Amway, an Unbiased Review

Firstly, Amway is one of the oldest MLM or network marketing companies around today. Many people get very confused about the different between pyramid schemes (Bernie Madoff always comes to mind) and legitimate MLM businesses. No pyramid scheme could have been out in the open, under heavy government scrutiny for so long, and have become so successful. Amway is not a scam.

MLM is a marketing strategy that when put down on paper only looks like a pyramid – one recruits two, two recruit four etc., the guys in the top tiers win every time as not only are other people recruiting their massive downlines, they also able to sell large volumes of product to make the big bucks.

Older, well-established and successful MLM companies such as Amway have everything we should look for in a solid network marketing home business, but when you extrapolate that pyramid of recruits down to its bottom line today, after 50 years in business, you will understand that there are slim pickings left for new recruits. The market is saturated; and that’s exactly where Amway planned to be all those years ago.

The Amway Corporation is part of the Alticor group of companies, founded in 1959. Their main products are skin care, vitamin and food supplements, a water purifying system called eSpring, and the excellent SA8 line of laundry care products.

Amway distributors don’t just earn money from selling the company’s products, they also receive bonuses for sales made by their recruits or downline, therefore the people who have been in Amway’s system for years make all the money. This is true of any successful MLM company, part of a distributor’s earnings rely not on just selling product therefore, but from promoting the company to others.

If you do decide to join Amway they do have a buy back policy, which means that any products you haven’t sold will be bought back, which is little comfort after you have spent unsuccessful months trying to sell the products to an already saturated market.

To make sure that distributors do not try to secure a performance bonus entirely on the basis of purchases, Amway requires that distributors resell at least 70% of the products they have purchased every month. It must be also be proved that you sold those products to at least ten different customers each month, to receive a performance bonus

Sixty percent of Amway’s distributors, if you look at their criteria, are not active which means that only 40% of Amway’s distribution network is making any monthly income, the rest are buying Amway’s products for their own consumption.

It’s the long-established people at the top who are making the big money, and from what I can see the bottom of the ladder is overrun with little opportunity for a home based business with Amway that can earn more than a few dollars a month.

With an annual turnover of around $7 billion worldwide, divided by 3,000,000 distributors, that makes on average distributor’s sales come out to approximately $2300 gross per year.

Cargo Insurance – Overview of Basic Principles

Why should you shell out extra amount to pay for cargo insurance? The short answer is: because with that “extra” amount, you will be remunerated in case your cargo gets lost or damaged. Nonetheless, let us define cargo insurance in more technical way. Cargo insurance generally covers the lost or damage, total or partial, of the goods that is the subject of the insurance coverage if such goods is damaged or lost while in transit and all other essential requisites are attendant. This sentence basically embodies the conditions before you can claim for your insurance proceeds. It is very important to note that not all and every kind of loss and damage on the goods entitles the owner of the cargo insurance policy to claim insurance proceeds.

General key concept of insurance

These general concepts of insurance also apply to cargo insurance:

The claimant should have insurable interest. Insurable interest is a question of law. To put it simple, you have insurable interest over a cargo if you will stand at lost when that cargo is damaged or lost.

Another general concept is the “perils insured against” must be the cause of the damage or loss. Carefully study the insurance policy that you purchased or one that is being offered to you. If it is unclear, ask the provider or underwriter what are the events or circumstances that are covered by the policy. This is vital. If the cargo insurance you purchased did not enumerate the cause of the damage, you cannot claim the proceeds of the insurance. To illustrate, if the loss was due to Typhoon Yolanda and typhoons, or “Acts of God”, or natural disasters were not in the list, you may lost your cargo without compensation for your loss.

Filing your claim is also another vital thing to consider. Some may require that you should inspect your cargo upon delivery or within twenty-four hours. Some may provide for a longer period like few days. Some may provide a distinction between a cargo delivered with noticeable impact or damage on the surface of the box or parcel. The time allotted for visible surface damage is shorter. The bottom line is, be sure to check on the allowable period within which you must notify the carrier of the fact that the cargo is damaged and the period within which you must notify your insurance provider of your claim.

When do you have ownership?

This is important because you should buy a cargo insurance that covers the segment of the supply chain when you are considered as the “owner” of the goods. This becomes very significant especially for international transactions. Remember our basic concept – if not covered, not compensated. Two terms to note:

“FOB Origin” and “FOB Destination”

The first stands for Free on Board origin where the buyer is deemed the owner of the goods once the goods are handed over to the carrier. The second means Free on board destination. In the latter, the seller retains ownership of the items being transported by the carrier until the goods reached its destination.

Contracts and Stipulation

Legal provisions serve as general rules to be followed to settle disputes. Thus, if the buyer and the seller enters into a contract or stipulation, such will be given due course. Agreements, terms, stipulations between two contracting parties will serve as the law in between them. Having said that, if the seller and the buyer agreed on who bears the liability, then that will be considered and honored.

Cargo Insurance Provider versus General Insurance Provider

Will you prefer one over the other? Well, one may have advantage over the other. While cargo insurance providers specializes on this field and so they are expected to be masters of their trade, it may also be equally attractive to avail of cargo insurance from a provider from whom you acquired some other types of insurance. You may avail of discounts for availing of multi-coverage. The decisive factor is whether your provider is knowledgeable about supply chain management and supply chain processes. Knowledge of this will give you more confidence that you are purchasing your cargo insurance from the right provider.

