Feb 98 Comments

I have not read every page on your site, however I don't feel that you represent the fact that the information on your site has to do with Amway and only Amway. You speak of Multilevel Marketing, however the 10 lies you present are not statements I have heard as an Amway distributor. I have been told that it is extremely hard, and that most people fail. The Old/New Amway comparison has nothing to do with the marketing plan, but what tools are available to distributors now, and what products are now available. When approaching a new distributor of mine, he new only of the core Amway products. Once he saw the Personal Shopper, etc., he became excited. That's what they mean by the "New" Amway. Unfortunately your site and others don't have a disclaimer stating, "Don't Believe Everything You Read On The Internet." I, like others, crossed your site a couple of times along with others sites prior to becoming a distributor. I then looked deep into the accusations, or "facts", that you stated and found that most did not apply to Amway, or did not exist in MY organization. What you SHOULD be posting is the truth that people need to get off of their asses and start their own business to find their dreams. It doesn't have to be Amway. In fact it could be telling everyone how horrible they THINK Amway is and the information only cost $19.99 a copy. At least they wouldn't be a slave to someone else AND they would have the potential of making more money than they would for someone else. I'd say save your time trying to keep people from becoming an Amway distributor and spend more time encouraging people to work for themselves!

I believe that the "forefathers" idea of right to free speech didn't include placing half-truths to the worlds disposal. That's goes for anyone, including myself. However, I respect your right to post your feelings, as long as they are not stated as THE fact.

I was approached a week ago with the Amyway pitch. I looked over the materials, and met with the couple again. I asked about the 10 customer rule; they didn't know about it. This couple are friends of ours, he works with my husband.

I was given more tapes to listen to, since I was the enthusiastic one. I listened to most of them. I only found one to have any real information on it. Fiancial planning for the 21st century. The rest were just stories of couples lives from rags to riches. On one tape however, the man mentioned returning to the banker he had orginally gone to for a loan to start the business and discussing his new success.

I was invited to attend a meeting, but couldn't go. I was contacted by a woman who was "above" the couple I knew. She tried to persuade me to go the meeting. I asked her about the loan I had heard about on the tape. She quickly said there were no such expenses involved, and she had been in the business for 3 years and had quit her job last year.

Tonight I finally found time to research Amway on the Net, and boy and I am glad I did. I haven't put out any money yet, but I was seriously considering it. I was leary thought because most businesses are usually pushing the products, and so far no one has mentioned the products.

Thanks for all the info you provide. I am going to pass this along to our friends who are already in with hopes they may learn more about what they are getting to!

I have been in "the business" for close to a year. I have become active recently and my business is going well. I met my sponsor from a cold contact. We became fast friends even though I was inactive. He has performed professional services for my company for free and well below going rates when the amount of work was huge and some compensation was necessary. He felt bad about charging my company for accounting services but I insisted that he charge something. Most of the people in his group are professionals, business owners (like myself). Most have a BS, some have an MBA and /or Doctorate of Philosophy. None of us are "brainwashed Amway clones" who blindly follow the up lines suggestions with out any independent thought. We got where we are by being good business people and using good judgement.

The Amway MLM plan is a good way to generate income which requires doing the work once. My current company sells goods and services into the seven figure range. Each month I have to work like a dog to generate $ 100,000 to $ 500,000 in sales. Sometimes a project takes two years from start to finish and another two years to receive my commission. Then I have to find another deal to work on and so on and so on...

Then the manufacturers that own me money screw me out of commissions. I worked two years on a $ 250,000 project. The company that I represented was awarded the contract and they gave the job to another division of their company which does not pay commissions to reps. I lost about $ 20,000 in commission. The story repeats itself with other principals.

Amway has not screwed my yet nor do I expect them to. I have a great opportunity for residual income and so do the people that I help. This system is based on personal commitment and ability. Not everyone can do Amway. I let my prospects know that there is a lot of work involved and that only a small percentage make it. I look for doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers and other educated professionals who have what it takes to be successful. I don't prospect people who sit around drinking at a bar or people who go to a football game, paint themselves green, put a pitcher of beer on their heads and shout "DEFENSE, DEFENSE".

