Sunday, April 09, 2006

Get Your Overpriced Lotions Potions and Diet Cookies Here!

Tape: The Solution for Your Future

Speakers: Joe Markiewicz

Stock Number: JM25

Recording Type: This is the tape that was included in the info packs from 2002 to 2004 or 2005. Since Markiewicz is on the Winters team, they are no longer in BWW since they formed their own Motivational Organization, but never-the-less, this is most likely one of the more widely distributed tape following closely being Private Franchising in a Dot Com World (Greg Duncan) and Power Wave (Bill Hawkins).

This is one of my longer posts, but I feel it is worth the read. I will be putting it on the sidebar under ‘site resources’.

Brief Review:

Since this tape was made to be distributed with the information packs given out to BWW prospects, it follows a clear format designed to make Quixtar out to be the best business opportunity out there. The tape is broken down into 10 tracks so that will be the format of this review. Analysis will follow each section.

Reality Check

The industrial revolution changed how commerce operated, and now, the internet is causing yet another change.

Here, we will learn about a business model “designed specifically for the internet.

This is a business that will allow you to achieve your dreams and goals.

This opportunity will allow you to take part in the internet explosion by owning a web based business.

Joe says that he chose to be an engineer “for the rest of my life” just because that is what his dad did.

I didn’t know it back then that I was setting a course for the rest of his life based upon how I was programmed to think about success and my career.

He says that everyone should ask the question, “Where will I be in five…ten…twenty years.

A co-worker asked, “Joe, do you every look for ways to make extra money?

Joe’s co-worker took about 20 minutes that night “mapping out a business strategy of a way that I could own a business based out of my own home.

Joe liked that he did not have to have a large investment, land, employees, etc.

Since it does not take much to get started, it challenged his concept of what it takes to be successful in society.

Not his boss nor college professors knew what Forbes magazine called, “A foundation for a new industrial order.

Analysis

First, I will not argue that the internet is a great new addition to commerce. I love many aspects because one online store that I buy from has a wish list and interest list, when an item goes on sale, I get an email with a link. I have ordered the item in less then two minutes. For many items, by spending a short period of time, I can find things that I would like to buy and have them shipped to my house or work. I imagine that I am not the only one who likes this convenience. One the other hand, I do not believe that internet sales will totally ‘eat up’ retail establishments because it is a lot easy to buy many things at the local store.

Now, let us tackle the statement, “Here, we will learn about a business model ‘designed specifically for the internet.’ Is this model designed specifically for the internet? No, it is the same Amway model which the same IBO’s (formerly distributors) get the product online instead of through a catalog (though the catalog is still available for those desiring it). The statement that Joe makes is an attempt to disconnect Quixtar from the Amway roots and make it sound like a brand new thing. It simply is not.

Will it enable you to achieve your goals? I will paste in a point from a previous post and let you be the judge of that:

To be fair, I will define ‘successful’ as a person who has reached the level of Q-12 Platinum. We must be careful even here, because a person can be a poorly structured Platinum and make a lot less than the typical, but we will grant that ALL Platinums are proper. Now, according to the Quixtar affiliate site, ThisBizNow, only 0.244% of people make the Q-12 Platinum level. So, out of 2000 people, 5 will become successful. Note that the average income is $115 per month.

Next, do you really own your own business? Once again, NO! You have become a repeat customer of a business. You are regulated by a series of rules (read them here [PDF]), you can be removed from the system (i.e. FIRED), there are limits to where you can sell, and how to promote. You can not use mass media advertisements, and you can not send out blanket messages, etc, etc, etc.

Joe does seem to knock down jobs and employment, as well as education. If you spend a little bit of time around this business, you will find that is very common. Does education pay? Yes. According to some statistics, the greater your education, the greater your pay. Compare the average of a B.S. in 1999 of $52,200 to the average Quixtar IBO pay of $1,380 and ask which is the better course?

