No, eventually we went on warehouse ordering, they said it was because we had a large group. But, before that, we were not allowed to call the order in, we had to drop the order off at our uplines home with a check, in advance.
When one of our upline distributors had a physical problem and couldn't write the orders each week, our immediate sponsor was able to go on warehouse ordering. Finally, when our sponsor quit, we were allowed to warehouse (of course, they said it was because we had a large organization and stuff! yea right). It was just that our 4000 pin didn't want to take orders (his wife didn't want to do anything).
Now, when we were starting to slow out of the business, we had a distributor who was 50miles away. We begged our upline to put him on Warehouse ( he was also a very difficult distributor). They refused, blaming it on an Upline Pearl who had alienated the entire group and no one would talk to anymore. They said it was up to them. That's when finally, Joe & I wrote our "letter of resignation" and advised our downline to make arrangements with our upline 4000 or Direct to place the orders.
Without any concern for our welfare, our upline 4000 left a box of 3 weeks worth of tapes on our doorstep and expected us to pay for them. My husband dropped the box back off on his doorstep with a list of our downline who had ordered them. That's when I knew my husband was serious about getting out. Thank goodness.
You know in three months, we have not heard from a sole. No one. I'm still very bitter about it, but this web stuff is so theraputic.
Charles....I've really enjoyed my visit to your site. I became a distributor in 1990. I wasn't really looking for it a the time, but when I saw it, it looked pretty darn good. I became a card-carrying member of "the system" which didn't work out too well for me. I did have one little flurry of activity, but the following crash felt worse than all the years of no activity! It finally dawned on me that the problem, at least in my case, was with the system. I have never had any problem with the Amway Corporation itself. It's business plan functioned just as they represented it would. When I reached specified levels of the plan I receive a check for the amount represented. I still believe that if you put the numbers into the plan, it will respond accordingly. The real problem is putting the numbers in, and the system (and in my case, the Yager System) seemed more of a detrement than a help. A greater percentage of people were turned off by the system than were excited by it. My understanding was that they were after the "2% that would do what it takes". That eliminated a bunch of folks that could/would become involved if a different system was being used. And that's my quest....to develop a better system....the wheel is broke and it needs fixing! I've enjoyed all the numbers I've found in your page. Thanks!
Thank you for the informative comments on your Amway page. I agree with all of your ideas, unfortunately, my husband doesn't. He has read several of these "anti-amway" pages and is starting to have second thoughts, but I am not so sure that he is ready to get out of the business all together. He joined the business about 3 1/2 years ago and has not made a pv check over $20.00. It is not for lack of trying, he talks to everyone he meets. It is also not for lack of information because he goes to every open meeting, every night owl, every function and every team meeting. I belive that it is because the business is a scam. Unfortunately, trying to tell him that is impossible. He thinks that he just needs to work harder. I used to go to all of the Amway activities with him, but I no longer have any interest. From day one, I saw straight through the business. Maybe it is my psychology background, but I thought that it was very cult like from the start. I think that these people mean well, but they are "brainwashed" to some extent.
A couple of weeks ago, I was calling in our order, and I was told that we were to buy our function tickets for Spring Leadership. I was told that the price of this was $70 a piece (over the last three years, function tickets have gone from $45 to $70!!!) This function is going to be held in a coliseum that easily holds 25,000 people and it will be full (this is through the Britt organization). I put my foot down with my husband about this one because we are newlyweds and we simply don't have the money. I firmly believe that Bill Britt and several of his downline are making a nice profit off of us when we are going to hear the same *#%$ for the millionth time (Excuse me, I tend to get a little worked up over this). Anyway, this turned into a full blown fight between my husband and I and I probably was not very effective in making him see what I see in Amway. Have you got any suggestions about web sites that I can show him or things that he can read in order to sway his opinion towards "the business"? He is a very open minded person, so I think that he will be willing to listen to anything. I just don't think that I have shown him what he needs to see. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!
I just want to let you know that I don't Know much about amway, but I have attended a few of their meetings and I share some of the same opinions as you. I e-mailed another guy about amway. I am waiting for his e-mail about my questions about amway, and here is one I need to ask you.
