As soon as they mention Amway, First Look speakers always hurry to dispel “myths” about The Business: that it’s a rinky-dink soap company, that it requires door-to-door sales, that it’s a pyramid scheme (if you do an organizational chart of a typical corporation, guess what, that looks like a pyramid too!), that you have to be a Christian to join (there’s nobody The Business wouldn’t accept), that it’s a crazy cult (Amway provides an opportunity to everybody, meaning that it inevitably lets in some bad apples who damage its reputation).
Such a model can be represented as a binary tree with each node representing a person and the 2 children nodes under it representing the referred friends. It is also called “Pyramid scheme”. As you would have realized or the organizers might have suggested, in order to just recover the money that you have spent for membership, you need to have atleast 3-4 levels under you and only the levels beyond that will start fetching you some passive income as and when new members join. Just recollect the formula for number of nodes at the “n”th level of a binary tree. It is 2^n (2 power n). We shall use this formula in the following analysis.
A lot of people join (Amway.com) and other MLM business opportunities believing it will be easy and it’s their ticket to “get rich quick”, but the truth is it’s totally the opposite. Like any real business, you will have to work your butt off for a long period of time before you get results. Keep this in mind that Amway is a 2 to 3 year plan and you will have to follow that plan by prospecting, going to major functions (Home parties and larger events that take place) and by attending your team’s weekly meeting.
As its Sales & Marketing Plan demonstrated, there were two ways to make money in Amway. You could buy products cheap (at wholesale costs reportedly 30 percent below retail) and sell them dear; or, more lucratively, you could share The Business with others, and build your own empire of “downlines.” Since Amway awards bonuses to its distributors based on their wholesale volume, and since each distributor’s wholesale figures includes the sales made by his or her “downlines,” each convert to the Amway cause would enlarge his or her own incomes. To see how this worked, we were told to imagine recruiting six distributors, each of whom would bring in four more, who in turn would each net an additional two. Our downlines, according to this “6-4-2” formula, would then have seventy-eight members. If each of our underlings did $100 a month in sales, we’d be making an extra $2,000 a month in bonuses.
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.”
Amway China launched in 1995. In 1998, after abuses of illegal pyramid schemes led to riots, the Chinese government enacted a ban on all direct selling companies, including Amway. After the negotiations, some companies like Amway, Avon, and Mary Kay continued to operate through a network of retail stores promoted by an independent sales force. China introduced new direct selling laws in December 2005, and in December 2006 Amway was one of the first companies to receive a license to resume direct sales. However, the law forbids teachers, doctors, and civil servants from becoming direct sales agents for the company and, unlike in the United States, salespeople in China are ineligible to receive commissions from sales made by the distributors they recruit.
In December 2006, Amway secured the naming rights for the Orlando Arena, home to the NBA's Orlando Magic, which was formerly known as the TD Waterhouse Centre. In the deal, the arena became known as Amway Arena. As part of the contract, Amway also had the exclusive right to first negotiations for the naming rights of the arena's successor, and secured in early August 2009 a 10-year deal to name the new facility Amway Center.
Clockwise, from upper left: Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel (left) and Richard DeVos (center) meet in the Oval Office with President Gerald Ford, who is holding a copy of Richard’s book, “Believe!”; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Richard DeVos during a 2009 event at the Scripps Research Institute; an aerial shot of Dick & Betsy DeVos’s primary residence in Ada, Michigan; Dick & Betsy enjoy their courtside seats at an Orlando Magic game—an NBA team owned by the DeVos family. | National Archives; AP; Getty Images
Amway was founded in 1959 by two fellows by the name of Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel who are based in Michigan. Today Amway do business through number of companies all around the world (More than eighty countries). In 2012 Amway was actually rewarded the number 25 position by Forbes for being one of the largest private companies in the United States. In fact, more than $11 billion dollars with of sales were recorded, making Amway one of the most successful Direct sales or network marketing companies that have been in business for well over 50 years.
To conclude, an individual entering a legitimate MLM business at lower levels is likely to face losses and be unsuccessful at it. To that extent, even legitimate MLM businesses are similar to Ponzi schemes, where it is important to enter the scheme early. Also, like Ponzi schemes even legitimate MLM businesses project the prospect of unrealistically high returns while soliciting new distributors.
