Amway is not a scam – but you can still be scammed.

I’ve had a few interesting discussions lately both online and offline with folk who are absolutely convinced that multi-level marketing and Amway are scams. The discussions have been with highly intelligent and educated people, including one who is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at a school for business. What I’ve discovered is that the reasoning behind their beliefs fall into two areas –

Ignorance, confusion, and misconceptions about MLM

The first is essentially ignorance or misconceptions. MLM suffers greatly by the fact that virtually all illegal pyramid scams claim to be MLMs. When they inevitably fail or are closed down by the government, the meme that “MLM=scam” is reinforced. In reality this is poor logic. The very reason the scams are claiming to be MLMs is because MLMs are legal, legitimate businesses. Nevertheless, the effect on public perceptions is a daunting problem for the legitimate companies.

Associated with this is many misconceptions about how legitimate MLMs operates. Many folk believe we make money by recruiting others, and “smart” people know that means the model will inevitably “saturate” and you can’t make any money since there’s no longer anyone left to recruit. Of course, this isn’t MLM, it’s an illegal pyramid. We don’t make money by recruiting, we make money through sales volume. MLM isn’t really a business model – it’s a marketing strategy with the aim of increasing sales volume. Indeed, in general for any given level of sales, the more people you recruit to achieve it, the less you make on it. It’s no different to owning say a traditional retail store selling clothes. You could sell them all yourself, and keep the whole profit, or could employ some other sales staff. They’ll cost you money, but you hope that the increase in sales will offset the increase in costs.

These types of misconceptions abound, with people concerned about the legitimate problems inherent in illegal pyramids, and believing they exist in multi-level marketing.

Scammers can scam you with Amway

The second area that seems to influence people is their own personal experiences, or those of people they know, or, increasingly, experiences of others they read on the internet. The interesting thing is, when you delve into the problems with those experiences, they very rarely have anything to do with Amway or multi-level marketing per se, they have to do with how some people operate their multi-level marketing businesses.

You can be scammed in any business. A car salesman can knowingly sell you a lemon. A doctor can overcharge you for a simple procedure. A teacher can “force” you to purchase a substandard text book they’d written and printed themselves. An Amway business owner could sell you Double X by telling you it cures cancer, or you can be a millionaire with little work.

In each case you’ve been scammed, but the scam had nothing to do with the car industry, or the medical profession, or teaching, or Amway. It had to do with those individuals (and perhaps some of their associates) and the way they were behaving.

The multi-level marketing strategy, and Amway as it’s largest representative, is a brilliant way of doing business which allows anyone to start and own their own business, of which ever size they desire, with little financial risk, and without having to pursue it full-time. Just like in any other industry however, you can be scammed, and if you’re so inclined, you can scam people, but like any other industry, the scammers rarely last long.

Amway will soon celebrate it’s 50th anniversary. That should say it all.

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699 thoughts on “Amway is not a scam – but you can still be scammed.”

  1. The people who’ve responded regarding being IBO’s. We are now in March 2016. There are two particular individuals that have been apart of AMAY since 2012. For example, ibofightback and Alex. Where are you guys now in AMAY? Are you at the place of retiring? Extremely curious.

    1. I’ve been an Amway member since around 1997. I have not built the business actively for many many years and am mainly just a happy customer. As for “retiring” I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life, and quit my only full-time job nearly 20 years ago. I’ll continue to be an entrepreneur working on new ideas and projects until the day I die!

  2. Wow! I’m incredibly impressed with the intellect and courage it takes to write something so moving and bold.

    I’m enthralled by the articles and responses I’ve read thus far. There is validity in what has been stated and I’m excited that I get to elaborate on my experience.

    My wife and I were definitely not prime candidates starting our business. We were not people of influence or in management. We were barely above the poverty level. My wife came from a single mom home with an autistic brother. She studied industrial organization psychology and business management and had three jobs. A bartender, a book keeper for her stepdads contracting company, and a cashier at a small boutique shop.

    I was studying premed and in Air Force rotc. My dream was to become a doctor so I could do 6 months of doctor work and 6 months of mission work but soon realized leaving patients for 6 months isn’t a sustainable practice…not to mention being a quarter of a million dollars in debt, school for 12 years, and not being able to pay off loans until retirement. I couldnt stomach the debt so I started a landscaping company, became and EMT, and worked nights at a warehouse.

    My wife (girlfriend at the time) had a friend who introduced us to the Amway opportunity. She is now 25 years old and retired. Her husband will soon be as well.

    The validity is in that no traditional business, or cooperate America, will allow you to retire in 2-5 years. True.

    However, in my college experience I took a semester in entrepreneurship and asked the professor what businesses he had owned, to his reply ‘none, I teach’. It immediately clicked for me that I wasn’t going to take advice from people who taught on theory.

    My wife and I had zero time and zero money. I had student loans, medical bills, and $50 to my name. When we were presented with this business, I was beyond skeptical. I was close minded. I didn’t want to hear about for 3 months! Out of courtesy we sat down and listened.

