Does Anyone Know About or Involved with Amway?

Updated on December 15, 2018
N.Z. asks from Los Angeles, CA
20 answers

There's a guy trying to get my husband and I to sign up. I'm highly skeptical. Does anyone have any information they can share?

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Run! Seriously. Run. They're the worst of the worst MLM pyramid scheme. And kind of a cult. Really warped.

8 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My mom got suckered into this for a time in the 1970's. It was a pyramid scheme then and I assume it's still one now. Just say NO.

6 moms found this helpful

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E.B.

answers from Denver on

I have a close friend who is deeply involved in Amway. Here's what I can tell you.

First, most people don't just join Amway. There are these related organizations set up to help people become better Amway distributors. The one my friend is in is called World Wide Dream Builders, and it's really expensive. My friend (I'll call her Kay) pays for an email distribution system called CommuniKate by which she receives motivational emails, and notices about meetings, and she pays for CDs, DVDs, books, and the monthly membership. There are four weekend retreats a year but Kay pays for the retreat, the hotel, and the food. Kay is so excited and actually gets worked up into a giddy state realizing that a new "Diamond" will take the stage. That means that they've flown in someone who has reached a prestigious level and they will be introduced to great fanfare. Kay once told me that she had gone "double" or something and that at the next meeting she would be (and I'm quoting directly) "walking the stage". She was ecstatic. I asked her what that meant, and she said she had earned two hundred points that month, and she would be lined up with other "doubles" and her name would be called and she would cross the stage and exit on the other side. The "stage" was a platform in a conference room at a local hotel. The levels that World Wide Dream Builders can reach are of course just created by World Wide. World Wide is one of Amway's Motivational Organizations, and you're expected to join that as well as Amway. You can google World Wide Dream Builders and Amway Motivational Organizations and learn more. Kay and others like her are told that in order to be successful, they need the support of these motivational organizations (which were created by Amway), and they are very enthusiastically pushed to join.

Kay is convinced that Amway has "partner stores". These are stores that offer a small (5%, maybe 10% on some large ticket items) to Amway distributors who use their Amway VISA card. Places like Home Depot, and other national chains. I told Kay that often I get discounts for some things by being a Verizon customer, or by staying at a particular hotel chain, but Amway has painted it differently. Kay says that it proves that these companies trust Amway, that it's therefore not a pyramid scheme, because otherwise Home Depot wouldn't "partner" with Amway. In reality, these places are just using free marketing - let Amway tell all it's distributors that Home Depot will give them a few dollars off, and that's really it. But it's nothing more than the deal you get by sleeping at a Comfort Inn, and Comfort Inn puts a coupon in your room for a Papa John's pizza. It's a marketing tool, not a trusted business partnership. Comfort Inn isn't partnering with Papa John's; Papa John's asked Comfort Inn if they could supply coupons to the rooms. Papa John's reaches millions of tired and hungry travelers who slump into their room after driving all day and they see this tantalizing coupon right in front of their eyes. Sure. Get Papa John's. But Amway makes it sound as though these companies are vying to get the privilege of serving Amway's distributors because of their respect for Amway.

Kay has been with Amway and World Wide for 5 years. She has yet to have a profitable month. She does what Amway calls "farming" which is going to sit at malls, coffee shops, and other populated places. She conspicuously reads Amway-sponsored books about investing, etc, and tries to strike up conversations with other patrons and with servers and cashiers. But she simply spews the Amway words. She's told not to mention Amway at first. She has been told to say "Would you like to learn about an independent business that you can be in control of? I'm being mentored by a couple who retired in their 20s as millionaires." Then if she's asked for more info, she says vague things like "it's an internet asset". I asked her what an internet asset was and she said she didn't know, but her sponsor promised that those are the words he used. Then she does these surreptitious "meet and greets" where she has been instructed to evaluate the potential Amway distributor and see if it's someone she would like to sponsor (attitude, work ethic, etc). Kay spends her days skulking around coffee shops. But she's a very extroverted person and likes striking up conversations. After 5 years, she has one or two customers who purchase Amway soaps from her, but she knows the name of every Village Inn waitress and every Starbucks barista and every cashier at Target. But is that worth it? She spends hundreds of dollars a month purchasing Amway products for herself so she can get some points and stay active as an Amway rep.

She says she's creating an independent business. But she's selling Amway products and recruiting Amway distributors. To me, an independent business owner is a person who owns their own bakery, or raises goats and produces goat cheese, or things like that.

