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.
I love this company. I love all the stories I hear how people succeeded in their lives. It is low cost to get in. It is only $ 50 yearly fee just to stay active. You are not abligated to buy every month if you dont' want to. this company has the best compansation plan especially when you grow in this business, you get increadible surprise reward checks and more.
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They are very similar to Amazon. I would want them to lower their prices even more because I noticed that the prices started to increase and in order for me to remain a customer prices have to be fair. However, my overall experience with this website is very good because their delivery is very quick and easy and I will continue to use it if it stays that way. The service is really good also.
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.
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.
Fittingly, my encounter with Amway began during a long-term temp assignment at Andersen Consulting’s ENTERPRISE 2020 project, an ongoing exhibit to which consultants would bring potential clients to scare them about the future. The main attraction was a battery of “industry experts” who produced customized nightmare scenarios to help manufacturing executives from across the globe see the Third Wave coming at them. The experts would discourse gravely about globalization, accelerating technology, managed chaos, self-organizing supply chains, flex-this, flex-that, and nano-everything, eventually arriving at the message of this elaborate sideshow: The future is not to be faced without an Andersen consultant on retainer.
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.
Scott’s own income, he assured us, was “out of control”—and, furthermore, it wasn’t built on something as old-fashioned as food. He worked in the cutting-edge field of distribution, where the real money was to be made nowadays. Through his business, he could get thousands of quality goods, many of them brand names, and cut distribution costs by almost a third. The company that organized this system did $6 billion a year in sales (Scott helped us to understand this awesome figure by describing for us the height of a billion-dollar stack of hundred-dollar bills) and was, on top of this, debt free. It might surprise us that this company was Amway![4]
As a business owner, I am at the top and my employees are there to keep my profit margin. As long as you don't own the company you "work" for and you are not taking the vacations your boss can afford you are with the other employees holding him/her up. I am at the top of the pyramid. People have to ask me to take vacations. If you consider that to be acceptable, congratulations you are part of the mentally conditioned 95% who will work for a retirement that is not enough to fulfill your dreams or freedom.
The successful ones? You mean those that are already on the top of the pyramid? 99% of IBOs lose money. The average income is only around $150 a month, IF that, and I believe I'm overstating. I almost fell for this trap back in the early spring. Buying almost $300 of overpriced stuff just for $9 back...? I don't think so! That's not a profit or even savings. That's a complete loss
We also were in business in Amway and we DID make money.  We worked hard and earned it.  BUT, as with any business, especially a direct marketing, we had uplines (the people above us) who were cheats and liars and only wanted money for themselves, not others.  They in effect, stopped us at a certain level from making anymore money.  We changed to a different group, but by then our dynamic was gone and we couldn't do much.  As with any business, NOT just Amway, you have to deal with people.  And THAT is the problem.  My husband got tired of fighting and not getting anywhere and he quit.  I am still in it because, let's face it, the products ARE the BEST.  We started sometime around 1986.  We met some fantastic people, we had the time of our lives, and it WAS our life.  I missed it terribly, and I still miss alot of those people.  But through it, we came away with MANY many good things learned, and still do have some very close friends from it.  My upline now is my VERY best friend in the world, more like a sister.  We are older now and have plenty of money for ourselves, so our interest is not in making money at this point, but simply living our wonderful lives now.  If you are out to make money, you CAN do it in Amway.  But the right way is the way to do it.  Don't cheat, be good to your people, and really believe in what you have and what you can do.
Scott Coon (the millionaire from Seattle), on the other hand, was the genuine article: His breezy small talk projected an illusion of sincere interest, his well-fed face reflected self-assurance. Scott worked the small crowd with consummate slickness. After a mumbled intro from Josh (followed by whoops from the audience), Scott stood beaming at us, rubbing his hands in anticipation. 

But there is one thing that we need to understand here. Like in an MLM scheme which is a Ponzi scheme, the business that an Amway distributor does, depends on finding new distributors and then hoping that these new distributors sell Amway products and at the same time are able to appoint newer distributors. If a distributor is successful at this he makes more and more money. The trouble is that we go along it becomes more difficult to appoint new distributors. Lets try and understand this through an example. Lets say the first distributor that a genuine MLM company appoints, in turn appoints five distributors.

The only other way that one could argue the merits of an Amway Pyramid Scheme is if the only person who made the most money was the first distributor to join the company, aka - "the guy at the top". The truth is that you could sign up today and sell more than your sponsor tomorrow. If so, you could pass him/her up and make more money. This completes negates the theory of an Amway Pyramid Scheme.


