Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 16

(9/96 - 10/96)

Here are some of the responses I've received to the information on this page. I've left them as is, except for a) removing the names to protect privacy, and b) reformatting them to fit the screen better.

This is a long file…I suggest downloading it to your computer and reading it off-line.

My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their opinions.

[NOTE: Some of these messages contain offensive language]

Dear Sydney,

Thank you for this objective and well supported criticism on Amway.

Recently, my ex-girfriend approached me about a mirculous business oppurtunity and I, being a college student short on cash, decided to listen. She invited me to an introductory meeting at an anonymous restauraunt - Pizza Hut on * st. in * - where I was shown a film about a wonderful guy named Bill Britt. I was then invited to a motvational rally at the * Medical Center where I was sure to have fun. I must admit that what I witnessed suprised me. The meeting (sermon) started when a Diamond Direct (preacher) named Lonnie took stage to be greeted by cheers (chants) of "freedom" and a ritualistic waving of arms. He introduced a skit laden with sexism, nationalism, and homophobia, and the crowd loved it. He then lectured (preached) on the rules to making money and being successful, and made clear that one could only make money and become successful by strictly following these rules as well as "investing" in a few tapes and books. "Success stories" were paraded across the stage and idolized without defining what success in a business is - maximum (hopefully positive) profit. Other themes in the sermon included thinking positive (ignoring the negative) and how wives should be submissive and support their man. I finally grew sick of the herd instinct and left before the sermon ended.

The next night I checked out this page and copied some of the articles, took them home and started reading. Ironically, within minutes I was harassed with a follow up call from the meeting which I sharply responded to, citing some of the facts in the articles. My ex then called me for the first time in months only to convince me to join the family, and I cited even more facts. In both cases their subsequent responses seemed rehearsed and predictable.

Amway may have ruined any possibility of friendship between my ex and I. I'll stay in school.

Hello Sidney,

I e-mailed several months ago and even saw my e-mail on your page. I have not visited in several months. Your new format looks great. Congratulations on being objective enough to include opinions from all sides of the spectrum. In case you ever doubted, from a former distributor, you are indeed performing a service by maintaining this page. I only wish I had been able to see it while I was mired in this thing. You are no doubt saving people thousands of $, not to mention saving marriages and friendships. Keep up the good work and don't ever cave.

This is in response to all the Amway distributors who have written in to your response line. Almost all of them describe themselves as a Christian. I'm also a born-again Christian, and the last time I checked, the Bible says to WORK until He comes, and to work by the sweat of your brow. (These "Christian- distributors" are trying to get away from working in 2-5 years by making "incredible" amounts of money..that's not working by the sweat of their brow.

Also the Bible says, "The love of money is the root of evil". I was once in a MLM, and I think the concept could work. But I quickly got out because all you think about is making money, making money, and making even more money!! It quickly consumes your life and it almost happened to me.

My cousin and his wife are in Amway, and have not socialized or spent any time with their family and friends in probably over 6-8 months. I guess family and friends aren't important anymore when they turn down an Amway opportunity.

Schwartz-don't let any of their bitter comments bother you. I think it is great what you are doing-showing people some of the disadvantages of this Cult-like environment.

Thanks for letting me vent…

I love it! My husband and I tried Amway about 6 years ago and at first were really excited about it because it seemed like such a great concept (and I think that if everything they tell you was true, it would really work well). However, we eventually realized that they really mislead you when they show you "the plan".

We were told that we would save some outrageous (%) amount because we would be buying everything wholesale (and we would be able to buy just about everything from Amway). Once our volume grew, we would then save even more due to the bonuses…

We did try the Amway products, and they were really overpriced for the quality. For example, the Amway paper towels were MORE expensive than Bounty and were the quality of the cheapest brands. Even with the bonus (or whatever they call it, which turned out to be much lower for non-Amway products) at the highest level it could get, there was no way those paper towels were going to be inexpensive enough for me to justify using them! They urge you to use ALL Amway products and really try to make you feel guilty when you don't use them.

We eventually got out of it, because neither of us would have felt comfortable "showing the plan" to anybody when we knew it was a huge crock. We did, however, end up spending a lot on all of the motivational tapes, etc (we were suckered into the Tape of the Week…) I wish I had all this information before I had gotten involved with Amway!

Anyway, I truly believe that the only people who will make money in Amway are either: (A) have no morals because they know the truth and lie to get people in the business or (B) are not very bright and just blindly do what their sponsors tell them to (buy, buy, buy Amway) and manage to get other liars and stupid people under them.

From an Amway introductory meeting. I was going to sign up, but after reading your consumer reports page I am just not sure. I think one can make money in Amway, but I'm beginning to think one has to do so by convincing people to buy expensive products that may not be worth it. I think that must be how they pay those commissions. Anyway thanks for the info.

You gave me the back up a year ago to resist the effort of friends to join. I gave them your page address and 50 pages of output. I have not had the courage to ask how they are doing for fear of another 10 day solicitation. I notice that Amway has instructed the sheep to flood the web with Amway politically correct information. The numbers just do not add up - estimated this twenty years ago, and with your data it's proven.


I'm writing this to record my appreciation of the effort you have put in, to make this site. I was "taken" to an AmWay meeting yesterday, by a friend of a friend. I had read about AmWay before, and even though this guy told me this was a business oppurtunity, and would'nt tell me what it was about, I had guessed it was AmWay. After attending the meeting, and then searching the web and coming up on this site, I'm amazed at the correlation between what's here, and what's practiced in these meetings.

Once again, thanks for putting together a great site.

My friend is a professional massage therapist. He gets paid $50 to rub peoples shoulders and back etc.. There is only one problem, he has been sucked into Scamway and is now even considering quitting his massage business. You should hear him talk. All he ever talks about is how fantastic Scamway is, and how there are so many millionaires in the program. I keep reminding him that he is not one of them, and that after being in the thing for 2 years, the biggest check he has ever recieved is $16. But there is no telling him. He sits there, and tell me about how he is in awe of his distributors and bosses and how wealthy there are. He pays extortionate amounts of money to go to these Scamway meetings, so he can sit on a steel chair in a big room with 6000 other people, and applaud people who stand up on a podium and tell you how rich they are.

I don't know how I can get through to him. Every time I see him (3 times a week), all he does is try to get me to join up. I keep telling him that I would never join, because it is wank, but he just persists, throwing all these statistics at me, ad telling me how rich he is going to be, and that I am a fool. Last month, he paid $400 to go to a three day Scamway seminar. As part of the $400 fee, he got to stay at a nice hotel, the only problem is that he lives only 5 miles away from the hotel, but couldnt go to the seminar unless he paid the full amount and stayed in the hotel. I went there to drop him off, and all of these Scamway people were there, running around with ID badges on, introducing themselves to each other. It honestly looked like something out of a movie. These people are brainwashed. I don't know what goes on at theose seminars, or what these people are told, but it is worrying. Scamway is like a cult. DO NOT GET INVOLVED.

PS Their products suck, and you have to buy them by the palette.

Heres another quick story to put in your archives.

My friend, who has been brainwashed by Scamway was telling me how cheap their prices are. So I asked him to find out how much a box of Slim Jims were. He told me that the Amway "special distributor price" to him, after delivery costs was $23.58 A massive saving of 42 cents. And I only had to buy them in boxes of 20.

Sams club sells them for $12.


I have been reading all positive and negative experiences on this page, and is it just me, or do all the positive amway experiences sound really similar? It is almost as if someone has coached you into saying those things. Could it be that you have been listening to too many tapes? I have a solution. I would like to invite anybody involved with Scamway over to my house, where I will proceed to batter them over the head with a shovel and put them out of their misery. Stupid weak minded bastards.


sometimes ago in two different times two Amway's sponsor told me about an "good" business for me.They told me about network marketing or MLM and show me the famous market plan,a system called in Italy ST.Anthony's Chain.I went to a informative meeting in a theatre in Rome. When i saw the amway show i understand the very very danger of this business.The amway meeting is the same of a religious organisation and many people in Italy go in amway organisation.I'm studing the amway methods and i like your preocious pages about them.Your work can help many people in the world..

