My parents and I were solidly middle class when we collided with Amway. We owned our home. We lived in a safe neighborhood where I could play outside without supervision and walk home alone after the sun went down. We always kept an excess of food in the house. I got new shoes whenever I outgrew my old pair. I received new toys when my old ones broke and new books when I finished reading the ones I had. I went to gymnastics practice four times a week, singing lessons once a week, camp over the summer, and back-to-school shopping in the fall. We didn’t need Amway.
The reason some people received $84 was because they didn’t work hard enough to earn more. This business isnt for everyone. Just try the products and of you dont like them then return them you have 6 months to return them. Just dont start stating facts that aren’t true just because you lost a friend. They probably left because they trying to be with people who were trying to succeed. Take it from me im 16 years old and this business has not failed me yet.
The DeVos family’s charitable giving and political activism sprawls across three generations. It’s not just Dick and Betsy, but Richard and Helen’s other children, too. There’s Daniel DeVos, who chairs the Orlando Magic, an NBA franchise the family owns, and his wife, Pamella. There’s Doug DeVos, Amway’s current president and the chair of the executive committee of the National Constitution Center, and his wife, Maria. There’s Cheri DeVos, who sits on the board at Alticor, Amway’s parent company. And there’s their children, a generation of young adults ready to carry the baton.
Josh also showed signs of breakdown. After the presentation he took his customary position near the speaker, a hand-held recorder jutting provocatively from his hip; but because he wasn’t in Dave’s downline, he wouldn’t be able to accompany him to dinner. Josh claimed that it was at such dinners that speakers, unfettered by FTC restrictions, could reveal “the good stuff.” He proposed tailing Dave to the restaurant: “They couldn’t stop us, could they?” When Jean talked him out of this, he became desperate to simply “go somewhere and meet people.” Jean reminded him it was a school night for her. “Well, maybe we should talk to the hotel staff,” he suggested.
I can see how one bad experience or one negative anecdote can turn you away from something–in this case, a business. But if you took the time to find out more information you’d see that this is really quite, quite far from the truth. Amway has been certified as a legal, non-pyramid scheme, and you’d know that if you just did a simple google search.
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,
‘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.’
I did pick-ups for several depressing weeks. Apart from Sherri, I never saw any sign of another customer. It was like one of those dusty, deathly-still mom-and-pops frequented only by regulars who come mainly to chat—and I was oppressed with a similar sense that the proprietors needed my money more than I needed their merchandise. It was actually a relief when, one week, Josh and Jean left town without warning me.
Quixtar IBOs earn income in different forms in various categories including IGP (Immediate Gross Profit), Performance Bonus, Leadership Bonus, and other Growth incentives. IGP is the profit made when customers of an IBO buy products and services from Quixtar at retail price. A majority of IBOs who make income in the beginning are in this category only. Performance bonus on a scale of 3% to 25% of the group volume (total BV of the sale made by the group) is paid if the PV level of the IBO is more than 100 PV in a month. Leadership bonus is paid at 4% of BV of each qualified leg who is at 25% or 7500 PV. Growth incentives are announced by Quixtar every year in the form of bonuses and paid trips at various levels. These bonuses are awarded to IBOs who are at Platinum or higher achievement levels.
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.
Besides earning money off your own sales, you also earn a percentage of the income generated by the distributors that you've brought into the program (these are known as your downline). Often there are bonuses for selling particular amounts of product or signing up a certain number of new members; you can earn cars and trips as well as cash. Sounds good, doesn't it? And being part of a well-run MLM business can be a lot like being a member of a large extended family.
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.”
But judging by the Herculean efforts made to seduce me into The Business, the Plan couldn’t be quite as effortless as it sounded. Josh and Jean, who had now thrown themselves into signing me up as one of their “downlines,” had adopted a strategy that consisted mainly of driving me, at untold inconvenience to themselves, to as many meetings as possible (they were all in far-flung suburbs, so I needed the rides). My attempts to find refuge in the back of the car being firmly rebuffed by Jean, I sat captive in the passenger seat while Josh tried out the various small-talk friendship-building techniques he’d learned from World Wide. Our trips always ended with Josh proffering a Sample Kit, a large white box filled with detergents and propaganda, including Promises to Keep, a book by the suggestively named Charles Paul Conn, as well as xeroxed articles explaining why Amway was the most “misunderstood company in the world.” I resisted Josh’s offers; I was reluctant to take the Amway plunge and knew that the real purpose of the kit was to give him an excuse to drop by my house and retrieve it.
