Former Quixtar Executive Diamond Orrin Woodward, aided and abetted by an anonymous commenter claiming to be an Amway Australia IBO (whom I suspect is former Executive Diamond Trevor Chatham), has been taking a swipe at Amway Australia quite a bit in some recent blog posts. The anonymous commentator has made various false claims, for example that “the REALITY is that 95% of those who have managed to reach Diamond once, never again reach that level of 6 Platinum IBOs”. Continue reading Amway Australia – some say it’s dying, others grow anyway
The IBOAI blog has recently posted an article about some “rumours” circulating with regards Amway Australia and some Amway Australia Diamonds, “rumours” I kickstarted a couple of weeks ago and will address further at the end of this post. The IBOAI post points out that Amway Australia business owners are free to be in as many MLMs as they like – a Quixtar-like no-compete does not exist. (That information should send our friends from Team into a frenzy!). The relevant rule is 3.19, which states /
3.19 An IBO shall at no time:
(a) during authorisation as an AMWAY IBO; or
(b) for a period of six (6) months after ceasing to be so authorised:
3.19.1 supply or sell to other AMWAY IBOs, or persons who have applied to become AMWAY IBOs, or persons whom the IBO or other AMWAY IBOs (to the knowledge of the IBO) have approached with a view to applying to become AMWAY IBOs;
3.19.2 induce other AMWAY IBOs, or any such prospective AMWAY IBOs, to supply or sell or acquire;
3.19.3 be directly or indirectly engaged or interested in, or permit or allow any servants or agents to be engaged or interested in, the supply or sale or the promotion of the supply or sale to other AMWAY IBOs or such prospective IBOs of; products or services which are sold or supplied by or through another multi-level marketing company or business.
The restrictions imposed by this Rule are separate, distinct, independent and severable, and in the event that any one or more of them is wholly or in part invalid, then the remaining restriction or restrictions shall nevertheless be valid and effective.
So you’re free to operate a competing business, just not to solicit existing IBOs or immediate prospects for it.
The IBOAI also points out however, that it makes little sense to invite folk who are also operating competing businesses along on discretionary “free trips” where Amway Australia’s future strategies are discussed. Amway Australia Rules of Conduct clearly state –
2.26 Attendance at New Platinum IBO Forums, IBO Leadership Meetings, Leadership Seminars, Diamond Meetings and Forums, Founders Invitational and other AMWAY recognition events is by invitation only which may be issued or withheld in AMWAY’s absolute discretion.
The IBOAI then addresses the question of Q-12 and QBI-like bonuses and Accreditation. In Amway North America these are discretionary bonuses and to receive them after September 28, an IBO must be individually accredited or belong to an accredited organisation. No such system exists in Australia.
Finally, the IBOAI post refers to the newly opened Amway Australia Business Centres. These are “bricks and mortar” Amway locations and have been used with some success in Asia. This Amway Australia Business Centres video on Amway Watch gives a great overview. I think they’re an excellent innovation.
Now, to the rumours. As I reported a week or so ago, (some?) participants in Amway Australia and New Zealand’s Emerald Plus trip were apparently asked to sign a statutory declaration with regards their or their families participation in other multi-level marketing companies. As explained above it simply makes no sense for Amway to invite people also working with competitors on these trips. Several Diamonds reportedly refused to sign the declarations. When I first was told about this I was given three names. Since then, and before I published anything about this, an IBO from outside Australia informed me that a MonaVie Black Diamond had told them that two Amway Australia Diamonds had joined Mona Vie after being presented with the statutory declarations. A third source confirmed two of the names, that their children were registered in Mona Vie, and that the children’s participation was essentially a front for the parents. Finally, a fourth independent source again confirmed one of the names involved, and that registration of children was being actively “taught” as a strategy to others in similar situation. If the latter is true, then it would appear to me that rule 3.19 is being broken.
Meanwhile, new Mona View recruit and former Quixtar Executive Diamond Orrin Woodward showed the true colours of his supposed integrity by directly taking a large portion of my original post about this and reposting them on his website, without any attribution or link to the source. Not only a clear violation of copyright law, Orrin, but pure and simply unethical. A commenter on Woodward’s site, claiming to have “close knowledge” of the situation, says that futher letters threatening termination based on violations of rule 3.19, have been received by the Diamonds in question.
(update: Woodward has since edited his posts in an extremely cynical and disappointing manner – more on this in a later post)
- I predict that the Amway turnover in Australia – which has sunk to an all time low of about $120 million (a high of $290 million in 1993 – gee the Amway model has lost just a little bit of ground since 1992) – will now plummet to below $60million in the next 12 months
- It has been a massive struggle for people to reach 21% in the past 8 years. Only those who focused on product sales have achieved anything. Of course these sales orientated groups have had a slide backwards – as their sales team grew tired.
- No Diamonds from 24 (there were 6 of them) have requalified at Diamond since. There are some Diamonds (like Roland & Jenny McGready) who qualified back in 199 – that are no longer even qualified at the Saphire level.
and on and on ….
What’s interesting about this “insider” is how disingenuous, and downright wrong, some of his comments are. For example, he claims 1993 Amway Australia turnover was $290 milllion. It wasn’t – Amway Australia sales for 1993 were $148 million, a little more than half what the poster is claiming.
The next comment about it “being a struggle to reach 21%” is interesting. Amway Australia Because Magazine recognized 38 new Platinums in 2007. While the sales data clearly show Amway Australia, like Quixtar in North America, has been struggling to achieve growth, by population 38 new platinums is equivalent to around 640 new platinums in North America. The actual figure for Quixtar in 2007? 544. In other words, per capita Amway Australia is doing about 18% better than Quixtar. Given Quixtar’s poor recent performance this isn’t necessarily something to shout about, but clearly there are people in Australia building successful businesses, and according to the sales data, and contrary to Orrin Woodward’s anonymous commentator, that hasn’t changed all that much since 1993.
