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]
Very interesting site. I was in Amway for about 3.5 years. I have been inactive about 6 months. My story is typical of a lot of distributors, I won't bore you with it. It's just amazing the things you realize after you are away from the system for a while. Anyway at one point I was curious about the system money, so I left a message with my upline diamond on Amvox asking him to explain the system money. He was upfront and said they do make money off of the system. He wouldn't say how much, but he did offer an explanation. First off he said it does cost money to produce the tapes. (No great revelation their) How much it costs he didn't say. Second he said this is another benefit of being in the britt line of sponsership that I will be able to participate in once I reach the higher pins. And the interesting thing he said was, if you have a large organization that you need to supply tools with, this could be a large sum of money you will have to lay out to stock your shelves. Lets say for arguments sake you need to lay out $20,000 in tool money, this is $20,0000 that could be earning interest in the bank, so part of the system money is used to offset this. Have you heard this before? What are your thoughts?
First, I want to get in line to express my appreciation of your excellent website. With the information you make available, it is possible to gain a balanced view of Amway. Many thanks for your work.
I say this, oddly enough, as a shareholder in Amway Asia Pacific.
There is simply no way that I would get involved in Amway directly; however, it is a terrific money machine, and I expect it will experience explosive growth in S.E. Asia.
- The population is many times larger than the U.S., and Amway is new in most Asian nations, particularly China. In countries where Amway is already established (Thailand for example)revenues have been growing at double-digit rates.
- The economies of China and elsewhere are growing rapidly with improvement in personal incomes, and there is a pent-up demand for Western-style consumer goods.
- Direct, face to face sales is already a traditional, well-established way of doing business.
- Capital for starting businesses is almost non-existant for all but the wealthy. The Amway "entrance fee" is much lower than attempting to start a business out-of-pocket.
For these reasons, Amway Asian Pacific deserves consideration as an investment. Of course there are negatives in the equation. AAP is registered as an off-shore corporation, there is large local and Amway U.S. ownership of local operations (diluting the value of AAP stock), the Canadian law suit has not gone unnoticed by some countries (Singapore bans multi-level marking operations like Amway) and so on.
I couldn't help but notice that Amway's venture in to publically traded stocks is not addressed at your website. Why is that? Is this part of the story outside your scope of interest? Is there a lack of information?
BTW, the reaction of people who try to enlist me when I tell them I participate by owning stock is most interesting. Obviously, this is an angle that Amway has failed to include in it's recruiting efforts -- never-the-less, it's only a matter of time before they work this in. Imagine if Amway starts pushing its stock through its network? As the stock rises because of these "voluntary" purchases (perhaps bought as a retirement investment - an investment in one's own hardwork and glorious Amway future), the rush would be on. This scenario doesn't seem to be happening now, but it's just a matter of time.
Thanks again for an excellent site.
It's always a pleasure to visit your site and download the latest comments. As I told you once before, I find first-person accounts, positive or negative with respect to your site, fascinating and very informative.
I wish you well in your endeavor, especially now that Amway seems to be interested in crushing all sources fo dissent. Corporations and other totalitarian regimes can't bear the idea that people do not like them and are almost frantic at the thought that critical views are being disseminated about them. In the time before the Internet and World Wide Web came into common usage, such entities could control much of what was said about them to an audience through threats of ad boycotts and other means to stop the presses. Now, every person with Internet access can become a publisher and gain a worldwide audience.
It's funny that corporations will advertise their products as "liberating" you from drudgery and ordinary life, but then they try to keep you from using that same liberation to criticize them. I read recently that some corporations are asking for notification if "offensive" or critical articles are going to appear in a publication, so they can pull their ads. The first case I can recall was when Business Week ran a story about how the Postal Service's commitment to improving service began and ended with its ad campaign announcing that service would improve, but little or nothing was done to improve service and Marvin Runyon was a powerless CEO. On one of the pages opposite was an ad touting the "improved" service. (BTW, I worked for the Postal Service for 11 years and can vouch that most of the talk of improved service was advertising hype, and everyone knew it.)
I find it disturbing that so many pro-Amway letters start by telling you that you are entitled to your opinion, implying that the criticisms of Amway are mere conjecture and not factual accounts. In so doing, they impugn the integrity of those who tell their story and admit that they were taken for a ride. Were I a former Amway distributor who had decided to open up and reveal my own losses to strangers, I would be offended at the application of the word "loser" to me just because I had quit something. It takes a lot of courage to admit that one has made a serious mistake, and I applaud those who share their experiences; we are all the richer for it.
We live in a society where money is an obsession, most especially to those who have a lot of it, or so it seems. I would like to live in a luxury development with lots of bedrooms, bathrooms, Lexus cars and several MMX PCs networked together, plus a T1 line to the 'Net, but I also have to be realistic. Americans today work for years and years and suddenly, one day, their jobs are gone and they face the possibility of having to work a lot harder for a lot less money. Amway distributors play upon those fears with catchy phrases (Just Over Broke, Job attitude, etc) to paint a picture of a life wasted unless one joins Amway.
