The Amway Corporation was founded in 1959, ostensibly as a small-scale manufacturer of “biodegradable” detergents (beginning with Liquid Organic Cleaner, the patent for which Amway acquired from a struggling Detroit scientist). It has since grown into a $6 billion-a-year consumer-products behemoth selling everything from groceries to lingerie to water filtration systems. These products aren’t available in stores, though. The key to Amway’s success is its curious distribution system: Instead of using retail outlets and mass-media advertising, Amway licenses individual “distributors” to sell its goods from their homes. The distributors are independent franchisees; they buy products from Amway at wholesale and resell them at the “suggested retail” price, pocketing the difference as profit. Distributors are also paid a percentage of their sales (from 3 percent to 25 percent) by Amway itself. But the detail that distinguishes Amway’s “multilevel marketing” scheme is that it rewards distributors for bringing new recruits into the sales force. Distributors get a cut not only of their own sales revenues, but of sales made by their recruits, their recruits’ recruits and their recruits’ recruits’ recruits, a branching pyramid of lineally descended Amwayers known as a distributor’s “downline.”
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.
In early November of 2017, we were out walking around the mall. I was searching for a new pair of earrings. We were looking around in Claire's of all places when a couple approached us. The girl complimented my shoes. I said thank you, but then they struck up a conversation. They were very friendly and we enjoyed talking to them, however, we did notice they seemed oddly too friendly. We exchanged phone numbers and left happy that we made new friends. It's not easy making friends in the area we live in.
But every time I drive past the Bayou Club, I can’t help wondering what it would have been like to go Diamond. Once considered the highest Pin Level – above Silver, Gold, Platinum, Ruby, Pearl, Sapphire and Emerald – Diamond status was what I had craved. It was what I’d believed was success. After all, less than 1 percent of Amway distributors go Diamond.
Betsy’s campaigning earned the attention of the Ford team, which tapped her to attend that year's Republican National Convention in Kansas City as a participant in the “Presidentials” program for young Republicans. The budding politicos attended training on campaign strategy and political techniques, and were divided into groups based on geography so that they could get acquainted with potential allies from their home states. There were also more practical desires for a squadron of young volunteers at a contested convention: “Anywhere there needed to be noise, there were always kids,” Betsy Prince told a reporter for the Holland Sentinel in 1976 (“Betsy Helps Cheer Ford Through in Kansas City,” read the headline, beside a photo of a T-shirt-clad Betsy sporting a feathered, Farrah Fawcett-lite hairdo).
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.