Your site is very informative. I became an Amway distributor in Oct 1992. I followed all of the rules. I continued to be a distributer until Nov 1995. I never made a profit, continuing to purchase tools which I still have. I just quit because the tools were becoming too expensive. It was a matter of simple economics. Although I must say, I got some good deals on some furniture items that I bought compared to the local furniture prices. But this savings does not flow to ALL of the other products Amway sells. As your web site indicates, the tools are the tricks of the trade. I did the contacting, showing the plan and attending the "functions". I appreciate your page. It is very factual. I wish I had known some of this earlier.

Thanks for the information you have listed here on Amway that you don't get from them. I'm currently have a friend that's trying to get me involved and I ran a MetaCrawler search and came upon your site. I can't

tell you how much this info means to me.

Dear Mr. Schwartz:

I've read and enjoyed your postings here, and I even know one of the people who has a lawsuit on your web site. Here's a letter I sent to another fellow on the web which mentions your site and has some general observations from my twenty-two years involvement with Amway. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Forwarded message:
Subj: Amway
Date: 96-09-28 11:43:18 EDT
From: *
To: *
Hi friend!

I thoroughly enjoyed your story. You should consider writing more than programs!

I'm a second generation Amway Distributor. I grew up in it, and I’ve seen the worst and the best in people in this business. My parents are Emeralds, and I’m a card carrier. < g> When I was a kid I was in the back rooms with Dexter Yager and a lot of the other big names, and I even played with their kids. I remember one time when I was about twelve Dexter tossed a camera case to me and asked me to hold it for him. After a few minutes everyone was chuckling, because I had been unsuspectingly carrying one thousand one hundred dollar bills. Heck, I just thought it was a camera. It was neat to actually be able to look at all of those stacked together. Of course, it would be neat to have ONE hundred dollar bill.

I’m a Southern Baptist pastor now, and my wife is a school teacher. I’ve used the products on my own for twelve years, and I personally enjoy them. I’ve been officially "in the business" for 14 years, but I haven’t done anything. I’ve saved some money, and not lost any. And my family has benefited from the fact that Amway was a way my father could purchase his own plane. When I was in another state he could pop up in an hour and take my kids back to their grandmother – and it didn’t seem like we were far away at all.

About once or twice a year my father would offer to speak to anyone I recommended. I didn’t recommend anyone, but if I had he would have put them in my group (then and now a group of one). That’s what he offers to anyone else in his group. Some folks take him up on it, and some don’t.

I mentioned that I have seen the best and the worst in Amway. That’s true. I’ve met some of the nicest people in the world, and some of the crummiest people in the world – though most were in the nice category. Of course, that’s true of any network. I’ve met some of the nicest people in the world and some of the crummiest people in the world online too. There are idiots and jerks on the Web and in Amway. There are some saints on the Web and in Amway.

Go figure.

I actually have a dear friend who tried to save me from Amway last week (I just started showing people the idea – after looking at it again two weeks ago). He had been in for about seven years, and is not in anymore (in fact, his lawsuit is posted on the Schwartz page). After two hours of talking, I hope we are better friends than we were before. I certainly appreciate his concern for me, and I hope he appreciates the time I took with him too.

I’m sorry you had a bad experience. If I worked at Walmart and you had a bad experience there, I’d be just as sorry. You probably didn’t handle things as well as you could have (and maybe they didn’t either), but you all tried.

What is Amway? It’s a commissioned referral network. That’s it, period. We either pay Whoopie Goldberg thousands of dollars to advertise MCI (for instance) or we pay thousands of Amway distributors a dollar or two to do the same thing. We either pay retail markup at the Grocery store and wholesale increments to their central warehouses, or we pay it to Amway distributors. The only difference here is that we can receive some of these commissions ourselves without being a famous star or investing a few hundred thousand in our own store. All we have to do is to work.

Also, if we work for a company we can look at the organization chart and see that it looks exactly the same as an Amway group chart. There are a lot of people at the bottom, less as you go up. The people at the top make money off of part of the work done at the bottom. The only difference here is that Amway people can move up just by working. We don’t need the permission of the person up top. In fact, the person up top is actually happy if we make more money than he does. The person who sponsored our up-line Diamond also sponsored three other people. Everyone one he sponsored makes MORE money than he does, but he make good money himself, and is quite happy about the situation. He hasn’t worked in decades.

First Perception -- Pyramid

Is Amway a pyramid? No. Pyramid schemes are money for nothing. Amway takes work. Most of the folks who get disillusioned are the ones who are hoping they can get other people to make them money. Frankly I don’t know ANYONE who wants to make me money – nor should I expect them to. They have their own families to feed. People who get in thinking Amway will work like a pyramid may get themselves hyped up, and they may spend money trying to motivate themselves – but they’ll NEVER make it (unless or until they change their minds – something books and tapes can help with).

Second Perception -- Partnership

Other folks think this is an equal partnership in which the sponsor does his part and the sponsored do their part. They sponsor a few who sponsor a few who sponsor a few, and the thing just grows on its own. Unfortunately, they’ve actually sponsored people who most often want money for nothing (because they thought it was a pyramid).

Third Perception – a Personal Business

In my twenty-two years of observations, the ONLY way to make money in Amway is to think of it as a REVERSE pyramid – or better, an anti-pyramid. It isn’t what your people do, but what YOU do, that makes you money. Everyone who is committed to sponsoring a few and then HELPING those sponsor a few and then HELPING those sponsor a few… will eventually make some good money. YOU actually build up the organization YOURSELF. After you build up three people so that they are making 50,000 a year, you can finally back off a little. It’s only at that point that you can depend on their groups to grow spontaneously – because it is only then that they have an incentive to maintain it and grow it. In other words, your goal is to make money for your down-line – and only then can you succeed.

My dad tells people to not bother getting in if they are not committed to working. It’s not easy money, but it is possible money. It can be done, and it has been done by everyone I know who has this third way of looking at it. Unfortunately, some are never able to see it this third way, and they are never able to help others see it this way either. If you had been sponsored by someone with the first or second perception, then the chances are that you would never make it – unless you hear some good tapes.


Some tapes are better than others. There is a lot of hype and cheering – but some tapes have some real meat in them. My dad has compiled a list of teaching tapes from different sources, and they’re really good. He lends them to folks, and encourages some leaders to do the same. If you beg him long enough, he’ll let you buy a tape. Does he support standing order tapes? Sure. He enjoys them and a lot of his folks do too. Do they cost five dollars? Sure – but then again so do Charles Stanley’s preaching tapes. Go figure. If you want a real bargain, my preaching tapes are only one dollar – but I’m not Charles Stanley.

I mentioned that I was a Southern Baptist pastor. I love my work, and I plan to be a pastor when I’m seventy. Do I want to earn some money on the side? Well, sure. Do I want to be fabulously rich? No – else I would have done something other than pastoring. But I do want to be responsible with my earnings, and Amway is one way among many to do that. Amway is a business. It has some great products that are better than those of other companies. I has some products that are not as good. That’s just like any company. Some things are more expensive. Others are less expensive. But with 6500 products and services to choose from, and ten customers, each person can get his volume up.

I’m meandering some now, so I’ll pull it to a close. If you want a discussion of business ethics and Amway, then we can have a fun chat. Heck, I might even write a book one day. If the profits from books are as good as Schwartz says, I’ll have plenty to donate to my church, the child I sponsor (Christian Children’s’ Fund), and to a host of other charities I cannot afford to support now. I’m not greedy – and I’m encouraged by that. I’ve never met a greedy person who succeeded in Amway. I’m sure it’s possible, but....

Keep it up!

get a real job.


