The #1 problem with Amway and multilevel marketing

Amway has  a problem, a problem it shares with entire multi-level marketing industry. The result of this problem is that the vast majority of people who join Amway never make any significant money.  It’s a problem that leads to low average incomes. It’s a problem that leads to many people not renewing their memberships.

This very same problem occurs with all MLM companies. This same problem, at an industry level, also means that a large percentage, perhaps even the majority, of multilevel marketing companies are not good business opportunities and many are outright scams.

It’s a problem that, thanks to things like above, results in the multilevel marketing concept and companies like Amway having a poor reputation among many people.

What’s the #1 problem with Amway and multilevel marketing problem?

Low barriers to entry and low risk.

It’s (relatively*) easy and (relatively*) cheap to start up an MLM company. You don’t even have to pay much for marketing! You only pay your salespeople when they actually get results! So if you’re an entrepreneur who is low on cash, or got some product that can’t compete in the traditional marketplace, or even if you’ve got some scam in mind … then MLM is the strategy for you. Low risk, low cost, so if it doesn’t work out you live to fight another today.

It’s easy to startup as an agent for an MLM company. It usually only costs a few dollars, nobody checks up to see if you’re turning up for work, you can return stuff you don’t want or can’t sell. Nobody cares what degrees you have or your success or failures of the past. Why not give it a shot for a few weeks or months and see if it’s something for you? What have you got to lose? It’s just an opportunity, not a promise.

Low barriers to entry and low risk. Amway and multilevel marketing’s biggest problem – and it’s greatest strength.

* compared to traditional strategies!

21 thoughts on “The #1 problem with Amway and multilevel marketing”

  1. Anway has good but overpriced products!! The people ruin the business ! They are so money hungry and actually make all their money on the tapes they sell you and functions and books they sell you!! This is so sad because they have more functions than you can believe!! They sell the dream to be rich and they know it is a big lie! They just lost a lawsuit between 35 and 50 million that they must pay back to business owners !Most of top guys in Amway should be in prison! The business model is flawed and you never make enough to survive this great Scam!! Bad,Bad reputation!!Stay Away and Save your money or your hard earned money will be gone forever to these thieves!!!You will have more tapes and materials to fill a warehouse !! This is Truth!! Check out the latest lawsuit ! They have to pay back millions!!

    1. Gene, they did not “lose a lawsuit”, they decided to settle a lawsuit – for less than it was costing in legal fees. As part of the case the court looked at the type of claims you’re making and they discovered that the vast majority of IBOs have very few expenses, far less than the average income from Amway. Furthermore, independent administrators contacted every US IBO for a decade and offered them cash if they lost money – very very very few requested anything. The very lawsuit you are talking about has proved that very few people lose money in Amway.

    2. Gene, it is so sad that you feel that way. Many have felt the same way until they found the facts that showed them that they were mistaken.

      A dream is only important if one is willing to WORK for its accomplishment. Very few are really willing to do the hard things required to make their dreams come true. The old adage, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” holds true with people; not just people that are “in Amway.”

      We succeed when we have a well defined WHY; there must be a burning desire. Once that is firmly established, the what must be done can be learned. That comes through the process of EDUCATION – books, “tapes” (how long ago are we speaking of?), CDs, meetings, and functions. They all should teach one how to do whatever is necessary. All this is useless if there is no action to back it up. The sequence of event is important – WHY – WHAT- HOW – ACTION. Get the education first; learn about the products and then “the plan”, then act with knowledge.

      “Uplines” can only present possibilities. The probability is entirely up to the individual. It is possible that most can achieve Platinum on their own effort. The probability, based upon human nature, is they won’t. Success is a choice. Lots of effort is required. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” doesn’t apply to just sports. Most people want it to be easy and change course when faced with hard things. We all have choices when we reach the fork in the road. Remembering WHY we are on the journey will keep our eyes focused on the destination. Is it a worthwhile one? If not, one had better put some thought into choosing a new on.

      Gene, your “truth” is tinted by the glass you are looking through. Make the effort to educate yourself on all the fact; not just the ones close at hand. If you are an honest person that sincerely desires to know the truth, in-depth research will bear fruit. If you are a lazy loud-mouth, you won’t. I hope you are an honorable person with an open mind.

