Thanks to the DeVoses, Michigan’s charter schools enjoy a virtually unregulated existence. Thanks to them, too, the center of the American automotive industry and birthplace of the modern labor movement is now a right-to-work state. They’ve funded campaigns to elect state legislators, established advocacy organizations to lobby them, buttressed their allies and primaried those they disagree with, spending at least $100 million on political campaigns and causes over the past 20 years. “The DeVos family has been far more successful not having the governor’s seat than if they had won it,” says Richard Czuba, the owner of the Glengariff Group, a bipartisan polling firm in Michigan. “They have, to some degree, created a shadow state party. And it’s been pretty darn effective.”
I could not agree more that Amway will take over your life and it will also help you lose boyfriends too. My daughter is going to be. Senior in high school along with her ex-boyfriend. His parents have started this and now they brainwashed him into it. His mom talked to my daughter about supporting him and he did too. She stood firm in her answer of "no". Unfortunately it cost her their relationship of 18 months because she would not support him. Well buddy, good luck finding bother girlfriend as her because you are never getting her back! So sad that he valued Amway over their relationship. I absolutely can't wait to watch his parents fail along with him, I hope A,way sucks them beyond dry.
I like most of Amway's products. Their cleaning products are really good. I have purchased many things from Amway. Many good products at a reasonable price. I have shopped with them for many years. In fact years ago when I was much younger I worked for Amway. Their sales persons are very nice and courteous and well mannered. Pleasant to do business with. Their representatives are of good character, always arrive on the appointed time and it is a pleasant sight to see them coming to my door to show what they have on sale.
Amway, the machine that built the DeVos fortune, is among the best-known multilevel-marketing companies in the world, relying on independent salespeople to start their own businesses selling Amway-produced goods and to recruit other independent salespeople to work underneath them. Over the past half-century, the company has attracted a healthy dose of criticism. In 1969, the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Amway was a pyramid scheme, launching a six-year investigation that failed to prove the charges. In 1982, the government of Canada filed criminal charges against the company, alleging that Amway had defrauded the country out of $28 million in customs duties and forged fake receipts to cover its tracks; in November 1983, Amway pled guilty to fraud and Canadian prosecutors dropped the criminal charges against Richard DeVos and other company executives. Amway’s direct-sales model—which it has exported to more than 100 countries—has become a ubiquitous part of the modern economy. (Among those who've experimented with the approach is the president-elect, whose Trump Network in 2009 used an Amway-esque sales pitch to recruit sellers of nutritional supplements, snack foods and skin-care products.)
One Republican who caught the DeVos family’s ire was Paul Muxlow, a realtor and former educator elected to the state house in 2010, representing a mostly rural district in southeast Michigan. Muxlow was a dependable conservative, but disliked the idea of eliminating the cap on the number of charter schools. While he was fine with charter schools in underserved communities, he said he couldn’t support them in rural areas—“It would kill those districts,” he explained to the Detroit Free Press in 2014. When the cap elimination came before the state Legislature in 2011, it passed with Muxlow voting against it. The following year, when he ran for reelection, he faced a blitz of attacks from GLEP, which didn’t even need his district, but spent just under $185,000 to take him out in the primary. Muxlow won by just 132 votes.
This is so sad. My boss came into my office “today” telling me his sister is selling something new – his divorced sister with two kids that lives with his mom and occasionally needs help making her car payment – it’s not Avon, it’s not Mary Kay – Its Amway. I let out a huge groan. He said she is really pumped and is planning to attend an industry conference or should I say family reunion. I just hate to see people be taken advantage of especially those who need every penny.
At the time, it seemed like a dead end for a neophyte political candidate. In reality, it was the opening of a new avenue the DeVoses followed to far greater political influence, reshaping Michigan politics and the national Republican scene. “I think that loss really solidified the idea in the DeVoses’ minds that the real way to get what you want is to be behind the scenes,” says Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.
While noting that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, Amway acknowledged that it had made changes to its business operations as a result of the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, which was expected in early 2011. The economic value of the settlement, including the changes Amway made to its business model, totals $100 million.