Thanks for the Amway info. Yesterday I received 2 pamphlets and a cassette tape about a "business opportunity". The brochures talk about "Interactive Distribution", but do not mention Amway. One did mention a "corporate sponsor" that I suspected to be either Amway or National Safety Associates (NSA). But I was thrown when one brochure says "As a business associate of our network you have access to more than 2000 manufactures and service providers representing over 6400 name-brand products and services", and then lists the "markets" (i.e. Agricultural Products, Auto Fleet Pricing, Auto Painting, Auto Accessories, and that is just the 'A's). Didn't sound like either company. The back of the brochures have several company names and trademarks:

interNET Services Corporation
CDE (I think that is "Continuing Distributor Education")
Network of Business Opportunity Entrepreneurs

The tape is "In Search Of Financial Freedom" staring Ty Boyd. The tape identifies interNET Services Corporation as being in Charlotte, NC. Tape is obviously talking about Multi Level Marking (which I know about because my wife use to be a secretary for Bill Gould of NSA fame, if that name rings a bell).

I used all the internet search engines to look for all the company names and trademarks, and found nothing related. Found a whole bunch of stuff on Ty Boyd, but nothing that connected him to any of the other names. My friend was being evasive about what this was all about until he has more time to give me the "whole picture", so he was no help (yea, I know, not much of a friend). So last night I decided to start looking at Amway sites on the internet to see if I could make a connection. And on your site I finally found interNET Services Corp in Charlotte NC., and feel like I have received a vast education. Thanks a bunch. But how do the "2000 manufactures" fit into the Yager outfit? Is this an Amway thing, or has he diversified the "technique" into all these other areas of marketing.

Thanks for any info! I'll pass along what I have learned to my friend, hopefully he is open enough to listen.


It is ashame that just because there is a basket of bad apples, it doesn't meant that every Amway distributor is bad. Nor, for that matter neither is Amway.

I have many happy customers who I service regularly. If you find a bad apple in the basket you should throw it out and pick out a good one.

It all comes down to the sponsor who taught that distributor, or the distributor for not having much people skills.

I can asure that Amway is NOT a pyramid because:

A: Pyramids are illegal

B: Normally in a pyramid, the upline will prevent the downline from

reaching the top level.

C: The upline makes more money than the downline. THIS I CAN TESTIFY TO. In September this year, I earned more money than my sponsor!

Amway contiues to strive to be price competitive and provides products that are of exceptional quality.

Most of the distributors I associate with are extremely friendly and have excenllent people skills. They don't pressure anyone, neither do I.

I have dreams a plenty. When I retire at age 30, which is in 5 years, what will you be doing?


Just another quick letter to tell you, that you maybe now working in a pyramid scheme now. Your employer is on top and you are below him/her and of course making less than him/her.

The Government is a Pyramid scheme. The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, other Politicians, Public Servents and then you & I.

So the whole world is a Pyramid. Amway is the only thing I know of that isn't. Can YOU prove otherwise?

Wake Up and smell the coffee. I suppose that the company you are currently working for has never had a law suite? I suppose that any company that is doing 7 Billion dollars a year is supposed to be perfect? Show me one company of the same size that has never been taken to court on similar charges?

Sidney,thank you for your valuable and informative information. Both my husband and I, like many of your other readers were involved in the AMWAY NIGHTMARE!!!!

I thank God thank my husband and I made a BUSINESS decision and got out of the so-called Amway Business. We lost some money, we did what we were advised to do to "make-it" and were extremely loyal (as they would say)!!!

People involved in Amway forget the reason "most" of them got in, that is too make money!!! Not belong to a huge social club!

I am so thankful my husband and I made this decision and I hope others who are involved in the Amway business are doing it for the right reason.

If you are in this thing to be in a huge social club and get praised and la-te-da than great, Amway is for you!!! But if you are in this thing and you haven't made money and you are doing what it takes, take some advice, get out before you lose all your money, time, etc.

My husband and I always knew that the money was made on the tool side of the business, and we figured we would get out piece of the pie when the time came. Our very good friends who were profit sharing directs let us know the percentage they were making off the tapes and how that fluctated and it you didn't kiss upline's (Pearl, Emerald, Diamond) butt, then your little piece of the pie would be distributed between other directs. Anyway, it's a screwed up system that every oganization runs directly.

Our organization would tell, "its distributors, don't pay your mortgage, go to a function, you need to be there. You will learn invaluable information." Now, it that sick and twisted or what! Believe, me this is no lie and I am not bitter towards Amway. But hell will definately freeze over before I would ever join an organization , or so-called business, like this again.

Don't listen to your up-line, they don't pay your bills. Go ahead and quit, it will feel so good to be normal again!!! Don't think you are a "quitter" of life, you will just be quitting contributing to your up-line's pocket!!! Don't be a fool, we have had many many of our friends hurt from this so-called business.

I always find it amusing to read your web page. I've been an Amway distributor for the last 11 months and find it to be an exciting opportunity (and by the way, I'm doing very well at it). Just to set your mind at ease, I'm not some uneducated, under payed individual looking for a "get rich quick" scheme. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA. At age 37 my wife and I have a combined income of $150,000, not including the $1500.00 a month we are currently making from Amway. Your page is what is typical of most "whiney" Americans today. The Amway business, like any other, takes hard work to suceed. While the business is simple, it's not "easy" as many of your writers probably wanted to believe. I've met and supervised hundreds of people that will never make it very far in life because they are constanly looking for an easy way out. It's easy to bad mouth something that didn't work for you, but many Americans love to blame others instead of themselves for their lack of progress in life. The same people that failed in the Amway business have probably failed at other things they attempted to do in their lives. This response is not to try to convert anyone's thinking. That would be impossible for me to do. Just remember, you are where you want to be in your life. Only you can change it. If Americans would change their negative attitudes to a more positive outlook, this country would be a much better place. By the way, my wife will be quitting her $60,000 a year job in sales soon to run our business full time. I plan on joining her in the near future. It may not be next year or the year after, but it will definitely happen. Not because I believe in the Amway business, but because I believe in myself and the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to. Keep your stories coming. I love having people tell me I can't succeed at something while I'm on my way to the bank…

My telephone service has been changed more than one time from AT& T to MCI - I really don't care which long distance carrier it is but is really annoyed me that it was changed by an Amway distributor without my knowledge or consent. I don't know anyone in Amway, haven't spoken to anyone at all regarding my phone service and it just keeps getting changed. MCI says that the Amway distributor gains points and commissions off of everyone sold-they could give me the distributor number but told me that it was their (MCIs) experience that I would not be able to track that person down. Any clues as to how this happens?

PS Was invited to a "business meeting" of sorts that whose topic was kept secret until I got there last week - turned out to be Amway......

I have read some of the price comparison quotes on you web page. I do respect the people who put their time and effort in gathering the facts.

One thing I found is the prices show what it cost at the store and what you pay for the same price through Amway is missing some major factors.

The first is the price you pay at the check-out. You may pay less at the check-out for the same comparable product, but you also loose at the same time. The first thing you loose is your time. Frist you have to go to the store, then you have to go to the isle of lets say dish soap. You pick up the soap and put it in the basket, next you have to take it to the check stand and pay for it, then you have to put it in your car and take it hame. Then you have to take the same saop in your house and put it away. What a wast of time.

You are paying for your time to go to the store, wear and tear one your car, plus the gas that you use to go to the store, the time you spend in the store getting the soap, and putting up with the people in the store.

When you buy some soap through Amway, you my pay more for it, but the chances is that it is better, last longer, and in the long run pay less.

Thank you for you time.

I am a former amway Thoroughbred in the Foley/McEwem organization. My committment to amway placed a major role in my current unemployment. I invested over $6000. in the business in my first year, and I'm having trouble getting rid of tapes, etc that cost me a few thousand dollars.

Keep me posted about any additional links.

Interesting web-page....people are too freaked out about this. I am an amway distributor. I like it, and I am proud. Yes, it is a business, and I plan to make money with it too. But at the same time, if someone does not want to be in business with me or buy product from me, so what. I will just find someone else. I don't have less respect for my friends because they "don't get it. But I also will not waste time in getting to know new people who might want to be involved. If you don't want to "do" Amway, that's your problem not mine. By the way, I'm not a Christian and I am fully accepted by my upline.

