Eric Scheibeler: A Merchant of Deception

For some time now a former Amway/Quixtar Emerald, Eric Scheibeler, has been waging a war against the Amway/Quixtar business. Eric Scheibeler wrote and self-published a book called Merchants of Deception. Scheibeler also hired a web professional, who launched numerous websites, such as merchantsofdeception.com and letsgetthewordout.com and edited Wikipedia entries on Eric Scheibeler, Quixtar, and Amway.

Mr. Scheibeler’s book is allegedly the story of his experience building an Amway business to the Emerald level. While I have little doubt some of what he reports and his experiences are true, it’s quite obvious the book is written as a “hit piece”. For example, he claims an extremely small income as an Emerald, however he only ever reports his Net Income, ie after expenses. As a former Federal Auditor, I’m certain Mr Scheibeler is an expert at squeezing every last possible deductable expense possible. In another instance, he mentions his wife and he were “shocked” when they received their first depth bonus, as they’d been led to believe this can be one of the largest bonuses. It is inconceivable to me that someone who builds to the Emerald level is so ignorant of how the Amway bonus system works that they could be shocked by this – a depth bonus is quite evidently based on depth and by definition small the first time you qualify for it. It’s only as your business grows that it can become significant. I’m certain Mr. Scheibeler knew this, but being shocked and implying he was deceived makes for a better story, doesn’t it?

Today comes news that Eric Scheibeler has admitted in federal court that he lied when he said he’d uncovered billions of dollars in consumer fraud with the company and that he falsely said he and his family were threatened, that he had been offered money in exchange for his silence and that Quixtar did something to his Web site.Scheibeler has been involved in testifying against Amway in the UK, India, and the United States and was cited in newspapers in Sweden as being threatened by Amway. He has caused untold damage to millions of Independent Business Owners. He should be enormously thankful that Quixtar has elected to drop it’s defamation charges against him now that he has admitted his deceptions.

 

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74 thoughts on “Eric Scheibeler: A Merchant of Deception”

  1. Ex-Amway distributor admits lying

    The Patriot-News, Pennsylvania/September 1, 2007
    By John Beauge

    Williamsport — A former Amway Corp. distributor in Lycoming County admitted that he lied when he said he’d uncovered billions of dollars in consumer fraud with the company.

    Scheibeler, Eric made the acknowledgment Friday in a federal court filing to settle a defamation suit bought by Amway, now known in the U.S. as Quixtar.

    Scheibeler, Eric states in a letter to an attorney for Amway and Quixtar that he falsely said he and his family were threatened, that he had been offered money in exchange for his silence and that Quixtar did something to his Web site.

    In exchange for his written apology, Amway and Quixtar have agreed not to pursue their defamation suit in U.S. Middle District Court and not to seek legal fees from Scheibeler, Eric.

    The lawsuit cited a letter sent to the Cleveland Free Times in which Scheibeler, Eric claimed to have uncovered fraud.

    The court complaint also referred to a statement, attributed to Scheibeler, Eric, that appeared in a Swedish newspaper that he and his family had been threatened to prevent him from going public.

    The letter contained negative comments about Amway and its executives, as does a book he wrote, “Merchants of Deception,” that was available on the Internet, the complaint states.

  2. I don’t understand why you’re still doing the Amway business DESPITE your bank statements saying otherwise. IBOfightback, I’d like to ask you. Have you been earning much after all these years? Have you earned as much as you thought you would, after so many years? Are you earning from this? Or are you exhausted everyday, trying to chase after a dream?

    After reading this book isn’t it clear how similar your experience has been. But I guess you haven’t hit bottom yet, so you can’t detach yourself away from the truth. But really, are your bank statements saying something?

    1. Kat, I haven’t built an Amway business seriously in more than a decade, though I’m actually starting again now. When I did build I got *exactly* the result I was told I would get for the work I put in, including being profitable within a few months of starting. I made some decent money, then had to stop working because of a crisis in another company I owned. Eventually I ended up moving abroad. But here’s the thing – that work I did 13 years ago *still* generates me a regular income, because people I introduced to the products 13 years ago still buy stuff from Amway.

      Part of my reason for starting this site was because stories like that told by Eric Scheibler were so completely different to mine. I began to read and research and discovered there were lots of different groups within the Amway world, and they don’t all operate the same way. Indeed, I found that the vast vast majority of people with complaints came from the same few groups and their offshoots. It was how *they* were operating their Amway businesses (and teaching others to do the same) that was the problem, not Amway.

  3. Few will be the winners but many are losers. Efforts should be made to be in that special place, but knowing that many will suffer disappointments.

