Multilevel marketing (MLM) is an attractive business proposition to many people. It offers the opportunity to become involved in a system for distributing products to consumers. Unlike the person starting a business from scratch, the MLM participant has the support of a direct selling company that supplies the products and sometimes offers training as well.
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.
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.
I have a question. My friend told me about Amway, I am eager to join but like as much as it’s about helping people achieve success, what about you? like, does it really make you money and the amount that actually satisfies you? If they telling me that i can retire soon, which i really do want to… how far do i have to go with it to reach that point? and at the same time not be a slave to this.
By the 30th level, the entire population of the earth will be in the system and the last 3 billion people who just entered the system into the 30th level have nobody else to refer. If each member is allowed to refer 6 friends, then the entire world population will be covered by the time it reaches 13th level itself (as illustrated in the chart below). Everybody they try to approach is already a member. The forerunners would have made huge amount of money by now and would go absconding, leading into a fraud.
Amway's eSpring water filter was introduced in 2000. According to Amway, it was the first system to combine a carbon block filter and ultraviolet light with electronic-monitoring technology in the filter cartridge and it became the first home system to achieve certification for ANSI/NSF Standards 42, 53, and 55.[53][54] According to Amway, eSpring was the first water treatment system to receive certification for all fifteen NSF/ANSI 401 contaminants which include pharmaceuticals, pesticides and herbicides.[53][55] The company also claims that, in addition to these 15 contaminants, eSpring is certified for more than 145 potential contaminants, including lead and mercury.[53]
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.
While this marketing strategies are great, and yes that does work at times, but the conversion rates are very low. And lets face it…is it working for you? No. Do you like chasing around or harrasing your friends, family, and even strangers to join your business or buy you Amway’s products? People who call your business an Amway Scam? No. Is it fun? HECK NO lol
Aubrey, the facts that you stated basically just tells us you failed and because you couldn't figure it out it is a scam grow up and realize life is not easy.... Mag, Playing professional sports works and makes people lots of money but not every does it, Why? because not everyone have the ability to do things others can do. Same bodes for the MLM business, most people don't have enough patients to Reap what they sow. Basically I use to be in Amway, I left because I needed to focus on getting my life together, I admit I was failing at the business and wasn't making money but the people around me including my Downline (Aubry) were very successful and was making more than I was. I left to get my life situated this is only a scam to those who are ignorant enough to think there is only one way to do things. 

The size of the settlement astonished some observers and the news is spreading fast. It was reported on the front page of the USATodayAmway11.05.10. About $55 million of the total is in actual cash and products as restitution for victims and legal fees. Other elements of the settlement include substantial price reductions to make retail sales feasible, and major changes in the infamous “tools” business that will require Amway to take greater responsibility. These schemes are run by some of Amway’s top recruiters and have been allowed to function as arm’s length, rogue operations, though highly beneficial to Amway.
[15]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.”
The elevated I-4 freeway bordering the east side of the site posed a distinct challenge, threatening to disconnect the arena both physically and psychologically from the downtown core. In response, the corner of the arena is anchored by a diaphanous feature tower bathed in color changing LED lighting that reveals the color and pageantry of sporting and entertainment activities within while marking the facility within the flat topography of downtown Orlando. This tower is both architectural and occupied – housing the Orlando Magic Team Store, hospitality space, Gentleman Jack Terrace and rooftop Sky Bar. The latter two are exterior spaces that take full advantage of the warm Orlando climate, commanding views to the plaza below and the greater community beyond. Further city connection is achieved via a 40’ × 60’ LED video feature that addresses downtown from an elevated façade position above the highway.
Just like 97% of the direct sales and network marketing representatives, I earned now money with Amway. Did I make a sale or two? Yes I did, but I also paid for my product or monthly auto-ship to keep my business center and account active and eligble to earn commissions. So therefore I basically broke even and didn’t make an income with Amway Global. I too was blaming the company and was calling it an Amway Scam.
With AWS Just-in-Time Registration, users are assured their Amway device will talk only to Amway’s AWS IoT platform—not to a different IoT platform or a hacked version that sits in between. For Amway, Just-in-Time Registration ensures a given device truly is an Amway manufactured device, and not a fake. For Amway’s devices, Just-in-Time Registration is handled by the Atmel microprocessor within each unit. “Valid certificates for our air-treatment systems are actually created before they even leave the factory floor,” says Binger.