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.’”
Everyone was dressed to impress, I mean, I'm talking fancy suits. Besides a couple of old farts in there that I'm sure were running the show, everyone else was in their early 20s. I mean, makes sense, I was targeted, haha, get it? Because it was at "Target." Sorry, lame joke. Anyway, he introduced me to some of these guys and asked questions to them, like "what has been your biggest take away from this?" and "what do you think about it?" Stuff like that so I could see that hey, maybe this is a thing for me (it wasn't, in case you're wondering). They were all brain-washed, I mean, just from the speech I heard that night all that was said was a bunch of BS. And all I could see around the room was all these young kids just eating this up like free candy. The guy did no real math up there, just threw up some really good sounding money number and that we should build trust. Honestly, that was my takeaway from that whole one-hour speech he gave. I'll admit that the guy was an excellent speaker. He had the crowd. I just wasn't buying it.
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.
What with backorders and unexpected disappearances, it took me a few weeks to gather enough items for my next experiment: a blind taste-test pitting Amway food against brands from “communist” supermarkets. Unfortunately, biases crept into the data when my subjects learned to identify what they called the Telltale Amway Aftertaste, a lingering cardboard bouquet with unmistakable PineSol inflections. Aftertaste aside, Amway food still rated low: Only the Critics’ Choice Cherry Flavored Toaster Pastries (a Pop-Tart analog) managed to eke into second-to-last place. The Goglonian Bagels were universally declared the worst ever experienced. And the Big Fiber Fudgies? Let’s just say that they were pretty much all Telltale Aftertaste.
At the heart of Amway is the love of ‘free enterprise’ – an equal-opportunity system in which determination alone is the path to achievement. If you have a dream, Amway says, and you try hard enough to achieve that dream and let nothing stand in your way, then success is guaranteed. That is the promise of what Rich DeVos calls ‘Compassionate Capitalism’ – helping people help themselves.
To sell Amway products, you’ll first need to register as an Independent Business Owner (IBO), which will then give you the opportunity to earn an income through their Compensation Plan. After signing up as an IBO, Amway claims that you’ll never be alone due to their world-class business resources, support, education, training, as well as mentoring. However, despite how great the company makes their business opportunity appear, the fact is that most people never make any money (see Bottom Line section for additional information).
At the end of the day, they deliberately do not keep records to show if they earn more money from recruiting or from sale of products. People that are recruited are mandated to buy products and how do we tell the difference between people who joined Amway for the discounted prices and those who joined for the income opportunity but were unable to recruit? Everyone is bundled together so we will never know.
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.
One of my best friends (whom I've known since the 3rd grade) has become a Amway IBO. He and I are very close, however we have different interests. He invited me over one night to participate in a meeting and I agreed. After the 2 hour long meeting, I knew that this was a scam to make money off of him. I tried to tell him and convince him that Amway will just make money off of his hopefulness by selling him hope (making him buy motivational tapes). No doubt I love the guy, but damn his pride. He's a very committed guy and great at whatever he chooses to do.
Amway is probably the most widely used of the "sell our products out of the comfort of your own home and be your own boss!" services, the ones that appeal to the unemployed with promises they'll get rich quick (and also encourages them to relentlessly recruit new members). And on the surface it looks fairly plausible, especially when you look at how much money Amway rakes in every year: in 2014 Amway sold $10.8 billion worth of products, so why shouldn't you try to break off a piece of that action?
