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.
I think of my family’s time in Amway as achievement tourism. We left reality for a moment and believed the impossible was possible. My dad still wonders if there’s more he could have done, if there’s a way for him to have succeeded in Amway – admitting in the next breath that there isn’t. My parents tried everything. At each turn, the people they thought were supposed to be helping them – their upline, yes, but really the overall structure of the Amway Corporation itself – actually stood in their way. They built dreams and worked to achieve them, but the only people who benefited from their work were the people already on top.
Figuring out the arcana of Amway took months. The price list, for instance, is denominated in two artificial Amway currencies called “Point Value” (PV) and “Bonus Volume” (BV), which are listed alongside the U.S. dollar-denominated wholesale (“Distributor Cost”) and “Suggested Retail” prices. But for all the arcana, the system’s core concept was simple.
It was hard enough to get people to sign up for Amway. My parents, in describing their experience, said that most people had heard of the company and believed it was a pyramid scheme. In fact, part of my parents’ strategy for ‘showing The Plan’ was that they didn’t even tell people it was Amway until the very end of their presentation – then they signed them up on the spot. If they couldn’t sign them up right then, they invited them to a meeting. Most of the time, even though they told them not to talk to anybody about Amway before the meeting, the prospect would go to their brother-in-law, who would tell them it was crap. ‘And if they make it to the meeting, this guy’ – the creepy guy in the upline – ‘stands up there and is a complete ass,’ says my dad. ‘And the people that you encouraged and cajoled, they take a look at you and say, ‘What?’ And then they don’t return your phone call.’
I got sucked into this program only to find out to get started you have to spend $300 in your store each month. This wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't stuck part-time at Wal-Mart. I could flex my schedule to fit my mentor's just fine, I already thought the way they want you to in the first place, and I welcomed learning new things but I just couldn't afford it and no one is going to help you because they're all trying to make their own business succeed. Then I tried talking to my mentor and he seemed more selfish than anything. I would have to starve myself on perfect water and protein bars and he only thought about how me leaving would affect HIM. I hate people, always will and this just made my social seclusion worse. If you are reading this to because you just got dragged into too, don't follow through with it unless you have extra money to throw around. I was also learning nothing I didn't already know. And you'll always hear people saying "Well if you knew how, why aren't you successful like us?" Well my answer is because I haven't tried yet. Every meeting you hear the exact same things. I even had the infortunity to go to this year's Spring Leadership. The most interesting part of it was the band at the very beginning. Every person had the same thing to say, the only diversity is how they got to where they are now. My mentor is extremely unequipped to teach anyone. He may have been mentored by the most famous Diamonds in Edmonton but in two years he's not even Eagle.
This hard truth belies Amway’s populism, its promise that success depends merely on getting in on the ground floor, and that every floor is the ground floor. Deep down, Josh may have realized that an Amway easy enough for even him to master would soon self-destruct. This buried consciousness surfaced, for example, in the way he consoled himself with weird probability statistics. He knew how many levels deep he had to extend his downline (something like six) before he was certain to recruit someone with a knack for huckstering, providing a rising tide on which Josh could float. It was unlikely, of course, that a guy like Josh could spawn a six-level downline without the help of such a person, but that simply masked a deeper improbability: that there were enough of these theoretical master salesmen to go around to every schlub who couldn’t succeed otherwise.
The move unified the various Amway companies worldwide. "We're now reintroducing our brands in North America, moving away from Quixtar and going back to the Amway name", said Steve Lieberman, managing director of Amway Global. "We decided there were a number of roads we had to go down in order to recreate awareness for a brand that, quite frankly, a lot of people felt had gone away."[5]
Disguising the upward flow of fees within a downward flow of commissions definitely has its advantages. One of the decisive factors in the 1979 FTC decision exonerating Amway from allegations of pyramiding was that most of its revenues came from product sales, not from enrollment fees. The assumption is that those sales are based on rational consumer choices—made on the basis of price and quality—and that the money paid into the bonus system is not an extraneous surcharge, but merely the portion other corporations would pour into their marketing budgets. Amway claims, in fact, that it’s able to save even its small time distributors money by avoiding things like pricey mass advertising. These savings are the source of the alleged wholesale 30 percent Basic Discount that every distributor is supposed to enjoy even before the bonuses kick in.

Amway stresses that the main difference between a legitimate MLM business model and a pyramid scheme is that a legitimate MLM is focused on selling products, not recruiting more salespeople. In a legitimate MLM, it should be possible to make money by simply selling products directly to customers. With that main criterion in mind, here are some other ways to identify product-based pyramid schemes:


