Sunday, August 07, 2005

How NOT to Achieve the American Dream

This weekend was supposed to be perfect: volleyball from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, tossing back the High Life with friends, and a movie or two with the lady. Well, volleyball was rained out on Saturday and Sunday, and though the movie and the beer went as planned, an ugly monster reared its head. Sunday at lunch, 4 of my friends and I were out to lunch and discussing, among other things, money problems and financial plans. Two friends from Lynchburg eventually brought up their own plans for the future: Quixtar. If you don't know what Quixtar is, it is an MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme brought to you by the makers of the oft-questioned and unethical Amway.

The way the program works, and I've had it explained to me by several friends suckered in by the promise of "free money," is this: you sign up for one of 3 codes: client, member, or IBO (independent business owner). A client code allows you to buy their own generic and rather underwhelming line-up of name-brand knock-offs as well as select items from partner corporations like Circuit City. You pay full-price in what is more or less a 2nd-rate Wal-mart online. A member code is different. You pay a membership fee (like Sam's Club) and get access to specials and discounts on wholesale items. Finally, the bulk of the group contains the IBOs. These folks get a wholesale extravaganza, with deep discounts on a wide variety of products and a chance to sell them to make a decent profit. They also will receive commission based on how much they buy. Another perk that Quixtar tosses out is if one gets others to sign up under them as clients, members, or IBOs, anything the underlings buy/sell will also earn their "up-line" a commission. Anyone below them that signs up additional people will also earn the original seller a commission. Now, the company also promises certain perks based on how much merchandise is moved below IBOs and by IBOs, setting top-end goals of "Emerald" and "Diamond" sellers who earn massive cash bonuses every month. Sounds like a pyramid scheme, right? They also don't enforce the law that Amway skirted around, the "rules requiring distributors to sell to at least 10 retail customers per month and to sell 70% of the products to customers." A way around the law, as well, is that the sign-up fee does not go to the person above you; rather, it goes straight to the company, who pockets the fee and sets you on your merry way, attaching your fate to the person whose code you used to sign up. The name they give themselves is "multi-level marketers," diagrammed not as a pyramid but as a web. The discrepancy there is dubious... pyramids have levels, webs don't. Every time one of the IBOs has offered to take me under their wing, they cringed at the word "pyramid." They also were immediately set on the defensive, clutching at technicalities that distinguished Quixtar from a pyramid scheme, a strategy no doubt inflicted upon them by their superiors. They spout on about how they will invest 10-15 hours a week and spend the rest of the time counting their money and enjoying life. One of my friends even spoke about how she could lie on a beach day in and day out, generating revenue all the while.