Next, Joe says that it does not take a large investment. True reports demonstrate that the majority of people lose a lot of money in Quixtar because of involvement in an MO. Although an exact average system cost (tapes, books, seminars, etc) can not be known, over $3,000 a year for a single person is pretty close. Two high level (not BWW to the best of my knowledge) IBO’s recently reported their system expenses to Scott Larsen. The first did not specific which organization they were in, the second was AllianceNet Solutions.

Unfulfilled Potential

Joe was impressed with the ethics and success of the people he met.

There were people from all backgrounds.

Joe was moving up in his job, but still had the feeling that something just was not right, particularly when he was going to work in the morning and evening, and on Sunday nights.

He says that the feeling is that he was living an average life with so much unfulfilled potential. Something was wasting away.

I started asking myself, ‘what if this did work? What if the effort from this business produces more results than the effort that I put in working for somebody else?

Analysis

The ethics and morals of the people is nothing to write home about. Scott Larsen has a list called the Amway/Quixtar Hall of Shame where he has documented some of the mishaps of these people. Now, we can not expect these people to be perfect, but there appears to be more of a fakery than honest people with slip-ups. I have documented clear examples from at least one person who is downline from Joe. Doug Weir has lied to get people to sign up, produced a video where he lies about being a ‘professional driver on a closed course’ but the camera slips and you see Doug driving down the highway in excess of 135MPH. There are also conflicting stories about getting paid to speak, which I document here. Also, Larry Winters, on the tape “The Ball is In your Court” (not yet analyzed) Larry promotes violating Quixtar’s rules by edifying a 15 year old person who is an IBO (You must be 16 to register and 18 to recruit other IBO’s according to page D-2 in the compendium under ‘Minimum Age Requirements’)

Although there are people from all backgrounds, it is clear from many testimonies that many backgrounds are frowned upon. I personally witnessed one such example in the Sunday morning worship service Bill Britt declared more than once, “Are there any Democrats in here? BURN IN HELL!!”

As far as his last point goes, there is nothing wrong with what he calls an ‘average’ life. A life that is well lived need not be large and flashy. It need not be full of wealth, but it should be full of faith and full of love for all others. After all, God did command us to work for our needs, not to play all day long. It can be argued that the Diamonds have earned their wages, but I would ask at what cost? The facts are quite clear that for one thriving BWW diamond, there are thousands of IBO’s under them going bankrupt to support that Diamond and pushing money from other endeavors into a false dream of success in Quixtar.

The Intangables

Joe says that he will not talk about the many material things the business has supplied, but he will talk about the intangibles.

Time, quality time, with his family.

Time and income to travel to places they could not travel to before.

The ability to give more to worthy causes.

To impart the qualities and principles in their kids.

He says that since the business has provided this for him, you should thank the people who shared the opportunity with you.

I urge you to evaluate this seriously; just like you would any other business decision. Now, forget about any perceived hype here. Simply from a business perspective, this is the best business opportunity in the country today.

Joe says that you can compare ANY factor and you will come to the conclusion that this is simply the best business out there.

Analysis

His intangibles at the beginning of this are noble things, though they seem to lack the teaching of responsibility…or do they? According to some site visitors of Scott Larsen’s page, the ‘time together’ and ‘freedom’ were never a way of life as children of an Amway business. Further, a friend of mine (who is now married) became an ‘Ama-kid’ in her early teens, but the family is still struggling. More recently, a Quixtar critic talks about his own experiences, “I told my upline I owed no one an explanation other then my kids who were neglected during this time in our life. He writes further, “With all of this going on I slip into a depression. I am a wreck, I can’t eat much, I cry when I do the finances, and I can’t even spend time with my kids. On top of all of this my wife is really putting on the pressure to get out and get recruits. It looks that Joe is the anomaly of what might happen if you start a Quixtar business. In the end, the proper and balanced thing to do is to love your children, you are related to them, but now you need to be affectionate, their protector, a builder of their minds, bodies, and souls, and provide their needs and a few wants. Statistics show that a loved child with nothing is far better a person than a wealthy child (under any circumstances).

