Amway Success – What are your odds?

A common cry of the anti-Amway zealots is that the “odds” or “chance” of an individual being successful in Amway are low. They’ll typically look at some of Amway’s published statistics, such as the fact that in 2005, .0120% of “Direct Fulfillment IBOs of Record” qualifed at the Diamond level, and claim that your “odds” of going Diamond are 1 in 8333, so you’d be better off at Vegas, where your “odds” of winning on a single number in say, roulette are 1 in 29.

Oft-quoted anti-MLM zealot Jon M. Taylor, Ph.D., President, Consumer Awareness Institute, and Director, Pyramid Scheme Alert, for example, claims that –

The odds of winning from a single spin of the wheel in a game of roulette in Las Vegas is 286 times as great as the odds of profiting after enrolling as an Amway/Quixtar “distributor”

Amway is not a game of chance

A quick bit of math shows that Dr Taylor thus claims the “odds” of profiting in Amway are 1 in 8294. He calculates these “odds” based on numerous assumptions (for which I might add, he has next to no data to support), including what peoples expenses are. Now, for the purposes of this post I’m going to ignore these type of assumptions, but if they are correct (they’re not) then his “odds” might be a reasonable statistic to consider, except for one thing – unlike roulette, Amway is not a game of chance.

For many people, the term “odds” is most familiar in the area of betting and horse racing, so I’ll use an example from that arena. The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s biggest horse races. The 2008 Derby had 20 starters, of which (ties aside), only 1 could win. What are the odds than any particular horse would win? Using the thought processes of anti-MLM zealots like Jon Taylor, they’d be 1 in 20, or 5%. In reality, bookmakers provided betting odds that ranged from 50:1 (2%) for Big Truck to 3:1 (25%) for the eventual winner, Big Brown.

Why aren’t the “odds” of winning the Kentuck Derby for each horse simply 5%, as Dr Taylor’s Amway assertion would have you believe? Simple – horse racing is not a game of chance. Bookmakers take in to account many factors in deciding whether a horse is likely to win, including past performance, track conditions, the weather, the jockey etc etc.

The same principles apply to the Amway business. The “odds” of your success vary dramatically based on a number of factors. The first factor is, of course, determining precisely what “success” is for you. For example, in their investigation into a proposed new business opportunity rule, the FTC said that MLM company Shaklee reports 85% of folk who join that company do so purely to receive products at distributor pricing. “Success” for a such a person would be placing an order and receiving it successfully!

If this was your goal in joining Amway (and it is for many people), what are your “odds” of success, using the methodology proposed by Dr Jon Taylor?

Goal: Buy Amway products at distributor pricing
Odds of success: 50% (Jon Taylor methodology)

50%?!?!? Surely everyone who registers with Amway as an Amway business owner gets their products at distributor pricing? Well … yes (UK&ROI market aside, which has a slightly different model) … however statistics revealed in the Team vs Quixtar dispute of 2007 show that only 50% of folk who registered with Quixtar ever placed an order after joining.

I’m sure you’ll agree though, that shopping from Amway/Quixtar is not a game of chance. There are things you can do to influence your success – you could for example, actually place an order! Voila – your “odds” have suddenly doubled to around 100%.

Dr Jon Taylor, Robert FitzPatrick, and other anti-Amway zealots such as “JoeCool” and “Rocket” would have us ignore not only what an individual’s goal(s) are, but also factors that influence that goal. Clearly this is a ridiculous and indefensible position. In Dr Taylor’s case, it’s a disgraceful one, as he is the holder of a Ph.D in Applied Psychology from the University of Utah. Having qualifications in psychology myself, I can assure you that you do not achieve a Ph.D. without a reasonable grasp of probability and statistics.

With regards to MLM statistics, Dr Taylor is either delusional or utterly dishonest.

There are things you can do to increase your odds

So what are the real odds of success in Amway for various goals, and what factors influence them? Well, clearly if your goal is wholesale price purchasing, then your odds of success are close enough to 100% if you place an order. Just as clearly, someone who joins and never even places and orders products is extremely unlikely to ever make any money. Indeed, I would suggest the probability of success for that group is 0%. Using this kind of information, just like bookmakers with horses, we can come up with “odds” that better reflect reality.

