The Tape and Seminar System
"Some IBOs earn income from the sale of Business Support Materials..."
The Independent Business Ownership Plan - Quixtar Corp.
The purchase of BSM's (Business Support Materials) is of course optional. It is however implied that with out the tools no one will succeed in the business.
"Do you want to be wealthy in Amway? Do you want to stand on the stage and claim victory over your life..and claim it that you overwhelmed whatever challenge you had?... Do you really want to do that? You'll have to come to a dream weekend. You'll never make it without a major function."Louie Carrillo Tape DBR659 - Power of a Dream
It is commonly said system "tools are 100% optional but 100% necessary". There is usually tremendous pressure to buy them. Amway Co-founder Rich DeVos comments on the pressure, which can be exerted.
"I am so thankful that we listened to them (our sponsor) from the start, because that's got us to where we are today. I see so many people struggling with why do I need tapes, why do I need books? Why do I need all these things? And it's because the people that are getting you in the business want you to be successful. They are not telling you for any other reason. It's for your own good. Everything that you hear, you should do. And you know Jim and I all along have said "if Tim and Cindy tell us to do it, we are never going to question it."Jim & Tricia Richardson Tape "Stories to make you smile" PN2161
"For instance, before our Directs quit, we (the group, not us personally) would sometimes get these irate messages via Amvox from them regarding our low tool orders. They would be so upset and now of course, I know why, they probably couldn't cover a bill that month because they weren't going to make as much."Former Distributor
The upline is always the expert when it comes to this business. New recruits need to do what the upline says, by purchasing everything he recommends, lest they be unsuccessful for not following the "proven system". Rich DeVos Co-founder of Amway comments on the upline.
"My whole goal here is to make sure I do the best job I can do to duplicate what I have been taught.....I'm duplicating a rubber stamp that's already been made. It's not my role to change that duplicatable rubber stamp, or else I will fail and everybody behind me will fail too."Emerald Distributor Jonathan Ritzen Tape: "Seminar" RP886
"It almost appears to me like a cult in a way - like we are the puppets to the upline - you have to follow what they say."Prospect - Site Visitor
"I used to be in the military, where you go through weeks of isolated training that is free of outside influence, which results in highly focused, motivated individuals with sense of purpose and a united goal. The BSMs for the business are trying to get the same results."IBO Site Visitor
"Since the doctrine is perfect and the leader is perfect, any problem that crops up is assumed to be the fault of the individual member. He learns to blame himself and work harder."Steven Hassan "Combatincg Cult Mind Control" Page 63
The system costs are not seen as one time educational expenditures, but as continuous ongoing expenses.
"Here again my example is critical. I just can't afford to miss any of the seminars or any of the trainings. If I do that then I'm going to lose leadership in my organization."Emerald Distributor Carolyn Ritzen Tape: "Seminar" RP886
Despite the AQMO's proven systems, Amway's 50%+ IBO renewal rate implies only about 3% of this year's new distributors will still be around in 5 years. Rich DeVos Co-founder of Amway comments on the successfulness of the "systems".
"because when your tape volume becomes so great in relationship to
your regular business, then you are no longer in the Amway
If the new distributor does not do much product volume, he can still be a good customer of their upline's motivational supply business, however short their time is in the business. Rich DeVos Amway Co-founder comments on extracting money on the tools business.
"Dexter Yager, for example, a one-time beer salesman from Rome, N.Y., is a distributor whose "downliners"- distributors downstream, who generate commissions for him-account for perhaps a third of Amway's direct sales volume. He guesses his non-Amway tape-book-rally business brings two-thirds of his annual income-roughly $1.5 million."Forbes March 25, 1985
Observe how many tapes they use in the business. Why would a business with such supposed great savings benefits and such a simple competitive advantage need so many training tapes? The tapes and training are needed to compensate for the lack of real competitive advantages in their inefficient distribution system. A truly competitive concept, with easy to see benefits, would require few sales skills and preparation. How much training did it take to tell your neighbor about the great deals at Wal-Mart, and Costco when they first came to your town? Any sales person's confidence level and personal conviction will require a great deal of confidence building and training, when the concept they are selling lacks obvious, easy to see advantages. The one true advantage AmQuix has, is the ability for you to pyramid earnings from selling others premium priced goods. You will need a great deal of motivation if you are selling something based upon faith and not facts. Constant exposure to the repetitive success stories on the numerous tapes builds distributor's confidence levels. This compensates for the lack of personal conviction for the products, prices, and overall business viability.
"The income an Emerald or Diamond Amway distributor can potentially derive from the BSMs industry (tapes and seminars) is vastly superior to that income that can be derived from the sale of Amway products alone."Schmitz Vs. Gooch
"The day I received the first money for tools is the day I started disbelieving"Inactive IBO
It only costs 65 cents to duplicate and package tapes in lots of 5,000. Common sense would make you ask "where does the other $5.35 go on a $6 tape?" Most tapes are recorded at functions where the speaker is already being compensated. Every dollar spent on AQMO tapes generates at least 90 cents in gross profit for direct distributors and above. Every dollar spent on Amway products generates only about 6.5 cents for those above platinum. Some lines of sponsorship claim they are non-profit organizations and no one makes money on tapes and functions. See this rebuttal. Tapes and seminars are usually purchased before the first real quantities of products are purchased.
