I’m going to start a series of blog posts detailing my history of ping-pong-ing around the Network Marketing industry in an effort to find out where I fit. What I personally feel were the good and bad of every opportunity. Why it didn’t work for me.
It MIGHT be the business opportunity for you however you seriously won’t know until you try it or at least get to know someone whom is involved with the company.
Amway & Network 21
Firstly, Amway and Network 21 are NOT the one and same. Whilst they are intricately linked, you can be an “IBO” of Amway without Network21 (aka the business) or any other “CEP”.
Secondly, I’m not against ANY of the Amway products. They really have some great products and services available. One of the huge selling points for me was the fact that they’re one of the very few Network Marketing companies whom have a physical store location “locally” (in Loganholme).
The flaw isn’t in the goods or perhaps the company of Amway itself. It’s in “the business” for me (Network21).
I’m also NOT against or disparaging Network 21 (and those involved).
All of this is my personal opinion. My experience.
Amway does work for me. I love their XS Energy drinks as well as the Protein Shakes (their healthier and better tasting alternative to Up n Go). Some of their other products also work wonderfully too (you only need a small quantity) ….. and the fact you can buy a lot of “everyday” items in bulk which helps go towards your monthly spend is also pleasent.
I wish I could afford their water purifier and all their cookware too ! 🙂
Alas, that’s one of the reasons why I made the decision to just stay a wholesale customer (not retail).
1) Cost of “qualify-ing” was out of my personal budget
It was going to cost me approx $400 for the first three months of my “business” to qualify. I came close a couple of times however it felt like I had to buy a lot of products in order to qualify. I’m a single girl. I only have my own mouth to feed. Considering I was spending around $50 per week on all my groceries (food and everything)… having to spend $100+ per week… I was finding I was spending money buying a lot of items in bulk just to qualify.
This would work better if it was a family or at least I was able to share some of the cost with flatmates (which wasn’t the case for me).
They promised I’d find retail customers so I could use other peoples’ money to be able to qualify. Naturally, that didn’t eventuate.
2) Too much choice ! (I’m not kidding…)
You think of it … Amway probably offers it ! They do budget as well as luxury skin care, nutrition, sports drinks, healthy energy drinks, jewelry, water purification, air purifiers, domestic products, cookware and so forth. Then they also allow you to shop online (to have home delivered) or in their store locations for even “everyday” items such as baked beans, milo, sanitary pads, etc. Yet not “everything” …. no fresh fruit, vegies, milk, bread and lots of items I actually buy more regularly.
Plus when it came to “the business”, they generally ask for you to choose one specific line to ‘niche’. Skin care ? Nope. I hardly use make-up. I wanted to try to promote the Beauty Cycle (budget) skin care/make-up yet no go. I’m NOT a product of the product. I don’t wear make-up unless I really need to do so. Jewelry ? No. I don’t wear jewelry. Never been big on it. Artistry which is their luxury (top notch) skin care and make-up ? Nope. I couldn’t afford it so I could be a product of the product.
When I did think I found my niche – XS Energy Drinks – I couldn’t find anyone within “my” organisation (up-line/sponsors) that could be of any real assistance in building a business based purely on XS Energy Drinks. Found out there were a few obstacles too – they couldn’t be supplied in bulk so nightclubs and other assorted venues which hold V, RedBull etc could be buyers (forgotten exactly why however remember it was a huge no go).
I was with Amway for a year or so trying so hard to find where I fit however I just “didn’t” fit anywhere.
Now, if they had a larger section of their online store devoted to pet products and food – I probably would’ve easily qualified using my own and other peoples’ money. Yet, unfortunately for me, it’s too under-developed for me to promote it. They’re missing out on a huge niche market by not providing high quality pet food and products.
3) The on-going costs of Network21
I was paying $40 (unsure now) per month for a mixture of CDs that would be delivered to me at home so I could listen to them over the month to develop my business and myself. Overload ! There are so many “deliveries” of these CDs that are unopened by me… months and months worth.
On top of that monthly “CEP” (continued education programme) there was the $5 it would cost me to attend the N21 meetings at Bond Uni. They would encourage me to bring along people to these meetings (as it was a 3rd party tool used in recruiting). I felt so pressured to bring people and felt like I was a lesser person because every time I attended I didn’t really have anyone 🙁 Plus I personally started to get bored with them as it was pretty much the same stuff said a little differently (or presented by a different person).
Then there is the promotion of the conferences on top of all this… once again, you HAVE to go !! You MUST attend!!!
Oh.. oops.. I nearly forgot also the $25 meetings. Forgotten what they’re called however they were held either weekly or fortnightly ??? These $25 meetings were done as a way to help you educate your downline (a 3rd party tool) as well as yourself.
Yes all these expenses are deductible because they are genuine business expenses (and you are given something that can be used as a tax invoice)…. yet think about it:
I have to spend nearly $400 initially per month to “qualify” … then spend $5 every week for the Tuesday night meetings, $25 every fortnight for the BDMs (Business Development Meetings)… then $100-200 for the conferences and then whatever for the yearly “big” conference (never-mind the extra costs of accommodation, airfare etc to get to that ‘major’ conference)… for someone whom is self employed it’s very hard to keep this type of spending “up”.
4) The “national” (big yearly) conference scared me off instead of “powering me up”
Whilst not a total waste of my time and money (for other personal reasons), it did “wake me up” in the wrong way. It woke me up on how the odds were stacked AGAINST me.
I saw for the first time of how many people within Australia (and some of New Zealand) were ‘involved’ in Amway. Now, consider on top of the people that WERE in attendance… there are the people involved that couldn’t make it due to other commitments… then people like myself who gave it a shot however dropped out… the people already involved in other network marketing companies (with similar products sometimes)…. and eventually those whom will never be involved…..
My “pool” of “potential” IBOs shrank very quickly. I now understand why a lot of the Amway IBOs including the person whom signed me up resort to cold calling in the end. They DO run out of contacts !!
Yes, some of the “drop outs” like myself might re-activate at a later time (there were stories of that happening) however still…. it was Herbalife all over again. This bus was full to the brim with people even sitting on the roof of the bus trying to ensure “they don’t miss this bus!”.
5) Amway has a bad name
Whilst not ‘everyone’ knows who or what Amway “is” (lucky them! hahaha)… generally speaking Amway does have a bad name “out there”. So much so that it influences on how people are taught (“the scripts”) to present the business. It’s very hush hush. They make sure you don’t mention the name up-front at all costs.
… and is it ‘cult like’ ? Yes. If you consider how much time you have to devote to it and you WILL loose family over this and your own friends will end up being only other IBOs….
It wasn’t all bad…
The bits I loved about Amway and Network 21 …..
1) There is genuinely some really good business information included in some of the CEP CDs. I’ve taken some of it to use in my current main business. I also find some of the information I learnt in the CEP CDs being repeated in a slightly different way (yet genuinely the same information) by lots of other people whom are NOT involved in anything “network marketing”.
2) As mentioned previously, some of the products (as I had not used all the products I can’t comment on all of them) are actually pretty decent. Now that I’m not having to worry about qualify-ing I can purchase them as I can afford them.
3) The retail store ! Just wish it was more closer hahahaha
4) It is one of the few Network Marketing companies that is international – nearly every country on this earth has Amway.
If you are with Amway / Network21, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavour
If you want a referral system that will help keep your personal relationship (so people realise you’re not “always about” Amway) – use the form on the top right & contact me !