ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Economics, Business and Finance
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags amway

Reply
Old 9th September 2013, 07:02 PM   #361
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Are we part of the "social media engagement?"
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2013, 09:31 PM   #362
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Amway does not seem to be a reliable system for generating income for most people. Yes, some people can make money off of it. But, clearly not most people.

I think the "scam" description can to fit Amway because they fail to clearly disclose that. They make no effort in vetting the "right people", and instead cast a wide net, hoping a few stick.

They don't say things like "If you have XYZ personality traits, and can work ZYX number of hours on this system, then YOU can probably make money." They seem to imply that anyone, or almost anyone, can do it!


Amway could, for all I know, be a perfectly legal, legitimate, and successful corporation.

But, the word "scam" can still apply as long as they remain seemingly disingenuous at just who could and should apply for this type of system.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 12:33 AM   #363
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Are we part of the "social media engagement?"
oh good grief. I normally don't see joecool'sposts, he's on my ignore list, but I had to see what you are responding too.

Joecool knows the story behind that, and knows that post is full of lies, but he continues to post it. Years ago I considered starting a reputation management business as an addition to another business I already had offering internet services. I never proceeded with it. I am not paid by Amway and, as Joecool knows, Amway themselves have explicitly stated this after being asked on one of their blogs. If I was paid to endorse Amway it would be a violation of both EU and US law for me not to disclose it.

The interesting thing is that Joecool runs multiple anti-Amway blogs, averaging nearly a blog post a day, makes anti-amway comments all around the net (including starting this thread), has been caught starting fake blogs and making fake comments pretending to be an Amway business owner .... and only very rarely posts any of this outside of business hours.

Look at this thread. He starts it up and gets it running, then leaves it be until it dies down - then posts on it again and again to get it moving again.

Let's not forgot - Amway internet critics have been caught working with Amway competitors before.

Yet he tries to claim *I* am the paid shill?

Right.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 10th September 2013 at 01:35 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 12:45 AM   #364
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
Amway does not seem to be a reliable system for generating income for most people. Yes, some people can make money off of it. But, clearly not most people.

I think the "scam" description can to fit Amway because they fail to clearly disclose that. They make no effort in vetting the "right people", and instead cast a wide net, hoping a few stick.

They don't say things like "If you have XYZ personality traits, and can work ZYX number of hours on this system, then YOU can probably make money." They seem to imply that anyone, or almost anyone, can do it!
That's because that's the experience.

There's been unemployed, uneducated people, deaf people, blind people, people in wheelchairs, home mothers, PhDs, Corporate Executives, top athletes, fat people, accountants, people with no people skills, and top sales people, young people and old people .... every type of person you can imagine has succeeded in Amway. This has been well documented in the various books that have been written about Amway.

Quote:
Amway could, for all I know, be a perfectly legal, legitimate, and successful corporation.

But, the word "scam" can still apply as long as they remain seemingly disingenuous at just who could and should apply for this type of system.
Please, offer your insight. After 53 years of operating in 100+ territories Amway has been unable to discover a common thread between those that succeed - and uncovered plenty of evidence what's required to succeed are skills that can be learned.

Having said that, no, it's not for everyone, but don't you think it's the individuals right to decide if they want to give it a go and find out? They're given plenty of time to dip their feet in the water at little or no financial risk. If they decide the business is not for them, no problem, they resign their membership and get their money back (including on any products, even used), or alternatively - as many chose to do - they can keep their membership and continue to purchase any products they like, and give it another go later if they want.

As Justice Norris said in BERR vs Amway UK - it's an opportunity, not a guarantee
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 10th September 2013 at 01:18 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 01:18 AM   #365
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
There might be a description missing in their synonym list for IBO - viable business.
In 2012, 18982 new distributorships reached the level of "platinum" for the first time. In most countries that's usually the equivalent of at least full-time income, from a part-time business.

Clearly plenty of people find it a viable business.

As I asked earlier - what is the antagonism towards letting people try something?
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 10th September 2013 at 01:22 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 01:54 AM   #366
AdMan
Penultimate Amazing
 
AdMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 10,293
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
oh good grief. I normally don't see joecool'sposts, he's on my ignore list, but I had to see what you are responding too.

Joecool knows the story behind that, and knows that post is full of lies, but he continues to post it. Years ago I considered starting a reputation management business as an addition to another business I already had offering internet services. I never proceeded with it. I am not paid by Amway and, as Joecool knows, Amway themselves have explicitly stated this after being asked on one of their blogs. If I was paid to endorse Amway it would be a violation of both EU and US law for me not to disclose it.

The interesting thing is that Joecool runs multiple anti-Amway blogs, averaging nearly a blog post a day, makes anti-amway comments all around the net (including starting this thread), has been caught starting fake blogs and making fake comments pretending to be an Amway business owner .... and only very rarely posts any of this outside of business hours.

Look at this thread. He starts it up and gets it running, then leaves it be until it dies down - then posts on it again and again to get it moving again.

Let's not forgot - Amway internet critics have been caught working with Amway competitors before.

Yet he tries to claim *I* am the paid shill?

Right.

How many hours a month do you spend defending Amway?

Seems like a lot, even just on this one forum.

Weird.

To be honest, all your posts just make me even more wary of it.
__________________
As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
- Voltaire.
AdMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 02:08 AM   #367
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
How many hours a month do you spend defending Amway?
A lot, lot, lot less than Joecool spends attacking it.