The whole cash-for-nothing deal sounds like a win-win situation, right? Quixtar is quick to point out that you could make 250,000 a year easily. While this is true, there are several facts to consider. First, the "Emerald" and "Diamond" sellers are mostly the original sellers, most likely with the company from day one. The rags-to-riches success stories that they spray across their followers at conventions are misleading: most of them didn't rise to wealth; they already had it. Those few that did make it from poverty got lucky. I challenge any member of Quixtar to find me a high-level seller that began after the year 2000 (Quixtar "revolutionized" the scene in 1999). So the goal is 250,000 dollars a year? Check Quixtar's website, and all the claims of massive salaries and no-effort comfortable living are rampant. Quixtar's IBO website especially seems like the program book for a cult (ironic, as some psychologists have described the ideal mindset of Quixtar IBOs as "cult mind control"), with such non-answers in their FAQ section that it's hard to take it all seriously unless you desperately are seeking hope. I point you to this site: Quixtar Questions ...most of the answers seem to be the work of brainwashers, playing off the numerous people who have sued Quixtar for ruining them financially saying, "the larger and higher profile a business, like Quixtar the larger target it provides for attracting lawsuits, no matter how unjustified the lawsuit is." Or see their response to "When I search Quixtar on the Internet, I find some negative stuff. What's up with that?" They demean the tons of research and whistle blowing as "some negative stuff," then go on to say that you shouldn't judge unless all the facts are on the table. They can't say that the "negative stuff" is false, because they'd be flat-out lying. Also note that the answer to the question "How much money can I really earn?" is answered non-committally... that profit is largely determined by "personal effort and the entrepreneurial nature of the business. Buried deep within a lot of legal jargon on another was the average yearly salary of an active IBO: 1400 dollars. That's your average reward for 10-15 hours a week. To put it in perspective, someone working at minimum wage for 10-15 hours a week will earn between 2600 and 4000 dollars. The average IBO is working for a wage of 1.80-2.70 dollars an hour. Also, to again put your chances in perspective: for every person that earns 250,000 dollars a year from the company, 178 people have to make absolutely no money to keep the 1,400 dollar average. I should also note that this figure, from ThisBizNow, is for active IBOs, which is 66% of the Quixtar force. These are IBOs who are ACTIVELY trying to make money with this, either through retail or by showing the plan. Not IBOs who buy for themselves, or IBOs who just signed up and waited for money. I've heard quite a bit of criticism of those building a case against Quixtar saying that the numbers are skewed due to inactive IBOs. The numbers come with a footnote that qualifies it further:
"Based on an independent survey during 2001. 'Active' means an IBO attempted to make a retail sale, or presented the Independent Business Ownership Plan, or received bonus money, or attended a company or IBO meeting in the year 2000. 'Gross Income' means the amount received from retail sales, minus the cost of goods sold, plus the amount of Performance Bonus retained. There may be significant business expenses, mostly discretionary, that may be greater in relation to income in the first year of operation."
These are not numbers made up by critics who want to see you fail; this is fact from an advocacy site, skewed towards the positive if anything. This also, of course, doesn't include the non-required expenses, namely motivational tools. I looked into this expense below:

Update: Special thanks to xanadustc for parsing his motivational tapes (the link is on the sidebar). Here is the list of cult-like thinking known as the Power Three:
Power of Unity – Only do what is taught by the system. Do not try to ‘reinvent the wheel’ or do things your own way. Me: (whereas common sense demonstrates that the system merely fills the pockets of your upline)
Power of Submission – Always be in submission to your upline.
Power of the Spoken Word – Always speak in the positive, confess in the positive, and never speak anything negative or anything that you don’t want to happen.

Probably the largest scam of the whole company is the sales of "tapes, books, and tickets," or the motivational tools of the IBO. The average active IBO makes 1400 a year. The average IBO also spends 60 dollars a month on motivational CDs, tapes, and books. In addition to this, the average IBO also spends 50 dollars a month on tickets to high-profile conventions, parties, meetings, and the like. So with the 1400 a year, minus 720 a year for motivational tools, minus 600 a year for the meetings, the average IBO is left with a yearly profit of 80 dollars. 80 dollars made from over 500 hours work? Shoemakers in Malaysia are making more than a lot of these IBOs are. The big hoax is this: all of the people who are making money with Quixtar are NOT making it from the sales of in-house products. Instead, they earn their thousands every month by duping the lower-level IBOs into buying this useless motivational crap. It's called the "tools system," and it is a wide-scale abuse of the trust that the new IBOs have placed in their up-line. I have a few quotes by some higher-ups in Quixtar that support this claim:
"Tools business is more important than Amway business" ~ Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway and Quixtar
"Quixtar said 98% of the IBOs should not know about the tools income" ~ Andy Andrews, former Diamond IBO, fired by Quixtar for revealing the tools scam
"Amway's achievement numbers have not improved with the 'systems'" ~ Rich DeVos
"You can't give up your tools income because that means bankruptcy for you" ~ Bill Abraham, attorney for Yager Diamonds, an IBO focus group (why would they need an attorney?)
Perhaps the most incriminating of all...
"The tool and function business generates enormous profits. Simply put, the money is not in the Amway business; the money is in the hype of the Amway business." ~ Kenny Stewart, Crown IBO, and Brig Hart, Double Diamond IBO.
This shows the true nature of Quixtar. All the motivational crap they sell you is worthless, and the only function it serves is to fill the coffers of the up-line. Also check the last two websites in the list at the bottom of this post. There are many, many more incriminating quotes from members of Amway and Quixtar.