  2. I was introduced to the Amway business back in the 70s and was modestly successful from an income point of view. I was in the Charlie Marsh line in the Washington DC area. I still have a high re guard for the business and the people I was involved with. It helped me to grow as a person ,to develop self confidence and to learn about God. All the side benefits made it all worth while …I have absolutely no regrets and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. We went to Ada for 2 conventions when they were open to everyone and walked thru the Center for Free Enterprise before it even opened. We met Rich and Jay, who I know is now deceased. If there was anything I would have liked to be a sucess at in my life it would have been the Amway business but unfortunately it never worked out for me. Rich and Jay are and were two of the finest men that I have ever been associated with…the salt of the earth. Rich would have made a great President of this country and I would have followed him anywhere. You get out of it what you put into it and anybody who bad mouths it probably never put much effort into it and couldn’t stand the fact that they failed at it. Any way that’s my 2 cents for what it’s worth …I have no regrets other than I never was a crown direct.

    Earl Ritter

  3. I, along with quite a few of my friends have tried the amway scheme to no avail. I had some people that tried it as a full time project and the time to reward ratio is scary. I highly recommend not trying. A complete waste if time

    1. I, along with quite a few of my friends, have tried the Amway scheme successfully. I know some people that eventually did it full-time as it had replaced their previous incomes, and they tell me the time to reward ratio is scarily good! I highly recommend trying it. A great use of time. 😉

      1. it all boils down to if people want to do the work or not. Amway is NOT a get rich quick or easy model, but it is an amazing model that will work if you do the work. Too often people get into it and don’t do the work it takes, including taking advantage of the PDP materials. You will not grow a successful Amway business, or be successful at anything unless you change, it’s just that simple.
        I tried to disprove Amway over and over again, and it all comes down to lazy people, whining and not being willing to change and work.
        It’s time to put on your big boy pants and grow up. Nothing will be handed to you, but if you want to succeed, first succeed at changing you.

  4. I’ve been using Amway as a way of earning an income for over 15 years .
    Recently Amway has continued to have the right to trade in many countrys because of the amount of business trianing available to its people .
    If I had a dollar $USD pound or euro etc for every person who said they knew more about my Amway busines than me I’d be exceedingly wealthy on that income alone…most people don’t know thats’s a fact .

    But they like to big themselves up by saying they do

    All this stuff about supposed downright lies is usually just talk from people who do not have the basic knowledge to handle such questions . If you equate it to most people they will often tchange the subject when they are not sure of how to handle things .

    have a good look at the business .. pension funds are not now much good for the vast majority of many people Amway can help you there if yopu decide to use it to earn your pension /worth .
    But the effort does have to come from you and you need to be teachable and open minded .

  5. MichMan mostly very true though in all the people I taught or so taught – none were encouraged to lie – though many people didnt have the guts to say yes to THE question – is it amway? we always taught to use a “generic” invitation but if the question was asked – we would answer YES what do you know about it – the rest is pretty much as you said.

    1. We weren’t taught to lie with our contacting techniques either.

      We were simply taught to dodge, evade and deceive.

      Q: “Is this Amway?” A: “What do you know about Amway?.. (prospect gives any answer and you reply)… No. This is nothing like that.”

      BTW, the Direct Selling Association, of which Amway is a prominent member, strictly forbids withholding the name of the company then popping on people at the end of the presentation. It is a violation of their Code of Ethics.

      But the “curiosity approach” is only ONE source of Amway’s poor reputation.

      1. Whereas I would have typically said “yes, what do……” and perhaps answered with ” alot of people think that but amway today is……”

        The main problem they have now ( In Australia at least ) is greed. Products are overpriced and IBO’s treated with contempt. An amway manager once said to me ” IBOs will buy anything ( we throw at them) ”

        Im not fussed by the average income thing because the average dont actually do anything. if you join and buy all the stuff inc. tools and dont STP then more fool you. we were Platinum because we showed hundreds of plans and personally sponsored over 60 front line.

        My biggest gripe behind company greed was upline telling me that i was in control and if i win its my doing and if i lose its my fault – which after 60 frontline and no duplication and over the years 90% dropped out -is CRAP

        1. When you are self employed as a commission agent do you really need some to wipe your nose ?

          Had you made your self avaiable to further education that is available ( YES you do buy your knowledge just like all self employed people do or else you fail )then those 60 front lines may well have grown you a sizeable income for you and also for some of them as well .
          Why did you fail yourself and them …short sightedness or just plain unaware that it was your business not Amways.

          Amway ( or any other direct sales company ) are just the vehicle to get you where you want to go your the one in the driving seat .