My college bound son called and stated he went to a seminar to sponsor Amway which in turns was a marketing scam to recruit! They asked for $200 to hold to start and depending on the sales and teams that he got together to do the same along with commission he can earn $200 a month! My son is unemployed in college trying to get an education not be a flunky for selling products online! Stop lying about making $39,000 in a month home business! If it was legitimate why haven't everyone heard of this company or products! Leave young, impressionable people alone! And stop showing them the money and talk about staying in school and getting an education & degree! Instead of quick money!!
To opponents, right to work ran counter to every story Michigan told itself about who it was, a repudiation of generations of hard-won gains. In metro Detroit, labor’s historic triumphs are retold like folklore by men with thick, calloused hands, lest future generations forget the Battle of the Overpass or the Flint Sit-Down Strike. Right-to-work, labor feared, would undo much of that.
As its hands reached “midnight,” the Rolex dissolved into a series of video montages depicting the consumer Shangri-La that our own forthcoming Amway success would open for us. We leered as a day in the life of a typical jobholder—all alarm clocks, traffic jams, and dingy cubicles—was contrasted with that of an Amway distributor, who slept in and lounged the day away with his family. We gawked hungrily as real-life Amway millionaires strutted about sprawling estates (proudly referred to as “family compounds”) and explained that such opulence was ours for the asking. We chortled as a highway patrolman stopped an expensive sports car for speeding—only to ride away a moment later with an Amway sample kit strapped to his motorcycle. Our laughter became a roar of delight as the camera zoomed in on the sports car’s bumper sticker: “JOBLESS … AND RICH!”
There have been instances in the past where even auto-rickshaw drivers had sold their belongings (including their auto-rickshaw) and paid upto Rs 35,000 to become members of such scheme (GoldQuest). But as with any pyramid scheme, they had to bear the brunt of the binary tree’s exponential function and they became bankrupt. As expected, the organizers went absconding.
The Amway Center is a sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida, located in the Downtown area of the city. It is part of Downtown Orlando Master Plan 3: a plan that also involves improvements to Camping World Stadium and the completion of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.[4] The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL,[5] and hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, plus the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game.

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. 

The Amway Center is a sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida, located in the Downtown area of the city. It is part of Downtown Orlando Master Plan 3: a plan that also involves improvements to Camping World Stadium and the completion of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.[4] The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL,[5] and hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, plus the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game.
People that are secure in their personal relationships aren’t easily brainwashed by Amway’s creepy “family” angle, and those with sufficient income are rarely swayed by the “exciting opportunity” to “build an asset” for themselves. In short, Amway uses the tried and true tactic of exploiting the weak. By aggressively pursuing friendships, establishing mentors, and building an active community, it’s easy to see why being part of Amway seems like a good time to someone who’s been feeling a little bit lonely lately.
A report in the Daily News and Analysis (DNA) quotes a top official of Economic Affairs Wing (EOW), Kerala as saying "With the call of easy money, they have been luring people to come and invest. And in turn, the new members had to get more people and this was leading to illegal money circulation. As a result, we had received several complaints against the company and we decided to arrest the officials."
