Amway combines direct selling with a multi-level marketing strategy. Amway distributors, referred to as "independent business owners" (IBOs), may market products directly to potential customers and may also sponsor and mentor other people to become IBOs. IBOs may earn income both from the retail markup on any products they sell personally, plus a performance bonus based on the sales volume they and their downline (IBOs they have sponsored) have generated.[3] People may also register as IBOs to buy products at discounted prices. Harvard Business School, which described Amway as "one of the most profitable direct selling companies in the world", noted that Amway founders Van Andel and DeVos "accomplished their success through the use of an elaborate pyramid-like distribution system in which independent distributors of Amway products received a percentage of the merchandise they sold and also a percentage of the merchandise sold by recruited distributors".[68]
Their vertically integrated supply chain is one of longest in the industry. In addition to running plants, they own organic farms. They have farms in Brazil, Mexico, and the state of Washington where they grow and harvest key botanical ingredients like echinacea, spinach, alfalfa, watercress, and cherries.  They then take those products and manufacture intermediates.  Cherries, for example, are processed for Vitamin C. These intermediates they both use in their own products and sell to other companies.
Studies of independent consumer watchdog agencies have shown that between 990 and 999 of 1000 participants in MLMs that use Amway-type pay plans in fact lose money.[115][116][citation needed] According to The Skeptic's Dictionary, "In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission requires Amway to label its products with the message that 54% of Amway recruits make nothing and the rest earn on average $65 a month."[117]
"Amway is my favourite company ever! It is very popular in my town and has a lot of experience, so I trust it completely. All of its products have high quality and are guaranteed to work well. If you have any problems with your purchase, you can send it back and get either another one or a refund. I like their customer service a lot. I have had issues several times but the representatives of the customer service helped me to resolve them really fast."
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.
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.” 

“You also need a great trade group. They are worth more than their weight in gold, they are worth their weight in platinum. A fair number of our folks are on the ground in the markets we serve. Global trade compliance is not country-by-country anymore. More and more, the regulatory bodies are talking to each other. If an issue comes up in one nation, it comes up around the world. It is really critical that we extensively document where the components that go into our products come from.”
Amway is an $8.6 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, eSpring™ water treatment systems and XS™ energy drinks – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2016 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2017 Direct Selling News Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. 

These businesses sell the hope of getting rich by recruiting recruiters to sell overpriced products that don't move in real markets. The products of any MLM have to be extremely cheap to manufacture and must retail at inflated, unrealistic prices because in effect, the products are simply used to move money into the pyramid scheme. Just remember that there are several hundred MLMs in existence in 2014 and all of them are scams.
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.

Amway doesn’t operate this way. Amway IBOs don’t make any money by bringing more people in – not a single cent. They make money when products are sold, not from recruiting. On each product sold, Amway sets aside a portion of the product cost as a “bonus.” This is shared by IBOs who work together in sales groups, according to their contracts with Amway.
Renata tells us about the best local attractions, recommending particular farm-to-table restaurants and yoga studios as my husband and I make slow, opposing circles around the room. We meet in front of the master bathroom. The shower is wide enough for three people with three showerheads, a knee-high tawny-colored tile wall, and the rest of the walls completed with glass. The whirlpool bathtub could easily accommodate three.
I can promise you will lose friends and lovers. If that's worth it to you then go forth, but be aware that for the participant (or victim) in this, your loss of friendships will sometimes be invisible, and occasionally worth much more than you ever thought. It's an honest decision - you shouldn't be friends with someone who treats you this way. Every single person who has fallen into this trap I have seen lose friends in the long run, even if we tried to see past it. It's a black mark of a terrible person. When someone tells you who they are, you should listen to them.
When I told my parents about the business, they were immediately skeptical, but since my dad is a salesman he was supportive. The next week I was in the middle of teaching and got a phone call from the girl. She claimed that she had gotten a "last minute ticket" to their Thursday night meeting. She tried to describe how exclusive it is and basically hinted how honored I should feel to be invited. Unfortunately, it was so last minute we just couldn't do it. We were too tired after a long day at work. The following Thursday we went to the meeting. It was the strangest experience, and it was WAY too long. We didn't get home till 11 o'clock, and my husband had to be at work by 7:15. We were exhausted. Every few days we were having to meet for training with our mentors as well as watching videos and listening to CDs. They make sure to consume your life with a little bit of positive Amway, so you don't listen to the negative Amway. Guys, this literally can be described as a brainwashing method.
To achieve success through Amway, we must not only work hard but also have faith. We know that we should have faith in ourselves – Amway tells us this all the time. And we must have faith in our convictions – for instance, in the efficacy of free enterprise. The theologian, author, and ‘longtime friend of Amway and believer in its work ethic’ Dr. Robert Schuller takes this one step further. In his writing he actually provides a list of six ‘existing strengths’ in which Amway distributors should have faith, both individually and collectively: yourself, family, community, free enterprise, America, and faith itself.
But the problem with “public franchises” like McDonald’s, Scott noted, is that they only allow one person to enjoy this enchanted income. “Private” or “multilevel” franchises, on the other hand, allow people at all levels to duplicate themselves. Everyone begins as a grit-teeth franchise operator, but by “sharing their business with others” they would come into an exponentially expanding avalanche of wealth large enough to outrun the ballooning costs of twentieth-century life.
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.
In 2004, Dateline NBC featured a critical report based on a yearlong undercover investigation of business practices of Quixtar.[176] The report noted that the average distributor makes only about $1,400 per year and that many of the "high level distributors singing the praises of Quixtar" are actually "making most of their money by selling motivational books, tapes and seminars; not Quixtar's cosmetics, soaps, and electronics".
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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.
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]
‘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 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.’ 

