Before we get into a detailed discussion on whether Amway is a Ponzi scheme or not, it is important to understand how Amway and other multi-level marketing(MLM) companies go about their business. An MLM company like Amway appoints independent distributors to sell its products. Amway sells products like diet supplements, toothpastes, shampoos, multi-purpose liquid cleaners, soaps, grooming products etc. These distributors are not employees of the company. They make money by selling Amway products.
The return to the upper levels comes from creating new levels rather than the sale of the product. The wealth gained by participants at the higher levels is the wealth lost by participants at lower levels. So these MLM schemes are essentially Ponzi schemes where money being brought in by newer distributors is paid off to older distributors. There is no legitimate business activity going on.
When I was ten, my parents bought a house for $200,000. My dad had been running his advertising agency out of the spare bedroom of our house on Twelfth Avenue, and when he hired his third employee, he set up a desk in my bedroom for the graphic artist to work at while I was at school. Then a neighbor called the city about all the cars parked on the street, and my parents cracked a plan to move into a bigger house and bring the agency into the new house with us. By that time, though, business had gone gangbusters, so it turned out that moving the company into the new house wasn’t necessary, after all – my dad rented an office, instead. The new house was entirely ours.
Whereas The Plan is supposed to provide a simple means to a desirable end, for Josh, Jean, and Sherri the process of recovery had become an end in itself. Josh and Jean would constantly tell me how World Wide’s books and advice had enriched their marriage and helped them to communicate with each other (the bolstering of marriage and family is a major theme in Amway). The Amway lore is also full of distributors, perhaps abused as children, who “couldn’t even look people in the eye” when they joined, but who were now confidently showing The Plan to all and sundry.

Nike and Apple have been partnered for 3 years. They don’t need to market and advertise that to create volume. That’s what we do. Also, amway is designed initially to be part time,no full time. I worked a full time job, while putting in time to build a business online. I don’t need to explain what we make now but it’s enough to make a living. Look up the BBB if you want to do “research”.

Yager made a name for himself as the father of the ‘Yager System,’ one of the first and most profitable motivational ‘tools’ businesses run by Amway distributors (also called ‘tools scams’ by detractors). Distributors produce motivational tapes and videos, or ‘tools,’ and sell them directly to their downlines for immediate profit. Tools promote Amway’s free market philosophy but are not themselves Amway products – though the Yager Group is still today an Amway-approved training provider. The Charlotte Observer has said of Yager, ‘He sells not only soap but an ideology and a way of life. Admirers speak of him with reverence, as if his next plateau of Amway achievement were sainthood itself.’ The title of Yager’s first book, Don’t Let Anybody Steal Your Dream, was a Gerard household motto. We said it to one another with a near-religious zeal – like we were speaking in high-fives. I still feel nostalgic for my childhood when I hear it. 