In December 2006, Alticor secured the naming rights for the Orlando Magic's home basketball arena in Orlando, Florida. The Orlando Magic are owned by the DeVos family. The arena, formerly known as the TD Waterhouse Centre, was renamed the Amway Arena. Its successor, the Amway Center, was opened in 2010, and the older arena was demolished in 2012.[69]
In 2013, eSpring was one of the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands Award winners in the water purifiers category in Malaysia.[62] In 2015, Amway was recognized for the sixth consecutive year by Frost & Sullivan as Asia Pacific Water Filtration company of the year.[55] According to an Amway commissioned study of global sales conducted by marketing research firm Verify Markets, eSpring was the world's largest selling brand of kitchen water treatment systems and home water treatment systems in 2014.[63]
One night, after he had taken me out to dinner (we went Dutch), Josh told me that there was a price list in the back of his car—sealed in an Amway Starter Kit. I could have it right away; I just had to give him the $160 fee to officially join Amway. Uncertain about taking the plunge, I claimed my checking account couldn’t cover $160 that week. That was all right, he insisted: I could write a post-dated check that he would hold until I gave the O.K. to deposit it. I still resisted, and he got out of the car with me, opening the hatch to show me the sealed white box within. Eventually, he settled for giving me a book called Being Happy, which he could later retrieve.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM? demanded a booming voice. The ballroom went dark and the audience settled in for a fifteen minute video catalogue of the stuff dreams are made of: a blur of luxury cars, sprawling mansions, frolicking children, pristine beaches, hot-dogging jet-skiers, private helipads, and zooming jets—all set to caffeinated, John-Teshy instrumental music. The voice returned: “It’s about family!” (A shot of kids collapsing on an oceanic lawn, love-tackled by Dad.) “It’s about security!” (A shot of a palatial house.) “It’s about you!” (A close-up of toes, gently lapped by the incoming tide, wriggling in white sand.)
eSpring was the first commercial product which employed Fulton Innovation's eCoupled wireless power induction technology.[56] In December 2006, Amway sister company, Fulton Innovations, announced that it would introduce eCoupled technology in other consumer electronic products at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.[57] Companies licensing this technology include Visteon, Herman Miller, Motorola and Mobility Electronics.[58] Fulton was a founding member of the Wireless Power Consortium which developed the Qi (inductive power standard).[59]
In his memoir Simply Rich, Amway cofounder Rich DeVos tells the story of Amway’s origins. The country was in the last gasps of the Great Depression. Rich was fourteen. He was walking two miles through the snow to his high school each day, in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan: wool collar popped high, galoshes squishing, wind in his face. Occasionally he would take the streetcar or city bus – but allowing time for the city bus meant having to rise long before the sun came up. ‘I needed more efficient transportation, and already being an enterprising type, I had an idea,’ he writes.
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.
"We were warned never to use the name Amway on the phone; even while showing the business plan, the name would be one of the very last things mentioned. The explanation from our 'sponsors' was that people in the past have misused the name 'Amway,' and people should get a chance to know the 'new Amway' without being prejudiced from things they might have heard."
Plenty of work in season. Magic games, solar bear games, concerts. From september til may busy season. Tips for bartenders are ok. Its an easy but sometimes annoying job. You have to count all the cups and chargeable items as well as liquor levels before AND AFTER. Some mandatory events and serv safe/alcohol every three months. Sometimes you could run out of cups, liquor product, ice often with a full line of people wanting drinks with no way to get it yourself.you have to rely on others that only periodically stop by.
Yes Ethan, It is good to hit lots of nerves...especially this poor fella Richard Gaston who attacked you after you made an opinion. Umm, how professional eh? lol If he was in Amway and i wanted to get involved without the knowledge of Amway and how it works and I meet up with Richard, i bet he would be full of smiles and he would pump me up, encourage me to go out there and beg my family, relos and friends to come and join me in this wonderful scam I mean business....I would be in dire straits with my family and friends if they joined with me who eventually avoid me when they see me coming towards them after they realized the work they had to put into it to make 40 dollars per month AFTER buying about $600.00 worth of products is not their kind of business. I got 3% from each person on my downline. then I had to lie about this fantastic business AS LONG AS I DONT MENTION THE NAME AMWAY and if the prospect keeps asking me what is it and i keep saying...come and find out and not tell him. Who is a liar then? It is a scam where the uplines make all the money and the little rats/sheep is way down below buying and trying to sell products and then when 30 days is up they get a cheque for 20 bux, maybe 50 bux or nothing at all. It is like a constant merry go around. You have better luck playing slot machines then to work for AMWAY to keep the top dogs rich. It is like hiring on another Government into your life and you work your blood, sweat and tears to make a measly 20 bux. Amway should be shut down. Yes I was in Amway for a long while and my eyes opened up in time to realized it was like kicking a dead horse. Richard Gaston, you should read a book on "How to be a professional businessman."
