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. 

"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.
Initially, few in Michigan knew quite what to make of GLEP. At the time, most PACs were affiliated with membership organizations, like a labor union or chamber of commerce, and focused on issues important to those members. GLEP wasn’t anything like that. It was a largely family-funded effort with a singular focus on education reform; a multipronged structure gave GLEP great latitude to advocate, from lobbying legislators to purchasing attack ads on TV.
The return to the upper levels comes from creating new levels rather than the sale of the product. The wealth gained by participants at the higher levels is the wealth lost by participants at lower levels. So these MLM schemes are essentially Ponzi schemes where money being brought in by newer distributors is paid off to older distributors. There is no legitimate business activity going on.

If Engler thought he had anointed a rubber stamp, he quickly learned otherwise. In January 1997, DeVos cleared house, unilaterally firing all of the party’s top directors and pausing all contracts with vendors, blaming them for the party’s losses months earlier. “Betsy regarded the governor’s input as good advice, not an order,” Greg McNeilly, a close associate of Betsy DeVos, told an Engler biographer years later. “That’s when the problems started.”


Following the Amway Center rules makes sure that you and everyone else remains safe at all times. These rules include prohibiting certain items to enter any Amway Center event, including harmful items like illegal drugs, weapons of any kind, and fireworks. As far as the camera policy, non-flash, still cameras without a detachable lens may be used at sporting events. For other events, the policy is event by event.
Totaling 875,000 square feet, the Amway Center replaces the previously existing Amway Arena, updating the venue in favor of a sustainable and environmentally conscious design. The new building comes with updated technology, more amenities, and bigger seats. There's even a hypnotizing graphics wall along one side of the building that brings the arena's modern elements together in a magical display.

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 like the convenience that they offer. They have a wide variety of high quality products and their shipping is always on time. The layout of the website makes it quite easy to find the products I need and the specific package sizes that I am looking for. It would be good it they allowed for bundling certain items together in order to get a discount. They do it to a certain extent, but it would be great if they offer far more options and combinations. It was a clear, organized experience that made shopping quite enjoyable. Checking out was easy and the entire experience was hassle free.
On August 10, 2007, Quixtar announced that it had terminated the businesses of fifteen of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit,[52] and sought and received a temporary restraining order and preliminary order of injunction in a Michigan court preventing them from interfering with the LOS, soliciting IBOs for their new company, or disparaging Quixtar or the business in any way.[53][54] In mid October 2007, Quixtar argued that the former distributors were in violation of the court order since TEAM continued to have meetings and sell motivational materials. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Quixtar argued that TEAM was using Quixtar's proprietary information to promote its meetings and sell materials. The court held in favor of Woodward and Brady and allowed TEAM to continue to operate.[55]
Amway is probably the most widely used of the "sell our products out of the comfort of your own home and be your own boss!" services, the ones that appeal to the unemployed with promises they'll get rich quick (and also encourages them to relentlessly recruit new members). And on the surface it looks fairly plausible, especially when you look at how much money Amway rakes in every year: in 2014 Amway sold $10.8 billion worth of products, so why shouldn't you try to break off a piece of that action?

@yoonyoung People don't know facts, people are unaccountable, people need leadership period. As a IBO with prior military service and had spent 5 years in the service building soldiers into leaders this business is dynamic. If the plan is not followed it will fail, but only fails if the IBO does not follow the blue print laid out by the upline who has fruit on the tree. Thank you for your post!
Another reward of the Gomez family’s success was flexibility. Vicky credits their involvement with Amway for enabling the couple to be present in their kids’ lives, while instilling the importance of working hard and giving back. Their example has influenced the next generation, inspiring their eldest son, Adam Jr., to found a nonprofit organization called The Road to Help, which provides blankets to the homeless in the Los Angeles area.