The poster also claims there were 6 new Diamonds in 2004. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to establish who they all were. However I do know that Amway Australia Network TwentyOne Diamonds Guy and Tania Wilson qualified Diamond in 2003 and may be included in that. The commentator is right, they haven’t requalified as Diamond – they’ve gone on to Executive Diamond. Graeme & Debbie Owen , who qualified Diamond in the 90s, have also gone on to Executive Diamond in 2006. Mitch & Deidre Sala, who qualified Triple Diamond and Crown in the late 90s, have gone on to Founders Crown Ambassador. Peter & Debbie Cox, who qualifed as Diamond in the early 90s, have gone on to Crown Ambassador. Gad & Melissa Ghabriel, who qualified Diamond in 1996, are now Founders Executive Diamond. What’s more, there are folk like Ingrid Peskops, who joined in 2002 (or thereabouts), went Platinum in 11 months, and qualifed as a Diamond in 2007, and Ronnie & Jane Kagan, who joined in 2000, spent several years inactive, then went Diamond in 18 months, qualifying in 2004.
All of these folks were doing this in the last decade in Australia. Yes, some of the higher award qualifications likely resulted from international legs, however they must be qualifying (and requalifying) at least at the Emerald level in Australia & NZ alone. Clearly there are Australian IBOs building and maintaining this business successfully in Australia. The anonymous poster claims they’re “sales oriented” groups, and Orrin Woodward goes on to imply they’re doing old style Avon-like selling and “door to door”.
Well, Orrin and friend, you’ve got it wrong. All those names I mentioned above are part of the organisation I work with, Network 21. While yes, we do actually spend some time focusing on getting people to know and buy the products (shock horror!) and even having customers as per Amway rules (oh my!), we are foremost a networking organisation. We build networks of network builders, and their customers and other consumers. Heck, Orrin, we even use a version of your “Team depth strategy” to do it.
So what does this all mean for the current Australian situation? Well, in an ongoing dispute between former Executive Diamond Trevor Chatham and Amway Australia (Amway Australia v ClifOne Pry Ltd), Chatham claims the following –
It is my experience that at least 80% of the Diamonds in my organisation are no longer qualifying at even the Emerald level. They are still being promoted to the IBO’s as Diamonds, but in fact only ever qualified at the Diamond level one time. I also believe this type of deliberate deception is occurring through out the Amway business.
and the 1990s compared to today –
IDA had about 30,000 attending FEC each year. Now it is down to about 4,000. A lot of IBO’s will remember what it was like when reminded.
Assuming the decline in IDA FEC (annual conference) reflects a decline in the size (and sales volume) of IDA as a whole, then this represents a nearly 90% decline in IDA! While Amway Australia sales have clearly been poor over the same time frame, they are nothing near a 90% decline.The only logical answer to the inconsistency I can think of is that while IDA has apparently been haemorraghing, other groups must have been growing. Clearly, as outlined with the qualifiers above, Network 21 Australia is probably one of those groups. IDA and Network 21 are operating there in the exact same market, with the exact same products, the exact same business opportunity, and the exact same economic circumstances. Logically, this implies any major “problems” are not with Amway per se in Australia, but with differences between the groups.
How does this all tie together to the original post? Well, the heads of IDA Australia are Tom & Caryn Avelsgaard.
Which names have been mentioned by all four of my sources as being at the centre of this dispute around the Emerald Plus tour and reportedly building Mona Vie? Tom & Caryn Avelsgaard.
Perhaps IDA Australia’s Amway business has been imploding because some of their leadership, headed by the Avelsgaard’s, have been actively working with an Amway competitor, actively working against the thousands of Amway Australia IBOs in their downline.
With all respect to the honest, hard working leaders that may remain with IDA Australia, back when I started with Amway in Australia I was told to watch out for Idiots Doing Amway - IDA. Again and again, both online and offline, I would encounter reports of some of the less than professional approaches some (many?) IDA IBOs were using to build their Amway businesses, damaging the Amway reputation along the way. Hopefully they are now IDMV, and the rest of IDA and Amway Australia can repair that reputation and move on to a bigger and better future.
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It may be autumn downunder, but Amway’s spring cleanout of Diamonds continues. Last week a source told me that qualifiers for Amway Australia & New Zealand’s Emerald Plus cruise of the Mediterranean were asked to sign statutory declarations that neither they, nor their spouses, nor children, were to join any other MLM companies.
Three Diamonds reportedly refused to sign the declaration and will thus not be on the cruise. Amway apparently made the move after learning that several Diamond’s already had family members involved in a competitor, namely Mona Vie, the juice MLM that attracted former Quixtar Executive Diamond Orrin Woodward and his TEAM associates.
Some days afterwards another contact informed me that a Mona Vie Black Diamond had told them that a number of Amway Australia Diamond’s, have being angered by Amway’s request, had earlier this week joined the Mona Vie team of former Amway Double Diamond Brig Hart.
The Mona Vie Black Diamond apparently gave the impression that they had left Amway due to anger at Amway’s request to sign the declaration. Now, I personally find it a little farfetched to believe that these Diamonds, having been “angered” by Amway, could have investigated and evaluated all the opportunities out there and decided in the space of only a few days to join Mona Vie. Clearly Amway Australia had legitimate reasons to be concerned.
The Diamonds involved are very well known in Australia and this may cause some shockwaves through their Amway groups. However, another source tells me that while some Australian groups were breaking new Emerald’s and Diamonds regularly these Diamonds groups had shrunk considerably over the past decade, so they may have had little to lose.
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