Others Receiving Votes: Kentucky 98; Duke 55; South Florida 45; Colorado 41; South Carolina 40; Iowa 36; Washington State 35; Brigham Young 30; Missouri 21; NC State 19; Appalachian State 13; Syracuse 11; California 11; Utah 10; Cincinnati 10; Texas 9; North Texas 5; Troy 4; Minnesota 3; San Diego State 3; Florida 3; Arizona State 3; Houston 2; Tennessee 2; Arkansas State 2; Vanderbilt 2; Fresno State 1.
This article is all silly talk and based on no “real” evidence. There really is nothing “creepy” about it, it’s business. It gives ordinary people and even highly successful people who are willing to work hard, the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. You as an individual must just pick the right company for you to partner with, which suits your values. Amway is a very successful Network Marketing company. I speak on behalf of the Network Marketing industry for I’m involved with another very successful Network Marketing company, which is a proven way of making good money. The Network Marketing industry is predicted by Paul Zane Pilzer to be the next trillion dollar industry by 2020. It’s frowned upon because people don’t see it as a “real” profession.
These functions, all of which were sponsored by World Wide Dreambuilders, were rhetoric-fests where Amway’s self-help message was pushed to its logical addiction-recovery extreme—although with the roles curiously reversed. “J-O-B people,” meaning those who were not Amway-style entrepreneurs, were portrayed as the helpless addicts, hooked on the “immediate gratification” of a weekly paycheck. It was they who were in denial, telling themselves that they didn’t have a problem, that they were happy working all day for practically nothing. In contrast, the “delayed life” was a healthy process of withdrawal, of gradually replacing the “negatives” in your life (including non-Amway products) with “positives.” Most importantly, you learned to “dream” again, reconnecting with the inner child who, before the 9-to-5 beat it down, had fantasized about big houses and fast cars.
And the victims of MLMs—that is, the people who pay high buy-in fees but never recoup their investment—are usually women. The second episode of The Dream is called “Women’s Work,” and in it Marie returns to her hometown of Owosso, Michigan, where childhood friends and women in her family recall how Tupperware, makeup, and jewelry parties were an essential part of the town’s social fabric. “They say you can work from home, you can pick up your kids from school, you’ll never miss a soccer game,” Marie said of the promises MLMs make to women. “You can be the stereotypical mom, American mom, and make a living. Except that you can’t. You now have women doing all the emotional labor of mothering, and unpaid labor of running a household, and you have them working nights and weekends to pay for their cell phone. It’s like being in jail.”
“We believe this is going to be the heart of this downtown sports and entertainment and arts district,” Martins said. “Anchored at one end by the Dr. Phillips Center and on the other end by Camping World Stadium with this development and the Amway Center being at the heart of it all. I do believe that type of development can attract a major event to any one of these facilities.”
I also had doubts about the business of The Business. Amway products didn’t seem to be winging off the shelves. Sherri complained that she couldn’t even get her own family to buy from her business: Her mother preferred to go to the local Costco. (“A communist store! Gee thanks, Mom!”) Relying on intimates wouldn’t be enough, she explained; the real way to build The Business was to “make casual acquaintances out of strangers.” The techniques for doing this, which often resembled pick-up lines, were an important part of Dreambuilders’ curriculum. Josh spoke of his admiration for Diamond Distributor Randy Sears, who had come up with all sorts of “ice-breakers”: He’d pretend to know someone, for instance, and they’d often pretend to know him right back. Or he’d walk right up to somebody and say, “I like your belt!”
Disappointments like this got Sherri down, and keeping her outlook positive was beginning to strain even World Wide Dreambuilders, LLC. At one First Look, Dave Duncan (Greg and Brad’s father, a straight-talkin’ Montanan who had given up a successful construction business to build dreams with Amway) reassured her with a timeline he drew on the eraser-board showing that you could make millions within ten years. Afterwards, however, during the mingling—while Dave warned a young couple that, sure, some brain surgeons did well, but only the ones at the top—Sherri started eyeing the evening’s hosts with despair. They were crosslines, Direct Distributors who had broken 7,500 PV with an all-out one-summer campaign. Sherri, almost beside herself, insisted that Josh, Jean, and I have a meeting to “figure out what we’re going to do. Because we’ve got to do something!”