Quote:
Seems like a lot, even just on this one forum.
I'm a speed reader and speed typer, a bookcase and skydrive folder full of research on MLMs, and can pretty much just cut and paste the same responses to the same long-discredited myths in my sleep. Doesn't take long at all.

Quote:
Weird.
Why? If I have expertise in a topic and I see people sprouting BS, should I just ignore it?

My most active other thread on JREF is defending Microsoft from what I perceive to be unfair attacks.

Honest question - why do you think my behaviour is "weird" but don't appear to question Joecool's, who clearly spends A LOT more time attacking Amway than I do defending it.

Quote:
To be honest, all your posts just make me even more wary of it.
You may want to meditate on that process. I post links and independent evidence debunking hearsay claims - and that makes you more likely to believe the hearsay.

It's a well known phenomenon. Deeply held beliefs that are challenged often become more strongly held.

Oh wait ... I know that, yet still challenge people on this forum! But ChrisBFRPKY says I'm trying to recruit people! And others of you apparently think I'm a paid shill!

One would think I would have been fired by now ....

You regularly see the same thing on the homeopathy threads, with defenders claiming attackers are working for "big pharma" etc.

For the record, I don't think Joecool is paid to attack Amway. I think he's possibly OCD and stealing his employers time pursuing the focus of his unhealthy obsession.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 10th September 2013 at 02:15 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 02:21 AM   #368
AdMan
Penultimate Amazing
 
AdMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 10,293
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
For the record, I don't think Joecool is paid to attack Amway. I think he's possibly OCD and stealing his employers time pursuing the focus of his unhealthy obsession.

And speaking of unhealthy obsessions, I think there's some projection going on there...
__________________
As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
- Voltaire.
AdMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 02:32 AM   #369
AdMan
Penultimate Amazing
 
AdMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 10,293
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
A lot, lot, lot less than Joecool spends attacking it.
Who asked about joecool? I was wondering about your own obsession with Amway.
__________________
As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
- Voltaire.
AdMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 03:47 AM   #370
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
And speaking of unhealthy obsessions, I think there's some projection going on there...
It's unhealthy to call out BS on the internet?

Yeah, you're probably right ....



Nevertheless the amount of time I spend "defending" Multilevel marketing does not approach that have anti-mlm critics like Joecool, Robert FitzPatrick, Jon Taylor, Cheryl Rhodes et.al.

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Who asked about joecool? I was wondering about your own obsession with Amway.
You consider a few posts on a JREF forum an "obsession"? You might want to check out the Amanda Knox thread!

I have an experience, interest, and expertise in a topic. I make money out of that experience, interest, and expertise (googleads on my sites). I'm looking at publishing at least 2 books in the area, and have some academic papers in mind as well.

I'd spend at most a few hours a week on it. I don't think that quite fits the definition of "obession".

But again I ask - why accuse me of "obession" but not the thread starter? Indeed, while I seem to be challenged on this occasionally, I've never once seen any anti-mlmers query Joecool. Confirmation bias is well in play.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 04:13 AM   #371
ChrisBFRPKY
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,637
Originally Posted by icerat View Post


Then how did I profit without recruiting anyone? Magic pixie dust?

Not as eloquent.

So you mean the first time you were in Amway, and not the time after the first time when you recruited people for a downline.

OK, let me try to ask in a way that should get straight forward answers if you'll be honest as one should be.

Did you have another source of income during this first time before recruiting anyone?

Were you able to make enough income from Amway monies received alone to support and keep a normal average USA family household located within the USA without an additional source of income being required to keep the household in food, utilities, house payment or rent etc?

Have you ever started or are you currently affiliated with or do you currently own any interests in a reputation protection company of any type or form?

Added:I like that picture BTW.

Last edited by ChrisBFRPKY; 10th September 2013 at 04:24 AM. Reason: added info + correction
ChrisBFRPKY is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 04:31 AM   #372
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Not as eloquent.

So you mean the first time you were in Amway, and not the time after the first time when you recruited people for a downline.
I was profitable both times. First time I did no recruiting, just retailing. Second time I did both,

Quote:
OK, let me try to ask in a way that should get straight forward answers if you'll be honest as one should be.

Did you have another source of income during this first time before recruiting anyone?
Yes, it's designed to be started part-time. Not sure the point of the question?

Quote:
Were you able to make enough income from Amway monies received alone to support and keep a normal average USA family household located within the USA without an additional source of income being required to keep the household in food, utilities, house payment or rent etc?
Nope. I wasn't trying to. Not sure the point of the question?

Quote:
Have you ever started or are you currently affiliated with or do you currently own any interests in a reputation protection company of any type or form?
Nope. I get the point of that question.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 04:37 AM   #373
ChrisBFRPKY
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,637
Thank you
ChrisBFRPKY is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 08:02 AM   #374
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
In 2012, 18982 new distributorships reached the level of "platinum" for the first time. In most countries that's usually the equivalent of at least full-time income, from a part-time business.

Clearly plenty of people find it a viable business.

As I asked earlier - what is the antagonism towards letting people try something?
But wouldn't that depend on whether they were selling at a profit or buying at a discount for their own use? I think you can see why this might be a problem in the stats if it is at all a common practice.

The antagonism is toward tricking people under false pretenses. It is no different than a negative reaction to any con or swindle. If, on the other hand, people who sign up are given full information and not misled, then how could I complain?

My personal experience with Amway representatives was minimal. It did involve false characterizations. In your stat above, you do much the same. You mention how many reached a certain level, but left out how many did not. This is a mischaracterization by omission, isn't it?