I went to a Amway meeting was one of the people in this situation they are creepy, the guy who tried to get me into Amway used my teammates death to incite conversation between us. He used my teammates death to try make profit off of me. I say try because i had this guy who did this spend money on me, who would buy me dinner and i would always tell them how cool the ideas are, every meeting was the same they made it seem like a family instead of a business. with a 200 dollar buy in they’d guarantee I’d make it back in a month or 2. Thankfully i chose a better financial option which was spent that 200 on weed and flipped that sack for money. made my money back in one day. Like to see them give results like hustling on a street, honestly they use aggressive terms just like the Presidential candidate they use aggression or use chances to take advantage of people who have experienced loss, they use comfort and happiness to overshadow the intentions they truly have next thing I know i’m being asked for a 200 dollar buy in then asked to go to trips to Iowa where i’d have to drop near a thousand to go. Now the guy who tried to get me to join alienates himself from everyone he has known who isn’t into the Amway business. These are facts guys and girls they aren;t so much like a cult just someone who will do everything to get your money in a trickle down economic policy that doesn’t work.
The Club Level at the Amway Center -- between the Terrace and the Promenade -- splits into several types of premium seating. There are suites, including the Founders Suite which can accommodate 16 and the larger Presidents Suite, each providing a plush and roomy space from which to enjoy the game. Loge seats are among the most popular though, combining great additions like all-inclusive food and drink with a close-to-the-action feel.
"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.
Pyramid schemes have nothing to do with real commercial activity or product sales. Pyramid schemes are a form of financial fraud based on recruiting new people to make investments into a business, and then using those investments to pay the people who joined earlier. In Amway, distributors (Amway Business Owners) make money from the sale of our products – not from recruiting others to join.
In this, Dick and Betsy DeVos’ familial roots serve as an object example. Dick is the eldest son of Richard DeVos, who co-founded Amway in 1959, and grew it from a meager soap factory into a multinational colossus with $9.5 billion in annual sales, enlisting his children to manage and expand the company. Betsy hails from a dynasty of her own. In 1965, her father, Edgar Prince, founded a small manufacturing company that came to be worth more than $1 billion on the strength of Prince’s automotive innovations, which include the pull-down sun visor with a built-in light-up vanity mirror.
In July 1996, Amway co-founder Richard DeVos was honored at a $3 million fundraiser for the Republican Party, and a week later, it was reported that Amway had tried to donate $1.3 million to pay for Republican "infomercials" and televising of the GOP convention on Pat Robertson's Family Channel, but backed off when Democrats criticized the donation as a ploy to avoid campaign-finance restrictions.[73][76]
The Amway Center makes it easy for families to come out for events, providing a cute play area for younger guests to climb, shoot baskets, and test their memory with STUFF's Magic Castle. There are entertainment areas for older fans too. The Nutralite Magic Fan Experience creates an interactive journey through Magic history, looking at players, big moments, and the history of the franchise.
When HIV first came out, President Reagan formed a commission and I was honored to be on that commission. I listened to 300 witnesses tell us that it was everybody else’s fault but their own. Nothing to do with their conduct, just that the government didn’t fix this disease. At the end of that I put in the document – it was the conclusion document from the commission – that actions have consequences and you are responsible for yours. AIDS is a disease people gain because of their actions. It wasn’t like cancer. We all made the exceptions for how you got it, by accident, that was all solved a long time ago.

This year’s report examined how age, gender and education levels impact attitudes towards entrepreneurship. It also examined various aspects that either hinder or help entrepreneurs – internal factors (such as commitment, willingness to take risks, knowledge of how to earn money) and external factors (such as their country’s operating environment, technology availability and entrepreneurially forward education system).
On April 3, 2010 it was reported that Fitch Rating Agency had downgraded the bonds used to finance the new arena to "junk" status and further warned the arena's debt holders that in as soon as 30 months the new Amway Center could be faced with a default unless finances are corrected. The city and county were quick to assure local media that in no way would Fitch's downgrade delay construction and that all necessary funds were on hand to complete the center. However, because of the Fitch downgrade, the interest rate on the debt payments would increase the "payoff" cost of the Amway Center over time and the Orlando Sentinel pointed out that it would be harder to seek lending for the other phases of the project such as the "$425 million Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the $175 million renovation of the Florida Citrus Bowl stadium." [17]
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act.[118] They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal.[11][119] The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products".[11] In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.[118]
In the beginning, my parents put between ten and fifteen hours a week into their business – per the company’s recommendation. But over time, my dad’s enthusiasm began to wear off. ‘You say to yourself, ‘What the hell for?’’ he says now. ‘So that somebody can come in and then not return your calls? You take them to a meeting and there’s a jerk up there who’s embarrassing? I had no way, no avenue to get people in there and get them excited.’