Amway is a good company and has helped a lot of people worldwide already which should be because they existed since 1959(?). There’s just one thing I did not like and that was when some top distributors introduced their own training seminars and made it a part of Amway. Then some uplines made it compulsory to attend these meetings which are not free but on one hand you’ll get trained. Some distributors just gets hyper-excited acting queer instead of thinking business-like. It’s up to you how you’ll behave. Their products are mostly good. Surely, you’ll not earn if you don’t work it out. Of course, prospecting is part of it just like any other business. Then the business presentation, then closing the deal or have the prospect sign up. It doesn’t end there. You have to guide your distributors until they can made it on their own. Just like any distribution business, you have to check how your dealers are performing. Have a business mindset and hardworking attitude and you cannot avoid earning.

The FTC also cites Amway’s “Buyback Rule” as a feature distiguishing the Business from a pyramid scheme. Distributors can return any “products, literature, or sales aids” for “whatever refund is agreed upon between the departing distributor and his or her sponsor.” The Manual adds this note: “To return Amway literature for credit or refund, the literature must be sent back in its original wrapping, unopened and unused.”
In Western Michigan, what matters isn’t how Amway is run, but what the DeVoses have done for the community. Drive through downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest metropolis, and the family’s contributions are omnipresent. There’s the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. A few blocks west, hugging the Grand River that bisects the city, you’ll find the sleek DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Across the water, the campus of Grand Valley State University is anchored by the spacious Richard M. DeVos Center. A few blocks north is the DeVos Learning Center, housed at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. (You would be forgiven if you assumed that DeVos, not Ford, had been president.)
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.
Days after the 2012 election, Dick DeVos picked up the phone and rallied Republican lawmakers to pass right-to-work in lame duck while they still had the votes, reportedly promising financial support to those members who would find themselves facing tough reelections and suggesting he would back primary campaigns against those who didn’t step in line. “There’s one family who gets these people elected, and consequently, you can assume they can get them unelected, too,” says Gretchen Whitmer, who was the state Senate’s Democratic leader at the time.