By the 30th level, the entire population of the earth will be in the system and the last 3 billion people who just entered the system into the 30th level have nobody else to refer. If each member is allowed to refer 6 friends, then the entire world population will be covered by the time it reaches 13th level itself (as illustrated in the chart below). Everybody they try to approach is already a member. The forerunners would have made huge amount of money by now and would go absconding, leading into a fraud.
In 2011, Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements led Amway's sales, totaling almost $4.7 billion. According to Euromonitor International, in 2014, Nutrilite was the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand. In 2015, it was reported that according to Euromonitor International, Amway was the largest vitamin and dietary supplement vendor in China, with 11% of a market that generated 100 billion yuan ($15.6 billion) in annual sales. In 2015, it was reported that according to China Confidential consumer brands survey, Amway Nutrilite was the most popular vitamin and dietary supplement brand in China.
The forecast looked pretty grim, and I wasn’t the only one who thought so. My supervisor, Sherri, also seemed to have succumbed to E2020’s mood of millennial angst. As events coordinator for E2020, responsible for making each client’s time in Chicago—from the catered lunch to the after-hours excursion—exceed their expectations,” Sherri’s job was already very twenty-first century in its focus on pampering those with means. She was perfect for the role, a seamless blend of prim professional and girlish emotion-worker. Tall, blond, and angular, she had deep-set Nordic eyes that gave her an air of maturity—unless she was excited, when they would widen improbably, revealing the spirit of a child lost in wonder. One minute she was commanding a team of caterers, the next she was dissolving into giggles, waving her arms and squealing with excitement. On top of her sixty-plus hours a week at E2020, she was improving herself with MBA classes at night; she, too, was seeking some way off the wobbly treadmill of income-from-wages-salaries-and-tips. When Amway called, touting a future that combined business ownership with 100 Percent Empowered Consumerism, she was ready.
Some people can still see through all this that Amway is a pyramid scheme but the FTC needs income statements to close the company down. This is how the company has been able to operate for the past 50 years. The FTC does not help either. Because they do not have an explicit definition of a pyramid scheme, they are leaving the model of a lot of MLMs up for debate.
Amway is probably the most widely used of the "sell our products out of the comfort of your own home and be your own boss!" services, the ones that appeal to the unemployed with promises they'll get rich quick (and also encourages them to relentlessly recruit new members). And on the surface it looks fairly plausible, especially when you look at how much money Amway rakes in every year: in 2014 Amway sold $10.8 billion worth of products, so why shouldn't you try to break off a piece of that action?
To understand the DeVos family, it helps to understand West Michigan. A sweeping landscape of flat, rolling farmland freckled with small towns, it sits on the opposite side of the state—in more than one way—from the big, diverse, reliably Democratic Detroit metropolitan area. Broadly speaking, it’s a region where people are deeply religious, politically conservative, entrepreneurial and unfailingly polite—think Utah, if it were settled not by Mormons but by Dutch Calvinists. “There’s an old expression here,” chuckles Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. “‘If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.’”
Nowadays, nearly all Amwayers identify with a “distributor group.” Dream Night, in fact, was arranged not by Amway, but by World Wide Dreambuilders LLC, which is constituted by the downlines of Crown Ambassador Bill Britt. These groups, which do the heavy lifting of building and inspiring downlines, have no legal connection to Amway (as indicated by the disclaimers on the back of tickets for Dream Night and every other World Wide function I attended: “This event is produced and offered independently of Amway Corporation and has not been reviewed or endorsed by Amway”). The corporation uses the legal independence of distributor groups to its advantage. In a class-action lawsuit brought by former Amwayers charging Amway Corporation, World Wide head Bill Britt, and Dexter Yager with fraud and price-fixing, Amway claimed that it was itself, in effect, a victim of Britt and Yager’s tactics—and thus not liable. (The case has since been settled out of court.)
