOS meetings and counselling sessions. The reason why they don’t buy your tools for you is simple – if they did you’d be spending a lot more! Why? Well, if they have to pay for you, when you become an upline then you have to pay for your downline’s tools. So instead of paying for just your own tools, you’re now having to pay for 4,5,6,20 whatever frontline IBOs as well. Much more sensible if every individual pays for their own training.

      So, if you were my downline I’d say to you something quite simple. I’m perfectly willing to pay for your training – if you’re perfectly willing to pay for it for your downline!

      As for the website, yes write to Amway and ask for a reason. I’m curious how you know you are banned though if you haven’t received such a notification? Without wanting to state the obvious, are you sure you didn’t just miss your renewal? It’s normally jan/feb time frame when access is blocked for folk who didn’t renew.

  33. exAmway,

    I’m confused. If you didn’t mention Amway by name on your website, then how could you be “banned for life”?

    And who banned you? The distributors in your Upline or Amway Corporation?

    And this is in China?

    Trying to get clarity. Thanks! 🙂

  34. ibofightback, Thank you for you post. You seem quite a fair minded person. Thank you for that also.

    What disappointed me most was the way in which the whole issue was handled. I think the proper procedure would have been for the upline that reported me to have spoken to me first. If I had been uncooperative… then report me.

    I should have then been sent a fax or e-mail asking me to temporarily withdraw the website, and for a “please explain”. If my answer was unsatisfactory… then ban me for life. If my answer was reasonable, they should have told me the exact modifications they wanted me to make to the website… and given me the chance to comply.

    What did happen though was game of “Chinese Whispers”, nobody contacted me directly. In fact they prevented other distributors from even speaking to me… and visa versa. As far as I can tell the big boys spoke to the platinums, who spoke to some 18%ers, who spoke to my partner, who spoke to me.

    They banned me for life without hearing my side of the story… or giving me a chance to comply.

    I figure if they are going to be like that… I am probably better off out of it.

    Building an Amway business without buying the tools sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice you are going against the flow of most organizations and you had better be prepared to be “on the outer”, and cop some flack. You had also better get used to saying “No” quite a lot. (From my experience)

    I was even told by one distributor that if I was not in the tools system that I was only a “temporary distributor”. I argued with him at the time… but as it turns out… he was right.

    1. exAmway, actually I don’t think it’s really the feasible to build a long-term sustainable Amway business without using some sort of “tools” and “system”. That’s a basic business principle, not just for Amway. The problem is as you described in your first post, we’re peoples finances get out whack and it doesn’t contribute to success – indeed to the contrary, just to stress and failure.

      Frankly the banning part all sounds a bit odd. If you’d like to explain anything privately feel free to email me direct (ibofightback@mlmfacts.net). I’m even more curious given where your IP address says you’re posting from!

  35. I thought I would try Amway again, but this time I decided not to participate in the books, tapes, seminars and rallies thing. I understood the situation much better this time.

    I put up a website which detailed one of my previous experiences in Amway (all true)… but I didn’t mention Amway by name.

    I have done, and seen people do crazy stuff to try and get ahead in Amway.

    I thought I could help people by giving them advice like don’t spend more money on sales aids, and products than you can comfortably afford, and only buy products that you would normally use, or could reasonably sell. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars to get a $6 bonus check.

    I thought this would create a more stable system, and stop people from going broke and burning out, and thereby help everyone.

    I thought that if people were not under financial stress while building their Amway business, they would have far less reason to drop out.

    One of my upline reported the site to the higher ups… and in spite of my good intentions… I was banned for life.

    It is a pity… because Amway in theory has many potential benefits… and if you can understand, and avoid the potential pitfalls you should theoretically be able to do well.

    It doesn’t seem good enough to make a living anymore, you have to make a killing… regardless of how many people get hurt in the process.

    I personally think Amway is a great idea, ruined by the greed of a few.

    1. exAmway, I agree with much of what you say, but I’d argue Amway hasn’t been ruined … merely damaged. There are already significant numbers of people building the business exactly the way you “recommended”. Why you were banned and had your website shutdown I can’t say without having seen it. There’s usually more than one side to every story and with websites it can be a fine line to determine whether it’s broken the rules or not. If it truly was an innocent misunderstanding then I’m sure the door is not permanently closed.

