If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
I consider myself a fairly smart individual so I'm actually a little embarrassed that I fell for this "fantasy" called Amway. They have created an on line version of this scheme now called Quixtar but that was just coming out when we parted ways.
For those of you who don't know, this is a multi level marketing business that relies on selling to people you know, then they sell to people they know and on and on. You are given "gem" names to represent where you are in the business regarding your sales to further inflate your ego and create more false security. Ruby & Sapphire's are mid range but the big goal is to make "Diamond" and then there is also "Double Diamond", aren't you intrigued?
How do you get "sucked in"?
This part is really easy if you let yourself. Usually one of your friends that is already involved will "bait the hook" first and after you are really interested then they will set up a meeting with you, them and their "upline" distributor, usually a ruby or diamond. "Upline is the name given to everyone a head of you and "downline" is for those beneath you. You are assigned to a team and you are all interconnected. Next they will fill your head with how rich you can get and how soon you can retire from that crappy job that you hate and be financially secure for life. The fact that "he" was still working G.E. and was a 7 yr "business" owner should have made me scratch my head but oh well? The last step was to pay your start up fee, which I think at the time was 75.00 and presto, my wife and I were now independent business owners.
How do you make money?
By now if everyone had done their jobs right in "brainwashing" you then you should be so fired up to spread the great news to all of your family and friends, so you can all retire and live on an island somewhere sipping marguritas. Sadly for us none of our family or friends fell for the business part but did purchase some of the products, which we did get a small percentage of.
How you make money and how you really make money are two separate entities entirely.
You are taught that you sell the high quality products such as their vitamin, cleaner & jewelry lines to everyone you know and you profit from the sales. This is true but the products are overpriced and your "cut" is very little. I will admit that the products are high quality and not junk. We continued to buy some of the popular dishwashing detergents even after we quit. In addition, you were basically required to accumulate a certain amount of "FV" per month by buying the products yourselves. Each product held a different FV value. I don't remember how much we spent a month but it was a good amount. A few times because of money stress, which will happen eventually, we didn't make our FV for the month and would have thought we killed our friends dog, it was quite the disappointment to them. Of course it would be, they weren't getting their usual cut? It was amazing to me how dumb we were to financially strap ourselves to not risk making our "friends" unhappy.
The real way you make money!
The number one way for brainwashing to be effective is you have to keep the person constantly exposed. If they get a minute to think on their own then they will come to their senses. They had this covered. There were meetings every Monday night for a few hours at a select meeting or reception hall. Everyone would wear their business attire and bring their 5.00 a person fee, notebook, laptop or whatever you could jot down some infinite wisdom from your superiors.
From the meetings came the big events called "functions". These were anywhere from a few states away at a stadium or convention center and there were thousands that attended. Each one of these were a few hundred bucks. You had to go to all of these or you were a "loser" and didn't want your dream bad enough. I remember someone who risked losing his day job to go because of immense peer pressure from his leaders. They could care less if you lost your job, screwed up your marriage or life, you just had to be there!! We fell for this too and I even joined a bunch of people and slept outside in the cold on the concrete in sleeping bags the night before to get those front row seats, "was I an idiot"? That was a blessing in disguise because that is when I re inhabited my brain again, realized how stupid we've been and my wife and I left before the dumb thing ever started. We wasted the money and gas but we were happy to have broken free. These functions were just hours and hours of top rated sellers telling you all of their BS about how rich they were and how many cars and houses they had etc. It always struck me funny that none of these so called millionaires never appeared on the Forbes magazine "rich list of wealthiest people". These were full of applause, chants etc and fully resembled a cult gathering.
Back to more brainwashing. We had the meetings, and functions but we needed daily stimulation so how about books and tapes. There were tons of both of these materials that you were expected to purchase regularly. I think a new set of tapes came out each week. They were basically highlights from the functions with more "I'm rich" bragging. You were told to listen to these as much as humanly possible. At home, work, in your car, before you go to bed etc. The books were all disguised as "self help" and motivationals but really were clever ways to screw people over without them realizing it and making money off of them to boot.
I used to get defensive when this was called a cult. But looking back, that is exactly what it was. The more you exposed yourself, the deeper you got and it was hard to break free. Its kind of scary if you think about it.