Amway is based out of Ada, MI, and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with only 11 closed complaints over the past three years. It appears that Amway has a generally negative reputation among IBOs, and the most common complaints we encountered during our research cited difficulty making money, high prices, and dishonest recruiting tactics.
As its hands reached “midnight,” the Rolex dissolved into a series of video montages depicting the consumer Shangri-La that our own forthcoming Amway success would open for us. We leered as a day in the life of a typical jobholder—all alarm clocks, traffic jams, and dingy cubicles—was contrasted with that of an Amway distributor, who slept in and lounged the day away with his family. We gawked hungrily as real-life Amway millionaires strutted about sprawling estates (proudly referred to as “family compounds”) and explained that such opulence was ours for the asking. We chortled as a highway patrolman stopped an expensive sports car for speeding—only to ride away a moment later with an Amway sample kit strapped to his motorcycle. Our laughter became a roar of delight as the camera zoomed in on the sports car’s bumper sticker: “JOBLESS … AND RICH!”
Rallies begin with a ritual called “crossing the stage,” in which distributors who have attained a new bonus level go up to receive their commemorative pin and shake hands with a Diamond. From the crowd of about five hundred, two couples “crossed” at the 1,000 PV level (the lowest warranting a pin) and received a standing ovation from the audience. From the stage, the host then called out all the levels from 1,500 PV to 7,500 PV. Nobody emerged from the audience—which, nonetheless, remained on its feet applauding. The host kept cajoling, “C’mon, there’s plenty of room up here,” as if it were shyness that was keeping people away. It was the archetypal Amway moment: a crowd giving a standing ovation to nobody.
In the decade since that loss, the DeVos family, with Dick and Betsy at the helm, has emerged as a political force without comparison in Michigan. Their politics are profoundly Christian and conservative—“God, America, Free Enterprise,” to borrow the subtitle of family patriarch Richard DeVos’ 1975 book, Believe!—and their vast resources (the family’s cumulative net worth is estimated at well over $5 billion) assure that they can steamroll their way to victory on issues ranging from education reform to workers’ rights. “At the federal level, when GOP candidates are looking for big donors to back them, they have options,” says Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “If you don’t get Sheldon Adelson, you can go to the Koch brothers, and so on. In Michigan, the DeVos family is a class of donor all by themselves.”
I work in the car business. Most people in the US can't reasonably afford the vehicles they drive. People are getting more and more upside down in cars. Terms are getting longer, down payments smaller, most trades have negative equity and inflation is increasing the cost of cars while wages aren't rising proportionately. I have money but I avoid paying bills or interest. I could pay cash for a lot of new cars today but I drive a 2000 year model family sedan I payed $1900 for. I have good ac, comfortable seats, it's reliable, I have aftermarket Bluetooth, it's all power etc, good stereo and a very low cost of ownership. I pay less than $40/month for insurance.New cars just aren't the best investment. New cars are rapidly depreciating status symbols. I'm well off but don't care to advertise it. If you have so much money that you can afford it go for it but the truth is that most people can't afford what they have. I'm not just talking about poor people with new Sentras or Rios but mostly middle class people. If they make $24,000 they buy a $20,000 car, if they make $48,000 they buy a $40,000 car and if they make $80,000 they buy two $50,000 vehicles. 

Each year, Rich DeVos attends The Gathering, a below-theradar conference of hard-right Christian organizations and their biggest funders. Featured speakers have included the president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, the president of Focus on the Family, and the head of the Family Research Council. The philanthropists in attendance are representatives of some of America’s wealthiest dynasties and family foundations, and of the National Christian Foundation, America’s largest provider of donor-advised funds given to Christian causes. Donors who meet at The Gathering dispense upwards of $1 billion a year in grants.
The work of a business owner is all about personal connections. Consumers have a strong desire to support small, independently owned businesses and they know direct sellers can provide a high level of knowledgeable, personal service. Through the Amway network, consumers can access exclusive, high-quality products, which IBOs can sell on their own terms. As these direct selling teams grow and sell more products, IBOs make more money.
The centerpiece of any Rally is the life-story told by the guest of honor, emphasizing the depths of his pre-Amway rut and his resurrection through The Business. That evening’s featured guest, Executive Diamond Bill Hawkins, however, was too arrogant even to feign the requisite humility in his testimonial. He had been great all his life: a talented musician in one of Minneapolis’s best bands, a brilliant school teacher, a voracious reader, a charming companion with hundreds of loyal friends, and an unbelievably prodigious drinker of beer (about which he was now “ashamed”). When he saw The Plan and realized that he was much smarter than the guy showing it, he knew that his ship had finally come in: Here, at last, was something that would adequately reward his greatness[16]. 

