Friday, January 5, 2007

Quixtar /Amway Prices and Poverty Thinking

I've read a couple of posts recently about how the price of the products sold in the Quixtar/ Amway business are "too high" by JLP at AllFinancialMatters and the GettingGreen. I think both of these bloggers are demonstrating a poverty consciousness of sorts.

Prices in and of themselves are neither too high nor too low. Now I don't think that you should pay an excessive price for a product just to prove you have a prosperity consciousness. On the other hand I think that people that routinely buy exclusively based on lowest price without considering value are demonstrating a poverty consciousness.

I investigated the value of the Quixtar/ Amway products quite extensively when I was involved with that business (I don't think that their pricing philosophy has changed but can't vouch for it now.) What I found was that the products really performed far in excess of comparable products. Many companies make good quality products and people buy them. Some would say that a Mercedes or BMW is too expensive but these companies sell a lot of cars due to the value they provide.

GettingGreen seems to think that he can buy good stuff from Walmart. This is absurd. As my Chinese wife lies to point out to me China ships their crap to Walmart and keeps the good stuff for their own citizens. She gets so disgusted by their poor quality and high prices compared to what she was able to buy in China. Do you really feel that treating yourself to the cheapest crap on the planet feeds into a prosperity consciousness? (By the way - I don't hate Walmart, I think it's an excellent business - they just sell the cheapest crap made.)

When we don't charge a fair price for the products we sell and think we have to sell everything on the cheap, we are buying into the notion that the world is experiencing the same lack that we are. This comes from the common emotional conflicts people have about money - that somehow we are taking something away from the buyer. That the world is a zero-sum game and we are cheating the buyer out of their money.

But if the buyer is getting a good value for their money, we are doing them a favor. We think that we should judge what is best for the buyer by convincing them they don't need something of greater value if they can save a few dollars. This is a very presumptive and condescending attitude towards others.

The world is an abundant place. There is a surplus of food, money and resources. Affirming lack only re-enforces poverty thinking and dis empowers people.

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