Inside the Amway Center, everything is new from the front row to the rafters. Bigger seats. Better sight lines. More amenities on every level of the building. Concourses are spacious, offering unique concessions and activities for kids and adults alike. The Club Restaurant and the Ozone Bar overlook the event floor, and children enjoy spending time in the kid-oriented fun zone and retail store on the upper concourse. Technologically, Amway Center is one of the most advanced ever built, highlighted by the main scoreboard – the largest of its kind in the NBA. Measuring approximately 42 feet high and weighing in at more than 40 tons, its four primary video displays will be able to show high definition imagery in 4.4 trillion shades of color. Altogether, it’s unlike any arena ever built. It’s a world-class experience unlike anything Central Florida has ever seen.
In looking at U.S. respondents’ abilities and attitudes regarding starting and running a business, the majority (88 percent) perceive themselves as socially supported (compared to 64 percent globally). When it comes to taking risks, 74 percent of U.S. respondents consider themselves to be risk-takers, compared to 47 percent of respondents globally.
“The time is ripe for cultivating entrepreneurs, as evidenced by this year’s AGER results” said Jim Ayres, Managing Director, Amway North America. “Over the past five years, we have seen how age, education levels and gender influence attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Through this research, we realized the importance of understanding what motivates individuals to start their own businesses. This year’s AGER reveals a growing number of Americans continue to express a desire to start their own business. This desire is shared among the many independent business owners we work with year-round.”
Rich DeVos owns the Orlando Magic basketball team, which allows Amway to use Shaquille O’Neal’s name for their “Shaq Bars,” treats which taste like chaff stuck together with heavy-duty honey-flavored adhesive. When I reluctantly ate one at a meeting, a passing World Wider commented, “I love those. You need to eat them with a lot of water, though.”
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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.”
That vision is played out daily as the company helps people everywhere discover their potential and achieve their goals by offering great brands and opportunities. Amway is guided by six enduring values: partnership, integrity, personal worth, achievement, personal responsibility and free enterprise. Sharing generously with the local communities in which the company and its business owners operate is an important part of this.
He ended with a Wizard of Oz motif, reminding us to stay positive and focused: “You have to stick to that yellow brick road. Just like Dorothy. She followed it all the way to the Emerald City—and picked up three legs along the way! You know what? The Wizard of Oz is really an Amway movie!” The crowd erupted in laughter and cheers. In the midst of their long applause, they seemed to have forgotten what the Wizard turned out to be.
It’s not because we’re better or entitled to more money; we have been entrusted with it, and therefore need to be especially responsible. We just make sure personal spending doesn’t become a priority over the giving side. Once you learn the budgeting process of setting aside for giving first, then what you have left you can allocate elsewhere – including a home or an airplane or a boat. One could always argue that these things aren’t necessary and that you could give away more, and that’s always true. But if you look at it that way, you’d never do anything more than take the bus.
Their vertically integrated supply chain is one of longest in the industry. In addition to running plants, they own organic farms. They have farms in Brazil, Mexico, and the state of Washington where they grow and harvest key botanical ingredients like echinacea, spinach, alfalfa, watercress, and cherries. They then take those products and manufacture intermediates. Cherries, for example, are processed for Vitamin C. These intermediates they both use in their own products and sell to other companies.
A lot of people join (Amway.com) and other MLM business opportunities believing it will be easy and it’s their ticket to “get rich quick”, but the truth is it’s totally the opposite. Like any real business, you will have to work your butt off for a long period of time before you get results. Keep this in mind that Amway is a 2 to 3 year plan and you will have to follow that plan by prospecting, going to major functions (Home parties and larger events that take place) and by attending your team’s weekly meeting.
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.
President Gerald R. Ford, a native of Grand Rapids, was one of Mr. DeVos’s friends. Mr. DeVos also advised Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. He was a member of Reagan’s AIDS commission and helped develop the weekly presidential radio address when he agreed to carry Reagan’s Saturday noon broadcasts on the Mutual Broadcasting System, which was then owned by Amway.