Engler was opposed to the idea—the timing was off. “I was pretty certain that it was premature to go to the ballot in 2000,” Engler says, “because if you’re going to go to the ballot, you want to win.” The DeVoses had counted on his support, and when it didn’t materialize, things soured. (“[John Engler] would have a hard time being a first mate even on the largest ship in the world,” Betsy DeVos later wrote. “I think he’d sooner be captain of a smaller boat than the first mate on a much bigger ship.”)
Amway has been in business for more than fifty years, and they seem to pay to their IBOs according to their compensation plan. Besides, they appear to have a positive online reputation. The customers are amazed with their customer service that involves pleasant and polite people who are always there to resolve any problem you might have. It is extremely easy to sign up and make an order. This professional and big American company offers a huge selection of useful products and a lot of benefits. The purchases usually arrive very fast and feature high quality. These include products from nutrition to bath, beauty and home.
"We were warned never to use the name Amway on the phone; even while showing the business plan, the name would be one of the very last things mentioned. The explanation from our 'sponsors' was that people in the past have misused the name 'Amway,' and people should get a chance to know the 'new Amway' without being prejudiced from things they might have heard."
Top: Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos shakes hands while campaigning with wife Betsy and Arizona Senator John McCain. Bottom left: Betsy DeVos and President George H.W. Bush at a 2000 campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Bottom right: In 2004, Betsy DeVos campaigns with Representatives Mike Rogers and Candice Miller. | Regina H. Boone/TNS/ZUMAPRESS.com; AP Photos
The Club Level at the Amway Center -- between the Terrace and the Promenade -- splits into several types of premium seating. There are suites, including the Founders Suite which can accommodate 16 and the larger Presidents Suite, each providing a plush and roomy space from which to enjoy the game. Loge seats are among the most popular though, combining great additions like all-inclusive food and drink with a close-to-the-action feel.
Individuals may buy products through Quixtar's web site with a referral number from an IBO. Quixtar also gives IBOs the option to create free personal websites that can be personalized to focus on health, beauty, health and beauty,[13] and/or gift and incentive products. The referring IBO then receives the retail/wholesale profit (usually 30%), and a percentage ("bonus") of the cost of the sold goods (from 3% up to 31% depending on total PV generated), with Quixtar-exclusive products yielding a higher bonus per dollar in Point Value and Business Value (PV/BV). Quixtar offers a wide range of products for its IBOs to purchase for personal use and/or to sell to customers through Quixtar.com and IBO personal e-commerce sites.
For Magic games, there are two main sections -- the Terrace (101-118) and the Promenade (201-232) -- which are divided by the Club Level: an area of suites as well as club seats and Loge seats. Some floor seats are also available, although this "Courtside" seating costs a bit extra. It's incredibly comfortable though, and one neat perk at the Amway Center is that you can have food and drinks delivered directly to your seat if you're courtside or an ultimate seat holder.
In the years since the DeVoses debuted GLEP, we’ve witnessed the nationwide rise of single-issue PACs funded by a small number of extraordinarily wealthy donors, especially since the Citizens United ruling uncorked the dam of corporate money. “The [DeVos] family has been forward-thinking in their use of money to influence politics,” says Craig Mauger of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “And what’s happening with them in Michigan seems to be an example of where we’re going as a country with the concentration of power in our politics.”
MLMs, which thrive in rural communities like Owosso, on military bases, and in countless Facebook groups, aren’t often targeted in mainstream reporting; when they are, Marie says, “It’s from the viewpoint of an old white guy activist investor on Wall Street. That doesn’t tell me anything.” Though she hopes The Dream might shine a light for some people on what a raw deal MLMs can be, Marie also sees endless juicy stories. “It’s entertaining and weird, this weird world that you see in your Facebook feed, and on anti-MLM Reddit channels where everyone’s gossiping about their cousins. I wanted to like, go inside and be in that industry. . . . I want to know why my cousin Stephanie is doing this every day on Instagram, and is she making any money or not? Or what are her friends saying?”

In 2002, the first election of GLEP’s existence, its PAC had more money than the Michigan Education Association, United Auto Workers, or any Democratic-affiliated PAC in the state. And if they lacked the influence and statewide presence of those groups, it was only a matter of time. “They take a very long-term view,” says Matuzak. “If you pick up a few new Republican legislators every two years, and throw a fair amount of money at legislators who are already there, you can create coalitions of folks who can tackle what seem to be impossibly large issues.”
[11]At the top, the multi-multi’s seem to attain a Zen of conspicuous consumption. Brad Duncan, brother of the great Double Diamond Greg Duncan, described seeing a dusty Rolls Royce among the many cars in the garage of his upline mentor, Ron Puryear; when he asked what he paid for it, Ron answered, “I don’t know. Whatever the sticker price was.” Brad took him to task for this, until Ron lectured: “That dealership is somebody’s livelihood—somebody with a family. I’m not so hard up that I need to haggle the food out of a child’s mouth.” Brad was chastened, realizing that only small minds pay attention to sticker prices.
I met with them the second time, and of course, they wouldn't tell me right there what the company was or what it did. I mean, why would they, they knew I would go online and read all the crappy reviews. They said "hey, tomorrow is this meeting, I don't know if we can get you in there but I'm gonna talk to my mentor and see if we can reserve you a seat," (yeah right, like that would be hard to do, but they have to make it seem like only a select few get in). The next morning he confirmed with me that he had pulled some strings and got me that seat and that he was going to introduce me to some people so told me to go early.
Great people; love their company and the Grand Rapids area; devoted to Amway's founding values of self-determination, opportunity, etc. Great place if you want to stay and grow with the same company for many years; everyone is open to the idea that you'll switch roles and teams more than once for the sake of personal growth and satisfaction. Great place to feel like you are cared about by the company.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Ed and Elsa Prince advanced God’s Kingdom from the end of a cul-de-sac just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There, they taught their four children—Elisabeth (Betsy), Eileen, Emilie and Erik—a deeply religious, conservative, free-market view of the world, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and sending them to private schools that would reinforce the values they celebrated at home, small-government conservatism chief among them.

