Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watch out for Amway/Quixtar

I was recently approached in a parking lot by a fresh off the boat Indian guy looking for the campus bookstore. I pointed him in the right direction and began walking away. As I did, I heard the question "Are you from India?". I get this a lot, and I politely answered that no, I am not, but my parents are from Bangladesh, the country next door. He starts asking me where I'm from, what I do, etc., and he exchanges the same information with me. He tells me that he works in IT, but that he also has his own business on the side in which he has a concept similar to amazon.com, in which he is partnered with people like Dell and IBM to help increase their market share. I think "cool, this guy might have connections, it never hurts to keep contacts." I'm thinking that because he is a kind of start up, he might need a coder to manage this new amazon.com type of website. How wrong I was.

He asked for my phone number, and since I thought he'd be a good connection since he had a start-up internet business, we exchanged numbers. I get call Friday night saying how he really felt good about me, and that his company was kind of hiring. He wanted to meet to discuss the opportunity.

The meeting started with a condescending overview of how franchising works, and how McDonalds makes their money, and how I have to multiply my time by getting others to work for me if I want to become wealthy. Instead of offering me a job opportunity in any real start-up, he goes on about how I can open an online store through this system he uses, and how I can get bonuses for signing up other people into the system. It became apparent that this guy was just trying to get me to sign up so that he gets more of a cut.

Basically this guy has an "online store" where all of his product is provided by this company called Quixtar, which is just the online arm of the notorious Amway. I suspect the online store website itself isn't anything at all but just the Quixtar page itself, and I'd have to put in some sort of ID number indicating that I'm buying from him. The fact that he had given me a business card with no URL for this supposed e-business website should have tipped me off.

He showed me some DVD on his laptop of a conference he attended, a Quixtar conference where 20k people with 40 millionaires among them attended. Of course this is a part of the scam, you have to drink the cool-aid and attend conferences and meetings to be successful...and guess what, you have to pay big money to attend, money that goes directly into the hands of higher up members who host the conference to teach you how to be successful. There is some bigwig up at the top of this scheme who started a company that sells informational materials and conference tickets on how to be successful in this program.

The point is that there is really not money in moving the retail products themselves, only money in selling promotional materials and signing up other poor saps. I think I've learned my lesson. This guy was dishonest with me, misrepresenting himself as a businessman looking to hire, when really he is just a peon in this pyramid setup. Note I don't say pyramid scheme, because that is a very specific thing regulated by the FTC, but Quixtar straddles the boundary between multi-level marketing and pyramid scheme. So if you ever encounter someone claiming to be a business person wanting to discuss an opportunity, makes sure you ask them upfront if they are with Quixtar...and if they are, wish them good luck and walk away.

6 comments:

Ottayan said...

The problem with these guys is that they never say they are from a multi-level marketing company, upfront.

dlozupone said...

It is a shame that you were approached by this gentleman in this way. You unfortunately got a very wrong impression of how the Quixtar business works. And it is these people that give this wonderful business a bad reputation.

Right up front, let me say that I am a Quixtar independent business owner. And let me clarify a few misrepresentations in your post.

First of all, I make no money by merely singing you up. There are no incentives provided for that act alone. I make my money by moving product (i.e. generating business volume), be it through personal use, retail sales, or the personal use and retail sales of people I sponsor into the business.

Second, while the major functions are strongly recommended, they are in fact not required at all. There is no "kool-aid" you are forced to drink. I, in fact, have never been to one of these functions, and my business is doing just fine.

Third, there is no money gained from selling the business materials you mentioned. And you are not required to purchase those either.

Lastly, a Quixtar business is YOUR business. You can run it anyway you want, provided you stay within the company guidlelines which primarily prevent any single business owner from gaining a distinct advantage over another through the use of unsavory or unethical advertising methods. Nowhere in the guidlelines are you required to attend functions, buy training cd's or dvd's, or do anything you do not want to do.

What a shame you got such a bad taste of what our business is about.

Daryl Lozupone
Quixtar Independent Business Owner
http://www.damaloenterprises.com

Raj said...

@dlozupone:
i notice from your very own site that there are tips in the resources section on how to effectively get more people to join. if you were more interested in moving product, then maybe you'd publish e-books on how to sell more vitamins and cosmetics?

one of my points is simply that although moving product might be the a goal, the MLM aspect of signing up SEEMS to be more of the focus, to an outsider. i'm really not interested in this plan at all (i plan on getting my PhD and teaching at a university), and i hope i can get this guy to back off.

Raj said...

@ dlozupone again:
where is the product on your website? suppose i wanted to help you move product by becoming a consumer of yours. i assume your enterprise is in fact selling soap, energy drinks, etc is it not? how do i buy from you?

dlozupone said...

Raj--

The site you looked at is not the site I use for my business. The site you looked at is specifically a resource for prospecting techniques, strategies, etc. The retail site is found at
damalo.wwdb.biz

Once again, I am saddened that this gentleman is your exposure to network marketing.

Best of luck on your PhD.

Raj said...

dlozupone:

thanks for the wishes, and for keeping it civil...something rare on the internet these days :-)

i'm done writing about mlm, i'm getting back to technology today, which is what i'm supposed to be all about.