In some of the less coherent postings, mixed in with the four-letter obscenities, is the statement that Amway is a multi-billion dollar company and who are you - or anyone else - to criticize several billion dollars? Well, I don't criticize the money, I criticize how it was obtained. The simple fact of the matter is that people are lured into a scheme that they think will make them money without fully understanding exectly what they will have to do to get that money, and that lifestyle presented in the slick, glossy magazines they are shown.
Whenever I go for a job, the first thing I ask is this: Exactly what will I be doing? I work as a copy editor, Web site maintainer and occasional reporter for a newspaper. When I went for my interview, I had a pretty good idea what I'd be doing, and I found out a lot more. I'd be designing pages for the paper, I'd be updating the Web site, I could even do some reporting if I wanted. The point is, there was a clear declaration of what I'd be doing to earn my salary at the paper.
In the Amway and other MLM presentations I've attended, there was almost nothing along those lines. Presenters would get irritated because I'd ask what exactly I had to do in the business. Had they said direct sales and scouting prospects, most of whom would be hostile, in malls and other places where people gather, the majority of people would have gotten up and walked out, saying that kind of stuff wasn't for them. But presenters have honed their pitches, based on experience, and talk about cars, homes, the good life, and retirement at 35, shoving the hard questions under the rug and refusing to answer them straight.
Do sites such as these "steal dreams," as many suggest? I doubt it. While being better informed may result in one being exposed to information that may not fit into current viewpoints or understanding, it cannot hurt to be aware of what people are thinking and saying. Those who are uncomfortable with the truth try to silence it by whatever means possible.
I notice when reading the pro-Amway comments that the "F" word, with various endings, is a common verb or adjective, plus a mass of misspellings. An integral part of presenting an argument is in being able to express oneself without the use of invective or obscenity, observing all the rules of correct grammar. That'll impress people. When I worked for the Postal Service, I was a bottom-level mailhandler who was not supposed to be intelligent enough to pick my nose, my bosses, said. Yet, I got a college degree with honors and produced an underground employee newsletter that got the attention of high-level postal brass because it was spelled and grammared properly, not to mention the content. Your point comes home a lot better when you edit your own writing for mistakes.
Anyway, I better close now. Take care, be well and keep up the great work on this site, Sid.
Thank your for the most informative page. I was never an Amway distributor, but I did spend the first 20 years of my life involved in a religious organization which shares so many of Amway's characteristics. For example, both organizations are based on recruiting new members; leaving is made difficult, and those who leave are "shunned" by those who remain. Simply substitute the phrase "apostate" for "quitter/loser/dreamstealer" and you have the same effect. In both, independent thought is discouraged, and a sense of urgency is maintained. Attendance at functions is mandatory, and regular meeting are required to keep people motivated and away from negative thought. The list goes on and on.
Most interesting were the comments from current Amway distributors. Almost all of them resorted to an Ad-Hominum attack on your motives to detract from the facts. It is what you would also find of those who have their religious beliefs challenged.
One final point. I am self-employed, and have been for over 16 years. I am in the computer business, and make a fair amount of money. I also take good care of myself, and enjoy regular vacations in fairly expensive locations where I meet many other folks who are making a decent living as well. In all this time, I have NEVER met someone who is making money with Amway, although I have met many who expect to. Perhaps they are all vacationing at more expensive locations than am I, but somehow I doubt it.
I have had no bad experiences with Amway personally, having the good sense to avoid repeating the mistakes of my youth. However, I applaud your efforts at providing the information you do for those who are not aware of the negative effects that such an organization will have on their lives and psyche.
While I perused the comment columns, I was in stitches. One in particular from the first section was in all CAPITAL letters. Within that commentary, I found much evidence to question that particular zealot's sanity. To judge their intelligence, you must only look to their sentence structure, and their use of there:)
Sounds like you did not like the concept and did not put the effort you needed to in order to make it work.
I am comfortable where I am, and so don't need anyone like you to talk me out of my dreams.
This is in response to a letter you received from "I'M 30 YEARS OLD AND HAVEN'T HAD A JOB IN 8 YEARS." (Response group #31)
I'm sorry, but…bullshit. I'm glad your dreams are so powerful that you actually believe you've spent the last 2 winters skiing in the Alps, but please, at least try to be a little credible. Your words are typical Amway crap. Your lies about making "several people in your downline 6 figure incomes (on their way to 7 figures)" are ridiculous. I challenge you to send in your tax return from last year.
Anyone in an MLM knows that 2 successive winters away from your "business" would destroy and erode a downline. And the garbage about driving to the store in your "Lambragini"???!!!! At least learn how to spell the name of the car you fantasize about.
I have no doubt that if you haven't had a job in 8 years you probably have NO money put away and a growing pile of debt. But, hang on to those dreams and fantasies - at least your imagination will get to drive a "Lambragini."
When are these Amway/Equinox/Excel people going to snap out of it?