    We’ve been apart of the business a little over two years and have made well over $90k. we got started for $217. Where else in life can you turn $217 into $90k in a little over 2 years?! My wife will retired in less than one year from now, she’s 26.

    I’m not writing to convince you this is a perfect system or perfect business, but compared to what the next 50 working years of my life looked like, this was the only opportunity I had to retire before 30.

    My routine was wake up, run my landscaping business, nightshift, grab a 6 pack of tall boys, pass out, wake up, rinse and repeat. I had zero credibility with my network and was broke.

    But I understood that the people you associate with and the books you read will determine where you will be in 5 years. I knew that I was going to listen to people who were successful, who had been there and done that; unlike my professors. This team was a group of people that I could run with.

    I realized that my wife and I were going to be eating, drinking, washing, cleaning, and shopping at Apple, best buy, target, Nike, under armor, gap, macy’s, Joseph a banks, Home Depot, and every other store Amway is partnering with for the rest of our lives.

    Hypothetically if we averaged spending $1k per month, exponentially averaged over 50 years, that’s $600k that we were spending on stuff. If we could make that back then we’ve essentially saved $600k over the course of our life time and if reinvested into a ‘financially secure retirement’ like an IRA, that’s over a million dollars by the time we ‘retire’ at 67.

    One option was to continue spending money at Walmart and get a smiley face sticker or 25 cents off our next can of soup. Or shop through an $11 Billion online mall that pays us. Prosumer vs consumer.

    Sure maybe I ‘drank the kool-aide’ but at least I can retire my wife and I before 30. Cooperate life didn’t give me that option. You have to believe in the what if. To many people quit this business because they give up on themselves, they give up on their family, they give up on their dreams. They say what if this doesn’t work. I said what if this does work!

    Unlike other teams, our URA squad builds this business on integrity. My heart breaks to hear that people get involved with teams who don’t value relationships over profitability.

    When we help families take their mind off of their financial stress, they are able to go do what they are passionate about. And when they do what their passionate about they directly affect the people around them in a positive way. There is too much negativity in the news and in the work place. This team encourages, uplifts, and has your back no matter what. We are so blessed to have our hands on this business but more importantly the mentorship from a multimillionaire who is analyzing our finances and coaching us to retire.

    If you think this business won’t work for you, you’re right. If you don’t see yourself in the mirror, we can’t help you. I believe anyone can do this business with the right team. It doesn’t matter you background, education, experience, or who you know. This business is no respecter of persons. God didn’t create junk, you’re an awesome human being. You can do anything you put your mind to. I made the decision to win so I can be home with my family and future kids. Now we are helping others do the same and keep the dream alive.

    If you want to be successful, observe what the masses do and do the opposite. There will be opposition, there will be struggle, just don’t give up before you reap your harvest.

    On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.

    1. Thanks for the post, Dave. I’ve heard good things about URA, though I actually think most of the “bad apples” have been excised from Amway and most teams are operating with integrity today. Keep it up!

  3. Amway is not a scam. I buy books and vides from Amazon. The program is suited for the type A personality or Sales people. Yellows don’t stand a chance of making money because they don’t want to be pushed and don’t like pushy people.

  4. There is something about economics and human society that all must be clear about and that is circular flow in an economy. There is no income without an expense and expenditure in an economy equals income in an economy. What AMWAY in particular does is equitable distribution of profit. It is more ethical than any other business. Legality is altogether a different aspect. The grievance arises due to overselling the opportunity as a way to riches quickly. That’s duping. And follows resentment. Legally every gain at all levels are subject to taxes direct as well as indirect. India at this stage doesn’t have a modus to check legally validated business in organized sector of tax evasion let alone AMWAY! It is believed that 60% or more of all businesses in India are in grey economy or is business without billing.
    It’s more of an issue of open bandwagon where there is ample opportunity for scammers to exploit but again that’s Natural Law! We know that many of Natural Laws are illegal!!

  5. Amway is the best company in the world. Those people that are negative about the business should take a look at themselves in the mirror. People fail in any business, and those that become successful start by failing. Nobody can join Amway, Amway has to be in you. If you have a love of helping the less fortunate people, then this business will heal you from the inside out. Let the dogs bark because my caravan is moving on.

