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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:02 AM   #281
ChrisBFRPKY
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The only folks making money in Amway are the owners and those at the "Diamond" level or whatever it's referred to in modern times. They have mass conventions to make believers out of their newest recruits with plenty of "You can do it!" and "it only takes 2!" "Get out there and draw those circles!" "You can be a diamond too!"

And the poor newbies are spending money they don't have in the first place to buy a start up kit, presentation equipment, (easel board, motivational books and tapes). Then they must buy highly overpriced products that are said to cost so much because they're "concentrated". All to make their monthly points quota and all that for a few bucks. If they make it that is, they earn maybe $12?

If anyone tells you Amway is anything other than a multilevel marketing scam, run, do not walk.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:56 AM   #282
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Yeah, you're right. Nobody buys that crap anymore.
Everytime I try to buy their stuff they're all sold-out. No wonder nobody buys their crap no more.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 06:46 AM   #283
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[quote=ChrisBFRPKY;9465967]The only folks making money in Amway are the owners and those at the "Diamond" level or whatever it's referred to in modern times. [quote]

I made money from Amway when I built an Amway business. Still get paid from it for that matter, more than a decade later. I was nowhere near "Diamond".

Hmmm ... should I believe you or the cash in my account? Tough choice ...

Quote:
They have mass conventions to make believers out of their newest recruits with plenty of "You can do it!" and "it only takes 2!" "Get out there and draw those circles!" "You can be a diamond too!"
The type of conventions you talk about are typically run by third party companies, all of which have different cultures. Fortunately I never encountered this kind of over the top hype.

How many different types of Amway-related conventions have you been to, Chris?

Quote:
And the poor newbies are spending money they don't have in the first place to buy a start up kit, presentation equipment, (easel board, motivational books and tapes).
Most businesses take some money to get up and running. If you haven't got any, or aren't willing to spend any, then perhaps you shouldn't be starting a business?

Quote:
Then they must buy highly overpriced products that are said to cost so much because they're "concentrated".
I find the products competitively priced, that's why I continued to buy them even after I moved countries.

Chris, how many Amway products have you tried?

Quote:
All to make their monthly points quota and all that for a few bucks.
You have been misinformed. There is no points "quota".

Quote:
If they make it that is, they earn maybe $12?
Sounds like you're talking about someone just buying for themselves, and not building a business. You won't earn anything doing that, though you might get a few bucks back in volume rebate, yes.

Quote:
If anyone tells you Amway is anything other than a multilevel marketing scam, run, do not walk.
It uses multilevel marketing, but it's not a scam - though of course, like any business, scammers can use it that way if they so choose.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 09:14 AM   #284
marplots
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(some snipped)
Great, so lets get to a proper discussion instead of the silly insults and platitudes.

What concerns you, morally, about Amway?
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(some snipped)
It uses multilevel marketing, but it's not a scam - though of course, like any business, scammers can use it that way if they so choose.
And that's my problem. They do so choose. The lack of barriers to entry make is so much easier to operate unethically.

The first thing, right out of the box, is selling to family and friends by leveraging existing relationships. If you do not find this a tainted practice, then we already have a clear difference of opinion.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 09:29 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I made money from Amway when I built an Amway business. Still get paid from it for that matter, more than a decade later. I was nowhere near "Diamond".
How much money does Amway now make for you make per month? How much money did it make for you per month when you were actively involved after all Amway-related expenses like purchasing more products or seminars or whatever?
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Old 2nd September 2013, 10:24 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
And that's my problem. They do so choose. The lack of barriers to entry make is so much easier to operate unethically.
Do you have any evidence or data to suggest whether it is a minor problem or a major problem?

Here's some data I have -

1. In BERR vs Amway UK the case judge and appeal judges remarked -
  • over a fourteen year period at Amway not a single IBO had ever complained to the Business Conduct Department that he or she had been enticed to become an Amway IBO on the basis of "easy money" or the prospect of substantial financial rewards based on little or no effort.
  • there were only two written complaints which concerned the presentation of the Amway business opportunity in the five year period from January 2001 to December 2005
  • The Secretary of State had no case that there was a body of justified complaints made against the company

2. When a parliamentarian queried the NSW (Australia) Minister for Consumer Affairs about Amway, the Minister responded -
  • Complaints against Amway or Amway distributors are very few and indicate little cause for concern.

3. In a global survey of perceptions of direct selling (including Amway), conducted by the University of Westminster, the researchers discovered that -
  • People who have "had dealings with direct sellers have very positive perceptions regarding direct selling"
  • 90% of previous customers would use this channel of distribution again (98% in the US) and 81% would recommend families and friends do

4. When Quixtar (Amway) elected to settle a class action lawsuit, the administrators successfully contact 97% of all IBOs in the US over the previous decade (more than 2 million people) and offered them compensation if they felt unsatisfied with their experience, including cash payouts for losses.
  • Less than 3% requested compensation

5. The Better Business Bureau reports that they've received only 10 complaints regarding Amway in the previous 3 years (only 2 regarding sales practices) and they were all resolved.

6. When two former IBOs launched a class action lawsuit against Amway Canada, despite extensive advertising not a single additional person joined the class action and one of the original IBOs dropped out.

Your apparent belief there's a "problem" does not appear consistent with these findings. I await your evidence.