A money circulation scheme is essentially a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scheme where the money being brought in by newer investors is used to pay off older investors. The scheme offers high returns to lure investors in and it keeps running till the money being brought in by the newer investors is greater than the money needed to pay off the older investors whose investment is up for redemption. The moment this breaks, the scheme collapses.

A 1998 analysis of campaign contributions conducted by Businessweek found that Amway, along with the founding families and some top distributors, had donated at least $7 million to GOP causes in the preceding decade.[76] Political candidates who received campaign funding from Amway in 1998 included Representatives Bill Redmond (R–N.M.), Heather Wilson (R–N.M.), and Jon Christensen (R–Neb).[74]
In addition to customer preference, the other driver of where goods are manufactured is economics. “It costs almost nothing to ship a nutrition item around the world, Dr. Calvert said.  Transportation is just 0.1 percent of the landed cost of these products. Liquid home care products, which have high weight, have different economics. For these products, 15 percent of the landed cost is based on transport costs. Further, for these products consumers care most about the price value of the product. It just does not make sense to manufacture these kinds of products in the U.S. and then “pay to ship liquid over water.”
The prospect is alarming enough that Charles Paul Conn, in Promises to Keep, works hard to prove it’ll never happen. “The reality,” he tells us, “is entirely different from what might be predicted by a statistician with a slide rule.” He points to the millions of likely untapped prospects—youths, retirees, downsized professionals, foreigners—although he fails to acknowledge that recruiting them would only make the Business hungrier. More plausibly, he adds that Amway is a small part of the population and will stay that way. The Business’s high dropout rate, he explains, though “often cited as a negative factor, actually serves to keep the pool of potential distributors large.” In other words, Amway’s salvation is its high rate of failure.
While the DeVoses campaigned on expanding educational choices for parents and students, their opponents reframed the issue. “When you really looked at it, the parents weren’t the ones with the choices; the parochial schools were the ones with the choices,” Matuzak remembers. “If all you do is transfer the money, you don't transfer any of the other requirements that are put on public schools. Public schools are required to take everyone who comes through the door. But private schools, parochial schools, get to pick and choose. … It’s not really the parents who have the choice, it’s the schools. And people ultimately understood that.”

Kyritsis got off easy. You can find stories online of people spending $192,000 to "make" $30,000 (shit, we think there are actual cults with a higher rate of return). It's impossible to know the exact "success" rate for Amway independent business owners (IBOs), but one case from 2008 showed that out of 33,000 IBOs, only 90 made enough money to cover the costs of their business. That's a failure rate of damn near 100%. But of course, to Amway, those aren't failures. Amway doesn't make its money selling the random household goods the distributors are handing out -- they make money selling a dream. Then once you've committed yourself and forked over serious cash -- and convinced friends and family to do the same -- how can you leave? At this point, you've got too much invested not to see it through.
Amway Center has an assortment of mid-level luxury seats and club seating, located below the upper bowl.[21] This contrasts Amway Arena's design as its luxury boxes are above all seats and suspended from the ceiling. The arena's design was unveiled at Amway Arena on December 10, 2007, with an official press release the next day.[22] The floor of Amway Center is designed with arena football in mind, as it features more retractable sections that will permit squared end zone corners, a feature previously not possible for Orlando Predators games.

When HIV first came out, President Reagan formed a commission and I was honored to be on that commission. I listened to 300 witnesses tell us that it was everybody else’s fault but their own. Nothing to do with their conduct, just that the government didn’t fix this disease. At the end of that I put in the document – it was the conclusion document from the commission – that actions have consequences and you are responsible for yours. AIDS is a disease people gain because of their actions. It wasn’t like cancer. We all made the exceptions for how you got it, by accident, that was all solved a long time ago.