Lets sum all of this up. You join, you are a business. Your friends join and become your "downline". You buy products at a discount and supposedly save money. Your friends buy the products, you make money off of them. The more you buy, the poorer you get but the "richer" your "upline" gets. Throw in the books, tapes, functions, meetings and you are headed for financial ruin, if you both have good jobs. If you are a young single person working part time somewhere then kiss goodbye your apartment, job, food, etc. Luckily we were at least smart enough to not bankrupt ourselves but our finances definitely took a big hit. Their excuse was the usual rant, "you have to spend it to earn it", "work now, play later". We saw some marriages in trouble, friendships end etc. In fact, we lost our two friends that got us involved after we quit. You were also highly encouraged to disassociate yourself from quitters because they will "try to steal your dream". This really hurt our feelings that we were treated this way by them. It was years later, after they finally quit that we became friends again. Needless to say we never dumped any of our non believing friends so at least we were smart enough to know the value of a friendship.
I'm sure these ploys are still out there, I know Amway/Quixtar is but most of our past team has been disbanded. Just be careful and realize there are no get rich quick plans that really work. The only growth you see from this is your stress level and your debt.
dangITjim on June 03, 2012:
I love the haters of the amway business that call it a cult or scam. I use this site as a marketing tool for people who are interested in becoming a part of this business. I encourage people to find information there looking for and they way you guys slam the amway business really sells the business, because of the lack of effort on the failure end of the unsuccessful IBO. So i wanted to thank you for making my business more successful. Good luck with all your goals and ambitions and i hope you all to success with or without amway!
Tt on June 03, 2012:
I came across your article while doing some research on amway, and to be honest it sounds like you had a horrible upline. Sorry you and others have had bad experiences. I've been in amway for 1 year now and love it. Through the business I've been able to strengthen my relationships not just with my family but with all of my friends. I've had 2 promotions at work and I am now the assistant manager for a major retail store at the mall. I just turned 19 and I'm proud to say I'm in amway. Through the development system I quit drugs, and have become a leader. I run about 2-3000 pv a month now, and the money earned from that has helped me make my business bigger at no charge to me because I use the profit from my business to invest back into it. So I can't relate to any of those problems. I don't understand what you mean about "brainwashing" I attend major functions and I am still the same person. I'm just more of an uplifter towards people nowadays versus my old introvert awkward self. Sorry you guys had a bad experience, but that doesn't take away from the fact that people have bad experiences with all aspects of life. Such as marriage or even a job. Financial freedom is there for the ones who are willing to do what others will not do. It's true in all success, and I'm proud to say that thanks to this business it has retired my mother who has been slaving away at her job. And its "Pv" not "FV" just so you know, and the reason why the people in the business are not in Forbes is because they are not billionaires. If you look at the magazine you'll notice how the richest people are billionaires. There are 8 billion people in the world and only 500 make it in that magazine buddy. People in the amway business are millionaires. Your knowledge of the business is questionable and I know that people will see it for truth that it is. I just wanted to throw in my own positive experience that has been incorporated from my own experiences. I hope that you can someday bless your family with riches other than materialism, and create a wonderful legacy for them to follow. Good luck and God bless.
Andyandy on June 03, 2012:
But why even writ it then? You should have suspected this would happen. The supporters do not want anyone sending a false message to people who haven't even joined. You have chasen how to view the business and you have followers just as the supporters do. Don't like it don't post it...
strkngfang (author) on June 03, 2012:
I can only speak from personal experience, along with dozens of others. I was involved in the late 90's for 2 yrs. If things have turned 360 since then, that is great and best of luck to the newer generation and more power to them. This isn't about research, I'm not doing a bookreport, this is MY experience, I was there!!!!!!! I don't understand why all of the strong supporters of this would even comment in the first place? Why read an "anti" site when you are "pro", doesn't make much sense to me???
Rev on June 03, 2012:
I am not an Independent Business Person for Amway, I did not register myself 15 years ago because the products were very expensive at that time, now I am considering the idea so that they (Amway) put the prices down anmd they change the business distribution system. Just a note... More that 30 years in the market around the world and still alive, and I have known people living just for it, 5k in their pocket a month, for sure other people do not know how to make the business. Probably people that say MLM co are scams, did not do what they have done.
bcballer25 on June 03, 2012:
I've recently joined what you call a "scam" and I will admit it seems like a scam. But here is the difference' groups like Quixtar and other early 80 and 90 "amway groups" we're nothing of amway. They simpily started as and IBO and made it into a pyramid scheme from there. That's why they have been disbanded and no longer around and YES some of the higher up Amway employees were involved. So do your research.
