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One day, Sherri asked me to attend a meeting at which a “millionaire from the West Coast” was to talk about “business trends of the nineties.” I was not entirely caught by surprise—Sherri had dropped hints about starting her own “distribution business” at about the time that Amway Dish Drops appeared in the E2020 kitchen—and although she didn’t tell me the millionaire was from Amway, it wasn’t difficult to guess which version of the gospel of wealth he’d be preaching. I jumped at the chance to meet this mysterious man of money, although from totally insincere motives—the old anthro major in me was hankering for a bona fide subculture to gawk at.
Haven’t you heard that dialogue from a friend before? It turns out to be a typical “Multi Level Marketing” in which you are supposed to pay a certain amount to become a member (and maybe get a gift which costs much lesser than the membership amount) and later refer it to your friends and convince them also to join it. In the process, when the friends pay the membership amount, you are awarded with some partial amount and when they in turn refer to their friends, they will be awarded some money, and since you are their “parent”, you will also get some money. As the process continues recursively, you “end up having a source of unlimited passive income!!”. Although it sounds very rosy, it is practically not possible to sustain this business model. It is unfortunate that most of the aspirants who get their hands burnt in such schemes are ambitious people from the software industry who actually have very good analytical minds but fail to make use of it to evaluate these models.
Amway breaks down its commission by PV and BV. The PV is your total point value for monthly sales, while your BV is percentage cash value based on the PV. There are possible bonuses at certain PV levels. The actual cash value of your downline is predictably complicated and, like credit card points, cleverly encourage more spending on Amway’s products.
The DeVoses supported an amendment to the US House of Representatives' omnibus Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 by US Representative John Moolenaar that would have limited the ability of the FTC to investigate whether MLMs are pyramid schemes. The amendment would have disbarred the Treasury Department, the Judiciary Department, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FTC, or any other agencies from using any monies to take enforcement actions against pyramid operations for the fiscal year. It also adopted provisions from H.R. 3409, the so-called “Anti-Pyramid Scheme Promotion Act of 2016,” which would blur the lines between legitimate MLM activity and pyramid schemes established under the original 1979 FTC case by deeming sales made to people inside the company as sales to an “ultimate user,” thus erasing the key distinction made in the ruling between sales to actual consumers of a product and sales made to members of the MLM network as part of recruitment of members or to qualify for commissions. The amendment was opposed by a coalition of consumer interest groups including Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine), Consumer Watchdog, the National Consumers League, and the United States Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), as well as Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) in its original incarnation.
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.
When it came to designing the architecture required for its IoT platform, Amway used AWS Professional Services to help it create a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline to automate delivery of platform software updates. The pipeline picks up source code changes from a repository, builds and packages the application, and then pushes the new update through a series of stages, running integration tests to ensure all features are intact and backward-compatible in each stage.
The problem for Amway distributors (or any other genuine MLM company) entering the game late is that it is difficult for them to sponsor new distributors. It is also difficult for them to sell Amway products given that there are so many distributors already operating in the market and they have selling relationships in place. Also, products sold by MLM companies typically tend to be more expensive than similar products being sold in the open market, making it more difficult to get customers willing to buy.
"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."
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.
After four years of litigation Amway won a landmark case in 1979 concerning the legality of MLMs. Because distributors can make an income on direct selling in addition to their downline, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that Amway was a legitimate business and could continue to operate. This decision has only led to other MLMs adopting similar loopholes and has done little to protect the millions of people scammed into giving their time and money to Amway and other MLMs.
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.”
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.
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). This is also publicized on Quixtar websites. 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.
Barring a surprise at confirmation hearings, the DeVos family will soon have a seat in Washington. But a question lingers: Will they continue as activists? While there’s a long history of Cabinet members donating to campaigns prior to assuming their roles atop the government, it would be fairly unprecedented for a Cabinet secretary to push policy within the government while her family simultaneously funnels millions to lobby and campaign for those same policies. But the DeVos family isn’t shy about using its clout.
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?
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.
Earlier in 1949, DeVos and Van Andel had formed the Ja-Ri Corporation (abbreviated from their respective first names) to import wooden goods from South American countries. After the Chicago seminar, they turned Ja-Ri into a Nutrilite distributorship instead. In addition to profits on each product sold, Nutrilite offered commissions on sales made by new distributors introduced to the company by existing distributors—a system known as multi-level marketing or network marketing. By 1958, DeVos and Van Andel had built an organization of more than 5,000 distributors. However, they and some of their top distributors formed the American Way Association, or Amway, in April 1959 in response to concerns about the stability of Nutrilite and in order to represent the distributors and look for additional products to market.