There is a good possibility that this point would not have any impact on you, but for me it is a negative aspect. In the training, you will be taught to make a list of friends, family and acquaintances and yes, you guessed correctly – you will have to call them and get them to buy or join your business. I absolutely hate to drag my friends or family into buying something, they will buy, because they love me, but I don’t want to put them in that situation because that’s not what friends and family are for – I might be wrong, and this is merely my opinion.
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 Rocks! Billion dollar company that is debt free. President Chairmen of the US Chamber of Commerce. Owners of the Orlando Magic. A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau. Number 1 in the Health & Beauty industry. A company that stands for family, freedom and faith. For the last 58 years Amway has never miss a bonus check. That says a lot and explains why they are the number 1 Direct Sales Company in the world.
To understand the choices, you have to understand the business. He explained that the products developed to be sold for the direct sales model need to be different from any others on the market. “We develop products with specific deliverables that are unique. These products, what they are and how they work, needs to be explained by someone who knows the product. A good product for the store shelf is not necessarily a good direct sale product.”
I think of my family’s time in Amway as achievement tourism. We left reality for a moment and believed the impossible was possible. My dad still wonders if there’s more he could have done, if there’s a way for him to have succeeded in Amway – admitting in the next breath that there isn’t. My parents tried everything. At each turn, the people they thought were supposed to be helping them – their upline, yes, but really the overall structure of the Amway Corporation itself – actually stood in their way. They built dreams and worked to achieve them, but the only people who benefited from their work were the people already on top.
"The first part of the brainwashing," says Kyritsis, "was that 'there would be no success without the system.'" What's the system? The system is a series of seminars, recordings, and books that claim to be a guaranteed path to master salesmanship. Following Amway's guidelines successfully is seen as the only path to success, so if you aren't making money, it's because you're not "working the program" properly. Any success is due purely to their teachings, any failure is due to you not following them hard enough. Sound familiar?
While noting that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, Amway 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 was expected in early 2011. The economic value of the settlement, including the changes Amway made to its business model, totals $100 million.
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!
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.
Georgia put the game away by halftime with a 42-7 lead that included three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, another from freshman signal caller Justin Fields as well as his first career rushing touchdown, and a 100-yard rushing performance from junior tailback Elijah Holyfield, the first of his career as well. Sophomore wideout Jeremiah Holloman turned in a breakout performance with three grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.
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!
I don’t know how the CEOs stumbling through E2020 felt about this, but from what I could gather, the prospects for people like me were distinctly mixed. On the one hand, as a customer I’d be awesomely empowered—whole industries would rise and fall according to the butterfly effect generated by tiny shifts in consumer taste. But as a worker I’d be downgraded to “enabled.” I would have to eschew “third party” union representation, sacrifice guaranteed benefits, dispense with government protections, and forgo lifelong employment; instead, I’d accumulate “human capital” to sell in an open labor market. Of course, “change” would repeatedly render that arduously amassed human capital obsolete in the space of a nanosecond, after which I was to uncomplainingly set about accumulating more. This was called “being adaptable.”
This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.
It was a single-story, with four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a roundabout drive, and a screened-in pool. ‘You’ll see the gates,’ I’d say to my friends when giving them directions to my new house, feeling endowed with importance, despite the fact that these were not real gates – they were only for show. ‘They’re metal arches that say ‘Carlton Estates,’’ I’d say. These words tasted like gold. Carlton was a surname hyphenated invisibly after my own. I lived in Carlton Estates: that was surely worth something.
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.
William Keep, dean of the College of New Jersey’s School of Business, and a pyramid scheme critic, told Bloomberg earlier this year that “in terms of sending clear signals to the industry, the F.T.C. has done worse than nothing since 1979. It sends confusing signals that have in no way helped us understand how to identify a multilevel marketing company that may be a pyramid scheme.”
