Amway - Buying from your own store">

Buying from your Store - Pros and cons

The biggest pro that there is in buying an Amway product or from one of the catalogs is Amway's unconditional guarantee. You must be satisfied with the product or it will be replaced or your money refunded. I have even heard of Amway replacing products that was damaged by the customer or by lightning. If you're not satisfied, you can even return any product for up to a year. Of course, for me personally, it doesn't take a year to decide whether or not I like the product and most of the higher priced items I purchase carry a minimum one year warranty anyway.

Another big advantage is that is definitely easier to shop from a catalog in the comfort of your own home. This is especially true around the Christmas shopping season, as long as every thing you want to purchase is in the catalogs. Personally, after three years we had purchased most of the things out of the catalog we would purchase for gifts and found ourselves in the situation of buying things that were rather dull for Christmas presents (clothes), or spending more money that we wanted to spend just to get some of the higher priced items in the catalog. In 1996, there was only two items in the catalog that we ordered as presents. The rest of our shopping was done elsewhere.

Another area that you should consider about catalog shopping is occasionally, you have an immediate need for a product. Amway sells bulbs for your car's headlights. But if one burns out, can you wait four or five days until one get's here? I, for one, would certainly not advocate driving with one head-light for any length of time. If you have a blow-out on one of your tires, can you afford to wait until the tires get here?

And finally, unless you maintain an inventory of the products, shipping delays, such as the UPS strike, could severely cripple your ability to get products to your downline and to your customers, if you have any.

It's almost funny to hear a distributor describe all the hassles of driving to a store, finding a parking place, hunting through the aisles to find a bar of soap, stand in line for several minutes, and then drive home. If you were making a special trip to a store to buy something, then maybe this argument would have some merit. But I find it hard to believe that an Amway distributor never goes to a store. While there are quite a number of food items in the catalog, most of which is priced tremendously higher than a grocery store, there are still things you would have to go to the store to get.

The same holds true concerning catalog items. There are any number of products that a person needs that are not in the catalog. Which means you have to go to a store to purchase it.

And come on -- don't you leave the house occasionally? It's not as if you're never near a store.

Do you stand in line occasionally at a store? Of course! There is also a lot of times that I've gone to a store where I haven't had to wait.

Now lets talk about how you buy from your own store.

First off, catalog items may be called in at any time, day or night. Unless there is a shortage at Amway or at the manufacturer, it generally takes about three or four days to receive the order, when UPS is not on strike. Also, your customers can be set up on a program that allows them to order their products directly from Amway and Amway will send the retail profit to the distributor.

There are two ways for distributors to order Amway products -- become a Warehouse Ordering Distributor (WOD) or by product pick-up. Actually, I have heard of a third way. Only one distributor has ever reported they actually use this system. People "shop" the warehouse and order anything that is not in "stock." They only call in orders only if they can not make it that week to the warehouse or will be there late. The direct does ALL the paperwork for everyone and even does the "PV checks." This type of system does require a greater investment in inventory and it certainly requires a tremendous amount of work on the DD's part.

Some distributor organizations implement their entire organization on the Warehouse Ordering Distributor concept. Some just use it for distance groups. Some don't want anybody in their organization on it. It is entirely up to the Direct Distributor who can become a warehouse ordering distributor. You should check with the person showing you the business or your sponsor to find out which method they are using.

By the way - if the organization is using product pickup and the WOD is a direct distributor, be sure to ask them where the 4% shipping charge is going. Amway charges a 4% shipping charge to WOD's who are not direct distributors. Direct distributors are entitled to one free shipment per week, per Amway's ordering instructions in the SA-13 (page 5).

As with product pick-up, you order once a week. Virtually all of the Amway produced products (vitamins, health & beauty, personal care and cleaning products) can be ordered in eaches. Many of the consumable items in the catalog can also be purchased in eaches through the regional distribution center where a WOD places their order.

However, there is a new spin on it. Amway has learned a trick from their distributors. Instead of BOM (book of the month) or SOT (standing order tape) Amway now has SOP (Standing order products). You fill out an order form, indicating what products you want, and whether you want them once a month, every 2 months or 3 months. You then turn this list in to your direct and the order is placed for you. Unless you cancel the standing order, Amway will automatically ship the product to you.....whether you need it or not.

Obviously, if everyone in the organization are WOD's it simplfies the distribution process greatly and many of the issues I discuss below are eliminated.

This is the product ordering system that was used in the organization I was in. Someone in your upline, either your upline direct or the largest pin upline in your area, is the WOD.

Once a week, on a particular day (ours was Sunday) we would make a list of what we needed/wanted and then call our upline with our order. They would call their upline, etc until you get to the WOD who calls the entire downlines order to Amway. One advantage here is that for those items that must be ordered by the case they can be easily distributed to several people in a short time period.

As with the WOD method, there is some added time here to find the stock numbers of each of the items. If you have the box or container of the product, you can find the stock number on it, otherwise, you will need to find it in the price list for the appropriate catalog.

You must also fill out a form called an SA-1. On this form you must write down all of your order, combined with your downline(s) orders. You must write the stock-number, description, PV, BV, Cost, Retail of all items ordered, add up all the columns, calculate tax and shipping and total everything up.

You can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours filling out this form, depending on the size of your group. There is computer software available from Amway ($5 plus $25 for the price lists or you can download the software and price lists from the Amway Business Network) and I know that some distributor organizations have software packages that perform this function and more. Check with your sponsor to see what kind of software is available if you're interested.

Three or four days later, all distributors converge on the WOD's house for product pick up. Hopefully, this is a short distance away from you. However, I personally know people who drive 20-30 miles, one-way to a residential area, to pick up products.

Once you get there, you may be the only one there, get your products and get out of there fairly quickly. That has happened to me numerous times. However, if this is a growing group, you may have three or four groups ahead of you picking up their products. Will you wait "in line" until it's your turn? You bet! How long will you wait? My personal experience is that it can take up to 5-10 minutes per group, and sometimes longer. This has also happened to me numerous times.

At most of the stores I go to, when the lines get long, more cash registers are opened up to help get the people out of the store. That never happened at the product pickups I went to. I waited until it was my turn.

A problem that all retail outlets have is bad checks. If a downline distributor or a customer writes a check that bounces, this may cause your check to bounce, your upline's check to bounce, etc. Obviously your goal is to sponsor people and find customers who will not do this or at the minimum have some type of overdraft protection. But it does happen. After all, this is a people business and accidents happen and it did indeed happen to me a few times.

Another problem that may occur is a downline ordering a bunch of stuff and then not show up at product pick-up. This also happened to me several times. Even though someone else ordered it, you are responsible for paying your upline for the full amount of your order. If you can't find the person and get their money for the order by the day checks are deposited, guess who has to come up with the money for it? I've NEVER had to pay for the groceries of the person behind me at a supermarket.

One final thought on this. When you buy from your own store, you order once a week and generally pick up the products three or four days later. Unfortunately, there are times when stuff you ordered is back ordered. This may be due to mail delays, UPS striking, shortages at Amway, or shortages at other manufacturers. Whatever the reason, you may not get your stuff for a few weeks. These kind of things happen with ANY catalog business.

I can always run to the store, pick it up, and be home in less than 30 minutes. If that store is out, there are many others within a 10-15 minute driving distance. So if I really need something, I can find it within 30 minutes to an hour AND it will cost less.

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