If I tell you that you should start playing basketball because I have made millions in the NBA, would you think I was offering you an opportunity or misrepresenting reality? What if I were selling basketballs?

There is very much an opportunity to fib a bit, because of the asymmetry of information. I think you have mentioned that the "independent" part of the IBO acronym means Amway cannot police this. Furthermore, there is an incentive to shade the facts because of the downline structure.

Let's say this was happening, hypothetically. What might be the result? One result would be a high turnover as people realized what was going on. What's the stat for that?

(Note that "high turnover" doesn't have to mean people leaving Amway outright. Someone who becomes inactive would count as well.)
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 09:49 AM   #375
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
There's been unemployed, uneducated people, deaf people, blind people, people in wheelchairs, home mothers, PhDs, Corporate Executives, top athletes, fat people, accountants, people with no people skills, and top sales people, young people and old people .... every type of person you can imagine has succeeded in Amway.
But, in point of fact: MOST of the folks who get into it do NOT succeed.

(And your list of "types of people" contains largely irrelevant, superficial factors. But, I'll let that slide.)

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
After 53 years of operating in 100+ territories Amway has been unable to discover a common thread between those that succeed
If Amway was a legit business they would have figured that out, by now! Don't you think?!

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
what's required to succeed are skills that can be learned.
Many of those skills are practically useless for anything other than selling Amway. And, it seems MOST people either can't learn them, or can't execute what they've learned.

So, maybe Amway should step up their efforts to figure out why.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Having said that, no, it's not for everyone,
Have you ever heard a recruiter say "Hmmm... I don't think Amway is for you."? I suspect most recruiters will TAKE ALL the downline reps they can!

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
but don't you think it's the individuals right to decide if they want to give it a go and find out?
Amway is trying to sell itself as something anyone can succeed in.

The facts show that NOT anyone can succeed in it.

Sure, people have the right to try it if they want. People also have the right buy stocks on margin and play roulette wheels. People can choose to throw their time and money at all sorts of stupid risks.

I don't think Amway is conveying the risks of their system adequately.

I am accusing Amway of being disingenuous with its sales pitch. And they seem to take no responsibility failures, nor are they trying to reduce failure rates by aiming for "better quality" people and practices.


There are probably a few different reasons why Amway can be called a "scam". The one reason I am picking on seems to be one reason you can't defend, except via linguistic gymnastics:

You can't sweep a scam under a rug by calling it an "opportunity". Bernie Madoff's company was also an "opportunity" and not a guarantee.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 10:31 AM   #376
Joecool
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,274
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
In 2012, 18982 new distributorships reached the level of "platinum" for the first time. In most countries that's usually the equivalent of at least full-time income, from a part-time business.

Clearly plenty of people find it a viable business.

As I asked earlier - what is the antagonism towards letting people try something?
Tall tales. Some studies and testimonies from former platinums have indicated that it's very possible to be a platinum and have a net loss. Also, all those new platinums may have replaced former platinums who no loner qualify. Amway's policy is "once a platinum, always a platinum".

Cindy Droog, an Amway corporate blogger has said that there is now way that they can confirm that people are earning "full time incomes" from Amway as they don't know what operating expenses an IBO has and as such, people should not be making such claims.
Joecool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 10:38 AM   #377
Joecool
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,274
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Joecool knows the story behind that, and knows that post is full of lies, but he continues to post it. Years ago I considered starting a reputation management business as an addition to another business I already had offering internet services. I never proceeded with it. I am not paid by Amway and, as Joecool knows, Amway themselves have explicitly stated this after being asked on one of their blogs. If I was paid to endorse Amway it would be a violation of both EU and US law for me not to disclose it.
How would an Amway corporate blogger know if you were on the payroll or not?

And since you bring it up, I'm also a speed reader and the articles on my blog have been reprint for the last two years. How long do you think it takes to copy and paste a new article a few times per week?

You're the one who has google alerts set up so you know exactly when someone posts something about Amway on the internet. It's sort of your "bat signal".

Frankly, I think you're obsessed with me along with Amway. How much time do you spend monitoring my internet activity? You must have spent hours and hours to incorrectly identify my identity. I believe it's called cyber stalking and cyber bullying. Did you mention that an Amway corporate blogger called you a cyber bully for stalking me online?

You're rather creepy now that I think about it.

Last edited by Joecool; 10th September 2013 at 11:02 AM.
Joecool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 11:13 AM   #378
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 41,534
AMway toothpaste is 10 to 12 dollars for a travel size tube???????

Wow, if you needed any more proof that Amway is a scam.....
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 11:19 AM   #379
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
AMway toothpaste is 10 to 12 dollars for a travel size tube???????

Wow, if you needed any more proof that Amway is a scam.....
I think the link showed it was for a half-dozen tubes, not just one.
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 11:51 AM   #380
Joecool
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,274
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
AMway toothpaste is 10 to 12 dollars for a travel size tube???????

Wow, if you needed any more proof that Amway is a scam.....
Amway's shill at work:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icerat AKA IBOFightBack
Amway WAYYYYYY Cheaper

And that's before any discounts, nor the fact that recommended usage is probably lower. I can't find usage info for A&H , but Glister even has a smaller hole so that it virtually forces you to use less. Then of course there's the issue of comparing product quality etc, but clearly Amway is more than competitive.
Joecool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 01:18 PM   #381
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
But, in point of fact: MOST of the folks who get into it do NOT succeed.
Evidence?

Quote:
Many of those skills are practically useless for anything other than selling Amway.
What skills are you talking about? The skills I learned building an Amway business I've found useful in many areas of my personal and business life. Others claim similar experiences.