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).
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 meeting was hosted by Sherri’s friend Josh and his wife Jean, he a commodities broker, she a high school math teacher. Sherri and Josh had attended the same small Christian college. Before that, he had been an Indiana farm boy, and he still had the look: a beefy, boyish face with a grin that verged on gaping, mussed hair with perpetually sweaty bangs, a brown suit that flared in all the wrong places, and a general air of guilelessness. This cast in high relief his constant, ill-advised attempts to put on city airs: the firm handshake, the breezy small talk, the man-of-the-world asides.
When I told my parents about the business, they were immediately skeptical, but since my dad is a salesman he was supportive. The next week I was in the middle of teaching and got a phone call from the girl. She claimed that she had gotten a "last minute ticket" to their Thursday night meeting. She tried to describe how exclusive it is and basically hinted how honored I should feel to be invited. Unfortunately, it was so last minute we just couldn't do it. We were too tired after a long day at work. The following Thursday we went to the meeting. It was the strangest experience, and it was WAY too long. We didn't get home till 11 o'clock, and my husband had to be at work by 7:15. We were exhausted. Every few days we were having to meet for training with our mentors as well as watching videos and listening to CDs. They make sure to consume your life with a little bit of positive Amway, so you don't listen to the negative Amway. Guys, this literally can be described as a brainwashing method.
My husband and I tried Amway, and here's the story: My husband's BEST friend and his wife started asking us to hang out a lot, which was cool because we enjoyed their company. I thought she was my best friend at the time, stupidly enough. It didn't take long for them to tell us about this "amazing" opportunity. We thought we would give it a try since we sincerely trusted our friends. We would go to their house for a "meeting" in their basement with a bunch of strangers and two guys in suits. The guys would talk about how nice it is to work from home, make tons of money and generally just talk about nothing to do with the actual business. After every meeting I would think, okay but what is the business all about!?!?!? So eventually they set us up as "business owners" and we purchased a ton of crap from Amway totaling over $1,000 because, "that is what you do." Eventually, we decided that we would not continue with the business. There was nothing wrong with it, but we knew it wasn't for us. We didn't want to approach complete strangers in coffee shops and present them with an "opportunity"; we didn't want to stay home on the weekends to attend meetings instead of spending them at the lake; we didn't want to choose Amway partners over friends and family like you are taught (yes, there is a "tier"); we didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on products and guilt-trip our friends and family if they didn't want to buy our products (yes, this was also taught). All in all there was nothing very wrong with it, it's not a scam, but it's definitely NOT for everyone. I am writing this not to bash anyone but to give anyone an insight if they are wanting to be part of Amway. Oh, and as for the "friends"... they now completely ignore us. And I mean, I'll see them in public and they'll turn away from me when I wave; they will talk to anyone BUT us. And this was my husband's long-time highschool friend; they were even in eachother's WEDDINGS. So to be quite frank I will talk everyone out of doing Amway and it's their fault. If that is how they will treat others for simply not continuing with the business then I will tell NO ONE to join.
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.
The company has a lot of great products, shipping can take up to 5 days, but their guarantee is amazing. Compensation plan is second to none, but YOU NEED TO PUT IN WORK to make it actually work. If you are a go getter or ambitious, this is for you. If you aren't then probably not. Lot's of really great people and NEVER had a weird experience. Just business minded people who are looking to get ahead.
From an early age, Betsy was pushed to compete. In 1965, she was one of two second-graders to make entries in Holland’s annual tulip festival (a citywide valentine to the area’s Dutch heritage). In middle school, she entered a poster and essay contest about crime prevention. In her teenage years, she was a member of the Holland City Recreation Swim Team. Betsy excelled at the breaststroke. In August 1972, she won the Mid-Michigan Conference Championship, a contest in which younger siblings Emilie and Eileen Prince placed third and fifth, respectively).