Here's the difference, My group so called is URAA, idk what it stands for or anything like that but what I do understand that it is just the local groups name here in Michigan, we also sell; Bestbuy, Barnes and noble, sears, k mart, bass pro shops and many more companies products. AND yes we can sign people up under us and YES we get more money this way but we don't get their money. If I sponsor somebody under me and they make the monthly total I get a 3% bonus on my total revenue plus my commission while they get their full commission as well. There are no limits that I have to spend monthly to stay a IBO or to get my money. I get a bonus if I meet the total that is all same with people under me.
They do tell us that with hardwork we will be able to not retire but more limit the time we need to work for retail or for a company. My sponsor's sponsor. Makes 150k+ a month with amway and his regular job. But he has been working hard at it for at least 7-8 years now.
So my time if you wanna know what a scam is with this kind of sales or business? Don't join anything were there person who signs you up GETS any of the money YOU worked for. When they tell you that, you know it's a pyramid scheme. I'm sorry to hear that your group strkngfang was one of the shady ones but don't slam Amway for an average corrupt greedy persons scheme.
drspaniel from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on June 03, 2012:
It's not a matter of get screwed... The only time when you get "screwed" by the company is when they tell you that you are going to make money with this instantly. That's rubbish! My parents were involved in this business for over 10 years, and when they finally got to Diamond status, they were earning much over £2,000 a month extra. But it took time...
It also took a lot of work and travelling, but as does everything in life, it eventually paid off quite handsomely.
I think that main issue with this business, is that people aren't willing to put in the required work to make it work, and those people who expected huge results within weeks were evidently disappointed.
strkngfang (author) on June 03, 2012:
To the small handful of people that became successful at this, kudos to you. But based on the responses on here, you are greatly outnumbered by the ones who got screwed.
I don't blame anyone but myself for being so stupid and gullible to fall for this.
bell on June 03, 2012:
i hav been asked to join as an IBO through my team mak and amway has anyone else done this and who did they find out about it and how and how did it go for u????????
sue on June 03, 2012:
im with amway have been for maybe 2 months let me know more
Not everyone on June 02, 2012:
I am not saying it is isolated, it has happened to many people, yes. Its not just the uplines fault but many people that are lazy,don't talk about there business, or not move past marketing to there family is why they fail. They aren't motivated to succeed, They don't create there own life, they lack direction for there own dream's. You can really only blame the upline for sponsoring them in the business. Its your choice how you run your business, the model they give you is a great one but that doesn't always work for people. Sometimes you gotta think outside of the box.
BY MOM & POP store, its the understanding of having a small business to succeed in the world you gotta work at it. not everything is a hand out. you have to work at it, it doesn't just pop up one day, to become successful well that takes time.
My Business is complete marketing, and i've lasted a lot longer then a month, For me i market to family owned venue's, Beauty schools, and gyms. Those are some of the most over looked people to talk to when people are in this business. I have never once bought a cd or gone and paid for any event, house meeting, or Regional rally. I don't sell people because i've never sponsored anyone into the business.
I am very sorry you had such a bad time with amway. along with others like you. This business just wasn't for you or them. You should have looked at everything before you join, it sounds like you jumped on the concept of it, being so easy to make money. Can you really blame someone else for your own failures?
Mohit on June 02, 2012:
I like the hub and agreed. It is highly needed to encourage the people not to be involved in such rootless perception of becoming rich easily and not hard work.
petery on June 02, 2012:
I am writing from Australia and want to make a few comments.
I went to amway seminar many years ago, when I was short of money and had a friend eager to get me involved.
I listened at seminar,but only ended by buying products.Good products, but in my lifestyle did not use several of them very often. I did not go back ever for replacements. My friend who sold them to me hoping to turn it into business,never offered them again.
why I did not get involved? I needed new stream of income quickly, and did not have time to wait while business got established.Better off with second job, as while it was good to have a dream, It would not pay my bills now.Am way's ideas of successes based on dreams, and not on reality as it existed for me then.
also, realized that if I did become successful distributor I was going to have all my time taken up delivering product,and offering service. I needed a partner, and noted that all successful amway distributors had partners.A one man home business was not going to work,so I decided to not become involved.
I did not feel an inferior person, a loser or failure because I did not become amway entrepreneur.The circumstances were not right for me to be a success at amway dream,which might have turned into a nightmare most likely.