Quote:
The first thing, right out of the box, is selling to family and friends by leveraging existing relationships. If you do not find this a tainted practice, then we already have a clear difference of opinion.
1. I think it would be totally inappropriate to "leverage" an existing relationship in order to make a sale. I would note that the University of Westminster study I cited above indicated that 58% of respondents indicated they had bought from family or friends(note: that means 42% bought from someone they didn't know) and over 90% would purchase through the same channel again. Clearly few people feel "leveraged". Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

2. I also think it would be totally bizarre to have a business and refuse your family and friends as customers. Don't you?
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Old 2nd September 2013, 10:31 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by Scopedog View Post
How much money does Amway now make for you make per month? How much money did it make for you per month when you were actively involved after all Amway-related expenses like purchasing more products or seminars or whatever?
When I was active at peak I was profiting a of couple thousand a month thereabouts. I reached profitability within a month or two of starting.

Just to note, product purchases for personal use are not a business expense. To claim them as such would be fraud. Ironically it's people who claim MLM is a scam, like Jon Taylor, who promote that (illegal) idea.

Now it's anywhere between a few bucks and a thousand bucks, depends what people buy in any given month. I don't think there's been a month when it's been zero, but there may have been. I don't watch it closely. The network is wholly static with nobody working to expand the network, and has been for a decade, just people buying stuff they want (some registered for member pricing, some paying full price) when they want it.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 11:10 AM   #288
marplots
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Do you have any evidence or data to suggest whether it is a minor problem or a major problem?

Here's some data I have -
(snipped for brevity)
Your apparent belief there's a "problem" does not appear consistent with these findings. I await your evidence.
Here ya go:



Originally Posted by icerat View Post
1. I think it would be totally inappropriate to "leverage" an existing relationship in order to make a sale. I would note that the University of Westminster study I cited above indicated that 58% of respondents indicated they had bought from family or friends(note: that means 42% bought from someone they didn't know) and over 90% would purchase through the same channel again. Clearly few people feel "leveraged". Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?
Yes. A Westminster study showing that 58% bought from family or friends. Note, this doesn't include those that were approached by family or friends but managed to beg off or avoid buying. And of course they would do it again. Don't you want to help mom or brother Jim grow his business? That's the point of leveraging family and friends - it's an easy sale, people buy because of the relationship, not the product alone.

Ask yourself this. How many non-MLM products you buy (the hundreds or thousands of products) are purchased from family or friends?

Are you claiming that a standard sales practice in Amway/MLM isn't to sell to family or friends? Or, are you saying that it is, but doesn't seem shady to you?

Last edited by marplots; 2nd September 2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 12:34 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Here ya go:
Oh right, so a google search - and not even evaluating the results - trumps multi-year investigations, peer-reviewed published reports, independent expert analysis etc.

You know, I'm not sure if you should trust Google. By your methodology they're apparently a great deal scammier than Amway.



Quote:
Yes. A Westminster study showing that 58% bought from family or friends. Note, this doesn't include those that were approached by family or friends but managed to beg off or avoid buying.
You completely avoided the fact the majority of the respondents had positive views of the industry.

Quote:
And of course they would do it again. Don't you want to help mom or brother Jim grow his business?
If I like and would use their products of course I would. Wouldn't you?

Quote:
That's the point of leveraging family and friends - it's an easy sale, people buy because of the relationship, not the product alone.
And what if it is a worthwhile product at good value, and you give your family and friends a better price?

Haven't they leveraged you for a better deal?

A win:win isn't it?

Quote:
Ask yourself this. How many non-MLM products you buy (the hundreds or thousands of products) are purchased from family or friends?
At present, none that I can think of, at least not that were friends before I started business with them. I did recently move cities though! Quite a few locals are friends now, and we maintain a business relationship as well.

In the past I've bought products of family and friends, yes, and will do so in the future.

I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make? That it's bad that I buy stuff of my friends and family?

Quote:
Are you claiming that a standard sales practice in Amway/MLM isn't to sell to family or friends? Or, are you saying that it is, but doesn't seem shady to you?
I'm saying it's standard practice if you start a business to let your friends and family know about it.

If you started a business, wouldn't you tell your friends and family about it?

I find it shady that you apparently think people should keep it a secret.

My experience both with Amway and other (non-mlm) businesses I own is that some buy from you and some don't. And it's irritating (no matter what type of business) when a friend or family buys from a competitor without talking to you first!
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Old 2nd September 2013, 12:53 PM   #290
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Icerat,
The problem with your statistics are that they don't reach the population we want to ask. Of course, if I filter by current customers/distributors (and, I have to admit, those categories seem to flip back and forth), I'm not measuring the people who think Amway is a scam - those people are not answering the questions.

One might as well ask a church full of Baptists if they think salvation is a good idea or not.

Since you have the expertise in this, how many people stay with Amway a year, or five years as a distributor? And of those that leave, why do they leave?

Alternatively, of those who see "the plan," how many join?

The people we should ask are the ones that have become allergic to Amway. Anyone in Amway has a vested interest.

Also, the question isn't whether Amway and MLM's can't be ethical. It isn't whether it is possible. The question is what actually happens. For all I know, one can be an ethical drug dealer. And I'll wager a drug dealer can satisfy customers and make money too. But drug dealing isn't an ethical activity as usually practiced. That's the question. All the rest is just a bad paint job.

So, yes. Read the posts that come up in Google under "Amway is a scam" and evaluate what those people have to say. Ask what their motivation to say it might be. I propose they have no reason to lie.

Last edited by marplots; 2nd September 2013 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 01:46 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Icerat,
The problem with your statistics are that they don't reach the population we want to ask. Of course, if I filter by current customers/distributors (and, I have to admit, those categories seem to flip back and forth), I'm not measuring the people who think Amway is a scam - those people are not answering the questions.
So people who register complaints aren't the right sample.
Every single Amway IBO for more than a decade aren't the right sample.
A representative random sample of over 4000 members of the public isn't the right sample.

[quote]Since you have the expertise in this, how many people stay with Amway a year, or five years as a distributor?