I also invite you to read the story of a woman who discovered the truth behind her hardships as a dedicated 40+ hours a week IBO with Quixtar here. In addition, I would like to give an example of how woefully useless these tools are...

A friend of mine called me up one day, wanting to offer me a "wonderful business opportunity." I promptly told him that I wanted no part of any pyramid scheme. This was before I had learned the new terminology. He quickly corrected me, saying that there are no more pyramid schemes, and that this was a legitimate business offer. I warned him explicitly that anything similar to a pyramid scheme would be a waste of his time and the 2-hour drive that he had to make it. I also suggested that he describe it to me over the phone instead. In a trained-sounding voice, he replied that for me to get the full benefit of the experience, I had to speak to him in person. I figured an hour or so out of my weekend wouldn't hurt, and I could use a job, so I agreed. I forgot to ask how he had gotten my number. Today I learned from my misguided compatriots that in the motivational tools, the IBOs are urged to make lists of hundreds and even thousands of people who could possibly be converted to the scheme. People such as second-grade classmates, babysitters, distant cousins, and even the unknown drunken cell-phone entries are fair game. Anyway, he continually pestered me with calls every day leading up to our meeting, asking me if I needed clarification of anything he had told me, the clarifications more confusing than the original problems, and constantly confirming our meeting. This is all part of the tool game plan. Eventually I told him to just leave me alone until the meeting. So the day comes, and I head out to the coffee shop where we were to meet. I go a half-hour early to grab a mocha before he got there, and I saw him in the window, apparently practicing a presentation with note cards to an empty booth. He saw me and smiled sheepishly, putting away the papers and pulling out a bunch of generic-looking food items. I walked in and sat down across from him. He opens a half-empty bottle of a sports-drink labeled "XS," takes a swallow, grimaces (at the taste?), and caps it. He then pulls the note cards back out. I have to admit, the people who script these "interviews" are psychological geniuses. Several of the note cards (almost a hundred of them wired in a notebook fashion) addressed my skeptic remarks right after I uttered them. The note cards themselves annoyed me. They had a transparently condescending air, treating me like an ADHD kid flash-reading for a multiplications-table test by using flashy diagrams of nothing and bar graphs with no numbers and enigmatic labels like "IBO min effort." Most of the presentation itself was a blur, mostly hyperbole about how you get exponentially richer (think a pyramid) the more you get people to sign up. They refute the pyramid right after (defensively) by drawing a web diagram, as if that makes it all better. There were also laughable attempts to make the presentation a personal one. Think Bill Engvall's joke about buying a spa he didn't want because the salesman coaxed his name out of him. This kid asked, "Now, if you could go to one place, where would it be?" I was startled by this question, thinking, "What does this have to do with anything?" I must have said something to this effect because he, too, was startled. This answer didn't fit his scheme and he became flustered, eventually stammering out "c-c-come on... just name a place." I called his bluff. "I don't want to," I replied. He pressed me over and over and refused to continue the presentation. Finally I said, "Fine, I want to go to the Bahamas." He brightened and straightened in his seat, back on track just as his superiors had instructed. "Well, how would you like to go to the Bahamas and still be making money at home with no effort?" I said, "I guess that would be nice." He replied "Yep," and then continued on with the presentation, absolutely no segue into that idea or out. I laughed at the other paltry attempts at involving my personal life, and when he asked for some friends' names, I just made stuff up and tried not to think of anyone in particular. It made the next exercise even more fruitless, as I offered my newfound imaginary friends discount sports drinks and the promise of free money. I told him that I was not interested, and he replied "Ok, it is your choice, and I will not pressure you any further." He then tried to pressure me further. I got up from the table, wished him luck, and barely made it out the door before I burst into cynical laughter.
UPDATE: My friend, who I mentioned above, is officially out of Quixtar. He lost thousands of dollars, forcing him to transfer from a private school to a cheaper public school. I recently had him over for a party and he had some interesting things to say.
"I couldn't stand being in that group anymore... everyone was being so fake."
"When I told my upline I wanted to leave, he told me that this was my big chance to spread the word of God."
He told me that he realized he had been brainwashed, and that the plan and the methods were useless. He also took no offense when he read this because he realized how foolish the endeavor had been. There's a true success story from Quixtar.