Why has one of my friends sold his T.V. and CD players for amway?
Also why has he quit calling me sense he has signed up with amway? Please e-mail me back.
Hi. I have just re-visited your site and want to thank you again for the wonderful work you are doing by maintaining this webpage so people can learn the truth about Amway.
I just have a couple of comments I would like to make:
First, I want to commend the person who wrote a long, exceptionally well-written letter to you in the March responses. His was the letter that referred to Bill Britt as the poster-child for false prophets (Amen to that!!). I have read many letters on your (and other) sites that were well thought-out; but this letter should really help a lot of lost souls (i.e. those still in Amway) see the light!! If he is reading this I would like to say: "well done!".
Next, I also liked the letter from the person who commented that "60 Minutes" or some other news show should do a story on this. I thought that was a wonderful idea!! Your Internet site is truly a remarkable help for a lot of people who desperately need the information it provides, but those who unfortunately do not have access to a computer will never see the truth.
Therefore, if everyone who responds to your site, and shares the view that this "organization" can cause serious harm to people's lives, takes a minute and also writes to "60 Minutes" to express their concern about all of this and suggest they do an investigation into it, perhaps many millions more will be warned about AMWAY, even if they cannot look it up on the Internet.
I really think the author of that response to your page was correct. A well respected news show such as "60 Minutes" needs to warn the public about this. They did do a piece on them back in the 80's but I definitely think the time has come for another one; don't you?
Their e-mail address is: email@example.com
Thanks very much for the heads-up on the new site and for the feedback. And thank you to the person who wrote that. It's nice to know that having "been there, done that", my insights carry some credibility and are so well-received. Obviously, this respondent has already extricated him/herself from the scam, if he/she was ever involved to begin with. If I can indirectly help anyone else to see through the well-orchestrated, feel-good deception and to realize that the "emperor has no clothes", well...that's a really great feeling.
BTW, in case you're interested, my story can be found on the "Myth and the Amway Experience" page under "Ex-Amway Distributors Speak Out (An Economist's Story)." (Perhaps the respondent whose message you forwarded to me would be interested as well.)
Also, I have question--do you know of anyone who has been audited for claiming relatively small (i.e., probably less than $3,000) Scamway business losses on their taxes? I'm already getting a pretty nice refund (that is if I finish by April 15!) and don't need the hassle of an audit, but just on principle, I'd hate to let my losses go by the boards.
Thanks, and keep up the great work, Charles!!
I have certainly enjoyed reading your web site. I only wished I would have read it sooner. After becoming involved in the "System" I began to see and hear many RED FLAGS that led me to your site. About two months ago some friends showed us the "Plan" in which the typical circles were drawn, but the new twist was that this was a company called IDA in which it fell under the aupices of Yeager, Gulick, Betterman and Haagen. As the plan was shown we were told that all we had to do was to buy products from our own home based business and then get others to do the same. The plan seemed simple enough until your delve futher into the underlying, unmentioned "tools". After spending time hearing the plan more than once I saw how information may seem to be non creditable. The anology for passive income was used by illustrating Ray Kroc and McDonalds. The illustration is correct, but Ray Kroc does not spell his last name with a "C". I guess once an upline tells you the facts I guess it is the gospel or is it the gossipal????? Along with the IDA system comes the new ADS-AUTOMATIC DELIVERY SERVICE in which Amway products are now shipped directly to your door and elimenating going through your upline every month for products. The new story on that is that apparently there is an older couple in Michigan who built their business to a Direct level in 3 months, an Emerald level in 6 months and to the Diamond level in 362 days. The story seems to change depending on who is telling it, such as; first they were both retired, then only the husband was retired, first they lived in Grand Rapids, MI, then it was somewhere outside of Grand Rapids. When I questioned for more pertinate details on this monumental achievement, secrecy prevailed. It appears that if you are not an Emerald or above, you are only on a need to know basis. I also requested futher information on the story in which MCI apparently took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Jounal thanking Amway for all their help in 1985. This story is quoted by many uplines but when questioned futher on this no one seems to have a straight answer. I have since e-mailed Amway and I am waiting for a response. I also question the many times they tell people all the tax benefits and the passive income to our children. Gosh, after reading your articles, my children would have to become distributors to get this so called passive income.