    .
    ..:

  4. WhenI was an IBO, I definitely agreed with and liked many products. The reason I left was the de-edification of a clear Ivy League sponsored masters by my Upline Direct. The education has allowed my wife and I reach financial success my uplines haven’t achieved so far in this many years, even as Founders Diamond, we have been able to spend many many more nights with our family that their business schedule would allow them.
    Having said that, if one does want to invest in building a good business, any good business, one does have to go through an investment phase, both personal and financial. And it depends not just on the business but also the business owner. So castigting the business is unfair.
    If a group is reaping benefits through these “Programming” techniques, then the IBO needs to use their intellect to deal with it. LIke any for-profit engagement, a business owner could and should use all possible legal ways to increase their bottom line.

    The contentions about mistreatment at the hands of Amway after going inactive, and needing so-much persuation to received what really was theirs, in terms of payments is what gets me, in addition to some unethical behavior (copying of copyrighted information and resdistributing, not providing royalty to the speakers before and during the sales of their speaches etc.) give me a pause. If these were appropriately addressed, the rich leaders may take home a bit less, but this would be a great business. Not everyone has the skill and focus to build a audio and video duplicaiton company. So, in my opinion, it is neither the company, nor the system, but the practitioners that are to be blamed.
    Amway may be a little too eager to believe their big IBOs, they may be well served in protecting the less rexperienced IBOs, especially to mitigate the effects of KingPINs financial and personal ambitions.

    1. LongAgoIBO, you may not be aware, but several years back Amway introduced a strict accreditation system for the various independent companies (“systems”) that have offered training to Amway IBOs. The accreditation process has clear guidelines on their operations, including how they pay speakers and IBOs who market their products. Many groups never had the type of issues you raise, but the accreditation program seems to have positively impacted everyone, but especially those that did have problems in the past.

  5. My wife and I joined Amway Australia in 1979. It took us 4years to reach Emerald and we qualified at that level 12/12 for over several years. Income was around $50,000 pa. We were not part of a ‘system’and never earned a cracker out of the sale of tools. I still and always will believe that if worked in accordance with the guidelines set down by Rich and Jay, the Amway business is the purest form of free enterprise the western world has ever seen. Amway is NOT a scam!!

  6. Not a single person is “lucky” that a company “elected to drop” the charges of “defamation”. THAT WAS PART OF THE TRADE, Eric tells he lied and they offer him a compensation Out of the court. Quixtar is a nightmare-builder and I am a victim in my country Venezuela

    1. (1) Do you have evidence of the out of court payment by Quixtar? (2) Do you realise Quixtar has not existed for several years? (3) Do you realise Quixtar has *never* existed in Venezuela?

      1. I just stumbled upon this. I forgot all about you.

        So tell me Daddy Big-Bucks, hows life on your own terms these days? AmScam apologetics treating you OK? What do you think of the new SL55? I thought Mercedes really went all out on that one. But then you probably bought two since your “dream” is so big.

        Like I said before, some de-programmer is going to get rich on you.

        1. Life’s good, but with 2 small kids an SL55 isn’t really on the wish list at the moment. And I haven’t worked out how to drive two cars at once. Have you?

  7. SI PONEN A JENNIFER LOPEZ EN LA TELEVISION MOSTRANDO UN COMERCIAL DE PRODUCTOS DE BELLEZA DE AMWAY, DE SEGURO SEGURO , QUE LA GENTE NO LE VA A QUEDAR NINGUNA DUDA DE LO EFICACES QUE PUDIERAN SER LOS PRODUCTOS DE AMWAY, Y CLARO POR SUPUESTO COMPRANDOLOS A TRAVEZ DE LOS DISTRIBUIDORES DE AMWAY….YO ME VIENE A ENTERAR DE QUE ESTA COMPANIA EXISTIA, HASTA HACE POCO Y POR UNOS CUNADOS QUE EMPEZARON A DAR UNOS PRIMEROS PASITOS ,PERO POR MOTIVOS QUE DESCONOZCO, ABANDONARON SU INTENTO…SO, YO CREO QUE NO HAY MUCHAS PERSONAS QUE CONOZCAN DE LA EXISTENCIA DE AMWAY

  8. OKEY, hay alguien que me diga de verdad si esto, de estar en esta compania de AMWAY da resultados o no ???? PORQUE NECESITO HACER DINERO O GANAR DINERO , DE CUALQUIERA DE LAS DOS MANERAS, PERO LO NECESITO !!!!!!! YA !!!

  9. Someone above commented that Amway partner stores don’t care what’s going on as long as they’re making money.

    I can think of many examples why this is blatantly false but the best/most recent is:

    AT&T was a major advertiser on KFI640am. That station was targeted for a boycott by various Hispanic groups over a certain talk show duo’s words/actions. AT&T pulled their ads and support.

    Yet they still continue to be partnered with Amway, who in the critics’ view are “evil,” “illegal,” “destroying lives,” etc.

    Care to tell me why that is?

  10. I am in the amway business in Colombia for six months and I already won more than two thousand dollars a month, but sales network, which is if only problem I have to invest a few hundred dollars a month in tools if the results show that the business operates.

