There's a concept in the social sciences that runs along this line. Basically the idea that we hold 3 types of capital, social, cultural, and economic. We can exchange those capitals for other other types of capital and pyramid schemes prey on the people who are willing to exchange their social capital (reputation with friends) for supposed economic capital (money).
Amway sells real products. They have cosmetics and regular household products. They also offer CDs, motivational material and other stuff to IBOs. There is a whole lot of purchases that go on involving IBOs, none of this is free for anybody. Some IBOs are able to make regular sales to people who take the products but have no affiliation to the company. IBOs that recruit people still have to sell stuff to the people they are recruiting. Some people become IBOs just to get the “discounted” prices.

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.

Amway is a company involved in direct selling different kinds of products. It has been in business over 50 years and claims to have helped over 3 million Independent Business Owners (IBOs) to create a successful business of their own. The company operates in more than 100 countries of the world by offering a wide range of products, complete customer support, extensive training opportunities, etc. Amway is based out of Ada, MI, and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. There are only eleven closed complaints over the last several years. It seems that the company has a generally positive reputation among IBOs with the most common compliments referencing the high quality of the products, fast delivery and excellent customer service. There are few complaints the most common of which cited high prices, difficulty making money, and cunning recruiting tactics. Similar to Herbalife, this company deals with direct selling. It means that their business model involves individuals who earn commissions off each sale of their exclusive products. You can use Amway as a business owner (sell products) and as a customer (buy products).

Individuals may buy products through Quixtar's web site with a referral number from an IBO. Quixtar also gives IBOs the option to create free personal websites that can be personalized to focus on health, beauty, health and beauty,[13] and/or gift and incentive products. The referring IBO then receives the retail/wholesale profit (usually 30%), and a percentage ("bonus") of the cost of the sold goods (from 3% up to 31% depending on total PV generated), with Quixtar-exclusive products yielding a higher bonus per dollar in Point Value and Business Value (PV/BV). Quixtar offers a wide range of products for its IBOs to purchase for personal use and/or to sell to customers through Quixtar.com and IBO personal e-commerce sites.


Amway combines direct selling with a multi-level marketing strategy. Amway distributors, referred to as "independent business owners" (IBOs), may market products directly to potential customers and may also sponsor and mentor other people to become IBOs. IBOs may earn income both from the retail markup on any products they sell personally, plus a performance bonus based on the sales volume they and their downline (IBOs they have sponsored) have generated.[3] People may also register as IBOs to buy products at discounted prices. Harvard Business School, which described Amway as "one of the most profitable direct selling companies in the world", noted that Amway founders Van Andel and DeVos "accomplished their success through the use of an elaborate pyramid-like distribution system in which independent distributors of Amway products received a percentage of the merchandise they sold and also a percentage of the merchandise sold by recruited distributors".[68]