Georgia put the game away by halftime with a 42-7 lead that included three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, another from freshman signal caller Justin Fields as well as his first career rushing touchdown, and a 100-yard rushing performance from junior tailback Elijah Holyfield, the first of his career as well. Sophomore wideout Jeremiah Holloman turned in a breakout performance with three grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.
So, after hearing the Amway rhetoric on an endless loop, recruits start to make disastrous decisions, and each one is applauded by their peers. In Kyritsis' case, his "friends" at Amway even encouraged him to give up on his education. "They would actually compare having an Amway business with getting royalties, like from a book or a song. That you build a network once, and it pays you forever, even if you stop working. So, why go to college when I can make a successful Amway business without any degrees? For me, as a 21-year-old idiot who never had a full-time job and lived with his parents, that was reason enough to drop out of college, and I never got my degree."
So why do we see so many scam reviews and unhappy members that smear Amway in a bad way? Quite simple – MLM is one of the most difficult methods of earning, and you will have to do some hard work and teach yourself some proper marketing skills in order to go far in this industry. Many people find it difficult to communicate with other people face to face or voice to voice. Cold calling is necessary with MLM if you want to make money. If you have a fear of that then the opportunity is simply going to waste your efforts and money period.
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.”

During the registration process for a new IBO, Quixtar contracts clearly inform prospective IBOs that BSM are optional and that the producers and sellers of the BSM may make profit or loss from their sale (like any other business).[17] This is also publicized on Quixtar websites.[51] Quixtar's Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (SMAA) requires the immediate seller of BSMs to buy-back materials, which were purchased only for personal consumption within a 180-day time frame, on commercially reasonable terms, upon request of the purchaser. BSMs purchased for inventory or to be sold to others downline are not covered by the buy back policy.[10]
After years operating behind the scenes, Betsy DeVos is set to become the public face of education policy in America—an advocate of private Christian education helming the largest public-education agency in the country. Most education policymaking happens at the state and local level; the Education Department administers financial aid and collects and analyzes educational data, but doesn’t set state standards or school curricula. Even so, the position is a considerable bully pulpit, one with the ability to define the national discussion on education.
2 of my friends have recently become IBOs with Amway. They are still young in the business and are still buying the hype of being “business owners”. They really believe they can make money selling the products they themselves were made to buy. They have since been trying to sell us those products to no avail. This is what you will be reduced to if you choose to become an IBO with Amway.
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.
The next five days saw large protests on the Capitol grounds, culminating with an estimated 12,500 demonstrators on December 11, the day the House voted on the legislation. Two-thousand demonstrators flooded into the Capitol, sitting in the hallways and laying down in the rotunda. They stomped their feet, chanted familiar slogans, sang “Solidarity Forever”—a cacophony that some in the House chamber one story up initially confused for thunder.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Ed and Elsa Prince advanced God’s Kingdom from the end of a cul-de-sac just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There, they taught their four children—Elisabeth (Betsy), Eileen, Emilie and Erik—a deeply religious, conservative, free-market view of the world, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and sending them to private schools that would reinforce the values they celebrated at home, small-government conservatism chief among them.
After the speech I told the guy that this isn't for me, I'm sure it works for you, but it wouldn't for me, and he tried to slow me down from walking out and managed to get one of his buddies to talk to me as to why I should reconsider. I asked him some questions, but he really didn't have a script and he got shot down and walked away. I said, "it was great meeting you, thanks for the opportunity, I hope I didn't waste your time and have a good life."
Today, the Amway Center is one of Orlando's most recognizable buildings. The iconic outline of the arena's 180-foot spire has made a distinguished mark on downtown Orlando. With a decidedly modern look, the Amway Center is spacious and open thanks to a mold-breaking metal and glass exterior design. Inside, an entry lobby welcomes guests with all new materials after they pass through the wide-open entry plaza along Church Street.