Amway allows me to buy health, beauty, and home care products in a fashion that no other site does. It provides multi level marketing which builds a relationship between buyer and seller. However, the thing I would change about this company is to make their service more user friendly. As of right now it is extremely difficult for me to navigate their site to search for items I want. My overall experience for using this company has been rather well thus far. In terms of product selection, there are a large catalog of products that I can choose from. The purchasing process is as streamlined as any other site and the customer service has been impeccable too.
In 1983, Rich DeVos, one of Amway's founders, made recordings which, among other things, communicated his displeasure with several issues regarding some of the high ranking distributors/IBOs. These recordings are entitled "Directly Speaking"[45][46] and were addressed to Direct Distributors (now called Platinums), who are considered leaders with various responsibilities for their downline group. In January 1983 Rich DeVos announced that Amway would pay Business Volume (BV) on Amway produced tapes. He expressed concern about the level of income from the sale of Business Support Materials (BSM; tapes, CDs, books, and business conferences/functions) compared to the income the high level distributors were making from Amway products. He stated his legal team was concerned if the tool income exceeded 10% of their Amway income, and stated that BV payouts on tapes can never exceed 20%[47] of the distributor's total Business Volume.
Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel initially founded the Ja-Ri Corporation, a multi-level marketing distributorship for Nutrilite products, in 1949. Ja-Ri was incorporated in 1959, and changed its name to "Amway" (American Way) in 1963. As of 2012, Amway operates in more than 100 countries around the world. In 1999, the founders of the Amway corporation launched a sister Internet-based company named Quixtar. The Alticor corporation owns both Amway and Quixtar, plus several other concerns. Quixtar replaced the North American business of Amway in 2001 after the majority of the distributors moved to Quixtar, with Amway operating in the rest of the world.
This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.

Amwayers are like vampires: To join them, you must invite them into your home. Unpacking the Starter Kit was mainly Jean’s show, she being the most balanced of my upline trio, the calmest and least prone to outbursts of enthusiasm. (Josh limited himself to preparing my contract and casting a longing gaze every time my roommate ventured out of his room.) Jean was also the only one who had actually read the Amway Business Manual (included in the Kit). Nonetheless, she deferred to Josh: He did the “more important” work of “building” The Business, while she performed the womanly tasks of customer service.

Thank you very much for your review. I would do this perhaps in my spare time outside of work hours. I would of course find it difficult as you said going to all these house parties as such as it does chew up alot of time. Yes I have done some studying into pyramid stuff and mlms. What I am finding with network marketing nowadays and residual income is the point of making actual money and it takes an awful lots of work to get to where you want to be knowing where the founders where before you. It often feels depressing and that you are just paddling nowhere fast. Anyways, I find internet marketing somewhat similar but different from network marketing. Or is it the same thing? Anyways, I’m not sure where to turn as Different network marketing things i read reviews of people who paid this or paid that and got no refund ect ect. I like amway drink and bars and personally i would not want to keep any stock as some people do as I would have no place for it but i definatelly feel different after taking it for some reason. Its giving my body what it needs and what most people dont get daily. I feel that i need more when i drink the drink and eat the bar. Anyways, I still would like to do it but the problem i am facing in not wanting to do it is not that it is scam or anything it is all the work. I am not scared to talk to people i done public speaking many times and acted in school plays. It’s all the work of going to this party or that party house part ect ect. Lots of running around and stuff. Anyways, Thanks for your comments


Haven’t you heard that dialogue from a friend before? It turns out to be a typical “Multi Level Marketing” in which you are supposed to pay a certain amount to become a member (and maybe get a gift which costs much lesser than the membership amount) and later refer it to your friends and convince them also to join it. In the process, when the friends pay the membership amount, you are awarded with some partial amount and when they in turn refer to their friends, they will be awarded some money, and since you are their “parent”, you will also get some money. As the process continues recursively, you “end up having a source of unlimited passive income!!”. Although it sounds very rosy, it is practically not possible to sustain this business model. It is unfortunate that most of the aspirants who get their hands burnt in such schemes are ambitious people from the software industry who actually have very good analytical minds but fail to make use of it to evaluate these models.

Amway is based out of Ada, MI, and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with only 11 closed complaints over the past three years. It appears that Amway has a generally negative reputation among IBOs, and the most common complaints we encountered during our research cited difficulty making money, high prices, and dishonest recruiting tactics.


This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.