The 2008 Amway Global Sales Incentive Brochure reports for example that 0.3685% of North American IBOs qualify as Platinums or higher – that’s about 1 in 271. Yet we know that half of those 271 never even place an order, so their “odds” of reaching platinum were effectively zero. So …

If you place an order, your odds of being a platinum are about 1 in 135.

The TEAM vs Quixtar lawsuit in California also revealed that only 23.4% of Amway business owners ever sponsor anyone. While I’m sure there are folk who have qualified platinum purely on customer sales, without having sponsored anyone, it’s likely that the percentage who do so approximates zero. So …

If you sponsor at least one person, your odds of being a platinum are about 1 in 63.

Refining it further, the TEAM case revealed that only 12.9% of Amway business owners ever receive a bonus on downline volume. To receive a bonus you have to have a downline and at least 50PV of customer volume, plus be at a higher bonus bracket than the downline.

If you qualify for a bonus on downline volume, then your odds of being a platinum are 1 in 35.

Let’s put this in perspective. If all you do is join Amway and do enough to earn a bonus on downline volume, then already your “odds” of being close to developing a business earning $50,000K/yr+ (Q-12 Platinum) is approaching 1 in 35 – compare this to Dr Taylors simplistic claim that the “odds” of simply making a profit are 1 in 8294 (0.01%)

Clearly, earning a profit in the Amway business involves a lot more than simply signing a form and paying the registration fee, as Dr Taylor and others would have us believe. Taking action makes a difference! Indeed, the BERR vs Amway case in the United Kingdom revealed some even more astounding statistics –

  • only 6% of agents bought Amway products to sell on
  • 10% of agents make a profit

Leaving aside the fact this shows Dr Taylor’s claims re profit were out by a factor of 1000(!!!), it also reveals something else. It’s a reasonable assumption that those agents who made a profit included virtually all of those who onsold the product to consumers. If so –

if you have customers, then your “odds” of making a profit from an Amway business are approximately 100%

Amway is not a game of chance. It’s a business. Treat it as such and the odds of success are clearly very good indeed.

231 thoughts on “Amway Success – What are your odds?”

  1. Your Roulette odds are Wrong, and the best odds is 1:1 payout which is not awesome so the best odds in that game have the lowest payouts. The highest payouts have less than a 5% chance.

  2. Most businesses fail. Drive through any town in America and look at all the vacant offices and strip malls. Most of these business owners have invested tens of thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars to start and maintain their business.

    I’m not in Amway, but I am an advocate for our industry. The best and worst thing about our industry is the low cost of barrier. Because of the low cost barrier, we attract many types of people who are simply not cut out to be entrepreneurs.

    Also, it’s easy to put your business on the back burner when life gets in the way, especially when you only have a few hundred dollars invested in it.

    Most traditional business owners pour their heart and soul into their business and still fall short. These same folks often work 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week, just to make ends meat. Don’t believe me? Just ask any mom and pop business owner.

    Another thing worth pointing out is that lots of people in Amway make an extra $200 to $500 per month. For many folks, that can be completely life changing. Few people ever mention this, but I think it’s relevant.

    Will you fail in Amway? Maybe. Will you fail in another business? Maybe. The truth is that no business is easy to do or instant money. You get out what you put in and sometimes you still come up short. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

    That being said, I think the potential reward is much higher than the potential risk. Just my two cents.

    1. I think the most important thing Chuck Holmes addresses on his website is overcoming the fear of rejection. Amway leaders have addressed that with, “Some will, some won’t, so what!” I always felt we shouldn’t forget them entirely. Chuck has found that adding ALL new contact to your “list” is beneficial. (Reminds me of Pat Shay and his little black book.) Not only record contact information, but also what your conversation discovered. Never take “No.” as a final answer. (The timing may not have been right. They were not rejecting you; just your message; at that particular time.) Keep adding to their page in your book. Get back to them every so often. Keep building a relationship. Be a long term thinker. Short term thinkers end up quitting. The time may be “right” in a year or so. Never give up on people. Believe!

      1. I would argue that “some will, some won’t, so what, next!” is a lie.

        You see, most people, and I mean most, are not ready to buy what you are selling or join what you are offering at that specific moment in time. It doesn’t mean they won’t be interested at a future date. It all comes down to timing.

