"The worse you can do is buy from yourself and save money"
One thing that I heard on numerous occasions by Britt distributors was that a typical family could save $1,000 to $1,500 a year on purchases. This is a statistic that I personally used for years (only because I heard several upline distributors use it) but never checked it out. So AFTER I walked away from Amway, I decided to check this with my own purchases for the calendar year 1995, the last year I was buying exclusively from my store.
I was astounded when I found that I had purchased $4,106.02 of products (at Amway suggested retail price). These were personal purchases for consumables, personal care, cleaning products, and vitamins. This amount doesn't include tax and shipping nor does it contain any catalog purchases.
The distributor cost for these products was $3,155.11. So yes, I did "save" about $1,000 off the Amway suggested retail price.
The next question I had to ask myself is would I have spent $3,155.11 at local stores buying the same products? My answer to that was no. When you average this out folks, I was spending around $263 (does not include tax and shipping) a month on consumables. I was not spending anywhere near that amount before Amway nor am I spending anywhere near that amount now.
But I had told myself and every one that I prospected and sponsored that I was "saving" about 30% on what I was spending on consumables pre-Amway -- was I?
On these pages I have taken many of Amway's products and non-Amway produced products and compared the price to name brand products that can easily be found at any retail outlet. Please note that this is a price comparison and not a quality comparison. I do not have the testing facilities to say which of these products perform better.
Naturally, a distributor of any product will claim that their products are better and cost less than the competition. Amway distributors are no different. However, in a few instances, Consumer Reports has tested some of Amway's products and I have compared CR's Best Buy product to Amway's. In all other cases, I have just compared Amway's products to name brand products, in many cases they are the same products Amway uses in their comparision documentation.
You should also know that I did not include any cosmetics or skin care products. The reason for the exclusion is that since I don't use the stuff, I don't know what would be a comparable name brand product.
For those of you who use these products, I encourage you to take a random sampling of the products you use and see if you'll save money. Heck, I'm not afraid of the results. Instead of blindly accepting the statement that you will be saving money on the stuff you're currently buying, I want you to know whether you'll be spending more or less. In some cases you will find that Amway's prices, even at suggested retail, is cheaper. However, you will probably find that overall, Amway's distributor cost is much higher than name brand products even when you factor in the concentration of the products.
So....how did I do this comparison? I picked out several products from the categories listed below. The only criteria was "Can I find a comparable product at the grocery store where I always go to buy food." You should also note that I tried to purchase containers that was as close to the usage of the Amway product and then computed a per use or per ounce price. This was done to prevent the cost of multiple containers from skewing the comparison.
I did not shop around to get the best price. All of these prices come from a large regional supermarket chain. I did not drop any Amway products from the list because I found it to be cheaper. All Amway products were selected first, and THEN I went to the store. The store prices are the normal retail price and do not include any sale prices. Naturally, these prices are going to be different depending on the region of the country you are in and even what store you go to. I've had a few people claim that I have doctored this comparison with unrealistic prices (I haven't), or deliberately chosen a low-cost of living area (I've lived in the same area and shopped at the same store for over 15 years).
The main importance of this survey is that I have identified the products to compare, the sizes, and the concentration factors involved so that you can do your own survey to find out if you will be saving money or spending more money. I am not trying to tell you how much money you will save, I am showing you how much money I save by not buying consumables from the Amway Corporation. You should not assume that the prices I pay for these products are representative of nation wide prices.
For those of who haven't foregot what it's like to shop, you will know that at the vast majority of retail outlets you have several brand names to choose from with a wide variety of prices. In most cases, you don't have this choice with the consumables offered by Amway Corporation.
I don't feel that it is appropriate to post distributor cost information for the products listed so the Amway price is the suggested retail price. If you are not a distributor, you may wish to contact one and find out the distributor cost for these items. But remember, Amway is a "Multi-Level Marketing" business -- not a "Multi-Level Wholesale Buying Club."
I also show you the shipping charge that Amway corporation and distributors charge. The shipping charge is included in the cost per use. I know that many distributors will say this is unfair and that a person must include the travel time, wear & tear on the car, gas, etc into the cost of the product. It is entirely OK if you wish to come up with some large fudge factor to justify the price differences you will be seeing shortly.
That's why this price comparison has been done at a grocery store. Even Amway distributors have to go there to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, and canned goods. The amount of time needed to pick up a bar of soap along with a gallon of milk can be measured in seconds.
On the last page, I have produced a summary of the retail price of Amway products and non-Amway products. The total price of the non-Amway products have been extended to the equivalent amount needed to match the Amway product. For example, if the Amway container contains 100 uses and the non-Amway product contains 50 uses, then the amount added into the non-Amway total is twice the retail price.
The Amway produced consumables was done in Oct 97 and the non-Amway produced consumables comparison was done in the Feb 98.
Please note that I am not endorsing any of the products listed here nor am I trying to imply that these products are better than Amway's or vice-versa.