Amway's products are very expensive. I compared their vitamins to the ones I buy and Amway is twice the price. Their cleaning products are good, I guess, but expensive.

I think the only reason to join Amway is to simply get a small discount if you already like their soaps, skin care, energy drinks, meal replacement bars, or detergents, and if you regularly purchase these things from an Amway distributor. But if the point is to become an independent business owner, to become financially stable or even wealthy, then it's not worth it. From hearing about all this from Kay (I listen to her, but don't purchase anything), I think I have figured out that the people who have become millionaires through Amway were already quite wealthy. Kay tells me about her mentors who became millionaires, and she has told me that while living on an exclusive island, with their wealthy families, they wanted to own their own businesses instead of taking over their parents' luxury private jet transport company. Kay says "see, they started over from nothing and built their own Amway business". Right. Doesn't sound like nothing to me. Kay doesn't know a single soul who was a working single mom with two jobs, or a student with student loans, or a toll booth attendant working nights and going to school during the day, or a young couple with children and rent and bills to pay, who has earned even a small income. Kay was told to invest ten years into her "business" before seeing the millions roll in.

I would advise against this as strongly as I possibly can.

10 moms found this helpful
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M.6.

answers from New York on

Run. Run away (not because it is an MLM, but because it is basically a cult).

9 moms found this helpful
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B.E.

answers from New York on

If you have the ability to listen to Podcasts, go immediately and listen to "The Dream". It will tell you everything you want to know about such Ponzie schemes....er, I mean Multi-Level Marketers. There was one episode that both made me cry and swear out loud at the cons who foist this kind of thing on gullible, vulnerable people.

6 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Your skeptical for a good reason. Steer clear of this!!!

6 moms found this helpful
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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally, I stay far far away from multilevel marketing schemes.

6 moms found this helpful
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B.A.

answers from Columbus on

The thing that I always found odd about Amway is that I have had countless people try to get me to become a distributor (or whatever the sales reps are called.) But I have never once had someone try to sell me Amway products. Its as if getting new distributors is more important than selling the actual merchandise.

5 moms found this helpful
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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

RUN...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a friend who is a Tupperware Lady. She is a good friend and would help anyone anytime with almost anything. But ... most of her conversations begin and end with Tupperware. She has tried to recruit me I gently said no.
Amway is WORSE..!!
They will do anything to suck you in .. they will harass you until you scream at them I SAID NO over and over .... then they will leave you alone for a month or two and the harassment will start again and again.
If you buy any products it's an invitation for them to tell you how much money you can save if you start selling the stuff it never ends.
Run away ....!!!!!!!!!!

4 moms found this helpful
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A.T.

answers from Nashville on

Run. a woman I knew in high school saw me at the mall and then begin showing up at places I was at. Even my church. I didn't realize it was all a set up until she drove to my town, begged me to eat dinner with her, insisted on driving to save me gas, and then spent an hour trying to get me to sign up. She finally listed everything she had done for 90 days to get me to understand she was helping me and that if I didn't sign up right now, we could not. be friends. I told her to take me home or I was calling a taxi and telling everyone about what she did. It was cultish and creepy. Plus, the products are not as good.

4 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

amway is the original multi-level marketing scheme. it was (and probably still is) HUGE in utah in the mormon community. makes me scratch my head wondering how they find new customers since they're all in it.

MLM is a huge PITA. i'd stay away if i were you.

khairete
S.

4 moms found this helpful
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N.K.

answers from Miami on

I had a co-worker that signed up to it. She started pushing products on all of us and eventually, she started neglecting her actual job and got fired. I guess you need to keep that in mind if you are planning to focus on Amway so much that it takes away from your real jobs and you could be left unemployed. Amway doesn't seem to pay much, and there's an incredible desperation to sell their products, based on what I witnessed. I never bought anything, but I certainly isolated myself from her because I knew all her talk and "compliments" were phony ways to get me interested in what she had to sell -- great way to end friendships, that's for sure.

3 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Don't do it!!! That guy makes more money if he gets people to sign up so he is extremely motivated to get your husband to do it. Your husband will have to sink a bunch of his own money into this MLM company buying products. Then he will be one of those people trying to sell to all his family and friends. And he will be the ANNOYING person that everyone avoids and blocks. I have blocked and hidden every "friend" selling for MLM companies bc they are so annoying.

2 moms found this helpful
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D..

answers from Miami on

I gave the previous poster a flower before I realized he said you need to be careful chiming in as a wife. Since I can’t take away that flower, I’ll say WTH to the poster. Stop being Mr Sexist here. The guy is trying to get her to sign up. She has a say and she can chime in all she likes.