        If you just move on to the next person you are leaving a LOT of money on the table. Keep in touch with everyone you ever talk to. Follow up with each person at least 7-20 times, over a period of YEARS. That way when the timing does become right for them they will partner with you as a customer or distributor.

        This advice doesn’t just deal with Amway either. It pertains to almost any type of product, service, business opportunity, etc.

        This is some of the BEST business advice I can share with you.

  3. Hi Guys…I was introduced to Amway business in 2002…I was 21 then…I did it for 6 months and nobody except my family supported me in that endeavor….I did mistakes…I sold to my nearest family and friends and thats it…people were not ready to be a down-line of a 21 yr old…I left for 2 reasons….1. I was not sure about the success…2. after hearing ‘ follow your dream” in an Amway seminar…I got into animation…huh…….college fees were very high so I learned by myself…through practice I got better and my salary got high..I was doing good…but….yes but…it is a bucket I had to fill every month…you must have learned it in Amway books….I was not leveraging

    then after 10 years of hard work..long night shifts…sometimes no weekends off…almost doing 10-15 hrs. job everyday…I use to think I will open a gaming company as I know a lot…coz I know the power of leverage… know the hardest part of every business you wanna start …Is A Start…and opening a gaming company is not even easy…needs big investment and right people…..

    I didn’t think anything wrong about my decision of leaving Amway but I use to regret it…in those days I didn’t even had money to purchase those books…but now I think of considering Amway business again…this is not a get quick rich thing….this requires hard work and sometimes may be even more hard work…as your own business requires it if you have started on your own…nothing in this world comes easy….you know what lessons I learned…everything..whatever it is…takes time and efforts…and if your desire is to make it will make it big whatever you do..

  4. Abusive comments denied? Well…then this is not a fair thread and to whomever is going to read and deny this, you are using the same tactics your IBO vendor has taught you – to NOT critically think and to, by no means, entertain any questions or doubts people have. This is the oddest article I have ever read, to put it very G rated. How can you say that something that has a .1% chance (real number via Amway website) of having someone even break EVEN is a legitimate business opportunity?

    I know all these “canned” comebacks – “that’s because those people didn’t take it seriously” or “they won’t pay for these products even though they are better than anything you can buy anywhere else” or any of that other crap. Come on. This business is 50 years old, I get it….but 50 years ago, commerce was VERY different than it is now. People, especially in rural areas, didn’t have access to the whole world like you do now via Internet, and depending on someone like an Amway rep to sell them goods. They are irrelevant now.

    I don’t care if you like the goods and use them – I am perfectly happy with that. But stop selling people this empty dream that it’s easy, or even possible for them to support themselves or a family doing this kind of work. It isn’t. Average salary per year for people even making money is $2,500. That’s one month of bills for most.

    My last point is, I know that the secret to Amway – the big houses, cars, yachts and Rolex’s you see belong to the .001% of Amway people who are lucky enough to get into the club of being able to sell the promotional products. The seminars, retreats, marketing material, tapes, CDs, etc etc etc. That’s where the money is and not everyone gets there until they “prove themselves” whatever that means. The ODDS ARE against you. That is not to discourage anyone to try it…but I think Amway recruiters should give a clearer message of what to expect – and they will have reps that “stick” more often.

    Thank you.

    1. AB, wow, where do I start? So many things wrong with what you said. Perhaps a simple question – did you even bother reading the article you commented on? Heck, did you even read what you wrote? You quote the average income (NOT salary!) of an ABO at $2500. Then you claim people aren’t given a realistic view. Which brings the next question – where did you get the $2500 figure from?

    2. AB, you assume a lot! “Tactic your vendor taught you?” Think! Diamond is NOT the break-even point for profitability. Neither is Emerald. This is 2015, not 2008.

      I broke even my first month. Sadly, most people don’t. They are like a “Man who stand on side of mountain with mouth wide open waiting for roast duck to fly in.”

      You are right, most IBOs get excited about “dreams” without considering the effort that will be required. They hope their upline will sponsor someone downline that will prove to be the “next Diamond.” – really unrealistic and lazy thinking.