  11. I’ve been in Amway and enjoyed the experience. Still by the products. However, that was near the beginning of Amway in NZ and no NZ diamond I knew ever grew beyond that expect TH who expanded internationally so well.

  12. I tried an amway product (Artistry). It seamed to have some positive results on my skin. I am now trying other amway products to see how good they are

  13. “I’m also not sure that ‘scientific studies’ are always relevant either”

    Well I was only interested in the relevent ones. The ones that show specifically in what areas is a specific amway product better than the others on the market.
    However, I do tend to agree that scientific studies should be used as a referance, but the real study should be done individually at home.

    “Take omega-3, where we do have scientific studies. There’s increasing evidence that the triglyceride form of omega-3 is superior ”

    This would be a relvent studie that points the effectiveness of absorption. But who made these studies, was it independent scientist or scientist working for Amway? Some studies seam to disagree with your affirmation that tryglyceride is superior:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993981/?tool=pubmed

    http://www.n3inc.com/blog/2008/09/triglycerides-versus-ethyl-esters-fact-or-fiction/

    “Continuing with Nutrilite, the main supplement range I consider superior because of the plant concentrates. The science behind the importance of phytonutrients is overwhelming these days.”

    Aside from all scientific studies, I am 100% for organic products. So in this, I give a lot of credit to Nutrilite and Amway for promoting organic supplements. However, you continued with your statement:

    “Few other supplements have them, and those that do don’t do the monitoring and tracking of nutritional content and quality that Nutrilite do.”

    There are other companies that also produce organic supplements and they too will claim higher quality on their products.

    “…many consumer products it’s really a matter of subjectivity, not objectivity.”

    Not sure if you are saying that the marketing of many amway products as being superior is not on objectivity, but subjectivity.

    1. First re Omega-3 and triglycerides, the first article you cite, from 2006, says there is no clear evidence. Since then there have been a variety of studies that continue to have conflicting results, some are reported on the second page your cited (a marketing page it should be noted, so to be taken with a grain of salt). There was however a very well conducted study published a few months ago in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that seems to have finally cleared it up. A brief summary here. I’d note that in my last discussion on this matter with Nutrilite, back in 2009, they themselves went with the “no difference” view. I’ve no idea if they’ve changed their minds based on the more recent research. I suspect the decision to go with the triglyceride form for Nutrilite was made when earlier research indicated there was a difference, but it was not sensible to change formulations when conflicting research came out. In any case, it appears there is a difference, but as I stated in my opinion it’s not enough to make the product competitive.

      Regarding plant concentrates, according to independent research by Euromonitor, there are NO other major brands that grow, harvest, and concentrate their own plant ingredients, let alone on organic farms. (Note that the use of these organic plant concentrates does not make the final Nutrilite product organic!). There are other companies that produce plant concentrates and sell them to nutritional companies. My own research has been unable to find any other supplier of plant concentrates that actively monitors and develops plant strains for maximal nutritional content to the extent Nutrilite does. If you know of any, please let me know.

  14. Hello ibo… you say that amway products are superior to x products. What scientific studies do you have to support your conclusion? I am not agianst your statements, I just simply want to know the truth. Specifically in what areas are this products superior(or in what ways are they superior) and how. do they give better results than those products you claim are inferior and what research or source do you have to support your conclusion?

    1. Joe, I’m not sure where I claimed universal superiority? I’m also not sure that “scientific studies” are always relevant either, since in many consumer products it’s really a matter of subjectivity, not objectivity. Then there’s value. Superiority and value are not always the same. Take omega-3, where we do have scientific studies. There’s increasing evidence that the triglyceride form of omega-3 is superior to the cheaper ester form typically sold. It’s absorbed better and maintains blood levels better. The Nutrilite product uses the triglyceride form, it’s “superior” to the ester form used by most (but not all) competitors. But guess what – in the market where I live, it’s also about 3 times the price of the competitors. Taking double the amount of the competitor will get much the same effect, and be cheaper. So – surprise – I usually don’t buy (or promote) Nutrilite Omega-3 as I don’t consider it better value, even though I consider it superior!

      Continuing with Nutrilite, the main supplement range I consider superior because of the plant concentrates. The science behind the importance of phytonutrients is overwhelming these days. Few other supplements have them, and those that do don’t do the monitoring and tracking of nutritional content and quality that Nutrilite do.

      Or we could look at SA8. When comparing environmentally friendly washing powders, consumer reports rated SA8 significantly higher than any other brand in cleaning ability. Other studies (including doing it myself!) show far less residual left in clothes after use. Absorption of soaps through the skin is a known contributor to allergies and skin conditions. This is negligible in SA8, and not negligible in competitors. That’s a health issue, not a cleaning issue, and not one Consumer Reports concern themselves with. In this case though, SA8 is generally a little more expensive than competitors. Despite this, and contrary to the omega-3 tale, because of it’s superior cleaning (cf other environmental products), and it’s health benefits I consider the product better value, so I buy it and promote it.

      eSpring (UV version) is another example. No other home water treatment systems have qualifed for the range of NSF certifications it has. It’s “superior” in it’s ability to provide clean water. But it’s also damn expensive. Whether it’s a value proposition or not depends on personal habits and personal situations.