First year renewal rate in 2006 was 31%. A 2011 trial program improved that to 76%.

Overall renewal rate in 2006 was 57%, as you can see it's dragged down considerably by the first year drop outs. Ongoing renewal rates for people who renew at least twice reportedly approaches 100%.

Quote:
And of those that leave, why do they leave?
I know Amway does exit surveys, unfortunately I've not been able to obtain data on them. We do know from a 2007 court case that approximately 50% of new IBOs join and then never even place an order, and income statistics indicate 54% never attend any IBO meetings, attempt to sell products etc.

This data indicates, and my own personal experience supports this, that at least half of the people who register don't do anything at all. You mentioned low barriers to entry, and this is I think a symptom of that. People get shown the concept go "oh yeah, I'll register and give it a look" and then for whatever reason just never get around to doing anything. In my experience that's sometimes because of poor follow-up by the sponsor, sometimes it's just a matter of priorities not working out, other times its a result of negative feedback they receive, either from talking to others or googling.

Assuming that virtually all of those who renew come out of the pool of new applicants who actually order products at least once in the first year, then nearly 2 out of 3 renew

Quote:
Alternatively, of those who see "the plan," how many join?
A great deal of variation, but rule of thumb is 1:5

Quote:
The people we should ask are the ones that have become allergic to Amway. Anyone in Amway has a vested interest.
The UoW study was a public survey. The US class action included all former IBOs. The Canadian class action was advertised nationally. The NSW government and BBB reports are of public complaints.

Quote:
Also, the question isn't whether Amway and MLM's can't be ethical. It isn't whether it is possible. The question is what actually happens.
According the class action administrators report, in the period from January 1, 2003 until February 21, 2012 in the US alone there were 2,996,557 IBOs - 2,125,071 of whom were former IBOs.

There are insignificant numbers of complaints registered either with Amway or official bodies. Even an internet search will find very few first hand complaints, especially in recent years.

In 2009/2010 the FTC proposed new rules covering business opportunities. The rules initially would have covered MLMs. After industry input and staff research, MLMs were excluded. One of the reasons given was that they found there were very few complaints against legitimate MLM companies like Amway.

Quote:
So, yes. Read the posts that come up in Google under "Amway is a scam" and evaluate what those people have to say. Ask what their motivation to say it might be. I propose they have no reason to lie.
On my search -

1. Wikipedia
2. amwayscam.org - says it's not a scam, looks likely to be a lead generation site for some (non-Amway) mlmer
3. Yahoo answers. Does indeed have some outright lies, like claiming Amway was forced to move their headquarters out of the US
4. A guy gets approached, researches on the internet, and promptly regurgitates standard anti-Amway myths. Not a complaint.
5. and 6. MLMer using youtube to recruit with Amway scam keywords. Says not a scam, not complaints.
7. Married to an Ambot. Author was involved in the Canadian class action and dropped out. Yes, she's a liar. PM me if you want details.
8. Ripoffreport. Combination of complaints and rebuttals, mostly old and the vast majority mostly second and third hand hearsay comments.
9. A site I maintain, not a scam
10. Saw presentation, googles, regurgitates standard myths.

So out of the first 10 results, we have 4 that say it's not a scam. Three that have people researching it and then regurgitating myths, not actually having any personal complaints, wikipedia, a known liar with an axe to grind, and a mix of old stuff on ripoffreport.

So not a single actual first hand complaint about Amway on page one, apart perhaps in the collection in ripoffreport.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:08 PM   #292
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I have met people living comfortably off of Amway but I worked in market research for years so had access to private financial data from 1000's of people. In that time I met one person off the street that made it big in Amway. I generally equate working for Amway with either being on disability or being secretly unemployed. There are tons of unemployed people who say they are working in these multilevel companies. It can be a good cover for them I guess if someone doesn't know I guess
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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:30 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I have met people living comfortably off of Amway but I worked in market research for years so had access to private financial data from 1000's of people. In that time I met one person off the street that made it big in Amway. I generally equate working for Amway with either being on disability or being secretly unemployed. There are tons of unemployed people who say they are working in these multilevel companies. It can be a good cover for them I guess if someone doesn't know I guess
As a general rule of thumb unemployed people are lousy business prospects. There's usually a good reason they're unemployed. There are exceptions of course.

A few months ago a friend of mine recently sponsored about 30 people, most of whom were unemployed guys in their 20s. All expressed keen interest in building a business and making some money. They all "need" it. Here you can register for free and you have a month to purchase a starter kit and pay for membership (both of which can be returned for full refunds). Of the 30, only 3 ever came to any training meetings (including numerous free ones and online ones), and only 1 has ordered their start kit, then done nothing. They're all too busy playing world of warcraft.

All in all a (predictable) waste of everyone's time. "Critics" will claim them as evidence the business doesn't work.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:36 PM   #294
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9. A site I maintain, not a scam

On the Google comment. There's actually a fallacy named after it. A search on "mlm model obsolete" yields more challenging results though.

http://www.vandruff.com/mlm.html

So, upfront. I'm not a fan of mlm's, but scam is an emotionally charged word like cult.

I'm curious though, where in a world of direct Internet sales, an mlm has a reason for being. It would seem like a tough go of it if I were trying to sell Amway products from my house, if I was competing with someone who was using a website. Even if it was not a click to order site, it would be directing sales in a way that would seem to steal sales from 'brick and mortar' outlets - in this case my garage.

I'm not saying that is unfair, just that it would seem to undermine the model. It undermines the model because the mlm model is obsolete in an age where we can order from our computers.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 05:49 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
As a general rule of thumb unemployed people are lousy business prospects. There's usually a good reason they're unemployed. There are exceptions of course.