  6. Here is a Father’s Amway horror story: My wife and I have been pitched several times over the years by Amwayites. We always listened politely and said No. We suffered through the lairs: “No, this opportunity is not Amway. No need to take two cars to the presentation, I will drive you. “The psycho/emotional attacks: “Don’t’ you have a dream you want fulfilled? This business opportunity will give you all the money you need. Your children will benefit from your improved lifestyle.” “Joe Blow was living in a dumpster in an alley behind Pizza Hut. He worked the plan for a year and now owns Condos in Kapalua and Ipanema.”
    Our son is a midget. Fully matured, he stands 4’2”. As a result of this he is always trying to find some way to “fit in.” A “friend” of his who attends karate classes with him was in Amway. In October of 2012 this “friend” induced him to join Amway. My wife and I told him he was making a mistake and that Amway was a scam and a cult. Although he continues to require our financial support to survive, we did not exert extreme parental authority over him to get him to quit; we felt he might learn something.
    We, at first told him we would not buy any product from him, period. However, he persisted and we would watched him “suit-up” and go off to his Amway indoctrination sessions; driving 130 miles round trip to attend several of these Amway infomercials; not only would he incur the gas expense, but would pay to attend. On one occasion he drove 650 miles, round trip, to an event where he spent hundreds of dollars on autographed books, and the latest motivational tapes.
    Noticing his persistence, we thought we would soften our attitude towards his Amway participation. We told him that we would consider buying product from him once he demonstrated he could make money. We said we want to see one of those famous Amway checks: You know, one of those checks that prove God loves you and finds you a winning, worthy human.
    As the months went by we watched as his world started to come apart. Since all the “successful” uplines need full time jobs to support their Amway addiction, their meetings are at night: starting at 8:00pm and ending at 10:00pm. We watched as he came home late at night after his meeting arising the next morning tired and going off to his trite non-Amway job. We watched as his bedroom became more and more cluttered; his car more neglected; as his good friends avoided him. We watched as he was put on probation by his employer for being late to work (the job that actually earned him money) and using their place of business as a recruiting center. We watched as he started constantly asking for money: for gas, for food, for karate tuition.
    Then he had a flat tire and the spell for his mother and I was broken. We asked him why he was not getting his tire fixed (no money). We told him he cannot be driving around on a tire that is a donut spare, that it was unsafe. On this very same day we got a collection call to our home asking for our son. I began thinking that he had become addicted to some drug. Also on that day, my wife was fed up with the filth in his bedroom and began cleaning it up. That is when we found the collection letter from his insurance company; the company was demanding payment of $889.00 for past due premium. I then checked the policy and found it had been cancelled several months earlier; that he had been driving his car all that time without insurance.
    My wife and I confronted him with an alternative. Either he tells us what is going on, and were is all his money going or move out of our home. Then the stories came out: In order to maintain his pv/bv he had been spending his entire paychecks buying Amway product. When we looked inside the trunk of his car there were cases of Nutralite, power drinks and vitamins. We learned that he had more product in the garage of a fellow Amwayite because his trunk was full.
    While trying to get a handle on his actual indebtedness and how to come up with the money to insure his car we found another disheartening issue. He had been going into my office and taking the savings bonds that I had been buying for his college education and cashing them in to cover expenses. He literally cashed in all his remaining savings bonds.
    In seven short months, his Amway “business” has coast him over $5,000.00; added 10,000 miles to his car and consumed a portion of his college savings. Most amazing to me, not one of his “successful” uplines has offered to pick him up and drop him off at home, now that he cannot drive his car. I sat and listened as he called Amwayite after Amwayite asking for a ride to either pick up his product or attend a indoctrination session. Each saying no, except on one occasion.
    I wish I could conclude this with a happy ending but I cannot. He is still delusional about Amway. However, since millions are not flocking to him to buy power water, power bars and vitamins he is not making money. Predictably, he is blaming his mother and I because we are not buying those things we would buy anyway from him. My wife and I will most likely have to kick him out of the house. We cannot stand watching him self destruct. And, to be honest, just like a drug addict, I do not trust he will not steal from us to cover his pv/bv points.
    As to the assertion Amway is a business, it is a lie. IBOs are glorified straight commissioned sales people assuming all risk associated with the venture. But even better for Amway they are forced to buy product every month. They lurk and skulk around malls and other places looking for that one person who knows winners never quit and quitters never win and Amway will make you rich if you just milk the sh!t out of your friends and family and eat power bars until your gut splits.

    1. C.Falconi,

      With respect, if your son has been stocking up product in his car and elsewhere, then he has been breaking Amway’s rules and defrauding both Amway and his upline by attempting to receive bonuses and recognitions which he did not deserve. There is NO “forcing” people to buy product every month. I myself have placed only one order in the last 4 months. Furthermore, if he has been involved less than a year then he is perfectly able to return these products for a refund. You would know this if you had bothered to make even a cursory study of Amway’s materials.

      The very tone of your letter shows that you have had zero respect for your son or his decisions, and offered him no support (indeed, apparently, made fun of him). You might want to look in to a mirror and consider why your son is making such poor decisions and having to hide his behaviour from you.

      In the meantime, care enough to spend some time reading Amway’s materials instead of ranting on the internet and see how he can get refunds to help pay his debts. Those debts will include any bonuses he unfairly earned and will have to pay back.

      1. The first thing you say is that their son defrauding AMWAY for storing products in his truck?

        You must be delusional. You have zero facts that indicate he was privately selling those products.