Back to today: I relayed my doubts about the program my friends had been duped into, trying desperately to fact-find in their speech. Every question I asked prompted a pre-programmed answer that answered nothing at all. Finally I cut them off and tried to ask them about the corporation's, as well as the higher IBO's, profit margin, if everyone was promised a large cut of the sales. I managed to coax an admission from them that they didn't buy a thing from Quixtar. Because the profits are based on how much is sold by you and those below you, I inquired as to how they planned on making the expected 2000+ dollars profit every month. After an awkward silence, the two friends launched into a (seemingly practiced) tandem volley of praise for the program, and of people they know who are "retiring in 10 years." One friend also countered my criticism of the "easy money" mentality by describing how her father was locked into manual labor with no retirement plan, that her motivation was to help him live out the rest of his life comfortably. This is a wholly admirable mentality, but the crooks at Amway will prey upon this, building up one's hopes and dreams before dashing them to nothing, stealing all the "optional" investments the poor down-line put into the scam. If I had researched this earlier, I would have asked them how much motivational stuff they had been sold by these people. They claimed the motivational tools helped, and were necessary purchases for the burgeoning IBO. Quixtar, after just 3 weeks, had already brainwashed two more followers. Ultimately, the two friends refused to believe that their win-win situation was a scam. I can only hope that their lives aren't ruined like so many others were before.

If you are involved in this company, please take my advice: do NOT buy the motivational tools, do NOT invest ANY money other than your membership fee, do NOT attend any functions that you must travel a long distance for, and do NOT buy tickets to conventions or parties. And be sure to check your morals at the door: the only way you can make any kind of salary (read:: more than 2,000 a year) is to dupe your down-line into investing in your own tools system. There's no easy money in Amway, just years of frustration with an eventual position, unethical and unrewarding, as a propaganda marketer and swindler.
---http://www.merchantsofdeception.com/ (a book site from a former Quixtar corporate-type who blew the whistle on the deceptions of the tools system)
---http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4375477/ (a reporter infiltrated a Quixtar convention, interviewed several who were ruined by pursuing a career as an IBO, and cornered a higher-up about his incriminating admissions)
---http://www.amquix.info/dateline/dateline.html (quotes of higher-ups in Quixtar and Amway)
---http://www.mlmsurvivor.com/ (information on all types of multi-level marketing schemes as well as links to other fact-based sites and truth-hunters)
---http://www.amquix.info/shs_v_alticor.html (the lawsuit against Amway by two former top sellers)
---http://www.thisbiznow.com/quixtar/ibo_statistics.html (Quixtar facts on IBO earnings)

I also encourage you to read this overview of MLM law: http://www.mlmlaw.com/library/guides/Primer.htm
You can see here, using their tests, that Quixtar very nearly falls under the category of a pyramid scheme. And if you include the fact that the tools are the main source of income, it then shoves Quixtar into the realm of illegality. Also, if the third prong of the Howie test is considered, if your up-line is helping you recruit, then that up-line is in violation of an anti-pyramid provision. They try to get around this with motivational tools which, as you read above, are useless. I invite IBOs to let me know their net profit from this business, as well as how much time, money, and effort they've put into this operation. All I know is I've seen too little success and too much heartache to condone this company's actions.

