Methodology: Source Euromonitor International Limited. Claim verification based on Euromonitor research and methodology for Amway Corporation conducted from May through June 2018. Euromonitor determined the highest possible total historical sales of the leading global and/or regional Amway competitors and eliminated those whose total sales are less than double that of Amway's own stated historical total bonuses paid out to distributors historically. Of the remaining companies, Euromonitor eliminated companies whose average share of bonuses and cash incentives paid out totals were less than 70% of Amway's stated historical total of bonuses. No companies remained after this stage. To the extent permissible, Euromonitor does not accept or assume responsibility to any third party in respect of this claim.
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.
After four years of litigation Amway won a landmark case in 1979 concerning the legality of MLMs. Because distributors can make an income on direct selling in addition to their downline, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that Amway was a legitimate business and could continue to operate. This decision has only led to other MLMs adopting similar loopholes and has done little to protect the millions of people scammed into giving their time and money to Amway and other MLMs.
In a breakfast speech to volunteers at Holland Christian Schools on May 12, 1975, Ed Prince warned that lazy and neglectful U.S. citizens were not doing their fair share, forcing the government to, as a Holland Sentinel article described it, “play an increasingly larger role in our daily and personal lives.” (You don’t have to listen too hard to hear an echo of Ed Prince in his daughter, Betsy. “[For welfare recipients] to sit and be handed money from the government because they think a job like that is beneath them,” the heiress sighed to the Detroit Free Press in 1992. “If I had to work on a line in a factory, I would do that before I would stand in line for a welfare check.”)
Amway blamed its seamy image on a few “bad apples,” impossible to avoid in a business that is open to all. (When Procter & Gamble, a competitor in the soap business, sued Amway for spreading rumors that P&G was a hotbed of Satanism, Amway shifted the blame to overenthusiastic distributors.) Since the eighties, the corporation has dealt with the issue by encouraging distributor groups to train Amwayers in “professionality,” and by promulgating elaborate rules of conduct and a code of ethics for distributors.
‘It was very marshy. They rearranged the golf course because part of Bardmoor was in here, so they restructured it,’ she says, referring to the adjacent gated community. ‘Bayou Club is divided into two cities: Pinellas Park and Seminole. When you first drive into the community, while you’re technically still in Pinellas Park, you wouldn’t know it. Pinellas Park is low-income – we call this section an oasis in the middle of Pinellas Park.’
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I have not purchased anything from Amway in years, but I did like a number of their products. I particularly liked their cleaning supplies. I also think that Amway products were fairly high quality and had a good guarantee. I also think that Amway prices were fairly high. I would also prefer to order online than through a distributor, particularly a multi-level distributor who wants you to join their down-line marketing group. I had a fairly positive experience. The individual I ordered from was a personal friend, so we had a good relationship. She also gave me free samples of products so I could see if I liked them before I ordered them.
One of my best friends (whom I've known since the 3rd grade) has become a Amway IBO. He and I are very close, however we have different interests. He invited me over one night to participate in a meeting and I agreed. After the 2 hour long meeting, I knew that this was a scam to make money off of him. I tried to tell him and convince him that Amway will just make money off of his hopefulness by selling him hope (making him buy motivational tapes). No doubt I love the guy, but damn his pride. He's a very committed guy and great at whatever he chooses to do.
While Jean explained all of this, Josh, by way of chatting up the friend who was to drive me home, offered him some Glister Anti-Plaque Gum. This was a companion to Glister AntiPlaque Toothpaste, something so caustic-sounding that I never dared put it in my mouth. “It’s actually illegal in Canada,” Josh improbably declared, adding, “I guess they just don’t worry about plaque up there.” Friend-with-Car excused himself to go to the bathroom, from which he emerged with an odd look on his face. Once safely in the car he described the bathroom as something not to be missed.
The FTC did, however, find Amway "guilty of price-fixing and making exaggerated income claims"; the company was ordered to stop retail price fixing and allocating customers among distributors and was prohibited from misrepresenting the amount of profit, earnings or sales its distributors are likely to achieve with the business. Amway was ordered to accompany any such statements with the actual averages per distributor, pointing out that more than half of the distributors do not make any money, with the average distributor making less than $100 per month. The order was violated with a 1986 ad campaign, resulting in a $100,000 fine.
In a column published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in August 1997, reporter Molly Ivins wrote that Amway had "its own caucus in Congress...Five Republican House members are also Amway distributors: Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Jon Christensen of Nebraska, Dick Chrysler of Michigan, Richard Pombo of California, and John Ensign of Nevada. Their informal caucus meets several times a year with Amway bigwigs to discuss policy matters affecting the company, including China's trade status."
The next week, I decided. I would never learn the truth about Amway until I joined. I left a message on Josh’s Amvox voicemail telling him I had the $160 check ready. A week later, I left another message. By my third attempt, I got Josh himself (who had been intending to return my calls) and was finally able to arrange a time to separate me from my money. It wasn’t the last time I felt he and Jean weren’t exactly cut out for the rigors of The Business.
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 2011, Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements led Amway's sales, totaling almost $4.7 billion. According to Euromonitor International, in 2014, Nutrilite was the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand. In 2015, it was reported that according to Euromonitor International, Amway was the largest vitamin and dietary supplement vendor in China, with 11% of a market that generated 100 billion yuan ($15.6 billion) in annual sales. In 2015, it was reported that according to China Confidential consumer brands survey, Amway Nutrilite was the most popular vitamin and dietary supplement brand in China.
Outside the Capitol, state police donned riot gear while officers on horseback pushed protesters away from the building. Loudspeakers blared Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and as the wind picked up, four 20-foot-tall inflatable rat balloons skittered from side to side. Each rat represented one of the key players protesters blamed for right-to-work’s hasty adoption: the governor, the House speaker, the Senate majority leader, and—the only unelected member of the rat pack—Dick DeVos.
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.
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.
I met with them the second time, and of course, they wouldn't tell me right there what the company was or what it did. I mean, why would they, they knew I would go online and read all the crappy reviews. They said "hey, tomorrow is this meeting, I don't know if we can get you in there but I'm gonna talk to my mentor and see if we can reserve you a seat," (yeah right, like that would be hard to do, but they have to make it seem like only a select few get in). The next morning he confirmed with me that he had pulled some strings and got me that seat and that he was going to introduce me to some people so told me to go early.
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.
At first I thought the products were useful and worth it, but after more purchases and comparison shopping I was very disappointed in the value and quality of the products they sell. Products are overpriced and of questionable quality. I was roped into buying these from "friends" that are now former friends and was involved in several arguments with them over the value of the products that are easier and cheaper to get at Walmart’s. Very frustrating. Not only did we pay too much for products we had to wait for to get delivery, we lost two of our closest friends who valued their profits more than our friendship.
My parents and I were solidly middle class when we collided with Amway. We owned our home. We lived in a safe neighborhood where I could play outside without supervision and walk home alone after the sun went down. We always kept an excess of food in the house. I got new shoes whenever I outgrew my old pair. I received new toys when my old ones broke and new books when I finished reading the ones I had. I went to gymnastics practice four times a week, singing lessons once a week, camp over the summer, and back-to-school shopping in the fall. We didn’t need Amway.
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”.