Dialog with Emerald Willcox

On Fri, 20 Oct 2000 17:21:22 +1000 "Gary Willcox" <garygrouse@*****au> writes:

Dear Scott,
A potential IBO looked at your site and decided that they didn't want to proceed. We are currently Emeralds in the business and were prepared to help this couple become full time mum and dad to their children as we are. What disturbs me about your activity is not that you have a sight containing this sort of material but that you haven't once mentioned an alternative in which you will actively participate in helping them achieve their dreams. All you have done is taken on the responsibility to stop their dreams before they even had a chance to try. If it wasn't for the system in this industry we would not only not be married but would not have 3 beautiful daughters. We spend our life giving support and hope to people with needs ( some of which aren't product based ) and over the years have helped them achieve their original objectives and then some. What sort of real impute do you give back to society? It's such a pity that a person with so much potential would use it in such a destructive way. I some times wonder what is worse, giving hope with support or taking away hope with no mention of support. The fox always prays on the week lambs, why don't you come after me or could that be a threat to your egotistical, gutless manner.
Gary Willcox

 Update April 2005: Site visitors report Mr. Willcox and his wife have divorced. So much for the business saving his marriage.

Friday October 20, 2000

Dear Mr. Willcox,

Thank you for writing. It was most interesting to receive your e-mail and I will address your question. I hope you will take the time to address my questions as well. Take your time because your response or lack of response will be posted on my site.

First of all you did not debate one business or economic point I have made on my site. You never debated the negative sum game aspect of the business. I also state on my site that each prospect should investigate his sponsor and line of sponsorship since many have different ways of running them and encourage different practices, which affect profitability such as retailing or NOT retailing as a part of the business.

Let's discuss your prospect who did not get in. Did he say why he did not want to get in? Did you ask him some specifics? Did he learn that in order to reproduce profitable businesses for most IBOs that he must retail some product? Did he learn that you most likely make the majority of your money as an Emerald and certainly, at diamond, from you selling him tapes and seminars and not your Amway products business? I'm sure without your tools business you could not afford to promote the business so heavily. What were his reasons for him not wanting to get in business with you? My arguments must have been more powerful and convincing than those of the recruiter. What were the specific reasons? What did he read that was untrue?

As far as what others can do to improve their financial situation I do have a page on my site. I hope you will read it.


I also have pages on how the business can be done properly so that most do not lose money. You might have missed this one as well. I hope you will read it.


I also have a page about people making money the old fashioned way in Amway.


I would suggest if Amway is some sort of a marriage counseling service or life improvement system and people are missing out on it maybe you should market it as such and not a small business opportunity. Disguising a marriage counseling business as a distributor of goods and services is simply poor marketing.

I have received enough e-mail from site visitors saying how participation in AQMO systems has torn their marriage apart to know we are both right on this issue. In fact it is probably balanced. Just as many people benefit from it as those that are hurt by it. The hardest e-mail I have to answer is the type from a spouse of a die hard core distributor who is draining all their finances on tapes and seminars. Many reasons such things occur include that the family is not financially prepared to handle the costs of the system relative to the income they would receive at even moderate PV levels. My new plan would address better the negative sum game financial aspects of the business. I hope you will read it.


I would debate whether my site is destructive. It might be destructive to your business but the site visitor feedback I have is overwhelmingly positive. My site is filling a market for information on Amway/Quixtar that is not being filled by Amway Quixtar or the AQMOs. Why else would people search the net for such sites if they weren't skeptical about the business? Why not just give prospects catalogs and say "look at all our great deals! Show your friends how to take advantage of these great prices and get rich at the same time!"? Why? Well basically Amway is not that competitive so you guys need to sell the dream to move your products. You don't have a better way to distribute goods, you just take advantage of peoples pyramiding and lottery mentalities.

I would suggest we look at the facts to understand who hurts whom more.

What is the distributor turnover each your in your group?

How can you say your group is giving people the straight story while prospecting for this business when most likely you have a 45-53% turnover rate in your group in anyone year? I would suggest those that left might have been misled about the costs and time to do the business or even the product competitiveness. Have you ever polled these people to see what their reasons were for not renewing? Do you have any type of plan to improve upon your turnover rate? Did everyone get all their money back for tapes and seminars when they left?

Without continuous improvement, that leaves a huge potential market for sites like mine. Again, you never said any of the business and economic issues on my site were untrue only that I am stealing a few peoples dreams. Most likely yours is the dream you are trying to protect as sites like mine expose the profitability problem, which the business refuses to address.

Have you polled your downline for profitability? How many people are making money versus people who are losing money?

