Amway and the Internet – A History, Part I

As the 1990s came to a close more and more people began to connect to the internet. The internet is an amazing resource for information. You can, like I did when writing these articles, find out in moments all about the amygdala. You can check for train timetables in Stockholm, or, quite literally look at the weather in Prague, or see what people think about the latest movie. You can also, of course, try to get that “inside information” on the latest gadgets you’re thinking of buying.

Indeed, researchers have discovered that for people with internet connections, the internet is the “go to” place for researching anything before you decide to purchase. Whether checking for movie reviews, or the latest digital camera, consumers get online and start googling.

For Amway (and Quixtar) for the past decade, this has not been a good thing.

Back in March 1996 a disgruntled former Amway distributor by the name of Ashley Wilkes began posting to a website he titled Amway Motivational Organizations (AMO’s): The Nightmare Builders. Two years earlier, his wife, who continued to be an Amway distributor, had divorced him, and he laid the blame squarely at the foot of the so-called “AMOs”. Not long after, other, similar sites began to appear, including Sidney Schwartz’s Amway: The Untold Story and later Scott Larsen’s Amway Distributor’s Little White Lies.

One of Amway’s early responses was threats of legal action against the site owners. Officially this action was part of an ongoing dispute with Proctor & Gamble. Amway had learned that P&G had paid Schwartz as a consultant on the case, and Amway apparently believed P&G may have had some other connection to the critical sites. The internet however was a hotbed of “freedom of information”, and the legal maneuvering was seen by many as nothing more than corporate bullying. This simply encouraged others to do what on the internet is surprisingly easy to do – copy and republish an entire website, a process called “mirroring“. Amway eventually succeeded in forcing Wilkes and Schwartz to close their websites, but by this time mirrors had appeared on literally dozens of internet servers around the world, including in locations not easily influenced by a legal approach. In addition they’d attracted the attention of internet freedom of speech activitists such as David Touretzky of Carnegie Mellon. Despite no personal experience with the Amway business, Touretzky launched yet another anti-Amway website.

The apparently successful attempts to close critical sites had simply made things worse.

Meanwhile, and reportedly at least partly in response to the increasing amount of “negative” about Amway on the internet, Amway began developing the new Quixtar opportunity. Many felt this may allow a “clean slate” for a new name and a new opportunity. Unfortunately, the internet rarely forgets, and folk leading the anti-Amway crusade on the ‘net quickly established the connection between Quixtar and Amway. Thus, anyone who searched the internet for Quixtar would learn of the connection and all of the “negative” Amway information.

Around this time, some Amway distributors, including myself in Australia and an American distributor by the name of James Eddy started to mount our own offensive. I began engaging in debates with Amway and Quixtar critics on UseNet, a then popular discussion forum, as well as launching a small pro-Amway website. James Eddy launched Amway Fact or Fiction: The Truth behind the Amway Enterprise (archive) and we both began to try to address the factual inaccuracies and exaggerations that the various critics sites were promoting. It was a losing battle however. Virtually by definition, as active Amway distributors also holding down jobs and running other businesses we had less time on our hands than the critics. Furthermore, at least on the ‘net, it seemed there were more critics than supporters. Why was this?

One reason was Amway’s rules. Amway has always had regulations against mass marketing of the Amway business opportunity, and they looked upon the internet in much the same way. As the launch of Quixtar approached, and indeed afterwards, there was a deal of paranoia about distributors, now called IBOs, sending out “spam” and making exaggerated or false claims that could put the company at legal risk. Amway rules required that all websites of Amway representatives must be approved by Amway and password protected. They actively contacted Amway IBOs who had launched websites on the internet and made them close their sites, reportedly shutting down hundreds of them.

At it’s peak, James Eddys’ AmwayFacts.com website was getting some 1500 visitors a day. In May 1999, despite the site not being used in anyway for recruiting, Amway made him shut it down. Not long after, for personal reasons unrelated to Amway, my own site too disappeared.

Amway had left the internet to the critics.

Over the years other sites came and went. Anyone with a negative experience could say what they want, virtually with impunity, whereas supporters of Amway, who for obvious reasons where much more likely to remain as IBOs, were effectively gagged. The corp made a few half-hearted attempts to post “positive” stories on the internet, such as amwaypages.com (archive), but with the merging of Amway North America into Quixtar these too faded into oblivion.

Quixtar was supposed to make things different.

