Monday, April 25, 2011
One of my few posts where I diss Amway rather than my upline.
Today the topic is membership fees.
Our sack of shit Platinum would spout off bullshit about how Amway is no different than Costco because both charge a yearly membership fee. And then he would sneer and say at least with Amway you get money back.
Membership at Costco is $50/year. This information is readily available on their website on the home page where there are 2 links that can be clicked - membership or join the club.
Amway is a lot more difficult to find membership fee information. Go to their web page and click link after link after link. I finally found a pdf document about their business opportunity and on page 13 learned the registration fee costs $62 so its gone up since we signed up a few years ago. And well hidden.
Its not too difficult to become a member of Costco. You go to a store and fill out a membership form and pay the annual fee. Or do it online. Costco annual membership fee is good for one year from the date when you signed up and renews one year later.
Amway is tougher. You have to be sponsored by an existing IBO. Annual membership fee is due upon signing up and renewed for each calendar year. So if you sign up as an IBO in July you pay your annual membership fee at that time and it will be due again by January 1. Not prorated. Not due on anniversary date of signing up.
Products at Costco are usually name brand products you can buy in grocery stores but Costco sell a lot of their food stuff in warehouse or bulk packs. Compared to the unit cost it is cheaper than buying at the grocery store. The problem of course is that you now have to stock up your larder or have a large group of people you’re feeding. Costco also sells many other things like electronics, clothing, household goods, sports equipment, tires and books that are not sold in bulk.
Going back to what I said above about the Platinum sack of shit sneering about Costco memberships and how you don’t get any money back, he forgot to mention with Amway’s memberships you need to spend at least $300/month to get a check of about $10 in return. That's how Amway pays you for shopping there.
Costco has a membership where the customer can get money back. Spend $100 for the annual fee for the upgraded card and Costco sends back a check for 2% of your purchases, no monthly minimum amount required to spend. So if I go to Costco and spend the $300/month earmarked for Amway I will get back $6. The huge difference is that by going to Costco I’ve also saved money because their items are well discounted. I’ve also probably bought things that I actually need or consume. I’m not heading to Costco with the sole purpose of buying things that I normally would not purchase or have no use for.
Lets go back to Amway. Can I save money by shopping there? Nope. Even though that’s part of their bullshit propaganda. Likewise the bullshit about their products being high quality and that justifies their high price. If I can buy laundry soap for $7 at Costco that gets my clothes clean compared to $40 for the same size of Amway’s laundry soap that does the same job of getting my clothes clean, I’ll go for the better price. Do I have to buy shit from Amway that I normally do not purchase? You bet. The upline pressures us to buy things with high PV like vitamins, energy drinks, food bars and other shit that I normally do not purchase. The upline pressures us to buy more, more, more of this useless shit so someone further upline can meet their goal for that month.
Average monthly bill by shopping at Amway - $400. Usually more. Been as high as $1200 in a month. Mostly buying useless shit.
My average shopping trip to Costco is $100 and I don’t shop there every month. I actually use the products that I buy from there.
So is the annual membership worth it?
Even with the yearly membership fee at Costco and depending on the customer’s shopping habits its usually worth it and you usually save at least the $50 membership each year that would have been spent at other stores. When I first signed up Costco was having a promotion and new memberships got a $25 gift certificate so yeah that first year definitely made it worth my while. I do a lot of entertaining and nobody beats Costco’s prices on big cakes, salads, pop, frozen burger patties, and other party fare that Amway does not sell.
I’m not thrilled with any store - and yes that includes Costco - that charges people an annual fee just for the privilege of shopping there. I’m amazed that Costco hasn’t dropped their fee yet. In this day and age of Internet shopping and price comparison that might be in the not so distant future. I mean really why the hell do they have to charge an annual fee? If you offer good prices people will come and shop there. Even if they slightly jacked up their prices to cover the loss of annual membership fees people will still shop there if its a better deal than their regular grocery store.
Likewise Amway on the annual fee. Except Amway does not offer good prices on their products. And charges a higher membership fee than Costco.
Costco likes it when their customers shop there because they make money but they do not use any bully tactics to strong arm customers to buy from them nor do they strongly suggest what customers should buy once they're in the store. Unless you count the employee standing at the door giving out that weeks coupons to get good deals on some products.
Amway? Bully tactics from the upline to shop there? Absolutely!
Its a cash cow for any store that charges an annual fee to shop there. That’s how the owners line their bank accounts. There’s no doubt in my mind that both Amway and Costco have people who renew their memberships every year but don’t do any shopping. Talk about free money for the owners with very little effort. With Costco they mail out the annual renewal and many customers who don’t shop there vey often renew “just in case” there is something they might want to buy there in the upcoming year. With Amway pressure from someone upline to renew might sway an IBO who otherwise doesn’t do anything with Amway. Ridiculous. The upline IBO does not receive any compensation from membership fees. They’re only helping the Amway owners get some more free money.
So that begs the question - how come towards the end of the year Amway IBO's pester IBO's to renew their membership even though they don't buy nothing, attend meetings, or do anything at all. What's in it for them? Adoration from Amway's owners?