When I worked for Bill Britt around 1980, he was running a tape duplicating and printing operation around the clock making the rah-rah materials that he and Dexter were selling to their distributors, except, oops, they forgot to pay Amway the royalty (which was a whopping $0.01 each) on the materials. After hiring me at one salary and then refusing to pay it to me, I was a quick study and got out on the spot. Enough complaints had piled up against Bill and his crowd with the NC Employment Security Commission, so he moved the shop to another town in the middle of the night.

The only business at which I had ever worked (indeed, about which I had ever heard) that had an *unlisted* phone number.

Suffice it to say that when his brother and sister-in-law got divorced, the local media took great pleasure in distributing just how twisted Bill and his family were. Some thing never change.

Keep up the good work.

I love it! Can you believe I actually fell for this shit one time?!?

I was waiting tables at a Red Lobster in Austin. I'd been a college graduate for about eight months, and a new husband for about five. One night, a guest, “Joe,” gave me his business card, telling me to get in touch with him--he'd like me to work for him. He insisted I meet him at some Denny's restaurant out on the highway. "Joe" gave me some sad-looking photocopy of an "employment application" for some company called Merrig Marketing. I filled it out, we chatted, and left. Naturally, as soon as I got home, I looked for "Merrig Marketing" in the phone book. Closest I could find was "Merrick Marketing." I called the business--they'd never heard of my "friend." I called Joe up and asked him about his company. He said "Be patient--there's a meeting at 7:00 Thursday night at the downtown Hyatt Hotel. Can you and your wife make it?"

"I probably can, but I think my wife has to work. She's--"

"NO! You AND YOUR WIFE must BOTH show up to this meeting. You WILL NOT BE ADMITTED if you show up alone."

At that point, I called the local Texas state attorney general's office. They told me to file a letter of complaint. I did. I waited. Joe called back. I told him that if he couldn't come clean with me over the phone, he was basically considered a scam artist in my book. We told each other to "fuck off," and that was that.

Couple of weeks later, I finally got hold of someone over at the A-G's office. Guy chuckled . . .

"Nah, this is probably just Amway . . ."


"Yeah, this is typically how they push their business. It's not that big a deal . . ."

Wow! Talk about ignorant . . .

Now, here's why I *really* wrote to you (and please don't give me the GIGO treatment < g> ):

Our little village has recently come under attack by an Herbalife woman. Drives a car covered with Herbalife stickers. Leaves signs all over town: streetlight posts, trees, puts 'em on windshields. You know the game. One time, while I was riding my bike past her house (the street connects up to one of my favorite routes), she was standing out in her yard, watering, and screamed at me, "HEY, DON'T WASTE TIME WITH THAT BIKE! LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO *REALLY* GET SLIM'N'TRIM!"

I remember seeing a story on Herbalife about 15 years ago, on "PM Magazine" or "20/20" or something like that. The guy that found it (Mark Hughes?) is like a 10th-grade dropout, has no medical training, etc.

Do you know where any "anti-Herbalife" information can be accessed on the web? I'd really like to give this woman a dose of her own, and leave her some info about the realities behind her wonderful product. If she wants to shit seaweed diarrhea, okay, but don't bilk anyone else into the green apple trots . . .

Again, love your site, and thanks!

To whom it may concern,

Let me tell you what I got out of your biased opinion. Disabled people are imcompetent of making their own personal financial decisions. That they cannot think for themselves. And that the wife of this disabled vet was incompetent also and could not think for herself or her husband.

Why is it when things don't turn out as picture perfect, the blame goes everywhere except where it belongs? Where's the other side of the story?

If this couple was doing so badly, why did it take them years to figure it out. Did the light just pop on three years later? There is obviously something your conveniently leaving out.

Dear Sid,

I was approached from one of these idots last Christmas as well as the summer before. I just recently saved a dear couple of mine from financial disaster. I got them on your page, and they could not believe their eyes. They thank you as well as myself.

I just want to tell everyone that there is no EASY MONEY in this world. If you want to make money, you have to be honest and work hard for it. These Amway people have their HEADS IN THEIR ASSES, and like to take advantage of the weak and the hungry.

I have started 2 business and work for a Government Agency, and I can tell you that having your own honest business is the most self-satisfying job ever.

If I see one more Amway A-Hole, I will introduce him/her to my two buddies, SMITH& WESSON! Get it you freaks of nature!


My wife and I are new AMWAY Distributors although we have been business patners as well as husband and wife for over 30 years. We both have equal say in our other business adventures and have been Christians to the fullest extend of our desires the comeplete time.

I was in the Service and served 1 tour in Korea and 3 tours in Viet Nam. I love the United States and the principals for which it was founded and still stands for.

As I said we attended a Leadership meeting in Joplin, MO. Our up lines came in from great distances just to be with us during ther weekend because they had such great faith in our ability to really do something big in the AMWAY business.

We looked forward to the weekend and seeing such neat people. When we arrived we paid our admission fee and had to put our Diamond's Name on our check so thery could direct it to him (????).

We had a nice meeting wich started out with a prayer and the Pledge to the Flag. So far not problem. The next thing was the first speaker who told us how great AMWAY was and well as himself. I had expected this. They then broke us in to two group. Men in one group and Women in the other. The put us in seperate rooms with the doors closed. Keep in mind there were about 2200 of us.

I sat in the men's meeting and was told not to discuss what was said here with our wives. I read to from the Bible and told that God made men the Master's and women were their servants. I was read to from the Bible and had it inturpted for me that children should work for the family (AMWAY) with all thier free time, with only school and church interrupting them.

I was told that God gave men a sex drive and we had to use it for our healthy out look and that women really didn't like sex, That they but some place after weeding the garden. It was God's design that they be ready for the man anytime he wanted sex, and that should be at least once every 48 hours.

I was read to from the Bible that the US was a Christian Country, Constitution and Declaration of Independence were Christian documents. (I thought that the purpose for us being here, was as stated in the D of I and Constiution as FREEDOM of REGLIGION.)

Ladies and Gentlemen I fought for this wonderful country to which I belong, I put my life on the line several times to insure that everyone has the right to speak what they believe, even AMWAY. But I believe that AMWAY Distribution System is just one step up (not very far) from such groups as the KKK. They are NOT Christian, I know what a true Christian is. They advocate that everyone who is not Christian should leave the US.

We hope that the Company is based on this.

I used to be active in Amway, but geez, all I have seen and read here seems to be from a bunch of chip- bearing, small-minded people. Get over it. Move on.

Although I am pro-Amway your statistics page is very well thought out. You make very valid points. I understood the statistics before becoming active. We were distributors for over three years prior to becoming active and have been active for close to one year. We were shown the plan by a former boss whom I had a great deal of respect for. For those three plus years we were mostly wholesale customers. He would send us a schedule every month of the upcoming functions. He never called and asked or pressured us to go. Though our own decision we went to a Dream Night which was local. After that we went to a few local monthly functions.

I am 40 years old and have been in the technical/engineering field for 21 years, four of those years were in the Navy. In the Navy I spent most of my money on wine, women, and song, the rest I blew. I got married two months prior to my discharge and off I went to take on corporate America. The first few years we struggled as do many newlyweds. Money was tight and we didn't save very much. We were fools in love with dreams of the future. In 1984 I was hired by a major defense company with a substantial increase in pay. My salary increased above the cost of living for three years. Then the Reagan years were over and the raises become evens or lessors. They either just met or didn't keep up with inflation. In three short years the division of the company I worked for went from 9700 employees to 4900. You can only have so many lay-offs, where you get rid of dead wood, before good hard working people begin to loose their jobs. Lay- offs and fear of lay-offs makes for a terrible working environment. My wife and I had over $20,000 in 401K money when I was let go. These lay-offs as well as another major corporation pulling out of Tucson put a hurting on the housing market. The average person who was laid-off, stayed in Tucson and found a job made 30% less. I knew people in Ohio and after six months found a position in my field with a 5% increase. Interesting point, I was hired by my future sponsor two years before he was sponsored.