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.
Amway stresses that the main difference between a legitimate MLM business model and a pyramid scheme is that a legitimate MLM is focused on selling products, not recruiting more salespeople. In a legitimate MLM, it should be possible to make money by simply selling products directly to customers. With that main criterion in mind, here are some other ways to identify product-based pyramid schemes:
Scott spent the first hour explaining America’s economic crisis, which is rooted in a betrayal stretching back to the late nineteenth century. See, that’s when big corporations, with the help of government-run public education, first convinced Americans to abandon their entrepreneurial instincts and accept jobs. Before that, everyone was either a small-business owner or apprenticing to be one; afterwards, it was all about benefits packages. Emasculated by wage slavery, Americans had muddled along fairly well until, as stagflation rent the land in the 1970s, we realized in horror that mere wages were helpless against “exponentially expanding” costs.

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.
[12]Amway gives some idea of real chances for success in its “Amway Business Review” pamphlet, which the FTC requires it provide to all prospects. The “Business Review” is an ingenious mixture of mandated honesty and obfuscatory spin: The average monthly gross income for “active” distributors, for instance, is revealed to be a meager $65 a month; but the “Review” leaves out the median income and the net profit, both of which would probably be negative. Likewise, it states that “2 percent of all ‘active’ distributors who sponsor others and approximately 1 percent of all ‘active’ distributors met Direct Distributor qualification requirements during the survey period.” From this, it derives the optimistic conclusion that “once again, the survey demonstrates a substantial increase in achievement for those who share the business with others.” Increase implies that there are some non-sharing distributors who succeed; an alternate reading of the statistics would be that all distributors try to share, none succeed without sharing, but only half are able to share. It’s also a measure of Amway’s PR savvy that every article I’ve seen (even the critical ones) that mentions the number of Directs uses the 2 percent, rather than the more accurate 1 percent, figure.
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act.[118] They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal.[11][119] The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products".[11] In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.[118]

Robert Carroll, of the Skeptic's Dictionary, has described Amway as a "legal pyramid scheme", and has said that the quasi-religious devotion of its affiliates is used by the company to conceal poor performance rates by distributors.[107] Erik German's memoir My Father's Dream documents the real life failures of German's father as he is lured into "get-rich-quick" schemes such as Amway.[108]
This hard truth belies Amway’s populism, its promise that success depends merely on getting in on the ground floor, and that every floor is the ground floor. Deep down, Josh may have realized that an Amway easy enough for even him to master would soon self-destruct. This buried consciousness surfaced, for example, in the way he consoled himself with weird probability statistics. He knew how many levels deep he had to extend his downline (something like six) before he was certain to recruit someone with a knack for huckstering, providing a rising tide on which Josh could float. It was unlikely, of course, that a guy like Josh could spawn a six-level downline without the help of such a person, but that simply masked a deeper improbability: that there were enough of these theoretical master salesmen to go around to every schlub who couldn’t succeed otherwise.
[9]The Amway Business Reference Manual itself gives the lie to the 30 percent figure. It calculates the Basic Discount by subtracting a product’s wholesale distributor cost from the suggested retail price (both denominated in dollars) and then dividing them by the BV price, which is set by Amway for each product but which is usually smaller than the U.S. dollar price. If the calculation is done solely in dollars, the Basic Discount shrinks to about 17 percent. And when I did a real price comparison, that 17 percent came down to about 4 percent.
Some donors couch their push for influence in the anodyne language of “improvement” and “empowerment.” Betsy DeVos is more upfront. “My family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party,” she wrote in a 1997 editorial for Roll Call. “I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.”
In a breakfast speech to volunteers at Holland Christian Schools on May 12, 1975, Ed Prince warned that lazy and neglectful U.S. citizens were not doing their fair share, forcing the government to, as a Holland Sentinel article described it, “play an increasingly larger role in our daily and personal lives.” (You don’t have to listen too hard to hear an echo of Ed Prince in his daughter, Betsy. “[For welfare recipients] to sit and be handed money from the government because they think a job like that is beneath them,” the heiress sighed to the Detroit Free Press in 1992. “If I had to work on a line in a factory, I would do that before I would stand in line for a welfare check.”) 
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