        Since we are making assumptions I will assume that he was hiding it from his parents and was avoiding guilt and shame due to his parent warning him of this cult.

        How can you possibly say he has zero respect for his son? This is insanely intrusive of a personal relationship between a father and a son. You may possibly be right, how disrespectful of a father to not support his son for allocating his funds to pointless products rather than the necessities in life. Sure, let him watch as his son breaks the law for not paying insurance on his car but submit his money towards making his “business” that is leading him to clearly bankruptcy.

        The father by no means is the reason for feeling guilt and shame, it is his upliner feeding him with motivational lies to someone who is already insecure of himself. Maybe we should point the finger at not necessarily amyway but his upliner who sucked him dry and was very much aware of this. You guys are so nosy so it Very likely that his sponsor knew he was going through a difficult patch as an IBO.

        you might want to look into the mirror and see what kind of destruction in families you are promoting.

        How could you possibly think it is acceptable that their son should seek confidence through CD’s as opposed to a two way relationship from his parents. After, isn’t it a requirement to listen to these Cd’s?

        Very soothing to hear that you support families and relationships being broken up and have the nerve to insult a saddened father.

        1. (1) If he is buying products he does not have customers for and does not intend to use himself, and continues to do so (called “inventory loading”) then he is breaking Amway’s rules and earning bonuses and recognitions he does not deserve. Yes, that’s fraud.
          (2) This father started from the position that “My wife and I told him he was making a mistake and that Amway was a scam and a cult”. Amway is neither a scam nor a cult. His son did more research than him and his more experience than him regarding Amway, he had zero respect for his son’s perspective other to claim he was just doing it to “try to fit in”. He can’t think for himself? Can’t make his own decisions? Sorry, just my opinion, but the letter came across to me as if he does not respect his son’s ability to make choices. You’re free to disagree.
          (3) Who “broke” this family up? The father who started from a position of attacking the son’s decision and his friends, or the son trying to make something for himself? I see this too often. Heard a story this week in fact. A guy has spent a year researching Amway. Been to couple of seminars, tried lots of products. Met people, asked questions, read books. Etc etc etc. He’s moved back to his home country and decided to build an Amway business there. Shows his father. His father google’s Amway and believe’s the bullshit of people like Joecool over his own son. Zero respect for his son and his ability to make decisions. Huge fight. Father and son estranged. Who broke them up? Amway? No. The father, with the aid of “critics” like Joecool.

      2. This man watched his beloved son’s life deteriorate as his friendships with his Ambot zealots turned to dust after his car broke down and none of these greedy people would stop by his house to give him a lift to a cult meeting which was supposed to be helping him more than his parents would’ve if they’d enabled him, and you want to shriek about fraud?

        You sicken me.

        1. I sicken you? People like this “father” and you sicken me. He displays a complete lack of disrepect for his son, and further more you and he promote outright lies about the Amway business opportunity and the people involved in it. His son is trying to actually stand on his own feet and do something, and his reponse – “we won’t buy stuff off you”. Really? Nice one Dad! Your son has decided to try and market some of the best selling, best regarded products in the world, and his reponse – “we won’t buy stuff off you”. Why not? Have you tried them? Don’t you trust your son to have tried them? Apparently not.

          Tell me, Julia – if this man is telling the truth – why didn’t they just return the product for a refund?

        2. Quite an emotional response, Julia. I can see your point and agree with most of what you write. You seem to be making the same mistake I have often made – shoot off your mouth before you get all the facts. (We only have what the father has written; and it doesn’t look good.) What I am reading (“Ambot zealots”, “greedy”, “cult”, “you sicken me”) tells me that you may have an agenda against all things Amway. If so, that is not being fair minded. What you have written ruins your credibility. Perhaps you have heard the saying, “silence is golden.” As a child I learned, “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.”

          David, if as the father stated, the son had inventory (we don’t know how much) stashed away, some of it in an uplines garage, then you are right that there was fraud going on. And, the upline was knowingly part of it Yes, that is inventory loading. You were not “shrieking” about it – just stating a fact.

      3. This would be a great argument minus one thing: Amway does not make their systems available for inspection publicly.

        When I asked about details at one of your “mentor meetings” I was met with “we don’t share that” in fact, they woudlnt even say it was Amway

        They also operate on a very elitist level.

        Finally Amway is not entrepreneurial it is sales and franchise based.

        The entrepreneur creates business systems

        1. Really depends on how you define “entrepreneur”. McDonalds, for example, calls their franchisees entrepreneurs. As for “public inspection” of the systems – they’re not owned by Amway, and the different companies and organizations that offer them have different levels of transparency.

    2. ABO’s, this is what happens when we don’t check up-line first!


      Ok jokes aside — C. Falconi, I hope by now someone’s been kind enough to sit you and your son down and explain how the business works…
      I am sorry to say, but according to your post, the business your son is in and the one ABO’s are in sound like two DIFFERENT businesses.

