Whether there is more emphasis on referrals or sale of products is very debatable. It pretty much depends on the individual IBO involved. In the Amway gathering I went to, the IBO making the presentation stressed the prospect of saving through the “discounted” prices on the hub rather than trying to sell us the idea of making a lot of money. Some IBOs might try to sell you the idea of making a fortune right away. Some are pushy, some are nice people.
This one sits on a double executive lot. An artificial creek snakes around the yard. Flashes of yellow and orange spotted koi pass beneath our feet as we approach from the brick walkway. The house is split-level with two wings, a custom pool with cascading waterfall, billiard room, media room, workout room, steam room, six-car garage, state-of-the-art workshop, custom built-in bar, loft for quiet relaxation, hurricane shutters, large views of the golf course – and two bedrooms above the garage sequestered for the help.
Remember Income is not profit. Even if a business consultant earned 21,048 in commission for 2013, this figure does not include the cost of being an Amway member. Remaining active is not cheap. Our own analysis of the numbers estimated that after expenses the average Amway IBO lost $1,176 per year. Our calculations used data from Amway USA from 2010
Rallies begin with a ritual called “crossing the stage,” in which distributors who have attained a new bonus level go up to receive their commemorative pin and shake hands with a Diamond. From the crowd of about five hundred, two couples “crossed” at the 1,000 PV level (the lowest warranting a pin) and received a standing ovation from the audience. From the stage, the host then called out all the levels from 1,500 PV to 7,500 PV. Nobody emerged from the audience—which, nonetheless, remained on its feet applauding. The host kept cajoling, “C’mon, there’s plenty of room up here,” as if it were shyness that was keeping people away. It was the archetypal Amway moment: a crowd giving a standing ovation to nobody.
In 2006, Quixtar, in partnership with the IBOAI (IBO Association International) launched the "Quixtar Accreditation" program in order to address concerns about the companies that provide Business Support Materials to Quixtar IBOs. North American Diamonds (high-level IBOs) and their associated training companies may apply to Quixtar to be accredited by the corporation. Among other things, accreditation specifically states that promotion of particular religious or political viewpoints is unacceptable. Additionally, accredited programs must agree to a range of other guidelines, including "full" transparency in any compensation paid for Business Support Materials. The "full" transparency only applies to the IBO's who are participants in the BSM income, for most groups this means Platinums and above, representing a very small percentage of IBO's. Accreditation lasts two years and is enforced through reviews of materials and surveys of IBOs. The full guidelines are listed in the IBO Communications Platform. In April 2006 "eFinity" became the first Quixtar affiliated support organization to receive accredited status.
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.
In 1983, Rich DeVos, one of Amway's founders, made recordings which, among other things, communicated his displeasure with several issues regarding some of the high ranking distributors/IBOs. These recordings are entitled "Directly Speaking" and were addressed to Direct Distributors (now called Platinums), who are considered leaders with various responsibilities for their downline group. In January 1983 Rich DeVos announced that Amway would pay Business Volume (BV) on Amway produced tapes. He expressed concern about the level of income from the sale of Business Support Materials (BSM; tapes, CDs, books, and business conferences/functions) compared to the income the high level distributors were making from Amway products. He stated his legal team was concerned if the tool income exceeded 10% of their Amway income, and stated that BV payouts on tapes can never exceed 20% of the distributor's total Business Volume.
Amway and its founders have long had deep ties to the Washington D.C., and particularly the Republican Party. The current House basically has a minor Amway caucus with five former distributors and Amway has been one of the largest donors to the Republican Party since the early 1990s. DeVos’s son, Dick, ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and his wife, Betsy, is currently the Secretary of Education in the first Trump administration. She has speculated that the DeVos family has donated around $200 million to Republican candidates.
As a guest speaker at the Quixtar LIVE! conference in 2003, Phil McGraw ("Dr. Phil") reportedly described Quixtar as "one of the greatest success stories in American business history." In a 2006 settlement involving a class-action lawsuit brought against McGraw and his Shape-Up diet products, plaintiffs received a share of $6.0 million in Quixtar-brand Nutrilite vitamins and $4.5 million in cash.
