The Dream is “sort of about pyramid schemes,” as host Jane Marie says at the beginning of the new podcast series, but it takes a moment to figure out just what that means. In the beginning of the first episode, which you can listen to exclusively here, Marie dives into a classic pyramid scheme of the 70s and 80s, the “airplane game,” a trend that became so prevalent among a certain subset in New York and South Florida that The New York Times caught on, calling it “a high-stakes chain letter.”
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!
Amway has phenomenal products, with a low startup cost. You make excellent margins on products 20-40%. You get excellent business training and sales/product training with the Britt System. The atmosphere is always positive, negativity is not allowed. You build great relationships and friendships. It becomes a franchise environment with support from an entire team and business system. You can purchase products at a heavily discounted price. You can expand your business in over 80+ countries world wide.
My uplines’ despair made me reluctant to add to their failure. But I had stayed in too long already. Having run out of other things to buy, I had resorted to subjecting my cat to Amway pet food. And I began to sense that when Josh and Sherri looked at me, they—in their last-ditch hopes—saw Diamonds. Before I disappeared from their lives, however, I accompanied them to one last Rally.
Mr. DeVos and Mr. Van Andel left college to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II. When they returned, they started Wolverine Air Service, their first joint venture. Several more businesses followed, including a failed charter schooner service, which almost led to their drowning, as well as a drive-in restaurant and a distributorship for a California-based marketer of vitamins and nutritional products.
In April 1997 Richard DeVos and his wife, Helen, gave $1 million to the Republican National Committee (RNC),[74][76] which at the time was the second-largest soft-money donation ever, behind Amway's 1994 gift of $2.5 million to the RNC.[74] In July 1997, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Newt Gingrich slipped a last-minute provision into a hotly contested compromise tax bill that granted Amway and four other companies a tax break on their Asian branches that totaled $19 million.[74]
Amway’s original product, Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.™), was one of the first concentrated, biodegradable and environmentally sensitive cleaning products on the market. Since then, with a similarly pioneering and purposeful spirit, Amway has gone from selling simply home products to become a global leader in health and beauty, too. For decades, the company has focused on environmentally sensitive and biodegradable products.
Yes! MLM is not the same as “pyramid scheme” . In every business the people at the top make more. In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. Some of what is described in the article is very cult-like if it’s true, but I would imagine it is like with any business: it depends on who your upline is. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that. Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. It’s called being a workaholic.

Hi Ben. LTD is a Line of Association or approved provider, not a company. LTD has no rights to require you to purchase any business materials. Everything offered by LTD is optional to IBOs due to the Rules of Conduct which is approved by federal government. But I believe LTD is a really nice LOA, because I know some really intelligent LTD leaders. Amway would not suspend your business for no reasons, because it's not benefitial to Amway either. And the arbitration company you talk about is called Independent Business Owner Association International, which is a non-profit association previously named as American Way Association founded in 1959, not company either. All the IBOAI Board Directors are elected from Diamond IBOs and above by votes from Platinum and above. If you have conflicts with Amway, you may appear for an infromal and formal hearing conciliation in IBOAI, which is held by IBOAI Board Directors not Amway administrators. And the IBOAI will stand out for IBOs' benefits, not Amway's. Amway usually accept IBOAI's recommendation for the results of hearing conciliations. You must understand that Rules of Conduct was writting by both Amway Rules Dept and IBOAI directors, and approved by government. That means the content in the Rules is legal and obeying the Federal Laws and the spirit of the Contitution. Amway has to fight you by the rules, and IBOAI will help you fight back by the rules. However, if you break the rules, nobody can help you. Is this the reason why you wrote your comment like this? And you know what, you can sue Amway Corp, because I know someone who did it and won the case. It has proved that this business has helped a lot of people earning extra income or achieving dreams without violating the Rules Of Conduct. And if your upline overcommitted you something, please don't blame it on this business and other IBOs in this business. Nobody should tell you that you only need 10 hours a week to be successful, nobody can make this statement, and nobody should believe it. I strongly suggest you to contact with me, and I would like to show you what a correct approch to Amway Business is. And I still believe you may find a way to make extra income in this business.