Some Amway distributor groups have been accused of using "cult-like" tactics to attract new distributors and keep them involved and committed.[84][173][174][175] Allegations include resemblance to a Big Brother organization with a paranoid attitude toward insiders critical of the organization,[175] seminars and rallies resembling religious revival meetings,[84][175] and enormous involvement of distributors despite minimal incomes.[84][174][175] An examination of the 1979–1980 tax records in the state of Wisconsin showed that the Direct Distributors reported a net loss of $918 on average.[95][174]
A 1998 analysis of campaign contributions conducted by Businessweek found that Amway, along with the founding families and some top distributors, had donated at least $7 million to GOP causes in the preceding decade.[76] Political candidates who received campaign funding from Amway in 1998 included Representatives Bill Redmond (R–N.M.), Heather Wilson (R–N.M.), and Jon Christensen (R–Neb).[74]
I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED HOW A NETWORK MARKETING COMPANY SUCH AS AMWAY COULD BE ACCUSED OF BEING A PYRAMID SCHEME. I'M A PLATINUM IN THE BUSINESS AND ONE OF MY DOWNLINES JUST QUALIFIED SAPHIRE(HIGHER LEVEL THAN ME /COMPENSATION A LOT HIGHER) 2 MONTHS AGO. SHE DID THIS BECAUSE SHE WORKED HARDER THAN ME. IN THIS BUSINESS YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT. END OF STORY. BUT I HAVE REALIZED THAT ONLY PEOPLE WITH BALLS CAN DO THIS BUSINESS. THE MEDIOCRE WILL NOT THRIVE IN THIS BUSINESS. AMWAY GIVES PEOPLE HOPE. AND ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE KNOWS THIS IS THE BEST NETWORK MARKETING COMPANY.
According to the Amway website, as of 2011 the company operates in over 100 countries and territories, organized into regional markets: the Americas, Europe, greater China, Japan and Korea, and SE Asia/Australia. Amway’s top 10 markets, based on 2017 sales, were China, United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Russia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.[1]