I am lucky to attend many concerts and events at different venues, at this show I felt ashamed on how Orlando is represented through service and offerings at the Amway Center. Your guests deserve better! We were given subpar products and service at more than premium pricing. Your staff was overwhelmed. Your locations understaffed and not properly stocked. Was the concert a surprise to your purchasing team and beverage managers?
The next week, I decided. I would never learn the truth about Amway until I joined. I left a message on Josh’s Amvox voicemail telling him I had the $160 check ready. A week later, I left another message. By my third attempt, I got Josh himself (who had been intending to return my calls) and was finally able to arrange a time to separate me from my money. It wasn’t the last time I felt he and Jean weren’t exactly cut out for the rigors of The Business.
As its Sales & Marketing Plan demonstrated, there were two ways to make money in Amway. You could buy products cheap (at wholesale costs reportedly 30 percent below retail) and sell them dear; or, more lucratively, you could share The Business with others, and build your own empire of “downlines.” Since Amway awards bonuses to its distributors based on their wholesale volume, and since each distributor’s wholesale figures includes the sales made by his or her “downlines,” each convert to the Amway cause would enlarge his or her own incomes. To see how this worked, we were told to imagine recruiting six distributors, each of whom would bring in four more, who in turn would each net an additional two. Our downlines, according to this “6-4-2” formula, would then have seventy-eight members. If each of our underlings did $100 a month in sales, we’d be making an extra $2,000 a month in bonuses.
“You also need a great trade group. They are worth more than their weight in gold, they are worth their weight in platinum. A fair number of our folks are on the ground in the markets we serve. Global trade compliance is not country-by-country anymore. More and more, the regulatory bodies are talking to each other. If an issue comes up in one nation, it comes up around the world. It is really critical that we extensively document where the components that go into our products come from.”
He tells us the club no longer has an initiation fee – they were forced to waive it six years ago in response to the economic downturn. ‘You have the top two or three clubs in the area – Bayou Club, Belleair Country Club, and probably Feather Sound – with no initiation fees to join,’ he says. ‘It makes it very easy to be part of a club these days.’
In 2014, Founders Crown Ambassadors Barry Chi and Holly Chen, who run the biggest Amway distributorship in the world based in Taiwan, were sued by nine Chinese immigrants in the Southern California region who claimed that, although Chi and Chen promised they could potentially make millions in commissions, Amway business owners make closer to $200 a month.
Dream Night was not the first Amway event I had been to, but it was the most hallucinatory. It began with the triumphal entrance of the Amway Diamond couples, half-jogging through a gauntlet of high-fives to the theme from Rocky, as the audience whooped and hollered and twirled their napkins over their heads. When the standing ovation finally tapered off, the emcee offered a prayer thanking God for (a) the fact that we lived in a free enterprise system, where there were no government agents kicking down the doors of meetings like Dream Night and (b) His Blessed Son. As dinner wound down, the video screens displayed a picture of what the guy next to me was quick to identify as a $20,000 Rolex watch. (He went on to tell of a fellow he knew who had a $30,000 Rolex and who couldn’t tell the time for the glare of the gold and diamonds.)
From time to time the absurdities and contradictions of The Business would surface in Josh’s conversation. In one of his many unguarded moments, he voiced a preference for Amway Scrub Rite because it ran out more quickly than the “superconcentrated” Amway cleaners, enabling him to buy it more often. Catching himself, he quickly added, “Of course, it still lasts a long time.” This puzzled me. Why was Josh so eager to shovel money at Amway? The rational thing would be to minimize his own purchases while strong-arming his downlines into buying as much as possible. But, of course, if everyone did that, the whole business would evaporate. This is Amway’s central dilemma.
