Monday, August 29, 2011

Selling Broken Dreams: The Amway Legacy

(This blog post by quixtarisacult first posted on Quixtar Cult Intervention March 25, 2008)

Failing to learn from history dooms one to repeat it. One thing is clear about Amway, which plans to celebrate its first fifty years in existence, is that we have a clear view of what it is and has done. It is not the new kid on the block. We have seen it in action and results of its operation are known.

Regardless of the paid public relations "dream spinners" at Alticor, which paint Amway as a glorious success, the opposite is true. If you are in the founding family, you are looking down on a business that has made wealthy men of the founders, Rich Devos and the now late Jay Van Andel and their families. From their standpoint, business has been good.

From the standpoint of the major tool kingpins, looking down from their position at the pinnacle of distributors who feed upon tapes, books, DVD, Cd's and function tickets, life is good. They have benefited by selling a training system that continually "conditions" those people who buy them to keep on buying them over and over. These Business Service Materials are the Lays Potato Chips of the Network Marketing Industry. You just can't eat one. You must eat the whole bag and then buy another bag and on and on it goes. That is great if you are selling potato chips and Business Service Materials.

From the standpoint of the so called Independent Business Owner--a term that is incredibly misleading--business is not be so good. These folk do almost all the buying in this industry: the products and the tools. It is at their level looking up at the successful business tycoons above them that they see two different groups of people. They see the Amway Corporation and they see the Top Distributor "Kingpin" sellers of the Business Service Materials. Obviously they know these two groups are wealthy, and there is no secret how this wealth was made.

IBOs are the unpaid work horse in the Amway hierarchy. They purchase all the of the products and mostly self consume them. Might they be part of the small minority that actually retails some product to outside consumers, they still absorb most, if not all, the business expense involved in these sales. IBOs do all of the recruitment of new distributors and eat all of the costs. IBOs pay for their own training by buying the BSMs and attending meetings, functions and conventions. IBOs are the givers. They make the sacrifice of time and money which only benefits the successful people who provide the products and BSMs.

Where is the real compensation for this IBO group? This third group does not operate like normal business does because they are not a normal business. They operate not like a business, but as consumer in their relationship with the Corporation and the Motivational Tool Sellers.

I ask this question: What are the IBOs expecting to receive for all this devotion and sacrifice? Sacrifices are made to gods are they not? Will such incredible sacrifices be rewarded by their gods at some future time? Possibly, but in the case of Amway, most likely not. There is nearly fifty years of history to base a judgment of Amway results upon.

Are the supposed success stories in Amway to be believed? Why have so many so called successful people quit and are now revealing stories of deception and woe? Statistically, over the long history of Amway, less than 1% ever reach the Emerald pin level of the business. Of these, many have quit and/or are still working regular jobs. They may have had their moment in the sun so to speak at a big Amway Rally, but they are mere mortals and remain that way to this day. These people have been used in one of the largest Bait and Switch Deceptions ever devised by the imagination of man. The Selling of Broken Dreams is the Amway legacy.