A few months ago a friend of mine recently sponsored about 30 people, most of whom were unemployed guys in their 20s. All expressed keen interest in building a business and making some money. They all "need" it. Here you can register for free and you have a month to purchase a starter kit and pay for membership (both of which can be returned for full refunds). Of the 30, only 3 ever came to any training meetings (including numerous free ones and online ones), and only 1 has ordered their start kit, then done nothing. They're all too busy playing world of warcraft.

All in all a (predictable) waste of everyone's time. "Critics" will claim them as evidence the business doesn't work.
I don't think its a waste of time. These people can say they work for Amway and a couple other MLM's rather than say that they are unemployed or disabled. It gives them a feeling of self worth. I am not saying that most everyone is like that. I will say that finding people who were making really good money from these MLMs by interviewing people is really rare. I would say that I met less than 10 in 4 years on the job. Actually I think I have met 2-3 people who are doing well by business standards in my life possibly while doing marketing research. The general Amway distributor is probably very church oriented and the tapes seem to be closely related to inspirational bible tapes.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 06:49 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post

A few months ago a friend of mine recently sponsored about 30 people, most of whom were unemployed guys in their 20s. All expressed keen interest in building a business and making some money. They all "need" it. Here you can register for free and you have a month to purchase a starter kit and pay for membership (both of which can be returned for full refunds). Of the 30, only 3 ever came to any training meetings (including numerous free ones and online ones), and only 1 has ordered their start kit, then done nothing. They're all too busy playing world of warcraft.

They probably realized that it's a scam.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 07:04 PM   #297
marplots
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(much snipped)

So not a single actual first hand complaint about Amway on page one, apart perhaps in the collection in ripoffreport.
Interesting no?
1) ripoffreport is one link from google, but contains dozens of first hand reports:
http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AMWAY/...R-SCAMWAY-3443
(look on the left side for additional links)

2) Just as telling is all the fake "scam" complaints that turn out to be pro-Amway or another MLM as a bait-and-switch link. This is exactly what you'd expect with a scam-based organization.

3) And we are using old terminology right? Isn't it Quixar or something else now? Is it even Amway any longer? "Carl is a cheat." "Well, no worries then, my name isn't Carl anymore."

Here's an NBC report from 2004 on Quixtar. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4375477#.UiVF4X-1FR1
Sounds scammy to me.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 09:14 PM   #298
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[quote=icerat;9466114][quote=ChrisBFRPKY;9465967]The only folks making money in Amway are the owners and those at the "Diamond" level or whatever it's referred to in modern times.
Quote:

I made money from Amway when I built an Amway business. Still get paid from it for that matter, more than a decade later. I was nowhere near "Diamond".

Hmmm ... should I believe you or the cash in my account? Tough choice ...



The type of conventions you talk about are typically run by third party companies, all of which have different cultures. Fortunately I never encountered this kind of over the top hype.

How many different types of Amway-related conventions have you been to, Chris?



Most businesses take some money to get up and running. If you haven't got any, or aren't willing to spend any, then perhaps you shouldn't be starting a business?



I find the products competitively priced, that's why I continued to buy them even after I moved countries.

Chris, how many Amway products have you tried?



You have been misinformed. There is no points "quota".



Sounds like you're talking about someone just buying for themselves, and not building a business. You won't earn anything doing that, though you might get a few bucks back in volume rebate, yes.



It uses multilevel marketing, but it's not a scam - though of course, like any business, scammers can use it that way if they so choose.
So, you can you profit without recruiting new members? I don't think so.

Are Amway conventions over the top? You bet, it's a fact. Amway has to push the "belief" that their newest members can become rich to keep the newbies coming. "Read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People"! "Get out there and draw those circles!" If you've never heard any of those comments pushed, you've never been to a convention.

You make money from Amway a decade later and you're not not building the business? No product sales? That's wonderful, you reached the top level by which your profit comes from all the newbies signing up and building your downline.

As far as how many conventions I have attended, enough to know a scam when I see one. Without driving the new members to push, sell, buy and "draw those circles" the upper level fails. If you deny what I have said is true about the conventions, you must not have attended any or you're still pushing for new recruits.

Your statement about your bank account is typical for Amway upper levels. It's their job to stay on vacation and brag about what they paid for with cash. It seems bankruptcy court records tell a more honest, revealing tale about one's real worth. In the end their success based on the shoulders of the downline is probably a bit over 100K per year and the stories of paying cash for a new home are just that, stories.

The top level seek professionals. They use "status" to try and obtain Doctors, Lawyers and others who will be looked upon as someone to believe by the new recruits. The more "status" the larger the downline.

You think Amway products are competitively priced? 20 years ago a box of off brand generic cereal was $5 from Amway. The same cereal cost $1.29 at the local market. How much is Amway toothpaste now? Is it competitive with Walmarts $1 or $2 a tube? I bet it's about $5 or better. Correct me if I'm wrong.

No points quota, ok then maybe it's a minimum monthly sales number now before you get paid. But regardless you will not get paid until there is a set amount of product going thru you and your business. It's kinda odd how Amway pays you money but you have no product involvement? That's difficult to accept as truthful. Unless you have had an "Emerald" break off from your group under you. It's all part of the multilevel scam, pyramid , etc.

Don't forget to try and take control of the conversation by asking more questions. I have a soapbox too when it comes to the Amway scam.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 01:15 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Interesting no?
1) ripoffreport is one link from google, but contains dozens of first hand reports:
http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AMWAY/...R-SCAMWAY-3443
(look on the left side for additional links)
dozens. Out of nearly 3 million IBOs in the past decade in the US alone.

