The DeVoses supported an amendment to the US House of Representatives' omnibus Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 by US Representative John Moolenaar that would have limited the ability of the FTC to investigate whether MLMs are pyramid schemes.[136] The amendment would have disbarred the Treasury Department, the Judiciary Department, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FTC, or any other agencies from using any monies to take enforcement actions against pyramid operations for the fiscal year.[137] It also adopted provisions from H.R. 3409, the so-called “Anti-Pyramid Scheme Promotion Act of 2016,”[138] which would blur the lines between legitimate MLM activity and pyramid schemes established under the original 1979 FTC case by deeming sales made to people inside the company as sales to an “ultimate user,” thus erasing the key distinction made in the ruling between sales to actual consumers of a product and sales made to members of the MLM network as part of recruitment of members or to qualify for commissions.[137][138][139] The amendment was opposed by a coalition of consumer interest groups including Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine), Consumer Watchdog, the National Consumers League, and the United States Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG),[138] as well as Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) in its original incarnation.[139]
Amway today produces and distributes over 450 products produced in manufacturing facilities acros the U.S., China and India. It has a network of millions of “Independent Business Owners” (IBOs) in over 100 countries. For better or for worse, they have set the benchmark for all other MLMs, and are consistently one of the top MLM companies in the United States based on revenue.
Great article Christene! It's very difficult to build an Amway business in the United States, most of their growth nowadays is international. Even the business builders inside Amway are leaving the country to build abroad. The reason for this is twofold: 1-people like Ethan V. are out there on the web slamming Amway and discouraging IBOs all in an effort to market their own products and services to them (I call this leech marketing); and 2-Amway has not embraced internet marketing, and continues to teach belly to belly marketing tactics that require all of their new people to "burn the rubber off the tires." It's not up to us to dictate how the marketplace wants to be marketed to, it's up to us to figure out how to speak to them and then provide that message.
Such a model can be represented as a binary tree with each node representing a person and the 2 children nodes under it representing the referred friends. It is also called “Pyramid scheme”. As you would have realized or the organizers might have suggested, in order to just recover the money that you have spent for membership, you need to have atleast 3-4 levels under you and only the levels beyond that will start fetching you some passive income as and when new members join. Just recollect the formula for number of nodes at the “n”th level of a binary tree. It is 2^n (2 power n). We shall use this formula in the following analysis.
I love their laundry soap, but hate the fees you have to pay. You either have to become a distributor for the company, which is quite expensive, or pay a much higher retail price. There is no loyal customer program or incentive to continue ordering. They also always seem to be high pressure sales people who continuously pester you until you join. There were quite a few products that we liked, such as some of the protein bars and energy drinks. Then they decided to make some changes to those items that we no longer cared for.
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.
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.
In Amway's eyes, your friends and family are all potential cash cows you should be milking -- you're trained to go after the people closest to you first (to rack up those sweet pity sales). "I was thinking that every friend that didn't join my network didn't want success for himself or me, that he was somehow against me." This crazy train of thought led Kyritsis to harass his loved ones in an attempt to better their lives. Desperate to convince someone of the amazing untapped Amway potential, Kyritsis pushed the Amway rhetoric on anyone who would listen, especially his girlfriend. He would tell her that her studies were pointless when she could be making so much more money, dragging her to seminars and showing her the Amway tapes like a really boring version of The Ring.
A key aspect of the suit is the charge that Amway misleads consumers with false income claims and promises for its “business opportunity.” Pyramid Scheme Alert’s analysis of Amway payouts to distributors shows that more than 99% of all who sign up never earn a profit. When actual costs are factored, including the related “tools” business, some estimates put the loss rates at 99.9%. This 99% loss figure correlates with tax data gathered as early as the 1980s when the state of Wisconsin prosecuted Amway. It was also verified by data gained by federal regulators in England who sued to shut down Amway in that country just several years ago.
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]
It is rare to see poverty mentioned in Amway’s literature. When it is, it’s usually in the context of an Amway distributor having escaped it. Success is equated with wealth. With wealth is promised an enhanced way of life, one crafted of your own dreams – and Amway gives you The Plan to achieve that life. To let your attention stray from The Plan is to invite doubt and negative thinking, which can only result in failure. ‘As successful distributors tell people they are recruiting, the pursuit of excellence can be achieved only when they discipline themselves to tune in the positive dialogues and tune out the negative ones,’ says Cross. Poverty makes us feel bad. Feeling bad is negative. Negativity causes failure. It makes poverty feel contagious. So don’t think about it.
Though they aren’t quite as large or wealthy as the DeVoses, the Prince family—even further west, in Holland, Michigan—shares one big trait in common with their in-laws: the idea that patriotism and politics are inseparable from Christianity. Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Betsy’s mother, donated $75,000 to the successful 2004 ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan; four years later, she gave $450,000 to an identical initiative in California. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, founded Blackwater, the military contractor that gained notoriety in 2007, when its employees fired into a crowd of Iraqi civilians, killing 17. (In 2009, two former Blackwater employees alleged in federal court that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader.”)
Rich and Jay go into business together selling Nutrilite vitamins, an early multilevel marketing scheme for which Jay’s second cousin and his parents are already distributors. When Nutrilite goes kaput in 1948 after an FDA crackdown on their ‘excessive claims’ regarding the products’ nutritional values (about which Rich only says, ‘Until then, there had been no official government position on what type of claims could be made about dietary supplements’), he and Jay strike out on their own – the American way. They can do it! We know they can!