This year’s report examined how age, gender and education levels impact attitudes towards entrepreneurship. It also examined various aspects that either hinder or help entrepreneurs – internal factors (such as commitment, willingness to take risks, knowledge of how to earn money) and external factors (such as their country’s operating environment, technology availability and entrepreneurially forward education system).
Amway is the number one direct-selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2017 Global 100, with more than $8.8 billion in sales revenue. Amway sells a breadth of nutrition, beauty, and home products through a network of millions of independent sales distributors. Despite the company’s huge size and global footprint, however, its initiative to develop Internet-connected products—or Internet of Things (IoT)—began as a grassroots effort within the organization when it was in the process of enhancing its top-of-the-line air-treatment system. “During this process, a cross-functional team identified an opportunity to enhance the user experience by adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication,” says Everett Binger, chief IoT solutions architect at Amway.
One day, Sherri asked me to attend a meeting at which a “millionaire from the West Coast” was to talk about “business trends of the nineties.” I was not entirely caught by surprise—Sherri had dropped hints about starting her own “distribution business” at about the time that Amway Dish Drops appeared in the E2020 kitchen—and although she didn’t tell me the millionaire was from Amway, it wasn’t difficult to guess which version of the gospel of wealth he’d be preaching. I jumped at the chance to meet this mysterious man of money, although from totally insincere motives—the old anthro major in me was hankering for a bona fide subculture to gawk at.
I am a temp there currently. I work in nutrition. Not only what the title says but the management does nothing but hassle you about little petty things that overall dont matter in the long run. If you do your research, this company sells overly expensive bs products that dont really work. They are SNAKE OIL salesmen and producers. $300 For a small thing of anti aging cream that doesnt really work. Its just placebo! $120 For a small box of "meal replacement" powder that really is just full of soy, powdered milk, and fake "natural" flavoring! They are a scamming mlm company just like younique and all the other ones. AND IF YOU DONT KNOW ALREADY AN MLM IS A PYRAMID SCHEME! The so called "independant" business owners on here are just fake reviews to peddle their "radical new protein powder :DDDDD". The work environment is absolutely terrible. Half the time the lines arent even up and when they are down they want you to clean.... even though everything has been cleaned! I LITTERALLY stood there for an hour and a half cleaning the same spot over and over as id already cleaned the whole line! You cant talk to anyone unless you want the techs to report it to your coordinator. We do it anyways as human interaction is human nature and you cant stop that. The techs WONT LET YOU use your phone if you have nothing to do but check their social media and PLAY GAMES and sit down when their line is running and they have nothing to do! They get onto us about it and its bs! These 2 individuals that keep coming back after they time out (The contract is 1 year 8 months) think that they are gods  more... gift to this green earth and think they are your boss keep causing conflict and undue stress to me and several others but they refuse to fire them because "the techs say they are good workers". I wake up half the time to go to work and puke my guts out due to the stress they put us through. I hate this place. NEVER WORK FOR AN MLM. Say hi to r/antimlm by the way.  less
The Amway Board of Coaches is made up of 65 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2018 season: Blake Anderson, Arkansas State; Major Applewhite, Houston; Dino Babers, Syracuse; Mike Bloomgren, Rice; John Bonamego, Central Michigan; Terry Bowden, Akron; Jeff Brohm, Purdue; Neal Brown, Troy; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Rod Carey, Northern Illinois; Bill Clark, Alabama-Birmingham; Dave Clawson, Wake Forest; Geoff Collins, Temple; David Cutcliffe, Duke; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Bob Davie, New Mexico; Butch Davis, Florida International; Dana Dimel, Texas-El Paso; DJ Durkin, Maryland; Herm Edwards, Arizona State; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M; P.J. Fleck, Minnesota; James Franklin, Penn State; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Scott Frost, Nebraska; Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Turner Gill, Liberty; Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Clay Helton, Southern California; Tom Herman, Texas; Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia; Mike Jinks, Bowling Green; Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech; Brad Lambert, Charlotte; Mike Leach, Washington State; Lance Leipold, Buffalo; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Seth Littrell, North Texas; Rocky Long, San Diego State; Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern; Mike MacIntyre, Colorado; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Doug Martin, New Mexico State; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Jeff Monken, Army; Dan Mullen, Florida; Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Jay Norvell, Nevada; Barry Odom, Missouri; Ed Orgeron, LSU; Gary Patterson, TCU; Chris Petersen, Washington; Bobby Petrino, Louisville; Nick Saban, Alabama; Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Charlie Strong, South Florida; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Jeff Tedford, Fresno State; Kyle Whittingham, Utah; Everett Withers, Texas State.
Some friends of mine are into Amway & are showing it to me. I am skeptical, but as I look into it things are looking good. There's some points in one of the first books you read that appear to contradict what the uppers are saying, but that's where that "Ask Questions" part comes in. Anyone can make a company look bad, either by accident or for lolz. Those that only buy their own product aren't necessarily doing it wrong, but they won't make as much as thewy would 'hiring' a 'team'. Essentially the distributor gets points for product sold, then paid on total point value (PV). Anyone can surpass their mentors, so not shaped like a pyramid :)
@yoonyoung People don't know facts, people are unaccountable, people need leadership period. As a IBO with prior military service and had spent 5 years in the service building soldiers into leaders this business is dynamic. If the plan is not followed it will fail, but only fails if the IBO does not follow the blue print laid out by the upline who has fruit on the tree. Thank you for your post!
Inside the Amway Center, everything is new from the front row to the rafters. Bigger seats. Better sight lines. More amenities on every level of the building. Concourses are spacious, offering unique concessions and activities for kids and adults alike. The Club Restaurant and the Ozone Bar overlook the event floor, and children enjoy spending time in the kid-oriented fun zone and retail store on the upper concourse. Technologically, Amway Center is one of the most advanced ever built, highlighted by the main scoreboard – the largest of its kind in the NBA. Measuring approximately 42 feet high and weighing in at more than 40 tons, its four primary video displays will be able to show high definition imagery in 4.4 trillion shades of color. Altogether, it’s unlike any arena ever built. It’s a world-class experience unlike anything Central Florida has ever seen. 