  7. So who is buying these products from Amway? I browsed on the website after an acquaintance approached me about making more money. I politely declined, I have no interest in sales, and he was very cordial. But nonetheless- who is buying a box of Tampons at $26.40 a box? Is there like 200 tampons in this box or what? Even if the IBO discount was 75% that would still make an average box the normal price, nothing special. That’s just one example. What do Amway IBOs tell people about their products that makes them want to buy them?

    1. JustWondering, Amway does not make tampons, and while they’re available through Amway in some countries, they are not Amway products and they are not the basis of the business. Having said that, Amway’s Fulton Street Market branded tampons retail at $26.40 for 108, or 24 cents each. According to Amway a comparable product is Tampax Pearl. It retails at $4.99 for 18, or 28 cents each at and $5.99 for 18, or 33 cents each, from Those two stores were both recommended by

      Now, I’ no expert on tampons, but the Amway product is 14% cheaper than and 27% cheaper than, so clearly the pricing is competitive. On top of that is the satisfaction guarantee, use them and don’t think they’re good value, Amway will give you your money back.

      Again though, these are not the basis of the business, indeed their in a category of products that is primarily available for the convenience of IBOs, who get them at an even cheaper price, rather than retail customers.

      Amway’s primary products are Nutrilite, Artistry, eSpring, XS Energy drinks, and the Legacy of Clean/Amway Home range.

      1. ibofightback, thank you for taking the time to reply to these accusations that we get all the time as IBOs. Hopefully they understand that those experiences they’ve had were not because of Amways itself, but because of IBOs who have chosen to not follow the policies of the company.

  8. This Amway business is nothing more than a pyramid and a misleading scam. I am truly surprised it has not been shut down yet..

    1. GK,
      The answer to my question above is probably “both”. I know my experience is a true experience, and I have no reason to doubt yours. The problem is you’re extrapolating from your experience with one or one group of Amway independent business owners and assuming everyone operates that way. A couple of questions –

      (1) How do you think it’s a pyramid? You don’t earn any money by recruiting people, which is the basis of an pyramid scheme.
      (2) How did Amway mislead you?

    2. Dear GK,
      What is a ‘pyramid’? There’s a pyramid in ALL organizations. How many CEOs or COOs or managers are there in a company from the top down? Eg. Owner 1x, CEO 2x, Managers 5x, Supervisors 10x, Workers 50x…. etc.

      In Amway, you can surpass (in income) the person who brought you in & all above you- if you work harder; which is a LADDER concept. As Business Owners we are ‘partners’ with Amway, not ‘working for’ Amway.

  9. I was sucked into it years ago. I lost a lot of money and so called friends, as the whole thing is a cult built on a misleading lie.. They call themselves Christians, but as it says in the Bible, are false prophets.. Bottom line; if I was ever approached by one of these ratbags again, I’d politely tell them to F- Off and don’t waste my time… There are two words missing from the word Amway. And they are, the “Sc” before it.

      1. Sadly, ibo, his story is the correct one rather than yours. Adults who read, understand that Amway is a product-based pyramid scheme that defrauds millions with cult-like mind control techniques chronicled by cult expert Steven Hassan.

        1. Ahh, Jonathan, you disappeared from shortly after offering to fly me to New York if I’d accept your bribe to be anti-mlm! Gee what happened?

          Steve Hassan is not a “cult expert”. He has no published academic papers in the field. His master’s came from what was then a well known degree mill. His theories are based on ideas espoused by Margaret Singer – theories that were dismissed by the APA as unscientific and tabloid like.

          You need to hang around a better class of people, Jonathan.

          Oh, and no spamming. I don’t let IBOs link to their sites here, why do you think i’d let you?

        2. Your job is a pyramid. Every business in the world has a pyramid structure, one owner or leader/CEO, and layers of employees underneath him/her. Just because you prefer lounging in your PJ’s to actually working to improve your life, don’t bring down others who are trying to improve. YOU are the reason you are in your position in life. Stop being a victim and take control of your own life. If you are okay with your job, and Amway isn’t for you that’s fine, but it is a perfectly legitimate business for those of us who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

          Also, these parents need to stop hovering and let their son make his own mistakes in life. He will never learn if you keep telling him what he needs to do rather than letting him discover it on his own. Did your parents coddle you? or did they let you learn on your own? Whether you agree with Amway or not, let your son be an adult.

          1. Entrepreneur spirit? You’re not a true entrepreneur unless you have ownership of the company. Working for this scam sales job or working for anyone doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. It makes you a worker bee.

  10. Amway, and other MLM where recruitment is in the forefront, is nothing more than recruiting of participants in an unlimited endless chain of empowered and motivated recruiters recruiting recruiters- Ad Infinitum. Ask yourself this sbout Amway,or most other MLM schemes. Is unlimited recruiting allowed, and are those who are recruited empowered and spurred on by incentives ( such as overrides from downline purchases, advancement, etc.) to recruit additional recruiters who are likewise empowered and motivated to recruit still more recruiters, etc.- so, that the effect is an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters?