I think that it's very unfortunate that many people were treated the way they were when they got into Amway. My upline has taught me not to push, or force anyone to buy anything. They haven't pushed anything on me either. It took me almost two years to realize what I had my hands on. I have been involved in other MLM's that have fallen apart, literally! I have made real estate investments that have gone great! I've also made some great investments in the stock market. But, I have not found anything as great as the Amway Opportunity! I didn't jump in and push people, I just gave them a chance at a better life. I'm 24 years old and will retire this summer and it feels great! The only thing that I would recommend to others, is that you are not obligated to buy or sell anything. If they try to force you to, return your kit immediately! Even if it means going higher up than them. Remember, when you become a distributor, you are in business for yourself!
My name is * and I'm wondering if you might be able to help me. My problem is that my finance' has recently bought "the business" of the NEW Amway, and I can see that he is being sucked into this manipulative group of people. I can't stand it!! I don't trust these people at all. I think this "business" is a crock and I can't get him to see this. His best friends told him about it and was then shown the plan by their family physican. Whom he see's can do no wrong, for it's got to be geniune if a doctor is doing it. "You would think a doctor would make enough money". I wouldn't let this doctor touch me with a 10 foot pole. *, my finance', is convinced that we can make this business work, but he also knowns that I'm extremely skectical. We've been in this business for about 3 weeks and it's already causing many disagreements. I wondering what is going to happen to him if I can't get him to see the scam that it is. I love him very much, but he's changing into a "got an answer for everything Amway monster". PLEASE send me any advice. I'm desperate and it's only the beginning.
My wife and I have been Amway distributors for 7 years (very active for the first three, mostly inactive for the last 4). I very much appreciate your web site. It contained a wealth of information of which I was totally unaware; and it confirmed many of my suspicions.
A couple of issues:
1) What motivated you to do the research you've done and create this site? In one place you mention you didn't have experience w/ Amway products, implying you're not an ex-distributor. Just curious …
2) The only substantive place I coud find to disagree with you was on the product evaluations and the price comparisons. Especially with the Amway-made products, the cleansers, the vitamins, and the makeup, lifelong experience (I had to start grocery shopping and doing laundry when I was seven because my parents got divorced) tell me that the products are, for the most part, superior. Superior products can demand higher prices. FWIW, I don't trust Consumer Reports as far as I can throw them, and I developed that feeling long before I heard of Amway. Just as an example, I doubt they tested for the corrosive characteristics of laundry detergents - SA8 is made to not cause corrosion of the metallic objects it contacts, and I've seen demos and live evidence of this.
On the same front, comparing catalog prices to store prices isn't totally fair. A person can indeed get the product cheaper going to the store, but catalog shoppers frequently are looking for convenience and service. We've personally experience the results of a 1 year return policy which would never have happened at retail outfits (my mom managed Kmarts for 17 years).
3) It would be helpful if *all* the letters and quotes on the site were all dated so that one can see that despite all protests to the contrary, the same exact behaviors that DeVoss railed against in the early '80s are still going on.
Many thanks for a great site,
I am an Amway distributor. I have been in the "system" for a year and a half and have had a real good success with my business. I can't figure out why and where you get the information that you display. I enjoy the products. I am making money and have gotten a great deal of personnal satisfaction building the business.
It's not easy but anything worth while isn't....is it? Do you enjoy publishing this negative stuff? You have a really tough job. I'm glad that I'm not focusing on the negative.
How can you justify your neglect? I am not them or you. Judging has no place here or any where. We are not God. Niether are you are me qualified failures to judge another.
Ican tell you suck to if you judge anyone by your failures. Let others have their day if you will not.
I have been one of those many folks out there sitting on the fencepost, trying to make a decision about Amway for some time. I was approached by my brother * about a week ago to "join up" with Amway "to secure my future". He used all the common buzz words and phrases Amway has coined and overused. As you might tell, I have decided not to "cash in on the impending explosion of business". After researching Amway, like I would with any prospective business venture, I saw too many disquieting things for me to want to get involved. I mean, come on…have you ever heard of a mutual fund being described (even potentially) as a social/economic cult?
My problem is kind of complex. I'm sure other folks you have spoken and corresponded with have faced the same problem. How do you not lose your family member that's involved with Amway? I don't want to alienate my brother. After years of family problems, we've finally started to get close again and act like brothers. I love my brother and his wife very much. The problem is not only telling him I don't want to get involved, but how to try and tell him about some of the shortcomings and misleading statements that I have heard concerning Amway and its dealings.
My brother is a well educated man. He is an executive with a large company. He graduated from one of the US Service Academies. But the fact is that he's bought into this Amway business all the way. I want to enlighten him before he or his wife get hurt financially, emotionally or otherwise.
Do you or any of your readers have any advice as to how to approach this sensitive subject? If any advice can be given, I'd gladly consider it dut to the fact that I don't know how to handle this situation.
I would like to get my hands on the actual Court Documents from the Canadian case.
Can you give me a line on how? I don't mind paying for them or even flying up there (I am not in Amway so I can afford it).