I did not know as a proud Aussie that the name Amway was an abbreviation for AmericanWay and this would have been another reason not to get involved had I known at the time. sometimes I believe Australians can do things better than Americans.
strkngfang (author) on June 02, 2012:
Thats too funny, it probably promised we would all be on a tropical island somewhere sipping marguaritas too :)
James Roberts from Summerville, Georgia on June 02, 2012:
I was sucked in over 20 years ago. One of the things that stood out was on one of those "motivational" tapes they give you to listen to. On the tape the man said by the year 2000 amway will have put Walmart and the other big box stores out of business. LOL
strkngfang (author) on June 02, 2012:
NotEveryone & Norah'sNikes- This isn't just my own isolated incident, there are literally hundreds that have had this happen to them. Do you really think it is everyones bad luck with their upline?
You obviously have never been a part of it because it is not run like a "Mom & Pop" store. A large percentage of your profit doesn't come from the product line, it comes from selling books, tapes,and pressuring people to attend functions, meetings and conventions. If you were strictly marketing products you wouldn't last a month, you have to buy more than you sell to keep your minimum level of "PV" up. Its all about deceiving people and stealing their money for your own gain. Maybe 50 yrs a go when they would do it door to door it was legit but not anymore. I hardly think that Walmart, American Eagle, Tupperware etc, make their living out of deceit, they actually market and sell products instead of people.
Norah's Nikes on June 02, 2012:
Amway is not for everyones cup of tea. Mainly im hearing dissapointments about your own personal experiences with Amway. Leading to bad business manangement, having no support, bad communication skills with people,just losing the focus of achiving your goals within your adventure together. If you have a bad experience of course you will want to tell the world & we are good at that. Its like i ordered a meal from Mac Donalds & the meat was not cooked or receiving bad customer service. So one complaint leads to "bad news" iv'e done it. That's right Tupperware, Mary K, Herbalife, etc are duplicates... over 50 yrs experience from Amway. I joined for many reason & saw the potential,we had our ups & downs we made it today Amway works for us because we believe its works the recurring income is just awesome but the products are the BEST. Like i said its not for everyone. That's right listen to the opinions & research it first.
Not everyone on June 01, 2012:
Its sad too read all of your disappointment with the Amway system, almost 90% of everyone's complaint really is there Upline. Is it not? its crazy to me how it seems to be the lazy people who always have the issue. really its not hard at all, You market your products that you use and people ask about it. If you treat it like a mom and pop store you make pretty good money and grow an awesome Business, LIKE FRED MEYER, WAL-MART, JC PENNY, AND SO ON... JUST TO NAME A FEW. A Business doesn't grow overnight but rather a period of time depending on you and you capability of talking to people about your business. NOTHING AND I REPEAT NOTHING IS A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME, THAT SIMPLY DOESN'T EXIST PERIOD. Rich people don't get rich by finding schemes but by creating systems that work that can be duplicated for anyone to do. That's what 100% of successful company's do (Intel, Nike, American Eagle, ect..) they all use systems to succeed! HOPE THAT HELPS YOU OUT.
John on June 01, 2012:
Its a scam, when I was in the army this one guy every day would try and talk me into joining when I got out of the army and went home I thought I was away from that messuntill one of my friends said he was going to a meeting about it, I knew every word the guy said before he said it cause they all use the same story, taking about what you would like in ten years then talk about hamburger university, mcdonalds runs. Needless to say I talked my friend out of joining. If it wasn't a scam how come they all tell the same story?
Ryan Mankiewicz from illinois on June 01, 2012:
So true! Me and my boyfriend got scammed into it and we paid like 150 bucks to go to some seminar in Peoria. This opportunity that comes once in a lifetime, blah blah. Don't miss it! haha well The minute we had time to think by ourselves we were like, what are we doing here?? And talked about it with other people and they told us we weren't allowed to talk to other "legs" but really they knew we were going to take people with us and leave haha. Biggest rip off ever.
strkngfang (author) on June 01, 2012:
I've done the same thing, cut your losses and moved on. I suppose if they were "real" friends that they would still be with you. I was lucky and kept all of my long time friends and only lost a few that I thought were real, but obviously not.
gardinergirl on May 31, 2012:
I appreciate your thoughts, however I have not unfriended my friends because they joined Amway, they have unfriended me because they joined Amway. I too have joined new things and changed jobs in my life and fully understand that people's lives change in many ways but this is different in my opinion, I have a variety of friends for many reasons and just because I make new friends I don't ditch my old friends. I find it very interesting also that people who are involved in Amway seem to not be able to handle any criticism towards it whatsoever, it is like it is a personal attack, always that someone is trying to kill their dream. Anyway, I am done trying to figure it out but don't think that I ever will and have decided to quit wasting any more energy on it and will be there for my friends if they choose to have me in their life again other than that there is not much else I can do
vanvan on May 31, 2012:
I think people think it's a scam but only if they were told that they didn't have to work at all.