I had $5700 worth of a so called home improvement loan that didn't increase the value of my home one dollar. I take responsibility for that bad financial decision. To shorten the story I lost $9600 on our home in Tucson, plus the costs of moving to Ohio and paying other debts incurred while unemployed took my $20,000 down to not much in a hurry. Did I make the best financial decisions in coming to Ohio? I don't know. I made them, I live with them.

That first job in Ohio lasted 18 months before the contract was complete. No further work was available so once again despite the fact my boss considered me one of his more valuable people, they had to let me and everybody else go.

This time I got lucky and found another job in 2 short months. Three months after hiring in, this small 120 employee company put on a wage and hiring freeze which lasted 3 1/2 years until the last guy out turned out the lights. It was not uncommon for myself and other engineering people to put in 70+ hour weeks (no overtime pay) doing what ever it took to keep the company going. To no avail.

I was then hired again by my first boss, and now sponsor, to come to work for another company he had since joined. Three months later the Air Force decided they didn't need those F-15 maintenance trainers or the 35 million they had spent to date and we were history. The Air Force spent 35 million and had absolutely nothing to show for it. Again, I was out of a job regardless of how hard I had worked.

I did a spreadsheet six months ago. Figuring a modest 4% inflation, my spendable income has gone down 13.8% from 1980 to 1996. My current company also decided we didn't need raises this year so that will go up to 17%. All this despite the fact that I have always been considered an excellent employee and have sacrificed many hours, days, and weeks away from my family working or traveling. I remember one so called raise. I was given the highest raise of the 25 people in my department. It was 3.3%. The lowest raise in the department was 3.1%. The difference between excellence and mediocrity was .2%. Can you imagine how fired up that made me.

Along comes Amway. What are the statistics? SCREW THE STATISTICS! I busted my ass in corporate America for over 16 years only to get further behind. The one thing I have found in Amway, unlike my experience in corporate America, is if you do the work you get the money. The more work you do the more money you get. What a novel concept!

Hey, all I ever wanted was a chance. Just give me a chance and I'll do the work. I'm not afraid to work. I didn't seem to matter how hard I worked in corporate America. The end result was the same. The money we have been able to save and will save just won't cut it in 25 years. I carry a copy of the number one retirement plan in America, it's a McDonalds employment application. I mean no disrespect but you can take your statistics and run them up the flag pole to see who salutes, but this ole boy doesn't give a shit.

Where would this great country be if people made their decisions solely on the statistics. The greatest advancements and achievements of the 20th century were in spite of incredible odds. One of mans noblest traits is his ability to look beyond what is believed to be possible; to stretch himself; to push the envelope. The summer Olympics were a testimony to the unstoppable human spirit. How many athletes would have been there had they calculated the statistics and made decisions based on those. Yes, I know you did basically talk to that subject. I just wanted to say it. It did sound good didn't it?

BTW, your projected earnings at Emerald and above a minimalistic. I know Ruby's making $5,000 per month. The average Diamond in our organization makes $250,000 first year. Let's say for example that I am core for 10 years and still loose $1000 per month (this exceeds your numbers) after 10 years I'm out $120,000, but I make $250,000 in just the first year as a Diamond. I know I can do that or better with good investments. One problem, they won't keep producing that income year after year.

We are taught to show 10 or sponsor two until we are paying 20 bonus checks. Out that history has shown that 1/3 will quit, 1/3 will do something between 100 pv and 1500, and 1/3 will do something. You should end up with at least three directs out of that from either personals or depth where upline has quit. Later some of the wait-and-see people may do something. Bill Britt only sponsored 48 people. I know one Diamond that sponsored close to 100. At one time he had 25 people and 170 pv. He was good at sponsoring. They key is to sponsor at your abitition level or above. I think you know all this.

I should do a page about the state of jobs in America and the future they hold. Nah! Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, Wall Street Journal, Money, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., have already beat that dead horse.

Let me guess…You are a Jewish, liberal, attorney, Poor chap. Bet I am correct on at least 2 out of 3. However, that will not be held against you. I am a believer in free enterprise, WITHOUT government involvement, a conservative, a Christian, and an AMWAY distributor. If you are interested in making some major money, contact me and I shall show you how. Surely, this business is far more profitable and posative than what you are doing. We actually change people's lives and provide them an opportunity to improve their life-style bigtime. Also, I have nothing against Jews---I worship one. Further, we have distributors who are Jewish, liberal and attorneys who are successful rich chaps.

First of all I like to thank you for this site. Although most of this is opinionated and has no fact relations at all, it provides a interesting points of views.

Amway is a business! Show me a business where you don't have to invest time and money. In the Amway business you invest such small amounts of money for training material and for operations compared to other business that yield you close to the same income.

There is a time factor in this. Most of the letters I read were from people who were in or are in for a month or two. My business plan says 2 to 5 years, not days, not weeks, not months, YEARS!

Amway is unlike any business or MLM I have ever seen. Show me a business that teaches you how to get your finances in control, marriage stronger, and spiritual life stronger. This business focuses on people NOT products, NOT the bottom line. The way the marketing plan is set up is very powerful. You have to help others succeed in order for you to succeed. Principles like this and many others is what attracts Christians like myself to this business. And not only Christians are in this, other religions and people who are not sure about religion are in this. All kinds of nationalities are in from all over the world

If anyone is considering getting into the Amway business, get all the facts. Read "Promises To Keep" by Paul Conn and Success Magazine articles.

Don't base your future on the opinions or failures of others.

Good day and God Bless.


Hope you are doing great!

I have only one question: What is your motivation behind your producing such an elaborate anti-Amway url? Is an Amway competitor sponsoring your efforts?

I have found this site to be amazing! I have spent a very long time trying to prove to my parents that they were doing the wrong thing with Amway. However, I have shown some of this info to them, and in a few weeks I am going to present this information to one of the Diamonds for some answers. We will see what happens, also why don't people give their names, and addresses on the messages? Do you want a form for them to send messages by? Please contact me if you do…

Thank you for this information.

With a busy work and family schedule, I often would find myself going to the grocery store or to Wal-Mart at 10 or 11 p.m. I have since quit going so late, because I frequently find myself stuck in conversations with people who at first make small talk and then go off on how I need to get involved in their vague "opportunities."

Last night I was sitting at a local mall with my baby when this guy I recognized came up and said I have a beautiful daughter. As a proud father, I was suckered into the conversation. I then realized where we had met before--he had started a very similar conversation with me at Wal-Mart a few months earlier. Apparently, he's had so many of these conversations that he didn't recognize me.

Well, I forced him to admit he was trying to get me involved in Amway. And I, furious that he was bothering me and my baby, took great pleasure in letting him know I was not interested in his cult-driven, pyramid scheme. The fake smile washed off his face, and he walked away.

Am I ever glad I found this site! Finally some collective unbiased views of what Amway really is. I (stupidly) joined Amway in July 1995, at this time I was asked to pay the regular initiation fee of $175 as well as a yearly subscription fee of $30. Fine that's all right I thought. I did make one order and even recruited a downline. I spent around $100 dollars buying things I really didn't need such as a bulk package of bruschetta, salsa ketchup and economy sized cereal boxes. I know, I know, that's my fault for buying useless things right? Well it is especially since I'm single and these would last forever in my house. But in order to recieve a commision(from your own products) you have to have a quite sizeable order. I figure my upline owes me about 3-6 dollars for all my efforts, wow I'm on my way to financial independace! Nevertheless, I have never recieved any compensation for this order which is why I have never placed a second, nor wish to follow up on it. Folks, if you want to purchase over priced, poor quality products, make corporate Amway rich, and spend a lot of time doing it this is the way to go. Oh, and it is quite strange that I started to recieve my annual renewal notices around December 1995. That only seems to be six months in my mind. Perhaps it's a bruschetta overdose. My advice to anyone considering joining; you wouldn't buy a car from a company with this many negative comments would you? How about mutual funds? A francise? Surely not. GET BENT AMWAY!