      Honest IBOs don’t sell people an empty dream. Unfortunately, too many brand new IBOs confuse a “simple plan” with an easy one and don’t TAKE THE TIME TO BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE about the products and plan before they run out, like an excited little kid, and start trying to sponsor. Big Mistake! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

      I agree with your last statement. What you recommend IS what smart IBOs are doing. The odds are in favor of those ABOs who treat their business like a real business. That requires acquiring KNOWLEDGE, PERSISTENCE, and FORTITUDE. Anybody can do it; but very few have what it takes – a real DESIRE for something worthwhile.

      1. Any business that can break even in the year, let alone the first month is a pretty good deal. Most traditional business owners don’t expect to make a profit for their first two to five years.

      2. Why is Amway so secretive. We have family heavily involved in it but they never say Amway they always say “the business” and they leave making you feel like you just got caught in a room with a creepy uncle. If u can’t use the business name and there’s a lack of transparency then that is disturbing. Why aren’t they just straight forward. Also twice ppl have told me they bought me a present but then when they are leaving they mention that they will be back in a few days to retrieve said present. It’s so weird and disturbing. Is the secrecy part of the sales process?

  5. My boyfriend is in amway and this is the first time his business is starting to “grow.” However he has not hit eagle yet. I feel like you get pressured into cutting off social relationships. He hardly talks to his family and friends since he wants this to work. Do you think that people who are already rich will succeed more than those who are financially strained? I feel like that is a factor since his uplines were already trust fund babies or were people who had 6 figure incomes at their jobs.

    1. A reality is that if you start a new venture on the side of what you’re already doing, then there’s naturally going to be less time for existing social relationships. Doesn’t matter if it’s a part-job, a course, a sport, or an Amway (or any other) business. It takes time. In addition if your existing social networks aren’t supportive of what you’ve decided to do (again, doesn’t matter what) then you’re going to be inclined to want to spend time with them. Nothing unusual about that.

      As for whether being already “rich” helps? Yes and no. If you’re already successful in some other venture, then you’ve quite probably already learned or developed a number of the types of traits necessary to succeed in other endeavours (people skills, goal setting, leadership, focus etc). With “trust fund babies”, probably not, unless their successful parents taught them these things.

      There’s been rich people succeed, there’s been plenty of people start with nothing and succeed! But it does takes time and effort.

      1. But what if you are supportive? How long do you let the person do the new venture until you call it quits? Is it appropriate for a person to only acknowledge you once a week when they’ve been working on this for around 3-4 years? It just seems like a high risk situation because another venture you know what is at the end of 4 years (a degree, a promotion etc.) but within this context you really don’t know if you will be successful or have postpone being with your family/friends another some odd years.

        My other qualm is that I feel like people within the organization have so much self respect that they condescend others. For example getting a job and retiring at 65 is such a dumb notion to them.

        1. That’s something that its up to each individual to decide. In my experience most people who aren’t growing, if they sat down and were honest would admit they’re not actually doing the things they know are necessary to grow. Often from “the outside” it looks like they’re working hard, but they’re not, they’re often “thinking hard” about working hard. It’s rare for someone to actually put in the effort and “fail”, and there’s enough prior examples to know that if you genuinely put in the effort consistently, it’s low risk, not high.

          Having said that, some people might need to take an honest hard look at themselves and acknowledge they never are going to do what’s necessary, so they’d be better off putting their time and effort in to something that does inspire them. It’s pretty much impossible for anyone except the individual to know when that point is, however. Having said that, from your first post it sounds as if he maybe is having some success now. What might be worthwhile is setting some deadline, together. Say “ok, I’ll support you 100% in this if you do what successful people say is necessary for the next X months (or years or whatever), but you have to agree that if you haven’t gotten Y results then you agree to focus on something else instead.

          Regarding respect for others, I’m aware there are groups that have a condescending attitude to people with jobs or who elect to pursue other ventures. I personally don’t have respect for them. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, and that’s just fine.

          1. Agree with you 100%, IBOfightback. That’s the way I’ve approached it.

            Everyone in my team has always constantly re-affirmed to me that my relationships come first, and my current studies come second, and that my business therefore comes third. The consequence is that it may take me longer to develop my business, but it means that I don’t fail anything in my degree and it means that I don’t end up with a disgruntled partner, family, or group of friends,

            I hate the condescension that seems to be so ubiquitous among the platinums and above. Some of the IDA material encourages you to believe that if somebody claims they don’t have the time or interest for this business that they’re going to “lose in life”, which is complete and utter nonsense.