I also have a comment. It appears that the FTC requires Amway to report average income and they report $65/Month gross. Is that true? Is this Gross? Do you realize a single bottle of Zoom could be $65 gross? When a distributor sells it, that is his gross, when he buys it from the guy above him, that is their gross and when the guy above him buys it from Amway, that is Amway's gross. Amway could also sell it to themselves as it moves from manufacture through the distribution channel. Amway is known for creating fake transaction you know. Each transaction is a gross income.
Remember, gross is sales before expenses so you can never have a negative gross. For every diamond making $100,000 per month, buying direct from Amway at say 25% off retail, there are over 2500 active distributors making a gross of $0 per month.
Gross is such a stupid number. I will give anyone in the world a Gross income of $100,000 / Day out of my own pocket today. All they have to do is send me a valid certified check for $150,000 / day made out to cash. Their Gross will be $100,000/ Day, Net of course will average somewhat lower, but you're not going to be average are you?
Please let me know about that Canadian Case.
i am an amway distributor. my diamonds are r and m *. my ruby direct is *.
i got in about a year ago.
it took me a year to see everything that you have laid out in your web pages.
i wish i had got on the internet and seen your page before my wife and i became distributors.
keep spreading the truth.
i am ashamed to admit that i am a lawyer and former journalist. i should have known better. if you ever need any help on anything, then just give me an e-mail.
thanks for your efforts. you have probably saved many marriages and many people from financial ruin. good luck and god bless.
Not multi-level marketing rather multi-level middlemen
I am in the United States Air Force and have been approached on several occassions by people who wanted me to "meet with some of their associates." I grew up believing there is no such thing as a free lunch, so I've never even considered meeting with these people. However, some young Air Force members do, and they are brainwashed. I knew a young Air Force member who was single and had a promising future. He found out his girlfriend was pregnant, and soon found himself married with an infant child. He was struggling to make ends meet, and I'm sure this is when AMWAY got to him. The last time I saw him, he seemed to be doing pretty well financially. He probably attributes this to AMWAY, but the real reason is that his Air Force salary has doubled since he joined the service eight years ago.
Luckily the AMWAY people in my unit have moved on. I've noticed one trend among these people - they don't want to move. Military officers are expected to move around often to gain a variety of experiences. Homesteading, which is when an Air Force member stays in one location for most of his or her career, is generally frowned upon. The five AMWAY members that have come to my unit have spent their entire careers (5-8 years) in *. I am convinced these people see the Air Force as one giant cocktail party where they can search for vulnerable members. I believe AMWAY is incompatible with military service, and I am dedicated to exposing these people for what they really are.
Feel free to use my story as long as I remain completely anonymous (unfortunately, there are some high ranking Air Force members in AMWAY). My story is pretty one sided, but I call 'em as I see 'em. I would also be interested to know if you could point me towards any additional information about AMWAY or other pyramid schemes and how they have recruited military members.
Great web site. Thank you for putting it together.
I'll keep this brief, because I'm sure you've heard this all before. But I just wanted to write and thank you for "the untold story." In short, I bought my Welcome Kit Friday evening (5/2/97), got all excited, and listened to some rally tapes. That's when it all started to fall apart …
The tapes seemed "motivational" (just like you said) without any real substance of "how do you do this thing called Amway Success." But my wife and I kept plugging away at it.
Then, I talked about it with a few friends on Saturday morning. They all said the same thing, "Please don't get involved with that … it's a pyramid system. Only the people at the top make any real money." Okay, so I thought like a new distributor: "Loser thinking…" right?
So, I decided to do some of my own research and checked out the Internet. Did a search on Amway and found your website. Boy, were my eyes opened. You told it like it was. I had always had a few lingering doubts and your articles just put thoughts doubts into words and answered them all.
In short, I'm going back to my sponsor on Monday and demanding my money back. Amway is not for me--sounds more like manipulation than success, or rather success at the expense of exploiting others.
In any case, thank you for helping me to see "… the rest of the story."
Well, read you propaganda and found it very interesting to say the least. Was especially entertained on the law suit page well a total of 10 law suits in 13 years oh my gosh what a lousy track record considering Amway has been around since 1959.. do some research on other large cooperations please and publish there stats on here so people come pair bet you find a lot more in the same time period.
TOOLS yes i are some times it hurts the ole pocket book but i attended dale's forum before i got involved in amway in 1991 and bud i spent more money for that week end than i ever sent on tools in amway. no i am no longer active in amway at the present yes i know it works since i know a person who went from nothing to well he has time with his family now and gets up when they want…he did something i didn't he did as they said ..just do it while i piddle around and i am still stroking every day for my weekly pay check and bud i am looking at doing it a agian…like any other job you don't do you stalemate or if you open shop and never unlock the doors you fail ask any top exec in any org.. the didn't set on their tails grumping when the hours got long and hard they did what it took to succeed..any one who takes the word of only one dissatisfied customer well not major discount stores would have their door open then where would you buy your toilet paper then huh from some one who pray tell..bottom line let people make their own decisions present the fact not fiction ok you can leave my email attached if you so desire
WOW! WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THIS INFO?