Statistically I'd consider that as pretty clear evidence there isn't much of a problem.

Quote:
2) Just as telling is all the fake "scam" complaints that turn out to be pro-Amway or another MLM as a bait-and-switch link. This is exactly what you'd expect with a scam-based organization.
Best I can tell, the "pro-Amway" comments are responses and rebuttals, not bait-and-switch.

Yes, I've noticed other supposed MLMs using that tactic though, most of which appear to be clear scams.

Quote:
3) And we are using old terminology right? Isn't it Quixar or something else now? Is it even Amway any longer? "Carl is a cheat." "Well, no worries then, my name isn't Carl anymore."
Now you're just being juvenile- and showing your ignorance. Amway parent company Alticor setup a new online division called Quixtar in 1999. Amway and Quixtar both operated in North America until around 2003/2004 when Quixtar had attracted so many Amway distributors that they decided to merge the two companies. In 2007 following market research on the strength of the two different brands it was decided to return to the Amway name.

You really do just believe any old rubbish you find on the internet if it confirms your preexisting beliefs, don't you?

Quote:
Here's an NBC report from 2004 on Quixtar. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4375477#.UiVF4X-1FR1
Sounds scammy to me.
That would be from the guys that faked car explosions to attack GM? In any case it was an "expose" of one small group within Quixtar.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 01:23 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I don't think its a waste of time. These people can say they work for Amway and a couple other MLM's rather than say that they are unemployed or disabled. It gives them a feeling of self worth. I am not saying that most everyone is like that. I will say that finding people who were making really good money from these MLMs by interviewing people is really rare.
If I recall correctly around 1 in 20 people in the US are involved in direct selling and 1 in 10 work it seriously (and not all succeed of course)

So you would expect to need to talk to at least 200 people to find one.

Quote:
I would say that I met less than 10 in 4 years on the job. Actually I think I have met 2-3 people who are doing well by business standards in my life possibly while doing marketing research. The general Amway distributor is probably very church oriented and the tapes seem to be closely related to inspirational bible tapes.
There are several large Amway organisations that were developed by quite religious people, including Amway's owners. The nature of networking of course means organisations will tend to reflect the leaders who build them. Some groups were well known for actively promoting their religious beliefs through their Amway businesses. Amway itself put it stricter rules controlling that about 6 or 7 years ago.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 01:39 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
So, you can you profit without recruiting new members? I don't think so.
You think wrong. First time I joined Amway I was 20, I did nothing but sell the products. Didn't recruit anyone, made a profit.

Quote:
Are Amway conventions over the top? You bet, it's a fact. Amway has to push the "belief" that their newest members can become rich to keep the newbies coming. "Read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People"! "Get out there and draw those circles!" If you've never heard any of those comments pushed, you've never been to a convention.
Suggesting people read a classic book on people skills is "over the top"?

I'd note that Amway runs very very few conventions, mostly for higher achievers. The type of conventions you are likely talking about are by a variety of third party companies, such as that highlighted by dateline above.

Quote:
You make money from Amway a decade later and you're not not building the business? No product sales? That's wonderful, you reached the top level by which your profit comes from all the newbies signing up and building your downline.
Ummm, no. I'm nowhere near a "top" level and you don't make any money at all by signing up "newbies". Zero. Ziltch. As I pointed out, but you apparently ignored since it doesn't fit your world view, the network has had nobody new join it in over a decade. I make money because people are buying products I introduced them to.

Quote:
As far as how many conventions I have attended, enough to know a scam when I see one. Without driving the new members to push, sell, buy and "draw those circles" the upper level fails. If you deny what I have said is true about the conventions, you must not have attended any or you're still pushing for new recruits.
Who were the seminars operated by? Unless you were Platinum or higher (which you weren't) then it wasn't Amway. How many seminars have you been to operated by the Muller-Meerkatz WWD organization? Or eFinity? Or Network 21? These are all different, independent, third party companies that offer support services to Amway business owners.

Quote:
Your statement about your bank account is typical for Amway upper levels. It's their job to stay on vacation and brag about what they paid for with cash. It seems bankruptcy court records tell a more honest, revealing tale about one's real worth. In the end their success based on the shoulders of the downline is probably a bit over 100K per year and the stories of paying cash for a new home are just that, stories.
In 10 years of researching and writing about Amway, including attending many seminars with the largest Amway organization in the world, the only people I've ever heard talking about "paying cash for a new home" are rabid critics like yourself.

Never heard it.

Quote:
The top level seek professionals. They use "status" to try and obtain Doctors, Lawyers and others who will be looked upon as someone to believe by the new recruits. The more "status" the larger the downline.
Tell me, Chris. What percentage of Amway's revenue comes from new recruits? You clearly think it is the primary revenue driver. Could you give some details?

Quote:
You think Amway products are competitively priced? 20 years ago a box of off brand generic cereal was $5 from Amway. The same cereal cost $1.29 at the local market.
Amway doesn't make cereal. In some markets they offer products from other companies. Some

Quote:
How much is Amway toothpaste now? Is it competitive with Walmarts $1 or $2 a tube? I bet it's about $5 or better. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Are you aware there's more than one type of toothpaste? Even at Walmart!

Quote:
No points quota, ok then maybe it's a minimum monthly sales number now before you get paid. But regardless you will not get paid until there is a set amount of product going thru you and your business.
Yes, it's based on volume discounting, paid as rebates, you don't get a discount unless you reach certain volume levels. Pretty normal business.

Quote:
It's kinda odd how Amway pays you money but you have no product involvement? That's difficult to accept as truthful. Unless you have had an "Emerald" break off from your group under you. It's all part of the multilevel scam, pyramid , etc.
So somebody goes to my personal Amway website and buys a product, and gets it shipped to their home, and that's "difficult to accept"?