        2. Not sure why having a job and retiring at 65 is a problem. I hear about all these Amway folks having tons of money but they don’t appear to be retired either. Is that the goal they speak of when presenting the business?

          1. Brad, we each have our own goals, our own why. In a business presentation many potential goals may be offered and/or solicited. The question asked may be, “Why work for someone else and retire at age 65?” Why not do something on the side that will potentially make you enough money that you can decide when and if you want to retire? What would be one of your goals if money was not an issue?

            I am 69 years old. Many of my Diamond friends are about the same age. We have fun helping others make money. (I am having fun writing to you! At the same time I may be helping others. My time is to use as I see fit.) To whom much is given, much is required. Sow and reap. ” Give and it shall be returned…”

            Building any kind of successful business takes “a lot of hard work.” When you enjoy what you are doing, it doesn’t seem so much like work. Amway’s philosophy of “People Helping People” makes the “work” enjoyable. its all in what you believe. You have to think outside the box. Stretch a little more than what seems comfortable.

          2. Most presentations I’ve seen talking about having more choices and options to do as you please. That might be building Amway, it might be doing something else. I personally know a platinum, a diamond, and a CA that pretty much took a decade off from building Amway because they wanted to prioritise other things. None of them need to build Amway for money – the platinum built a very successful traditional business during that decade – but all of them are back building Amway businesses again because they choose to.

          3. There is definitely nothing wrong with having a job and retiring at 65. Nor is there a problem with someone doing a business. Different strokes for different folks. That’s my mantra.

          4. because they dedicate time to inspire others with their own stories and motivate others to do the same. My uncle is in this business and works only to speak at seminars and inspire others. And retiring at 65 sounds great right, but not so much when your monthly checks don’t amount to much. You work your entire life to live average. Who wants that. Why not try everything that will help you reach your real dreams.

      2. Sudha, if you are truly supportive of your boyfriend, don’t place conditions on that support. If others are not supportive, then don’t talk about “the business” when you are around them. Only talk about what they are interested in. That doesn’t mean you have to cut them off. They are still your friends! They just have different interest, that’s all. The two of you get to chose your priorities. Of course they are going to be different than your friends’ priorities.

        Once you have established a clear and concise WHY for building your business, it will be easier to do so. Your WHY will allow you to FOCUS your energy on what you BELIEVE is important.

        A friend recommended a book recently that re-energized me. Perhaps it will do the same for you. Larry Winters, a very successful Double Diamond wrote: “LIVE THE DREAM, No More Excuses”. I’ve read it twice, already.

    2. Sadly, some Amway reps do get pressured to cut off “negative people.” That was my experience when I was an Amway rep.

      That being said, most “new” businesses of any kind take an incredible amount of work, especially during the first few years. Most new traditional business owners work 60 to 80 hours a week for their first few years, if not more. Many of them never get out of that routine.

      All that being said, I do believe that balance is the key to long-term success and happiness. I own several businesses in different niches, but I make sure I set aside time every day for my wife. I also set aside time to read, swim, relax, watch a few of my favorite television shows, etc.

      I’ve found that when people spend too much time on any type of business they often get burnt out. I like the marathon approach of being steady and constant, rather than the sprint, where you end up getting burnt out and quit in six to twelve months.

      Just my thoughts.

  6. Hi

    I read both sides of the story and all the confusing mambo jumbo and lack of information and finally came to an conclusion….

    Bugger Amway – if you are prepared to work hard selling ANY PRODUCT after hours OR earning commissions OR having a second job, You'”ll :

    – earn real money,
    – be a business owner,
    – and be able to employ others to do it in the future…

    So if anything – the motivational principles are what people need (available in books), then simply lift you fat arse and “get the products to the market”. – no funny structure, commissions, oplines etc… Once big enough – employ people… Simple as pie!

    1. sure, that’s an option, but extremely difficult to do part-time with little capital investment and then you have all the management overhead. Even ignoring the work involved with employees, Where, for $50/yr (free in some markets!) can you get a $12 billion multinational to handle all your billing, collections, deliveries, website design, R&D, advertising etc etc etc?

      Simple? Really? Ever done it?