On one fateful evening in December 2014, I went on Kijiji (I live in Canada) to look for a job and one particular ad caught my attention. This job ad was so vague, and yet so loaded that I filled in my contact details so the person who posted the ad could get back to me. This guy got back to me via the email I filled in and he told about brand new exciting business opportunity. He also sent me a couple of videos showing me people in mansions, beach houses and the rest by exploring this business opportunity in another city.
And the victims of MLMs—that is, the people who pay high buy-in fees but never recoup their investment—are usually women. The second episode of The Dream is called “Women’s Work,” and in it Marie returns to her hometown of Owosso, Michigan, where childhood friends and women in her family recall how Tupperware, makeup, and jewelry parties were an essential part of the town’s social fabric. “They say you can work from home, you can pick up your kids from school, you’ll never miss a soccer game,” Marie said of the promises MLMs make to women. “You can be the stereotypical mom, American mom, and make a living. Except that you can’t. You now have women doing all the emotional labor of mothering, and unpaid labor of running a household, and you have them working nights and weekends to pay for their cell phone. It’s like being in jail.”

Year by year, cycle by cycle, the DeVoses built a state Legislature in their own image. By the time Democrat Jennifer Granholm was term-limited in 2010 and Republican Rick Snyder was elected governor without any political experience, it was the DeVoses, not Snyder, who knew how to get things done. Unlike the Engler years, this time, they had more sway than the governor.

Amway is a good company and has helped a lot of people worldwide already which should be because they existed since 1959(?). There’s just one thing I did not like and that was when some top distributors introduced their own training seminars and made it a part of Amway. Then some uplines made it compulsory to attend these meetings which are not free but on one hand you’ll get trained. Some distributors just gets hyper-excited acting queer instead of thinking business-like. It’s up to you how you’ll behave. Their products are mostly good. Surely, you’ll not earn if you don’t work it out. Of course, prospecting is part of it just like any other business. Then the business presentation, then closing the deal or have the prospect sign up. It doesn’t end there. You have to guide your distributors until they can made it on their own. Just like any distribution business, you have to check how your dealers are performing. Have a business mindset and hardworking attitude and you cannot avoid earning.
eSpring was the first commercial product which employed Fulton Innovation's eCoupled wireless power induction technology.[56] In December 2006, Amway sister company, Fulton Innovations, announced that it would introduce eCoupled technology in other consumer electronic products at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.[57] Companies licensing this technology include Visteon, Herman Miller, Motorola and Mobility Electronics.[58] Fulton was a founding member of the Wireless Power Consortium which developed the Qi (inductive power standard).[59]

In looking at U.S. respondents’ abilities and attitudes regarding starting and running a business, the majority (88 percent) perceive themselves as socially supported (compared to 64 percent globally). When it comes to taking risks, 74 percent of U.S. respondents consider themselves to be risk-takers, compared to 47 percent of respondents globally.
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.
A money circulation scheme is essentially a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scheme where the money being brought in by newer investors is used to pay off older investors. The scheme offers high returns to lure investors in and it keeps running till the money being brought in by the newer investors is greater than the money needed to pay off the older investors whose investment is up for redemption. The moment this breaks, the scheme collapses.
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.
It's actually not. It was even investigated in 1979, an investigation initiated by Amway to disprove those claiming they were fraudulent. I'm guessing you may have joined and didn't put in the work and didn't see a good return and are now upset. Well, it's just like going to college, if you don't do the work and do well in college and fail out and have to quit, you will claim college is stupid and doesn't work just because you weren't successful. Shame.