Post a comment below or Discuss this post on Amway Talk

46 thoughts on “Amway and the Internet – A History, Part I”

  1. Супер е бизнеса в AMWAY аз използвам продуктите на фирмата 15 години и не бих ги заменила с нищо друго , срещам се с хора които работят в АMWAY изграждат мрежи и трябва да знаете че това са изключително честни и трудолюбиви хора .В днешно време хората попадат на лоши работодатели,които не плащат пенсионни осигуровки дават ниски заплати ,а в АМWAY се доказваш като личност

  2. Hi- I’ve been in business for a little over a year and due to my personal life and I guess unwillingness to stretch myself, I had been in and out of the business. After the last 4 month “break” I took I received a text from my upline EDC reminding me that it had been his 9th year anniversary of being full-time in the business. So- that same night I went to the open meeting and I guess you could say I was sponsored all over again and have been building the business. Ive become consistent in the activities and in the first month of coming back I went 1500 PV (that was Jan 11) and this month I’m doing 2500 PV-mind you I’ve been making pretty good bonus checks + retail.

    I guess however through my own stupidity and because of my excitement, I like reading about amway and being in the millenium generation I’ve been voluntarily readif the negativ e abot Amways and it’s AmO’s. I’m still doing the work but for a short period of days I was second guessing myself. Im really glad there’s a place like your site and read as much as I want without reading what disgruntled ibos have been writing. Thank you so much and I’ll let everyone know about this site as u build my business to platinum and beyond.

    1. Bonjour à tous,
      Que tous ceux qui sont dans AMWAY, travaillent avec NETWORK 21. De bonnes méthodes pour progresser. Ne pas écouter les gens négatifs. Les critiques sont ceux qui ne connaissent pas ou ceux qui n’ont pas travaillé pour réussir ! Après, c’est facile de dire que cela ne marche pas ! Quand on veut se débarrasser des on chien, on dit qu’il a la rage ! Chacun a le droit de ne pas vouloir être être libre et indépendant.
      J’ai fait AMWAY en 81 avec mon mari, j’avais 21 ans. Nous sommes montés à 15%. J’ai rencontré des gens formidables, des amis , une société et un ambiance motivante. Ca m’a bcp apporté pour ma vie personnelle.
      Aujourd’hui j’ai 52 ans et je suis de nouveau distributeur depuis 6 mois ! C’est encore mieux aujourd’hui, mieux organisé, mieux structuré. Les produits sont encore meilleurs et moins chers qu’avant.Nous avons un partenariat avec le Pôle Emploi, c’est que le gouvernement fait confiance à la société.
      Je travaille pour m’assurer une meilleure retraite et aider mes enfants. Je parraine dans ma famille, preuve de confiance car je ne veux pas faire prendre de risques à ma propre famille ! On n’a rien à perdre, juste du temps pour essayer de réussir ! Ca ne vaut pas le coup !!! A vous de voir ! Bon courage et bonne chance à tous !

  3. Hello,

    I am 23 years old and working a 8 to 5 shift job, 40 hours a week, designing fire sprinkler systems in existing or new buildings.

    My father recently told me about Amway, and how it might be a great opportunity to make a better living. He wants me to attend the next meeting he will be going to.

    Like any other person learning of this trade, I was surfing the web for more information about Amway. This site has convinced me to make an effort and go with my father to the meeting and give it a try.

    Now, I am good with computers, but I am no salesman. My people skills are lacking. Is this something I would have to work on to be successful?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    -Alex

    1. Hi Alex,

      One of the things I think is great about Amway is that success with it is based on hard work and skill, not talent. Skills can be learned. Most Amway groups have excellent access to personal development programs that help with things like people skills. In my experience they have a positive influence on virtually every aspedt of your life. If you want to be somewhere different in your life to where you are now, you have to do something different, it really comes down to that.

  4. I have been watching Amway’s recent adds on TV and though I’d look them up on the internet. I have had a good number of my family members involved in this organization for as long as I can remember. Out of courtesy to family members I went to a few of their meetings over the years and have even bought some of their products. All their products seem to be top notch and have never had an issue with them, except the fact that they were very expensive.I don’t know what their tactics are now to get you involved are but I know that in the past I always resented their ” if you don’t get involved with us , then your a looser tactic”. That never seemed to work for me. I’ve heard a lot of financial success hype over the years and yet over the last thirty years or more I haven’t seen any of them be successful at it. In fact in my opinion it has caused more discord in the family than success.And out of all of them I’m the only one that’s actually been successful enough to retire. They were all in that large group that left Amway a ,few years ago, when they changed up their payment plan, so now they’re all selling that Monavie Asie Berry drink. Just thought I’d give an outsiders opinion.