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.’”
In the beginning, my parents put between ten and fifteen hours a week into their business – per the company’s recommendation. But over time, my dad’s enthusiasm began to wear off. ‘You say to yourself, ‘What the hell for?’’ he says now. ‘So that somebody can come in and then not return your calls? You take them to a meeting and there’s a jerk up there who’s embarrassing? I had no way, no avenue to get people in there and get them excited.’
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.[118] 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.[11][119] 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".[11] In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.[118]
Ironically, the people who quit Amway and claim to be experts at it probably never even really understood the business. This is apparent by their complaints, the top complaint I hear being “Oh you have to buy a bunch of product every month…” So lets clear that misconception up. .. Think about a mall for a second…. Malls have stores in them right??? Lets say you OWN a mall. And lets say that I own Best Buy. I go to you and say “hey can I put a Best Buy in your mall?” You say “yeah, sure”… So because YOUR mall sells MY product does that mean that YOU work FOR ME? Of course not, it just means that I am a supplier of your business… Now,..lets use logic here...IF you owned the Mall...and you needed to buy a TV...where would you buy it from?.....Well if you're capable of thinking like a business owner, the answer is you would buy it from YOUR MALL..Because a business owner supports his own business, always. When you own a business you never support your competitors. So how does this tie into what Amway does.. Amway supplies you with a business that is really like an online mall. This mall is filled with stores that Amway networks with such as Nike, Best Buy, Nutrilite, Forever 21, Banana Republic, XS Energy Drinks,..(many more). So if you use your head hear and think about it, AMWAY is an excellent business model. It creates the most loyal consumers in the world. Because these consumers are also owners! They are owners of their own online mall, and within this mall are stores that THEY WERE ALREADY SHOPPING AT. And the stores within your mall don’t even have to advertise to you, because you’re already incentivized to shop through them…because you OWN a mall that sells their stuff!! So ,.. when you are an AMWAY Independent Business owner…no, there is no REQUIREMENT for you to spend a monthly quota on AMWAY products…..But you’re not very smart if you don’t spend money through your business ....because they are YOUR products…You OWN a business..and you’re not even supporting your own company…. The key is not to just haphazardly purchase Amway products…its to SHIFT your purchasing to stop buying from other stores and support your OWN store…NOT spend EXTRA. I can supply my own home with my Amway business,.. I used to buy Tide Detergent, now I buy Legacy of Clean because its MY product…I used to take GNC vitamins, Now I only buy Nutrilite because its MY product…I used to drink Red Bull…Now I drink XS because its MY product… And in addition, you do not have to be great at sales…You don’t need a lot of customers! This industry is not about getting 100 customers…its about getting 1 to a few customers …and YOU being YOUR OWN best customer. You teach someone smart how to do the same thing. Duplicate that a few times. And you’re retired. Not easy. But what sounds better to you (speaking to Generation Y and younger),…working for 30, 40, 50 years and never being able to retire because our generation WILL NOT be able to retire the same way our parents did… or building the Amway business for 2 – 3 years and never having to work again. Read “Business of the 21st Century” by Robert Kiyosaki” if you want to know more about the industry and why it’s the PREFERRED business model of our times.
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.”
It was hard enough to get people to sign up for Amway. My parents, in describing their experience, said that most people had heard of the company and believed it was a pyramid scheme. In fact, part of my parents’ strategy for ‘showing The Plan’ was that they didn’t even tell people it was Amway until the very end of their presentation – then they signed them up on the spot. If they couldn’t sign them up right then, they invited them to a meeting. Most of the time, even though they told them not to talk to anybody about Amway before the meeting, the prospect would go to their brother-in-law, who would tell them it was crap. ‘And if they make it to the meeting, this guy’ – the creepy guy in the upline – ‘stands up there and is a complete ass,’ says my dad. ‘And the people that you encouraged and cajoled, they take a look at you and say, ‘What?’ And then they don’t return your phone call.’
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.[13]
Yes! MLM is not the same as “pyramid scheme” . In every business the people at the top make more. In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. Some of what is described in the article is very cult-like if it’s true, but I would imagine it is like with any business: it depends on who your upline is. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that. Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. It’s called being a workaholic.
It’s one thing to be an advocate and quite another to be a policymaker in a realm where you have little professional training or personal experience—a charge that DeVos’ opponents are quick to lob. If confirmed by the Senate, DeVos would be the first secretary of education in at least 30 years without any experience as a government official, school administrator or teacher. “She’s not someone with an education background—she never went to a public school, never sent a child to a public school,” says Whitmer, who recently announced her candidacy for Michigan governor. “It’s just stunning that they’d want to export the ugliness [the DeVoses] have brought to the education debate in Michigan and send it to the rest of the nation.”

The compensation plan is called a "stairstep breakaway," which calls for business rep to efficiently rebuild a leg once it has actually reached exactly what's called Platinum status (7500 factors). Generally, legs break short when they qualify as well as the payments develop into 4 % aristocracies instead of commissioned payments. I asked a former Amway emerald when just what it was like having his initial leg break-off and his reply was: "it's terrible, you truly recognize the best ways to ask unpleasant concerns do not you." He took place to clarify his compensations stopped by at least 80 % when they developed into "nobilities." It should be kept in mind that the royalties technically vanish if the quantity in the leg drops below 7500 factors, so it's not actually a "long-term" aristocracy unless you maintain your quantity.


It's actually not. It was even investigated in 1979, an investigation initiated by Amway to disprove those claiming they were fraudulent. I'm guessing you may have joined and didn't put in the work and didn't see a good return and are now upset. Well, it's just like going to college, if you don't do the work and do well in college and fail out and have to quit, you will claim college is stupid and doesn't work just because you weren't successful. Shame.


When i was 23 years old I was introduced to Amway through mutual friend. I had never heard of the company before that time. I went to school for business, yet was bartending because I couldnt find a job that I was really passionate about. This was of making money was foreign to me, but I have always been open minded. I have now been in business for 9 years. The 1st 5 years I was only making between $4,000-$6,000 a year. It was really me just learning how to better communcate with people and developing myself as an individual( I was extremely intreverted when I got in business). For me, this has been a phenomenal opportunity! I have also realized that many teams under the Amway umbrella do very different techniques, just like not all football teams under the NFL banner are ran the same way. I can honestly say that I have never bought toilet paper online so can’t relate to that statement. As far as “loosing a friend”. If your “friends” are negative and dont support you, then why would you continue to associate with them? Life is to short to be around people who don’t believe in you. I think this is a wonderful opportunity, but obviously not for everyone! “Pyramid schemes” are illegal in the US and companies like Nike, Apple & the NCAA FBS would probably stay away from such thing. (That’s just 3 of the hundreds of companies partnered with Amway). Their are bad apples in every bunch, but that doesnt mean all the apples(Amway business owners) are bad. Just someone who is 32 and speaking from personal experience. Hopefully people wont make a decision based off of someone who didnt make it, or even get in business.