      In other words, there is no simple answer to your question!

  15. Woul someone please tell me where I can find a current list of tapes available? I’ve been in amway 15 years and the only way to tell if amway has changed is to see if the same tapes are available to all the downline.

    We were on SOT (standing orer tape); 1 tape 1 week, 2 tapes the next at $6 ea. $36/mo. just for tapes. We were told to read 1 book a month (15 min./day) off the WWDB list to be C.O.R.E.

    I got to the point where I’d just about vomit at the thouht of having to listen to one more bragger tell us the very same story. Isn’t one tape enough? How about if I just listen to that about once per mo. for a refresher? After I learned that 2+2=4, my teachers let me move on to the next grade. I was not still getting 2+2=4 5 years later.

    If amway/wwdb is so sure/confident of the biz. then back of the daily brain-washing.

    1. WWDB != Amway. It’s just one part of Amway (a relatively small part at that). I’m assuming though that WWDB also taught that you’re supposed to be lending these tapes out? Lending out just one tape to one person at a time would be a little slow wouldn’t it? At what if the person doesn’t relate to that story at all? Again, I’ve no personal experience with WWDB, but I would think a library of “success” tapes featuring different personalities with different backgrounds would be a useful thing to have, so you can lend a tape of a successful engineer to an engineer, a tape of a successful teacher to a teacher, a young single mother to someone who built as a young single mother. etc etc etc.

      I would also think the increasing amount of training available direct from Amway would be a far greater indicator of changes at Amway than whatever one group within Amway is doing.

      But a WWDBer might be able to answer. You might want to post your question on Amway Talk as well

      Oh, and I don’t think anyone has used tapes in years.

      1. That may the be case, but y’all do use CDs. Here in the states, Cds are like IBOs crack. its a bit crazy. listening to it in the car, in the shower, here kids, how about a bedtime story, lets listen to another brainwashing technique, sweet dreams.
        Its crazy

  16. (Я не говорю по английски…..) Это будет вечный спор между противниками и сторонниками Amwey . Не тратьте своё время на споры-время не имеет цены…Лучше докажите своим успехом в бизнесе Amwey!

  17. IBOFB – thank you for responding to all the comments with facts.

    The critics usually come from an emotional state thus not stating facts. They also forget that the business isn’t what it was in the 80s and 90s … because JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS to thrive and survive they need to change/adapt.

    I think people forget that this is a business just like ANY other business first and foremost. This is not GET RICH QUICK. This is get rich slowly with lasting results.

    Plus why the hell are people comparing a Lamborgini with a Toyota ? That’s what they’re doing when they compare Nutriway (Nutrilite) or Artistry with Walmart (or KMart etc). Both are cars – yes – however aimed at two separate markets.

  18. @Joseph Gonzalez. Go and do some drug business openly. The government has so many things to care about and it does not prevent you from doing it.

  19. MIRA LOS PRODUCTOS SON DE MARAVILLAS. ESTO DISE TODO. AMWAY PAGA HA LOS TODOS IMPRESARIOS,TODOS LOS BONOS. YO GANO DINERO COM AMWAY

  20. I have read all of these comments and it sounds like to me that not one person who is critical has any idea how this business works. And Joseph Gonzalez’s comments are the single funniest thing I have ever read. As someone who makes thousands in this business a month and in 45 minutes will be a brand new Gold in the Amway Global business I can tell you that this business is not the business of the 80’s and 90’s.

    I am not an Amway Distributor, I run my own business network and follow the rules Amway Global gives us to abide by if we want to Network with them and their products. I ran way over $20k this month in product volume and not one product did I pass to anyone offline. Also I do not make a dime from any CD or book in the business that moves through my organization.

    Critics, get over your Amway of the past. Just because your friend was in the business or your aunt Lucy doesn’t mean you can go online and be critical off of hearsay. I am in the business, am very profitable, and still make over 6 figures in my day job. I suggest you all either build this seriously or move on with your lives and do something that works better for you. I quit baseball in the 8th grade, I have gotten over it.

    Kev

  21. This is very interesting,if a starting ibo needs about 1500 to 2000 people to recruit underneath them,that means that those same people needs about 2250000 to 4000000(two million two hundred fifty thousand to four million people) people underneath. PRETTY INSANE AND RIDICULOUS. ENOUGH SAID!!

    1. Joseph, I have no idea where the origin for you comment is, but it certainly is PRETTY INSANE AND RIDICULOUS. What on earth are you talking about? Just guessing, but it seems you seem to be assuming every single person who joins (a) sets a goal to be Diamond and (b) actively works towards it. The statistics of 1500 to 2000 are based on an utterly different set of assumptions – ones based in real statistics. Out of 2000 people you’ll have maybe 30-40 who’ll actively work towards Platinum. Next time you may want to ask some questions and understand what you’re talking about before making silly comments on the internet.