    1. Well Dan, all I can say is if your monitor the internet you’ll notice that most of those type of complaints about Amway have stopped, but there seem to be a lot of them about reps of a certain expensive fruit juice. They are not missed. You might also want to check out the products again, a lot of them have been repriced or repackaged in cheaper forms the last few years.

  5. Im just curious to know if anyone had lost money from doing this or if theres any problems i should know about

    1. Of course people have lost money – it’s a business. If you spend more money than your making, then you’ll lose money. While expenses are low, if you don’t track that basic equation, like in any business you’ll get in to trouble.

  6. hi infact Amway GLOBEL IS THE BEST WORLD WIDE ITS PRODECES ,MY SIS HAD REALY BAD ACNE AND TRID EVERY THING UNTIL SHE TRIED CLEAR NOW SHE WAS VERA INPRESD WITH THE RESULTS NOT GUST THAT BUT EVRY THING NO OTHER PRODUCS CAN BEET THEN ALSO I WOR GLASSES AND GOT RID OF THEM WIYH NUTRELY ,MY DENTIS ALSO SAID MY TEETH ARE THE BEST HE HAD EVER SEEN,AND MY HELTH IS BETTER THAN EVER,MY MOM WAS WAY OVER WAIT AND LOST MORE THAN 90 POUNDS
    AND THATS WHY AMWAY IS THE BEST

  7. i thik amway is the best thing in the world,infact my parents are in Amway Globel and they have the best reasults.the monthly chek from Amway Globel is a billeon times biger than it was a few years ago ,and i am so glad that Amway Globel was invented and i wish that moae peaple find out about this and not have to live like we did years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Hi James B.,

    First, the XS Energy Drinks are $2.24 retail per can. I know that 26 cents may not seem like a big difference, but I’m curious where you got $2.50.

    Second, Amway Global has a boatload more products than XS Energy Drinks, which I think was the main product TEAM promoted, if I’m not mistaken. So you may want to look at the other product categories, particularly Nutrilite and Artistry, as they are the most profitable lines.

    Third, Amway Global has products that are cost-competitive, as long as you are comparing with accurate competitors. Artistry’s Time Defiance line should be compared to prestige brands such as Lancome and Estee Lauder.

    With Nutrilite, it’s hard to find a competitor because finding a company that grows, harvests, and processes their own supplements on certified organic farms, with all the patents, and science behind their products, well…such a company, other than Nutrilite, just doesn’t exist.

    So having some product knowledge, and to know WHY we should supplement and how are diets effect our over health, is important in moving product.

    Fourth, Amway Global does offer products that aren’t THE top of the line, and are competitivly priced. Such as the Artistry Essentials skin care and mineral makeup, as well as the Nutrilite Twist Tubes and Men’s and Women’s Supplement Packs (the IBOAI knew in July 2007 that these products were coming out in Sept 2007, by the way).

    Fifth, Amway Global did some price reductions in January, April, and October of this year. The January and April reductions focused primarily on Artistry and Nutrilite; and the ones in October focused on Body, Hair, Oral, and Home Care.

    Sixth, the way you make money in the AMWAY BUSINESS is use and sell products, and you teach others to do the same. The way the pricing (IBO Cost, Sugg. Retail, as well as BV/IBO Cost ratio) has been changed over the last two years, it means that there is more money in the retail margin than before; and it is encouraging IBOs to focus on Artistry skin care and Nutrilite supplements because of the higher profit potential (the BV is significantly higher than other product categories).

    The Corp has separated out the products in different groupings to help navigate IBOs to the most money. WIN, COMPLEMENT, SUPPORT, OPTIONS. That’s the order of profitability from highest to lowest.

    Seventh, the Amway Business is profitable within weeks, if one builds it properly. And it’s stable, if it’s built properly with the focus on the brand new person becoming profitable (income – expenses = profit) and staying profitable from the get-go.

    Eight, Amway Global has a TON of resources and training they’ve developed the last couple of years, and have a lot going on with social media–Twitter, facebook, blogs, YouTube, etc–as well as emails and webinars, to inform all IBOs (at ALL levels) of what’s going on. The lines of communication are open like I’ve never seen them before.