The Sales & Marketing Plan is based on what Scott called “the revolutionary business strategy of duplication.” To illustrate the idea he pointed to an imperfect example: McDonald’s, which succeeded so phenomenally, Scott explained, thanks to duplication—not because it served particularly good food (people who “hadn’t spent a lot of time around millionaires” always amused Scott with their idea that successful businesses required quality products). Ray Kroc had figured out a better way to flip a burger, but instead of hiring employees to do it, he taught it to franchisees, people fired up with the zeal of business ownership. While they willingly slaved to make what they owned more valuable, Kroc made his money by “taking a penny for teaching others how to make a dollar.” His was truly a magical income, expanding whether he worked for it or not, growing whether he lived or died. Long after Kroc had “taken a dirt bath,” Scott joked, duplication still supported his widow to the tune of $200 million a year!
In the weeks since Donald Trump announced that he would nominate DeVos for secretary of education, Michigan’s political circles have been abuzz. As ever, the DeVoses are loved and hated, with little in between. “She is a strong supporter of public education and of quality education for every child,” says Engler. “It’s horrifying. It’s a slap in the face,” says Whitmer. “The only people who have anything to worry about are those running failing schools,” says Truscott. “It is as if you were to appoint some radical pacifist as secretary of defense,” says Jack Lessenberry, a senior political analyst for Michigan Public Radio.
The FTC’s ruling that Amway is not a pyramid scheme is based partly on the “70-10 Rule”: To qualify for Performance Bonuses based on downlines’ sales, an Amway distributor is required to sell, according to Amway’s Business Reference Manual, “at wholesale and for retail at least 70 percent of the total amount of products he bought during a given month”—this is supposed to prevent “inventory loading,” the forced purchase of unsalable merchandise. Amwayers are also required, for the Performance Bonus, to sell to at least ten retail customers in a given month, which ensures that real business is being conducted.
America is too skeptical! The Federal Trade Commissions ruled in 1979 that Amway is NOT a Pyramid Scheme but reather a multi-level marketing company. I’m not an Amway rep nor do I buy their products so I don’t have any skin in the game here. I just did my research. Folks that believe this crap don’t realize that 90 plus % of all the negative comments on the net actually come from true Pyramid companies to make legitimate multi-level marketing companies look bad. Pyramids are illegal. Multi-level marketing companies are very legit. Other than Amway, Avon, Tupperware, Home Interiors, Pampered Chef and Kirby Vacuum just to name a few. By the Way, Warren Buffet owns Pampered Chef and has stated on more than one occasion that he would own more for them if he could talk the owners into selling. Home based business’s will make you more money than any other occupation you can be involved with. All legitimate multi-level marketing companies have to be members of the DSA (Direct Selling Association – http://www.DSA.org). If a company is found to be a Pyramid Scheme they cannot be a member of the DAS. Also, all multi-level marketing companies have to have 100% approval all State Attorney’s Generals in all 50 states (again do your research). Stop and think about where you work. There’s most likely a manager, then assistant managers, and on down the line. Put it on paper and see what it looks like. Kind of shaped like a pyramid isn’t it. You probably worked your butt off to convince somebody to hire you at a job you hate. Ans then, you work your butt off everyday to make those above you “rich”. All you do everyday is tread hours for dollars. Don’t place your belief on what others tell because they’ve most likely are just repeating what somebody told them and have no experience. Look at a third party website such as http://www.successfromhome.com and go to the store and buy one of there magazines.
The Amwayers who had brought me to Dream Night were flying high on the drive home, whooping occasionally just to vent their exhilaration. I felt as though I had just sat through a year’s worth of infomercials, with some high school pep rallies and a few Tony Robbins lectures thrown in. But to see all this as an exercise in mass hypnosis, according to Amway’s literature, would be to “misunderstand” what is, simply, “the best business opportunity in the world”—an assessment, strangely enough, with which the rest of world is starting to agree.
I was signed up, received no support from my upline, and yes although Amway has good quality products you need a substantial amount to sign up and all the marketing materials, rally's etc is expensive. Felt like I needed to be a slave of the company to get ahead. It feels also like you are pushing those above you up rather than them pulling you up. Feels like you are working for your upline's wealth rather than truly prospering yourself...
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act. They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products". In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.