I just finished reading the various negative articles about Amway. I wish I could say that I am shocked at what Amway has done. However, I am more shocked at the people who complain about the business. If the person reading my response will have an unbiased opinion the truth will be revealed. First, let me tell you about myself. I am a young woman eager to succeed in life. I recieved high marks in high school and college. I am a certified teacher for Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Florida. The Amway business is one of the most positive things that has ever happened in my life.
Ever since I have been involved in the business I have learned how to make more friends, how to relate better to people, and how to regain my childhood dreams that the work force tries to knock out of us. The books that the business suggests we read are found in all libraries and bookstores. They are not written by amway distributers or any one involved in the business. These books are recommended by successful people from other businesses. They help build people skills, self-esteem, and confidence in ourselves. Since when is that a crime? Perhaps you should ask for a list of the suggested readings. The second part are the tapes from the business. I personally need those tapes because the speakers tell me exactly how to build the business and motivate me by telling me their experience. There is nothing wrong with the tapes. Perhaps you might try listening to one.
The next problem you mention are the functions. What is wrong with staying in first class hotels and learning about the business. The speakers are more than happy to meet you. They talk about the things we should focus on like ourselves, our families, our health, our future, our finances and our God. The reason they suggest we not watch tv or read the newspaper is because there is too much violence and negative things in the media. What ever happened to our family values? Perhaps we should discuss why people don't talk about God and yet everyone is eager to know who used to be a boy and now is a girl. I suggest you talk to some level headed people who are in the business like myself rather than people without a strong moral foundation.
Thank you for listening to my side.
First I would like to address all the Amway idiots. I almost got sucked in to your pathetic scam five years ago from someone that I met in the mall. He approached me and said "dont I know you from somewhere?" After we talked for a few minutes he invited me to a "seminar" to look at a business that was expanding to my area. I declined but exchanged phone numbers and within 12 hours he was on the phone bugging me about the seminar. After much prodding I accepted and took my wife with me. After sitting through the most boring "seminar" in my life (I would rather have a cavity filled) I felt like bitch slapping * (potential upline) after finding out in the end that it was Amway. I left and told him never to call me again. He had the nerve to ask me if I knew of anyone who would be interested in Amway. Amway is a lie. They told me that the American Dream was a lie. That college was not the answer, mothers should stay home with there choldren. My wife has a Doctrates from Duke and makes over 100k a year and should stay home with the kids, give me a break. Amway distributors, you are absolutely pathetic. My wife and I make a combined 220k per year, have portfolio's worth over 750k, not counting our 401k which is near 1.5 million. I reckon I am a loser for not "getting plugged in". When I retire in six years, I will be financially secure. I have lived "The American Dream",not the pipe dream you freaks live. Amway is low rent,just like the owner who let a bunch of low class basketball players fire the coach. DeVoss is a punk and a clown that has no class at all. Get a life people…Remember, your children may be embarressed to tell there friends that there parents are Amway distributors.
Sidney, thank you for informing the ones that do not know the truth behind these freaks. Amway should be banned and the ones that are distibutors should be ashamed to be associated with this low rent company. They have destroyed peoples lives, homes, and marriages. Again, Amway sucks and if anyone ever approaches me with this again in the future, he will be subject to be bitch slapped ASAP.
It's often said that if you think you're too small to make a difference try to remember the last time you tried to sleep with a mosquito in the room. (That is until they sprayed the marsh area with pesticide). :-)
I think I've finally figured out a few things about Amway and MLM in general, not from the business perspective or the cult perspective, but the acceptance (or non- as the case may be) of MLM in general.
Remember when Jackie Robinson first entered Major League Baseball? Remember the start of the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. King? How about the Gay Rights movement with it's various leaders? What do they all have in common?
Well, for one thing, they didn't claim any moral high ground. They all said "here I am, please listen to me and judge me for what I am, not what you believe." As a result, 40% of the players in the majors are black (80% in the NBA, 65% in the NFL) and racial incidents are almost non-existant. Blacks and other minorites got the basic rights: sitting on a bus, staying in the same hotels, working the same jobs (although Affirmative Action has been tipping scales in favor of reverse discrimination, but that's another story). Heck, Ellen Degeneris is now the first lead character on a prime time show who is openly gay. Progress? I think so.
Now look at MLM and Amway. They claim to be the wave of the future. They say they've been around for 37 year and OOOOOOHHH, isn't that awesome. Well, I got news for you, if you haven't been universally accepted in 37 years, it just isn't going to happen with a major change in the way you operate. What I find most offensive is the elitist attitude and the nasty remarks.
Of the responses on your Amway page, maybe about 5% of the pro-Amway responses are from rational people with original, non-tape-based things to say. About 30% of them spout their mindless propoganda, another 40% start getting nasty and the rest just flame you with the communication skills of an avacado pit. Granted most of them are the ones who are gung-ho, just started people who don't know squat about the "business." But what happens later? If they're lucky, they turn into major successes, but then their attitude degenerates to "Nyah, nyah, I told you so you losers."
