When Lt. Col. Albert J. Amatuzio developed the world’s first API-qualified synthetic motor oil, in 1972, it was a major achievement in the history of automotive lubrication. Two decades later Hart’s Lubricants World acknowledged this milestone by appointing him to the industry’s Hall of Fame. Developing the first synthetic motor oil and bringing it to market, however, were two very different challenges. The first was a matter of chemistry. The second involved psychology, marketing and determination.
When AMSOIL was introduced at $3.60 per quart, conventional oils were selling at about $0.40 per quart. Oil was a loss-leader, so it was practically given away. Frugal Scotsman that I am, I generally purchased oil for $6.00 per case with a $6.00 mail-in rebate. In short, I bought my oil with a $0.32 stamp – much less than $3.60 per quart. I never thought about brand at all. Until I learned about AMSOIL I used to think oil was just oil. I never knew anyone who thought about it any other way.
When Al Amatuzio persuaded some local stores in Duluth, Minn., to stock AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil, it was nearly $5.00 a can. It didn’t just fly out the door. It was 10X more expensive, but people didn’t know what it was. Yet, the benefits were so significant – 25,000-mile/one-year oil change, superior low-temperature protection for the coldest Minnesota winter days – that Al was able to sell the product out of the back of his car with ease. Face-to-face, when he made the case for his product’s benefits, he was able to move quite a bit of it. He enjoyed selling himself, but he was also packaging and distributing and it soon became clear that there was only so much one man could do.
Eventually a friend named Shirley Green encouraged him to sell the product by means of a network of independent Dealers, and in 1973 Al discovered that there really was a future for his fledgling oil business. Mobil Oil Corp. noticed as well and, within a couple years, Mobil 1 was introduced, legitimizing the new product category he had created. Because people did not know how significant the performance difference was, but they did see the price tags, truly widespread acceptance was still a long time coming. AMSOIL was a product ahead of its time. As pressure mounted to make cars more environmentally friendly and less wasteful, engines became more sophisticated and lubricant performance demands also became more stringent. Eventually, in the 1990s, nearly every oil company began to carry synthetic motor oil. Because conventional petroleum oils cost more in order to meet increasingly strict CAFE requirements, the price differential ceased to be the major gulf it had once been. Instead of a major leap, synthetic oil become became just a step up.
I mention all this to help you understand how the company came to embrace the alternative marketing model it chose. The AMSOIL Dealers who built our company exemplify many of the qualities that built America: independence, self-reliance, a strong work ethic, loyalty and an entrepreneurial spirit. We’re proud of our Dealers and committed to their success.
Anyone can choose to become a Dealer, though being an AMSOIL Dealer is not for everyone. Benefits include being able to purchase AMSOIL products at the lowest possible prices, running your own business and no inventory requirements. Not everyone who wants to run AMSOIL in their car is aiming to build a small business. Some people simply love the benefits of our products and desire to purchase them at wholesale prices. For these folks we developed a Preferred Customer program that enables them to purchase products at reduced cost while earning eligibility for special offers and promotions.
In 1984 I became a Dealer, in part because I was a believer in AMSOIL synthetic lubricants and the benefits I saw. In addition, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset and wanted to supplement my income. At that time a Dealer signed me up and I had to fill out some paperwork, which I mailed to the company. Today you can sign up the same way through any Dealer and fill out the same signup form I used, though now they have also added a line for your email address. You can also sign up here in the AMSOIL Online Store.
As I learned, running an AMSOIL Dealership is not a get-rich-quick scheme – it takes dedication and hard work. But, if you’re interested in being your own boss and making some extra money, give it some thought.