Joe urges you to examine this business like you would every other. That is good, but please, examine it with ALL the facts, not just the one side that the IBO will give you. I am convinced that point for point, this is among the worst businesses in the world. Here is a partial list of why:

  • Cost of MLM products are generally much more expensive than that of competing products [this appears to be to pay all the people in between].
  • The money is in growth, so more emphasis is generally placed on recruitment over customer sales.
  • The markup on products for sale is generally too small to make a significant [i.e. living wage] profit.
  • The time required to build and maintain a network far exceeds the reward for doing so [especially since the MLM I know of with the highest retention rate is Reliv @ a little over 50%].
  • If you ever do succeed in turning a significant profit, it is always for having a large network of people who are making little if any money at all
  • Statistically, 99.9% of people lose money in MLM

A Unique Digital Destination

The BWW team uses Quixtar to show people how to access the good they would otherwise buy.

Are they solid? Quixtar had reported 40 million hits per day “most of that is because of word of mouth.

Quixtar will be the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way for anyone to tap into this exploding internet market.

By simply sharing what you know of the savings, and the convenience available to hundreds of well know manufacturers and online retailers at Quixtar.com that result in purchases, you can build a substantial online business.

Joe explains that this is more than an online mall, but rather it is about choices: a great shopping experience or a path to reach your financial goals.

Analysis

Quixtar did not grow so fast due to word of mouth, it grew so fast because all the Amway distributors moved over to Quixtar. Are there that many Amway people really? Yes, but to quote Dave Severn on ‘Passion’, “If a million people do a stupid thing, it’s still a stupid thing!

Next, it is interesting that Joe only mentioned savings and convenience in his statement, but to run a proper business, you have to have sales, and frankly, for it to be a good business, your sales should vastly out number your personal use. That is to say, if you own a restaurant, most of your sales should be to customers, not to yourself. Robert Fitzpatrick of Pyramid Scheme Alert did a comprehensive analysis of MLM’s (PDF), including Amway, and found that very few people ever make a sale.

How is the shopping experience? Not bad in my opinion. I never had a problem except for the high prices of the products.

A Better Way

Joe claims that the prices are very competitively priced, particularly at the ‘Hot Buys’ section.

The site is set up as Exclusives, Store for More, Partner Stores, and Hot Buys.

The best place to buy is the Exclusives section which you get the highest PV/BV for. They are also repeat sales.

You will get the benefit of your shopping instead of some big chain.

“What we really do is promote a better way of accessing thousands of products and services.

Analysis

The prices are not very competitively priced at all, unless you live in downtown Manhattan or a tourist trap. Now, the Hot Buys section can be cheap, but usually consists of re-furbished items, and poor quality garbage. The Store-For-More (department store) are the same things you can get at any other retail store, except they are much higher in price, and you have to pay shipping and handling on top. The partner stores are almost exactly like going directly to the store online itself, except a few differences, for example, Barnes & Noble, you can not use your 10% membership discount with the Quixtar promotion.

To look for a moment at the exclusives, however, here are a few items of interest (All prices IBO): 6.75 oz. toothpaste: $4.10; 100 uses mouthwash: $6.75; 10 oz. 2-in1 shampoo/conditioner: $7.80; 75-150 loads laundry: $28.10; 16 oz. hand soap: $17; 6-150 g bars of soap: $10.50; 6-15 oz. boxes of General Mills Cheerios: $21.16; 24 packs microwave popcorn: $16.20. Once you have your products, you need to get them shipped. Calculate your shipping fees at the Quixtar Delivery Options Page.

He says that you will get the benefit of your shopping instead of some big chain, but the realty is that big chain upline will be receiving the benefit of your shopping. If you spend $300 on what might otherwise only cost you $200, you will get $7.50 back on your purchase. That is not quite supporting you.