"The number of your distributors in attendance at the last function and the next seminar or function and your standing order counts (weekly tape sales) are some of the most reliable numbers used to track your progress"Interactive Distribution Manual DA1 page 40
The quote is interesting since it does not even consider the sales of Amway products as an important measure of a distributor's business progress. This could be saying that without the sale and use of motivational materials and attendance at weekend functions, people would not see the value of the products for themselves and keep buying.
"One famous quote I recall when being pushed into attending so many functions was, "By attending this major function, your business will have been pushed forward six months towards being successful!" Hey! Six months of hard work all in 72 hours!! I, of course, was duped into believing this lie and perpetuated it to my downline."Former Distributor - Site Visitor
Various AQMO distributor kits contain $100+ in tapes and promotional materials. These tapes are optional to purchase, and not supplied by the Amway or Quixtar. Several hundred dollars of gross profit will flow into the upline's tools business before the sponsoring distributor has earned much on his recruit's product purchases. Even if the new recruit quits in a few months, the transaction for Platinums and above was profitable. Many uplines say, "we don't make money until you make money".
"We succeed when you succeed. I can't make pennies and nickels and dimes until you make dollars."Double Diamond-Greg Duncan-tape: "EDC Attitude" RP419
Rich DeVos, Co-founder of Amway comments on who makes money first.
The uplines know they have 50% turnover in their groups. Why not at least make a little money on these people before they leave? Prospects seem all too eager to make "investments" in tapes and seminars. Prospects would rather spend money before they would consider spending time and effort researching the opportunity.
"I spent thousands on tapes, books, tool boxes etc, in Amway alone (I was in the Yager organization). I thought that the one with the most tools was going to win at least that's what some Diamonds said."
"What did the guy say? He who passes the most tapes wins".Diamond Distributor - Kenny Stewart - Video "The prospecting Factor" VC-101A
"...We are often told that The System is absolutely required for success...what they don't tell you is that it is required for the success of the upline, not John Q Distributor."
"If this crowd is serious about the Internet how come the tapes and cds cant be download as an MP3?"IBO Site Visitors
Maybe this is why recruiting is stressed over retail sales of product in most lines of sponsorship. Observe for yourself how tapes and seminars are promoted over products. If people are not curious enough to do the research first, the uplines are all too willing to take their money for tapes, seminars and recruiting materials. In this sound clip, Dexter Yager tells pearls and above how they are missing profits on the tools business.
Unfortunately, the real test of integrity of your upline will come only when you leave the business and try to return the hundreds or thousands of dollars of tapes and other non-Amway produced business support materials purchased. As was my case, many site visitors report major problems with getting their "credible" upline to perform to the terms of the Amway Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (BSMAA). Be aware of the percentage of refund on the original price, and what constitutes "resellable condition", especially for standing order tapes (SOT). According to a recent AmQuix rules change, the person actually selling material is responsible for the refund. It might then be in your best interest to buy these materials directly from the diamond. He will be in the position to give you the greatest refund. He has the lower cost on these items compared to your Platinum. Trying to return materials to your sponsor, who might not get a cut of the profit and is not allowed to resell opened materials, may prove to be a difficult process.
"I remember many times that some tools were obsolete from a few months before and they had a new item that you had to buy and could not use the old one because they said the system would not be duplicable"Former Distributor - Site Visitor.
At signing, it is also wise to get your upline Emerald's and Diamond's phone numbers so you can call them in case a refund is not forthcoming. Unreturned telephone calls, stalling, "the check is in the mail" are all excuses commonly received when trying to return business support materials. It is too bad many of the "high integrity" uplines do not honor/offer the same outstanding refund policy as do Amway and Quixtar. It is taboo to resell an opened tape. The refunding distributor must absorb the loss. The best policy is to borrow business support materials until you are sure you want to do the business. Do not worry if they try to "guilt" you into buying them, most will have plenty of opened material left over from former distributors. A quick look at the huge amount of used business support materials available online will show you how much of the stuff you will be encouraged to buy, and how much of it ends up as worthless junk in garages and attics. Once valuable $6-$7 tapes sell online for 18 to 50 cents.
"...Is there any way I can get my money back from the couple of thousand dollars I spent on tapes?"IBO site visitor
570004619 OVER 2000 AMWAY TAPES BOOKS VIDEOS US $227.50 16 03/19 15:13
570460588 1000+ Amway/Quixtar Motivational Tapes-Britt US $253.00 6 03/18 20:32
"373229114 1000+ Amway Motivational Tapes WWDB ILD BRITT $355.00 13 07/12 22:28 "
"403013504 Amway Distributor Material, 600+ Tapes,&More $102.50 2 08/11 18:41 "
"374524049 500+ Tapes (Amway/Quixtar) - No Reserve $162.50 15 07/14 17:24 " E-bay Auctions
Common sense things like sharing, loaning, renting and reselling of the materials, are all discouraged by the upline and label as not "duplicable". The people, who profit directly from the sale of these materials, discourage practices that would allow their downlines to become less unprofitable. This is another example of uplines not being concerned about downline profitability. Crown Direct Dexter Yager comments at a Pearl club meeting how they are not moving as many tools as they could.