    2. I recently joined Amway. But after doing some research on the internet I feel rather despondent and have thought that perhaps I should pull out.

      I don’t want to do anything that is unethical. I am part of the Yager group, but after reading about Mr Yager and his wife, I do not want to associate with that name really.

      If Amway can be done truly ethically and morally I would like to continue. But I don’t want to deceive people and sell over-priced products if that’s the only way to do well in the business.

      Is Amway really about exploiting the masses so that a few might be rich?

      1. Brent, there’s an easy solution – don’t deceive people, and don’t sell over-priced products! Neither is necessary to success in Amway, and neither is recommended. I do however recommend you expand your research outside of the internet. There have been many books about Amway, including commentary about the Yagers, by professional historians, academics, business leaders and more. They are overwhelmingly positive about the company and business model.

        As for Dexter Yager and his wife, I have no personal experience of them. I’ve seen some of their stuff posted by critics on the internet, and I don’t agree with some of it (we disagree on religion for example) but I’ve also found much of it positive (they came across well in the old 60 minutes program on Amway, I thought). Either way it’s not really that relevant as I believe their sons are now running Yager Internet, so it’s really them you should be concerned with, and I’m yet to encounter much in the way of criticism of their approach in the past decade.

        Amway, like any successful business, should be about problem solving. Helping people with a product that solves a need they have – whether it be Nutrilite to help with health, SA8 to help with washing, or a business opportunity to help with finances and possibilities. Or, like any other business, you can try and exploit people to get rich. In my experience and research, even if the latter works, it doesn’t tend to last long.

  36. keyurkeyur, how much money is made from a Platinumship is dependent on many things: width, depth, number of people in group, average volume per each IBO which includes self-use and retail sales. I know Founders Platinums that make a very large income from the business, and I know Platinums that qualify “by the skin of their teeth” on the last hour of the last day of the month.

    Kelly, your plan sounds great, except that there is a lot more than soap. My wife and I used to focus strictly on home care, but now we focus on several lines. We are having great success with the Nutrilite Twist Tubes, Nutrilite Daily, and the XS Energy Drinks.

    I do not participate in my upline’s tapes (CDs), books and functions system, but proper training is critical to get off to a good start. Click on my name and you can send me an e-mail through my personal retail website and let’s chat.

  37. keyurkeyur,

    It depends on the country you’re in. The percentages and the parameters are differnt in different parts of the world.

    I’m in North America, which has a different comp plan, even at the Silver/Platinum level.

    What country do you live?

    IBOFB could probably direct you to a good source for the numbers, since he’s over in Europe and has business in more than one country.

    1. uuurgghh … not so simple to explain! Someone complained earlier today the “how it works” link on AmwayWiki was blank, guess maybe I need to dedicate some time to fixing that.

  38. Hi Bridgett,

    I know i should not be posting this question here, so please execuse me for this :).

    See I have understood how one can go from 6% to 21% commission and how one becomes a silver.

    but i don’t know how much commission you get after silver pins. i mean how much do you earn when you are a platinum or a emarald or a diamond? how it is calculated?

    I would really appreciate if you could please help me with this.

  39. I am thinking about getting back into Amway, and running it like Rich and Jay did when they started… selling soap and signing up people to buy wholesale to sell soap and to sign up a few people and so on… I am going to stay away from “Books, Tapes, and Functions…” and just focus on selling soap and sponsoring people who want to sell soap.

    1. I think that is an excellant Idea. I was thinking of doing that myself. I was going to call that Amway Pure.

  40. For anyone to think that the BSM income is included in the Amway 8 billion figure exposes their lack of knowledge of how year end figures are stated. The BSM income is TOTALLY separate from the Amway income and is listed on a separate 1099 tax form. Yes, there is income involved in the “tools” of the business as are ALL motivational literature and materials from ANY company.
    Any tutorial service that is associated with business makes separate income from the materials. This is and has been common business practice for most business for decades.

  41. Excellent first post. Thank you especially for beginning with a definition of the discussion; I’m sure this is the first time I see it done.

    Looking forward to part II, very curious to see where you and I agree and disagree.

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