    This leads to a perception that a given market is satuated (de facto satuation), and the program must move on to another location, or introduce new products, or new divisions(Quixtar) to continue . The opportunity for each new person to make money becomes less and less as the endless chain, or pyramid participants continue to expand.

    1. Peter,
      There are about 300 thousand IBOs in North America. And the population in the U.S. alone is over 300M–a thousand times the number of IBOs.

      There are about 3 million IBOs in the world. And the population of the world is over 6 billion –two thousand times the number of IBOs.

      More people turn 18 years old in the U.S.(4 Million) EACH YEAR,than there are IBOs in the entire world.

      The “saturation” argument is ridiculous, and has been proven by history (Amway has been in business for 53 years) to be completely false.

      The Amway business is not about “endless recruiting” any more than Starbucks, McDonald’s, and 7-Elevens are about opening up endless numbers of stores.

      1. All businesses of any kind are in the recruiting business. What do people think Wal-mart, Target, grocery stores, car dealerships and other businesses do? They are always recruiting new customers and trying to maintain the ones that they do have.

    2. Pete,
      I can go and buy Coca-Cola from Walmart and resell it to someone. Who can resell it to someone. Who can resell it to someone. “Spurred on” by the incentive to profit, recruiting can go on “ad infinitum”. Market reality is that’s not what happens. Just like Amway.

      1. This is compeletly wrong. Amway cannot and will not allow the reselling of products. It’s actually one of their rules. Otherwise you’d see their products in stores across the world. They do not believe in having their products distributed through chains such as wal-mart or any other business. I do not earn money for recruiting people, I earn points. My main goal as an IBO is to ensure the sale of products, which, if you didn’t know already can speak for themselves. I paid 200 dollars to start my business. And have gone through training and been to meetings with no charge. I would never try to sell a product to someone, if it was not in their best interest to buy it. Honestly, if you’ve never worked with amway your arguement is invalid. It’s not a scam and so far everyone who has had more experience than me has been doing their best to ensure help me understand the process of running my own business and guarenteeing customer satisfaction.

  11. While I have not had any experience with Amway I have had experience with companies operating under similar business plans. The people who say it is not a scam are right. From a legal standpoint these companies are completely legitimate. That being said in my opinion these kind of companies are unethical because they pray upon people’s emotions by selling something besides their products they are SELLING hope. They tell you, you can succeed if you work at it hard enough, this is the dishonest part, not everyone has the personality for this kind of work. Where you live and the state of the overall market are also huge factors. Any company that charges for seminars and team building activities materials is a less than honest company. The comparisons to McDonalds and other franchises people have made are completely irrelevant. Franchises of that caliber have startup costs in excess of a million dollars you have a better probablity of success if you work hard. You can start a business with just a few hundred dollars but here’s the thing. If you have the ability to do that why do you need companies like Amway or CUTCO? Yes they provide a network and support group but this network as with any corporation favors those at the top so why do you need them if you do in fact have what it takes. Chances are if you had what it takes you would already have your own business and laugh at the idea of joining Amway. If you are part of a company like Amway and you have been successful that is great you could be the most honest hardworking person in the world for all I know. I am not accusing IBOs of being dishonest however I do think that the emotional appeals these kind of companies make on people who are usually already in a tight spot is not only unethical but disgusting. Amway is not in the business of helping people they are in the business of making money. They need IBOs to make money, even though most people who try are not successful Amway and other companies that operate this way make a boatload of money. The conclusion is they need your patronage in order to make money, you do not need them. Yes Bridget and yes IBOFIGHTBACK I have read the feed, I have heard your points, this is just my opinion. I apologize in advance for any misconceptions I have. The generalizations I’ve made are only based on my experience and the experience of people I know. The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself go back to school people it is not too late. Go to a workshop to improve your resume. Find a source of steady income and stick to it no matter how much it sucks, especially if you have a family. Life is not always pleasant not everyone that works at something or tries really hard can become rich. If your goal is to become rich think about what that wealth is really gonna cost you in the end.

    1. “facts” – do you have any “facts” to support you claim that a specific “personality” type is necessary to succeed in this type of business? I’ve met and spoke with many, many highly successful Amway IBOs and they’ve been all different types of personalities. What they have done is learn the *skills* needed to succeed in a business like this, and worked damn hard at it.