Redirect your Buying Power

To build a business with Quixtar, you simply need to redirect your buying power.

Joe says that it is a myth that many people have that you can save your way to financial independence, but that is not right. He gives an example. When someone buys a hundred dollar item at a 40% discount, they don’t save $40, they spend $60. When they take $60 from their net worth to buy a consumable, they not only lose the $60, they lose the ability to invest that $60 and to grow more money over time.

He says that shopping clubs (Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.) are very appealing, but they never one time give a rebate for items you purchase.

He says that in BWW, they teach you to become the store, redirect your buying power, and buy products and services right out of your store. By referring other people to your store, you will get financial rewards, i.e. an asset.

Analysis

Here we have the essence of Quixtar. It is not customers that many IBO’s are after (in fact, a Dave Severn tape ‘Width, Depth, Momentum’ taught to CAP your clients and members to 10-20 people MAX), it is IBO’s that give you profit. In effect, it is a whole group of people that are simply buying at ‘wholesale’ and you get money in the form of rebates as the team grows. To actually get that rebate from your Downline Differential (the portion of your rebate coming from your downline), you have to have 50 M/C PV or 10 customers or $100 in sales (See rule 4.22 in the Rules Compendium [PDF]), but many IBO’s have found a loop-hole in this system of either buying samples for themselves by themselves, or simply calling mom. In reality, if you have a ‘business’, you had better have customers. At this point, it might be worth reading the analysis of A Unique Digital Destination again from above.

Now, for Joe’s example, let me expand on it. First, if you NEED that $100 dollar item, buying it at $60 IS saving $40, but buying it from your ‘own business’ for $120+ shipping and then getting $3 back is NOT a smart thing to do, as you have effectively LOST over $17 not counting the sale boosting your loss to $57! For example, I once paid $1.65 for 12 oz. of toothpaste because I knew I would need it. If I instead bought the 6.75 oz. for $4.10, then got back $0.95 (assuming 25%), I paid 3 times more for toothpaste than I needed to.

Every wise and prudent person who has achieved a level of financial success has learned that you need to save more than you spend. That being said, you need to get disciplined about what is a NEED verses what is a WANT and you need to live prudently. That is biblical, but BWW teaches to get more and more to fill your hearts desires which actually detract from the power and devotion to God.

A New Business Model

You make money by collecting the points which are attached to the products.

You get a bonus check based on the volume of products sold through your IBO number in a given month.

Clients are casual shoppers that you get the difference between wholesale and retail as well as the points. Members pay an annual fee to shop at the wholesale price, you get the points, and an IBO gets the points and rebate money back based on his sales (his rebate comes out of your rebate.)

Quixtar tracks all volume on the business management center on the Quixtar website.

He makes the comment, “I am not beating someone up by trying to sell them some overpriced lotion, potion, diet cookie, or some other exotic product line out of my garage.

Analysis

Since I have never covered any detail of the Quixtar plan, I guess I can do a very brief explanation for those of you who have recently been contacted and are looking for information. The complete details can be read for free in the Rules Compendium [see above for download]. First, you need to learn the definitions:

PV – Point Volume: The points associated with a product used to determine your percent rebate.

BV – Bonus Volume: The points that would roughly correspond to the cost of product. For the Exclusive line, it is often over the IBO cost of the product, for Store-For-More is it significantly less.

Performance Bonus – The bonus rebate awarded. It is calculated as 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 23, 25 % of the BV. The percent is determined by the PV at 100, 300, 600, 1000, 1500, 2500, 4000, 6000, and 7500.

Downline Differential – The portion of your performance bonus that is paid from your downline volume.