I think amway works if you put lots of effort into it and not everyone is ready for that. I don't think i'm ready either.
But most people when they go into this sort of thing want to change their life so it's probably why they stop contact with old 'friends' or people who just don't share their world view anymore. It's just as likely you unfriend those people who join MLM because it's not your cup of tea.
It's just the way life is. people change and if you join something, you need to research it yourself.
gardinergirl on May 31, 2012:
I agree with strkngfang 100% and would like to add that manny seems to have been drinking a lot of the Amway kool aid. My friends who have totally cut me out of their lives because I have no interest in holding down my regular "safe and secure job" during the day and then spending all of my spare time being indocterinated with Amway message by going to meetings and travelling across the country to hear "amazing" motivational speakers" - from what I understand this is costing them a lot of money and they are now remortgaging their house to be able to afford all of this - I am not seeing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for them, I see them worrying about meeting their monthly quota if that is what is called - not sure doesn't matter what it is called they are stressed about it, spending their money on these trips to hear the "amazing speakers" encourage them to spend more of their money, meanwhile they seem to be neglecting their "safe and secure jobs" which will provide them with a comfortable pension in their old age - I am not trying to talk them out of any of this or crushing their dream in any way - I have not once expressed my skepticism with this whole Amway thing - I am just disappointed in them for cutting out their long time friends because we don't buy Amway products and choose not to be involved with it to the exclusion of everything else in our lives, including family and friends - I think that just because I choose not to take a risk with Amway I won't decide to kill myself and I probably won't decide to dress like a sheep and eat grass - I wonder what the Amway gurus would think of that statement by the way - not sure that fits with motivational stuff that has been spewing from my friends mouths and computers.
strkngfang (author) on May 31, 2012:
The person that wrote this, along with hundreds of others "gave up" on this because they felt "real" friends, a job to support their family & saving their marriage was more important than fake dreams.
As far as taking chances, you would be better off playing slot machines than this.
My big question has always been, if there are so many millionaires off of this, then where are they on FORBES richest people list? They don't exist, that's why.
manny on May 30, 2012:
if you want to be financially free, its all about taking risks, calculated risks. Just believe in yourself, everyone who has had bad experiences with the business only had bad experiences because they never got off their back side and took their current finances in their own hands. If your upline can get rich off this business I don't see why me or you can't? They were at some point in the position that you were at. There will always be people who want to kill peoples dreams.
Frankly, the person who wrote this will just be a statistic of the amount of people who didn't make it because they gave up and listened to the people who only seek secure and safe jobs. If you're not gonna take a risk in life and escape the rut, you might as well kill yourself or dress like a sheep and eat some grass.
johnakc from New Delhi on May 30, 2012:
Try to avoid such companies at all cost.
Purchasing any useful products is not bad from such companies but do not waste your precious time in belief of that you will get rich like Bill Gates in the next two years. You would get nothing.
gardinergirl on May 30, 2012:
strkngfang - thanks for the info, i guess it is something that i am going to have to live with as long as they are involved with Amway, it is what I suspected, I feel that they are being isolated from their friends by the total involvement with Amway
strkngfang (author) on May 29, 2012:
@gardinergirl- I hate to use the word "cult" but that is pretty much what it is. You are taught from day one, people are with you or against you, there is no middle. If you don't buy into the whole business then you are strongly encouraged to sever those relationships and to be exclusively with your new "family". My wife and I lost good friends when we finally wised up and got out. We kept our same friends as before, but were looked down upon for doing so. They were labeled "dream wreckers" and were standing in our way.
The only people that make money are the ones that have conned their family and friends and have somehow kept a chain going and its very rare.
matt on May 29, 2012:
I understand your points but great products/high prices if you can find ppl to stick to the plan you will all make money. Been doing amyway for about a year. I got a very well established downline making about $900.00/month. Its hard but worth it. Take away the extra $150.00 a month I could have saved shopping at Wal-Mart and I end up profiting about $750.00 a month and growing.
gardinergirl on May 29, 2012:
I have a friend who got into amway about six months ago and I she no longer has any contact with me, I don't really understand this, and it seems very strange, we were very close but I don't buy the products etc but also have never cut it down, but now I am really starting to believe that the loss of this friendship is because of their involvement in Amway which they like to call the business - they are always at meetings and go to large gatherings leaving their teenage children home alone for several days at a time - I am having a hard time understanding why we no longer have any contact whatsoever, just curious if anyone else has experienced this.