      Having said that, Amway isn’t for everyone no. Indeed being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. I think Amway has made some progress in recent years towards discouraging people from the “just try and recruit everyone” type of approach and instead work on the approach that I was always taught – “we’re looking for people who are looking for us”

      1. Yes the fact is that a company that charges a membership fee, tries to sell you videos on how to learn the “skills” for success, and deceives people into believing they can become the next diamond millionaire or whatever is unethical. Granted many companies are unethical, but basing an entire business model on this sort of thing is crossing the line in my opinion. To me it seems like Amway is not “looking for people who are looking for them” because that’s not how businesses in general function. Obviously people are trying to actively recruit and are committed to recruiting as many people as possible because that is how they expand their own network in the company. They also have to motivate these people to buy into the idea of the company so they will sell products or bring in more recruits. Right? It’s a slippery slop these companies like the ones I’ve mentioned before are essentially pyramid schemes minus the fact that they are actually selling a product. However, it seems like the products are only secondary to an intricate ranking system that provides new recruits with the hope of future riches. In my opinion Amway and companies like it found a more creative and profitable way to advertise, they use people instead of billboards. For the most part Amway “entrepreneurs” are in fact themselves the consumers, they are Amway costumers. The company is thus able to sell the majority of their products not because they are necessarily “the best products around at low prices” but because they are selling hope. On top of this the “entrepreneurs” are also charged an annual fee, and people wonder why Amway is so successful. Bottom line is a large majority of people who join Amway hoping to develop some kind of steady or supplementary income end up being the consumers.

        1. “facts”, as far as I’m aware Amway doesn’t charge for any of their “videos”, they provide them free online or at cost as DVDs. It sounds to me like you’re probably talking about the many 3rd party companies that market to Amway IBOs. They do sell such materials, and as you would expect they profit from it.

          Recruiting as many people as possible is not IMO how you expand a network. I’m aware some groups have a “throw mud at the wall” approach to network – show everyone, recruit everyone, hope the cream rises – but not all groups do. I think it’s inefficient. You spend a lot of time trying to pressure people to join, nearly all of whom then will do nothing anyway. You’ve wasted their time, you’ve wasted your time, and you’ve potentially damaged the businesses reputation along the way.

          Regarding people joining and becoming consumers, you’re partially correct. A lot of people join, inspired by the business opportunity, but then decide it’s not for them, but like the products and keep buying them. I see nothing wrong with that. Note that neither Amway nor IBOs make money from recruiting people, and in some parts of the world registration is free, so with processing costs it costs Amway money to register a new recruit. It obviously costs IBOs time and money to do so as well.

          What’s important to note is that the vast amount of Amway products are ultimately bought and used by people who are not trying to build an Amway business and make a profit.

      2. I think Amway is a scam. I was in it with my wife from 1994-1999 and were sold on the fact that we could make all this money and become rich. At the time we joined we were newly married and struggling like most couples. All our bills were on time but we weren’t able to take expensive trips, buy expensive things, etc but we were on time with our rent and bills and our credit was good. When we got in amway our finances got worst. First of all the products were way too expensive and we were required to do 600 pv a month which ended up costing us 400 on top things we needed to buy like groceries. Also, we had to buy those stupid tapes which were 7.00 a week plus 5.00 a piece for weekly meetings, rallys, functions etc. We racked up so much debt from being involved in this and incurred a job loss which further added to the financial stress were we in. We filed bankrucptcy and loss our cars etc. The straw that broke the camels back was when I started a new position and couldn’t make the function because I had to work out of town. My wife went to this function and had paid for her ticket a month an advice and our upline was suppose to show up with the tickets. Well our upline failed to show up which meant she had to buy a ticket for $10 more at the door plus the hotel stay and this caused her not to have enough money to eat while at the function, etc, plus having to contribute for gas money with the group she rode with. Our upline was supposet to reimburse us which never happen. Needless to say we got out of AMWAY and told our upline to never contact us again. Now almost 20 years later, we both work good positions and we have more money now than we ever had before and have substantial savings. You may not get rich working for someone else but in this day and time it is a blessing to have a job. So many people are out of work and would love to have a job.

        1. John,

          Apart from complaining the products were expensive, nothing you say has to do with Amway per se. You claim you “were required to do 600PV”, but Amway has never had any requirement to buy any amount every month. Who “required” you to do this? How did they “require” you to do it? You also claim you “had to buy those stupid tapes”. Any tapes you bought almost certainly weren’t from Amway, and it’s actively against Amway’s rules to “require” anyone to buy them – they were clear about this even nearly 20 years ago.

          When you join Amway you’re in business for yourself. Nobody can make you do anything, but obviously they can give you recommendations. I’m glad you’re both successful in your careers. Owning a business isn’t for everyone, but don’t blame Amway for that.

          1. they are blaming the team they were in. if they are just getting started how should they know anything other than what they are being told? i have read this so many times from different people an different places who did the same cause they were told the same. im new an until reading these i didn’t know i could request a new team or that we are not required to have so much pv that’s new to me. don’t be so mean to people just cause you were successful with Amway means nothing to them! some people are cheats an they lie an would do anything to use people to make some extra money. these are just there stories they never asked for anyone’s input its to late to ask how an why an say your not required cause its done an over with. my husband an i have read at least 10 stories good an bad an all have the same money problem for a good part of there first year or two we have a family an children we cant take those risks we are happy we found this an are happy to pull out not everyone can take those risks.