What is the total BV of your group? What is the total amount of tapes and seminars, which was sold to your downline? I ask this because I want to see how much of your group's gross revenue is spent on your tools business and see if your group is profitable on average. Are you really helping people make money? Are you only helping 1% of the people make money. Are you marketing a plan where most will make money on average instead of lose money on average? Prove it to me.

I have no beef withAmway other than you can buy most products cheaper outside of Amway and the business plan assures people of losses. How about implementing my New Plan in Amway and Quixtar? That would shut me up for sure, but then again it would be difficult to market since no one wants to sell retail in order to make enough gross margin to at least cover their AQMO expenses.

I would suggest the wolf in sheep's clothes are yourself and the Amway AQMOs. You and they make all the money off of tapes and seminars and much less on the products business. You, as an Emerald surely know this. What was your gross profit from the tools business and the gross profit from your Amway products business? What were your businesses expenses?

It is noble to want to help others become full time mom's and dads. What is your success rate at this? How many people have done this in your group versus the ones that tried? How much poorer were the ones who could not do it when they left the business? I'm sure if you employ my new plan, you will have a much better success rate and fewer people will leave the business with the losses I so often hear about from former distributors.

It will be interesting to see if you can debate the business and economic facts or resort to the "emotional dream stealer argument" like EDC Carillo did.

If I were an insurance man selling whole life policies and 50% of my policies I sold did not renew, I would think I had a problem and most likely I am not giving the majority of my customers a true value. Despite the fact that I still make money selling the policies, I could not believe I was doing more good than harm.

Best Regards,

Scott Larsen

On Thu, 2 Nov 2000 00:24:29 +1100 "Gary Willcox" <garygrouse@******.au> writes:

HI Scott,
There are two camps of people in this world and both believe they are right. One is the non dreamers who do whatever it takes to stop or destroy others dreams which bolsters their argument for failure. Then there are the dreamers who do whatever it takes to encourage, empower and support those who have dreams. I belong to the latter and so if I had to explain my lifestyle you wouldn't understand anyway. As there is nothing that can be said to convince you I'm right, there is also nothing that you can say that will convince me your right. It is not a right or wrong issue as much as it is a difference of permanent opinion brought about by our past experiences and belief systems. I wont go to and fro with e-mails as we are both very passionate about what we do with our lives and so a battle in cyberspace would result in little more than a show of arms with no relevant result. We both share our Disappointment in each other but are far too intrenched in our paradigm to change.
Cheers Gary
Dear Mr. Wilcox,
Your clever use of words is very interesting. Instead of addressing the business and economic issues I raise, you claim I have failed at something. You try to insult me rather than the ideas I propose. Is this supposed to put you on a higher plain? What have I failed at? Yes, I might have failed at not seeing the "light" of the Amway opportunity. I don't see that as a failure, given that losses are mathematically assured with most AQMO business models. You neglected to debate this at all, and supplied no data from your business to rebut my assertion. I could easily call you a scammer, a huckster, an exploiter of weak people's dreams, but I won't. The debate is about business and economic issues.
Certainly encouraging and helping others to achieve more in life is a noble task. Everyone in one way or another wants to do this. You do this and I feel I do this with my site. Helping a few people can not be done in a vacuum. There is a moral hazard to Amway/Quixtar and my site as well. An example of the "moral hazard" is Welfare payments for single mothers. By having Welfare to address the issues of the living standards of the mother and their children, the sheer fact that Welfare is available will decrease the "costs" of having children out of wedlock. The risks of being a single mom is greatly reduced thus it promotes the behavior one really wishes to reduce.
In the same light introducing people to Amway has risks as well. There are highly probable odds that these people will lose money. They won't put forth the effort. They will spend money on your tapes and seminars as told. The product lines they represent may not be well accepted by the marketplace, causing them difficulty in retailing the product. There are also risks that the expenses of the business will create stress in a marriage. There is emotional trauma from Amway. People are led to believe that this business is so easy anyone can do it. Many site visitors of mine have written me saying they have left the business with a lower self-esteem because they were not successful at something, which is supposed to be so easy.
There are also risks in having a web site like mine. A person who might have been an eventual diamond in the business may not get in and may not have his Amway dreams fulfilled. Someone who might have been able to bring their kids home reads my site and then does not do the business, like you pointed out. These are the risks I face everyday with my site. You never did say what argument on my site made more sense to your prospect.
Since I am rational and not emotion, I must resort to the available data on the subject at hand. From the historical data, the business is much more successful in flushing people out of the business and producing losses rather than producing solid profits. Reasons to why this occurs are presented on my site. My site helps a large number of people avoid wasting time and money on Amway experiments. Your business helps a very small percentage of people achieve their dreams by working off the people they flush through the business when they sell them overpriced products, books, tapes and seminars.
So we must ask ourselves is "the good of the many" better than "the good of the few". My site only points out the failings of the AQMO business model and the poor product competitiveness. This is evidenced in the high Amway turnover and negative sales growth. You have a 1-2% chance of actually making a positive financial impact on someone's life by promoting Amway and I have a 98% chance of positively impacting a person's financial life by promoting my site. I'd be the first one cheering Amway on if they presented a business model that broke even for all franchisers and had competitive prices. You didn't even want to accept my suggestions on how to make Amway better as show in the New Plan. Why is this? Maybe you know people don't want to retail and that would be an immediate turnoff to a prospect.
I think in the end logical and rational thinking will overcome the emotional dream you guys are peddling. Amway will have to change the business model and become more competitive else their sales will continue to drop and they will go the way of dinosaur. In the end, the Market will prove who was right.
Best Wishes,
Scott Larsen
"A man will never abandon the institution that made him rich" (Thoreau)