The dupication factor is also a bother in which I find it hard to say all these cheesey phrases: You're so awesome, Go Diamond, Business is really exploding, Plug into the system. Yes, plugging into the system seems more like buying into the system with all the tools and seminars. Oh yes, I was told I did not have to buy the tapes but of course if I did not duplicate my sponser I would likely fail (GOD FORBID). I find this duplication leaves alot out for individual creativity, especially when I was told as a women I really should wear a dress suit instead of a pant suit......PLEASE this is the 90's isn't it?
To me, even with the polished spiel of IDA and a home based business I feel this is really similar to the old Amway. I guess I feel people can make money at this, but they certainly have to work their bottoms off in the process.
I would appreciate your take on IDA and any other information you can share.
I appreciate all your research and detailed comparisons, etc.--very informative! I am a distributor since 9/1/96. I was really "fired up" initially, then saw it would take a LOT of hard work to "make it". I still think the core Amway business is good, but I agree the recruitng pitches make it seem unrealistically easy to achieve such success. The motivational material I agree is also often more hype than real training; however, it has boosted my self esteem and confidence at my regular "J.O.B." which I really needed!
All in all, I don't regret joining, but I'm glad that, thanks to objective info. like yours, I won't likely go off the deep-end and expect a miracle. I guess if you really do-what-it-takes, one can make some big money. I just get too easily discouraged by all the "no's", suspicious prospects, and all the support and aggravation I would have to put up with dealing with less-than-motivated and lazy downline distributors.
I do like the convenience of catalog shopping. Also, did you know that as of about 1/31/97, there is a "standing order" program such that even many Amway core-line products are delivered direct to a distributor's or customer's residence (i.e., no product pick-up)? From Feb '97 until about 9/97-12/97, this direct ship is for only a particular organizatio (Don Wilson), but supported by Amway. After that, supposely, all distributors can order Amway core-line stuff (not necessarily "standing-order" and have it shipped directly to their homes, regardless of pin-level--or so they tell us!
I really like our sponsor--I've known him a long time (since about '84). I worry that he is expecting too much too soon (from himself as well as prospects and distributors he sponsors...like me!), but I admire his courage to try it.
The worst thing is, I feel, is that too many over zealous upline distributors have "over sold" the "system" and twisted the truth just enough that many people have a bad taste in their mouth from having expected too much too soon and make the general public so negative and suspicious towards it. Like I've said, it's really a great company with many great products, etc. Now, if I could just convince my prospects that are indeed good things about Amway!
I just thought I'd drop you a few lines with some thoughts about Amway.
My wife and I are Amway distributors, and have been a total of about 6 years (this is our second time around). We live in Australia and would just like to respond to a few comments which have been made in various "anti-Amway" sites. We are not "jump on the seat head banger" types some seem to think describes the majority of distributors, but a simple, middle aged couple.
On Personal Shopper's Catalogue prices. Here in Australia, prices are GUARANTEED IN WRITING by Amway to be cheaper than you can find in any store, anywhere in the country. That is to say (again in writing), if any person finds, say, a Sheaffer blah blah pen in a store, cheaper than in the catalogue, Amway matches the price. Simple as that. As you know, a distributor gets that same product a minimum of around 15% cheaper, so therefore the distributor MUST get a better deal. I can assure you that MANY of the products in the catalogue you CAN find in the stores - they're not jus "Special for Amway".
On delivery charges. We are part of the "Amway Service Direct" program over here, and in that program we can have ANY amount of product shipped to us (as a distributor) ANYWHERE in the country (and it's a bloody big country) for $5.00. Not a bad deal. I personally know of a group who live at the top of Cape York Peninsula (get the atlas). Their products take three weeks to be delivered by road train and BARGE(!) and it still only costs $5.00 for deilvery.