          2. Angel, apparently you trusted your sponsor enough to agree to let them sponsor you. At that point you were in business for yourself. You had a choice to listen to them or not. They don’t pay your bonus, Amway does. They don’t supply you with products, Amway does.

            Your business consists of you and your retail customers. Those that you sponsor are in business for themselves but not by themselves. You have an obligation to offer your help. Amway is about people helping people to help themselves. Amway will provide the training you need to build successful businesses. It is nice to be part of your upline’s team but it is NOT a requirement. Follow your own best judgement. You are responsible for the choices you make.

            I have found that some of the best distributors were once happy customers. Go find some customers and build your retail business. Find a customer that wants to do the same. Repeat the process. Duplication!

            Be patient and persistent. Believe in yourself. Have faith. Focus on what you desire. Commit to action. You can do it!

        2. John that’s not a representation of amway, that’s a representation of the human being who put you into business. I hate when I read stuff like “we were forced to run a certain PV every month”. That drives me crazy because you will now have a bad taste in your mouth and potentially miss out on a great opportunity because someone was being greedy.

          My husband and I have been involved with amway for almost 2 years. We had to earn a spot on the team of our sponsors who are founders ruby. They didn’t recruit us, we were looking for opportunity and my husband met our sponsor at work one day. We didn’t get signed up, they said if they were to teach us how to be successful they needed to know they weren’t going to waste their time if we were going to just quit in a few weeks or months. We had to pursue them, pursue information, meet their coaches, etc. from the day we met our sponsors to the day we launched was one month. And I respected their honesty and the fact they made us convince them, not the other way around.

          We don’t sign anyone and everyone up. We take everyone through a process just as we were taken through to make sure we are only launching people who are willing to work as hard as needed. This takes longer to build a successful business, but building it right the first time is better than having to rebuild over and over. We have actually denied more people than launched because this is OUR business and we only want people of our ambition level or higher. We also won’t launch someone if they have to go into debt to start their business. We have actually held off starting someone a few months until they could start with cash instead of adding to their credit cards.

          We would NEVER push volume on anyone. We are taught “if the people in your group aren’t running volume don’t push them, find other people who are willing to do it. They will build their business when they are ready and pressuring them will only damage your relationship.” we’ve had IBOs who haven’t ordered or ran client volume for 3 months straight. We’d never ask them about it or tell them to smarten up. If they want help they will come to us, we won’t impose on their life.

          Yes this takes longer to build but it shows integrity and it prevents what happened with you, John, which I am sorry you went through that. We went into business with a woman who did amway in the 90’s who went through what you did. She looked at what we do and how different it is and was excited to be a part of this in this form. I hope you can find something like this again with good people who really do want to help you, instead of people who push you so they can help themselves.

      3. Having been involved with Amway, introduced by a friend I can say that those I met were all very polite and decent honest people who just worked very hard to make money with Amway. They did have to have other jobs though, Amway alone was not sufficient and I found too that those most successful were already people of confidence who had achieved in whatever they chose to do.
        I would say too that you would need to live in an urban environment where you have a lot of contacts near where you live. I lived in the country and soon realised I was spending more travelling than I was making with Amway.
        Added to that I had to refund some products because they just didn’t meet with Amway’s claims and they were expensive. Some of the same sort of products became available in supermarkets which was not only more convenient for customers but cheaper too.
        I would not be an Amway distributor again, it’s too hard but I wouldn’t say it was a scam, just a different and more private way to earn some money. M.R.

        1. Mavis,

          Yes, like any business it can take years before you can develop a full time income with Amway. That’s nothing unusual. As for products, Amway will refund unsatisfied customers, so you should never have been out of pocket. Yes, the competitiveness of products does change. Amway lead the world in concentrated biodegradeable detergents. The rest of the world caught up and it became harder to market. So Amway transformed and is now the world’s leading nutritional supplements company and one of the world’s leading skincare companies.

          It will change again in the future. Any business that doesn’t will die

  12. Since when was it mandatory or compulsory in Amway to purchase tools or attend conferences/seminars, buy tickets, tapes, books, etc.? These are all optional and the ones sold directly by Amway itself do not cost much. Amway in Malaysia conducts most or all of its training for distributors FREE of charge. I think people need to stop confusing Amway motivational organizations with Amway itself. Amway openly states that to be successful, you need to “SELL, service and sponsor”, demonstrate leadership, ensure you do retail and go about building a sustainable distributorship in a diligent, focused manner. Sounds just what you would need to do to build just about any other kind of business. And there are bad folks in all businesses and industries. And by the way, how on earth can you sell products if there are no HUMAN BEINGS to buy them from you? Many start off as your retail customers but may opt for membership to obtain discounts. If they become members/distributors, does that disqualify them from being categorized as your customers? They may just wish to consume.

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