Amway business owners span the globe, from the Americas to Europe, India and Africa to Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s low-cost, low-risk business model sets IBOs up to reach their goals. It quickly and efficiently addresses the needs that may vary according to geography and culture. Details large and small, from navigating local selling regulations to product sizes and brand preferences, are coordinated in conjunction with local governments, business owners and consumers.
Amway: The True Story of the Company That Transformed the Lives of Millions reads like an extended advertisement. Its author, Wilbur Cross, became acquainted with Amway cofounders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel when they commissioned him to write the first ‘official’ history of the Amway Corporation, Commitment to Excellence, published in 1986. In Amway, Cross repeatedly references the work of Shad Helmstetter, PhD, a ‘motivational expert’ specializing in ‘programming’ yourself to change negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Negativity is expressly verboten in the world of Amway, as it breeds doubt – distributors are advised to get rid of any negative people in their downline as soon as possible if they can’t train them to be positive.
Once Amway has their claws in, they get their new recruit to switch everything over so they essentially become their own customer. By ordering household and beauty products through their own online store, they pay a premium for everyday items and get a small kickback which they try to sell as this amazing perk, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t just choose something else.
Occasionally, though, it can be useful to mention poverty in a certain context. Inspired by the personal and business philosophies of DeVos and Van Andel, Cross spent the ten years after writing Commitment to Excellence researching the two men, culminating in his 1995 self-help book Choices with Clout: How to Make Things Happen – by Making the Right Decisions Every Day of Your Life. Much of the book is compiled from interviews with the Amway founders and top-level distributors. In a passage about excellence, Van Andel outlines the proper way for an Amway distributor to rationalize the issue of poverty:
Qualifying for compensations needs more quantity compared to the majority of various other companies, this keeps new suppliers at a loss for a longer period of time. In order to qualify for a paycheck a rep have to do 100PV per month. This would not be such a large deal if the average factor wasn't somewhere around $3.00. This implies new distributors have to move $300.00 a month in quantity to get paid. Typically, most other business can be found in someplace around $1.10 to $1.50 per factor, meaning the brand-new rep would only need to move $110.00 to $150.00 or so per month to qualify.
Oh my gosh… WHAT? Amway? That company that’s been around for 50 years? That company that partners with 3,500,000 entrepreneurs? That company that’s partnered with Disney, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Sears, etc…? That company what works in 80 countries? Amway’s CEO is the head of the US Chamber of Commerce? 65 laboratories? 500 scientists? yeah… Total scam… I mean why purchase higher quality products through a single mom or a freshly graduated student needing to pay off his school loans? Walmart and Amazon need all the support they can get. And they waste money on advertising to get people to buy crap from China!
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.
It's not for nothing that you see 20% of the people in this world are leading 80%. Because 80% of people don't dare have a big dreams and overcome challenges. That's why they can live a great life, because they did something. So keep working for them and have an average salary and live your average life. Compare yourself to your boss. It's not for nothing that he is the only boss in his company leading 250 other people. It's just because he could vision himself bigger. Stay in the trap by yourself, who cares. It's your life. You can live it as awesome as you want or as miserable as you want. But there will still be dreamers out there who will lead you at the age of 65 when you can't retire because your retirement paycheck is too low. Because they will dare do something that you are not smart enough to take the risk to do. And enjoy your paycheck. They will enjoy their wonderful lifestyle. You will still have 15 vacation days to stay at home, they will take vacation whenever they want and travel all around the world. After all, if there was not people like you, your boss would not make any money. Wish you luck... I am an IBO and I LOVE AMWAY.
In the 1979 ruling In re. Amway Corp., the Federal Trade Commission determined that Quixtar predecessor Amway was not an illegal pyramid scheme because no payments were made for recruitment. In addition, Amway (and later Quixtar) rules required distributors to sell to at least 10 retail customers per month, or have $100 in product sales, or a total of 50 PV from customer purchases in order to qualify for bonuses on downline volume. Quixtar IBOs are required to report this customer volume on Quixtar.com or they do not receive bonuses on downline volume. Furthermore, an IBO must also personally sell or use at least 70% of the products personally purchased each month. The FTC established that these rules help prevent inventory loading and other potential abuses of the marketing model.