Amway's time in business has not been without controversy. The multi-level company is not new to dealing with lawsuits. One lawsuit in the last ten years resulted in Amway paying $56 million to settle a case alleging it operates a pyramid scheme. Amway agreed to the deal to close a 2007 class-action suit. Here are some of the accusations Amway has received in its more than 50 years of business:


I love this company. I love all the stories I hear how people succeeded in their lives. It is low cost to get in. It is only $ 50 yearly fee just to stay active. You are not abligated to buy every month if you dont' want to. this company has the best compansation plan especially when you grow in this business, you get increadible surprise reward checks and more.
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.
Methodology: Source Euromonitor International Limited. Claim verification based on Euromonitor research and methodology for Amway Corporation conducted from April to May 2012. Euromonitor studied ten leading direct selling companies in Brazil, as provided by Amway, and through interviews with company distributors and company employees Euromonitor tried to determine if any of the companies had implemented an internal Facebook page exclusive to distributors that provides tools for customization, retailing and content management. None of the ten leading direct selling companies had this capability at the time of the research. To the extent permissible, Euromonitor does not accept or assume responsibility to any third party in respect of this claim. Further information is available upon request.
The main difference was that all "Independent Business Owners" (IBO) could order directly from Amway on the Internet, rather than from their upline "direct distributor", and have products shipped directly to their home. The Amway name continued being used in the rest of the world. After virtually all Amway distributors in North America switched to Quixtar, Alticor elected to close Amway North America after 2001. In June 2007 it was announced that the Quixtar brand would be phased out over an 18- to 24-month period in favor of a unified Amway brand (Amway Global) worldwide.
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 2006, Amway China had a reported 180,000 sales representatives, 140 stores, and $2 billion in annual sales.[31] In 2007 Amway Greater China and South-east Asia Chief Executive Eva Cheng was ranked No.88 by Forbes magazine in its list of the World's Most Powerful Women.[32] In 2008, China was Amway's largest market, reporting 28% growth and sales of 17 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion).[33] According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek in April 2010, Amway had 237 retail shops in China, 160,000 direct sales agents, and $3 billion in revenue.[34]
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.
If Engler thought he had anointed a rubber stamp, he quickly learned otherwise. In January 1997, DeVos cleared house, unilaterally firing all of the party’s top directors and pausing all contracts with vendors, blaming them for the party’s losses months earlier. “Betsy regarded the governor’s input as good advice, not an order,” Greg McNeilly, a close associate of Betsy DeVos, told an Engler biographer years later. “That’s when the problems started.”
Betsy’s campaigning earned the attention of the Ford team, which tapped her to attend that year's Republican National Convention in Kansas City as a participant in the “Presidentials” program for young Republicans. The budding politicos attended training on campaign strategy and political techniques, and were divided into groups based on geography so that they could get acquainted with potential allies from their home states. There were also more practical desires for a squadron of young volunteers at a contested convention: “Anywhere there needed to be noise, there were always kids,” Betsy Prince told a reporter for the Holland Sentinel in 1976 (“Betsy Helps Cheer Ford Through in Kansas City,” read the headline, beside a photo of a T-shirt-clad Betsy sporting a feathered, Farrah Fawcett-lite hairdo).
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.
“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.”
Let us not underestimate the power of ideas. Cross provides examples of distributors who let nothing stand in their way. Just listen to the story of the Upchurch family, who persisted in Amway, making any sacrifices necessary, even after Hurricane Fran destroyed their home. Or the Janzes, who were desperately poor new parents with another child on the way when they learned that Amway was bigger than making money; it was a way to overhaul your lifestyle and live your dreams. Or Dexter Yager, who didn’t let a stroke stop him from achieving success with Amway and continued to operate his business at the same level even as he was learning to walk and speak again.

Edit: Thanks for the answers everyone! Unfortunately, we had a long debate today about it and he is definitely set. Even after I talked about the pyramid scheme esque facts and everything else you guys said. I'm still going to be his friend but I'm definitely not bought. He is very stubborn and wants me to read a book by KIYOSAKI... he also mentioned that they sell products at a price lower than retail price, contrary to what other posters said. Can anyone confirm?
Well Amway... I want you to know that even though your system may be very manipulative, you won't be able to mess with me and my friends. You can try all you want to tell my best friend to forget his friends, but you won't have the control to tell his friends and tell them to stay away from your loyal IBO. I hope you burn in hell for being responsible for ruining other powerful friendships due to your greediness. It's never going to work on me or my best friend. I'm an electrical engineer who'll do my best to provide him 20 times better advise than you'll ever give him. So go ahead and try to tell him different, I don't mind handling a challenge.