Amway offers several categories of products including Nutrition (supplements, Vitamins, weight management, energy drinks, sports nutrition), Bath and Body (body care, hair care, and oral care), Beauty (makeup, skincare, and more), Jewelry and Accessories (bracelets, necklaces, gift sets, and more), At Home (cookware, surface care, laundry, dish detergent, and more), B2B Products (commercial-size cleaning, agricultural, and laundry products), and Fragrances (many selections from Personal Accents). To sell Amway products, you are required to register as an Independent Business Owner (IBO) at first. In this way, you will get an opportunity to earn money through their Compensation Plan. Becoming a representative of the company, you will never be alone due to their support, world-class business resources, education, mentoring and training. If you are interested in an opportunity to make money, continue reading this review for more information.
Amway sells real products. They have cosmetics and regular household products. They also offer CDs, motivational material and other stuff to IBOs. There is a whole lot of purchases that go on involving IBOs, none of this is free for anybody. Some IBOs are able to make regular sales to people who take the products but have no affiliation to the company. IBOs that recruit people still have to sell stuff to the people they are recruiting. Some people become IBOs just to get the “discounted” prices.
Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 167, Cincinnati 116, South Florida 87, Michigan State 48, Wisconsin 41, Northwestern 40, NC State 40, Miami 38, Georgia Southern 32, Oklahoma State 31, UAB 24, Auburn 21, Stanford 21, Oregon 20, San Diego State 16, Buffalo 14, Army 13, South Carolina 11, Florida Intl 6, Iowa State 6, Virginia Tech 5, Pittsburgh 3, Duke 3, Boise State 2
Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos, a pair of direct sales veterans, launched Amway in 1959. Today the company manufactures, markets and distributes consumer products. A unit of parent company Alticor, Amway is the brand consumers are familiar with. Other subsidiaries include Access Business Group and Alticor Corporate Enterprises. Richard DeVos and his family own the Orlando Magic basketball team and a minority stake in the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
We should also note that Kyritsis lives in Greece, a country just coming through the other side of an intense financial crisis (see: "targeting desperate people", above). Amway is based in Michigan, but they do about 90% of their business outside of the United States. It's not hard to see why: Amway is increasingly well known as a scam in the U.S., and American citizens have an easier time suing the company for unethical business practices. In 2010, Amway settled with disgruntled American customers for $155 million.
Julie Matuzak, the DeVoses’ foe from the 2000 voucher fight, disagrees strongly with DeVos’ appointment but concedes the couple has good intentions. “I do believe they have a deep-seated belief in quality education for all children,” says Matuzak. “They see it as a continuum of public education that includes everything—private schools, parochial schools, charters, public schools. But they believe in the market force as the rule of the universe.”
As Parloff notes in his article, “The Siege of Herbalife,” there is no law defining a pyramid scheme, nor are there even any regulations on the books. The simple common-sense definition is that a pyramid scheme is a business in which recruits make a payment for the right to recruit others into the network, and whose revenues are more dependent on recruitment than on selling a product.
As secretary, it’s likely DeVos will pursue a national expansion of school choice and charters. In this, DeVos has an ally in President-elect Trump. “There's no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly,” Trump said in a September 8 speech. “It is time to break up that monopoly.” In that speech, Trump proposed a $20-billion block grant program to fund national vouchers administered at the state level. “Parents will be able to send their kids to the desired public, private or religious school of their choice,” Trump said.
Today, the FTC announced a settlement with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM), a company that operated an illegal pyramid scheme disguised as a multilevel marketing program. Over 350,000 people were scammed out of a total of at least $169 million. The settlement bans FHTM from the multilevel marketing business and from deceiving consumers. FHTM will fork over at least $7.7 million, which will be returned to consumers.
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.
Amway has phenomenal products, with a low startup cost. You make excellent margins on products 20-40%. You get excellent business training and sales/product training with the Britt System. The atmosphere is always positive, negativity is not allowed. You build great relationships and friendships. It becomes a franchise environment with support from an entire team and business system. You can purchase products at a heavily discounted price. You can expand your business in over 80+ countries world wide.
I loved the days when we’d go to the Bayou Club as a family. We began going immediately after joining Amway, when I was in second grade. The development was new, still under construction. There was space between the houses and the far stretch of the golf course undulating luxuriously around them. Model homes rose from the landscape like castles, bigger than any houses I’d ever seen – and vacant. Never occupied. Empty dreams, waiting to be filled.