Quote:
And, it seems MOST people either can't learn them, or can't execute what they've learned.
Evidence?

Quote:
Have you ever heard a recruiter say "Hmmm... I don't think Amway is for you."? I suspect most recruiters will TAKE ALL the downline reps they can!
While I think that's untrue and there's inefficiencies in that approach - so what? What's the problem with allowing people to give it a go?

Quote:
The facts show that NOT anyone can succeed in it.
Evidence?

Quote:
I don't think Amway is conveying the risks of their system adequately.
What are the risks they are not conveying?

Quote:
I am accusing Amway of being disingenuous with its sales pitch. And they seem to take no responsibility failures, nor are they trying to reduce failure rates by aiming for "better quality" people and practices.
(1) In my experience the "failure rate" is very low. In fact I've never met anyone who actually did what was recommended to do who hasn't succeeded. They probably exist, but I haven't encountered them. I suspect the problem is that you think some guy who is in Amway primarily to buy Amway products, and successfully does so, is for some reason an "Amway failure". How do you define "failure" for people who register with Amway?

(2) You don't think significantly increased sanctions for engaging in bad practices and significantly increasing available (free) training is "not trying to reduce failure rates"?

Quote:
You can't sweep a scam under a rug by calling it an "opportunity". Bernie Madoff's company was also an "opportunity" and not a guarantee.
It wasn't my words. I was quoting a Judge of the High Court of the United Kingdom, after he'd spent more than a year studying the business model.

Care to explain how much time you've spent and evidence you've gone over to come to a conclusion contrary to his? And contrary to the three judges on the appeals panel?
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 03:47 PM   #382
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(snipped some to ask a question about this)

(1) In my experience the "failure rate" is very low. In fact I've never met anyone who actually did what was recommended to do who hasn't succeeded.
Why aren't they doing what is recommended to do and becoming successful? What is it they cannot or will not do? Why didn't they know about this before they signed up?
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 04:12 PM   #383
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Evidence?
This page YOU linked to:
http://www.thetruthaboutamway.com/am...are-your-odds/

It doesn't show very favorable "odds", at all, to me!

It looks like MOST people who form IBOs do not succeed, even from the evidence YOU provided.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 04:34 PM   #384
gnome
Penultimate Amazing
 
gnome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 10,325
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Well you recognized incorrectly. While what your family member said was in violation of Amway's rules, it was not something required to make them not a Ponzi scheme.

What you're probably referring to is allegations of being a pyramid scheme, which is different to a ponzi scheme. What's necessary not to be a "product based pyramid scheme" is legitimate products. Retail customer sales are not required to have a legitimate market for legitimate products, but a significant amount of it provides strong evidence you have legitimate product and market.
I think I did use the wrong term. But what to call it is quite secondary to the point that such a practice is bad news.
__________________

gnome is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 05:01 PM   #385
Joecool
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,274
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Why aren't they doing what is recommended to do and becoming successful? What is it they cannot or will not do? Why didn't they know about this before they signed up?
The system is flawed and designed for the vast majority to fail. A platinum group is often 100 IBO's or more. But there's one platinum and a bunch that aren't. System expenses can eat up all or most of a platinum's income.

Why aren't people doing what is recommended to be successful? I would reply that "anyone" can win the lottery. All they need to do is select the correct winning numbers. While Amway is not necessarily a game of chance, the ultimate results are comparable to playing a lottery.
Joecool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 06:32 PM   #386
tyr_13
Penultimate Amazing
 
tyr_13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 15,658
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
This page YOU linked to:
http://www.thetruthaboutamway.com/am...are-your-odds/

It doesn't show very favorable "odds", at all, to me!

It looks like MOST people who form IBOs do not succeed, even from the evidence YOU provided.
I posit that the tendency is that those who do succeed do so from not being adverse to scamming. Guilting family and friends into overpriced stuff that they don't really want, lying to people (which Amway itself can claim they disavow) about the products, targeting elderly, and lying to down stream network people who buy items they hope to sell but never either sell or consume.

The 'right skills' for being successful with Amway might very well be scamming skills.
__________________
Circled nothing is still nothing.
"Nothing will stop the U.S. from being a world leader, not even a handful of adults who want their kids to take science lessons from a book that mentions unicorns six times." -UNLoVedRebel
Mumpsimus: a stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong
tyr_13 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2013, 07:29 PM   #387
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
The 'right skills' for being successful with Amway might very well be scamming skills.
I was trying to avoid saying that, just yet.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 01:08 AM   #388
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Why aren't they doing what is recommended to do and becoming successful? What is it they cannot or will not do?
First of all, how are you defining successful?

If someone joins up primarily to buy products at the wholesale price, and they do so - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.

If someone signs up primarily to check out the business opportunity to see if it is for them, and they decide it isn't - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.

If someone signs up primarily to make a couple of hundred of bucks a week, and do so - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.

Quote:
Why didn't they know about this before they signed up?
Why do you think they didn't? Did you forget this post? People are given heaps of information up front, and then between 90 and 180 days to check it all out as thoroughly as they want and get a full refund if they choose.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 01:20 AM   #389
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
This page YOU linked to:
http://www.thetruthaboutamway.com/am...are-your-odds/

It doesn't show very favorable "odds", at all, to me!
Approaching 100% odds of making significant income by doing a few steps isn't favourable?

Quote:
It looks like MOST people who form IBOs do not succeed, even from the evidence YOU provided.
Assuming by "success" you mean make a large profit, most IBOs do not try, most don't even have it as a goal they work towards.

Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
I posit that the tendency is that those who do succeed do so from not being adverse to scamming. Guilting family and friends into overpriced stuff that they don't really want, lying to people (which Amway itself can claim they disavow) about the products, targeting elderly, and lying to down stream network people who buy items they hope to sell but never either sell or consume.
The University of Westminster study I linked to earlier provides pretty clear evidence that few "family and friends" feel like they've been "guilted" in to anything.

Can you provide evidence to counter the University of Westminster research?

Your claims of inventory loading are serious. The FTC spent years investigating it and found no evidence it was true.

Can you provide evidence to counter the FTC findings?

The results of the Quixtar class action settlement provide pretty clear evidence that very few IBOs feel they were misled or scammed or lost money.

Can you provide evidence to counter the settlement outcome?

Overall I find Amway products good value.

Which products have you tried that you don't think are good value?

Originally Posted by gnome View Post
I think I did use the wrong term. But what to call it is quite secondary to the point that such a practice is bad news.
Agreed.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 11th September 2013 at 01:46 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 05:37 AM   #390
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
First of all, how are you defining successful?
In a non-controversial manner. A business is a success when it generates enough profit to be self-sustaining. I believe the acronym stands for "Independent Business Owner."

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
If someone joins up primarily to buy products at the wholesale price, and they do so - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.

If someone signs up primarily to check out the business opportunity to see if it is for them, and they decide it isn't - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.

If someone signs up primarily to make a couple of hundred of bucks a week, and do so - are they a success or a failure? MLM critics claim they are failures, even though they achieved what they set out to do.
Indeed, if they sign up for those reasons and get what they expect, they cannot be deemed to have been scammed. But, neither can they be said to be successful in a business sense.

Is it your stance that Amway is not a business opportunity at all and is not promoted as such? I note that the main splash at www.amway.com has the bold heading: "We are our own bosses." Does this suggest a buying club to you?

As far as signing up and making a couple hundred bucks a week, is that gross or net? If it's net, and represents a profit, then it would be counted as a success. But from what I've read, this is not the common experience and, worse, we cannot tell if this is so from sales records, since the IBO may be consuming the products themselves.
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 05:58 AM   #391
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
In a non-controversial manner. A business is a success when it generates enough profit to be self-sustaining. I believe the acronym stands for "Independent Business Owner."
I asked this before but don't think I got a reply - you think Amway's nomenclature is what defines whether someone is in business or not. It's not the individuals goals, nor their activity, nor something small like laws?

Quote:
Indeed, if they sign up for those reasons and get what they expect, they cannot be deemed to have been scammed. But, neither can they be said to be successful in a business sense.
They probably weren't successful in winning an Olympic Gold Medal either. So what?

Quote:
Is it your stance that Amway is not a business opportunity at all and is not promoted as such?
Oh come on, you're smarter than that. And so am I.

Quote:
As far as signing up and making a couple hundred bucks a week, is that gross or net? If it's net, and represents a profit, then it would be counted as a success.
What if you'd set a goal to make $1000 a week, and only made $200? Success or failure?

The point is that neither your nor I have the right, nor information, to decide what other people consider success or failure in their endeavours.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 06:16 AM   #392
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
I am also curious as to why Amway business are called "Independent" Businesses. They seem very.... dependent... to me. Any thoughts?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Your document shows that only 50% of IBOs work towards the goal of making money.

Of the 50% that do, a smaller percentage actually do so.

That means MOST do not.

Claiming that this is "approaching 100%" sounds like a severe case of cherry-picking.

Oh, sure: If you ONLY count the success stories, then 100% of the success stories are successful! Brilliant!


_______________________________________________

I have an idea: Let's Start over a bit:

So far, I have only seen Amway taking a defensive stance against critiques. I would like to see how Amway can sell itself on its own merits, away from all of that. So...

Pretend that I am aiming to be an entrepreneur (which actually isn't far from fact), and I would like to know how joining Amway would be better for me, than starting a new business in a conventional manner, that does not involve them?

What are the pros and cons (if you have any) of doing that? Assume I know nothing about Amway for this exercise.

Sell the Amway way!
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 06:19 AM   #393
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post

The point is that neither your nor I have the right, nor information, to decide what other people consider success or failure in their endeavours.
Do we have the right to point out they are being scammed?

For example, your logic would say that people who visit a psychic and come away believing they've contacted their dead relative should be free to do so - and maybe they should. But shouldn't I also be free to point out what's really going on?

So too, if there's a bait and switch, where a business opportunity is offered and a buying opportunity replaces that, I'd be remiss if I didn't point it out. If Amway is a business opportunity and "business" isn't the result, I'm afraid the word "opportunity" is being misused here. And that's the essence of what a scam is.

And by the way, it isn't the person who is a success or failure, it's Amway who fails them.

I'd like to tap into your expertise here though. Is there an authentic presentation available online we can view and discuss? Somewhere we can see the current version of the circles? That should tell us what claims are being made and whether they are false, largely false, or true.
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 06:41 AM   #394
NewtonTrino
Illuminator
 
NewtonTrino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,315
For those of you arguing with Icerat just remember that he will never give a single inch. He's a true believer that will distort reality in his mind to make amway the greatest thing since sliced bread. Which is hilarious because he's never had any success running any amway business and has simply bought into the hype. You are basically arguing with one of the marks. You would get further going down to your local scientology center and trying to convert them back to reason.

As someone that has been around "the business" my entire life it's definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest, scams in history. I've personally witnessed countless people try and fail to make a buck while watching the guys at the top of the pyramid rake in huge profits form conventions, tapes etc.