          1. Mate did you actually read my post – the one you “responded to” ?
            or any of my others. I was one of the rare ones who do go getters – 15 stp / mth bought every cd and book and function trained did calls and was briefly on the speakers circuit! As successful in our “traditional” business as we are – i dont actually blame anyone else but I also dont believe it was “my fault” look around you davo the business is shrinking – good luck to you if yours isn’t. My point was it could be so much better if not for the corp’s greed in over pricing. by the way i was platinum and not afraid to honestly say it – whats your pin. and not bragging but stating fact my other business pays better than diamond income – maybe thats why i dont care to flog a deed horse

  6. “a large percentage, perhaps even the majority, of multilevel marketing companies are not good business opportunities and many are outright scams.

    It’s a problem that, thanks to things like above, results in the multilevel marketing concept and companies like Amway having a poor reputation among many people.”


    Amway’s reputation problems are not simply because of the actions of other mlms, although that is true to an extent.

    Amway has a bad reputation for mainly for other reasons.

    1- Amway organizations have taught distributors deceptive business invitations. For instance, a person is inviting you to a business opportunity. You ask him the name of the company…. he hems and haws…. scratches his head…. So you ask him again. “Is this Amway?” He says, “Amway? What’s Amway?” You give him your impression of Amway. He responds, “That is nothing like what we do.” Then you go to the meeting. After an hour meeting, you find out it is Amway.

    2- Amway also has a bad reputation for over-exaggerating the income made. “You can make $100,000-$250,000 in your first two years… but this is not a get rich quick scheme.” (har, har) Then as you grow in the business to Platinum and above you are taught to “fake it until you make it.” Most people figure out pretty quickly that their upline didn’t pass the smell test.

    3- Amway also has a bad reputation because for three decades it has let large organizations push support material to the point where the REAL business became selling support materials, versus building a business that sold Amway products the way Rich and Jay envisioned and designed it to be. (hopefully, things are finally changing today)

    Also, the “low average incomes” would not be such a big deal if people weren’t lured into the business with such LARGE income projections or deceptive contacting techniques. The “low average incomes” would not be such a big deal if that money was actual profit, versus money you simply had to pour back into the business to buy more and more motivational materials.

    1. Amway,per se, has no bad reputation.

      Amway has the , deserves to be, and is , an organization, an institution , with highest regards.

      It is the people who join Amway as ABO / IBO or Amway Distributor , whatever you name, the people who join lineage and the people of that lineage – what they convey to new joinee– that matters.

      New Joinee does not know anything
      Since someone has to refer and introduce a new person.
      That Guide – makes the difference

      Amway is the cleanest , The Transparent Institution and Most Ethical Organization

      Concepts are straight and clear

      Absolutely Legal, Ethical and Moral means of Incomes.

      Get Registered with Amway
      Take World Class Products at Discounted Price
      Use the Products ( after learning ; because many are not just direct-to-use products, but are Concentrates which need dilution with water )
      Feel benefits – analyze
      Continue Using them
      Refer them to other Humans
      Refer them and get them Registered with Amway
      Process goes on
      A Network of Satisfied Consumers is made
      All buy Amway Products – happily


      Since many in the Network buy products
      Amway sales happen

      Based on Turnover and
      as per Marketing Plan
      Amway pays back everyone the commissions for whatever level of %ge bracket an individual is, in the Marketing Plan

      If some individuals distort these facts
      Then Individual should own bad reputation NOT AMWAY

      We should be thankful to Amway to grant an Opportunity so that any Human can earn any amount of money desired and after certain levels – Passive Incomes

      Now comes Lineage and Support material

      Every Lineage ( Upline Team ) is associated with a Training Support System


      A person has to apply his/her mind

      Incomes projected by Amway are TRUTH

      people are enjoying the incomes




  7. This is bang on. I sometimes wish it was just a little bit more money to get involved, it would weed out the people who just want to kick the can so to speak. $100-300 dollars to start something is so minor that it doesn’t keep people honest enough to the point if they lost that kind of money oh well.

    But as you said that’s MLM’s biggest strength at the same time. keeping the costs low keeps it affordable for anyone. I think the biggest thing is finding the correct fit for these people in the MLM business. We talk about building Big Business, Small Business, Prosumer or Client. There is a cost associated with those and an easy fit for anyone. Just depends on what someone’s ambition level is.

    Great post.

    1. Interesting re the start up cost. We were talking about this a few days ago. With a very successful traditional business we are aware of start up costs and whatever we ever spent in Amway / System was a pittance in comparison to trad. bus. ( The system though was key to its success) One high profile former Diamond had made the observation that Korea was pro-rata way more successful than Australia yet charges no entrance fee or renewal. Food for thought

  8. And for the Amway business in my area, they were strong on “sales motivation” and the product line, but absolutely zero training on how to actually run a business to succeed. Without (small) business training, how can you expect to make any money (even with the low barriers to entry and low risk)?

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