To sell Amway products, you’ll first need to register as an Independent Business Owner (IBO), which will then give you the opportunity to earn an income through their Compensation Plan. After signing up as an IBO, Amway claims that you’ll never be alone due to their world-class business resources, support, education, training, as well as mentoring. However, despite how great the company makes their business opportunity appear, the fact is that most people never make any money (see Bottom Line section for additional information).
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.
When it comes down to it, Amway has been in business for more than half a century, and they pay according to their compensation plan. As such, despite their negative general reputation, they do not fit the traditional definition of a scam. However, if you’re thinking about becoming an Amway Independent Business Owner, there are several things you should keep in mind.
After graduating from high school in 1975, Betsy enrolled at Calvin College, her mother’s alma mater. Calvin’s mission, as stated in the 1975–1976 course catalog, was “to prepare students to live productive lives of faith to the glory of God in contemporary society—not merely lives that have a place for religion … but lives which in every part, in every manifestation, in their very essence, are Christian.”
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 25: An general exterior view of the Amway Center on May 25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Fernandp Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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.
Amway is a multilevel marketing corporation. Some call it a pyramid scheme. In 2015, its parent company, Alticor, claimed transglobal sales of $9.5 billion. It is the biggest direct-selling company in the world. Distributors make money by signing up other distributors and – somewhere in the background – ‘selling’ Amway products. It’s not exactly clear how Amway products should reach the public. That isn’t part of Amway’s marketing plan; The Plan mostly teaches distributors how to sign up other distributors, to whom they then distribute Amway products, who then distribute Amway products to other distributors they sign up, and onward. Amway has been the target, along with its affiliate companies, of multimillion-dollar lawsuits and other legal actions on almost every continent.