If you are in Amway and you hear someone questioning the system, do yourselves and your subculture a favor and SHUT THE HELL UP or RESPOND WITH INTELLIGENCE. If you want people to believe in you, why don't you make an effort to educate, not ridicule and maybe some people will take you seriously. This is not about "vision" or "dreams" but basic common courtesy. Amway people lashing out at "dreamstealers" would be like Jackie Robinson acting like Dennis Rodman in his first few years. People will say "gee, bad experiment, it must have been a bad idea." Just like what they're saying about MLM.
About the lawsuit: This could be the best thing EVER to happen to Amway, especially if they lose. MLM is long overdue for a top-down cleaning and massive regulation. If you want this "system" to be accepted as "just another business," you'll have to live with the regulation that all of the other businesses do.
Amway has its share of people who are not perfect. I cannot, however, agree that the "business" is all bad, even though I no longer participate.
I held a distributorship for several years in the Yager/Britt/Miller organization. The people whom I met during that time were, for the most part, people of exceptional integrity and discipline. I honestly believe that the people were genuinely doing what they asserted they were doing, ie -- engaging in a legal business. Yes, the tape and rallys were stressed, and participation, while not manditory, was the difference between serious involvement and less attention from your upline distributors. However, in an organization where sales (whether of the products or the business) is the primary goal, and when time is a finite quantity, it makes perfectly good sense for distributors to focus on the most dedicated participants.
My reasons for going inactive were two fold. Firstly I felt that the manner in which the business was represented ("You don't have to sell anything" "Buy at wholesale, sell at retail") was misleading, if not outright deceptive. [I found it curious that in the previous paragraph he says the people he met in his group were of "exceptional integrity," then states that they presented the business in a deceptive manner. I pointed out this seeming contradiction, but didn't get a response.] Extroverted sales persons who were not easily discouraged appeared to dominate the upper ranks of Amway's distributors. The motivational tapes and rallys only served as fuel for those types of people. Needless to say, I did not then and do not now consider myself to have that personality type.
My second reason for allowing my distributorship to become inactive was that I could not, in good conscious, sell products to people at the pricesd that the company suggested. This reason ties in with my first objection as I could not bring myself to "sell" the business or its products when I did not believe that the prices being charged were fair and competative. It was and is my feeling that the Amway price structure does little to make the products competative and much to ensure the continued profitability of the higher pins.
In closing, regardless of my personal objections, I still feel that the Amway marketing plan, as written by the corporation and as practiced by the majority of the Yager/Britt/Miller group, is a perfectly good opportunity for certain people. Others, like myself, who disagree should accept that the opportunity is not in their best interests and should be grateful for whatever good can be had from the experience.
Thanks, and please continue to administer your page as you see fit.
Don't you have anything better to do than to spend your time trying to slam a corporation and the training systems that have helped so many people? So, you don't like Amway. So what. I can't stand WalMart, but I don't spend my time creating a "WalMart, the untold story" website! Here's some food for thought. Have you ever heard of karma, what-goes-around-comes-around, or "Judge not lest you be judged?" Next time you attempt to do something positive and you get hammered for it, well, just consider the seeds you are planting.
Your materials set out out P&G's complaint, but they say nothing about what Amway has to say in it's defence. Why? (Please don't say that you have a copyright problem. The attorneys who have told you not to answer to your subpoena will surely tell you that you do not (privilege, fair comment, free speech and all that sort of thing). [Amway is a multi-billion dollar corporation with its own web site and access to the media that I certainly don't have. If they wanted to say something in their defense, what would stop them from doing so? I wonder if this person has also emailed Amway and berated them for not telling P&G's side of the story? I wonder if monkeys play chess?]
What about the amendments P&G made to their complaint after the initial salvo? Did P&G's attorneys begin to doubt that the mud which they threw at first instance would stick, or did they just do a bad job the first time around? […he said, throwing mud at P&G and hoping it would stick.]
I heard through the media that part of P&G's suit against Amway has already been tossed out of court. Since journalists are notoriously unreliable as a source of reliable, objective, factual information, and you are not, I can only assume that I heard incorrectly. Otherwise, by now, you would have set the record straight. Right? [P&G's suit has not been "tossed out of court." I asked this person to cite his source for this "fact" but--surprise--never heard back from him.]
Please! For a truly "balanced" Web Site, you should report "the good" along with the "the bad" and "the ugly". [Just like Amway reports the "bad" and the "ugly" along with the "good," right? If Amway told the whole truth, there would be no need for sites like mine.]
P.S. Don't get me wrong. If any Amway distributor thinks that success depends upon attacking the real or imagined religious or philosophical motives of an impersonal entity such as P&G, then at best they might be accused of being naive if they decide to purse the thought. But, you will find silly people anywhere at any level of success. [And it this case the "silly person" was a Diamond level distributor and member of the ADA Executive Council.]
Your web site is EXCELLENT!
It is ammunition that has killed many Distributors cold in my office after giving them several printouts from your web site.