Allen Willette from Marin County, California on May 28, 2012:
Aside from the network marketing aspects of the company, the products are/were absolutely fantastic! We used them when I was a kid. I love you, L.O.C!
talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on May 27, 2012:
@Cyndi10 Right, besides a real/volunteering job and online writing stints, I have to admit that I'm a network marketer with the RIGHT, LEGIT company myself. My family member introduced me to the company and I knew that she did her homework on finding ways to generate an honest income. Yes, she works at a REAL job, but she's doing this and so do I.
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on May 27, 2012:
Hi, I read your article with interest. I think there are a couple of network marketing companies older than Amway: Avon and Mary Kay come to mind. And I have seen successful people in those two businesses. (I don't know anyone in Amway.) I think the model can work and it has been proven not to be a pyramid scheme. But like anything, it's work and anyone telling you otherwise is not being truthful. Like writing on Hubpages, you put a lot of work in up front and you get residuals from that if you maintain your customers. No I'm not an Amway distributor. The model of sales is just a different model. What makes it harder to succeed is that people enter with a mindset of getting rich very easily. Not going to happen and when it doesn't happen that way, the "bad press" is spread. Thanks for a well written article.
Dr Anupma Srivastava from India on May 27, 2012:
One of my junior insisted me to join the group, but thanks God I did not join. Although I use some of its product like soap, paste, cream etc. But business is impossible for me. And now your informative experience reveals the bitter truth hidden behind it.
oceansider on May 26, 2012:
I am surprised to hear that this is a scam. I knew someone who sold Amway, and I thought she must have done alright with it, but maybe not!
johnakc from New Delhi on May 26, 2012:
You know what is interesting, one person can sell such products but it is not necessary that other persons in his down line would be able to sell. I they are weak then they will be demotivated which would create a big impact on their confidence level. That is why this field is only for sales and marketing persons not for all normal persons.
strkngfang (author) on May 26, 2012:
I've never heard of anyone losing their marriages, jobs or friends over selling Avon, tupperware or Pampered Chef. They might be similar in their sales approach but not their brain washing. I've known sellers of all of the above and its vastly different.
Jen517 on May 26, 2012:
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 50 years, then you should already know how these businesses work. Tupperwear, Avon, Pampered Chef, Discovery Toys etc.... they all work the same way as Amway. You sign up, pay an initial fee for you kit or whatever, and whatever you sell your upline gets a percentage. You sign someone up, you get a percentage of what they make. Its not like you sell $150 in product and they get a portion of that 150 from you. You get the money then the company sends you a check for hour part. Some companies have a rule that you must place a certain amount of orders to remainan active but some don't. I have tried a few of these businesses and knew what the deal was with each one beforehand. I don't think you can consider it a scam when its pretty common knowledge how they work. I wasn't successful because I didn't want to and wasn't able to put the time in to book parties and promote and market myself. I know a few women who are in fact very successful in their business but they have worked at it. I am not currently involved in anything but am considering obey business so I can get a discount for myself which I've robe before when I signed up for Mary Kay. Anyway, moral of the story is, don't what you're signing up for, ask question to people who aren't part of your potential upline, from a different territory maybe who do not stand to benefit from you signing up. Like I said, every business like this works the same. Some pressure you heavily some do not. Do your research.
Dr Pandula from Norway on May 26, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this info with all as it can make people aware before committing to such scams. Voted up!
Dominique Broomfield MEd from Colorado, USA on May 26, 2012:
I agree, just some of its associates are scammy.
david on May 26, 2012:
even I don't join amway but I think Amway is a good company, two reasons why I say this, good quality products and it's the oldest direct selling company in the world and still exist until right now. scam? impossible.
talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on May 25, 2012:
I have a better job and stayed away from Amway! I volunteer, do a conventional job like flipping burgers, and write online.
johnakc from New Delhi on May 24, 2012:
I think Government should ban such organizations for the sake of the people and their valuable time and money.
There are many other ways to earn taxes too by the government.
Alex Jose from Cleveland, Ohio on May 24, 2012:
latest victim is my uncle...he sold his property to get into this and now he is left with nothing...
johnakc from New Delhi on May 24, 2012:
I have also fallen for such a MLM, Network Marketing Company few years back and wasted my two precious years and lots of money.