You're opinion sounds very personal, but, you don't speak for the majority. Some peoples lives have been changed because of Amway without hurting others. I'm in Amway and I've been able to buy a wheelchair for a crippled child, Donate food, on a regular basis to families in my community, and be home for my kids on a full basis. I also give more to my church and local food bank than ever before. My marriage is better than ever. So who did I hurt? The people under me are doing just as well as me. Then don't feel ripped-off. Listen, there are flakes in every business including Amway, but not all of us.

Dear Mr. Schwartz,

It is my observation that cultism is being used in it's very liberal context. In any generic context even a job can be considered a form of cult. It is important what the people of Amway are trying to do. It is not to change people to be a certain is to let them believe in themselves. Believe it or not, the people who are involved in Amway view it as a way to achieve their own dreams, not the dreams of some upline or even the goals of Amway. It is simply an alternative way of creating income. Just as in any corporation or organization there are people. People who are involved in different systems, even in our traditional economic system, act differently. If Amway was a cult, then the same could be said about our current economic system. Amway distributors could look at the traditional way of creating money and say that it was a cult to keep people poor. I guess the point I am trying to make is this....the whole point of Amway is what it means.......the American Way which in turn means.....Free-Enterprise. Free-Enterprise is what this country was founded on. The constitution was based on unalienable rights deemed to be available to mankind. It is evident that you did not succeed in this opportunity that was given and it is always easier to say that this opportunity is a cult rather than admiting that you did not take the time to grow to achieve the success that's necessary to be great in this business. It takes growth.....and it is not Amway who sets the standards of how we should be and waht we should say.....but it is the people we talk to who is not in the business. So, in conclusion....if your saying that Amway is a cult because it helps people be successful in every aspect of their life because it teaches success principles that are necessary to achieve happiness in every area of your life, then so be it. I think it is time that we accepted the fact that people are just afraid of what they don't understand or failed at. It is also a fact, that the people who talk about how they made it are telling about what is important to them and how they made it to where they are. They also tell you to take in what you see as important and whatever you disagree with don't listen too. Their absolute main focus is in having you succeed and become the greatest person you can be. I wish you would not misinform people and steal their dreams just because you've had less than adequate results in your experience. You failed because you gave up.......if you really wanted to be successful you would have kept going, but it wasn't in your heart and in your mind. Don't contribute your failure to the attitudes of others because greatness comes from inside of yourself not from others. When you realize that you'll see that everytihng your saying is just an excuse for you to hide behind something that isn't true. I hope that you can someday accept that fact and do away with such a negative talk about Amway because you know what that does to our society? It makes people distrust and become paranoid and when you do takes the coheiveness not only out of the economic system, but out of trust and pretty soon it doesn't matter what anyone says because a man's word no longer holds any weight. If you want to look at anything as a cult look at TV and the attitudes of the stations. Look at all of the negativity and all of the programs that promote things that were never what this country was founded on. You, sir, are very disturbing to me because I can see a lot of distructivness in the way you project your image and the image of free-enterprise. You, sir, are deffinately misinformed.

I am not an english major as you can tell, but I feel you know what I have been trying to say. Have a good day and I hope someday you can put this all to rest and focus on something that is going to help people become successful instead of picking apart everything and trying to make it in to something it's not.

I am an intelligent 19-year-old college student who happened upon the Amway opportunity last year. I was extremely negative and skeptical at first, because I was only aware of the business as a pyramid scam, or door-to-door selling. I want any prospective distributor who reads this page to know that I have not been forced to buy books (I usually find out the recomended titles and request them at Christmastime and my birthday), I have not been forced into buying standing-order-tapes (in fact, when he found out that I was struggling financially, my upline--a 20-year-old direct distributor--told me that he recommended I not receive them until I had a better financial situation!!), and I have not been forced to attend meetings (my upline realizes that I have other commitments in my life). In short, I have not been brainwashed into anything or scammed out of any money. (I am in the Britt Organization) This is a free country and no one can force me to buy anything I don't want to!!!

I know of few other businesses where a person can achieve the kind of personal freedom available in Amway. I am not closed-minded enough to think that there are no other businesses out there--in fact both my father and I have owned several businesses. I have seen, though, that by putting some time and money into this venture, I will be making a wise investment into my future.

If anyone who sees this posted on the web page would like to respond to me, please do so at *.

I hope this information will allow those who have come to this page for answers to examine all the available information--both positive and negative--and make an intelligent decision, not an emotional one.

I think you are mentally disturbed. This web site you have developed is total trash. I am an Amway distributor and am enjoying the benefits this business has to offer. If you and the other "enlightened" people who support this web site had a clue as to what the Amway business is all about you really would not be spewing this crap!! YOU NEED TO GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT -- NOT SKEW THEM OUT OF PROPORTION!! You must be a Clinton supporter, too!!

I'm not sure how to address such a website. As a prospective Amway distributor (I've given it some study and thought), I was intrigued by the depth and diversity of research. On the other hand, as a faithful member of the Mormon faith, a religion much-maligned by people with similar tactics as yourself, I realized the underlying emotion and bias upon which most of your research relies. You listen only to the negative, for if the positive is true, your hatred (for the entity) is wasted, an unacceptable possibility. I have gone back to check several of your citations and quotes. Some were accurate, some were not. Although I do lean against becoming a part of the Amway "family," I agree with several other letters which paint you as someone who lacks the necessary ingredients for self-employment. I am a law student at UNC-Chapel Hill and a real estate investor. I own my own investment firm, and I have carved my way out of school debt through it. As an independent businessman, I see this site as more of a cross between conservative extremism fear and low self-esteem. At any rate, get help and leave those are able to make money alone.


There are many types of people in this world and not everyone is going to be happy with the same things, but for those who are, you should not discourage them with your own opinions or bad experiences. There are many good people who use this company as a way to becoming financial free. If they do not reach that, the only people they can blame is themselves for not taking the extra effort to make it happen for them and their families.

We are our own business. Nothing has EVER been forced on us by our upline.

Dear Schwartz,

I can't believe how uninformed and ignorant you can be about business. You must be a sorry case of liberalism and negatism, and a poor SOB at that! Why should anyone listen to anyone as negative as you. You probably think that there is not a thing right in this world. It is quite obvious that you know NO THING about what you are talking about. Quite honestly, I feel sorry for you. I wish I could help you you, but it would be very difficult to help the leader of the "Moan and groan society of America". Keep up the great ignorance, if you're unlucky, some other poor victim will listen to you.

I was thinking about Joining the Amway corporation but now I am convinced more than ever that Amway should more apropriately be called "scamway". Thank you for publishing information concerning Amway.


I found you information to be very informative. Although I dropped out of Amway, I did so for different reasons.

First, upon observing my mother's activities in another Network Marketing company, I decided that Amway's distribution system was out of date -- certainly not State-of-the-Art. For example, as you now, to deal with the company you have to be a direct distributor -- which is not an easy task. Until you are a "Direct" you have to go to your sponsor's house and pick-up the products -- which is not only an inconvenience but also adds to the cost of the products.

Amway has done nothing to my knowledge to change this.

My Mother's business was much easier to run. She was really not required to supply the product (which was an exceptional nutritional that helped me dramatically). The company supplied the products -- even automatically -- with free shipping. This all was easy since the products are extremely exceptional in cost and value.

Are against Network Marketing in general or just the outdated Amway Plan?

Sounds like you have a problem with Dexter Yager and Bill Britt. How about some of the other organizations in Amway, or are just really ticked at them. Question!! Were you in Amway previously




I got sucked into Amway several years ago by a so-called friend. Fortunately, I had recently left fundamentalism so it only took me a few weeks to see it for the cult that it is. Now I'm about to graduate from college and hoping to make a *real* contribution to society.

Keep up the good work

It's me, Lord 13.

I have been reading the letters for the past few hours, even though I am VERY tired!

Anyways, I cannot believe all the pro-Amway peoples' letters. The speeling and pucuation and grammer is so POUR!

No wonder these people are in Amway. They can't do anything else, because they are ILLITERATE!!!!