It started with a guy I randomly met at Target. Now that I think about it, it's almost as if he was waiting for a prospect right outside the store. He entered the store right behind me and then he entered the aisle I went into shortly after I did. Not that it's relevant, but I was there to buy deodorant because, well, we're not apes anymore. Anyway, he pretended to be interested in the same product that I was looking at and was like "Oh you're a Degree guy too?" I was a bit weirded out at first but I was like, I don't know, he seems harmless. We started talking about success right off the bat and how he wants to live the better life/easy life (yachts and fancy cars). He came off as very ambitious. I am too, I own a small business and I'm looking to grow it, so of course, I related to him, and that's where he thought he had me. That's right, it felt like he was out to get me.
Multi-level market (MLM) or network marketing is an American institution. Companies like Amway, Tupperware, Herbalife, Avon, Mary Kay and The Pampered Chef support huge networks of distributors and recruits who sell every type of product from dietary supplements to kitchenware to beauty products. Salespeople are called independent business owners (IBO) and generally work from their homes.
In December 2006, Alticor secured the naming rights for the Orlando Magic's home basketball arena in Orlando, Florida. The Orlando Magic are owned by the DeVos family. The arena, formerly known as the TD Waterhouse Centre, was renamed the Amway Arena. Its successor, the Amway Center, was opened in 2010, and the older arena was demolished in 2012.[69]
"We were warned never to use the name Amway on the phone; even while showing the business plan, the name would be one of the very last things mentioned. The explanation from our 'sponsors' was that people in the past have misused the name 'Amway,' and people should get a chance to know the 'new Amway' without being prejudiced from things they might have heard."
To sell Amway products, you’ll first need to register as an Independent Business Owner (IBO), which will then give you the opportunity to earn an income through their Compensation Plan. After signing up as an IBO, Amway claims that you’ll never be alone due to their world-class business resources, support, education, training, as well as mentoring. However, despite how great the company makes their business opportunity appear, the fact is that most people never make any money (see Bottom Line section for additional information).
Methodology: Source Euromonitor International Limited. Claim verification based on Euromonitor research and methodology for Amway Corporation conducted from April to May 2012. Euromonitor studied ten leading direct selling companies in Brazil, as provided by Amway, and through interviews with company distributors and company employees Euromonitor tried to determine if any of the companies had implemented an internal Facebook page exclusive to distributors that provides tools for customization, retailing and content management. None of the ten leading direct selling companies had this capability at the time of the research. To the extent permissible, Euromonitor does not accept or assume responsibility to any third party in respect of this claim. Further information is available upon request.
Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products.[1] But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies.[2] Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
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.
The recently published book, No One Would Listen, by whistle blower, Harry Markopolos, dramatically describes how SEC regulators ignored his alerts and allowed the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to grow to enormous proportions. Their failure to act caused harm to thousands more people, despite his written and detailed warnings, which he brought to the agency five separate times over an eight-year period of investigating the scam. Additionally, the news media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine also failed to respond to his evidence which he offered them. Madoff was apparetnly treated as “too big to expose.”
Amway is best known in North America for its original multi-purpose cleaning product LOC, SA8 laundry detergent, and Dish Drops dishwashing liquid. In the January 2007 issue of Consumer Reports, SA8 with Bioquest was rated the best-performing laundry detergent.[36] Consumer Reports did, however, criticize SA8's pricing, a situation which was disputed by Amway.[37] Consumer Reports conducted blind testing of detergents in 2010 and ranked versions of Amway's Legacy of Clean detergents 9th and 18th of 20 detergents tested. Consumer Reports program manager Pat Slaven recommended against buying the products because consumers can "go to the grocery store and get something that performs a whole lot better for a whole lot less money".[38][39]
The Amway approach supposedly avoids impersonal door-to-door sales, as each distributor need only sell directly to a small customer base of friends and family. Business “growth”—and an ascent to the flashier “bonus levels” (Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Executive Diamond, Double Diamond, Crown Ambassador)—comes mostly through expanding one’s downline. In theory, this odd marketing system ensures that benefits accrue not to Madison Avenue slicksters, but to ordinary folk capitalizing on their close-knit community ties—a scheme that seemingly reflects the small-town, Protestant populism of Amway’s co-founders, Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndel.