    Lastly, good luck to you and your wife! 🙂

  9. Ok, I had been a part of Amway with The Team (woodwards, brady’s and mark’s) I know they left quixtar/amway/alticor a while ago because a lot of some problems with the leadership in quixtar (I think another reason was because the goods are priced higher and they wouldn’t lower them). I recently went to a meeting about amway global and my wife and I are thinking about giving it another shot. My concerns are why are the products so expensive? xs energy drinks at about 2.5 a can, etc… and how do you make money?

  10. UK distributor for 3 years back in the 90’s, worked my butt off, never made a penny…in fact it cost me money…I was downline on the Scriven network, but groups kept collapsing, up and down line. I guess it works for some though, just not me…good luck.

    1. Are you aware the Scrivens and some others got kicked out a couple of years ago? There are some things that are known to cause exactly the kind of “collapses” you are talking about, and ways to avoid them. The Scrivens perhaps didn’t know about them. There’s been a huge number of positive changes in the UK market that you might find of interest, including clearing out some of the LOS that were causing problems.

  11. ji avery body my advise research but forguet about any negative comments, tha bussines works and thats what it matters go out and do it and make money , and after a while you will be free, and rich so go for your dream and dont let anyone that was nothing for you take it away

    thank you and e mail me if you have any question

    god bless you

  12. I have just signed up with the Amway business! Searching for Amway business on the address bar, led me to a lot of sites eroding Amway and network21 credibility as a legit business. If you can only see my eyes swell with surprise. Digging deeper, I came to this site. If you will please guys, reassure us that what you are presenting here are positively encouraging truths and not just ‘brainwashing scam’ as these detractors claim. I hope this will recoup my shaky hold on the business.

    1. Jesus, have a look at http://www.amwaywiki.com/Awards_and_Recognitions – that’s all you need to know about whether it’s a legitimate, credible business or not. With regards both Amway and Network21, you may want to consider how many people making claims about it have actual experience – I’ve been researching this stuff for a decade and there’s no more than a handful of negative stories about N21 on the ‘net. There are people claiming stuff because they read it somewhere else – somewhere else that’s claiming it because they read it somewhere else etc etc – and virtually always none if it was actually about N21. What’s worse is I’ve caught some dedicated Amway critics pretending they were N21 IBOs and writing fake comments on blogs. They do this because they hate this site, and I’m affiliated with N21 so they attack it in order to attack me.

      Given their size and the nature of the business, the true reputations of Amway and N21 are impeccable.

  13. Hi All,
    I have joined about a week before for the purpose of using the health products. I am an indian. I find Amway products are very very costly in India. It seems middle class people in India cannot afford these products. Can Somebody explain why the products are not at par with the market??

    1. fpsel – are Ferrari’s available for sale in India? Do they drop the price and make them cheaper for the Indian market? How about computers? Are they cheaper there? What about Estee Lauder cosmetics? Gucci handbags? Are they all “cheaper” there than in other countries? No offence, but I doubt it. You can only adjust pricing to suit markets to a certain extent, otherwise you simply don’t have the same product. Amway understands this and has launched a range of lower-cost personal care products for the Indian market that are very price competitive. Most of the cleaning products, when adjusted for concentration, are also price competitive with similar products in the Indian market.

      If you joined because of Nutrilite, well, quite frankly Nutrilite is the Ferrari (or better!) of the nutritional supplement market. If you want the best it costs more and there’s not much that can be done about it. From what I understand though, India is generating more new USD millionaires every year than the United States, so there’s plenty of people who can afford the best! Heck, in real terms (actual numbers, not percentages) there are more people with more money in India than there is in Australia – so there’s a market, you just have to find them! If you find the middle class can’t afford them – target the upper middle class. If you find the upper middle class can’t afford them – target the upper class. Given the huge growth going on in India at the moment, plenty of other people seem to be finding a market!

  14. Hi there, I am a boy of 26 and joined this great business for couple of weeks. I realize the value and lifestyle that I am pursueing are all in Amway, and will stick to my plan in the following years.I hope to make friends with you guys, and exchange mutal ideas sometimes. My email address is :l.gc@foxmail.com.

    By the way, do you have a copy of reward-distributing regulations? I don’t know how to say that in English, will you guys help me? Many thanks!

    Wish you all the best!