I think that society brainwashes people to be negative and fall into a job mentality where all they expect is to work for someone else. High school and engineering college did not teach me to be a risk taker entrepreneurial kind of guy. The education system did not teach me to try unconventional approaches to making money. My ability to think and desire to achieve has taught me how to succeed.

Amway has a recommended book reading list. The "AMO's" sell these books, oddly I had a vast number of these "success oriented" books already in my possession prior to joining Amway.

You have gone to a lot of trouble to make Amway look bad. You should be fair and prominently place positive information and links to successful Diamond's web pages in the name of balance.

I was just browsing your website and thought I'd send you a note. My mom was an Amway distributor and she passed away last year. She willed her Amway business to me. I was already what we would be considered an "inactive" distributor. I am in Amway, but about all I do is buy a few products for my personal use. That is the extent to which I have ever been involved in this business. I have been around Amway since I was 5, and now I am 32.

Since she has willed her income from this business to me, I get a lump sum of money that is direct deposited into an account each month. Now, I do absolutely nothing to earn this money. My mom did all the work to build her network of distributors prior to her death. I am not involved in the Amway business anymore than I have ever been. And to be honest with you, the monies deposited grow on a monthly basis. I am in Amway, but never go to a local meeting, or a major function, or anything. I don't do a damned thing, to include working with her group of distributors. But yet the money still keeps coming in, and it continues to grow on a monthly basis.

I am not telling you this to try and say that you are wrong. But I think in this instance you are wrong. My CPA has never even seen anything like this before. He still can't figure out how the amount of money that is deposited to my account grows each month, without me doing anything to earn that money.

It is because my mom already layed the groundwork, and built a distributor base. Now, they are still building their businesses, which causes her income to grow. But now I am the one who gets that income, even though I have not done anything to earn it.

So, by looking at my bank account, I have a hard time agreeing with you.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. I am always one to keep an open mind. I used to think that Amway was the best thing out there, even though I wasn't very involved in it. After viewing yours, and other websites, my viewpoint is questionable, to say the least. But nevertheless, the money keeps coming in every month.

I hope you will get in touch with me.

I did send an email to this guy asking if he could provide more details about what bonuses he was getting (not the amount--just what bonuses) and he never replied.

Hola! Thanks for the site.

Where to begin. Well, maybe we stuck it out longer than you, but the end result was the same. Although we hit many of the same frustrations you did, we did not quit until the truth started to come out about our upline in Houston, and we started getting approached about getting "plugged in" with this person or that person. In fact, it is somewhat gratifying to actually see the lawsuit now where our immediate upline diamonds are mentoined (Bergfelds and Walkers). When we quit, we were still at about the 1000 to 1500 point level and I just quit going out helping people. I couldn't with a clear conscience, but I couldn't necessarily voice my concerns either. Fortunately, within three months everyone had quit.

What hurts the most is that I feel guilty about bringing people we know and loved into this mess and costing them money, just like we spent our money on tools, all for the proit of our upline diamonds. I can go on and on about this, but basically we wasted about three years of our life and thousands of dollars working with people who were liars and deceitful for their own gain.

I truly hope the Morrison's and the others get as much money as they can out of the Defendants in that case. Although it won't help me at all - it goes go to say that maybe the liars and cheaters will pay some way.

Keep up the site!

Let me better explain the situation. The problem isn't that this person is using his rank to intimidate those lower than him, but that he was demoted and eventually left the military simply because he was approaching those of lower rank, although not under his command, regarding Amway. He says he was instruced by those upline to present the Amway business plan to any and everyone he could - no restrictions - even though they knew he was in the military. As a result he lost his position and his pension and medical benefits. I'm wondering if anyone with Amway knew of this potential problem and whether they should have instructed this person to stay away from those of lower rank - even those not under his command.

My kids were the luckiest kids after I left the Amway business. I can now spend all the evenings helping my kids out with their homework, talk to them about their lives and not our lives. And, I also get more expendable income doing that (because I am not spending my hard-earned money on the Amway business).

All the tapes that say "I can now spend more time with my kids" are balderdash. If at all, the Amway business will consume you like an addictive substance, and will make it impossible to commit more quality time with your kids.

My name is *. I am a recent graduate of The Cooper Union, an engineering school in New York City that gives full tuition scholarships to all of its students. I work as a structural engineer in New York City, making enough to get by, but not enough to own a house anytime in the next ten years.