At the landing of the stairs, she turns to face us. ‘The one thing you need to know about this house is that the whole area as you go up on this side is a safe area. So, you can see that this will roll down.’ She points to a metal compartment above us, which neither my husband nor I had noticed. ‘I’m going to show you that all the hurricane shutters will also come down,’ she says.


Occasionally, though, it can be useful to mention poverty in a certain context. Inspired by the personal and business philosophies of DeVos and Van Andel, Cross spent the ten years after writing Commitment to Excellence researching the two men, culminating in his 1995 self-help book Choices with Clout: How to Make Things Happen – by Making the Right Decisions Every Day of Your Life. Much of the book is compiled from interviews with the Amway founders and top-level distributors. In a passage about excellence, Van Andel outlines the proper way for an Amway distributor to rationalize the issue of poverty:

“Across the United States, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and thriving, from coast to coast,” said Dr. David B. Audretsch, professor and director of the Institute for Development Strategies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “This year’s AGER confirms Americans continue to view entrepreneurship in a positive light and are open to the idea of starting their own business. Compared to the global average, attitudes towards entrepreneurship in America are sustaining momentum from previous years and are on track to experience continued growth.”
The FTC also cites Amway’s “Buyback Rule” as a feature distiguishing the Business from a pyramid scheme. Distributors can return any “products, literature, or sales aids” for “whatever refund is agreed upon between the departing distributor and his or her sponsor.” The Manual adds this note: “To return Amway literature for credit or refund, the literature must be sent back in its original wrapping, unopened and unused.”
The Sales & Marketing Plan is based on what Scott called “the revolutionary business strategy of duplication.” To illustrate the idea he pointed to an imperfect example: McDonald’s, which succeeded so phenomenally, Scott explained, thanks to duplication—not because it served particularly good food (people who “hadn’t spent a lot of time around millionaires” always amused Scott with their idea that successful businesses required quality products). Ray Kroc had figured out a better way to flip a burger, but instead of hiring employees to do it, he taught it to franchisees, people fired up with the zeal of business ownership. While they willingly slaved to make what they owned more valuable, Kroc made his money by “taking a penny for teaching others how to make a dollar.” His was truly a magical income, expanding whether he worked for it or not, growing whether he lived or died. Long after Kroc had “taken a dirt bath,” Scott joked, duplication still supported his widow to the tune of $200 million a year!
We exit onto the back patio. It overlooks the pool on the lower level and the golf course, bordered by houses of the Bayou Club community. It’s begun to rain lightly, but the sun is still out. We pass through an outdoor dining area and reenter through the fitness center: a room the size of a small apartment with mirrored walls, two rows of exercise machines, and a flat-screen TV mounted in the corner. A man and a woman exercise separately.
The compensation plan is called a “stairstep breakaway,” which requires the business rep to effectively rebuild a leg once it has reached what’s called Platinum status (7500 points). Basically, legs break off once they qualify and the commissions turn into 4% royalties instead of commissioned payouts of ~30%. I asked a former Amway emerald once what it was like having his first leg break-off and his reply was: “it’s awful, you really know how to ask painful questions don’t you.” He went on to explain his commissions dropped by at least 80% when they turned into “royalties.” It should be noted that the royalties technically disappear if the volume in the leg drops below 7500 points, so it’s not really a “permanent” royalty unless you maintain your volume. It is in essence a “punishing” compensation plan that forces you to rebuild a leg once it reaches this trigger volume, effectively causing you to “not” want others to pass you up.
Of the Amway distributors who testified in the case, Rich says, ‘I have nothing against someone who tries Amway and concludes the business is not for them. But I wish they would take responsibility for their own actions instead of trying to blame the business.’ Likewise naysayers and disgruntled former Amway distributors simply do not understand how business works and are at fault for their own failures because they lack faith in their ability to succeed, and thus the necessary determination.
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