Mode of transportation covered

As mentioned earlier, if a particular situation is not covered by the terms written on the insurance policy, the loss of the goods will be “charged to experience” and that you cannot claim the proceeds of the insurance. To illustrate, if the insurance you purchased covers carriage of goods by sea, then you cannot claim the proceeds of the insurance if the goods are lost while being transported through air. Even in the situation where the policy specifically stated that it covers the carriage of goods through a trucking service, if the goods are lost while transported through railways, then the claimant cannot claim. So, before you buy an offer, check out what modes of transportation are covered. It pays to read all the contents of the cargo insurance policy, including the “fine prints” and ask clarifications for any doubt you have.

Cargo insurance is a comprehensive topic but it is worth to learn some basic principles so that when you buy one, you will be more confident that you can successfully claim the proceeds when untoward incidents will happen resulting to the loss of your goods.

Freelancing – Merits and Demrits

The dynamic times that we live in have invariably thrown up unconventional modes of working for those who are teeming with unbridled energy, love to don several hats at the same time yet hate to do the stereotypical. The ensuing contemporary shift from the conformist office jobs to those that let you manage your time in the manner you fancy has allowed several capable and skilled resources to chase their dreams in an unfettered manner! Freelancing as a mode of working has, thus, gained immense popularity in the last one decade thanks to demolishing physical boundaries to work and emerging virtual ones. While the ad-hoc mode of employment did exist in the past, freelancing as an option has certainly ushered in a whole new world of possibilities for those who love to work in a malleable manner either out of choice or compulsion. Here is a quick low-down on the merits and demerits of freelancing as a genre of employment:

Merits

• Flexibility-This remains, by far, the most significant virtue of freelancing. Whilst a conventional 9-5 job may be the first choice for some folks, there essentially exists an interesting tribe of talented personnel who irrefutably feel intimidated by consistency and routine, and love to work during their most productive hours, which may not conform to the hackneyed business hours. As a freelancer, one enjoys the freedom to begin and end their work day (or work night-for the nocturnal ones!) as per their convenience as long as the deadlines are being met in a timely fashion.

• Liberty to work from anywhere-Those who dread a clinical office-cubicle environment and feel that taking their laptop to a coffee shop or a nearby park is essential to unlocking their mind would excel in a flexible option such as freelancing as it gives them the privilege to choose their own workstation. So if you are one of those creative types who can only jot down a couple of great lines when curled up in your quilt with your daily dose of caffeine and your pet dog for company, this one seems to be just what the doc ordered for you!

• Geographical location becomes irrelevant-As a freelancer, one may go and work on a beach if the sinful sight of hot blondes in bikinis is essential to get their creative juices flowing! Also, the option works like a blessing for the harried lot-the fairer sex suffering from the ‘husband’s transfer’ syndrome, as they may continue with their assignments/projects regardless of the physical location they are based out of.

• Diversification of work-A freelancer, unless bound by specific contracts, may liaise with different vendors and diversify their portfolio of work. This stops a creative guy from falling into the rut that monotony and sameness of work customarily lead to. Hence, as a freelancer, you may be working for an exciting retail portal and a heavy-duty tech magnate in a typical workday and never feel inundated.

Demerits

• No clear distinction between personal and professional life-As a freelancer, you may experience days when your personal life goes for a toss! The disadvantage of flexi-working remains one’s inability to expressly demarcate office time from self time or family time. Typically, a freelancer working from home may be putting a toddler to sleep, haggling with a nagging mother-in-law and line-editing an urgent article that needs to go to print in the next couple of hours-all at the same time, the fallout being professional time spilling over to the personal one and vice-versa. So, characteristically, a freelancer may never devour a water-cooler break away from the work desk, or a complete shutter-down post close of business. Working in a seamless fashion may turn out to be a shortcoming for many.

• Absence of Retirement Benefits/Key Perks-Freelancers primarily form a part of the unorganized sector, therefore remain, more often than not, bereft of several employment benefits typically offered to in-house employees, like retirement benefits, paid leaves, medical insurance cover, and provisions for PF and Gratuity. The long and short if it is that as a freelancer, you tend to be largely on your own, and the onus of planning your savings for the rainy day unvaryingly lies with you.

• Unstable Workload/Volumes-A freelancer is principally amongst the first set of folks to be phased out when the business is on a downswing and does not have work to offer. This job insecurity is not healthy, expressly so when the person in question happens to be the breadwinner of the family. Freelancers are typically not protected by any employment laws, hence the employer may not provide adequate notice tenure, and such workforce may find themselves being pinkslipped at a day’s notice during economically turbulent times.

• Loads of Spadework Required-As a freelancer, you are a one-man army and need to manage all the logistics on your own. So, when your broadband connection is down or your locality undergoes an unanticipated power outage, there is not gonna be a tech guy out their coming to your rescue and you will never enjoy the privilege of downtime-you got to get going, manage your deadlines and be a handyman all the time!

As clich├ęd as it may sound, every coin does have two sides, so does freelancing as an employment method. If you have been contemplating this option, it would be advisable to do an exhaustive groundwork and be absolutely sure of what you may be getting into. Happy bending of rules!