The above analysis is an ideal case. Not everybody can afford to become a member and not everyone who can afford would wish to become a member. So, such schemes collapse by the time it reaches 18th level itself (if each member is allowed to refer 2 friends), or 8th level itself (if each member is allowed to refer 6 friends). i.e It is not a sustainable model and is bound to collapse. Dreams are shattered and friendships are broken.
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. 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."
There were some rational explanations for Josh’s behavior. To recruit others, he needed the propaganda talents of his upline World Widers, who made it clear that their underlings had to be “fanatical about personal use,” and even held this up as an index of a distributor’s positive attitude. Another rationale was provided by the well-worn anecdote, often retold in the first person, about the distributor who missed a new Performance Bracket by a few dollars when a little bit more personal use could have taken them over the edge. The story always ended, “Well, you better believe I never made that mistake again!”
Deep into his first term, Engler wanted to show progress in his signature proposal to reduce the state’s onerous property taxes by 20 percent. Property taxes being the funding source for Michigan’s public school system, Democrats ruled out any plan that did not include a replacement for the lost revenue, and since any new revenue would require legislators to vote for new taxes or fees, that option had little appeal heading into the 1994 campaign. On July 19, 1993, Democratic state Senator Debbie Stabenow proposed an amendment that was interpreted as an attempt to point out the absurdity of Engler’s plan: Why not cut them by 100 percent without having any replacement revenue source?
Now, however, the DeVoses were on their own, pushing Prop 1 with minimal support from the state’s Republican establishment. Among the broader public, the opposition was fierce and widespread. “That was one of the best campaigns I was ever on,” says Julie Matuzak, who was, at the time, the American Federation of Teachers’ top political hand in the state.
“Our research and development group is getting information about how our top-of-the-line products are functioning that was impossible to gather before,” says Binger. “We have insights into not only how the product is functioning, but also how people are using the product. For example, we gather statistics about motor speed, errors, voltages, and so on, which tell us how well our air-treatment units are operating in the field,” says Binger. “We also collect information about users’ interactions with our mobile application in order to improve that offering.”
In October 1994, Amway gave the biggest corporate contribution recorded to that date to a political party for a single election, $2.5 million to the Republican National Committee, and was the number one corporate political donor in the United States. In the 2004 election cycle, the organization contributed a total of $4 million to a conservative 527 group, Progress for America.
Building network marketing teams that last is incredibly difficult in North America (specifically USA). This may sound a bit harsh, but I have not seen Amway break a single Diamond in the USA in 2 decades (it was brought to my attention recently that there was 1, but I have not verified this). The reason teams are difficult to keep together, even with the promoting of events, is because building a business entirely offline is not attractive to most people in this country. And as much as leaders may complain that the internet has ruined this industry in some circles, it doesn’t change the fact that the marketplace is an entity all of its own; it’s not up to us to determine what’s best for the marketplace, it’s our duty to find out how they want to be marketed to and then meet that desire. Building solely offline gets tiring and the vast majority of people simply don’t want to burn the rubber off the tires any more. Now don't get me wrong, building a local team can be extremely powerful (I do it in fact), but if you are not leveraging the power of the internet then your method of marketing may not be attractive to most prospects. Additionally there are a lot of companies that have embraced the internet, and since most people go to the web for information it is easy for Amway reps to get discouraged and explore other options when they find out a business can be built online. Again, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the local offline approach, but it's best when combined with the internet.
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.
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act. They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products". In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.
Georgia put the game away by halftime with a 42-7 lead that included three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, another from freshman signal caller Justin Fields as well as his first career rushing touchdown, and a 100-yard rushing performance from junior tailback Elijah Holyfield, the first of his career as well. Sophomore wideout Jeremiah Holloman turned in a breakout performance with three grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Even so, among the DeVoses’ skeptics, there are those who strike a hopeful, if cautious, tone. “I think Mrs. DeVos could potentially be a really good secretary of education if she allowed parents and school districts to make policy at the local level,” says Daniel Quinn, executive director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a nonprofit that receives a portion of its funding from the National Education Association. “But at the same time, I’m concerned.”