      1. Amway,I mean quixtar,I meant amwayglobal has ruined and destroyed the lives of so many people including mine.You see many people know this,the thing is they just dont speak it up like me and Scheibeler.If an ibo is making 1000s and 1000s of dollars in tools,speaking engagments,etc. and you want to consider them platnium(or whatever level they think they are) do so,make a name or title for themselves. A very interesting issue when is used to go to those huge functions up in Houston and Dallas was that there were literally around 40-50 thousand people in attendance. Now i say wow! no wonder this business looked like it was really working,all these people including me were from so many many cities around houston and dallas.(around a 500-700 hundred mile radius.For those ibos who are really making a fortune like Bill Britt and many that i know is this”WOW WHAT A GREAT TO RETIRE!!)

      2. Oh I forgot to mention that one of the things people said to defend amway/quixtar was that this is not a scam because”why would companies like sprint or levis be involve in a scam or why would the government be involve in a scam”. The companies that make business with amway/quixtar only want their share,their profit,they dont care who sells or buys them as long as their making money.Just like the government, all they want to see is their share as well like taxes.And the government is not going to spend 1000s of hours a month trying to figure out if amway/quixtar is a scam,they got other issues to worry about and a billion things to do. Now why dont high level distributors in amway/quixtar(the ones who make up these local meetings and are in functions)teach people HOW to make up a local meeting and how to sell motivational tools etc.OH! maybe because thats the scheme,they’re the only ones that are suppose to know,otherwise there is no business for them.

      3. Ok,

        What is referring to is the fact that EVERYONE who signs up has bought into the “dream”, which is Diamond & above. And, if it were actually POSSIBLE, within a short period of time, the population of the entire earth wouldn’t be enough to keep the pyramid going.

        Unless you are raping a large group for tool money every month, I’d keep my day job if I were you.

        1. utterly false. The vast majority of people I show the plan to, including those I register, express an interest in earning incomes of Platinum level or lower, not Diamond and above. But hey, why let a little reality get in the way of your rants?

    2. In addition to what IBOFB said, signing people up aka sponsoring people (recruiting as you call it) is not how IBOs make money in the Amway Business.

      Money is made when volume, aka product, flows through an organization by personal consumption and by retailing to those outside the organization of IBOs.

      An IBO could have a gazillion people in their organization “recruited.” But if zero products are being used and/or sold, then that IBO with a gazillion people will make ZERO dollars.

      1. Hi Bridget

        Dex would be rich, even if IBOs didn’t buy a single bar of soap. It was never about the soap.

        Go back to the tool table and take a hard look at what’s going on. It will become apparent after a while.

  22. IBOFightBack: If you went to a function in the States you would hear the leaders speak of almost nothing but “the system.” The system consists of the entire tools business and the leaders constantly condition their downlines to become plugged in to the system. As they have said millions of times, “Success rate in the system is 100%, outside of the system is 0%.” I don’t know what it’s like in the UK, but over here, this is the crap they’ve been telling everyone for many years. I’ve been there and heard it myself. The business was honest and good when it first started, when Rich and Jay and their distributors were actually making sales to outside customers. These days it doesn’t matter if the company does 6 billion in sales if the vast majority comes from brainwashed distributors. Stop trying to make excuses for this company. You’re only making things worse for yourself in the future.

    1. podley, I get multiple recordings of US meetings every month through the organisation I work with. Do they (and me for that matter) promote the system? Of course, but they certainly do a lot more than that. I can’t speak for your experience, but that’s mine.

    2. Here in Venezuela ALL THE SYSTEM has to say is to being “100% plugged into” the system. Exactly the same story, and it is the same story in Colombia, where the majority of our “system tools” come from.

  23. (1) I was recruited last month and nothing was said of selling to customers just recruiting others, so the profit is supposedly a harmless pyramid.
    Harmless I assume because even at the newest level of IBO, the benefit is wholesale prices of consumable goods usually purchased retail. If Scheibeler was lying about the overpricing, i.e. Wallmart being 2x cheaper retail than Amway is wholesale, why aren’t price comparisons one of the 1st things marketed by Amway (like e.g. Progressive car insurance)?
    The profitability of recruiting without selling is an important topic, Scheibeler makes the case that it is illegal if the pyramid doesn’t include selling to non-IBO’s (who are buying from themselves right?). It makes a lot of sense for this to be left out of recruitment meetings because after all Amway isn’t door to door anymore right? And whats the incentive for a customer if they’re not getting a discount? Why would my friends do that? Why would I ask? And why does Amway care if you are a customer or an IBO, both represent increased volume at the same cost and profit for them. The difference is the profit to the IBO who sells right? So the ‘illegal’ non-selling pyramid would work fine for them as it would for IBO’s (who really didn’t get in to sell products but the opportunity) IF it was a harmless (all be it allegedly illegal) pyramid, right? If this is possible why not prove it e.g. of a sale of a case of Xs drinks A% goes to manufacturer, B% goes to Amway C% goes to upline (C1% to whoever makes most – should be your sponsor right cuz nobody makes more on your business than you, C2%, C3%, C4% … CN% – these chains are long right?), and still the price paid was D% less than retail on avg (D1% less than redbull at Wholefoods, D2% less than some other energy drink at Cosco – etc) – and reconcile that with the claims of profitability of being upline. They do claim 30% discount off retail and that if you simply duplicate the pattern you profit a lot. Why not back it up with stats? Not doing so makes someone like Scheibeler’s documented experience seem weirdly unchallenged. A guilty silence?