I have been experiencing the Amway Opportunity and Teams for 2 years now... best thinks ever happen to me. The best advise I can give to people is don't trust me or any one on internet. The haters probably have their own and very specific reason to be mad at this company but experiment it for yourself and see if it is for you or not! I was so skeptical and I am so bless I didnt listen all the bad things said on this company their ethic and their partnership with N21 made it for me so far the most growing and exciting experience!!! You don't know me but I am someone that needs ethic, equity, respect of human being and every living creature... I found that in so many level through this company!!! Our over consumption and crazy society is (for me) so wrong, it put sens back into my life and I can create my own economy since I am involve in this MLM!!! I love that chance and opportunity. Thanks Amway and all my beautiful team mate I am associate with... So bless to have met you on my path and thanks for your love and support!!
In nutrition, a business line representing nearly half of their sales, safety and trust are key issues. “In Asian countries,” Dr. Calvert explained, ‘Made in the USA’ carries cachet because of the safety and traceability of the U.S. food system.” Clearly offshoring food bar production would be the wrong choice. “Similarly, consumers want beauty products from the U.S., France, Japan, or Korea, not from developing nations.”
Disappointments like this got Sherri down, and keeping her outlook positive was beginning to strain even World Wide Dreambuilders, LLC. At one First Look, Dave Duncan (Greg and Brad’s father, a straight-talkin’ Montanan who had given up a successful construction business to build dreams with Amway) reassured her with a timeline he drew on the eraser-board showing that you could make millions within ten years. Afterwards, however, during the mingling—while Dave warned a young couple that, sure, some brain surgeons did well, but only the ones at the top—Sherri started eyeing the evening’s hosts with despair. They were crosslines, Direct Distributors who had broken 7,500 PV with an all-out one-summer campaign. Sherri, almost beside herself, insisted that Josh, Jean, and I have a meeting to “figure out what we’re going to do. Because we’ve got to do something!”
Quixtar reports that the average income for an "active" Quixtar IBO in 2005 was $115 a month ($1,380 annually), as documented in The Quixtar IBO Compensation Plan[14] and on a Quixtar website.[15] The average annual Quixtar income for an IBO that qualified at the Platinum level in 2005 (0.1683% of IBOs) was $47,472 and for a Diamond (.0120% of IBOs) it was $146,995. The largest single annual bonus (in addition to monthly incomes) for a Diamond was $1,083,421.[15][16]
In the 1979 ruling In re. Amway Corp., the Federal Trade Commission determined that Quixtar predecessor Amway was not an illegal pyramid scheme because no payments were made for recruitment. In addition, Amway (and later Quixtar) rules required distributors to sell to at least 10 retail customers per month, or have $100 in product sales, or a total of 50 PV from customer purchases in order to qualify for bonuses on downline volume. Quixtar IBOs are required to report this customer volume on Quixtar.com or they do not receive bonuses on downline volume. Furthermore, an IBO must also personally sell or use at least 70% of the products personally purchased each month.[10] The FTC established that these rules help prevent inventory loading and other potential abuses of the marketing model.

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.
I think there's a ton of misinformation on both parts. Yes, most people who jump into the business don't understand what they need to do to make their business successful. Then again, as mentioned above, MLM is a highly outdated model, pretty much just a good way to waste time when you could be using that time to retrain or pursue your passions. After all, what's the point in selling overpriced, under-quality product, and how can you expect to sell if you wouldn't buy it yourself?? I feel as though this system of marketing will die out fairly soon. Great post.
Josh felt that duplication worked in the other direction as well. If he emulated the multi-multi-millionaires (“multi-multi’s” for short) above him—and did exactly what they said they had done—he would succeed as they had. In his mind, his interests were already merged with theirs. He would boast of their accomplishments, tell me how their bonuses just kept “getting better and better all the time!” For him, of course, bigger bonuses for uplines simply meant a more powerful drain on his income. But that kind of self-defeating “stinking thinking” missed the point, as far as Josh was concerned. By “visualizing” great wealth, by worshiping great wealth, and by imitating the consuming habits of the great and wealthy, he would somehow obtain great wealth.
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