Do you know how offensive it is for a person of the Jewish faith in NJ to hear on their Amvox, some guy in NC rambling on about "the importance of getting our children into good Christian schools". That and the messages from Bob something to Dexter that got passed all the way downline that tell us what to write our congressman about and how to vote are just two of the things that burned me out on Amway.
Also I took a good estimate* on what my hard working sponsor was making and it came out to $50 a month. You don't want to know what that translated to per hour.
*Based on # of entries seen in sponsor's order forms, # of boxes waiting for others in the den, etc, I got a pretty good idea of size of downline.
I appreciate that you strip email addresses before adding them to your comments on the web page. You have my permission to anonymously add mine.
I am an Amway distributor and proud of it. It really is a shame you spend so much time trying to help save all of us when you should be trying to take care of yourself.
Good Luck on whatever it is you do to make a living!
I have some friends who are growing their own amway business and are always talking about how much time they'll have together very soon. When they first started in the business over a year ago, I had a rather hostile aversion to amway myself, and I refused to listen to their plan.
With the introduction of their Home Shopping/Delivery system, I have begun to pay closer attention to their claims, and I admit I would love to "rescue" my fiancee from corporate America and be able to spend all of our time together -- at the very least I would like to be able to save money!
I'm writing you, because I want to know what prompted you to create this anti-amway website. Were you wronged by the company or any of its distributors? From where did you get your information (no, I haven't fully explored your site yet)? I recognize that all information I get on *both* sides will be subjective, but I am interested in learning more about the bases for your opinions/information.
Have you read the book Virus of the Mind? A review is posted at www.amazon.com. It goes into stuff about "memes" and how they are used to brainwash, manipulate and control people. I've just ordered my copy. I suggest you take a look at it yourself.
I'm glad you're still fighting. I gave up a long time ago thinking I could never win. One day, I'll bring them to their knees.
This is amazing! I've never seen such a comprehensive site dealing with Amway. My brother-in-law and sister in-law are in the Amway business and have been for two years or so. Of course they have the pictures of their "dream home" and "dream car" magnatized to the fridge, along with pictures of Diamond uplines they were able to stand with. In fact, they even have a children's book titled "When We're Diamond"! (Guess who published that one!)
They have yet to retain a new recruit or earn income above the "bonuses" that are derived from buying from themselves. After seeing your price comparison page, I conclude that they are still spending more than they make every week at "product pick-up". Geez, your site is a real eye-opener.
I commend you for the work that you do and support your efforts completely. And considering I was a Regional Manager for Primerica Financial Services (formerly A.L. Williams) for four years (I quit about a little less than a year ago), I can reflect back to my experiences with PFS and make several "cult" comparisons. PFS did have it's advantages over Amway (e.g. our company logo was on the front door and business cards, which had to be approved by the NASD and Insurance Depts, so people we prospected knew exactly who we were and what we were selling), but the "cultism" experience would come to surface after the "prospects" sat down at the "opportunity meeting" or were behind closed doors being "closed" by an experience upline. Another note is that the majority of complaints over PFS were made by competing insurance companies, not consumers (remember, I said "majority").
On any note, great web site. The content is unreal.
Sidney, I would appreciate it if you would not show my E-mail address. I have been reading other reader's responses, and boy, some of these "wonderful, people-loving" distributors, they sure can be mean. Imagine that. About a year ago, if I had seen this site and read about bad experiences in Amway, I would have labeled the people losers and dreamstealers also. However, my husband and I finally started thinking for ourselves and we are on the ex-Amway side. I must say that after three years in the business, we are happier now than we ever thought. My husband has a high-paying job now and we are putting our lives back in order. Of course I know that we are called quitters, losers, and wimps by those who used to be our "best friends." I cannot believe how many other stories I have read on the Internet that sound just like our experiences with Amway. Everyone in Amway(who's active) believes they are going Diamond. For some reason, they also believe that we pathetic 9-5 losers are going to be soooo jealous and wish we could be like them when they get to Diamond club. I know, I used to believe the same garbage. My husband and I believed it for 3 years. We believed our lives would be miserable if we didn't make Diamond. We believed our family and friends would be miserable without Amway. We believed anyone who didn't sign up or anyone who quit was lazy and not willing to work and had no dreams. The American Dream is what is preached. Excuse me for being so narrow minded, but since when is the American Dream limited solely to Amway? My husband and I worked this business every night for those 3 years. We sold possessions, forewent paying the rent, whatever it took to afford a function. Surely, if anyone was going Diamond, it was us. We reached Silver level, but were always putting more money into it than what we made. We both quit college, because degrees, we had heard in meetings, got you nowhere. No, nobody made us go $28,000 in debt; no, nobody made my husband go from job to job to find something that would fit with him working the business; no, nobody made us do anything. It's just a little thing called mind-games and how they can mess someone's thinking up. We eventually quit attending functions because we literally had no money, and we had sold everything of value. Being away from all these "wonderful" people was the best thing, because we could actually see how bad things were and begin to repair them. By the way, we haven't heard from our former upline "best friends" since. I guess we were too negative to be around anymore. The worst part about Amway is that nobody wants you to get advice on anything from anyone outside of the business, because everyone in the world is negative. "Don't read newspapers, don't watch the news, only read our recommended positive books." "You don't need your former friends in your life if they don't support you in Amway." Everything is too obsessive. I don't believe you can be a Diamond without being totally immersed in the business. We were for awhile, and got out , thank God. By the way, all you distributors who say you stay in to help people and the money issue becomes secondary, did it ever occur to you to volunteer in your church, or any other cause. Or you Christians who speak about how you can minister to people through this business; I guess it's just a plus that you get paid for it. How about this, instead of saving the world with the Gospel of Amway, why don't you practice what you preach and show the Gospel of Jesus to all the people on your prospect list? Because of what I have learned from my experience with Amway, I have learned to be thankful for what God has blessed me with: my health, a beautiful daughter, a roof over my head, food on the table, clean water, a warm sun, a wonderful husband. Maybe that is a loser's mentality according to the business, to be content and all, but I'll take that any day over pining away over having a Rolex, or driving a Rolls or going to Peter Island.