So, over here, distributors DO get a good deal, whichever way you look at it.
On the "System". Most of the critics miss out the word "work" as being part of the System. Go to an open meeting here in Perth, and you will hear the speaker say, without fail, that it will take a "Lot of work" to put this thing together. It's true - it does. So does succeeding at anything.
Making money out of tapes and other tools. The diamonds are running a business aren't they? If Dexter Yager makes $1 per tape and that amounts to ten gazillion per week out of that, why on earth should it bother any one? They don't for one minute complain about Ford making a profit. Interestingly enough, isn't the medium of tapes, books and functions the very medium used by every single speaker and writer to make a living? And if you want any direct comparisons, the average motivational seminar over here will cost you about $250 for a day (cf $12 for an IDA seminar) and the average tape by, for instance, Anthony Robbins will set you back about $29 (cf $6 for an IDA tape).
One point seems to be missed by all the critics. If you only went to one $12 seminar for one day per month and did nothing else, at lease for ONE day you would not be surrounded by people crying and whining about how bad life is. We have a number of folks in our group who do nothing but go to the meetings, listen to the tapes and read the books. Want to know why? Because it makes them feel good. Got any problem with that?
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your Web Page. As my thesis, I am writing a Business Plan, and I chose Amway as the company to research. I have friends who are quite "brainwashed" by the system, and I personally would never get involved with the system, especially knowing all that I do now. Nevertheless, I am absolutely amazed with the statistics, and find the research fascinating.
In browsing the Internet, I have found and read many of the testimonies from ex-Amway distributors. I have found very little positive information, (but I'm new to the Internet, so I may not be looking in the right places), but when I found your site, I really had fun reading it. I know you must have put a lot of time and energy in writing it, and I just wanted to know how much I appreciate it. The graphics and interaction is really fun, and I just wanted to say "Thanks".
I have "bookmarked" your site for my future reference, and look forward to visiting again!
I came across your website after my wife and I signed up with Amway a week ago. We had a first meeting last week and have 3 people that are going to sign up. After that meeting and finding out 3 people were going to sign up, I wasn't wowed like my upline person was, with all the boost and confidence pumped in my brain. The next morning, I woke up and wasn't excited. Throughout the week and til this time I typing you this e-mail, I still feel doubtful as well as my wife with this business.
In the past week, I been surfing the net to find out more about the positive about amway. I was just surfing the website for amway when I came across an article from about and ex distributor. After reading his article it made me search even further. It was then I started printing the ariticle and brought it home to my wife. Like they say you could read a lot of negative stuff about things and become negative or read alot of positive of things and become positive.
My wife and I do not judge things at the beginning, until we see both sides.
I found your website and read some of the other side of the plan which leads me to become more weary about this busines. My wife and I are still weary about the System.
We really don't know what to do? We are the type of people that cannot lie to people in there face and lure them to the business. We don't know is it safe to just use it for retail purposes and just a tax break?
Dazed and confused!!!!
Please respond, by the way just my curiosity was were you involved in the system as well.
I hope one of you can put this to good use. If you can get more accurate figures you are welcome to update the figures or post them to me and I'll redo the calculations. cheers.
Amway : The $6.8 Billion Myth. ?
Many Amway distributors claim that Amway has annual sales of $6.8 billion dollars or so. Dun & Bradstreet however estimate sales at only $1.7 billion. Who is right ?
If we look at the evidence we can get fairly close to the real figure. SA-4400 publishes figures for distributors in the United States and with other facts we know about the business we can get a good estimate.
Relevant facts include :
1 the average income of an active US distributor is $88 per month.
2 there are approximately 500,000 US distributors of whom 41% are active.
3 approximately 70% of Amway sales occur overseas.
4. approximately 25% of the retail price is distributed as bonuses. (this figure may be higher but can't be any lower).
From items 1 and 4 we can estimated monthly sales of $352 by the active US distributors.
From item 2 this gives us a gross monthly sales figure for the US of $352 * 500,000 *0.41 ==> $72 .16 Million dollars per month.