[12]Amway gives some idea of real chances for success in its “Amway Business Review” pamphlet, which the FTC requires it provide to all prospects. The “Business Review” is an ingenious mixture of mandated honesty and obfuscatory spin: The average monthly gross income for “active” distributors, for instance, is revealed to be a meager $65 a month; but the “Review” leaves out the median income and the net profit, both of which would probably be negative. Likewise, it states that “2 percent of all ‘active’ distributors who sponsor others and approximately 1 percent of all ‘active’ distributors met Direct Distributor qualification requirements during the survey period.” From this, it derives the optimistic conclusion that “once again, the survey demonstrates a substantial increase in achievement for those who share the business with others.” Increase implies that there are some non-sharing distributors who succeed; an alternate reading of the statistics would be that all distributors try to share, none succeed without sharing, but only half are able to share. It’s also a measure of Amway’s PR savvy that every article I’ve seen (even the critical ones) that mentions the number of Directs uses the 2 percent, rather than the more accurate 1 percent, figure.
Amway was forced by the FTC to admit publicly that the average profit for their members was roughly $1400 a year. Also Amway makes more profit charging their “independent business owners” fees for “training” than they do for their actual products. You’ll notice Ambots spewing the same recycled script over and over whenever you challenge them. They also lie about their success rates . It’s called “fake it til you make it”. Every person I’ve ever know in Amway comes off as incredibly sleazy. Oh, and by the way? “Looser” means “less tight”. A “loser” is someone who loses. Like most Amway members.
4. The Federal Trade commission tried Amway and found it to be what they referred to as a legal and viable business that is not a pyramid because a pyramid is an organization with no real products or services that only circulates money through recruiting others people. Because Amway only pays when products are purchased (not people signed up), they are by definition, NOT a pyramid.
While the whirlwind of meetings and events were great for cultivating denial, they seemed to do little to help distributors develop “strong and profitable businesses.” Nor were they much good for attracting new blood into The Business. With the exception of First Looks, their extreme cultishness was distinctly off-putting to newcomers. Still, Josh, Jean, and Sherri continued to make the mistake of indiscriminately taking prospects to whatever meeting was going on. Even a Second Look (described ominously as more “motivational” and less informational than a First Look) was inadvisable for outsiders, as Sherri discovered when she took her friend Elizabeth to one.
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]
I absolutely agree with this post! I was recently approached by a friend to attend a “business meeting” regarding a “great business opportunity on the Internet” but he did not wanted to say anything until the meeting happened with him and his friend, who supposedly was the owner of this business venture. When I arrived to the “meeting” Suprise! I saw other friends there and about 300+ other unknown people. Immediately warning bells started ringing and I knew it was a pyramid scam anyhow, I stayed for the meeting and indeed by the end my suspicions were confirmed and it became quite obvious that the my friend’s friend was the recruiter. A few days later I heard back from a very close friend of mine who had also been approached and attended a separate meeting, she questioned me about it because the recruiter told her that I was “very excited at joining this venture” which of course was an absolute LIE and an obvious attempt to manipulate and pressure her to join! After two weeks, the recruiter contacted me ACCUSING ME of stealing a USED lip gloss from his wife the day of the so called meeting and then proceeded to ask me why hasn’t he heard back from me?!?! Could you imagine? The freaking nerve of these people!!!! Of course I put him in his place and hope that he never, ever dares to contact me again because if he does I will file a complaint for harassment!!
If it’s not your family who brings you in, it’s probably a friend. For my dad, it was a manager at one of the car dealerships for which he handled advertising. The man’s business comprised almost half of my dad’s income. Over time, they’d developed a friendship. You’d think my dad would be immune to Amway, given his familiarity with advertising’s insidious ways. But how does the saying go? A good salesman can sell you your own grandmother.
‘I was a salaried man working in a company for eight years,’ says Kaoru Nakajima, Japan’s first Amway Crown Ambassador. ‘Now I am my own boss. Now I am free. Now I am selling products that make me proud. Now I am helping people in five different countries to build their own businesses. When I see so many people getting more abundant lives, I feel really excited.’
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.
From the beginning, designers focused on creating a sustainable site; providing water efficiency; optimizing energy and atmosphere protection; conserving materials and resources; monitoring indoor environmental quality and health; and selecting environmentally preferred operations and maintenance. These elements combine to create one of the most environmentally friendly, high-performing professional arenas in the country.