Here is an e-mail I received today. Another testimonial to my site, and they didn't even read it before they found out for themselves.

Dear Scott,

For reasons of privacy I do not wish to have my name posted on your site, but I did want to write to you to address several issues that I've seen on your site.

My husband and I became involved in Amway in March 1998. We were shown the 6-4-2 plan of sponsoring other people into the business, not as customers, but as distributors. According to the plan, we sponsor 6, they sponsor 4, they sponsor 2 and we would be "Direct Distributors" and earn around $2000 per month. This was based on the assumption that everyone in the organization simply switched their buying from Wal-Mart, Kmart, etc. to Amway. "Just buy what you would buy anyway."

We were excited as my husband is a professional and has little time for the family. We were committed and trusting and did everything that our upline promoted. We haven't missed a single major function, we have attended the local and regional meetings, we have been on the "system" the entire time. "Just go on faith" we were told. So we did. We were inspired and encouraged when we would see the new pins walking across the stage. When we saw new "Directs" (now "Platinums"), we would assume they were making an extra $25,000 per year (plus bonuses) from the Amway business. For new "Emeralds", we would assume they were making over $100,000 (plus bonuses) from the Amway business. We were not growing as we wanted to because every time we would get a new couple started, they would eventually quit, sometimes they would quit before they started. We poured our heart and soul and money into this hope we had, but just couldn't get over 1000 points per month.

In September 2000, we met with our upline Emeralds to "strategize" how to go Silver for the month of September. This would mean reaching 7500 points in a single month. We were told to retail heavily (I did not get into the business to retail). But I was willing to try, but I was met with much resistance from prospective customers, mostly due to the prices. This is even though I was willing to sell at my "wholesale" cost. As September drew to a close, we were nowhere near 7500 points, but we were close to the next recognized pin which is 2500 points in a single month. I am ashamed to admit how much we spent just to reach that level. Then at the Business Building Seminar, my husband and I walked the stage as new "2500's!" There was much applause and cheer and I felt sick. We were not genuinely 2500 points as the innocent people in the audience would naturally assume. We simply "purchased" that pin.

After this experience, I began to wonder if others had done the same thing. I called my upline Emerald and was told that "it happens all the time.." So I thought, what could be the advantage to "buying your pin?" Then it hit me. Once you reach the platinum level in the business, you begin to share in the profits of the "tool" business. And, once a platinum always a platinum, once an emerald always an emerald and so on to diamond. So even if your volume from the Amway/Quixtar business qualifies you for a Platinum one month, you might be significantly down the next month. However, you are still paraded in front of the masses as a Platinum.

My sponsor and I both became very concerned about the deceptive nature of this. We're showing people we care about one business, while in reality there is really a completely different business going on right before our eyes (eyes we couldn't see with until now). We called our upline Platinum with this question: "If we became Emeralds in the business, how much of our income would be from Quixtar and how much would come from the "system"?" She replied "It's about 50/50 at that level. Isn't that great? We gotta get you guys to Emerald."

My husband is the most honest person I have ever known in my life. When I shared this information with him, he was heart sick. And that broke my heart. .

We have quit this business absolutely. We haven't had to deal with our upline yet as they are mostly out of town right now. It will be interesting to see what rhetoric they will have for our newfound position on this "opportunity."

I used to hear about guys like you and I would think "Why would you waste your time and energy carrying this message to people? Why would you care so much?" Or I was told that people like you were just "bitter" because they were quitters and not winners. After our experience, I can understand the passion that drives you.

We are proud to be "quitters". I'm getting my life back.

Thank you.

Recovering IBO's from Tennessee


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