Icerat has a particular strategy of trying to separate or silo the different parts of amyway to protect the overall scam. For example if you ask where the tool profits go he will say they go to another company. It's always about deflecting blame and nary an inch will be given.

Anyone with half a brain can see the scam here. You are trying to teach a horse to sing
NewtonTrino is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 07:38 AM   #395
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
I am also curious as to why Amway business are called "Independent" Businesses. They seem very.... dependent... to me. Any thoughts?
Not sure what you mean by "dependent". They choose when and where to work, how much, with whom, what products to market, and how - or to do none of the above. They're certainly less "dependent" say than say, independent McDonald's franchisees.

In any case, it's just a name, not even used in many parts of the world. Personally I think it smacks of desperation when critics try to claim people are building businesses purely because of Amway's nomenclature. Especially when they seem to think Amway is a dishonest company and lies about everything else!

Quote:
Your document shows that only 50% of IBOs work towards the goal of making money.
No, it shows that at best 50% do anything at all, let alone "work towards the goal"

My experience, confirmed by people with groups that include millions, and supported by data revealed in several court cases, indicates that less than 10% engage in "business building" for even a short period of time, and less than 1% do so for the kind of consistent period of time necessary to build a significant income.

Quote:
Of the 50% that do, a smaller percentage actually do so.

That means MOST do not.
Do you believe MLMers should make money for doing little or no work?

Quote:
Claiming that this is "approaching 100%" sounds like a severe case of cherry-picking.
Yup, guilty - I cherry-picked people who actually operated an Amway business rather than just those who just had the right to but had elected not to. Who else would you suggest I look at?

Again - Do you believe MLMers should make money for doing little or no work?

Sounds like you're disappointed it isn't some kind of "get rich quick" scheme.

Quote:
I have an idea: Let's Start over a bit:

Pretend that I am aiming to be an entrepreneur (which actually isn't far from fact), and I would like to know how joining Amway would be better for me, than starting a new business in a conventional manner, that does not involve them?

What are the pros and cons (if you have any) of doing that? Assume I know nothing about Amway for this exercise.

Sell the Amway way!
To which, if it was a sincere request, I'd say it's not simple to cover over the internet. I think it's crucial to be able to meet people who've been successful at it and ask them questions and listen to their experiences, and to be able to use and try the products.

But for the sake of the argument I'll give you a few dot points, with the organization I affiliate with -

Pros -
  • low cost, you can get started for as little as $50 (or less), refundable. A greater investment in products and training is generally recommended depending on your goals.
  • low risk, with a money back satisfaction guarantee on registration and products for up to 6 months
  • high quality exclusive products, some of the best and most popular in their class
  • world-class R&D, with over 900 R&D scientists, 65 labs worldwide, and nearly 2000 patents and patent pending, new products are continually being developed and released
  • world-class logistical support, with more than 20,000 support staff and warehouses around the world
  • world-class high availability IT support, including websites and mobile apps
  • optional, free, web-based training developed in conjunction with recognized experts
  • optional, paid, world-class business development support, offering low cost training and support available in more than 20 languages. Again, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back
  • (relatively) easy access to over 100 international markets

all for about $50/yr (actual figure depends on your market)

Cons -
  • there's widespread misinformation about the business model (exhibit A: this thread), which makes it harder than it would otherwise be
  • the reputation of the brands you market are affected by other people's actions
  • contractual obligations can be limiting in a variety of ways
  • it involves working with people a lot, and people can be a pain in the ass!


Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Do we have the right to point out they are being scammed?

For example, your logic would say that people who visit a psychic and come away believing they've contacted their dead relative should be free to do so - and maybe they should. But shouldn't I also be free to point out what's really going on?
Sure, but at present your pointing out what you think is going on, and expert independent reviews says you're wrong.

Quote:
So too, if there's a bait and switch, where a business opportunity is offered and a buying opportunity replaces that, I'd be remiss if I didn't point it out.
Every amway presentation I've ever seen, or done, offers a variety of alternatives, such as being a retail customer, a wholesale price customer, or any level of business building.

You're idea that people are only sold on one particular thing is a straw man.

Quote:
And by the way, it isn't the person who is a success or failure, it's Amway who fails them.
I joined a karate club. They told me what I'd need to do to get a black belt. I didn't do it. I didn't get a black belt.

They failed me!

Really? That's what you believe?

Quote:
I'd like to tap into your expertise here though. Is there an authentic presentation available online we can view and discuss? Somewhere we can see the current version of the circles? That should tell us what claims are being made and whether they are false, largely false, or true.
It would only tell if the are false, largely false, or true for that presentation. There is no "single" presentation.

Amway Australia has done some youtube presentations with "Zac", a stick figure, that are on their youtube channel. There's a series of them, available in multiple languages.

Amway Europe also has some videos on their media site but they don't go in to a lot of details

Various BSM companies have produced their own materials, it's a contract violation to post them publicly. There's some out there (usually outdated) if you look around.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 08:50 AM   #396
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
My experience, confirmed by people with groups that include millions, and supported by data revealed in several court cases, indicates that less than 10% engage in "business building" for even a short period of time, and less than 1% do so for the kind of consistent period of time necessary to build a significant income.
Is this how Amway is presented? I would recall to you the splash on their website that declares, "We are our own bosses." Did they really mean to say, "1% of us are our own bosses?"