From item 3 this gives a gross worldwide monthly sales figure of $240 Million which equates to annual sales of $2.88 Billion. That's the maximum assuming the lowest distributor bonus level and all retail sales.
But wait you wanted more. I know you wanted more. According to AMWAY 68% of total sales value goes to the distributors. That's 30% as retail margin and 38% as wholesale margins distributed to distributors as bonuses. If that is the case then the monthly sales per US distributor would be much lower This figure can be calculated by $88 / 0.38 ==> $231.
Plugging that into the equation above gives annual sales of $2.88 billion * 231/352 ==> $1.89 billion. That the gross retail figure, however Amway corporation should only claim the wholesale value so only 70% of that figure counts as Amway sales. Which gives Amway corporation sales of only $1.32 billion of which 54% is commission to its marketing force.
So the actual value of product sold is only $607 million. Marketing costs (distributor bonuses) amount to $713 million and the company receives about $250 million in distributor fees. Which gives an over all income for the company of $1.57 billion dollars. It takes only a slight reduction in the percent paid as bonuses to take the figure to the $1.7 billion stated by Dun & Bradstreet .
We can approach the figures from another angle.
According to SA-4400 the average active distributor makes $95 dollars of retail sales and $89 of personal consumption sales. This is equivalent to $95 + $127 retail value assuming the $89 is wholesale price with a gross profit margin of 30%. That's $222 per month retail. That is very close to, but slightly less than, the estimate above of $231. It is also worth noting that this figure means that only 42% of product is sold outside the distributor network.
This gives a gross value of retail sales to non distributors of $794 million which returns an additional $240 million in profits to distributors or about $240 per active distributor (say $360 in the US).
So putting all these figures together we get a picture like this :
Amway Customers spend $794 million on products of which approximately $240 million goes to distributors and $560 million to Amway. Amway distributors pay $250 million to be distributors. They spend $744 million on Amway products and receive $713 million in commission. Overall distributors therefore have a gross income from their Amway businesses of $953 million and they spend $994 million on Amway products. The nett flow of money is from distributors to Amway to the tune of $41 million
To put it another way the average distributor pays Amway $16 a year for the privilege of buying the products at the "wholesale" price. That loss occurs before 1 cent or 1 minute is spent on selling the plan or the product and it assumes that the distributoris receiving the "average" bonus and doing the "average" retail sales.
I'll be honest and say there is a little slack in these figures but not much and certainly not enough to push the sales figure near $6.8 billion. So where does the $6.8 billion figure come from. Basically I suspect by counting every movement of the product as a sale. ie Amway sells to a direct, that's a sale. The direct sells to the downline, that's another sale, the downline sells to another downline that's another sale. That downliner consumes the product that's another sale.
G'Day! What a great site! It is comforting to know that not all Diamonds and down make big bucks like people are led to believe. I only wish I could show this site to my daughter and son-in-law and his parents who are into Amway BIG TIME (they have been in since November, 1995). We are already on their black list because we didn't get into Amway (Are Amway people really told not to have anything to do with non-Amway people?).
You are correct when you said that Amway controls their every move ... even their speech. When will they wake up? How long will it take for them to go out and get a REAL job? Right now, our son-in-law doesn't have a full time job ... just a couple little 'home businesses.' They have no insurance and have maxed out their credit cards, and his parents (are in the construction business) have just taken out a 2nd mortgage on their home for $25,000. My guess is to pay off their credit card debt.
I am curious as to how they could go from a bonus check of $73.00 a month (I saw it) to Silver Direct this month. What does that really mean ... did someone in their downline (his parents are under them and also went Silver Direct this month) buy a lot of product this month or what? Did they really make that much MORE money?
I believe that they are paid their OWN bonus check directly from Amway each month. From what I understand, this started in September, 1996. Please check to be sure.
Outstanding site. It shows I have a lot of work to do on my site to bring it up to the quality of your site.
Aside from the viewability of your site, the content is excellent. I have been a member of Amway for about 4 months now and you certainly have opened my eyes. It looks like you have done an outstanding job of researching the information you present.