Bill Akleh from Vancouver on May 23, 2012:
Good to see people write about this on popular social networking forums. I have read that it is possible that there are a lot of false positive reviews written about them. Not sure if that is true or not but your warning should help people out.
Hugh Williamson from Northeast USA on May 23, 2012:
McBOV - I'm glad that you didn't get hosed by Amway like everyone else does.
Why are you not listed as a hubber on Hubpages?
nancy on May 21, 2012:
I jst heard abt Amway recently n i ws fully interested coz who doesn't want 2 b rich really?
Ness from Australia on May 20, 2012:
What I don't like about Amway is how some of my friends were trained to put the heavy sales pitch on me.It was just really persistent and they wouldn't accept my 'no' and patronized me by saying stuff like 'but I thought you wanted to make more money'
You hub shows me that I made the right decision staying clear of Amway! Thanks for sharing.
strkngfang (author) on May 20, 2012:
Thanks, everyone. It is truly amazing how so many people were affected by this and also sad at the same time. This ruined some peoples lives and marriages.
Dominique Broomfield MEd from Colorado, USA on May 19, 2012:
My husband and I tried so hard. We were hussled and pressured until we could not take anymore. I feel if you are already making six figures than you can build with others with the same. Otherwise you got to hussle people and stress about everything. I like the health products but I cannot stand the upline drama. If only I had time I could tell some horror stories.
Ruth McCollum from Lake Oswego, Oregon on May 19, 2012:
A couple in our church, befriended us just to try to suck us in. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. While I did buy some products we liked, every single time we went out to dinner, a t-ball game, soccer games for the kids , and church. All they ever wanted to talk about was amway. They didn't have money they said we'd make and you are so right. They took us (well we paid to go) to one of their seminars. they take your money for every single thing.As you stated when we wanted no part of it,our "friends" stopped speaking to us.To this day, they haven't spoken to us.
Tanuka Bhattacharjee from Cupertino on May 19, 2012:
Every single word of yours are true..My dad approximately 10-12 years back experienced the same.It used to hurt his ego to take money from our relatives who used to buy the toothpaste , toothbrush and etc and to meet the monthly target every month he used to get all detergents , shampoo etc which though good were way to expensive. So finally when he decided to quite, few of his upstream who were already Diamond them stopped talking to him......but still I believe we were saved!!
MYWIKISTEP on May 19, 2012:
It 's simple: when you work for others you will never improve your financial status at the same level of the 2-3 top owners / managers of a firm.
Fast money making is a scam. It might happen but only because you might be some kind of 18-20year super talented expert that came out with a super invention/or scientific rocket.
You need to work to make a leaving, and work more to earn more. It is so simple, but true ;-)
Steve Wright from Norwich, England on May 19, 2012:
Anyone selling retirement by the age of 30 is simply selling a dream, the moral of the story that everyone should realise in this case and so many others like it, is if something seems to good to be true..... IT IS! Interesting hub, voted up :)
NISARG MEHTA from SURAT, Gujarat, India on May 19, 2012:
interesting article... i always knew about dis n try to let people knw... its as simple as if yu r sellin a Toothpaste which has Manu cost of 30bucks and sell it at 45 which gives yu profit of 10where 5bucks may b Misc cost.. dis MLM charge 60 n after a chain of products sold of same kind dey will give 15 ,or may b 10 in sm case, back as appreciation or any blah. y knt dey simply sell it at 50 at max... still its cheaper n not cheating...?????? none was able to answer dis one.. n no1 wud be able to for sure...
Again interesting and useful as i kn use sm parts of d article in realm.... thank you.. :)
Jasmine on May 19, 2012:
Amway fooled me ten years ago. I didn't make anything, but they did! I absolutely relate to everything you wrote in your hub. Everybody should read it. Voted up!
songbirdmom from florida on May 17, 2012:
I totally agree with connex4you. My parents sold Amway when I was a kid, literally everything in the cabinet we had was amway and they made some good money from it. Its an MLM and its actually a good system if you are willing to work hard for your money in the beginning. MLMs are normally; you work a lot for little then eventually work a little for a lot.
reagu from Los Angeles on May 16, 2012:
Sadly, there are so many others. There's a big one in the financial industry. Another one in the coffee industry. Long distance / high tech as well. Been to the pitch meetings at people's home and office suites. Just couldn't make the push. Sounded too good to be true with the I'm rich videos and all.