      1. The points you just made are the real beauty of network marketing. I’ve owned traditional businesses and there are so many things to do: payroll, invoicing, collecting payments, deliveries, customer service and so much more. Network marketing companies do all that for you and you can focus on marketing, recruiting and customer acquisition. It’s not everyone, but it’s a pretty darn good deal.

  7. I love facts, stats and commonsense.
    Thanks a bunch IBOFB!!!
    Your posture is awesome and your unbiased and analytical approach is wonderful.
    Hoping to one day have a long (non-cross lining) chat with you in the incredible future sometime if our paths would cross.
    I like how your mind ticks and this website just puts it in a simple way.
    The biggest point being that YOU actually have to DO something to be SUCCESSFUL in business, any business or anything in life!

  8. This was helpful somewhat. Basically for whatever reason less than 1% of people ever make much but if they do get a downline and if they qualify for a bonus then I would be able to make it.

    But when I speak to the ones who have done it, they are not Q12.

    Also I’m not sure if you are sayi g that because of those factors Otis really 1-35 chance of you making it if you do what they ask (bring someone in and get a bonus).

    The more I read, the more I am inclined to think that Amway is not for me. There is just too much need to prove that it’s not a pyramid and not a scheme. Granted that most people won’t push themselves to platnium so they are not really competition and you do get out of it what you put into it, I’m still getting the feeling of scam.

    There should be 3 level, customer, prefered customer and IBO (of which is not really independent but co-dependent). This way it’s doesn’t look like the IBO is customer but is a distributor. Also allows for not getting to a point of oversaturation.

    BTW if MLM is the best way to go, why don’t more companies do it? Why doesn’t McDonald’s or Staples do the same thing?

    1. (1) regarding “proving” it’s not a pyramid/scheme, you’ll find the people who think that will *never* be convinced of otherwise, so it’s rarely worth much effort trying to do so. The irony is, in my experience the people most likely to claim things like this are often also the least successful people in their lives so far! People experienced in business rarely respond in that way.
      (2) regarding customer/preferred customer/IBO, the problem is what to do with people who want to change? What if you work this month to build the business, then have personal challenges and just buy the products for 6 months or 6 years or whatever then want to build again? How do you define the different groups and over what time period? And given it’s really only the anti-mlm zealots who are worried about it, why make the effort anyway?
      (3) MLM is not suited to every type of product or market, you need enough profit margin to support the agents. Things like nutrition and skin care/cosmetics are high margin products, so there’s enough profit to support the business model. The model also offers advantages in that trained agents can provide individual service and support to customers, explaining why and how the products are different to what you find on regular retail store shelves. It clearly works as Amway is the #1 nutritional company in the world. Someone suggested to me the other day that MLM/direct sales was a bad an unnecessary model for skin care/cosmetics since companies like Revlon do just fine without it. I looked up the annual reports and discovered Avon , an mlm/direct seller, does nearly 10 times the sales of Revlon! Amway, with it’s Artistry brand, is one of the top 5 premium brands in the world. The business model works.
      (4) The big secret of MLM is that hardly anybody actually does it seriously. Even fewer do it seriously for a sustained period of time. Those that do nearly all make a success of it. Be careful in evaluating what others are doing though. I had a gal in my organisation whom I thought was working hard but seemed to be getting nowhere. Eventually we managed to sit down with her and talk about what she’d been doing. We discovered that in the previous year she’d only done 15 presentations. That’s what we recommend for a decent month! Undoubtedly her friends and family may have thought she was working hard and failing too, but the reality is she was just looking like she was, attending meetings and talking a good talk, but she wasn’t doing the work. Like any business it doesn’t work without work. Heck, if it was easy there’d be no money in it 🙂

      1. 1) So you are so experienced with who is successful and not successful? Just because the Amway affiliated organization tells you that people who don’t join Amway are losers, doesn’t mean that this is the truth, just like when the tinfoil hat wearing guy living in a trailer on the mountain tells you lizard men who can read your mind run the governments, you probably don’t believe him.

        2) Anti-MLM zealots, is that what you are told anyone who doesn’t want in are? The vast vast majority of people avoid these things, because 99% of people don’t make money with Amway. Talk to anyone who isn’t in your MLM group, and see what they thing of Amway. Granted, not everyone is successful financially, but I know several people who are, who have looked at the Amway scheme, and seen how absurd it is.