From time to time the absurdities and contradictions of The Business would surface in Josh’s conversation. In one of his many unguarded moments, he voiced a preference for Amway Scrub Rite because it ran out more quickly than the “superconcentrated” Amway cleaners, enabling him to buy it more often. Catching himself, he quickly added, “Of course, it still lasts a long time.” This puzzled me. Why was Josh so eager to shovel money at Amway? The rational thing would be to minimize his own purchases while strong-arming his downlines into buying as much as possible. But, of course, if everyone did that, the whole business would evaporate. This is Amway’s central dilemma.

Their first product was called Frisk, a concentrated organic cleaner developed by a scientist in Ohio. DeVos and Van Andel bought the rights to manufacture and distribute Frisk, and later changed the name to LOC (Liquid Organic Cleaner).[19] They subsequently formed the Amway Sales Corporation to procure and inventory products and to handle sales and marketing plans, and the Amway Services Corporation to handle insurance and other benefits for distributors.[20] In 1960, they purchased a 50% share in Atco Manufacturing Company in Detroit, the original manufacturers of LOC, and changed its name to Amway Manufacturing Corporation.[21] In 1964, the Amway Sales Corporation, Amway Services Corporation, and Amway Manufacturing Corporation merged to form the Amway Corporation.[22]
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.

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.
This said, according to Inter@ctive Week, "The commissions aren't all that great, even though they can add up to greater than 50 percent of the cost of the goods sold. If privately held Amway generated $6 billion in sales in 1998 as estimated, then each of its 1 million distributors would have pulled in, on average, only $6,000. It's nice extra income, but a livelihood only for the most talented, hardworking or aggressive. Or, for those with a large personal family tree.
Lmao i like how these amway fanboys are calling people that have real jobs broke lol 99% fail rate.. Dont use that excuse that people don't put in the work, I can put in 100% effort to sell dogshit, but I wont make anything cuz its still dogshit. You are ignoring the 99% fail rate and apparently ignoring the 100% success rate if you get a real job. I heard someone saying you aren't bound to the 9-5 chains in amway . As a Real business owner and many real business owners know that in owning a Real business u wish u had that 9-5 and thats it. Owning a real business is 24/7. So pull ur heads out of ur asses

Her alienation didn’t stop with non-Amwayers. She was also bitterly resentful of “crosslines,” her Amway cousins who belonged to other downlines. As fellow unrecovered wage junkies, they were a potential reservoir of misinformation, discontent, and backsliding. Josh cautioned her against fraternizing: Polite small talk was O.K., but you shouldn’t, say, go to a movie with them (Amway lore is full of disaster stories about crosslines who carpool). But Sherri’s animus went further. Crosslines were her competition, soaking up prospects and “saturating” Chicago before she had a chance. She was incensed when they hogged seats at meetings, hysterical when they went Direct.
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