The FTC also cites Amway’s “Buyback Rule” as a feature distiguishing the Business from a pyramid scheme. Distributors can return any “products, literature, or sales aids” for “whatever refund is agreed upon between the departing distributor and his or her sponsor.” The Manual adds this note: “To return Amway literature for credit or refund, the literature must be sent back in its original wrapping, unopened and unused.”
In Amway's eyes, your friends and family are all potential cash cows you should be milking -- you're trained to go after the people closest to you first (to rack up those sweet pity sales). "I was thinking that every friend that didn't join my network didn't want success for himself or me, that he was somehow against me." This crazy train of thought led Kyritsis to harass his loved ones in an attempt to better their lives. Desperate to convince someone of the amazing untapped Amway potential, Kyritsis pushed the Amway rhetoric on anyone who would listen, especially his girlfriend. He would tell her that her studies were pointless when she could be making so much more money, dragging her to seminars and showing her the Amway tapes like a really boring version of The Ring.
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. 

THIS IS ALL CRAP, EVERYTHING THIS GUY/GIRL IS SAYING IS ALL FAKE ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I AM A CROWN IN THE BUSINESS AND BECAUSE HE IS SAYING THAT IT IS NOT A PYRAMID SCHEME. ESPECIALLY, BECAUSE I HAVE AN UPLINE THAT IS IN THE LEVEL EMERALD AND I AM IN CROWN, EVEN THOUGH HE INVITED ME I PASSED HIM, SO THIS IS ALL CRAP IF ANYONE ONE IS INTERESTED IN THIS WONDERFUL OPERTUNITY CONTACT ME.
The move unified the various Amway companies worldwide. "We're now reintroducing our brands in North America, moving away from Quixtar and going back to the Amway name", said Steve Lieberman, managing director of Amway Global. "We decided there were a number of roads we had to go down in order to recreate awareness for a brand that, quite frankly, a lot of people felt had gone away."[5]
Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products.[1] But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies.[2] Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
Greed and power-lust, to be sure. But also something larger, more desperate. Americans have, after all, worked progressively longer hours since the Vietnam War; and job insecurity is a hallmark of our E2020 future. Amway promises to transcend the excesses of capitalism by wholeheartedly indulging them. At a time when realistic, collective solutions are off the docket, it’s no surprise that people are turning to miracles. In this way, Amway is not so different from other mutations of the American Dream: the notion that grassroots entrepreneurs will save the urban poor, that the stock market will save Social Security, that casinos will fund our schools. All of these schemes offer salvation while preserving a core myth of capitalism: that the instruments for distributing wealth are also responsible for creating it. Or as Double Diamond and Überparasite Greg Duncan put it at Dream Night in a talk about Washington bureaucrats dividing up the social pie, “I make pies!”
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.  

grbj.com provides the same trusted and objective business reporting that the Business Journal is known for -- plus real-time original content, timely enewsletters/alerts, exclusive blogs and more. Business Journal subscribers receive the weekly print edition, including bonus publications like the annual Book of Lists, and also complete access to all content on grbj.com.
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.
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.

Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products.[1] But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies.[2] Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
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.

But as I came to know Josh better, I realized he was acting not so much out of a calculated strategy as out of a deep faith in duplication. Josh believed that whatever he did, his downlines would imitate: If he set the example of filling his house with only “positive” (i.e. Amway) products, so would they. Rich DeVos, more philosophically, calls this the Law of Compensation: “In the long haul, every gift of time, money, or energy that you give will return to benefit you.”