And chime in you should, Ebird’s mom. The poster is right about being able to get cleaning products at Costco. Your friends will quickly avoid all mention of your Amway business with you. If your husband tries to push products on your friends, he may cost you your friends.

2 moms found this helpful

M.P.

answers from Boston on

Amway is MLM, just as MaryKay, Avon and Herbal Life, etc. However, the FTC is getting more companies into compliance; MLM, Direct Sales and some of what you think of as ‘REAL’ companies you may use, such as your phone service, Walmart, Zillow, Trulia, Office Depot and others. I am proud to say, we are not MLM, but our business model is what FTC guidelines are displaying to MLM companies to follow and placing heavy fines on companies not in compliance.

As one poster said, they are looking for distributors and most are not customers. FTC is trying to get MLM companies to near 80/20. Meaning 80% are customers and only 20% are earning income. MLM’s allow their distributors to buy up products to advance themselves within the company. When that is done, the distributor will sell those products through Ebay and other on-line sites, where they mark the price up drastically to make a profit. FTC is fining on the practice.

 2-years ago, Herbal Life was fined $200 million, refunding many of their distributors; they have survived. Another company couldn’t handle a similar fine and closed.

The most recent company closed is 'MOBE'. There have been essential oil companies, electric companies, nutrition companies and others.

The biggest part of being in a home business to earn income, is personality. You have to be a good communicator, not a sales person. You have to care about people and not be in it for the money, but to help others achieve their goals.

Having one’s own business is pretty darn good; you are your own boss, setting your schedule around your family. You don’t, however, just quit your full-time job, until you have success in your home business. A practice Amway had years ago was, ‘fake it til you make it’. AND as one poster mentioned, they required distributors to buy books & tapes; some went into personal financial disaster. Amway and MLM’s require their distributors to pay for conference rooms when having meeting at hotels; that too can be expensive.

The info you will get here, will be from someone who worked with them in the past who was not successful or people who knew someone who did it. However your personality could be one who can get it done. I say, “Do your research by getting the phone numbers of the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, FTC, State Attorney (Attorney General) and perhaps even the EPA. Ask what they can tell you. 



Also ask the company about guarantees. See if you can take it for a test drive without losing a lot of money.

2 moms found this helpful
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B.G.

answers from New York on

Amway is a product that has sadly passed its time. There are several stores Costco included selling products in larger quantities. Basically, Amway will want you to ask/harass family members and friends buy their stuff.

That all said, you need. to be careful chiming in as a wife.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

Not really enough information here. Do you mean sign up to sell or sign up to buy the products on a regular basis? Better questions to ask yourselves are "why would we want to? How would this benefit or detract from our family life?"

Do you love the products and use them all the time? If so, then that may help you decide.
If it's sign up to sell the products, is that really something you were looking to do?

Most people really don't like being bombarded by constant requests from friends, family, or acquaintances to buy products from these at-home sales companies. They might buy initially to be nice, but at some point, they may start avoiding you if they feel like you're going to pressure them to buy or to sign up to sell (which is my understanding of how these things work).

Don't allow yourselves to be pressured by anyone into doing anything that isn't right for you or your family. If someone is pressuring you, and you're having hesitations, you should listen to your gut. It's simple to say, "No thanks. This isn't something we're interested in doing." Then, just leave it at that. You owe no explanation to anyone, and any reason you state will just give that person ammunition to continue to engage in the pressure tactics.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I have a friend who's sister sells it. They have very good products. I went to a party not long ago and we impressed with the products that had recently come out. The company has been around for a LONG time. I would do it but I suck at trying to sell stuff. Unless he's great at selling things and doesn't mind being told no it could be worth trying. My brother also did it for a while but got out of it as he didn't sell enough to make it worth it.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.H.

answers from Peoria on

Amway is another pyramid scheme. Just like Mary Kay or Herbalife, the name of the game is getting people to sign up under you so you can make money off of their sales. The products are fine but just letting you know how it works. My uncle used to sell it & I started selling it & when I got only a couple of dollars for the sales I made, I quit. I didn’t understand why I was doing all the work selling & only getting a very small percentage rather than the entire amount, it wasn’t explained to me before I signed up & I didn’t know to ask.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s still the same way nowadays so I can only advise you to check into it thoroughly before signing & read the agreement too before signing to make sure you’re not surprised by anything. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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