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Do you believe MLMers should make money for doing little or no work?
Do you believe they should make no money for doing a lot of work?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Again - Do you believe MLMers should make money for doing little or no work?
Do you think they should be misled into thinking that might be the case?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Sounds like you're disappointed it isn't some kind of "get rich quick" scheme.
I don't even think it's a get rich slow scheme. It may be a get poor slow scheme though.


Originally Posted by icerat View Post
To which, if it was a sincere request, I'd say it's not simple to cover over the internet. I think it's crucial to be able to meet people who've been successful at it and ask them questions and listen to their experiences, and to be able to use and try the products.
Wouldn't it be just as important to meet people who have failed at it and discuss it with them?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Sure, but at present your pointing out what you think is going on, and expert independent reviews says you're wrong.
That's true. My opinions are mine. But that makes me wonder who's opinions you adopt if not your own?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Every amway presentation I've ever seen, or done, offers a variety of alternatives, such as being a retail customer, a wholesale price customer, or any level of business building.

You're idea that people are only sold on one particular thing is a straw man.
Interesting. So the idea of a "business opportunity" and a way to become wealthy is no longer the focus of Amway presentations? Do they still use a "dream book?" Fascinating.

But lets look at what Amway has to show us: http://www.achievemagazine.com/ - that's a link to their magazine. I looked around a bit, but couldn't find anything on being a retail customer or a wholesale price customer. Strangely, based on what you are saying, all the articles seem to be about making money and the people who do. And even stranger than that, the common theme seems to be about having more time to do what they want or spend with their kids. This doesn't sound like what you are describing at all. Should I send them a letter of complaint?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I joined a karate club. They told me what I'd need to do to get a black belt. I didn't do it. I didn't get a black belt.

They failed me!

Really? That's what you believe?
I don't know. Did the club present themselves as an opportunity where anyone, with enough work and by following the recommendations, could become a black belt - when, in truth, only 1% ever made it to that level? Does your path to a black belt depend on recruiting others to do the exercises for you or is it based on your own efforts? Do they count as successes those who never get the belt but only watch from the sidelines, perhaps identifying those folks as getting a great deal on entertainment?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post

It would only tell if the are false, largely false, or true for that presentation. There is no "single" presentation.
This should disturb you. Along with what you said below:

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Various BSM companies have produced their own materials, it's a contract violation to post them publicly. There's some out there (usually outdated) if you look around.
Why does that remind me of other organizations that keep the real deal secret? Oh, I know, I was thinking of that whole Scientology tech bit and copyrighted materials. But with Amway, we have a business opportunity, at least partly based on recruiting a downline. Why is it secret again?

Last edited by marplots; 11th September 2013 at 08:55 AM.
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 10:01 AM   #397
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Do you believe MLMers should make money for doing little or no work?
What I am concerned about is the fact that Amway doesn't seem to care. They continue to cast a wide net: Anyone and everyone can join their ranks, the more the merrier! And, yet the bulk of them will end up making nothing. And that, in turn, ruins their reputation.

If I were Amway, I would have more scrutiny than that. I would try to make sure everyone who buys into the system has the drive and determination to stick it out as an entrepreneur! Sure, mistakes might still be made: Maybe some of the candidates we picked would end up being lazier than we thought. But, at least we put in the effort! And, the overall success rate would be higher without cherry picking.

(And, that is being charitable. I am assuming, above, that Amway would be sold purely as an entrepreneurial opportunity to sell products. As it stands, with its MLM structure, a lot more of Amway involves selling Amway to more people, rather than products. But, I can forgo those complications to make my point.)

Any company that is going to openly let the masses into it, by appealing to their dreams; with only a small number actually fulfilling those dreams with their system: Reeks of something like a "scam", to me.

That is the point I was making. That is the point you have yet to address directly.

I do NOT expect MLMers to make money with little or no work. I certainly would not expect Amway to be a "get rich quick" scheme. But, I WOULD expect a legitimate business to have more care than they seem to express, over just who is worthy to join their ranks of IBOs!
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 10:03 AM   #398
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,979
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I'd say it's not simple to cover over the internet. I think it's crucial to be able to meet people who've been successful at it and ask them questions and listen to their experiences, and to be able to use and try the products.
If that was all you had to say, I would take that to mean Amway cannot really sell itself on its own merits, then. It would be a complete non-answer coming from you. But, at least you appended that with some bullet points:

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Pros -
  • low cost, you can get started for as little as $50 (or less), refundable. A greater investment in products and training is generally recommended depending on your goals.
  • low risk, with a money back satisfaction guarantee on registration and products for up to 6 months
So, would you agree with this? "Amway is effectively an opportunity for someone to start their own retail product business, without the tremendous overhead usually associated with starting one."

If so, then THAT is really the selling point, I think. That could, potentially, be the very merits I was asking about, that Amway could defend itself on. And, that could be what really differentiates Amway from other types of business opportunities.

However, I also understand that there is more to it than that. I hear there is a whole MLM angle associated with it. Would you be able to justify that particular aspect on its own merits? Why would I, as a retail entrepreneur want to be part of an MLM?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
  • high quality exclusive products, some of the best and most popular in their class
  • world-class R&D, with over 900 R&D scientists, 65 labs worldwide, and nearly 2000 patents and patent pending, new products are continually being developed and released
If these products were so good, why would they need the convoluted system of Amway to sell them?