My parents more or less broke even in Amway. They didn’t lose any money; they also didn’t make any. I learned recently that my mom was against it from the start. ‘She never wanted to do it, never warmed up to it,’ says my dad. She believed it was a cult, and wasn’t happy about giving their time and money to it. She hated Amway’s rightwing political propaganda and evangelical bullying. She hated that it kept the two of them from spending time with me. ‘She wasn’t going to leave me,’ my dad says. ‘But there was tension because she didn’t want to go do these things.’ Even as he admits he agreed with her on some level, he wanted to believe that The Business was viable.
I order Artistry Supreme LX Limited-Edition Collection with Vanity Tray Gift (Item#272684). I receive my order and one of my creams was open. It spill in the box so I return my order the same day. I contacted customer service and they replace my order. As stated in the previous emails, I never received my order. Upon researching, tracking shows my package has been delivered on 04/30/2017 and left in my front door. I PAY MORE THAN $500 AND THEY JUST LEFT IT IN MY FRONT DOOR OF MY APARTMENT. A $500 ORDER!! THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!

I think there's a ton of misinformation on both parts. Yes, most people who jump into the business don't understand what they need to do to make their business successful. Then again, as mentioned above, MLM is a highly outdated model, pretty much just a good way to waste time when you could be using that time to retrain or pursue your passions. After all, what's the point in selling overpriced, under-quality product, and how can you expect to sell if you wouldn't buy it yourself?? I feel as though this system of marketing will die out fairly soon. Great post.
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:
A class action lawsuit was filed in 2007 against Quixtar and some of its top-level distributors in California, alleging fraud, racketeering, and that the products business and the tools business are pyramid schemes.[36] A similar case filed in California in August 2007 by TEAM affiliated IBOs whose contracts had been terminated was dismissed.[37] On November 3, 2010, Amway announced that it had agreed to pay $56 million to settle the class action, $34 million in cash and $22 million in products, and while denying any wrongdoing or liability, acknowledged that it had made changes to its business operations as a result of the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, which is expected in early 2011.[38] The total economic value of the settlement, including the changes to the business model, is $100 million.[39]

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.


Amway combines direct selling with a multi-level marketing strategy. Amway distributors, referred to as "independent business owners" (IBOs), may market products directly to potential customers and may also sponsor and mentor other people to become IBOs. IBOs may earn income both from the retail markup on any products they sell personally, plus a performance bonus based on the sales volume they and their downline (IBOs they have sponsored) have generated.[3] People may also register as IBOs to buy products at discounted prices. Harvard Business School, which described Amway as "one of the most profitable direct selling companies in the world", noted that Amway founders Van Andel and DeVos "accomplished their success through the use of an elaborate pyramid-like distribution system in which independent distributors of Amway products received a percentage of the merchandise they sold and also a percentage of the merchandise sold by recruited distributors".[68]
But there were some interesting results that threatened to shake up the rankings, none more so than Clemson's narrow 28-26 win over Texas A&M. The Aggies had their chances to pull even late in the fourth quarter. However, Quartney Davis fumbled into the end zone for a touchback after being tackled just before the goal line, and Texas A&M couldn't convert a potential game-tying two-point conversion in the dying moments. 
Rich and Jay go into business together selling Nutrilite vitamins, an early multilevel marketing scheme for which Jay’s second cousin and his parents are already distributors. When Nutrilite goes kaput in 1948 after an FDA crackdown on their ‘excessive claims’ regarding the products’ nutritional values (about which Rich only says, ‘Until then, there had been no official government position on what type of claims could be made about dietary supplements’), he and Jay strike out on their own – the American way. They can do it! We know they can!
Across those efforts, one constant is the DeVos family’s devout Christian beliefs, and the indivisibility they see between Christian and Calvinistic notions and their conservative politics. “The real strength of America is its religious tradition,” Richard DeVos wrote in Believe!. “Too many people today are willing to act as if God had nothing whatsoever to do with it. … This country was built on a religious heritage, and we’d better get back to it. We had better start telling people that faith in God is the real strength of America!” In the mid-1970s, DeVos made major donations to the Christian Freedom Foundation and Third Century Publishers, an outlet that printed books and pamphlets designed to strengthen the ties between Christianity and free-market conservatism; among those products was a guidebook instructing conservative Christians how to win elections and help America become “as it was when first founded—a ‘Christian Republic.’”
The car ride to the meeting went swimmingly. When Sherri mentioned job insecurity and the need to “diversify,” Elizabeth couldn’t have agreed more. When Sherri mentioned the time-money trap, Elizabeth knew just what she was talking about. A First Look might have had a real impact. She was clearly expecting some sort of business seminar. (Sherri hadn’t mentioned Amway and also cautioned me against doing so: “I’ve found that when I say ‘Amway,’ people get all … ” she said, miming “running-away-screaming.”) What Elizabeth got, however, was closer to a Pentecostal revival meeting. The featured speaker, Executive Diamond Brad Duncan (Greg’s younger brother), was more Billy Sunday than financial analyst; he yelled, joked, screamed, and sermonized past the audience at “sinners” who pretended they didn’t want to be rich and who dumped on anyone with ambition. He exhorted us to stop listening to our “broke” friends and relatives and allow ourselves to be influenced by successful millionaires: “I believe in the power of association!”