Thanks for the information on these company. I have been scam by a company Named Creative Stream or AKA Private Community Creative Enterprises, or AKA CEP Community. They promise to give you money if you recruit people into the company. Get 6 to 8 people get 6 figure salary. They claim an investor was placing the money in a money market account that increase our income. The conference calls had over a thousand people on the line waiting for their return of investment. They even came to the state I live in and did a meeting to confirm they were legit. People took picture of them and with them. I join in September of 2012. The money they took was over $700,000 to $800,000 maybe more. that amount I'm aware of. There were policemen and other people with degrees that got scammed. BE Aware of this company. You can contact me if you have any additional questions.
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.
I was an ibo for a few years and received instruction from Ron himself. Wye aye man, that shite is expensive! The wife and I spent loads on nuts and bolts and pep rallies. Not to mention we were also pressured to buy bsm and got a lot of encouragement from our upline. The products were great and xcess tastes amazing, but it was such a financial burden that the wife had to take a job while I did the fishing. I finally said sod it and quit, despite her highly adamantly vocal irritation. I think that’s one of the reasons she left, hahaha. No, it’s not a scam in the true sense of the word, because how the business model is structured, but your upline and the organization does make more than you in the end.
Scott spent the first hour explaining America’s economic crisis, which is rooted in a betrayal stretching back to the late nineteenth century. See, that’s when big corporations, with the help of government-run public education, first convinced Americans to abandon their entrepreneurial instincts and accept jobs. Before that, everyone was either a small-business owner or apprenticing to be one; afterwards, it was all about benefits packages. Emasculated by wage slavery, Americans had muddled along fairly well until, as stagflation rent the land in the 1970s, we realized in horror that mere wages were helpless against “exponentially expanding” costs.
There are some one and a quarter million Amway members in the United States, roughly one for every two hundred of the rest of us, all of them eager to spread the gospel of salvation-through-selling-Amway-products. Considering Amwayers’ penchant for compiling long lists of names, accosting strangers, and generally striving to collapse the degrees of separation between them and other humans, the chances of an American being asked to an Amway meeting are quite good—somewhere between having a condom break during sex and being dealt a straight in a hand of poker. For a certain segment of the struggling middle class, where there’s a magic mixture of disposable income and status insecurity, the odds are nearer those of catching a cold. And for someone like me, a post-collegiate pre-professional with a solid future in temping, Amway is more or less a mandatory rite of passage.
The next evening (Sunday because that's URA's phone session night) I received a call from the girl. I missed the call but immediately called her back thinking she was wanting to make dinner plans or something along those lines. She began talking about this cool business opportunity she has and felt like we would be perfect for it! The way she explained it made it sound legit. She said it was a company who endorses major brand products online, etc., etc. I was intrigued at first. They had us in the palm of their hands. When I hung up the phone, my husband immediately said "They're using us. This is some MLM scam." I believed him, but I had liked the couple so much I didn't want to lose their friendship, so we decided to just try it out. See if it's for us.
On their request, we went to some meetings, where the same thing - earn $50k to $70k. They call winners on stage based on their performance. They say those members earned lakhs (a hundred thousand). But no one has the guts to ask them to show their account statement which reflects their receipt of payment from Amway. Fooling people. You pay 8 to 10 times higher than our Indian items.
I asked him when he thought he'd reach that stage himself, after all he was spending a Wednesday evening trying to sell the system to me, plus he was still working a normal job. I explained that for him Amway was not yet in the business owner quadrant, it was in the self employed quadrant. In Amway he didn't have a boss and he could work his own hours, but his income was not passive. In the cast of this meeting, and I'm sure many others, he put in hours of work for absolutely no income.
Outside the Capitol, state police donned riot gear while officers on horseback pushed protesters away from the building. Loudspeakers blared Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and as the wind picked up, four 20-foot-tall inflatable rat balloons skittered from side to side. Each rat represented one of the key players protesters blamed for right-to-work’s hasty adoption: the governor, the House speaker, the Senate majority leader, and—the only unelected member of the rat pack—Dick DeVos.
The Amway approach supposedly avoids impersonal door-to-door sales, as each distributor need only sell directly to a small customer base of friends and family. Business “growth”—and an ascent to the flashier “bonus levels” (Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Executive Diamond, Double Diamond, Crown Ambassador)—comes mostly through expanding one’s downline. In theory, this odd marketing system ensures that benefits accrue not to Madison Avenue slicksters, but to ordinary folk capitalizing on their close-knit community ties—a scheme that seemingly reflects the small-town, Protestant populism of Amway’s co-founders, Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndel.
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.