My wife started to sell this stuff. After a few months, everything in our house was Amway crap, bought with my money at ridiculous prices. My family could not talk with her without her mentioning Amway in every breath. In an attempt to discover what was going on, I went with her to an Amway seminar. Around a thousand people all screaming and shouting “fired up” and cheering the pompus rich asses paraded on stage as Diamond distributos. After the show I went around back and see that these “Diamonds” drove old beat-up cars. I saw how easy it is to brainwash people at cult meetings.
One Republican who caught the DeVos family’s ire was Paul Muxlow, a realtor and former educator elected to the state house in 2010, representing a mostly rural district in southeast Michigan. Muxlow was a dependable conservative, but disliked the idea of eliminating the cap on the number of charter schools. While he was fine with charter schools in underserved communities, he said he couldn’t support them in rural areas—“It would kill those districts,” he explained to the Detroit Free Press in 2014. When the cap elimination came before the state Legislature in 2011, it passed with Muxlow voting against it. The following year, when he ran for reelection, he faced a blitz of attacks from GLEP, which didn’t even need his district, but spent just under $185,000 to take him out in the primary. Muxlow won by just 132 votes.
Lmao i like how these amway fanboys are calling people that have real jobs broke lol 99% fail rate.. Dont use that excuse that people don't put in the work, I can put in 100% effort to sell dogshit, but I wont make anything cuz its still dogshit. You are ignoring the 99% fail rate and apparently ignoring the 100% success rate if you get a real job. I heard someone saying you aren't bound to the 9-5 chains in amway . As a Real business owner and many real business owners know that in owning a Real business u wish u had that 9-5 and thats it. Owning a real business is 24/7. So pull ur heads out of ur asses
In the beginning, my parents put between ten and fifteen hours a week into their business – per the company’s recommendation. But over time, my dad’s enthusiasm began to wear off. ‘You say to yourself, ‘What the hell for?’’ he says now. ‘So that somebody can come in and then not return your calls? You take them to a meeting and there’s a jerk up there who’s embarrassing? I had no way, no avenue to get people in there and get them excited.’
Nike and Apple have been partnered for 3 years. They don’t need to market and advertise that to create volume. That’s what we do. Also, amway is designed initially to be part time,no full time. I worked a full time job, while putting in time to build a business online. I don’t need to explain what we make now but it’s enough to make a living. Look up the BBB if you want to do “research”.
Amway breaks down its commission by PV and BV. The PV is your total point value for monthly sales, while your BV is percentage cash value based on the PV. There are possible bonuses at certain PV levels. The actual cash value of your downline is predictably complicated and, like credit card points, cleverly encourage more spending on Amway’s products.
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.
Great people; love their company and the Grand Rapids area; devoted to Amway's founding values of self-determination, opportunity, etc. Great place if you want to stay and grow with the same company for many years; everyone is open to the idea that you'll switch roles and teams more than once for the sake of personal growth and satisfaction. Great place to feel like you are cared about by the company.
Oh boy have i and everything to describe is 1000% accurate. The part were my higher intelligence kicked in is when they wanted access to my contacts. Why would i give you my contacts to market to. Thats called seo search engine optimization leads companys pay each other tons of money for leads but i’m suppose to give my contacts to my team leader for free and they profit from my sales. All it really takes is a little common sense to see through the con.
From time to time the absurdities and contradictions of The Business would surface in Josh’s conversation. In one of his many unguarded moments, he voiced a preference for Amway Scrub Rite because it ran out more quickly than the “superconcentrated” Amway cleaners, enabling him to buy it more often. Catching himself, he quickly added, “Of course, it still lasts a long time.” This puzzled me. Why was Josh so eager to shovel money at Amway? The rational thing would be to minimize his own purchases while strong-arming his downlines into buying as much as possible. But, of course, if everyone did that, the whole business would evaporate. This is Amway’s central dilemma.
We took photographs of one another inside our dreams: Here I am, a skinny nine-year-old posing proudly next to a kidney-shaped pool. Here’s my mother in a pair of khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt descending a marble staircase. And my father, two thumbs up, lying on a king-sized canopy bed. We visualized, yes – but then we went one step further and made visual. We stepped inside our dreams, literally.
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]
It was very good at the beginning, loved the selection. The products went a long way, they were very effective and did the job, I loved the personal interaction with the distributor, things came on time and full order. However, products were not cost effective, they were very expensive to ship and the constant pressure to become a distributor was unnerving. I just wanted to buy the products annually.
Amway is unethical way of making money. Their representative lure you to this smartly designed plan. Amway’s representatives misguide and misinform like any other business or a product’s sale representatives. which is attractive to listen for the first time with the ‘Entrepreneur” motto. But it is another way of making money leaving you frustrated in the end. I advise every one not to join this unethical product promotion. Parent company is becoming richer,leaving you as ”partner” (as it’s trained representatives claim) in total despair in the end. It is your hard earned money,think smartly before lending it to someone’s hand.
The company has a lot of great products, shipping can take up to 5 days, but their guarantee is amazing. Compensation plan is second to none, but YOU NEED TO PUT IN WORK to make it actually work. If you are a go getter or ambitious, this is for you. If you aren't then probably not. Lot's of really great people and NEVER had a weird experience. Just business minded people who are looking to get ahead.

Maria you must be committed to the business and do what the business tells you to do. Many people leave Amway simply because their upline wasn’t a great leader for them and eventually they lose confidence in themselves. The business requires you to buy their products monthly and recruit people into the business for PV. The amount of PV determines your level in the business. There is too much to explain. Speak to an IBO about the plan. All I can tell you is that the business is great, they offer you bonuses once you begin succeeding your way through, but it is up to you how far you go in the business. Just like any business, you must invest. One man made it to the Emerald level (around $10,000/per month +bonuses) in ONE YEAR. It all depends on how much you want to succeed. I am in Team Vision and I am glad I found this gem of a company. Good Luck to you if you apply!

The 2018 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with Prof. Dr. Isabell M. Welpe from the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung, Nuremberg, from April through June 2017. Results are shared with the scientific community, including the 44 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions.
We took photographs of one another inside our dreams: Here I am, a skinny nine-year-old posing proudly next to a kidney-shaped pool. Here’s my mother in a pair of khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt descending a marble staircase. And my father, two thumbs up, lying on a king-sized canopy bed. We visualized, yes – but then we went one step further and made visual. We stepped inside our dreams, literally.
This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.
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