"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.
In 2006 Amway (then Quixtar in North America) introduced its Professional Development Accreditation Program in response to concerns surrounding business support materials (BSM), including books, tapes and meetings. In 2010 this was superseded by its Accreditation Plus program to ensure that all BSM content is consistent with Amway's quality assurance standards, which approved providers of BSM must abide by. The quality assurance standards state that
Third, you don’t lie to me and sell me. That is the biggest thing. Everyone couldn’t understand why my husband and I weren’t laughing at the stories that lasted longer than the pertinent information. That is because I know psychology so well I know sales tactics to skirt around the truth. I was stone cold in the face and many were uncomfortable because we didn’t react but the vibe in the room was creepy and we were watched closely. It was more of a “We have to choose to partner with you.” Well guess what, I am putting you on interview like you are me!
After four years of litigation Amway won a landmark case in 1979 concerning the legality of MLMs. Because distributors can make an income on direct selling in addition to their downline, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that Amway was a legitimate business and could continue to operate. This decision has only led to other MLMs adopting similar loopholes and has done little to protect the millions of people scammed into giving their time and money to Amway and other MLMs.
Brad spoke in parables: There was Brad’s father-in-law, who, upon being given a brand-new souped-up truck, sat down and wept. After a few years, the “newness wore off,” so Brad again bought him the latest model. And again his father-in-law sat down and wept. (Brad’s own fluid dynamics were more spectacular: When he first saw the jazzed-up truck, he admitted, “urine streamed down” his pant legs.)
‘It’s very dark,’ I observe. We’ve begun in the middle: a room with wood paneling, shellacked stone floors and walls, and a recessed circular area for entertaining, carpeted in emerald. Behind me, a pool table occupies most of a Turkish rug annexing the area beneath the open-style second-floor balcony. The Realtor stands near a grand piano and a stone planter housing ferns.
People who sell for Amway literally have no idea what they are getting into because the training system bends over backwards through hoops of fire to try to keep any useful information out of the hands of their representatives. It's actually incredibly hard for most users to know where actual "Amway" begins and ends, because a cottage-industry of other scams have leapt up around Amway's business model like hallucinogenic mushrooms on cow shit. Kyritsis received all of his training through a group called Network Twentyone, who make a tidy profit charging people to teach them how to sell Amway:
Amway: The True Story of the Company That Transformed the Lives of Millions reads like an extended advertisement. Its author, Wilbur Cross, became acquainted with Amway cofounders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel when they commissioned him to write the first ‘official’ history of the Amway Corporation, Commitment to Excellence, published in 1986. In Amway, Cross repeatedly references the work of Shad Helmstetter, PhD, a ‘motivational expert’ specializing in ‘programming’ yourself to change negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Negativity is expressly verboten in the world of Amway, as it breeds doubt – distributors are advised to get rid of any negative people in their downline as soon as possible if they can’t train them to be positive.
Enter Jay Van Andel, Amway’s other cofounder. Jay had a 1929 Model A, which Rich had noticed both driving down his street and also parked outside his high school. ‘I thought a ride in this car would surely beat the bus, a streetcar, or walking,’ says Rich. The rest is as saccharine as you would expect: good American boys working hard to make their dreams come true – an adventure full of family values and sturdy bootstraps with which one can pull himself up. It begins with the heartwarming story of their first joint business venture, running a pilot school, then segues into a comedy-of-errors trip on a sailboat – a typical masculine coming-of-age experience rooted in good old-fashioned American values like cooperation, perseverance, and leadership.
The Amway Coaches Poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.
They encourage new participants to start eating healthy and work-out — big surprise, taking care of yourself feels good — however, those who have been in a funk for a long time might attribute their new health and self-esteem boost to Amway rather than positive diet and lifestyle changes. Then they have recruits set goals, make vision boards, and sell them on the dream that they’ll “be retired in 2 to 5 years”. Amway is a pyramid scheme, but it’s masked under the real positive live changes subscribers make.
And these inconveniences pale beside the emotional shock of entering Josh and Jean’s apartment. Not big to begin with, its thorough occupation by Amway Corporation made it positively claustrophobic. The living room was dominated by huge metal cabinets displaying Amway cleaning and food products; shelves along the wall were devoted to toiletries; boxes of cereal lined the top of the couch. Next to the window was an eraser board listing upcoming World Wide Dreambuilders meetings; free wall space and the outside of cabinets were decorated with motivational slogans (“I AM A WINNER!”) drawn in crayon.
‘Shorts are fine here, jeans are fine. Casual attire, golf attire, tennis,’ says Dale. ‘What we train our staff on here, constantly, is the difference between a country club and a normal restaurant. We have a membership: they’re paying X amount of dollars just to walk in the door and come have a hamburger. So, we encourage the staff to make introductions if there are two members sitting here and they don’t know each other. To get them involved, help them meet each other, help them make friends – because that’s what’s going to make them participate more and stay members longer. It’s like a church. Like trying to get your congregation active and engaged and involved.’
Quixtar also markets through their website products from partner stores whose list can be found at Quixtar website. Quixtar utilizes the Employee & Affiliates Purchase Program discount pricing structure for purchases from most of these third-party partner stores. Purchases from some of them (generally called discount-only partner stores) may not gain the P/V & B/V (measures of sales volumes, used for calculating bonuses to be paid) normally associated with an IBO's purchases.
We follow her up the stairs. There are two large bedrooms separated by a bathroom and a linen closet – the children’s rooms. I step into the one on my left, which is smaller than I expected. It has wood floors and a closet with sliding mirror doors. Out the window, the neighboring house is less than ten feet away, and the space between is filled with broad-leafed palm trees. I hear the faint twang of the radio on the pool deck, playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
The company’s biggest market for their nutrition, beauty, and home products is China; and they have strong sales throughout Asia; the U.S. accounts for a mere 10 percent of their business. The company has located a majority of its manufacturing facilities in three cities in the U.S. And Amway has invested $335 million in manufacturing upgrades over the past four years, a majority of which was spent here in the U.S.