I too have concluded much of what you have concluded in the short time I have been involved but I certainly havent researched to the extent you have. You bring the hard core statistics to the surface which helps to open peoples eyes to the truth.
Recognizing that Amway is not the answer, do you offer any suggestions to other network marketing opportunities that would be more legitimate? If so I would welcome any suggestions.
Over the last few months I have been looking into Amway. I had always been on the bubble but something was holding me back. I think it was the "if it's too good to believe, it is" idea. Finally, I found your site and a few others. It wasn't the facts, numbers, articles, testimonials, etc. that caught my attention. I didn't care if the "facts" were true or not. It was the weak and non-factual responses from the pro Amway people. Why couldn't they respond with "your facts are wrong, the real number is 45%" or something like that. It was and is always ". . . you're an ass for slamming Amway. It's wonderful . . ."
I presented some of the information on the web to the person recruiting me, and got the same non-factual emotionally filled responses. That doesn't work for a skeptical engineer like myself.
Thanks for putting up your site.
I enjoy your web site. Please do not respond to this message as my husband is still "active" in "the business" and we share the same email account!
Thought you would like more information on the new product shipment developments. Our organization recently was put on the " direct fulfillment" program where every distributor orders directly from the corp. and has products shipped to their home. This is a big improvement over the old product pickup days!
However, there is a new spin on it. The "upline" is now promoting their "automatic Replenishment Program" where you fill out an order form, indicating what products you want, and whether you want them once a month, every 2 months or 3 months. You then turn this list in to your direct with a cc number and the order is placed for you. This is so you can be "Free from extra trips to a store waiting in line. Free from Brand X temptations due to forgetful ordering. Free from calling the corporation once a week or more. Free from extra costs of buying necessary items retail. Free to spend time with your family. Free to spend your time building bigger businesses. Free to get Free!" Of course the illustration goes on to put you in Diamond qualification in Month 11 of this.
All changes and cancellation must be received by the "1st of the month 30 days prior to next order date."
Hope this information is helpful. Keep up the good work!!
Wow! You've really done your home work -- I'm impressed and I really appreciate the information!
I'm currently an active distributor of 4 years. I'm also between jobs and have been giving "The Business" a lot of thought recently. I'm not ready to throw in the towel, but I am having a hard time trying to figure out a truthful avenue of approach. The "upline" is all Gung Ho about this new "Automatic Replenishment System" and really promoting the 30% savings. This "savings" has bothered me since day one. I've never seen any savings. We're supposed to tell others that "all we're doing is redirecting our money, from wherever it is we're spending it, to our own store and we'll save 30% across the board". I, personally haven't found that to be true, therefore, I can't convince anyone that it is true. I can take my $200.00 a month and buy much more from the local supermarket then I can get from Amway. I'm starting to think that the price/savings and the top quality of the products is all a bunch of hype. I wouldn't feel so mislead if the upline would tell us "Look! All you have to do is convince people to buy average products at jacked-up prices and you can be rich".
hello scamway friend,
last night i went to my first, (and last) intro meeting for network 21 (amway). many folks i e-mailed for pointers came through glowingly and predicted almost the entire pitch. i managed to interrupt poltitely several times questioning analogies, claims, doomsday imagery, etc. very successfully
. i didn't feel awkward and i believe the other virgins there didn't feel the need to distance themselves from my outbursts but rather saw the whole game in the light of a question-answer seminar. my first hit was to question the cliches about "the road you're on now is exactly where you're headed", "you probably see yourself as always earning what you make now", "education has no bearing on what you will earn",and several other run of the mill infommercial faves. When he picked up the cassette package and declared "a man named jim dornan brought 150 people all successful in their businesses together to find commonalities and put together a genius system..." I stopped him in his tracks and said "but i went to their website and it said the 150 people were all amway higher-ups". cat's outta the bag early because noone had uttered the "amway" bombshell yet. i pointed out that it seemed strange this "genius" jim guy would seek out 150 people for commonalities in success when they all followed a fixed system and most likely shared near-identical experiences. the comebacks were lame and the big guy became visibly disgruntled.
another lower guy trainee did his little trip to the whiteboard and talked about how they are in 72 countries and growing, even in China, greatly due to the fact that their products were all environmentally friendly etc. A'virgin' middle aged black woman laughed out loud. she had lived in china for 14 years and explained how they could care less but in nastier terms.