Hence, even in a legitimate MLM business like Amway, it is important to enter early. Those entering the business at the lower levels, find it difficult to get on new distributors and also end up with a lot of unsold inventory, thus leading to losses. Amway requires its distributors to buy back unsold inventory from the new distributors that they sponsor. But that is easier said than done.


Its funny that you should say that because, in my opinion I don't think MLM is going anywhere and the Amway Corporation definitely isn't going anywhere. since the depression in 2008 amway has increased its annual revenue by 1 billion dollars a year, and today stands at 11.8 billion dollars. Now your entitled to your opinion but there are some little facts that all people should be informed of. such as the fact that if your between the ages of 18 and 32, by the time you reach retirement (working a job) you have an 80% chance of being dead, disabled, broke, or financially dependent upon the government to subsidize your income. also by that time statistically you will have changed jobs 32 times. how much do you really think your 401k is really going to worth then. Im just a messenger her but I think a company like Amway is really the best shot any average Joe has of creating financial independence. I love when people say its a pyramid scheme. lets look at the typical job. (trading time for money) who works harder, stock boy at A&P or the CEO at A&P who's probably sitting in his hot tub right now? Obviously the stock boy but no matter how hard the stock boy works he will never out earn the CEO. that in my mind is a pyramid scheme. at least in Amway if you do more work you get more money. But the fact still remains it is not a get rich quick scheme. Its going to take hard works. Lots of hard work. but take it from someone who has worked his way through this system. it is well worth the effort. the ends justify the means because once you make to the top of that system Amway provides you with a life that is unparalleled by any other lifestyle. Its not easy but it does work.
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.
This year’s report confirmed the desirability of starting a business falls with age. While the AESI is the same (58) for respondents under 35 years of age and those between the ages of 35 and 49, it is considerably lower (51) for respondents over 50 years old. The youngest age group surveyed demonstrated the strongest desire (68 percent) to start a business. This falls to 60 percent for the middle age group and 48 percent for the oldest group of respondents. Most interestingly, the feasibility of becoming an entrepreneur follows a different demographic pattern with respect to age. It is the lowest for the youngest respondents (58 percent) and highest for the middle-aged respondents (64 percent). 

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.
I think there's a ton of misinformation on both parts. Yes, most people who jump into the business don't understand what they need to do to make their business successful. Then again, as mentioned above, MLM is a highly outdated model, pretty much just a good way to waste time when you could be using that time to retrain or pursue your passions. After all, what's the point in selling overpriced, under-quality product, and how can you expect to sell if you wouldn't buy it yourself?? I feel as though this system of marketing will die out fairly soon. Great post.

Though they aren’t quite as large or wealthy as the DeVoses, the Prince family—even further west, in Holland, Michigan—shares one big trait in common with their in-laws: the idea that patriotism and politics are inseparable from Christianity. Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Betsy’s mother, donated $75,000 to the successful 2004 ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan; four years later, she gave $450,000 to an identical initiative in California. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, founded Blackwater, the military contractor that gained notoriety in 2007, when its employees fired into a crowd of Iraqi civilians, killing 17. (In 2009, two former Blackwater employees alleged in federal court that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader.”)
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.  

