Friday, July 11, 2008
Dirty Little Secrets of Their Little Quixtar Cult
Have you ever had an invite from a friend, associate, or a stranger that left you in the lurch wondering just what the invite was all about? Maybe, just out of the blue, an old acquaintance that you have not seen since high school calls you up and invites you to see something that is so important that you absolutely must do it! Your old friend is very vague about just what this "something" is. Even if you become suspicious and ask if it is "Amway?" Your friend might respond and say something like this: "I can't really talk about it over the phone; you will just have to see this for yourself." Your curiosity has been piqued. You most likely have just been exposed to the "curiosity invite", one of the selling tactics of a multi-level marketer. Amway, one of these MLM companies has been operating under the name of Quixtar in the United States since 1999, but do not let the name change to Amway Global fool you, it is still basically the same old Amway operating nearly the same way it has for almost fifty years.
Many people may have noticed the series of commercials being run by Quixtar announcing their name change to Amway Global. They claim to be the number #1 on line retailer of health and beauty products in the US, although most of their sales are to their own distributors who by percentage make very few retail sales to outside customers which has been reported to be less than 5%. (NOW YOU REALLY KNOW!) Their commercials also seek to rehabilitate the Amway name which had fallen into ill repute by fraud and pyramid scheme allegations of the past. They display the two product lines which they are most proud of Nutrilite Health Products and Artistry Cosmetics. During the transition period the company will operate under both names with the Quixtar name to be eventually phased out all together in favor of the new Amway Global.
Quixtar distributors are called "Independent Business Owners" or IBOs for convenience. These IBOs always are part of a system that includes an "up-line" and a "down-line". These IBOs receive a distributor discounts on the products they buy whether they are sold or consumed by the distributor. The idea is that any product that they retail at full price provides them with a profit and they are also encouraged to use the products themselves. Nothing unusable about this. Buy at a discount and sell for full retail is a universally accepted method of making a little extra money in the business, but as I will describe realizing a profit in this business can be very difficult to achieve. The remainder of this article will describe what can be described as their "little Quixtar cult" and their "dirty little secrets".
Much of what I am going to tell you about "the Business Cult" comes from Tex, a disgruntled Quixtar distributor himself and a modern age cyber-space David who takes on the Amway tool kingpin Goliath by revealing how the kingpins operate their tool scam business. These kingpins run a monopoly business selling motivational training materials to include seminar and rally tickets, and this is commonly called the "tool and function" business. Calling these top distributors tool kingpins is mild compared to the "lying, cowardly kingpins" that Tex calls them during his on-line battle to have these corrupt people thrown out of the business he believes could be a restored to what the founding fathers intended. I will now describe how these kingpin sellers of tools operate and the harm they do to distributors like Tex who are struggling to make an enthusiastic go of the business.
The tool kingpins head up what is commonly known as the "motivational organizations" which have an entire "down-line" of IBO distributors. In this down-line there are any number of supposedly successful IBOs holding titles like "diamond, emerald, and platinum" while the tool kingpins hold an exalted title like "Crown" or "Executive-Crown" and so forth. A similar system exists in many other multi-level marketing companies, which I advise readers to be wary of also.
In Quixtar/Amway these kingpin's trappings of wealth serves as the "bait" for starry eyed distributors who believe they can emulate their success and also become wealthy in the business. Visions of money, palatial estates, and luxury automobiles become possible in the success dream that these kingpin distributors inspire in new recruits who want to become like the successful kingpin distributors they see up on stage at quarterly rallies. These kingpins draw Tex's ire because of the harm they do to down-line distributors out of greed to sell their inventory of motivational materials with little regard that distributors turn a profit.
Tex told me about their "Dirty Little Secret". New distributors are led to believe that success in Quixtar comes from the commissions paid by Quixtar for product purchases made by a distributors and the down-line recruits. The dirty little secret is that these kingpin distributors derive most of their wealth from the multi-million dollar tool and function business, not from Amway/Quixtar commissions or bonuses.
Distributors in the Quixtar business spend most of their time trying to recruit new distributors into the business where an annoying invite to see their plan is routine procedure. They are urged on by the teachings of their training materials and their up-line "mentors". IBOs strive to build a down-line business and new recruits are encouraged to buy the tools and function tickets described as the key to becoming a Quixtar success story. This makes the tool kingpins very happy because they profit handsomely. In times past, distributors were told that the tools were sold at or near cost and that success in the business came from Quixtar not from tool sales. The 2004 Dateline expose on Quixtar corruption pulled their dirty rug out from under the Genie and exposed the dirty little secret of their little Quixtar cult. Although Amway/Quixtar has denied these allegations ever since, the truth has been out in the open and Tex believes that he and his fellow IBOs have been and are continuing to be victimized by the "lying, cowardly kingpins".
Tex says the tool kingpins operate a bait and switch operation where their tool sales benefit by high distributor turn over that the kingpins tool system helps bring about. New distributors will buy tools while veteran distributors need not as many and therefore become less profitable in the eyes of the kingpins. New recruits come into the business wanting to achieve some level of success, and then get driven like cattle into the tool kingpin's "money making machine" and find themselves in a losing catch 22 situation. Like "Simple Simons" they will buy the tool kingpin's wares and attend the seminars and rallies until they eventually become discouraged by high loss, unfulfilled expectations, disillusionment with the dream and eventually quit. Many of these ex-distributors put their accumulated books, cds, videos, and magazines up for sale on ebay hoping to at least get pennies back on the dollar. Many times these materials receive no bids, go unsold and remain relatively worthless! The up-line distributor in anguish must now recruit another enthusiastic face to replace the distributor that quit. Remember, his goal is to retain new distributors who will help him become profitable by buying products. An IBO in search of a new distributor is like a man trying to run up a down escalator: two steps up and one step down; one step up and two steps down! His continued efforts hardly benefits him at all while at the same time it produces a pot of gold for the tool kingpin leprechaun.
There are three distinct groups of people in the Amway/Quixtar business, the company owners, the tool kingpins, and the body of every day distributors like Tex. The first two groups benefit and prosper from the business while the last group of distributors do all the recruiting, buy nearly all the products, and also buy all the training materials to include seminar and rally tickets. This group has less time to spend with their family and many suffer social stigma which can include disappointed family members and the alienation of friends. Children are many times handed off to sitters for care so both parents can work the business together, a common Quixtar strategy. Amafights over the business are common. Distributors many times are asked to make incredible sacrifices to stay in the business, which because of its dependence on mind numbing propaganda, up line oversight, and instructions to ignore the negatives, becomes what I describe as "THE BUSINESS CULT".
Tex urges IBOs to take a stance and contact the Federal Trade Commission and make a complaint. He also urges people to write their state and federal representatives about the tool kingpin corruption. Amway founder, Rich Devos, some years ago condemned the very same corruption that is STILL alive and well in Amway today. Tex, the little David, wants the current Pharaoh at Amway to take the Goliath tool kingpins off of the battle field. Failure to vanquish the tool kingpins will force Tex to call for Amway to be shut down as a pyramid scheme and thereby put an end to the pernicious business cult. Most importantly, if you are presented with a Amway business opportunity, please use your own good common sense and do the right thing. Save yourself some aggravation and avoid the corrupt kingpin sellers of deceit!
Amway Global Cult Intervention serves to provide help and solace to those harmed by Amway/Quixtar and as a beacon in the dark for people lost in the grasp of their little Quixtar cult.