He then felt it imperative to start distancing network 21 from amway explaining that amway makes great products but net21 is the genius system. he said they(amway) don't even know we're here. then he started to defend amway bragging about all the fortune 500 companies that they deal with and blurted out "WE didn't come to coca-cola, coca-cola came to US!!!" I jumped in "you just said WE as in AMWAY, after saying THEY don't even know we're here because we aren't amway we're network 21?!?!" he changed his we's to they's from then on, and stumbled through the rest under the watchful eyes of his superiors.
i really liked the 2 young trainees as people and felt a bit sorry for them, but the 'big guy' was a serious creep. I hope i managed to dissuade most from getting involved further. the best part was as i left i noticed 'big-guy' giving personal attention to one of the newbees outside her car next to my car. he started walking back to the house as i was leaving. as i got to the girl (armed with a tape he had just given her), we began to chat. i looked back and noticed 'big guy' had stopped on the stairs to check up on me(doubting-guy) to see if i may have loosened his last little outdoor pitch. when i finished with her she got in her car, and he came back down the steps and went to her car window and again gave her last word. i waited in my car till he split and had a laugh with her. unbelievable.
I begged them at one point to show me the 'catalogue' so i could judge for myself whether or not it was good value, especially since the basis for success was each inductee spending $200/mo on evryday staples, saving 30%($60) + 3% bonus = total $66. nobody had a catalogue, and the comebacks as expected were "i'm sure if you felt like scouring the city to save a buck somewhere you could but.." and "haven't you ever bought at 7/11 and paid a little more for convenience?". I shredded their middleman-erasing theory by pointing out that they and their sponsors add up to several middlepeople all expecting a slice of the pie. I also mentioned the big P word (pyramid) and they all smiled and almost in unison "it's not a pyreamid, it's a trapezoid".
All in all i kept my cool, never got excited and pointed out things matter-of-factly but not patronizingly. Only the 'big-guy' showed i wasn't welcome and i could feel he had figured out he wasted his night.After the pitch had ended there was a sponsor there who joined in an impromptu 'discussion' with myself and the two trainee presenters who kept interrupting me and saying "what's your question?" over and over like a mantra. she was hostile and i got a kick out of her blatant disregard for trying to seem confident and cool.
My friend who invited me to his home didn't seem at all upset with me, although i'm sure 'big-guy' may have a few questions for him.(conspiracy? sabotage?) Anyways, your web page and others equipped me well for combat. The afforementioned black woman kept raising her hand to question during the pitch and ' big -guy ' kept telling her "after i'm done, in a minute" which of course never came. I'm glad i made my own forum for discussion and was able to offset the "impact" of their genius plan. thanks for helping,
sincerely, the spoiler.
I was surfing the internet when I came upon your web-site. As a former distributor, who still has close friends that have been brain-washed by the Amway "system", I'd like to express my appreciation to you and others like you who are working to expose the manipulative tactics of the Britt/Yeager "organization".
I was involved in the "system" with some close friends in the late 1980's. In my opinion, Amway is nothing more than a sleazy cult that uses propagandic, fundamentalist religious tactics to exploit other human beings in the name of financial profit. Such organizations need to be exposed for what they are.
I found many of emotionally-driven, negative reponses to your web-site by current distributors to be extremely interesting. Could it be that these individuals have personal psychological conditions related to low self-esteem? I say this because, I believe, they seem to be taking your criticism of the Amway "system" rather personally. As if you are implying that they are stupid for having fallen for such a scam.
But, when one ponders such an idea, it sort of makes sense. Most cults prey on and attract those who are not quite confident in their own intellectual capabilities. In other words, such people are looking for a "leader" to think for them. (kinda sounds a little like organized, fundamentalist religion, huh?) No wonder religion plays such a heavy, subtle role in the Britt/Yeager "system"!