        3) Not much to say here, except it is Nutrilite that is a huge nutrition company, which sells its products through Amway, not Amway itself.

        4) There actually isn’t too much money in it (except for the business owners of course), even for diamonds. You can make a fair amount, but one diamond made $200,000 in one year for generating sales of $120mil between him and his downlines.

        1. 1) I have heard the “people who don’t join Amway are losers” thing only from people like you. I’ve never once heard it from any of the leaders in the organization I affiliate with, and I’ve heard Amway corporate leaders actively decry such descriptions. Have some people acted like that? Sure, it would seem so – but they don’t represent the vast majority of people who work with Amway.
          2a) Anti-mlm zealots aren’t people who don’t want to join. It’s people like Joecool who runs multiple blogs and posts and comments against Amway and MLM virtually every day and has done for nigh on a decade. Anti-mlm zealots are people like Robert FitzPatrick and Jon Taylor, who actively lie about how legitimate MLM operates and make a living out of promoting themselves as “experts”, despite having no claim to such a title, and having in fact been rejected as such by several official bodies.
          2b) There are numerous books by independent experts in business and marketing on Amway and multilevel marketing. They see it as a brilliant marketing plan, not “absurd”. It’s why billionaires like Buffet and Soros own MLM companies, and why the likes of Ichan, Soros and others are actively investing in MLM companies, fighting against the BS of the anti-mlm zealots like FitzPatrick (who is advising Ackman in his ill-advised short). You might want to try reading real experts instead of self-proclaimed self-promoting bloggers.
          2c) The vast majority of people who actually do Amway make money.
          2d) You apparently are not very aware of how Amway works – the entire marketing plan is based around talking to people who aren’t part of “your MLM group”. We see what they think all the time. Independent research, such as that conducted by the University of Westminster a few years back, find that the majority of people who have actually had an experience with a direct selling company (most of which use MLM) either as a distributor or client are positive to the industry. What they found was that the people with negative views rarely had any actual personal experience!
          3) Nutrilite is a division of Amway Corporation. You apparently do not know much about the company at all.
          4) The average Founders Diamond in the US makes over $590,000/yr, not $200,000. Minimum sales to qualify as a new in in-market Founders Diamond (obviously with a lower than average income) is around $1.6 million, not $120 million. Their downline earn more than 25% of those sales in bonuses and rebates. The Diamond gets around 6%.

          All of which would suggest you need to spend a lot more time reading knowledgeable actual experts about Amway and less time writing comments that do little but display your lack of knowledge.

          1. One question I posed to Diamonds when I did Amway: show me your income and balance sheets for the past 5 years. Show the revenue breakout by type, i.e. percentage from sale of tapes and motivational materials, retail sales to distributors, and retail sales to non distributors. I asked this to see how most of the income was generated…not one of them answered…if the organization is supposed to generate income by retail sales to non distributors, why no answer?

          2. Raj, perhaps they don’t answer because of how and what you asked? Lets start with your premise – an organisation is supposed to generate income by retail sales to non-distributors. That’s simply not true. Network marketing is based substantially on building consumer networks, ie consumption by active and inactive distributors. It has always been the case and was acknowledged with no issue by the Commissioner in FTC vs Amway nearly 40 years ago. Anti-mlmers have promoted this myth as a “gotcha”, so it may very well be you’re giving a signal you’re not asking a serious question wanting an answer. You’re just wanting to do “gotcha!” based on ignorance.

            Then of course, a Diamond has no idea whether products their downline buy is used personally or for sale, just like a wholesaler in any other industry has no idea what happens to the products a distributor or retailer buys off them.

            So from my perspective it sounds like your asking for highly confidential information in a way that suggests you’re not asking for any legitimate reason, you’re simply asking in order to be disruptive and a pain in the a**.

            But I’m curious – how did you ask them and “get no answer?” Did they just turn and walk away? Stare blanking at you? How did they “not answer”?

          3. Raj, I didn’t see a question; rather I saw a rude demand for confidential information. That is the kind of information a traditional business will only expose to a potential buyer of said business.This is the kind of demand we usually only see from skeptical individuals who have no intention of becoming involved in “the Amway business.” There is no practical use in answering somebody seeking this kind of information.and your Diamonds were correct finding it frivolous. I will agree that their reported “no answer” (silence) might seem unsatisfactory to you. However, it is none of your business. How would you like them to politely tell you that? Were you then prepared to start an argument? Did you ask them in private or was it in public? If you were to ask one in private, I would suspect you would get an explanation; but not in public. You asked publicly, didn’t you? Why would you do that?