That vision is played out daily as the company helps people everywhere discover their potential and achieve their goals by offering great brands and opportunities. Amway is guided by six enduring values: partnership, integrity, personal worth, achievement, personal responsibility and free enterprise. Sharing generously with the local communities in which the company and its business owners operate is an important part of this.
There's a concept in the social sciences that runs along this line. Basically the idea that we hold 3 types of capital, social, cultural, and economic. We can exchange those capitals for other other types of capital and pyramid schemes prey on the people who are willing to exchange their social capital (reputation with friends) for supposed economic capital (money).

In the roughly two hundred pages of Cross’s book, however, there is virtually no discussion of how Amway actually works. Among entire chapters dedicated to Amway’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and its pioneering move onto the World Wide Web, the ‘Amway Distributor Profile,’ its ‘Bootstraps Philosophy,’ and Amway’s foreign expansion strategy, the closest Cross comes to summarizing Amway’s business plan is in this passage:
On August 9, 2007, a group of Quixtar distributors, including founders of the TEAM training organization, filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin Quixtar from enforcing its distributor contracts, including the non-competition and non-solicitation provisions. The plaintiffs alleged that the company knowingly operates as a pyramid scheme, and prevents its distributors from leaving the organization through the aforementioned provisions.
Than please do enlighten us, what the difference is between Amway, Avon, Oriflame, etc. and the few other 1000 MLM "businesses" out there? All you can see, read, hear if you attend a meeting or not is the same script. Everyone is selling the best products, everyone is making tons of money, everyone is the amazing 2% who are smarter than other people on earth. (Oh and most of the time it turns out they have the same owners, or the name just changed :O suprise) And do not even start with sales. Topshop is one of the biggest TV and online sellers of 90% crap and useless stuff. Is it a business? Yes. Do they make money? Yes. Do they annoy, scam and rip people off? Yes. They have horrible reviews, lawsuits, complaint masses. Something running and some making money out of it does not make it a proper business nor legit. And please do not use the word meeting or training word regarding any of these companies. Getting some random people talking about how their yacht looks like is not a business mindset. Ever tried to make a project? Ever had a project plan and completed it? How many business models can you tell us? And in how many of those have you achieved anything? Please feel free, we would love to see. And having a degree has nothing to do with any business model. A person who was milking cows for a living for 40 years can have a successful business without having finished primary school. And "so to finish up", a real business with real products does not need people to run around and harrass people with their products. And I am not talking about coca cola and friends here. Everyone can find a product they need which is good and for a proper price. Noone needs someone to hold hands while shopping.
@TonyGonzalez1 Good work, don't trust any multilevel marketing scam (MLM) All of them conceal the 99%+ loss rate that consumers are bound to face due to the impossible math of a pyramid scheme. It's not opinion, all MLM companies carry an investment loss rate greater than 99%. Companies like Amway, Herbalife, Monavie, USANA, NuSkin, Veema, Xango and a few hundred others, all scam you by implying you can earn extra income by buying into the companies products, and then recruiting new participants who sell and recruit for you in something they call a "downline."
I have not purchased anything from Amway in years, but I did like a number of their products. I particularly liked their cleaning supplies. I also think that Amway products were fairly high quality and had a good guarantee. I also think that Amway prices were fairly high. I would also prefer to order online than through a distributor, particularly a multi-level distributor who wants you to join their down-line marketing group. I had a fairly positive experience. The individual I ordered from was a personal friend, so we had a good relationship. She also gave me free samples of products so I could see if I liked them before I ordered them.
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