In nutrition, a business line representing nearly half of their sales, safety and trust are key issues. “In Asian countries,” Dr. Calvert explained, ‘Made in the USA’ carries cachet because of the safety and traceability of the U.S. food system.” Clearly offshoring food bar production would be the wrong choice. “Similarly, consumers want beauty products from the U.S., France, Japan, or Korea, not from developing nations.”
It started with a guy I randomly met at Target. Now that I think about it, it's almost as if he was waiting for a prospect right outside the store. He entered the store right behind me and then he entered the aisle I went into shortly after I did. Not that it's relevant, but I was there to buy deodorant because, well, we're not apes anymore. Anyway, he pretended to be interested in the same product that I was looking at and was like "Oh you're a Degree guy too?" I was a bit weirded out at first but I was like, I don't know, he seems harmless. We started talking about success right off the bat and how he wants to live the better life/easy life (yachts and fancy cars). He came off as very ambitious. I am too, I own a small business and I'm looking to grow it, so of course, I related to him, and that's where he thought he had me. That's right, it felt like he was out to get me.
In his memoir Simply Rich, Amway cofounder Rich DeVos tells the story of Amway’s origins. The country was in the last gasps of the Great Depression. Rich was fourteen. He was walking two miles through the snow to his high school each day, in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan: wool collar popped high, galoshes squishing, wind in his face. Occasionally he would take the streetcar or city bus – but allowing time for the city bus meant having to rise long before the sun came up. ‘I needed more efficient transportation, and already being an enterprising type, I had an idea,’ he writes.
“We formed the DeVos Family Council, which is made up of our children and their spouses and meets four times a year. The Family Council just approved a family constitution that essentially captures our family mission and values. … The Family Council also articulates how the family will work together in managing our shared financial interests and our philanthropy.
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.
if people are simply looking to become rich quickly by signing up as many people as they can, yeah, it can be a sh*t program to get into. but if people are actually looking to help each other out and create a supportive atmosphere, then its a good thing to be around. the things i’ve learned at the meetings and conferences have helped me immensely in all areas of my life because i’m way more confident now to pursue my own dreams outside of amway.
Amway’s founders also created a cult-like environment within the company and among its distributors. Combining evangelical undertones and self-help motivation, they have managed to sell their idea as much as their actual products. Distributors are strongly encouraged to attend seminars and events that can cost thousands of dollars. Both DeVos and Van Andel are best-selling authors and have inspired copycats across the country.
As Parloff notes in his article, “The Siege of Herbalife,” there is no law defining a pyramid scheme, nor are there even any regulations on the books. The simple common-sense definition is that a pyramid scheme is a business in which recruits make a payment for the right to recruit others into the network, and whose revenues are more dependent on recruitment than on selling a product.
In 2006, Quixtar, in partnership with the IBOAI (IBO Association International) launched the "Quixtar Accreditation" program in order to address concerns about the companies that provide Business Support Materials to Quixtar IBOs. North American Diamonds (high-level IBOs) and their associated training companies may apply to Quixtar to be accredited by the corporation. Among other things, accreditation specifically states that promotion of particular religious or political viewpoints is unacceptable. Additionally, accredited programs must agree to a range of other guidelines, including "full" transparency in any compensation paid for Business Support Materials. The "full" transparency only applies to the IBO's who are participants in the BSM income, for most groups this means Platinums and above, representing a very small percentage of IBO's. Accreditation lasts two years and is enforced through reviews of materials and surveys of IBOs. The full guidelines are listed in the IBO Communications Platform. In April 2006 "eFinity" became the first Quixtar affiliated support organization to receive accredited status.
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.”