Go ahead and print this.:)


I have spent some time over the last 2 months or so getting the scoop on your site. I have read most of what you have posted and have gotten many a laugh from some of the stories people have submitted. I do wonder in amazement if, in fact, some of them are actually true. Nevertheless… I have been an Amway distributor since July 1990. I am in the Yager/Storms org. and would like also to share some thoughts on "the business."

Basically, I maintained a consistent loyalty to the business and upline ("99% loyalty is 100% disloyalty", damn, I hate that quote) through about the Summer of 1995 attending ALL functions, SOT, Quick Silver SOT, Seminars & Rallies, book of the month, etc., etc. I am single so I often did not consume my personal 100PV per month ( not a quota), but had a small downline for a while to make up the difference and then some, so I usually ended up with a meager bonus check for my efforts. That was fine, as my consistency in "showing the plan", "spinning circles", etc. was sporadic. My contacting rate however was very good ( weekly phone sessions, etc). To be truthful, I never felt totally confident with the recommended "curiosity" approach, but like a "loyal" networker I never questioned my upline. My highest PV level was 1000, so I know that it works.

Come the Summer of 1995, I decided that it was time to start pursuing other interests in my life again as I had grown conscious of the fact that I had become quite bored with the business and felt as if life was beginning to pass me by ( geez, I'm only in my late 20s!). It was just meeting after meeting after meeting…Sure I have dreams, tons of them. But I was also starting to wonder if Amway was the vehicle towards those dreams. I had also felt as if I had become "shallow" as a lot of "Ambots" are considered to be and learned how to regurgitate quote after quote from the 1000 or so tapes I have accumulated. Yes, I am still receiving my 2 tapes per week and do still attend functions on occasion. Why? Most of the people I have associated with are great people even though most are still plodding along at a snail's pace. At least they are enthusiastic and are making an attempt. I personally was tired of making the attempt. (Yeah, I know, "get a BIGGER DREAM!!!!!!!!!") I have, thank you. Also, there are many positive things on those tapes. As for being cultish....nah. Very persuasive, yes. If it was a cult, everyone would be rich in this thing, most aren't and probably never will be. I will agree that there are many fanatics, but I have not noticed any cultlike activity in my upline.

As for not hearing from upline as often, if at all. There is some truth in that statement that many ex- distributors or inactives make. But look at it this way, if they spent all of their time checking up on the non- producers, they wouldn't have time to build a business. Come on, everybody knows that most people quit or have many periods of inactivity. Those people chose to get in and they chose to leave. Do I harbor any resentment against my upline for not hearing from them? No, because believe it or not, they are still willing to talk to me or help me through any personal situation if I call on them! The only resntment I would have is if I found out heard that I was being called a "loser" for not building the business. It is not like I sit at home and watch the boob-tube. I am literally out pursuing other interests and dreams that Amway just cannot possibly do at this time in my life.

Anyway, there are many aspects of the business that cause people to become quirky or eccentric. I will tell you this that I know at any function I go to I can leave my wallet on the seat in a room full of 10,000 people and it will be there when I get back. Hell, my boss at work just helped 3 other people "steal" 4 seldom-used computers from our company just 1 day prior to us getting bought out when everyone had left for the weekend. How do I know this? One of those computers was in MY office and I handle the tracking of all assets for my company. He tried to tell me that he bought them but could not tell me how much they were still valued at and no check payable to the company has come flying across my desk! There is honesty in this business that is not seen in the corporate world.

The tools can become quite an expense if one treats it as a "hobby and spends" (yes, not invest, spends) money frivolously on tools they will never use. I do not buy anywhere near the amount of tools as I used to because my activity level does not justify it. There probably are many organizations out there who push tools for the sake of pushing them. I hear tools being promoted all the time on AMVOX. They do help some people, but they don't guarantee to help everyone. If you don't think you're activity level justifies what you're spending on them then DON'T BUY THEM!!! Don't worry about threats from upline. We're all adults in this thing. Most people who get in this thing have no prior business knowledge anyway so there is a certain level of trust that must be maintained with upline. But come on, if you're skipping a mortagage payment to get to the next function…re-evaluate!!!!!

Well I should get moving along. I do not think you are doing a disservice. It is obvious that many people who write are very passionate one way or the other. That's fine. Those who are serious will evaluate all of the facts and do it regardless while others will whine no matter what. At this point in my life I choose not to build it, but all the best to those who are. I commend your efforts. Those of you who are whining, please continue. I laugh for hours on end. Later Sid.

I just sat through an Amway sales pitch earlier this evening, when the two fellows left I decided to see what I could find out on the internet about the Amway corparation and I ran across some articles at your web site.

needless to say they opened my eyes!!!

please E-Mail me back with more ammunition as they are coming back thursday evening to pick up their video & audio tapes and booklets thank you so much!!!!

You did a beautiful study! I read no one disputing your quantitative analysis. That speaks volumes of how little Amway defenders understand probability or the sales figures of their own organization.

A cousin of mine is into Amway and assured me that the catalog would save me lots of money. I was perfectly willing to buy from it. He did not know how to figure out the prices so he gave me the catalog for me to figure them. I found one article about $20 less than at my local Sam's but everything else I looked at was either pricier or of markedly less quality of material. I have never been involved with Amway because of the lack of data on their program the few times I asked them from someone trying to get me interested. On the other hand, I sold cleaning stuff as a teenager for a company similar to Amway then called Bestline.

I probably netted $20 but I learned about organizing, motivational talk, and how much I hate selling door- to-door.

One thing you did not explain too well is the SA-xxxx document you use as the source of your data. Perhaps you could copy it directly?

Have you received personal threats?

Anyway, congratulations and thanks for your study.

Hi there,

Well, it's hard to tell the whole story but I was invited to join the "Amway system" (you know the procedure) and I thought it was too good to be true. I started digging for some information but not the usual one. Finally I got to your Internet page which opened up my eyes. I think it is great. I guess not even the people involved in this knows what their chances to fail are.

About this site, I think it's very detailed: handles numbers, dates, prices, testimonies, it compares with other similar stuff, etc. things that are objective and not just "air" as the story I was told.

Dear Sidney Schwartz,

Congratulations on your excellent site! I especially enjoy the statistics written by Bradley Omer. Upon a brief examination of the SA-4400, I came up with the same 1/2 of 1% chance of going direct and was looking for a professional critique of the Amway business plan - Mr. Omer has written it. I wish I had access to it several years ago when my next door neighbor got into Amway; a few brutal statistics right at the beginning might have been enough to counteract the cult mentality and save him a lot of exhaustive effort, not to mention $$$.

The lawsuit coverage is powerful. It would be helpful to know the outcome of some of the older cases. Although I don't know how to check it out, perhaps information is available locally about some of the cases that are summarized.

Keep up the good work - it must take a lot of guts to suffer electronic warfare waged by a cult…

Mr. Schwartz, I just happened to stumble upon your webpage and wnated to send you my regards! Very informative. I hope that this page will help to inform Amway prospects and distributors out there. I've never really searched for this kind of info on Amway but I've never seen so much info on the Amway sham. Perhaps that is because I live approximately 2 miles form Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndel. Pretty tough neighborhood to be a network marketer in, but I've definitely done quite well for myself. I have never considered being involved with Amway and have seen first-hand the kind of chaos and disorder Amway can bring down on people. I ran most of your webpage through my printer as I need to show this info to a couple of friends who were considering Amway last week. I run into people like this all too often and have been suckered into going to several meetings myself. I definitely witnessed what I consider to be unethical business practices. Amway has done more harm to network marketing than all other "questionable" MLM's combined. I presently have a former diamond distributor for Amway, PM, in my upline with a company that just started August 1st, *. Paul left Amway back in 1984 to join * and build a downline of over 350,000 distributors. I had one of their compensation plan fliers given to me awhile back and have tried to explain to several in Amway how I came up with the same figures you did to no avail. I am a stats man myself. They seem to follow the first person to come along and show them that they need to set goals, have ambition, etc. People need to realize that this is business. You make up your mind that you're going to be successful and then play the numbers!!! If you want to be in network marketing, look for a solid company with sound financial backing, a good product, and the best compensation plan! Are you in network marketing yourself??? I'd be interested to talk to you about the industry. I always like to keep abreast of new info and am always looking for the BBD (Bigger Better Deal). Anyways, wonderful webpage. Have there been any repercussions other than a lot of nasty e-mail??? Hope to hear from you.