Or someone I introduced to Amway products goes to their Amway website and buys stuff, and gets it shipped to their home, and because I have enough people doing this that I qualify for volume rebates on these sales, that's "difficult to accept"?

Apparently you've missed this thing called "the internet".
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Old 3rd September 2013, 01:55 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
dozens. Out of nearly 3 million IBOs in the past decade in the US alone.
Isn't that the psychology scams rely on? If I've been fooled, I'm less likely to talk about it - it makes me look stupid.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Statistically I'd consider that as pretty clear evidence there isn't much of a problem.
"Isn't much" - good way of putting it.
Would you at least admit that Amway has the reputation of being scammy, even if you don't think it deserves it?

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Best I can tell, the "pro-Amway" comments are responses and rebuttals, not bait-and-switch.
There isn't going to be a switch if I'm supporting the business I'm involved in.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Yes, I've noticed other supposed MLMs using that tactic though, most of which appear to be clear scams.
This is starting to sound like one of those conversations where someone claims other religions are bogus but their religion is fine. I'll take the position that yes, we agree - except I believe in one less MLM than you do.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Now you're just being juvenile- and showing your ignorance. Amway parent company Alticor setup a new online division called Quixtar in 1999. Amway and Quixtar both operated in North America until around 2003/2004 when Quixtar had attracted so many Amway distributors that they decided to merge the two companies. In 2007 following market research on the strength of the two different brands it was decided to return to the Amway name.
So I should combine complaints under whichever name comes up. Good to know.

Quote:
Marplots
Here's an NBC report from 2004 on Quixtar. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4375477#.UiVF4X-1FR1
Sounds scammy to me.
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
You really do just believe any old rubbish you find on the internet if it confirms your preexisting beliefs, don't you?

That would be from the guys that faked car explosions to attack GM? In any case it was an "expose" of one small group within Quixtar.
And you disbelieve NBC because doing so confirms your preexisting beliefs? Or, am I to take it that you agree, at least "one small group" within Quixtar was indeed scammy, as recently as 2004?

How would you propose to police the vast organization, composed of independent businesses to make sure that none are drifting back into that huge money-making sideline of selling other sales materials, or drifting into practices that other MLM's use - the ones you agree are tainted?

How tempting it must be to inflate the promises, just a wee bit, when an amateur presents "the plan."

For example, here is a pro-Amway youtube video:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


It has been up a year. The gentleman isn't selling Amway directly, as far as I can tell, he's selling tools to network marketers. In other words, he's doing exactly what gave Amway the stink it got from selling "tools."

And here is the website it leads to: http://methos04.magneticsponsoringonline.com/

Among the claims -
Quote:
Free videos show you how you can literally have an endless new stream of distributors knocking down your door, credit card in hand, ready to join... Absolutely free.
Is that an inflated claim or not?

And the question is then - how do you even know that such a person and business model isn't involved in Amway when independent business are, well, independent? There is some reason these folks love MLM - it seems to attract them like hyenas to week-old carcasses.

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Old 3rd September 2013, 02:08 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Isn't that the psychology scams rely on? If I've been fooled, I'm less likely to talk about it - it makes me look stupid.
Really? That's what your opinion rests on? That even if people are contacted confidentially by an independent 3rd party and offered compensation they would't take it? Because they feel they got fooled?

Do you have any idea how silly this thesis is?

It's also ridiculously common amongst the anti-MLM crowd - "well of course there's no complaints! People are too embarrassed to talk about it!"

Good grief.

Quote:
Would you at least admit that Amway has the reputation of being scammy, even if you don't think it deserves it?
As per the University of Westminster study, the industry has a poor reputation amongst those who base their opinions primarily on hearsay.

Quote:
This is starting to sound like one of those conversations where someone claims other religions are bogus but their religion is fine. I'll take the position that yes, we agree - except I believe in one less MLM than you do.
I think we both agree illegal pyramid schemes and ponzi schemes are scams? They are (arguably) a subset of MLM. Your argument is starting to sound like "Al qaeda are terrorists therefore all Muslims are terrorists"

Quote:
And you disbelieve NBC because it confirms your preexisting beliefs?
I don't believe or disbelieve it. I've no idea how that particularly group operated. It's hard to tell whether that group is "scammy" or not from that show. I do know that it doesn't remotely reflect my experience with the largest Amway organisation in the world.

Quote:
Or, am I to take it that you agree, at least "one small group" within Quixtar was indeed scammy, as recently as 2004?
I already pointed out Amway lost nearly a third of their IBOs in 2007 when they kicked out a large number of leaders for what they (and I for that matter) believed to be unethical practices.

Quote:
How would you propose to police the vast organization, composed of independent businesses to make sure that none are drifting back into that huge money-making sideline of selling other sales materials, or drifting into practices that other MLM's use - the ones you agree are tainted?
Amway implentented an accreditation system back about 6 years ago . If you wish to use these 3rd party companies, and promote them to others, then they need to go through an accreditation process where all material is checked, Amway representatives are invited to all major functions, any "tool" compensation is subjected to independent audit, no promoting politics and religion, and more.

If a company fails to be accredited and maintain accreditation, those who use it are ineligible for a wide range of discretionary awards and bonuses.

Quote:
For example, here is a pro-Amway youtube video:
It has been up a year.

And here is the website it leads to: http://methos04.magneticsponsoringonline.com/

Among the claims -

Is that an inflated claim or not?
Sure, but I'm not sure what your point is? This isn't an Amway rep, it's someone trying to sell something to Amway reps.

