His tedious auto-encomium was enlivened only by occasional, chilling anecdotes of violence: His mother hit him as a child until, old and strong enough, he could credibly threaten to hit her back; his frat brothers, drunken and rambunctious, tried to shave his head one night, whereupon he barricaded himself in his room, audibly cocked a semiautomatic shotgun, and threatened to kill them; and his family needled him about Amway until, one Thanksgiving, he jumped up and shouted, “I don’t dump on what you do, and if you keep dumping on what I do, I’ll take you outside and knock your block off; and if you’re a woman, I don’t know what I’ll do!”
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.
I notice only one person has indicated any sort of income ($500/week – WOW!!) – but without stating their expenses. My sister (in Australia) has been involved in this for decades and has made nothing, despite co-opting several others into the fold. I had to quickly learn to ask what she was inviting me to before I accepted any invitations and eventually had to tell her not to ask me to any more Amway things. Then she started on my fiance.
In the 1990s, the Amway organization was a major contributor to the Republican Party (GOP) and to the election campaigns of various GOP candidates. Amway and its sales force contributed a substantial amount (up to half) of the total funds ($669,525) for the 1994 political campaign of Republican congresswoman and Amway distributor Sue Myrick (N.C.). According to two reports by Mother Jones magazine, Amway distributor Dexter Yager "used the company's extensive voice-mail system to rally hundreds of Amway distributors into giving a total of $295,871" to Myrick's campaign. According to a campaign staffer quoted by the magazine, Myrick had appeared regularly on the Amway circuit, speaking at hundreds of rallies and selling $5 and $10 audiotapes. Following the 1994 election, Myrick maintained "close ties to Amway and Yager", and raised $100,000 from Amway sources, "most notably through fundraisers at the homes of big distributors", in the 1997–98 election cycle.
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.
The Amwayers who had brought me to Dream Night were flying high on the drive home, whooping occasionally just to vent their exhilaration. I felt as though I had just sat through a year’s worth of infomercials, with some high school pep rallies and a few Tony Robbins lectures thrown in. But to see all this as an exercise in mass hypnosis, according to Amway’s literature, would be to “misunderstand” what is, simply, “the best business opportunity in the world”—an assessment, strangely enough, with which the rest of world is starting to agree.
It was a single-story, with four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a roundabout drive, and a screened-in pool. ‘You’ll see the gates,’ I’d say to my friends when giving them directions to my new house, feeling endowed with importance, despite the fact that these were not real gates – they were only for show. ‘They’re metal arches that say ‘Carlton Estates,’’ I’d say. These words tasted like gold. Carlton was a surname hyphenated invisibly after my own. I lived in Carlton Estates: that was surely worth something.
On May 27, 2013, Crime Branch officials of Kerala Police arrested William S. Pinckney, Managing Director & CEO of Amway India Enterprises along with two other directors of the company from Kozhikode. The three were arrested on charges of running a pyramid scheme. They were granted bail the next day and the business was unaffected. On June 8, 2013, Kozhikode Court lifted the freeze on Amway offices in Kerala. On May 26, 2014, Pinckney was arrested by Andhra Pradesh police on the basis of a consumer complaint that alleged unethical circulation of money by Amway. He was subsequently arrested in other criminal cases registered against him in the state on allegations of financial irregularities by the company. Pinckney was jailed for two months until being released on bail.
Amway and its sister companies under Alticor reported sales of $8.6 billion in 2017. It conducts business through a number of affiliated companies in more than a hundred countries and territories. Amway was ranked No. 29 among the largest privately held companies in the United States by Forbes in 2015 based on revenue, and No. 1 among multi-level marketing companies by Direct Selling News in 2016.
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. The FTC established that these rules help prevent inventory loading and other potential abuses of the marketing model.
When Dick and Betsy DeVos are asked why they’ve chosen to mount a personal crusade for education reform, they often cite their family’s charitable giving, which puts them into contact with scholarship applicants. For years, the DeVoses read reams of personal essays filled with wrenching stories of dire finances and an abiding hope in the transformative impact of education. Those stories, the DeVoses have said, made it clear that something had to change.
In 2001, Betsy DeVos spoke at “The Gathering,” an annual meeting of some of America’s wealthiest Christians. There, she told her fellow believers about the animating force behind her education-reform campaigning, referencing the biblical battlefield where the Israelites fought the Philistines: “It goes back to what I mentioned, the concept of really being active in the Shephelah of our culture—to impact our culture in ways that are not the traditional funding-the-Christian-organization route, but that really may have greater Kingdom gain in the long run by changing the way we approach things—in this case, the system of education in the country.”
Josh also showed signs of breakdown. After the presentation he took his customary position near the speaker, a hand-held recorder jutting provocatively from his hip; but because he wasn’t in Dave’s downline, he wouldn’t be able to accompany him to dinner. Josh claimed that it was at such dinners that speakers, unfettered by FTC restrictions, could reveal “the good stuff.” He proposed tailing Dave to the restaurant: “They couldn’t stop us, could they?” When Jean talked him out of this, he became desperate to simply “go somewhere and meet people.” Jean reminded him it was a school night for her. “Well, maybe we should talk to the hotel staff,” he suggested.
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.
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.
MLMs, which thrive in rural communities like Owosso, on military bases, and in countless Facebook groups, aren’t often targeted in mainstream reporting; when they are, Marie says, “It’s from the viewpoint of an old white guy activist investor on Wall Street. That doesn’t tell me anything.” Though she hopes The Dream might shine a light for some people on what a raw deal MLMs can be, Marie also sees endless juicy stories. “It’s entertaining and weird, this weird world that you see in your Facebook feed, and on anti-MLM Reddit channels where everyone’s gossiping about their cousins. I wanted to like, go inside and be in that industry. . . . I want to know why my cousin Stephanie is doing this every day on Instagram, and is she making any money or not? Or what are her friends saying?”
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.