@yoonyoung People don't know facts, people are unaccountable, people need leadership period. As a IBO with prior military service and had spent 5 years in the service building soldiers into leaders this business is dynamic. If the plan is not followed it will fail, but only fails if the IBO does not follow the blue print laid out by the upline who has fruit on the tree. Thank you for your post!
That same year over $4 million of DeVos’s money went to Hope College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Reformed Church in America – in which Rich DeVos was raised – while $2.2 million went to Calvin College, associated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Of the $90.9 million in philanthropic donations the DeVos family made in 2013, 13 percent went to churches and faith-based organizations: $7.5 million to the King’s College, a Christian college in New York City; $6.8 million to the Grand Rapids Christian Schools; and $1.05 million to the Chicago-based Willow Creek Community Church, an evangelical megachurch. As DeVos puts it in Simply Rich, ‘My Christian faith and outreach . . . remain strong after all these years. The Christian church and Christian education are high on our list of giving.’ He goes on to say:
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.

Building network marketing teams that last is incredibly difficult in North America (specifically USA). This may sound a bit harsh, but I have not seen Amway break a single Diamond in the USA in 2 decades (it was brought to my attention recently that there was 1, but I have not verified this). The reason teams are difficult to keep together, even with the promoting of events, is because building a business entirely offline is not attractive to most people in this country. And as much as leaders may complain that the internet has ruined this industry in some circles, it doesn’t change the fact that the marketplace is an entity all of its own; it’s not up to us to determine what’s best for the marketplace, it’s our duty to find out how they want to be marketed to and then meet that desire. Building solely offline gets tiring and the vast majority of people simply don’t want to burn the rubber off the tires any more.  Now don't get me wrong, building a local team can be extremely powerful (I do it in fact), but if you are not leveraging the power of the internet then your method of marketing may not be attractive to most prospects. Additionally there are a lot of companies that have embraced the internet, and since most people go to the web for information it is easy for Amway reps to get discouraged and explore other options when they find out a business can be built online. Again, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the local offline approach, but it's best when combined with the internet.
Avoid Amway motivational organizations, including Worldwide Dream Builders. While Amway is the biggest network marketing company in the world, and therefore has a lot of support, some of that support isn't in your best interest. Amway motivational organizations are designed to keep you buying business support materials rather than actually building your business.
Though they aren’t quite as large or wealthy as the DeVoses, the Prince family—even further west, in Holland, Michigan—shares one big trait in common with their in-laws: the idea that patriotism and politics are inseparable from Christianity. Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Betsy’s mother, donated $75,000 to the successful 2004 ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan; four years later, she gave $450,000 to an identical initiative in California. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, founded Blackwater, the military contractor that gained notoriety in 2007, when its employees fired into a crowd of Iraqi civilians, killing 17. (In 2009, two former Blackwater employees alleged in federal court that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader.”)

I only learned the extent to which he and Jean had convinced themselves of this when I worked up the courage to visit their bathroom. It was a strange spectacle indeed. The wall opposite the toilet was decorated with Post-Its, each with a biblical proverb or chestnuts like “A drowning man doesn’t complain about the size of the life preserver” and “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!” I was startled when a reggae song about “winners” suddenly filled the air; I located the speakers in the medicine cabinet. Most impressive, however, was a wish list taped above the toilet. Scrawled in pencil, it was presumably lengthened whenever Josh or Jean had a flash of covetousness in the shower. It included, among other items,
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.

In October 1994, Amway gave the biggest corporate contribution recorded to that date to a political party for a single election, $2.5 million to the Republican National Committee, and was the number one corporate political donor in the United States.[73] In the 2004 election cycle, the organization contributed a total of $4 million to a conservative 527 group, Progress for America.[75]
We follow her up the stairs. There are two large bedrooms separated by a bathroom and a linen closet – the children’s rooms. I step into the one on my left, which is smaller than I expected. It has wood floors and a closet with sliding mirror doors. Out the window, the neighboring house is less than ten feet away, and the space between is filled with broad-leafed palm trees. I hear the faint twang of the radio on the pool deck, playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
×