Now, if you get 4000 PV for example, and have 6 legs at 600, and assuming a 1:2.50 PV:BV ratio, your performance bonus from your personal PV is $210. Your total rebate is $2100. The downline differential is $1890. Now, the downline performance bonus comes from your downline differential. Each downline receives $135, so $810 comes out, so your total performance bonus is $1290. Now, that is not typical. It is more typical to have one large leg, and perhaps, a small leg or two. The usual would be a 4000 PV with a leg at 3000 PV, and a for example, 2 300PV legs. In that your check drops to $660. Now, keep in mind that if that leg goes over 7500 PV and you do not have 2500PV side volume (volume in another leg), you lose all that volume to the next upline who DOES have 2500PV. If you are being prospected, insist to see the structure of your sponsoring IBO AND his upline Platinum, chances are, however, they will not show you.

Now, for Joe’s final statement, here are examples of what he is trying to sell:

Overpriced Lotion3.4 oz. of Tolsom hand lotion - $34.80

Potion90 tablets Carb Blocker 2 - $42.00

Diet Cookie12 Protein Cookies - $23.99

Exotic Product LineNAO (whatever THAT is?)

And we all know that Amway/Quixtar products DO line the garage and basement shelves…need I say more…

Spectator or Player?

The internet is exploding, many people are going to shop online, are you participating in making money through YOUR store?

It is simple, but not necessarily easy.

The infrastructure is already in place and built.

Analysis

Although there is a large market for internet sales, Quixtar does not appear to be the place to get them all. We have already detailed that it is not your own business, you are not in control, and statistically, it does not work except for a very few and those few appear to get rich off of the motivational materials sold by the upper level IBO’s.

A Winning Team

Here, Joe starts to talk about the importance of the educational system.

Britt World Wide (BWW) is there to help the Independent Business Owners to achieve the highest level of success possible.

BWW has a 30 year track record of helping others to achieve success in their own business.

BWW provides tapes, CD’s, literature, conferences, multimedia, business homepages, and a communication system.

Analysis

Under the analysis for ‘Reality Check’, I included in purple a statement of the level of success in the Quixtar business. In light of that, I have to ask on what basis do they make the claim that they have 30+ years of experience in helping others achieve successful businesses. If BWW were a consulting firm to help businesses, their track record would have left them bankrupt many years ago. Remember that in the whole of Quixtar, only 1 in 400 ever make it to a level where they make less than the nation (USA) average for a B.S. degree. That is not a good record.

Now, I have detailed the analysis of this system everywhere on this site, but I would like to draw your attention to the following places for more research:

Types of BWW Functions

Types of BWW Recordings

Types of BWW Tools

The Key Ingredient

Joe asks if you are satisfied with where your life is going to be in five, ten, and twenty years.

His final appeal is to take time to get more information about this business.

Analysis

I agree with Joe’s final appeal to get more information. I would like you to get a whole series of questions together and ask (politely) the people showing you this business. Ask such things like:

How much money do you currently make after all business expenses are cleared?

What is the structure of your business?

Ask to see their profit and loss statements.

Now, listen to any tapes they give you, read the information they give you.

Next, visit the following websites and ask the people showing you this business to sit down with you, after all, if it really is a good business, there will be good and logical explanations for all the clearly stated objections:

Check out the Index for this website.

Quixtar Blog

Amway / Quixtar Business Analysis Page

Quixtar Inside Out

Freedom of Mind Amway Motivational Organization Page

Merchants of Deception

Pyramid Scheme Alert

MLM-The Truth

Quixtar Demons

God of the Bible vs God of MLM

FTC page on MLM businesses

And since Greg Duncan (Private Franchising in a Dot Com World) always likes to tell you not listen to what half cocked negative people on the internet have to say, but listen to respected business journals have to say, here are the articles about Quixtar by Forbes:

Amway.com – Basically tells us that Quixtar is Amway on the internet. The article details that Quixtar did grow fast, but that was due to the shift to Quixtar from Amway. The article warns at the end about getting involved in businesses such as Amway and Quixtar.

One of the ‘Must Read Tech stories points to Quixtar in the Google-bombing stunt that it tried to pull to bury ‘negative’ information in the internet. The article it points to is from Annenburg Online Journalism Review.

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