Also: I could sell products that are just as awesome the traditional way. Yes, it would cost more. But, it still means that the "high quality products" argument is not a very strong or unique selling point.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
  • world-class logistical support, with more than 20,000 support staff and warehouses around the world
  • world-class high availability IT support, including websites and mobile apps
  • optional, free, web-based training developed in conjunction with recognized experts
  • optional, paid, world-class business development support, offering low cost training and support available in more than 20 languages. Again, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back
  • (relatively) easy access to over 100 international markets
These points simply delineate specific details of the first point. It normally costs a TON of money for any business to have this level of logistical support behind them. Amway could be seen as an opportunity to tap into all of that infrastructure for very little cost.

If you agree that is the case, you SHOULD be defending Amway more along those lines. Push forward the positive; and cut out all the wordy, elaborate defensive maneuvers!

(For those of you just joining us, I should stress than I am aiming to be charitable, here.)

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Cons -
  • there's widespread misinformation about the business model (exhibit A: this thread), which makes it harder than it would otherwise be
  • the reputation of the brands you market are affected by other people's actions
Maybe someone should do a better job of selling Amway on its own merits. If the merits are really so good, this problem will take care of itself.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
  • contractual obligations can be limiting in a variety of ways
This, I think, is a BIG ONE.

If I were serious about considering joining Amway, I would certainly want this bullet point to be delineated into more specific details. What are the key things I am allowed or not allowed to do? As compared to a more conventional retail business.

And, how does the MLM structure fit into those?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
  • it involves working with people a lot, and people can be a pain in the ass!
This is true for any business.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 10:10 AM   #399
icerat
Philosopher
 
icerat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sweden
Posts: 5,532
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Is this how Amway is presented? I would recall to you the splash on their website that declares, "We are our own bosses." Did they really mean to say, "1% of us are our own bosses?"
Or maybe the "we" refers to the ones treating it as a business.

Quote:
Do you believe they should make no money for doing a lot of work?
In general no, in my experience that's rare.

What do you think?

Quote:
Do you think they should be misled into thinking that might be the case?
of course not

Quote:
I don't even think it's a get rich slow scheme. It may be a get poor slow scheme though.
You really don't care about independent evidence do you?

Quote:
Wouldn't it be just as important to meet people who have failed at it and discuss it with them?
Just as important? No. It can of course still provide useful insights, but I'd suggest learning what successful people do is more important than learning what unsuccessful people do.

Quote:
That's true. My opinions are mine. But that makes me wonder who's opinions you adopt if not your own?
Personally, I prefer facts over opinions

Quote:
Interesting. So the idea of a "business opportunity" and a way to become wealthy is no longer the focus of Amway presentations? Do they still use a "dream book?" Fascinating.
good god you are obstinate. Have you really have zero interest in learning anything? As I have pointed out ad nauseum in this thread there are multitudes of different ways people run Amway businesses. There is no "they".

The second time I saw the business was something like 14 years ago. I was shown a range of different alternatives.

But lets look at what Amway has to show us: http://www.achievemagazine.com/ - that's a link to their magazine. I looked around a bit, but couldn't find anything on being a retail customer or a wholesale price customer. Strangely, based on what you are saying, all the articles seem to be about making money and the people who do. And even stranger than that, the common theme seems to be about having more time to do what they want or spend with their kids. This doesn't sound like what you are describing at all. Should I send them a letter of complaint?[/quote]

So let me see .... you want to complain that an internal magazine designed to celebrate achievers is ... celebrating achievers! You find that strange? Really?

I've got this really weird book called a dictionary - it gives meanings of words! How strange!

Quote:
I don't know. Did the club present themselves as an opportunity where anyone, with enough work and by following the recommendations, could become a black belt - when, in truth, only 1% ever made it to that level?
Pretty much, yup.

Quote:
Does your path to a black belt depend on recruiting others to do the exercises for you or is it based on your own efforts?
false dichotomy

Quote:
Do they count as successes those who never get the belt but only watch from the sidelines, perhaps identifying those folks as getting a great deal on entertainment?
no idea what you're talking about

Quote:
This should disturb you. Along with what you said below:
Why?

Quote:
Why does that remind me of other organizations that keep the real deal secret? Oh, I know, I was thinking of that whole Scientology tech bit and copyrighted materials. But with Amway, we have a business opportunity, at least partly based on recruiting a downline. Why is it secret again?
Oh good grief. It's NOT secret. You asked to see a particular presentation. Anyone is invited to go see one at any time. They're even called "open" presentations. There are presentations online, but you need a password to see them. You want to read all the rules and all the compensation details? All available publicly on amway.com.

The business contract does not allow blanket broadband advertising. If they did then it would significantly change the nature of the business model, and they want to make it as level a playing field for people as they can. As you know, it's not just selling products, it's also about offering people a business opportunity. If Rupert Murdoch could register and spend a billion on advertising that would alter this.

ETA: Having said that, I do think they should loosen some of the regulations around this.
__________________
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available

Last edited by icerat; 11th September 2013 at 10:11 AM.
icerat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th September 2013, 10:29 AM   #400
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29,167
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(snipped a bunch)

good god you are obstinate. Have you really have zero interest in learning anything? As I have pointed out ad nauseum in this thread there are multitudes of different ways people run Amway businesses. There is no "they".
Good enough. How should I describe those who are running scams to distinguish them from those who are not and somehow avoid impugning Amway itself? It sounds like I have been making the error of thinking IBOs are a part of Amway, rather than Amway being a corporation which merely sells stuff to IBOs who may be perpetrating scams.

Would it be proper to say that Amway is ethical, but those who sell Amway products and recruit others to sell the products might very well be con-men?

Is it even possible to deal with Amway directly and avoid any chance of being taken advantage of?
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Economics, Business and Finance

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:59 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.