(and lead gens are a scam if you ask me)
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Old 3rd September 2013, 02:35 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
(much snipped)

I already pointed out Amway lost nearly a third of their IBOs in 2007 when they kicked out a large number of leaders for what they (and I for that matter) believed to be unethical practices.
Finally, a benchmark. We can at least agree on this, I think:
Up until 2007, at least a third of Amway was a scam. Policies were instituted in 2007 to try to stop further scamming. (I took the liberty of using "scam" instead of "unethical.")

Think about that. A third.

When do you think the next purge will come?

Here is a closer, less hyperbolic analogy. I think chiropractic is a scam. Not all chiropractors make excessive claims. Not all operate unethically. But the industry, by it's nature, tends toward unethical behaviors. It doesn't have to, but in my opinion, that's how it is.

MLM's, by your estimate, also tend toward the scam side of the ledger. Even if Amway, as a corporation, is trying their hardest to keep things above board, I do not think they have the level of control necessary to prevent what is so prevalent elsewhere.

Here's a good blog about the "cult" side - that's what turned me off when I was exposed. http://marriedtoanambot.blogspot.com...l#comment-form
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Old 3rd September 2013, 03:10 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
I wouldn't trust an article. I had changed thinks there's an "English Government" quite so often in one piece. Do we have anything a little more compelling?
The BERR case against Amway UK was eventually dismissed, 14MAY2008, when Amway agreed to certain conditions, i.e.:
  • to maintain the present prohibition on the production sale or promotion of BSM that is not authorised and distributed by Amway;
  • not to introduce a registration fee or a renewal fee;
  • not to recruit new ABOs until it has published earnings data in accordance with a stated income disclosure policy (which requires annual disclosure for 12 month periods of the average earnings and the highest and lowest earnings of each category of ABO together with the minimum income levels for qualification for higher rewards and the number of persons qualified at each level ).
Of course none of this effects the facts that Amway is a scam, just that it is a legal scam.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 03:57 AM   #306
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What turned me away firmly was the family member trying to recruit me doing his best to convince me that I didn't have to make any actual sales to non-members--just buy from myself and recruit others to buy from themselves. I recognized that part as the behavior that they had to make rules against to keep Amway from being legally considered a Ponzi scheme. But apparently the rules weren't enough to stop it from happening.

But that was his response when I said I didn't want to be a salesman, so it's not like I would have taken it up had he explained a need to sell to non-members.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 07:42 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Finally, a benchmark. We can at least agree on this, I think:
Up until 2007, at least a third of Amway was a scam.
Nope, doesn't say that at all. The vast majority of distributors are not actively building businesses, but still have loyalty to their upline (being or having developed friendships)

Quote:
When do you think the next purge will come?
Go see how many first hand complaints you can discover from the past 3 years.

Quote:
Here is a closer, less hyperbolic analogy. I think chiropractic is a scam. Not all chiropractors make excessive claims. Not all operate unethically. But the industry, by it's nature, tends toward unethical behaviors. It doesn't have to, but in my opinion, that's how it is.
If you're going to make that equation, then your taking on the entire retail industry. MLM is just a marketing strategy. While it's often discussed as such, it's not an industry

Quote:
MLM's, by your estimate, also tend toward the scam side of the ledger.
Nope, never said that. I haven't checked them all but I think most DSA members are authentic.

Quote:
Even if Amway, as a corporation, is trying their hardest to keep things above board, I do not think they have the level of control necessary to prevent what is so prevalent elsewhere.
As we've already established, problems are, relatively speaking, rare not common. I believe they're even rarer today than in the past, and the industry is become more and more professional. Check out the top 100 direct selling companies (nearly all use MLM) and analyse them for complaints/issues.

Quote:
Here's a good blog about the "cult" side - that's what turned me off when I was exposed. http://marriedtoanambot.blogspot.com...l#comment-form
As I pointed out, that's a fake blog. Most of the experiences she claims are faked, most of the comments are faked. And you consider it "good"?

You argument seems to be "MLM makes it easy for anyone to start a business, this is a bad thing"
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Old 3rd September 2013, 07:47 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
The BERR case against Amway UK was eventually dismissed, 14MAY2008, when Amway agreed to certain conditions, i.e.:
Catsmate, this is incorrect and another lie regularly promoted by anti-Amway critics. As pointed out in the judgement, BERR had failed to actually tell Amway what their concerns were. Amway went out of the way trying to work it out and made several changes.

The judge stated that he would have dismissed the case even if the changes hadn't been put in place, but he decided to accept them anyway. BERR's entire appeal was based on the view that the judge had based the dismissal on the changes, and that this was incorrect - they should be punished for the bad behaviour. The appeal court judges confirmed that the case would have been dismissed without the "condiitions".

So you're claim is false. I'll assume you've been misled, rather than being dishonest, but to be frank I get sick of having to deal with the same old discredited BS over and over again.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 07:52 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
What turned me away firmly was the family member trying to recruit me doing his best to convince me that I didn't have to make any actual sales to non-members--just buy from myself and recruit others to buy from themselves. I recognized that part as the behavior that they had to make rules against to keep Amway from being legally considered a Ponzi scheme.
Well you recognized incorrectly. While what your family member said was in violation of Amway's rules, it was not something required to make them not a Ponzi scheme.

What you're probably referring to is allegations of being a pyramid scheme, which is different to a ponzi scheme. What's necessary not to be a "product based pyramid scheme" is legitimate products. Retail customer sales are not required to have a legitimate market for legitimate products, but a significant amount of it provides strong evidence you have legitimate product and market.