        2. YouknowThings should have used, “Idon’tknowThings.”

          People who don’t become Amway IBOs are not “losers.” They do lose out on the chance to make some extra income marketing Amway products. Different strokes for different folks. We should love all people. Love doesn’t criticise.

          Smart recruiters respect their “No’s” and attempt to make customers of them. The get rich quick crowd love money and use people. They don’t usually last very long. They are the real “losers” for the way treat people.

          Amway’s philosophy has always been, “People helping people help themselves.” If one helps enough other people get what they want, one will eventually get what they want. If you love people, you will want to help them.

    2. Macdonalds is a franchise which pays royalties similiar to MLM systems. In regards to pyramid schemes I think you should take a look at how every corporation in the world is set up,
      CEO x 1
      Directors x2-3
      State Managers x 5-6
      Regional Managers x 10
      Branch Managers x20
      Supervisors x20
      Workers by the plenty all working to pay the CEO there millions of dollars in incentive bonuses. I think that is the pyramid that every one is in and they try to make it sound the opposite as MLM are competitors.

  9. I am an IBO of 3 years and still going. What I have learned is that you have understand that your greatest investment is you. You are going to have to put money into the very asset that you own before you will get back a profitable award. Its just like farming. You have to plant the seeds, establish patience, and you will reap the harvest next season. It is a 2-5 year plan which has improved since the 1990s. With World Wide Group and an even more profitable compensation plan called Fast Track, IBOS are given great opportunity for immediate benefits. You just can’t quit. Keep going. Thats with anything you do in life. Its like a stone mason cracking at a rock all day. Others may not see any progress on the outside but on the inside of that rock there is alot of activity going on. When most people would give up the stone mason cracks at the rock one more time and next thing you know the rock breaks open and there is a diamond inside. The system works. If it didnt then why am I getting paid bonus checks every month? Should I send the checks back?

  10. i won’t say “scam” but i left quixtar in 2004 after becoming an ibo in 2002. My wife and I invested quite a lot into our ibo and we actually were able to establish a downline of 3 but thats as far as it went, when i finally gave up i was way in the hole and when i could’nt afford to “tools” i was chastised by my platnuim.. just my 2 cents. Michael

    1. Sorry to hear about your experience, Michael. Hopefully, you learned some valuable life and business lessons from your experience that you can use in future endeavors.

  11. i really like where this article is going…. man people quit and dont have determination or drive to continue when they are doing bad… but if you believe and cont. and strife to what your real goal is. Your investment and time and sweat will pay off

    1. People quit many things in life. People quit marriages, weight loss plans, saving for retirement and many people even quit their New Year’s resolution within a day or two. It’s just human nature to quit. It has nothing to do with Amway, business or network marketing.

    1. Seriously? A 20 year old webpage with a poorly done statistical analysis leading to false conclusions is “useful”? And from a country you don’t even live in? Makes one wonder if you’re just trying to spam your “competitor” website link … (which I have edited)

  12. I guess a factor to take out of this is that starting IBOs who don’t have a steady stream of points from a downline get a hard time since they don’t always have anything to show. Then they get added as one of these statistics. That’s what I found the hard way throughout the past summer and this current school year.

    1. It’s tough at the beginning of any business. You have to work hard for little or no reward. The thing with Amway and other MLMs is that, unlike another business where you may have invested thousands or tens of thousands, it’s really easy not to do.

      1. Isn’t that the truth? Most people who complain about not making much, or any money during their first year in Amway (or any MLM) have never owned a traditional business before where you have to invest $10k to $100k or more JUST to get started. And most people who do that gave up their full time income source to get started in their business, and they still don’t expect to make money their first couple years. Building ANY type of successful business is hard work and not for the feint at heart. Don’t believe me? Just drive through any town in America and look at all the vacant building and closed down businesses.

        What I love about MLM is that you can do it part-time while you keep your day job. The risk is minimal and the upside is huge. Very few businesses offer you those options.

        Just my thoughts.

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