The recently published book, No One Would Listen, by whistle blower, Harry Markopolos, dramatically describes how SEC regulators ignored his alerts and allowed the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to grow to enormous proportions. Their failure to act caused harm to thousands more people, despite his written and detailed warnings, which he brought to the agency five separate times over an eight-year period of investigating the scam. Additionally, the news media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine also failed to respond to his evidence which he offered them. Madoff was apparetnly treated as “too big to expose.”


On one fateful evening in December 2014, I went on Kijiji (I live in Canada) to look for a job and one particular ad caught my attention. This job ad was so vague, and yet so loaded that I filled in my contact details so the person who posted the ad could get back to me. This guy got back to me via the email I filled in and he told about brand new exciting business opportunity. He also sent me a couple of videos showing me people in mansions, beach houses and the rest by exploring this business opportunity in another city.

One of my best friends (whom I've known since the 3rd grade) has become a Amway IBO. He and I are very close, however we have different interests. He invited me over one night to participate in a meeting and I agreed. After the 2 hour long meeting, I knew that this was a scam to make money off of him. I tried to tell him and convince him that Amway will just make money off of his hopefulness by selling him hope (making him buy motivational tapes). No doubt I love the guy, but damn his pride. He's a very committed guy and great at whatever he chooses to do. 


*Disclosure of Material connection: Some of the links in the post above are "associate sales links." This means if you can click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive a commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services which we use personally and/or believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials."

Now, however, the DeVoses were on their own, pushing Prop 1 with minimal support from the state’s Republican establishment. Among the broader public, the opposition was fierce and widespread. “That was one of the best campaigns I was ever on,” says Julie Matuzak, who was, at the time, the American Federation of Teachers’ top political hand in the state.
The largest training system in Amway at the time of releasing this short article is WWDB (WorldWide Dreambuilders, officially Globe Wide Group). Although there are numerous training platforms inside Amway, WWDB occurs to be the biggest so I will simply focus on their process with us. The expense incurred by partnering with any type of Amway training platform will be relatively the very same.
Although they are separate companies, Network Twentyone was founded by Amway distributors and, obviously, helps to drive Amway sales via its own borderline cultish system, which have included things like torchlight parades and advising distributors to threaten to hit customers on the head with Amway tapes, forcing them to take the tape to defend themselves. Obviously, Amway is quite aware of companies like Network Twentyone and is completely fine with them, as long as they drive business and never mention Amway's name. This is where things turn distinctly more Fight Club: Sellers are instructed to never say the word "Amway" while pushing their products.
That vision is played out daily as the company helps people everywhere discover their potential and achieve their goals by offering great brands and opportunities. Amway is guided by six enduring values: partnership, integrity, personal worth, achievement, personal responsibility and free enterprise. Sharing generously with the local communities in which the company and its business owners operate is an important part of this.
In 2015, Forbes named the DeVos family twentieth on their list of America’s 50 Top Givers, with lifetime charity donations of $1.2 billion. Most of that money has stayed in West Michigan – Amway’s headquarters are in Ada, and the DeVos and Van Andel families own or have bequeathed a considerable portion of Grand Rapids, and are often credited for catalyzing the revitalization of downtown. Of the $94 million the DeVos family gave in 2014 alone, $54 million of it stayed in Grand Rapids. Much of it went to public schools and Grand Rapids–based hospitals, arts programs, and faith-based organizations providing services to the homeless.
Some friends of mine are into Amway & are showing it to me. I am skeptical, but as I look into it things are looking good. There's some points in one of the first books you read that appear to contradict what the uppers are saying, but that's where that "Ask Questions" part comes in. Anyone can make a company look bad, either by accident or for lolz. Those that only buy their own product aren't necessarily doing it wrong, but they won't make as much as thewy would 'hiring' a 'team'. Essentially the distributor gets points for product sold, then paid on total point value (PV). Anyone can surpass their mentors, so not shaped like a pyramid :)
My husband and I tried Amway, and here's the story: My husband's BEST friend and his wife started asking us to hang out a lot, which was cool because we enjoyed their company. I thought she was my best friend at the time, stupidly enough. It didn't take long for them to tell us about this "amazing" opportunity. We thought we would give it a try since we sincerely trusted our friends. We would go to their house for a "meeting" in their basement with a bunch of strangers and two guys in suits. The guys would talk about how nice it is to work from home, make tons of money and generally just talk about nothing to do with the actual business. After every meeting I would think, okay but what is the business all about!?!?!? So eventually they set us up as "business owners" and we purchased a ton of crap from Amway totaling over $1,000 because, "that is what you do." Eventually, we decided that we would not continue with the business. There was nothing wrong with it, but we knew it wasn't for us. We didn't want to approach complete strangers in coffee shops and present them with an "opportunity"; we didn't want to stay home on the weekends to attend meetings instead of spending them at the lake; we didn't want to choose Amway partners over friends and family like you are taught (yes, there is a "tier"); we didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on products and guilt-trip our friends and family if they didn't want to buy our products (yes, this was also taught). All in all there was nothing very wrong with it, it's not a scam, but it's definitely NOT for everyone. I am writing this not to bash anyone but to give anyone an insight if they are wanting to be part of Amway. Oh, and as for the "friends"... they now completely ignore us. And I mean, I'll see them in public and they'll turn away from me when I wave; they will talk to anyone BUT us. And this was my husband's long-time highschool friend; they were even in eachother's WEDDINGS. So to be quite frank I will talk everyone out of doing Amway and it's their fault. If that is how they will treat others for simply not continuing with the business then I will tell NO ONE to join.