But, hey, I was once involved in that cult, myself. Thank god (no pun intended) that others showed me the TRUTH. There's no harm in admitting a human mistake, because we are all finite. However, at the time, I was very young and naiive as to some basics realities of the real world. One of which is that vultures, like the big "pins" in the Britt/Yeager system, exist and they are looking for easy prey to make a lot of money from.
All I can say is that I have learned my lesson!
(By the way...if possible, please don't allow my E-mail address to be printed in the replies section of your web-site)
I read your story, and I'm sure, like many, I've had almost the exact same experience as you (including the feelings after getting out of "The Business"). I recently found out some interesting info (requested to not spread it around), and I thought you'd be interested as well (though I'm not sure if it can/should be published). I was in the INA group, which had 32 Diamonds and one Crown Ambassador. Of these, it seems that about one-third of them did not re-qualify last fiscal year as Diamonds. Of course, once you've reached Emerald and above, Amway itself considers the label permanent, even if the distributor doesn't re-qualify (they just don't get the Emerald or Diamond bonus). But it would be interesting to find out if the one-third percentage is average for all of Amway. Anyway, thought you'd be interested. If you ever get hard data on this, I'd love to see it. Regards,
I am really impressed with your information.
I used to be involved with MLMs and I had come to much of the same conclusions as you have about Amway. The purpose of my investigations was to explain to people why what I was doing "wasn't just like Amway."
I did have the opportunity to attend several Amway functions when I was 15 and 16 years old, since my folks tried to do the business for a few years without much success.
I will say that I did meet Zig Ziglar at one function, and that has had a very positive effect on my life.
Just a few observations from my point of view:
I think your numbers on the divorce stats need to be reviewed. If the number of divorces and marrages are the same, then that 2% or so number should be an annual number which would add up over the years. (2% times 20 years = 40%)
I believe Forbes in November 1990 or 1991 did a cover story on Amway entitled "Inspirational Selling." It was a very straight story (not so nice from the Amway perspective.)
Success Magazine has metioned Amway quite a few times. I could find the issues if you really wanted them. Most of the time it would be as a refference to the industry as a whole. For the past several years they have run a "company of the month" type collumn featuring the full range of seemingly reputable companies. I think that Amway was one of the featured companies once.
The reason I am doing my personal research into this topic again is that I have found a company, that I am now working with, that is technically a MLM in some states BUT it doesn't have the down side that all the others have. Namely, that you have to have a downline to make a six figure income. So I am putting the "MLM Bashing" section together. MLMers are a great target for us since they usually realize that they need the extra money, and they, 99 times out of 100, are not making even $100 extra per month after expenses with their MLM company!
My company allows people to make a six figure on personal production alone. Or with as little as a dozen or so people that are producing, one can also earn a six figure override income.
Personally that is what made me sick about MLMs, people preached that "if you do this business you can get rich!" And yet less than 1 in 100 would make even $1,000. Well, in Oklahoma, $1,000 a month is not even a good job, much less "RICH!"
I plan on using your site as a source in my MLM Bashing efforts. Let me know if you want my assistance on the Success info.
This was actually sent to one of the other Amway-info sites, but he shared it with us and thought I would include it here
My wife and I were in the business for 5 years and reached the Silver Producer level. After reaching Silver and putting in 4 consecutive months of 7500 PV or greater on route to Direct, we quit the business due to extrememly unethical conduct on the part of our upline Pearls.
During the five years we were in, we amassed a huge fortune totaling $4,629 (per Schedule C's from 1991 - 1995). That's not much considering the thousands of hours we put in (20hrs x 52wks x 5yrs). In fact, we would have done MUCH better flipping burgers.
I would love to see the Schedule C of a Diamond. It would show how much they are really making off of tape, video, book and seminar sales skimmed off of every purchase made from the unsuspecting saps at the bottom of the Amway food chain. Amway today is nothing more than a tool and seminar sales business disguised as a legitimate household products distribution company.
When will people ever learn?