    1. (1) I was recruited last month and nothing was said of selling to customers just recruiting others, so the profit is supposedly a harmless pyramid.

      I’m not sure what you mean by the last bit, however selling to customers is required by Amway rules, I suggest you speak to your sponsor about this and if there’s any issues take it up with Amway,

      Harmless I assume because even at the newest level of IBO, the benefit is wholesale prices of consumable goods usually purchased retail. If Scheibeler was lying about the overpricing, i.e. Wallmart being 2x cheaper retail than Amway is wholesale, why aren’t price comparisons one of the 1st things marketed by Amway (like e.g. Progressive car insurance)?

      Amway products do not compete with products available at Walmart. The primary brands are Nutrilite and Artistry. Walmart has nothing remotely like Nutrilite and I don’t think sells anything in the “prestige” category of skincare and cosmetics, which is where Amway products are targeted. You may want to read Not Walmart and Never Want to Be on the official corporate blog

      The profitability of recruiting without selling is an important topic, Scheibeler makes the case that it is illegal if the pyramid doesn’t include selling to non-IBO’s

      Scheibeler may make the case, but he is wrong. The FTC has explictly stated this is not the case (see Myth: It’s a pyramid if most products are bought by ibos. Now I agree profitability is an issue. IMO having no external customers is a dumb business strategy, not to mention against Amway rules

      And whats the incentive for a customer if they’re not getting a discount? Why would my friends do that? Why would I ask?

      Amway products are generally better and/or cheaper than the next best competitors.

      these chains are long right?)

      No, in most cases there less than 3 or 4 “links” in the chain, comparable to traditional distribution.

      They do claim 30% discount off retail and that if you simply duplicate the pattern you profit a lot.

      The 30% discount off retail is the discount off Amway recommended retail price. If you are buying Amway products today, as a customer, you will save this by becoming an IBO. If you’re not buying Amway products, then it depends. Artistry is generally cheaper than it’s competitors like Lancome, Estee Lauder etc, so if you’re using them today, switching to Artistry and becoming an agent will save you even more. The nearest competitors to Nutrilite are also direct sales brands (such as Herbalife, NuSkin/Pharmanex etc) – Nutrilite is generally cheaper (and IMO better) so switching to Nutrilite will save you money as a customer, and a further 30% as an IBO. Other products, well it depends. While XS and Red Bull are both energy drinks, they’re not directly comparable. Red Bull is a high caffeine, high sugar drink, XS is a low calorie herbal and vitamin energy drink. XS is targeted towards people who want an energy drink and care about their health. eSpring is expensive, but has no direct competitor, no other system does what it does. The LOC range is generally significantly cheaper than any competitor. SA8 is usually priced about the same as similar eco-friendly competitors (and is better for you).

      If whoever recruited you promoted the “save 30% on whatever you’re buying now”, then unless you already buy the best products you can find, then you were misled. Unfortunately not so uncommon (see ABOs: Please stop selling Amway as a way to save money)

      Why not back it up with stats? Not doing so makes someone like Scheibeler’s documented experience seem weirdly unchallenged. A guilty silence?

      Not sure what you’re after here?

      1. Amway products are pretty good but like all MLM products, WAY overpriced. The 3rd party stuff they sell, name brand, IS much more expensive than one can get them for elsewhere, and their 3rd class crap, jewelry, cereal, etc. etc. is plain garbage, not even Wel-Mart would carry it!

        1. Funnily enough I just responded to a price comparison complaint on another thread Your comment is however a little more confusing. The “3rd party stuff” you talk about is pretty much *outside* of the MLM model (you don’t make much money marketing it, and Amway promotes it as IBO deals, not “the business” per se) so the model has little to do with the pricing. When I’ve checked there’s been some stuff cheaper, some stuff more expensive, some stuff in between. Last year however an “Amway critic” made similar claims and when I checked it out he was wrong.

          I personally have found Amway’s “store brand” products are usually some of the best quality available.

          Then of course in the US you get all the partner stores like Sears, Office Depot, Shop.com where you get PV/BV or a straight discount on the exact same products available to the average consumer

          If you want to make a claim, even a peripherally bogus one targeting 3rd party products rather than Amway products, please back it up with some real info.