AmQuix actively trying to eliminate the sale of all used AQMO materials on auction sites like E-bay. (see page) People selling tapes should use a disclaimer when listing their "Amway" tapes for sale on e-bay. Amway is trying to dry up the secondary tape market for its top level distributors and to "protect the Amway trademark".... as if Amway wasn't already a tarnished trademark
"When it comes time to duplicating, that is a important thing for each and everyone of you, to make sure that duplication remains pure."Executive Diamond - Glen Baker Tape: "Seminar tape" RP833
If you do not duplicate or reproduce the system, or "get plugged in", by purchasing everything the upline recommends, you will not be a "go-getter", "leader" or "developer". Your upline will most likely look for someone else who will reproduce the system properly. He has limited time and will only work with those most committed and most profitable to him.
"I got too many letters from people who have told me that they were told that if they didn't support their upline and buy his or her tapes, then they would not give them any help."Rich DeVos - Co-founder Amway
"I know that for sure if you get 100% into the system you have all the up line support you can handle. But don't get on tape of the week, book of the month or stay out of the "Tool" loop, miss a function and then where are they. That is why so many leave I think."Former IBO - Site Visitor
"...I long ago got off the AQMO stuff..no tapes/books/seminars. (Been There Done That...some of the tapes were amusing, some were actually inspiring but none put money in my pocket). And because I won't use and promote the system, my upline has 'divorced' me."IBO site visitor
The plan is to only help people who properly reproduce the system. This makes it more profitable for the upline. If the system is not reproduced properly, sterile mutations develop, which inhibit further reproduction. Proper reproduction of the system is to optimize the number of people flowing in to purchase the system materials and function tickets and not necessarily to optimize product sales or distributor profitability.
"You [the Direct Distributors] present the wonderful numbers on the blackboard about all the money they [distributors] can make. Maybe you ought to tell them about all you're going to take from them [with your tool businesses] before they make any. Maybe that would be the rest of the story."
Rich DeVos 1982 - Co founder The Amway Corporation-Directly Speaking tapes Listen to Rich
"When you have emeralds and diamonds making 80% plus of their income of the system and less than 20% from Amway, there is something wrong and we can't be part of that."Don Lorencz Diamond Distributor related page
Read the WEB site by Emerald Distributor Jeff Probst, exposing and proving the real profits in the business support materials. Read the 1982 book classic "Fake it till you make it". Read the newest critical book on Amway "Behind the smoke and Mirrors" for details of an actual Diamond's financials.
"One of my greatest pet peeves is that when they think have a better deal so they go to some real-estate seminar and pay $3,000 bucks to just hear about it. And my attitude is if the dang real-estate seminar is so good and it works why don't they charge enough at the door to cover the cost of the function and then they can make a percentage off the real-estate profits. I'll tell you why. Because, the average person who attends a real-estate seminar loses $5,000 bucks, $3,000 just from the initiation fee just to get in the stupid thing."Double Diamond-Greg Duncan-tape: "EDC Attitude" RP419
I would pose the same question to any Emerald or Diamond in the AmQuix business. Why are tapes not sold at cost ($0.65) and seminars not sold at their cost? From the two sets of financials I have seen from Diamonds, it seems financially impossible to support the constant promotional costs of a Diamond distributorship on Amway bonuses alone. Therefore, there is little probability in a reduction of tape prices or a bonus program, which includes non-direct distributors that does not also raise tape prices. A bonus program on tapes would most likely not pass FTC approval since there are no "retail customers" for such tapes, as there would be for most Amway products. Many lines of sponsorship have talked about including all distributors in a tape bonus program. One line of sponsorship has implemented a tools bonus schedule for all IBOs. It is now no longer necessary for people to sell Amway products to make money in the AmQuix business.
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Site Visitor Notes:
"THE SYSTEM is probably essential for success in the Quixtar "self consumption" business model if you at least want a small chance to succeed. But not for the reasons that most AQMOs suggest. If an IBO does not get on the system, then that IBO is not on the team and will not receive significant (if any) support from the upline. The last thing an upline IBO wants is a successful IBO not on the system who could be "duplicated" by their downline. For my group, the system included 2 weekly tapes and 1 monthy book. I made the mistake of putting some IBOs on 1 weekly tape at their request, but my upline platinum indicated those individuals must be on the complete system (2 tapes/week and 1 book/month) or not at all. And if they chose to not be on the system, then they were not committed and I was told that I couldn't afford to spend much time with them. Upon looking back, I realized that if you were building a tool business, the last thing you wanted was 1 tape/week being duplicated. That would cut your tape business in half."