You provide all of this information on the Internet, and you write it up rather well. I'm not sure if I am mistaken in the assumption that you are a former Amway distributor or not. My question is, do you have a better idea? Do you have a way for a person with a Master's degree in structural engineering to earn a six-figure income without working 80-100 hours per week? I am also curious why you maintain this web page, which obviously takes time and money to prepare. You obviously spend time doing research to keep yourself current; why are you so dedicated?

I am sorry to hear that your Amway experiences were not positive. On the other hand, I am encouraged that you present both positive and negative in a fairly open format on your site. Yours is almost the only site that does this. I also ran the numbers on your price comparison because I recently did a survey myself, and I found a small savings at distributor cost compared to Wal-Mart, and a much larger savings compared to Meijer and K Mart. I used the distributor cost because I was a distributor, and it only makes sense that I pay my own cost - why wouldn't I?!? Since cost seems to be the issue for the majority of your site, could you post the same calculations for distributor cost? I also wonder where you got the deals on the non-Amway products. I can't remember the day that Clorox bleach was .88 for a gallon.

Also, have you ever tried to return a partially-used item to Wal-Mart? Amway includes a prepaid shipping label in the order box for returns, and will refund the shipping charges if you are not satisfied. If CR tested the effectiveness of the products like I have, they would state that everything performs as or better than expected. I tested the top name brands we used in the past with the Amway core-line, and I believe that they are very comparable. I have kids, so I have plenty of opportunity to test cleaners :-)

I am pretty comfortable with your calculations, because I ran them myself, and even though not obvious how the numbers were reached for the non-Amway totals, I figured out myself how they work and I am comfortable with the accuracy of the laundry care section, I assume the other sections are as accurate (there's that blind faith thing).

I personally feel that anyone paying retail price is not concerned with cost of product, but more interested in saving time or using a high-end service. (What I am referring to is the new Home Shopping Delivered program where you can drop-ship any product on a scheduled basis to any location and the charges will be put on a credit account) This service is for those who expect nothing but the best in terms of service, commitment, and quality. If price was everything, 7-Elevens would not exist.

I still feel that those of us who were not born into wealth can not find a better opportunity to 'dabble' in. Let's face it, most people don't know whether a business is for them until they try it. This is the lowest cost of entry of any business I have ever found, and it challenges me the most. Without challenge, we tend not to grow personally because change requires pain (emotional and/or physical). I have learned so much as a result of my involvement that I would gladly take back my college education, which cost me over $40,000 for 4 years and invest that money in a system that helps me be a better and more capable person. To me this is a no-brainer. In 2 years, I have spent about $3000 in my Amway business (Invested is a better word) and received more useful real-world benefit than 4 years of college. I am currently NOT employed in my major field of study, but I AM doing very well on the homefront, in my business, and in life in general, and I don't agree with everything said at the functions - I don't think anybody does, or ever will. There is just too much diversity to please everyone all the time.

Please post this as comment on your site, feel free to distribute this message in it's entirety only so that nothing may be taken out of context. Thank you and best of success in your endeavors.

I made the mistake of signing up to be a Amway distributer first and reading your website second.

What I am trying to do now is show "my upline" that I want out because their claims are false.

Most of the questions I had from your website I got the prescribed answer.

They still claim there will be about a 30% discount shopping through "your business". The gave me a for ARP-319-MS (4/1997) form. I can think of a few reasons why this form is comparing apples to oranges. However, you may have encountered this question before and can save me the time in proving the falisies.

Also, you might be interested to know but not surprised that I was told I do not have to sell anything, all I have to do is recruite members.

Thanks for your help,

Me and my wife were asked to join a MLM with GNLD. We thought that night that it could be something good. But when we were thinking it again next day and after the information I found on the Internet (in english and finnish), we decided NOT to go in that business. We were suspicious already and these pages just confirmed our decision.

P.S. I'm sorry about my poor english. Hope you don't mind.