In four years, they built up their downline to something like forty people. It was a cumbersome organization, but the people they were working with, save for one, were all honest. A lot of them had families we’d grown close to – the kids were my friends. I’d go to their houses on the weekends, and after school, and whenever my parents needed a babysitter. After we left Amway, I never saw them again. 

Ultimately, however, he dealt with his catch-22 through simple fantasies of escape. He was adamant that someday he’d be a millionaire, his current predicament no more than a bad memory. His hand would describe a hyperbola as he explained that The Business was hard at first, but if you’d just stick in there, you’d soon enjoy exponential success. This would happen so soon that he wouldn’t have to prospect long enough even to get particularly good at it. “The point is not to get good,” he insisted, “It’s to get done!”

In this Presidential election, companies that cut their labor costs by engaging in offshoring have come in for heavy criticism. Amway, one of the world’s largest direct selling companies, is a U.S.-headquartered global company that would be hard to criticize on these grounds.  Many of their products that are largely sold overseas, actually leverage “Made in America” as a key selling point.
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.

Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel who was based in Michigan founded Amway in 1959. Today Amway conducts its business through a number of companies in more than eighty countries worldwide. In 2012 Amway was rewarded the no. 25 position by Forbes for being one of the largest private companies in the U.S. By the year-end in 2012, more than $11 billion sales were recorded, making Amway one of the most successful network marketing companies that have been in business for well over 50 years.


This hard truth belies Amway’s populism, its promise that success depends merely on getting in on the ground floor, and that every floor is the ground floor. Deep down, Josh may have realized that an Amway easy enough for even him to master would soon self-destruct. This buried consciousness surfaced, for example, in the way he consoled himself with weird probability statistics. He knew how many levels deep he had to extend his downline (something like six) before he was certain to recruit someone with a knack for huckstering, providing a rising tide on which Josh could float. It was unlikely, of course, that a guy like Josh could spawn a six-level downline without the help of such a person, but that simply masked a deeper improbability: that there were enough of these theoretical master salesmen to go around to every schlub who couldn’t succeed otherwise.

The 2018 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with Prof. Dr. Isabell M. Welpe from the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung, Nuremberg, from April through June 2017. Results are shared with the scientific community, including the 44 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions.

Even so, among the DeVoses’ skeptics, there are those who strike a hopeful, if cautious, tone. “I think Mrs. DeVos could potentially be a really good secretary of education if she allowed parents and school districts to make policy at the local level,” says Daniel Quinn, executive director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a nonprofit that receives a portion of its funding from the National Education Association. “But at the same time, I’m concerned.”
×