  15. I joined about 2 months ago and I was considering quitting after I saw all the criticism towards amway but after reading your sight I’m gonna carry on and build a successful business through amway

  16. My wife and I (both teachers) have been in the business for a year now, with some real success. We have shared the idea with a number of IBO’s who are 22 years old and under hence have a youngish group. The website war on Amway has had a large bearing on the sponsorship rates for these young people as it is the first point of call for most people their age. Only last night a young 19 year old IBO doing Engineering at University called me up and said your website has been essential for him to continue. Becuase a few well meaning friends have bombarded him with website links etc waging war on the Amway organisation, you can imagine these young people really don’t know what to think. Your website is essential, hopefully Amway understands this, as I’m sure they do.

    1. Hi Christopher, thanks very much for your post. It makes a difference knowing I’m making a difference! If there’s any issues people would like me to address then let me know. I think Amway understands that internet reputation is a problem, but to be honest I don’t think they understand how big a problem it is. In Australia alone, around 1500 people a day search for the term “amway” on the internet. And we know what they find!

  17. Just read the blog between Rocket and IBOFB on the other thread. Absolutely fascinating! And absolutely helped me make up my mind about the business – I’m in! I’m thinking out of the box and going for it. We are no longer in an age where you go to school – get into a job – wait for promotion in the hopes of having more money – retire – live off the measly pension – die! That’s old world thinking. Did you know that (and you probably do) if you look at Facebook and count how many people are registered on it, it would add up to the 5th largest Country in the world (and growing!)That blew me away! The future is here and its the internet. The industrial age is dead! I want to get out there into cyberspace and create opportunities, live the life I want and do it well! Thanks so much for this website. You should be commended for this.

    1. JoAnna, thanks for the kind words and great to read your posts. If the Winter conference is anything like the ones I’ve been to, then you’ll find a lot of your doubts, and fears, much relieved!

  18. Hi guys, my husband and I were approached by this really fabulous girl last week under the i-commerce banner. We then went to the presentation with others and were really impressed – we could see the big picture about leaving the industrial age behind and embracing information technology and the internet as the way of the future. My husband, who is a very successful businessman really got the whole conceptstraight away and is eager to start. Me on the other hand, I really understand the concept and I am excited about most of it. However, I just don’t know how I will go about selling the concept to others. I have a fear here. We are going to the Winter conference in a couple of weeks to meet other people. My husband and I really want to live a life with passion and have the lifestyle to be able to do other things, rather then working 40 hours a week until retirement. I, as an analytical person, have looked at all differnt websites, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am still erring on the side of positivity that this could work. But something is holding me back. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

  19. Great site.
    I have been in Amway since 1992.
    I have run other conventional businesses,some i have lost my shirt.
    Amway is a brilliant business i have made money from hard work no scams,brilliant products,delighted clients who have thanked me for saving then money with our products.
    Great company support.
    Amway UK ABO.

  20. Signed up a week ago mayself. and the business model is hard to disagree with. THis is not a get rich quick scam. nor is it a pyramid. its vital that you hear some of amways programs to see the bigger picture of things

  21. I signed up less than a week ago, have gotten two others signed up, and am working under someone who knows their stuff. My goals weren’t huge, but the business was easy. The main reason people fight back is because they are LAZY. The business is not for lazy people, it is for hard working, ambitious, smart people who see a better plan for their future than working in a cubicle the rest of their life. Amway is full of positive, enthusiastic, uplifting people, and I know that I am sticking with it. Try is again sometime. New initiation program got set up in December 08 and changed the whole way this works.

  22. Glad to see this – I have reached a point where in my research about this ‘business opportunity’, I am satisfied and can honestly say that the system works and that I am sticking to it.

  23. Hej Ulla!

    The best idea would be for someone Danish to setup a similar blog! I’m more than happy to help, and for them to use content from my site.

    In the meantime I’ve now enabled automatic translation through the flags up the top right. It will take quite a while, but whenever someone vists a page and clicks on one of the flags, it will translate the page to that language and store it on my server. It’s machine translation so it won’t be the best, but I guess that’s better than nothing!

  24. I just entered amway business last week. I already recruited five. I thought of surfing amway’s web. the first article i opened were articles proving that amway was a cult. I almost froze. But I went on looking for amway’s defense. I told myself that if i cant find any defense from amway on the various attacks to this company, I will quit inn this business. I found one (the truth about amway). I decided to continue in the business. I advice those who want to know about this business to not only read articles attacking this business but to also read amway’s programs, social and economic contributions to many nations.

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