Charles I enjoyed reading your web page. I can't believe the amount of nieve people out there. First anyone who puts 10,000.00 into a business and doesn't Check it out any better than that is insane. YES there are people in the business that do sell the product. We sell it on the value that it works .Yes you can buy cheaper all my customers are aware of that. The reason they buy is because when they use it, it will clean the first time . Like any Business it's run by humans making proper and improper choices and claims.YOU have to have some brains when joining any business. One lady claimed that there is no retailing. I am a direct distributor just on retailing and I have allot of product knowledge ( won't even get into your cost comparisons). I have no desire to become that diamond direct. I have some distributors that make a nice income with my help . I don't make them buy tapes I do that and then lend them to them . I don't make them go to meetings. If someone is NOT Self motivated then they will never make it in the business anyhow. I believe your trying to put a dark cloud over a business ,if properly run ,is a wonderful business. This is one person that has found the silver lining. Oh by way Are you one of those nieve people that signed up in Amway and couldn't make it work because you thought it was a get rich quick scheme? I believe all in all some people do need to change their tactics.We get phone calls all the time with people believing they are talking to Amway and you wouldn't believe some of the stories I here. You have to understand that allot of times its not Amway's fault its the person running that business. Just because you get 1 bad cheese burger from McDonalds are you going to blame all the McDonalds. Allot of times Amway's hands are tied because of the federal trade commission. Theres allot to this business. Like anything it takes time to look it over. Sincerely Tara McDonald

You might want to make an attempt at transaction cost in your cost comparisons. Cost of an item in a store is more than what is paid at the cash register due to transportation costs and time. I know those would be "fuzzy" numbers.

Your examination of the 6-4-2 plan is a little off. 10 growing legs is not for a DD but for a growing Diamond who should have at least 32 sponsored legs (6-6-8-6-6.) Also, of the three "growing" legs for a DD they should be around 4000,2500 and 1500 points each. The other three legs should be assumed to be about 100 PV. I think those will give you numbers closer to $2000 per month.

You didn't count for the return policy of the catalog items. Every item I've ever purchased that needed to be returned brought me a full refund on the purchase price and reimbursement for the shipping to return it. I've even returned shoes more than a year after they were bought.

Artistry and Nutrilite have the best return on cost. Don't know why you didn't pick the example of a food bar a day, XX, a fruit squeeze and a couple other things that escape me right now. I guess there's only two possibilities: 1. You were purposefully picking a difficult product mix or 2. You have never been exposed to that model.

Another thought: there's bound to be more of an overhead cost for a direct when you consider the vast majority of them are married but not able to live off that income. $800 a month for travel and associated expenses (phone, babysitters, etc.) really isnt that much. Just to keep my consulting business going I run up a couple of thousand dollars a month.

Don't know why you say most DD organizations are within 100 miles of the direct's main residence. I've never met a direct that didn't have distance groups which can require 6-8 hours to drive to. That translates into at least three days per trip. I've personally spent thousands of dollars traveling to talk with prospects of downline distributors.

Your statements that Britt teaches NOT to have customers is untrue. That is not his role at major functions. You don't mention that at all. Any large organization divides tasks and responsibilities up where it makes sense. A general doesn't talk about how to properly put on a uniform.

Ever wonder why the sound system at major functions in the Britt group always look the same? That's because Bill bought them and they are carted around, along with spares. That costs money, too but you didn't add it to your calculations. Nor did you address the issue of overseas offices and those expenses. That's been very openly explained at major functions.

Your calculations of the cost of running a DD business are too linear. If all you have is your own efforts you might, maybe, be showing 3-5 plans per week. Let's assume 1-2. Compare that to what should be 12+ per week as a DD. Considering that a large percentage of people steal (for lack of a better word) the literature they are loaned, where do yo propose the money to pay for all those tools comes from?

People who are not happy with the Amway business have a tendency to take statements made from stage out of context. At the same time, it's quite easy to miss what is really being said. For example: you note the example of somebody saying they won't work with people unless they're on Amvox and Double X. Steve Ridley is quite famous for that statement. But, but, but, if you don't pay any attention to him saying how many nights he was out working with growing legs, his statement seems cruel. What he says is that he had already sponsored abunch of personal legs. Of those legs, quite a few were active. He's only got so much time and that's what he used as a discriminator. Nothing wrong with that.