  24. Eric Scheibeler admitted that Amway employees never made death threats to him. Upon reading his book, it is obvious that the brainwashing and indoctrination has affected many IBO’s in detrimental ways, causing even paranoid delusions and suicides. Eric Scheibeler felt threatened, he had experiences inside “The System” that made him feel threatened. This would not constitute evidence in any way in a court of law, however Eric Scheibeler has been in counselling and even “deprogrammed” from his experiences in “The System” by reputable professionals. Luckily, we are not yet living in a system of law where you can be prosecuted for feeling threatened and having adverse feelings about someone who you perceive to have harmed you, but Amway tried to protect itself legally while lacking the moral credibility by not cleaning up “The System”.

    1. Terry, I’m seriously considering directly spam-binning any comment that talks about “the system”. There is no “the system”. There are dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of different “systems” used within the Amway business. A few of them, all related to each other, led to the kind of concerns Scheibeler talks about. Contrary to your claims, Amway has done an enormous amount to “clean up” bad behaviours, including implementing accreditation systems and kicking out a large number of “leaders” a couple of years ago. One of the leaders who left at that time was Fred Harteis, the “Zack” of Scheibeler’s book.

      With regard “deprogramming”, I’m guessing your talking about Steve Hassan or Rick Ross. Neither of them are “reputable professionals”, they are simply excellent at self-promotion.

      It’s clear though that Scheibeler’s experience was not an ideal one. It’s also clear he was involved with just one small part of the Amway world, and that he was not honest in his reporting of it. Have you noticed he never once talks about his gross income? As a former auditor I’m sure he was an expert and claiming deductions to make his taxable income as small as possible. Did you also notice he claims to have gotten all the way to Pearl, but without having any idea how the depth bonus worked? Rubbish. I don’t believe he had no idea that the depth bonus – by definition – is very small the first time you receive it. He knew it, but dishonestly tries to use this as some kind of “shock value” message in his book. That makes me wonder how much else of his story is BS.

      1. Once again……too much kool-aid for you buddy.

        There was a “system”…that’s for sure. If you were in the Yeager group it was one thing, and the Britt group it was another. That filtered down through lines of sponsorship all the way to the bottom.

        And the “system” was nothing more than tool sales.

    2. I can speak nothing of the experiences of others, and only of my own. I did read some of Scheibeler’s book, and the comments of others speaking of “AMO” cult mentalities. I personally am disturbed to discover that some people are so out of touch with a community experience that when they see a group of people that works together, becomes close because they share the same goals, dreams, hopes, and ideals… they think it is a cult.

      I have been an IBO since 2006 and have never been forced to do something I didn’t want to, lied to, etc. If someone has had that experience than I do feel for them for not having good leadership. I have also never been asked to “drink any Kool-Aid”.

      If a person doesn’t like the Amway business, then so be it. It isn’t for everyone. I personally can’t imagine what my life would be like without opportunity.

  25. One thing Mr Scheibeler claims that I am inclined to believe is that distributors from Emerald upwards were making a fortune from the sale of business tools. Amway must have known about it; you can’t tell me they were that dumb. I distinctly remember being told these tools were sold to “downline” at cost and looking at the cheap and nasty tapes that cost us $6 each and thinking they’d be lucky to be worth $1 each, so getting their content onto them must have cost Tony and Mary Henderson an absolute fortune! Everything else was just as expensive. The books (like Think and Grow Rich) came to us at full retail, yet because of the numbers ordered they’d have been bought at the same deal given to booksellers: 30-40% discount. This was over 20 years ago and prices ranged from about $16 to $18 yet Think and Grow Rich, even as I type this (12 September 2009) can be purchased for $18 (from fishpond.co.nz). Books haven’t dropped in price since the eighties. Quite the opposite. Then there was that book “There’s Gotta Be a Catch”. I read it and re-read it and as far as I was concerned there was a HUGE catch: you had to work 40 hours at your normal job and then come home and do at least ANOTHER 40 hours. I knew better than to point this out, of course. Another catch I perceived was that you had to be the type who could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. Once again I’d have been poo-pooed if I’d pointed this out. We were expected to sell one item to 10 to 15 customers every month. After spending two whole evenings on the phone I was lucky to get two orders. The same applied to the “beauty clinics”, which we were told should take about an hour to an hour and a half, but which I never managed to bring under three hours. I’m sorry Mr Scheibeler felt he had to lie, but it doesn’t alter anything: my opinion still is that a skunk has nothing on Amway.