Now that your eyes or open (or fused completely shut, depending on your reaction), I will take the positive support and knowledge that I've gleaned from Quixtar IBOs and give you a rough idea of how to succeed in the business. It does not mean part-time work, it does not mean "set it and forget it" downline abuse, and it means being both ethical and wary. You can read it here.

Josh

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey buddy just wanted to let you know that i am an IBO and you do not have a clue to what you are talking about. Quixtar gives an awesome opportunity for those who are willing to do the work. It's about changing lives. The BIBLE is the best success book you can read,and if you read the bible,then compare it to this business. That is this business! Changing lives! To bad you didn't catch on ,but i'll pray for you.

5:15 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Josh said...

I don't have a clue eh? A few things to consider: one, I don't think you read my follow-up about the way to successfully enter Quixtar. Two: if you wish to criticize my post, please specifically address what I got wrong and offer counter-examples to my facts, so that we know you actually have a clue of what you're talking about. Three: Also, before you accuse someone of not knowing what they're talking about, you should check their sources. I quoted (among other things): the Quixtar website, Rich DeVos (the founder of Quixtar and Amway), several Diamonds and Crown Ambassadors, and IBOs who both made it in the business and were consumed by it. You can't get much more inside than that. Did you even listen to the MP3 recordings of DeVos on the site I listed? He quite clearly denounces the Support Lines as bad for business: "You make me sick." Four, I've read the bible, and the bible doesn't have anything to do with Quixtar... not in concept, not in metaphor, nothing. And five, before you use the bible as a "source" and tell someone you'll pray for them, consider the beliefs of the person of whom you post.

11:56 AM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger Chris Andrews said...

"That is this business! Changing lives!"

Yes, for the worse in most cases. I used to think the same as you (well, not the bible part, I'm not religious) and was swept up in the whole thing.

If I knew the way to legally make money in Amway/Quixtar was to be in a retail business of household consumables I wouldn't have gone near it.

There's got to be something wrong with an opportunity where it makes the people in it so rabidly defensive!

10:17 AM, August 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Josh, you are right on about Quixtar, you would not believe the hell we went through with it, got in in 87 and finally petered out in 2003, I knew many times to quit, but was not allowed, should have moved away, I guess. Anyway, the bloodsuckers almost got everything we owned, but at least we still have our house and marriage. Check out what they did to poor Bruce Anderson, that is my legal upline at work right there, at least we only lost our Ruby volume. We learned alot, like not to trust anyone and to trust our instincts, it is truly brainwashing, shame on them for what they do to unsuppecting folk. All I can say is it is extremely hard to break away from the syste. Congratulations for being so wise as young as you are and for trying to help other people with your site, maybe it willsave some families.

2:51 PM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger mlmscam said...

Hi Josh:

I can't believe it. You are only 19 years old, and already have this much business savvy and commonsense to guide you in life? I was 42 years old when I got suckered into the big A back in 1997, before I got a hold of my senses (or they got a hold of me, depending on how you look at it), and finally quit this piece of shitscam crap of a "business".

Keep up the good work with your blog, and keep on fighting the good fight!

12:21 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Kidd said...

Wow its the same stories over and over. I have made a great income from Quixtar...enough to replace my jobs(no tool income). I was never promised something for nothing. There is a buy back rule(some people have returned items) and how can some one stop you from quiting??....does your Boss make you come to work each day?? Ok I am in my twenties.....listen up...

If you run your business in a proper manner ALL EXPENSES ARE TAX DEDUCTABLE.(Quixtar didn't teach me that line). Quixtar is not a guarantee...its an opportunity and they never withheld what they promised. I have only visited the Corperation, spend persoanl tinme with Doug and has helped many people go platinum....But hey lets keep listening to the people that didn't make it. Sites like www.thisbiznow.com is fake and forget going to the source www.quixtarfacts.com.....while we are on a roll, get all the other college students that got duped into college. Also those who dropped out because college don't work...Lets blame college for having us buy books and classes but didn't guarantee us a job.Now would you really?????