Similar example: I've talked with numerous people who I would loan 10-15 tapes and some books to. Then they never give the stuff back. I've even had them call me up after a couple of months of doing nothing after I've invested a lot of time in them. IF they had been doing something that showed they were actually making an attempt to better themselves and move toward being productive, I'd spend time with them. Since they've decided not to, it makes no sense for me to spen time with them. These are prospects I'm talking about, not distributors.

I've also had personally sponsored distributors try to eat up time with the silliest things. I've had one call me up for weeks because they ordered a case instead of an individual product and they expected me to return it for them. This person lives three states away from me. How ridiculous is that?

That behavior has nothing to do with Amway. It has to do with their immaturity and lack of gumption to do something positive about it.

I didn't know about the Brig Hart case. That's really interesting. Like you, I'm a little suspect of the e-mail copy of the claim and would rather find it in a more reliable source. Some of the language looks a little flamboyant. Words like "evil" seem a little out of place, don't they? I mean, the law doesn't explicitly deal with the concepts of "holy" and "evil" although the underlying concept are there because law must be based on a value system.

Sure, the attrition rate of Amway distributors may seem high. When you consider that the vast majority of people have never owned a successful business. Most people drastically underestimate the real cost of running a business. The Amway business is a pure commission business. That's a difficult thing for most people to accept. There's a reason most people don't even show the plan three times before they quit (you didn't mention that, by the way.) There's a reason most people don't even approach 50 points a month in personal use. (I do around 300 as a single male. It took a while but that's all personal use and no, I don't buy lots of the food. The food has a notoriously bad return.) A lot of it has to do with fear, stubornness (old habits) and lack of healthy self-esteem. That's not unique to the Amway business. It's true of all sales activities.

You're correct. The Amway business is quite simple when done properly. Seems to me the problem EVERYBODY gets into is looking for something external to blame or spend time on when things aren't going quite the way they want right then. From what I gather on your site, you never properly received the knowledge of how to run the business in a profitable manner. To some extent, that could be a function of what you were exposed to. To some extent, a function of what you thought you heard and what you did. The fact that only a small percentage of people are able to "retire" into an Amway income is not surprising. There are very few entry barriers and the vast majority of people don't show the idea to successfull business owners. For most people this is the first time they've ever really had to be in charge of themselves and they choose to talk with people who are not threatening to their own fragile ego. That's where I was mentally when i got started.

Thanks for sharing your Amway story. I now realise how lucky I am not to be involved with the type of organization that some of your exdistributor have been and if I had to build a business the way some of these networker are shown I to would not be still in a Amway business. I have many Amway Clients who have told me their Amway horror stories. But lucky they still love the product and some even rejoin . So keep up the good work

With a bit of luck the type of people who build the type of business shown on your page will get the message.

Please understand that I don't want to say a lot and keep in mind that we quit in mid-1996 after a Family Reunion in Houston (back then the line of sponsorship was still intact, even though Bill Bergfeld was not allowed to speak at that Family Reunion - marking the beginning of the end of that entire organization of 10,000 plus!). I used to hang out a lot at night with our upline directs and emeralds (immediate ones were not mentioned in eiher side of the suit, but were in the line of sponsorship between the parties mentioned) and could easily see what was happening - that is why we quit (along with the direct payout fiasco, upline divorces, upline affairs, and tools profiteering, etc...).

As you can tell, the Houston McMurtry organization was at one time the crown jewel and tap root for Yager and Amway in the US - growing to almost 15,000 in just 8 years. Then, all hell (literally) broke loose. I don't know how the Yager/Wilson/Haugen organization is doing in Houston these days...

I don't have any first-hand knowledge of some of the activities described in the suit. However, I do believe and would certainly not be surprised to hear that what Dr. Joe described really happened - exactly as it was described. The list of plaintiffs and defendants reads like a "who's who" of good versus evil in the Houston organization (except I was surprised to see Mark Hughes on the defendant's list - no, I was not in his organization, but looked up to him tremendously as a crossline mentor). However, I think $200 MM is a greedily extreme amount to be suing for. So, you can say I'm pulling for the plaintiffs to win, but for much, much less money.

Does that make sense?

Let's keep a dialog going - I am interested in your thoughts... I know this will bring up more questions than it answers, but what was sick with the Houston organization was no simple answer - a real conglomeration of many things that finally sent me over the edge.