    1. Laraine, if “Emerald’s and upwards” were making a fortune from tools, why does Scheibeler never once give an indication he was making a lot of money from tools sales? This is a myth. Do some making decent money out of this? Sure, and why shouldn’t they – they’re normally selling the products to far more people than are in their Amway groups. More customers means more money! With regard your experience with books, books have actually dropped in price quite a bit over the last 20 years (inflation adjusted), nevertheless I’m pretty astounded that you think someone buying a few hundred books is getting a 30-40% discount. I’m also pretty astounded you think they’re then managing to order, distribute all these books magically, with zero expenses. For arguments sake, let’s say Henderson bought 500 copies of TAGR at 25% discount ($9) and resold 450 of them for $18. That leaves a “profit” of $1350. Out of that one would expect at least 75% (probably more) would go as volume discounts to downline platinums and above – so that’s $337.50 profit. One would imagine you’d need at least one staff for at least 25 hrs total to handle the deliveries, returns, package and posting of all of them. Say $10/hr for 25 hrs – now we’re down to $87.50 profit, and we haven’t yet dealt with office space, phones, computers, tax etc etc. Oh yeah. Big business there – and I reckon a 25% discount is unlikely.

      With regards your other comments, it appears you were disappointed by “the catch” that it requires work. Two sales out of 2 nights for a beginner is good! Just like any other business it takes time to learn the skills and knowlege, and build up a customer base.

      It amazes me how many people complain about Amway not because it’s some “get rich quick” scheme, but because it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It requires training, time, and effort to make money – just like any other business.

      1. I’d love to catch up with you after 2 or 3 years. You’ve had your fill of the kool-aid, and you bend facts better than most.

        But here’s a fact you can’t bend. The kingpin IBOs get their fortune through tool sales, not from product. And they get their customer base from the endless stream of would-be mega-millionaires that buy the books/tapes/rallies. And that my friend, is a club that they will never let you join.

          1. That $2m cheque was given to Dexter somthing or other. His company owns the rights to the tool business.

          2. Jack, Dexter has the rights to tools for his company which sells to tells to IBOs. It doesn’t sell them to Amway. The $2million check is from Amway resulting from the sale of Amway products, nothing at all to do with tools.

      2. Mary Henderson herself once said to her secretary that she was happy to stop at the level they’d reached at the time (which I think was Double Diamond) because she was “sick of all the bloody hard work”. The secretary told us only because she knew we were no longer in the business. Of course, there is no way the Hendersons could have stopped at Double Diamond. If they had their income would eventually have dried up.

        Whatever I think of Amway, however, I still have huge admiration for people who build successful Amway business because the type of work they have to do is my idea of absolute hell. Yes, it requires a LOT of hard work, but we were persistently told that all we had to do was give our upline 2-3 hours a week to build a successful business. That was a downright lie! I still insist it was.

        Sorry this post is so late. I hardly ever check my gmail account and when I do I’m quite likely to delete all the posts in sheer frustration at all the garbage I get there.

        1. Laraine – can you elaborate on this statement “all we had to do was give our upline 2-3 hours a week to build”? Does that mean they were claiming you only need to put in 2-3hrs a week to build an Amway business? I 100% agree that’s not true.

          1. I got sick of hearing this statement. It featured in just about every showing of “the plan” that we attended.

      3. “Two sales out of 2 nights for a beginner is good! ” Don’t patronise me. Most times I made one or none at all and we were Amway distributors for several years. If I’d been working for a boss I’d have been fired long before those years were up. And if the Diamonds weren’t making huge profits from selling tools, how come Amway made a feeble attempt to stop the practice? They wouldn’t have bothered if it wasn’t true. And you WOULD get a discount if you bought books in bulk from a publisher. Why shouldn’t you? It happens with other products so why not with books? And I wasn’t disappointed that it requires work to build a business. I never said I was. I was disappointed that we were being LIED TO!

        1. I had no intention of patronising you, 2 sales in 2 nights *is* good. Most times you will make one or none at all. That’s not unusual in sales, including Amway. But you get better, you learn more about your products, you target your market better, you get your pitch better. This applies to both products and bizopp.

          Amway’s concern over tools (quite rightly) was in people over-promoting them and pushing people who really weren’t ready to build in to buying them. In the case of systems where Diamonds were getting paid on “once a Diamond always a Diamond” rebate scales, if the Diamond Amway business shrank, then tools would become a greater and greater percentage of the income, which is clearly a problem. Evidence in court cases and elsewhere is clear though – the vast majority (but not all!) of Diamonds *were not* and *do not* make most of their money from tool sales.

          1. The deal was that we sold to 10-15 customers per month. Without that you couldn’t get your 3% bonus. I never achieved more than 1-2 sales a month and I still say it was lousy and Amway would have sacked me if I’d been working for them. I NEVER got better over the years. It was like pulling teeth with a pair of tweezers.

          2. People don’t like to be sold to; they prefer to buy. The smart thing to do is to find a need and then fill it. That takes time and tact. Sometimes you need to wait them out and then fill their need. Amway has a wide range of products. People are always running out of something. A survey of what they use and when they will run out helps to tailor you visits to those needs. That is the professional way to handle marketing.

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