Some Guidelines Before You Send Mail
First, I don't believe I should have to place any kind of guidelines or restrictions on the letters people should be able to send me. Unfortunately, I have received numerous e-mails from distributors who claim that I am posting inaccurate information, that I am "stealing their dream," or that I have a "personal vendetta" against their families.
If there are any distributors (or friends of distributors) with a "neat fact" about the Amway business, I ask one thing: Prove it. I don't need to hear "ha, ha," or some other pointless comment in an e-mail. If you would like to debate a point I make on this website, at least have the courtesy of providing documenting proof instead of "parroting back" what your upline has taught you. "None of my upline makes money from the tools."? Prove it- show me the 1099 forms that they have filed with the IRS. If you can provide written, documented proof (such as the Amway Business Manual or the InterNet Services Business Manual), I will post the information on this website. But: just because the business manual states a rule, does not mean distributors are following it.
And before you send me an e-mail claiming, "our group doesn't do what you're talking about," check with your upline, then check with his upline. Chances are very good that, yes, your group "does do that"- you just don't know about it. With that said, here is a list of topics that I considered CLOSED for debate. Unless, of course, you can prove me wrong.
- The "making money from tools" issue: Some distributors have written to me claiming that people in their group do not make any profit from the sale of motivational materials or tools. (Personally, I believe they are simply assuming this, and have never confronted their upline Emerald about the issue. Even if the distributor asks his upline Direct, he may not even be aware of the issue. It's only at the PSD level that distributors start to make money from the tools.) Because of this, the distributor falsely believes that NO ONE in the ENTIRE Amway business could possibly be making money this way. Let me clarify this point further with the following observations I have personally discovered:
Using this criteria, the conclusion can be made that upline distributors ARE making a profit from the sale of tools. If you are a distributor and you are not making any money, ask yourself two questions: 1) Are you a Profit-Sharing Direct? If not, you won't see any of the "money flow", 2) Why don't you speak to your upline Ruby, Emerald, or Diamond about the issue, rather than criticizing people for exposing the information?
- There are many, many websites publishing information that supports the conclusion that upline distributors make money from the tools. If there is no truth to the issue, wouldn't the information disappear for lack of supporting evidence? Yes, the Amway Corporation has sent e-mails notifying web authors to remove any "inaccurate information," but Amway has NEVER denied the fact that distributors make money from the sale of tools.
- Years ago, Rich DeVos himself recognized there might be a problem with distributors concentrating on reselling motivational tools. In fact, he himself created an audio tape to warn Direct distributors:
"Now, the tape business, if it is not used as a support for the Amway business, will oftentimes be an illegal business - in fact, it could be called a pyramid - because, d - does not get sold to the consumer. Which means all the tape business does is take money out of the organization, and because the final person can't retail it, it never brings money into the organization....
"You [Directs] present wonderful numbers on the blackboard about all the money [distributors] can make. Maybe [Directs] ought to tell [the distributors] about all [the money] you're going to take away from them [via the tools business] before they make any [money for themselves].
"And some of you have made it a business unto itself. And you're making a lot of money on it..." (Originally released to the public record in the court case Cairns vs. Amway. It is reprinted here from the book, AMWAY Motivational Organizations: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors (Carter, 1999).)
- When I confronted my own upline Emerald, he put it this way: "When you purchase things in a large enough quantity, you should get a discount, right? If you buy 150-200 tapes each week, shouldn't you be able to get them below retail price?" Therefore, he keeps the margin (or "profit") between his purchase price and his reselling price. He further went on to state, "And shouldn't [the Directs] be able to re-coop [their] business losses?" Now, if any distributor wants to write me to say that my Emerald (who may even be a Diamond by now) is lying about this, that is fine by me. I will gladly pass your message along to him so he can talk to you personally.
- In a recent court case (filed in Jacksonville, FL), Diamond Distributor Brig Hart has brought a lawsuit against members of his upline AND downline alleging they did not give him his proper share of tools profits. Keep in mind that he is not questioning IF money is being made from tools, but HOW MUCH money he should be able to keep for himself. (If you read the lawsuit, keep in mind that distributors always claim that the Amway business is about "helping people," and not about making money.)
- A lot of distributors have accused me of "needing to get more information" or for me to "take a look at the business for myself." Let me say that I was a distributor for almost two years, so I have received plenty of information. There have even been suggestions that I had a "bad upline." It is my belief that the practices of my upline are completely normal for the Amway business. After all, if my upline Emerald is such a "bad upline," how is it he was able to become an Emerald in about 4 years and is probably in qualification for Diamond right now?