You work with your sponsor/team and they are as good as the information and heart that they have. Quixtar never sponsored you or trained you because they are a supply company powering your business.

Rich DeVos denounces anyone who extracts money from poeple in the name of the business. He even to this day compliments Dexter & Bill for their business leadership.

The Bible does not mention Quixtar...but it does provide principles by which you can build your Business...e.g being a servant, helping others and the power of unity.....Or and Jesus did not consider the beliefs of the people who killed him when he prayed for them...I'll pray for you too... don't worry this ones on me :)(nothing to do with Quixtar)

2:13 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Josh said...

Once again, my intent was misunderstood. If you would actually read my other post, it tells you how to run the business properly. I think Quixtar WAS a great idea. The people who sponsor corruptly are the ones who are bringing a bad name to the business. You made money, good for you. You chose a good support line with which to work. Others aren't so lucky. This is a warning to those who ARE promised something for nothing.

2:16 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Kidd said...

So during this whole sponsoring process you do not have a brain. Your cannot add the figures on the litrature yourself. There is nothing to help you from the peoples experience on the tape but they just talk talk to get you to buy it.(should be free like college books). You shuoldn't pay to go to any seminars as an IBO to learn(should be free like college) ....it should be free like those refesher courses for lawyers and other professional fields.These IBO's talking should not get paid like Robert Kiyosaki and John Maxwell(They talk for free every chance they get....they give free cds too)

You shouldn't let people 'Brainwash you' by telling you that you can do it and be better in life.

This is the best scam since they duped circuit city, barnes and nobles into this business model....also because the CEO's of this company have no brains either.

Negative stuff is always true, never opinions... but Quixtar pay the IBOs & Company to say the good stuff.

And any IBO's cited as not doing business ethically reflects how all of us conduct business because after all YOU CANNOT MAKE MONEY LEGALLY AND ETHICALLY with quixtar.

Now is this better for your Blogging enjoyment....Would all the readers believe this more than my first blogg....well we all have chioce don't we????

I wish that woman who worked 40hrs a week was on my team....I got people that made it with far far less hrs than that so it must vary and matter as to what exactly was done in that time. Activity is not always Productivity.

The funny thing is that IBO's in these countries in Asia are breaking more pins than the U.S.

Internet retailer has Quixtar as the #1 online health & Beauty site...but I purposely left that out because this fact will not fit in to my sarcastic message above.....but you understand.

2:50 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Josh said...

The point is people like my friends, those without business experience, are completely duped into believing this hype. Don't argue that the business is 100% effective. It's nowhere near. My friends are told, and they believe this, that by listening to these tapes and reading these books they will gain the knowledge that some people spend 7 years in college pursuing. The corrupt support lines trick people into subscribing to a faulty business plan. QUIXTAR IS LEGITIMATE. WWDB, BWW, and the others ARE NOT. What do you tell the people who got involved with these groups and lost everything? "Sorry, it just wasn't your lucky day"? The business leaders act like they are mentors, allowing the lower levels to believe false claims and myths. The problem is most people are not opening stores like Barnes and Noble, Circuit City, and the like. Instead, they are buying from themselves and teaching others to do the same. Instead of criticizing me for pointing this out, why not address this problem and teach others how to SUCCESSFULLY enter Quixtar? I tried to do this, and if you want to add something, please do so. But I will not rescend my post just because you happened to make money the correct way and choose to ignore the many, many others who are losing money to corruption.

2:58 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Kidd said...

Ok Josh just read your your last comments......I'll count my blessings.

I want people to understand that you can't treat this like a hobby and expect the big bucks.

I have business in other countries too and realize that everyone wants better black, white ,chinese etc.

Quixtar provides such an opportunity and I haven't seen anything that comes close to this day.

My sponsor quit...but I thank God for him other wise I would have been in my cubicle right now. After reading everything on the internet...