Trinhearts on May 15, 2012:
Interesting hub I had to talk my sister out of joining this scam.
I have just begun my journey after reading many books and articles on the subject and my goal is to make 30 cents more everyday. This simple goal can equate to 20 000! the first year $80 000! the second year and 219 dollars per day from then on. I challenge everyone to join me in this journey.
NetBlots from Melbourne on February 11, 2012:
I recently joined up myself, and didn't find anything along these lines, call me lucky or what ever but here is what I've had.
Met these folks at a party of either young entreprenuers or to be entreprenuers, so we aren't rich in anyway! Anyway, a week later, this younger couple call us arrange a time to meet, come down show us what its all about, low pressure etc, tried explaining things we were already aware of, which I told her to skip over, showed us that the "business" (That's where I think it's a load of crap) can build itself, ie the put people under you etc, and you can just be dormant for a couple of years until you have a big group of people under you, giving you better discounts from buying etc.
So far they have already put someone under us, and we havn't done anything for it yet, just had a look online, and will think about buying things when we get a better rate (ie when more people are under us.)
It cost a measley $100 to join, they gave us a really nice welcome pack, and when we decide to take it seriously, we build a team to the side of us, and when its reached enough people, we take $1500 a month in our pockets (as the minimum profit share, and it only goes up from there) The people that introduced us to it are on at least 5k a month.
I think its not bad for a side project, but nothing I would pay any more attention to, as I run a web design and marketing business which I can make much more off from each sale, only they are not as on-going as the Amway project.
I've never been one for chance dreams like tattslotto, by the time you win, you've spent how much on trying to? And 95% of people will never win anything decent in their whole lives. Wouldn't it be better to learn how to make money, then have a 100% guarantee it after 10 years? Much better way to make your dreams come true in my humble honest opinion! =)
kschang from San Francisco, CA, USA on February 08, 2012:
@connex4u -- FTC sued Amway back then as a pyramid scheme and their lawyers reached a compromise, which became what's known today as the "Amway Rules" that establishes what's legal and what's not legal. It doesn't "prove" it's an ethical and solid way to make money, merely "not illegal if you do it right".
There is no denying that MLM, by its very nature, is close cousin to a pyramid scheme. It's PRIMARY DIFFERENCE is the Amway Rule: 70% of sales must be to ultimate consumer (not in the company), and company can only pay on SALES, not on recruiting.
Legitimacy has nothing to do with the "potential" of making more than your upline. Your upline is not your boss or your supervisor. He is merely your mentor and your recruiter. Thus comparison to traditional company's pyramid structure is a very bad example. Besides, sales people paid by commission very often earn more than their supervisors who don't make sales. This is NORMAL.
While having a bad upline would make for an extremely experience, you are correct, at least in part, in stating that it doesn't make Amway a scam. However, it does make Amway "prone to scammers taking advantage of noobs", and that is a flaw inherent in the MLM system itself. And do you really pin that all on the "bad apples", or does the system itself share the blame?
strkngfang (author) on February 07, 2012:
You're entitled to your own opinion just like I am. I'm not sure why you would waste your time reading something you disagreed with from the start?
connex4you on February 07, 2012:
I get really tired of people saying Amway is a scam. That it is some sort of pyramid scheme.
The truth is a pyramid scheme is where you cannot make more money than the top dog. A good example of this is a retail business. The employer, or CEO or the top dog makes more money than their workers. Thus, a pyramid scheme.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is not a scam. The business model Amway and other companies use has been PROVEN by the Federal Trade Commission to be not only ethical but a solid way for people to earn money.
I personally know of several cases where Amway Independent Business Owners have made a ton of more money than their upline sponsors.
So, if you have had a bad experience with someone in your Amway upline, quit bashing the entire company and the way they do business.
As a matter of fact, just the other day, I had a very bad shopping experience at Wal-Mart. What a scam those folks are!
strkngfang (author) on February 06, 2012:
That was 15 years a go, I'm much wiser now :)
GoingOnline on February 06, 2012:
I personally stay away from anything promising retirement by the age of 30 on a tropical island, unless it's a lottery ticket, but I can understand why people buy into it.
I've seen plenty of otherwise very sensible people falling for this kind of stuff. It's high pressure sales environment + friend pressure, difficult to resist. And your friend probably thinks he's doing you a favour, and as such he's offended if you don't accept it. Reminds me a bit (or a lot) of certain religious sects.
Thanks for writing about your experience, and hope things are better now!