I think your consumer reports articles are out dated. You fail to address the 100% money back guarentee if customers try the product and is unsatisfied with the product. you also don't address the fact they will have products delivered to their door, and on major appliances are extended one year warrenties.

If you feel the need to report the facts then report all the facts.

Dear Mr. Schwartz--

I vaguely remember someone (you) once saying that the political messages put out on Amvox are illegal. Is this true? I was about to get my Amvox disconnected, because I find these messages (from Newt and Libby Dole and D. Yager) to be occassionally offensive and because the message system is so much more expensive than what I can get from other sources. However, if it is true that this is illegal, where can I report it? Should I save these messages to give to whomever is "in charge"? I would greatly appreciate your reply. And I know that this will be in the FAQ soon, but I was wondering who you are and how you are involved, et al. Anyway, thank you for all the work you put it. Thanks a lot.

Hello Russell;

[Who’s “Russell”?]

Thought I would like to comment on your obvious labouring effort to disclaim the Amway marketing plan.

I've been involved with Amway for four months now and I did my research too, prior to "signing" up. I read both the unfortunate tales and the good stories.

I've been working for over 25 years in the technical field. I've managed to make it through the eighties recession and the nineties, but not without a lot of stress and anxiety. The future is bleak for our young, maybe you should look into adding a business degree to your computer skills because you will soon realize that going into the 21st Century will not be easy. We ARE in the Interactive Age where doing business will be with "oneself". Our countries (I'm from Canada) were founded by entrepreneurs until the Industrial Age made a new paradigm for the average American. It did make us virtual slaves to the Corporate and Manufacturing world. Once upon a time a guy could go from high school and go work at the plants until the day he retired. Too bad that's what everyone thought success was. A secure job and retirement at 60. There is no such thing anymore. Well,then we hit the Information Age, where computers and the information highway has made quick work of the way we manufacture and and communicate. History is repeating itself. It has been known and documented in many great magazines, books, business mgmt. courses I've read and attended that being in business for yourself is paramount to the new Interactive Age. People do and will always want a faster and better way to do things. That's what brings me back to Amway. I have been approached by many MLM companies to become part of their team. There is nothing wrong with MLM's it's another way to do business. Get used to it because it is here and will be for a long time. I have invested many dollars into start up kits for various MLM's and have made money too. However, they lacked one thing "Vision" and "Planning for the Long haul." Hence, they went into recievership, their motto was "Just like Amway only better". Yah, well Amway is still in business and they're INCREASE each year is tesitmony that they're doing something right. I reasearched everything from the Better Business Bureau to the Chamber of Commerce and recieved good reviews.

II've heard people say, why don't they just change their name? Then I'll join. It reminds me of the days of dating when the boys I dated sent out rumours that I put "out" when I didn't do anything! Should I have changed my name to hide my embarrasment and shame? No! I didn't do anything, I just hold my head up high. So is the same for Amway why should they change when they haven't done anything wrong? They are a huge business, you have no idea about their credibility. I tell people, I am an Amway distributer.

I happen to think that the marketing plan is the best I've seen out of the many "out there". Heck, they wouldn't be in business for 37 years if they fell apart everytime someone threw a slanderous remark against them. Look at the Scum magazines out that print out lies and literally ruin/or mar the reputation of many people.

This bit about being a cult is so sad, the corporation where I work has paid out literally millions of dollars to "train" the employee's to fit their "image". They would also frown too, if they found out I don't buy the very product they produce! They promote us promoting the product or selling it to others.

It really is too bad that you had such a horrible experience Russell, [Who’s “Russell”?] I've been to many meetings, rallys and functions and I find them essential to building this "BUSINESS" yes, that's exactly what it is. And in business there is going to be expenses and investments. Most businesses do not even realize a true profit after two years of the opening day. (Not unless they put in 100 to 120 hours a week) My upline has never forced me to purchase anything. And as far as the tapes go, those are voices of the ones who have made it. They let us know that it can be done. They teach us their mistakes. I would rather take advice from a millionaire than a thousand-aire any day. My upline double diamond is a single woman, whom I look up to as a role model as I too am a single parent. So there is no belittling anyone in submissive "male/female" roles. They have a solid Christian moral ethic that I like. I have heard that there are some distributers out there that have taken their own path with this and have become "fanatics" and unfortunately that could be what your experience was.

You know there a good people and bad people wherever you go in this life so why would the Amway Corporation not have any too! Heck I've known many "Sunday Saints" and "Monday Aint's" in my life thus far. And hey Crap happens, but it definitely is a business for someone willing to do the work now and get pain the benefits down the road.

Hey Russell, [Who’s “Russell”?] this is lengthy but I was never one to be short and too the punch. But I sure wish that anyone that discovers your Homepage has the maturity to check it out and decide for themselves what path in life they choose to go. And not make a decision on someone elses experiences. I really do feel bad for you, you make it sound so horrible and it's far from that.

Take care fella and all the best in your Quest in life.


I am disturbed that Black Australia is about to enjoy a season of Amway in Australia.

I was quite sceptical when I was informed by a prominant Aboriginal that they (Aboriginals)were about to embark on the Amway 'trip' because White Australia had failed and will always block the proper distribution of goods, domestic or otherwise to the bush.

The Aboriginal people who posess the richest part of Australia, the bush, and white Australia in the name of progress have been involved on the genicide of this peaceful race for some 200 years for that same land.

While the 2nd and 3rd world countries and some 1st world areas are suffering the same onslaught Aboriginal Australia is made up of a unique race that is worthy of preservation.

We do have a serious problem with over grown greedy corporate intitutions world wide, however we must find the solution that will bring all sides together, please help?

I would call this web site "whiners helping whiners".

Amway is a business opportunity. Nothing more, nothing less. If anyone is distressed by the unorthodox methods used by the distributer that aproached them, they have a much bigger problem than Amway, and that problem is self-esteem. Nobody tells me what to do. I am a free man able to make my own choices. My 'upline' is a pushy little man that wants this business so bad he is willing to do anything to achieve it. Just because he is a little mixed up doesn't mean that the business doesn't work. The difference is I don't take his advice. Nor do I take the advice of my co-workers ( yes I still have a job) when they tell me that I should rely on the government to provide for me with a pension. People that use the words "trapped", "scammed" or "misled" to describe their experience with Amway are unclear of the concept. I use this business as a tool in my ever growing collection of tools to ensure that when I want to retire I will have no financial challenges and I have found no other reliable method to achieve this.

Building this business is not rocket science, in fact it is the simplest business I have ever looked at. I got in to create a residual income by teaching people how to harness the cash flow that currently exists in their lives. We teach them how to organize what they are already doing - spending money.

The purpose of any business is to create an income that exceeds your basic needs so that you are able to live a lifestyle that you consider acceptable. If that income is defined by a need to get out of debt and stay out or to spend time with your family then it would make sense to seek advice from people who have achieved that and are willing to share their information. If you cannot respect your sponsor then don't take his advice but find someone you do respect and talk to them. Even if it is not with AMWAY.

I'll give you an example:

A restaurant is a business opportunity. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are going to seek advice on how you should run your business you can talk to someone that runs a cafe or you can talk to someone that owns an expensive downtown restaurant. You will get two entirely different philosophies. Which advice you take will be governed by what your goals are. Most people do not have goals.

If you are genuinely interested in looking at the business and not the people I can be reached at the address below.


I am sorry to see that this is how you feel about Amway. Like Amway, or any other endeavor in life, only certain people are cut out for it. Not everybody who goes to college is able to get a job afterwards, are they? People who will work hard for their dream can make it no matter what, in anything, not just Amway.

Respond if you want and tell me what you think.

Interesting I found your web site tonight. What I have read is right on target.

We are no longer in Amway because of some of the very things your page says.

I am sending copies of some of your quotes to my former upline.