P.S. For those of you who say that if we had put as much time and effort into our Amway businesses as we did Amway bashing, we'd be multi-millionaires, I say this: none of us want to be Amway multi-millionaires. You can have your big cars, your jewels, your furs and flaunt them all you want---WE ARE NOT JEALOUS OF YOU. I wouldn't trade places with one single Diamond or Crown Ambassador for all the money on earth.
Your site is INVALUABLE in the information it provides. My wife and I were shown the plan today and had all but committed to Amway. I told my friend (?) that I would read the "overnight" kit and do a bit of additional research. WOW! I had fallen for the smooth approach and promise of future riches. I'm feeling a bit sheepish that I didn't recognize its flaws sooner (My Master's Degree didn't help a bit there).
You have save me the cost of a "kit" if not untold hundreds or thousands of dollars. I can only speculate if my friend is brainwashed and believes in what he's doing, or if he's wiser than that and knows that he's got to push a huge amount of motivational tools to make it to "emerald" or whatever the hell it is. Either way, I'm going to test the friendship by giving him this website address and insist that he read its contents.
i thought i had heard crybabies before but you take the cake, pal get a life real soon
Ive never been very good at mailing or remembering everything I want to say but Ill try. First I would like to put a my heart out to all the people that have mailed stories of upline "forcing" you to do things. To begin, let it be known I have been a distributor for almost a year now. Although I have sponsored no one (primarily cause I dont talk to anyone) I still have faith in this business. It is primarily dependent on "why" you first choose to build this business. For me, I saw it as a way to do the things I wanted. After having my father laid off after a corporate take over… job security isnt out there completely. Espically for people my age (23). Second, I was in school and saw the "plan" by accident (wont go into detail) so that was proof for me if you show the plan enough, and are truly looking to HELP people in this business, you will succed. And third, my upline diamond lives about 5 minutes from my house. Many cross-line I went to church with as a teenager. People I respect and people I know that wont lead me astray. This goes back to my original "heart-felt sorrow" for past distributors who truly got into Amway to build a dream. But your upline was too concerned with theirs, forcing you to do stuff to help boost their's. I have honestly not bought products in about 6 months b/c of personal financials reasons. I have attented all functions accept one since Ive been in. But has my upline said anything negative or forced me to do anything. No. Of course they tell me I need to go, and I see that. I believe functions/rallies are important. And the only reason you should go is to pave the way for the future. What I mean by that is if you dont go, the people you sponsor wont see the necessity. The functions are for times to get together with your group. Now that I am over 230 miles from my sponsor (remember I was sponsored at college although my upline diamond is from my home town.... funny how that works. sorta proves the power of the system eh) he still offers to come help me.... whenever. Its a question of being a servant… not to look for gain but to help others gain what they want. And believe me.... and I know for a fact I can say this without lying… ALL people that make it have done this…been a servant for their group.... but I dont want to et too in depth but being a Christian… this is the way to live. And I may start jumping to different points but thats how I think :) If people would look at their lives and see were they are going… it isnt good. but thts irrelevant to this Amway thing. but to people who say its too expensive to buy the products… or to go to meetings… etc… i didnt sell my tv or take out loans.... but i did do somethings. like i quit smoking which there alone pay for my function tickets for a year. i quit drinking all together (is this to say drinking is bad… no but what is the point.... really? think about it) Ill wrap up now. Just to state what I originally wanted to post about is past people who quit. Im sorry for one to those who had uplines like you did. Second I ask you dont steal others dreams. Just cause you opted to not continue your Amway business, is no reason to prevent others from pursuing theirs. Third, the system does work. I personally know too many people it has worked for. Will it work for me. Yes. When? When God allows. To put it simply, if you look at a "prospect" and ask why will it work for them or why do they need it (and you must really know, not the same reasons you need it) and just start to meet people and get to know them, your business will grow. Thank you for your patience and to all active distributors who stumble across this page as I have his late evening, may God bless your business and break 6!