I created my own experiences by ordering and the products came. I did points and the p.v check came. I listen tape and applied the knowlege gained. I went Q12 and got my $15,000/Trips. I built a team and many to my knowlege are satisfied.

I have professors, traditional business owners, doctors,law officers, students amoung many others on my team. Some people choose to go the JOB route but there are facts and satistics on that too....not mention personal testimonies.

You gotta work smart not hard.....Have a great day guys....The prays Josh is for simply your well being ...God Bless!

3:08 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger mlmscam said...

Kidd:

Congratulations on being successful with quixtar. I hope that you are focusing on retailing products to outside end consumers (at least 70% of your volume). Otherwise you are running an illegal pyramid scheme.

And that isn't "says me" it's "says the FTC".

3:26 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Josh said...

I didn't wish to turn this into a debate about the validity of Quixtar. I am genuinely glad you made it in this business. I am merely concerned about my friends and others like them who are destined for failure. I do appreciate your experienced input on your plans for success. The point I want to stress, extremely, is that this is not easy money, and you have to do a lot more than just spend money to make a career from this. Depending on who you go to, some tapes and seminars will be worthless. Others will be helpful and informative. None of them, however, are valid replacements for a good Business or BIT degree.

Thank you for your concern and your well-wishing.

5:07 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Dan Jameson said...

I would just like to thank kidd for writing his side of the story, and I would just like to add that I agree with him and Josh in the fact that its not get rich quick or easy money. You have to put some work in. But It has already proven its worth to me. I buy everything I need through Quixtar, and I have set up just a handful of people as IBO's and I get a check for about $100 a month. Plus my "upline" have become great friends of mine. So its already been a worthwhile experience.
Thank YOu

11:01 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Ray said...

Josh has done his homework and made a A+
After 16 years of A/Q I can tell you that he see's the light.

12:06 AM, August 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some guy came into where I work and started talking with me. After some initial chitchat, he starts mentioning his "business within a business" and how he helps people make "some extra money." When I heard that I thought, who in this world helps other people make money? If there is money to be made in this world, each person will grab all he can. Well, after vaguely describing what he does and asking what we do, he somehow manages to getting around to asking for my phone number to "talk." I was shocked. I said, "Uh...How about my email address." He took it and sent me a link to his business. The business overview said nothing, so I went to the site address and eventually found out what Quixtar and IBO's, and all the other codenames (Diamonds, etc) meant and how the web worked. Thank you and your article. I never had any intention to contact this guy, but now having read about how Amway and Quixtar control, manipulate and destroy people's lives, I can only feel sympathy for this man who came into my workplace. Terrific article. Wonderful read. Ultra informative.

2:31 AM, August 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh:
I was also approached by a respected coworker about a "business opportunity". I tried to ask him specifics about what the business entailed, but he simply eluded me by saying that it was a business like amazon.com but not quite the same. When I told him that that market seemed pretty saturated, he simply said I'd have to see a presentation to understand. To make a long story short, after two meetings with my coworker's upline, my wife and I were set on becoming IBOs. Only after doing some research on my own and by reading blogs such as this and quixtar blog (http://www.webraw.com/quixtar) was I able to come to my senses - sometimes I can be a little thick headed. The upline specifically told us not to go on the internet to read about quixtar unless it was on the official Quixtar site - which I also found extremely odd. Quixtar's site by the way is practically the same as the presentation - no answers.
Looking back I am seriously annoyed with the way the presentation portrayed the business. They definitely manipulate you by playing on your hopes and dreams for the future and making your present situation look hopless. It even had me believing that I was some kind of sucker for buying a car on a 5 year loan, or for having a steady job with linear income. When I finally came to my senses I realized that I'd rather be broke than sacrifice my integrity by trying to get people to sign on with this scam. I just hope that my coworker wakes up and realizes the same thing instead of going after the carrot being wagged in his face.
Mad props to Josh for this well written article and for his insight at such a young age.
Kidd: Please proof read your posts. If you're that "gung ho" about quixtar than you may want to try and present yourself as someone who can write above the third grade level - or maybe complete sentences and proper punctuation came in the first grade. It's been so long I can't remember...