On one fateful evening in December 2014, I went on Kijiji (I live in Canada) to look for a job and one particular ad caught my attention. This job ad was so vague, and yet so loaded that I filled in my contact details so the person who posted the ad could get back to me. This guy got back to me via the email I filled in and he told about brand new exciting business opportunity. He also sent me a couple of videos showing me people in mansions, beach houses and the rest by exploring this business opportunity in another city.
Dream Night was not the first Amway event I had been to, but it was the most hallucinatory. It began with the triumphal entrance of the Amway Diamond couples, half-jogging through a gauntlet of high-fives to the theme from Rocky, as the audience whooped and hollered and twirled their napkins over their heads. When the standing ovation finally tapered off, the emcee offered a prayer thanking God for (a) the fact that we lived in a free enterprise system, where there were no government agents kicking down the doors of meetings like Dream Night and (b) His Blessed Son. As dinner wound down, the video screens displayed a picture of what the guy next to me was quick to identify as a $20,000 Rolex watch. (He went on to tell of a fellow he knew who had a $30,000 Rolex and who couldn’t tell the time for the glare of the gold and diamonds.)
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.
Amway has historically gotten much more criticism for its business practices than its products. As middle men, distributors often falsely claim that they cut out that very middle man. This supposedly results in more competitive, “wholesale” prices. On the contrary, Amway’s prices are typically higher than their closest competitors. The prices only become more appealing when employees have a significant downline beneath them.
Amway was founded in 1959 by two fellows by the name of Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel who are based in Michigan. Today Amway do business through number of companies all around the world (More than eighty countries). In 2012 Amway was actually rewarded the number 25 position by Forbes for being one of the largest private companies in the United States. In fact, more than $11 billion dollars with of sales were recorded, making Amway one of the most successful Direct sales or network marketing companies that have been in business for well over 50 years.
Today, the DeVoses’ charitable giving and local boosterism mean that people in West Michigan have a different view of them than Michiganders elsewhere in the state. “The political narrative that has grown around [the family] is unfair,” says Whitney, whose Hauenstein Center has received grant funding from the DeVos Family Foundation. “They have made life better for a lot of people, and I can’t say that loudly enough.”
DeVos quickly realized that the situation was unsustainable. So she hatched a plan designed to surprise Engler just as his opposition had surprised her: She would resign as state GOP chair without notifying him in advance. She chose a date in February 2000 when she knew Engler would be in Washington. Around 9 a.m., she left a message on his phone, informing him that she would announce her resignation at an early-afternoon news conference. Engler quickly changed his itinerary and booked a flight home for his own news conference that evening. Publicly, Engler saved face, but the message from the DeVoses was unmistakable: We are a political force with our own agenda, like it or not.
"Amway differed in several ways from pyramid schemes that the Commission had challenged. It did not charge an up-front "head hunting" or large investment fee from new recruits, nor did it promote "inventory loading" by requiring distributors to buy large volumes of nonreturnable inventory," said Debra A Valentine, a general counsel for the FTC, in a seminar organised by the International Monetary Fund in May 1998.
“This is an extremely contentious, controversial business model,” business consultant and author Robert L. FitzPatrick told the Detroit Free Press in 2006. “If you go to work for Hewlett-Packard, you don’t walk in the door saying, ‘Hey, I wonder if this is a scam?’ But anybody who gets into multilevel marketing will have to deal with that question.”
Yager made a name for himself as the father of the ‘Yager System,’ one of the first and most profitable motivational ‘tools’ businesses run by Amway distributors (also called ‘tools scams’ by detractors). Distributors produce motivational tapes and videos, or ‘tools,’ and sell them directly to their downlines for immediate profit. Tools promote Amway’s free market philosophy but are not themselves Amway products – though the Yager Group is still today an Amway-approved training provider. The Charlotte Observer has said of Yager, ‘He sells not only soap but an ideology and a way of life. Admirers speak of him with reverence, as if his next plateau of Amway achievement were sainthood itself.’ The title of Yager’s first book, Don’t Let Anybody Steal Your Dream, was a Gerard household motto. We said it to one another with a near-religious zeal – like we were speaking in high-fives. I still feel nostalgic for my childhood when I hear it.