In 2006 Amway (then Quixtar in North America) introduced its Professional Development Accreditation Program in response to concerns surrounding business support materials (BSM), including books, tapes and meetings.[100][101] In 2010 this was superseded by its Accreditation Plus program to ensure that all BSM content is consistent with Amway's quality assurance standards, which approved providers of BSM must abide by.[102][103] The quality assurance standards state that[104][105][106] 

Amway is haunted by the specter of saturation, the success that spells disaster. The 6-4-2 scenario tells it all: To keep one promise of $2,000-a-month, seventy-eight more need to be made whose fulfillment is still pending. The problem is that growth doesn’t improve this ratio: Were Amway to conquer the known universe, fewer than 2 percent of its distributors would be (or mathematically could be) Directs or higher. Of the rest, about 90 percent would be actively losing money—and without a pool of prospects to give them hopes for the future, they would surely quit. Amway would collapse from the bottom up.
The prospect is alarming enough that Charles Paul Conn, in Promises to Keep, works hard to prove it’ll never happen. “The reality,” he tells us, “is entirely different from what might be predicted by a statistician with a slide rule.” He points to the millions of likely untapped prospects—youths, retirees, downsized professionals, foreigners—although he fails to acknowledge that recruiting them would only make the Business hungrier. More plausibly, he adds that Amway is a small part of the population and will stay that way. The Business’s high dropout rate, he explains, though “often cited as a negative factor, actually serves to keep the pool of potential distributors large.” In other words, Amway’s salvation is its high rate of failure.
To Bill, dupes would always be dupes, and he signaled his confidence in this by launching into a monologue that would have caused a scandal before a more critical audience. He told us, matter of factly, that World Wide had $8 million in assets, in which only those at the Diamond level had any equity; that the twenty World Widers who sat on its board frequently had food fights that splattered the HQ’s silk wallpaper; and that World Wide tapes are so bad that Bill himself would regularly throw them out his car window. In short, he was tossing us rope to hang him with, baldly acknowledging that World Wide was nothing but a support system for a bunch of fast-talkers who lived high on the hog by charging their bamboozled underlings outrageous prices for spurious advice. This was the most damning critique of Amway I had ever heard. Yet none of it mattered to the crowd; they seemed only to be dreaming of the fancy wallpaper that they might one day be able to soil.
Scott confidently reprised decades’ worth of conservative alarmism, invoking inflation and national debt and other flat-earth bugbears in a doomsday routine as charmingly archaic as it was fatuous. An accurate narrative of the last few decades—growing productivity, GDP, and per-capita income, accompanied by a massive upward redistribution of wealth—would hardly have packed the millennial portent Scott was looking for. The Second Wave, like Communism, like all the works of man, was destined to decay and collapse, making way for the coming entrepreneurial kingdom—which, for those who lacked faith or zeal, would bring a day of reckoning. Were we ready? To prove he “wasn’t making this crazy stuff up,” he littered the floor with copies of Fortune, Money, and Forbes, citing the relevant disaster stories. I felt like I was back at ENTERPRISE 2020.
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?”
Hi Ben. LTD is a Line of Association or approved provider, not a company. LTD has no rights to require you to purchase any business materials. Everything offered by LTD is optional to IBOs due to the Rules of Conduct which is approved by federal government. But I believe LTD is a really nice LOA, because I know some really intelligent LTD leaders. Amway would not suspend your business for no reasons, because it's not benefitial to Amway either. And the arbitration company you talk about is called Independent Business Owner Association International, which is a non-profit association previously named as American Way Association founded in 1959, not company either. All the IBOAI Board Directors are elected from Diamond IBOs and above by votes from Platinum and above. If you have conflicts with Amway, you may appear for an infromal and formal hearing conciliation in IBOAI, which is held by IBOAI Board Directors not Amway administrators. And the IBOAI will stand out for IBOs' benefits, not Amway's. Amway usually accept IBOAI's recommendation for the results of hearing conciliations. You must understand that Rules of Conduct was writting by both Amway Rules Dept and IBOAI directors, and approved by government. That means the content in the Rules is legal and obeying the Federal Laws and the spirit of the Contitution. Amway has to fight you by the rules, and IBOAI will help you fight back by the rules. However, if you break the rules, nobody can help you. Is this the reason why you wrote your comment like this? And you know what, you can sue Amway Corp, because I know someone who did it and won the case. It has proved that this business has helped a lot of people earning extra income or achieving dreams without violating the Rules Of Conduct. And if your upline overcommitted you something, please don't blame it on this business and other IBOs in this business. Nobody should tell you that you only need 10 hours a week to be successful, nobody can make this statement, and nobody should believe it. I strongly suggest you to contact with me, and I would like to show you what a correct approch to Amway Business is. And I still believe you may find a way to make extra income in this business.
My uplines’ despair made me reluctant to add to their failure. But I had stayed in too long already. Having run out of other things to buy, I had resorted to subjecting my cat to Amway pet food. And I began to sense that when Josh and Sherri looked at me, they—in their last-ditch hopes—saw Diamonds. Before I disappeared from their lives, however, I accompanied them to one last Rally.
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