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:
After the speech I told the guy that this isn't for me, I'm sure it works for you, but it wouldn't for me, and he tried to slow me down from walking out and managed to get one of his buddies to talk to me as to why I should reconsider. I asked him some questions, but he really didn't have a script and he got shot down and walked away. I said, "it was great meeting you, thanks for the opportunity, I hope I didn't waste your time and have a good life."
I was signed up, received no support from my upline, and yes although Amway has good quality products you need a substantial amount to sign up and all the marketing materials, rally's etc is expensive. Felt like I needed to be a slave of the company to get ahead. It feels also like you are pushing those above you up rather than them pulling you up. Feels like you are working for your upline's wealth rather than truly prospering yourself...
‘No,’ says Dale. ‘I’ve only been playing seriously for six or seven years, and I don’t have much time, working in hospitality. But I love playing at Bayou Club. You join a private club hoping that during season when every other golf course is swamped – I mean, we own a public course nearby, and they’re running on six-minute tee times. They’re herded through there like cattle. It’s tough during season, and it’s not enjoyable golf. Because if you’re playing golf, especially if you’re kind of a quick player, when you run into someone else and then you have to stop and you have to wait for those people to play ahead of you, to get out of the way, it interrupts your rhythm playing the game.’
“This is an extremely contentious, controversial business model,” business consultant and author Robert L. FitzPatrick told the Detroit Free Press in 2006. “If you go to work for Hewlett-Packard, you don’t walk in the door saying, ‘Hey, I wonder if this is a scam?’ But anybody who gets into multilevel marketing will have to deal with that question.”
Let me share my experience. My son has completely been brainwashed by up line who has instructed him not to associate with his mother and father. His up line (the leader) gives the entire group instructions on what they have to do, when, how many meetings per weeks, hours of involvement. They also participate at conventions by the Diamond leaders who on the last day start preaching and have people go down forth to donate. Alan is a phony and fraud. Had no substance to his ramblings on stage then that pathetic sermon he entised sleep deprived individuals to donate. It doesn't stop there. My son and his wife have spent thousands of dollars in 2 years on Amway products and LTD products. They are instructed to do so. Sir, anyone who takes up for the cult like group should be ashamed. My son calls his Platinum leader his mentor whom he has ripped him apart through Identity Destruction. OMG...my son has a masters degree and this has ripped my heart completely out of my chest. I do not even know who he is anymore and I wish I could do something legally about this. You have no clue how they twist the bible, construe it into something they want the group to believe. Now my Christian son and daughter n law have stopped going to church and are worshipping the way the AMWAY LEADERS tell them to worship and their belief system. In the beginning I saw a drastic behaviour change, then a chill period. I even gave him my support, although against it, 100%. Helped their sales and reached out of o my friends who purchased. No more. I've not said anything hing about it to him but because my motherly instinct told me he was instructed to cut ties, that was confirmed today. His up line Joel should be sued for ripping our family apart. People like that are sinning and driven by money. The worship money and material things Of the world. There is only one God. I'm extremely upset and am just letting him go do it. He's under so much pressure stressed d out all the time. They are both coaches and thus side deal is killing them. The end
We follow her up the stairs. There are two large bedrooms separated by a bathroom and a linen closet – the children’s rooms. I step into the one on my left, which is smaller than I expected. It has wood floors and a closet with sliding mirror doors. Out the window, the neighboring house is less than ten feet away, and the space between is filled with broad-leafed palm trees. I hear the faint twang of the radio on the pool deck, playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
Jackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer for Amway’s Americas Region, talks with former coach, hall of famer and NCAA Division 1 champion Phillip Fulmer in “Developing Strong Coaching Relationships.” For Fulmer, building successful relationships begins with trust. By spending time getting to know individuals, learning how to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses, a leader communicates the message that the team is more important than the individual. With this mindset in place, he says, you’re going to have success. Watch Now
Remember Income is not profit.  Even if a business consultant earned 21,048 in commission for 2013, this figure does not include the cost of being an Amway member.  Remaining active is not cheap. Our own analysis of the numbers estimated that after expenses the average Amway IBO lost $1,176 per year.  Our calculations used data from Amway USA from 2010
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.”

The Orlando City Council approved several operating agreements connected with the arena plans on May 22, 2007.[13] The City Council approved the plan officially, 6-1, on July 23.[14] The Venue plan received final approval by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, 5-2, in late evening of July 26 after a long day of public hearings.[15] Amendments were made by the County Commission which were approved on August 6 by the City Council, 6-1, sealing the deal once and for all. On December 1, 2007, the City and the Magic came to an agreement on nearly $8.5 million in compensation to three owners of the land where the arena is planned to be built. An eminent domain hearing confirmed the agreement and finalized the sale.[16]
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.”
“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.”
I was invited by a gentlemen from eastern Suffolk area, NY and had told him I was busy in other things. What I didn't realize was how I had went to see this same presentation in someone's house about 20 years prior to 2015. So it was May 2015 and people want to return to the American dream and here comes these floating characters straight out of a horror video game. So they smiled their way and have their game plans down to a science. There's no way I'm going to sit through a presentation that makes me feel I am chained down in my seat 24/7.
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.
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