Sometimes we brought along a camera and took pictures of one another walking around the houses. We saw two or three in a day and then took the film to be developed. Back in our three-bedroom, we looked at the photos together, then stored them in fresh albums. In the photos, we wore the same outfits while the houses around us changed. We were the proud owners of three beautiful homes, the photos said – or this was one big home. One monstrous behemoth of a home comprised of three mansions smashed together.
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.
Each year, Rich DeVos attends The Gathering, a below-theradar conference of hard-right Christian organizations and their biggest funders. Featured speakers have included the president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, the president of Focus on the Family, and the head of the Family Research Council. The philanthropists in attendance are representatives of some of America’s wealthiest dynasties and family foundations, and of the National Christian Foundation, America’s largest provider of donor-advised funds given to Christian causes. Donors who meet at The Gathering dispense upwards of $1 billion a year in grants.
Prices for signing up as an Amway IBO depend on the Business Kit you select. IBO Literature Kit costs $62. It includes a detailed guide to help you start your business, training programs, brochures and information about the company's bonus programs. The cost of IBO Product Kit is $83.99. It includes everything found in the Welcome Kit, as well as full-size products ($150 worth) for you to try. If you are not satisfied with your business opportunity, you can ask for a 100% refund within 90 days of purchase. To do this, you will need to contact customer service by calling at 800-253-6500 or writing to email@example.com.
The compensation plan is called a “stairstep breakaway,” which requires the business rep to effectively rebuild a leg once it has reached what’s called Platinum status (7500 points). Basically, legs break off once they qualify and the commissions turn into 4% royalties instead of commissioned payouts of ~30%. I asked a former Amway emerald once what it was like having his first leg break-off and his reply was: “it’s awful, you really know how to ask painful questions don’t you.” He went on to explain his commissions dropped by at least 80% when they turned into “royalties.” It should be noted that the royalties technically disappear if the volume in the leg drops below 7500 points, so it’s not really a “permanent” royalty unless you maintain your volume. It is in essence a “punishing” compensation plan that forces you to rebuild a leg once it reaches this trigger volume, effectively causing you to “not” want others to pass you up.
The next week, I decided. I would never learn the truth about Amway until I joined. I left a message on Josh’s Amvox voicemail telling him I had the $160 check ready. A week later, I left another message. By my third attempt, I got Josh himself (who had been intending to return my calls) and was finally able to arrange a time to separate me from my money. It wasn’t the last time I felt he and Jean weren’t exactly cut out for the rigors of The Business.
Texas A&M 167; Cincinnati 116; South Florida 87; Michigan State 48; Wisconsin 41; NC State 40; Northwestern 40; Miami 38; Georgia Southern 32; Oklahoma State 31; UAB 24; Stanford 21; Auburn 21; Oregon 20; San Diego State 16; Buffalo 14; Army 13; South Carolina 11; Iowa State 6; Florida International 6; Virginia Tech 5; Pittsburgh 3; Duke 3; Boise State 2.
Business owners receive education materials and free online training available 24/7 on mobile devices and in multiple languages. Educ and training topics include product information, how to sell them, how to earn income, how to grow a business, and how to be a leader. In addition, Amway offers business tools, including a personalized, mobile-friendly website, apps and customer service support (from real people, in six languages). Compared to the cost of starting almost any other kind of business, the cost to become an Amway IBO is minimal and low-risk.
The Dream is “sort of about pyramid schemes,” as host Jane Marie says at the beginning of the new podcast series, but it takes a moment to figure out just what that means. In the beginning of the first episode, which you can listen to exclusively here, Marie dives into a classic pyramid scheme of the 70s and 80s, the “airplane game,” a trend that became so prevalent among a certain subset in New York and South Florida that The New York Times caught on, calling it “a high-stakes chain letter.”
Amway has been around for 50+ years which has resulted in deep market penetration in most of North America. During this time frame it acquired a negative reputation that lasted the better part of 2 decades. This resulted in the need to re-brand Amway as Quixtar (during the 90s). The baby boomer generation is very aware of this and many will be quick to discourage their younger family members from doing Amway. If you are thinking of joining Amway and think this may be inaccurate, simply ask someone in your family in their 50s, 60s, or 70s whether or not they think you will make money with Amway, and why. There are ways around this when approaching the cold market, but it typically involves meeting with the same individual a multitude of times, playing verbal jujitsu, and not exposing the Amway name until the fifth or sixth approach. I personally know an Amway distributor (and good friend) that makes ~50k per year so it is absolutely possible, but he works his butt off driving all over the state and he constantly deals with high attrition.
The lack of government prosecutions, along with sophisticated PR spin and misleading income data have given MLM schemes an aura of legitimacy, heightening their ability to fool consumers and the media as well. Gradually, though, the truth about how MLMs have escaped regulation is coming to light. The answer is plain and simple: MLMs bought influence in Washington and in some state legislatures with campaign contributions and high pressure lobbying.
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.”
The next five days saw large protests on the Capitol grounds, culminating with an estimated 12,500 demonstrators on December 11, the day the House voted on the legislation. Two-thousand demonstrators flooded into the Capitol, sitting in the hallways and laying down in the rotunda. They stomped their feet, chanted familiar slogans, sang “Solidarity Forever”—a cacophony that some in the House chamber one story up initially confused for thunder.
Now the husband and wife team continues to work together, taking the time to slow down and help others. The business enables them to live their lives with flexibility, spending more time with family and one another. The strengthening of their bond depends on a connection with others; building trust and helping others find a way to meet whatever goals they may have.
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.’”
I'm sure that the success stories I heard were all true. The problem is that they build an unrealistic expectation of what is possible. People hear these rags to riches tales and think 'hey that could be me'. Unfortunately very few of them will ever make any money at all. Even fewer will achieve financial freedom from Amway Joining Amway is extremely easy, making a profit in Amway is extremely difficult.