- Some distributors claim that "...everything distributors buy is ...sent...via U.P.S." Not to nit-pick, but when I was a distributor, ALL the items that came from an RDC/ Service Center were shipped using Amway's own carrier- a white, unmarked delivery truck. U.P.S. is used for "catalog" orders coming from the main warehouse in Ada. Now, maybe things have changed since I quit the business (in January 1998), but I doubt it.
- Please don't even bother to send me an e-mail claiming "Amway did $7 billion in revenue" (as one distributor did). According to Amway's own press releases, their 1997/1998 revenues were not even close to this number. The actual figure was approximately $5.7 billion, a decline of over 18% from the previous year's $6.8 billion revenue. But, the truth is that these numbers are not "revenue" at all- they are "sales at estimated retail." Click here to see Amway's official announcement.
- And, most importantly, if you are a distributor, DO NOT send me e-mails about...
- ...How Amway is "The best business opportunity in the world" or, even worse, quote material straight from the audio tapes. If you have a comment, have the common courtesy of using your own thoughts- not information recycled from the tapes or your upline. If you can't come up with an original thought, don't bother writing. (And if you can't be bothered to spell "oppurtunity" or "det" correctly, DO NOT send me an e-mail.)
- ...How I am "stealing your dream" since I have a "personal vendetta against [you]" and how "[I] don't know [you, but I am out to] destroy [your] business." (actual quote from an e-mail) If I am "stealing your dream" of becoming a Diamond, then I apologize. If your "dream" is to have more money, have more time with your family, or something else; then I have NOT "stolen you dream!" If you need to blame me for your own inability to build your business, that's your problem. Do not accuse me of having a personal vendetta against people I have never met.
As an example of what I DO NOT wish to receive, please read the below e-mail. This is an ACTUAL e-mail sent to me (no spelling or grammatical changes have been made). The author then followed his letter with an HTML version and a Microsoft Internet Explorer Shortcut as an attachment (which I have removed). Please, I do not need a shortcut to my own web site! I know where it is already!
"I read what you supposedly said to be true about the greatest business oppurtunity in the world today.I feel that you need to get the facts straight before you try to criticize this business.It is obvious that you don't know what your talking about.We (distributors) do not make profit off of tool orders nor do we order products thru upline.Also, the seminars are to teach and motivate distributors who want to build a successful business.By the way,Amway does deal with over 90% of the Fortune 500 companies and over 1200 major manufacturers in all.You were also wrong about products being bought thru upline,everything distributors buy is bought directly from the corporation and sent to our front door via U.P.S.!! I would strongly suggest that you find out the facts about this business oppurtunity and its marketing concepts in 1998 and beyond.You really should not false information on the Internet to mislead people who want to find out the truth about this business.OUR VISION to be the best business oppurtunity in the world!!! and it shall be done!!!"
I don't make a habit of critiquing every e-mail I receive, but if you are going to send an e-mail challenging a web-site author's information, at least have the decency to check your spelling and grammar. Especially check the usage of "your" and "you're," as in "you don't know what your talking about," the correct usage is "what you're talking about." To further lower my respect for him, the distributor who sent this can't even spell what he is presenting: an "opportunity"! And most of what he says in this e-mail can be found either in the marketing plan, the SA-4400, or the business manual. In fact, the next to last sentence is Amway's own mission statement, not this guy's "vision." He then ends his e-mail with a quote from an audio tape by Diamond Distributor Bo Short. To be honest, I don't know whether to laugh at the guy for repeating back this information or cry at the fact that he has lost the ability to think for himself.
If you are not a distributor, I apologize for the above statements. I have grown tired of repeating this same information to distributors who are conditioned to dismiss ANY "negative information" as "wrong" or "lies" without actually investigating for themselves. If you are a distributor and have received any kind of statement from your Diamond responding to the issues found on this website, I would be more than willing to post it.
On the positive side, though, I believe that any distributor who takes the time to read through my site, tells me he read through my site, and then takes the time to send me any e-mail, is probably close to quitting the business anyway. If a distributor would rather take the time to send me criticizing e-mails instead of building his business, than it's not hard to figure out what he considers to a better use of his time. It's one thing to research an opposing viewpoint, but it's another matter entirely when a distributor wants to have an ongoing e-mail debate! It makes me wonder what a distributor's downline (if the distributor even has any) would do if they found out he was spending his time looking at "negative" websites. Also, what would his upline do?
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