1:19 PM, August 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's funny that someone made the comment about us IBO's not wanting people to randomly go onto any website looking for info about quixtar. the reason being is because people with nothing better to do like to bash people that have a dream and are trying to do something better with their lives. and any loser can write what they want about any company...just look at all the law suits against walmart. are you never gonna shop there again because some people said some negative things about it?? plus quixtar is just a website, which by itself won't make you any money. it's the business team that one is linked up to which will cause the growth. and just like the NFL, there are good teams and there are championship teams. so i'm sorry to all of those that may not have been on the winning team.

9:25 PM, September 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am almost ashamed to admit that I got suckered by the Q cult. I realized it was a poor dicision right after I signed on. The couple that scammed us were like those robor kids in the its a small world ride. Smiling, positive, speaking in a calm, soothing, hypnotic voice, lots of creepy eye contact, yet at the same time, staring off into space. I can't use the products. I was led to believe that Q's products were the same products that I normally buy at my local "Evil Mart", instead its all knockoffs. (I love walmart. Real people work there) I use the brands that I use because I am happy with them, or they don't cause an allergic reaction for my kids or myself. Two days later, I finished reading the first book (that I never agreed to purchasing, but they still debited my credit card for anyway sending my bank account into negative figures Also debited were cases of energy drink, meal replacement bars and vitamins, all of which taste horrible. All of which were not requested by me. Is that a felony, or a misdemenor?) and I realized that they try to brainwash people with propaganda (hence our spacey upline.)
I'm a member of a cult now? I feel like one. I want out, but I can't find out how to get out. What's more, When I mentioned backing out to my upline, they got incredibly defensive and I actually started to feel threatened. If you know how to get out let me know. I've lost over a grand, and precious time I could have spent more productively (although I now consider scratching my ass more productive than Quixtar.) I will never make money the quixter way because unlike some people I HAVE A CONSCIENCE!

5:21 AM, September 05, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was suckered in 10 years ago by some good friends. This scam preys upon people that do not have a lot of money, which I was one of them 10 years ago. I remember foregoing meals in order to go to events, tapes, and books. I remember attending a leadership function, I spent my yearly bonus on it (which wasn't that much). Everyone said this will help you build the business 6 months faster if you attend. I have never been so bored in my life. I didn't learn a thing about business building. I learned two things Amway feeds off of personal greed and dream building is more greed building then anything.

10-15 hours a week to build a profitable business is a complete lie. If we worked 7 days a week that would come out to about 2 hours a night. I remember spending an additional 30 hours a week trying to build this thing. All it amounted to was debt and a lack of food in my house. The truth is an additional 20-40 hours per week. You need to factor in accountability meetings, STP meetings, biweekly conferences, quarterly conferences, and preying upon the innocent in established retail locations (stealing business from legitmate stores). I would come home from my JOB and immediately stay out until midnight every night.

Don't get me started on the whole religion aspect. What does this have to do with business? Greed and Gluttoney? Well that is all I ever saw at the meetings. Maybe the diamonds felt guilty and had to repent ever Sunday for stealing money from hard working individuals.

12:43 PM, October 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think the business model it-self is a bad thing. But thier is a few tips I would give to future IBO's 1) Do not let it bring division between you and your family 2) Stay connected to a group of friends who have nothing to do with the business, church,family, etc and when you are with them don't talk about the business. 3) If you get to the point where you start borrowing money to do your points, don't do it back away and get your finances straight. 4) Keep the business about helping others. If you sponsor some one and help them make some money great! But don't force people to Do points and sell thing just so you can make more money. I saw these things happening and had to step back and get some things straight. To end the business is legal or the IRS would not let me file my taxes, but it is not for every body.

7:52 PM, April 24, 2006  

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