Quote:
But apparently the rules weren't enough to stop it from happening.
Amway North America has implemented much stronger tracking of retail customer sales

Quote:
But that was his response when I said I didn't want to be a salesman, so it's not like I would have taken it up had he explained a need to sell to non-members.
Not to mention signing up others members is selling!
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Old 3rd September 2013, 08:24 AM   #310
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I just don't understand why there are so many Amway critics. Wherever do they come from?

I am an Amway critic.

We have heard from several JREFians who are also critical of Amway. We should hear from more than one who supports it. But maybe being a skeptic skews opinions here. Don't know.

And what's with the fake blogs and fake network news reporting?

It's all very puzzling.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 09:09 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I just don't understand why there are so many Amway critics. Wherever do they come from?

I am an Amway critic.

We have heard from several JREFians who are also critical of Amway. We should hear from more than one who supports it. But maybe being a skeptic skews opinions here. Don't know.

And what's with the fake blogs and fake network news reporting?

It's all very puzzling.
There's a few factors going on I think, both historically and more recently.

(1) the Amway model has been successful at introducing new products in to established markets, so you have big player competitors actively trying to discredit the company. This was discussed in FTC vs Amway and also highlighted with Amway's initial struggles in South Korea, where competitors were caught spreading rumours about Amway products. Similarly, in the US, Proctor & Gamble was found to be feeding information to one of the early prominent anti-Amway bloggers.

(2) by it's open nature, virtually by definition most people's experience with an MLMer is with a new inexperienced person, so they'll often get hype or approaches like the "no selling!" one pointed out above

(3) I don't know with it's just historical accident or some other reason, but two of the initially most successful at networking, Dexter Yager and Bill Britt, were very "in your face" with a "take no prisoners" type of approach, mixed it with lots of religious and political evangelism. The approach is very successful for those it appeals to, but alienating for those it doesn't. If my first experience with Amway had been an old-style Britt/Yager seminar then I'd probably be a critic too! As noted in the independently written book "Amway Forever" published a couple of years ago, virtually all of the complaints you read on the internet originate with those two groups and their offshoots. (indeed Britt was an offshoot of Yager)

(4) Combine the above with the oft quoted marketing maxim that people promote bad experiences far more than positive ones, and you end up with people reporting their bad experiences but not neutral or negative ones

(5) Throw in the internet and it's amplified enormously

(6) People with the most positive experiences are those building their businesses successfully. The vast majority do so in the spare time, so they're not sitting around on the internet blogging about it!

(7) Then you have to realise Amway actively stops people promoting Amway on the internet. For most of the first decade of this century they even forced IBOs to remove websites that defended Amway against critics! They had various reasons for this, some even good, but overall it left the internet to critics. A huge mistake in my opinion.

End result is a hugely biased view of the company, especially if you restrict yourself to internet research. Bother reading some of the many third party published books on Amway and you get a wholly different perspective.

Not sure what you mean by the fake blogs and fake network news reporting?
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Old 3rd September 2013, 09:20 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Not sure what you mean by the fake blogs and fake network news reporting?
Ahh, I think I know what that might be. A group involved with Amway (not Amway) setup a whole heap of fake blogs trying to address criticisms. It was extremely poorly executed, and it also happened to have been led by the guys who soon after got kicked out.

The fake news broadcast I think refers to Quixtar's response to Dateline? Some consultant obviously told them that makes stuff more believable. I vaguely recall it was a fashionable PR approach at the time, not just with Quixtar.

This was many years ago. Just goes to show how the internet accumulates stuff.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:06 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Finally, a benchmark. We can at least agree on this, I think:
Up until 2007, at least a third of Amway was a scam. Policies were instituted in 2007 to try to stop further scamming. (I took the liberty of using "scam" instead of "unethical.")

Think about that. A third.

When do you think the next purge will come?
The group that got booted out was called "TEAM". I believe they would not have gotten booted out had they not challenged Amway on some issues. Amway was perfectly happy to collect their earnings from this group who taught "buy from yourself and get others to do the same".

There are other groups out there who teach and operate in a similar manner but Amway turns the other way as along as these groups don't "rock the boat".

In 1983 in a speech called "Directly Speaking", the Amway owner acknowledged that the tool business is basically a scam/pyramid but ended up taking no action because Amway sales were threatened by such large groups of IBO's being persuaded to boycott by their leaders.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:09 AM   #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icerat
You really do just believe any old rubbish you find on the internet if it confirms your preexisting beliefs, don't you?

That would be from the guys that faked car explosions to attack GM? In any case it was an "expose" of one small group within Quixtar.
If you're going to imply that Dateline and NBC did some fakery on the Quixtar (Amway) expose, surely you have some evidence? Citing an unrelated event which sensationalized a car explosion has nothing to do with the expose on Quixtar.

Your defense in that manner is like defending Amway by saying my job is a pyramid.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:26 AM   #315
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That Married to an Ambot blog sounds like it's written by a man; something about the language doesn't sound like a woman to me.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:28 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Almo View Post
That Married to an Ambot blog sounds like it's written by a man; something about the language doesn't sound like a woman to me.
I can confirm it's a woman. But ... yeah.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:42 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I can confirm it's a woman. But ... yeah.
Interesting to know.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 11:50 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by Almo View Post
Interesting to know.
It's one of the few true things on the blog! For a start, she's not married ....
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Old 3rd September 2013, 01:22 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by Zelenius View Post
It may be no coincidence that Herbalife was founded in 1980. The FTC ruling gave the green light to everyone who wanted to start their own sophisticated pyramid scheme, so the founder of Herbalife seized the opportunity.

Many other MLMs have come and gone, but Herbalife, with its billions in revenues, is almost as successful as Amway. So in a way, Amway has helped some people, besides those at the top of the putrid Amway pyramid, become rich - clever enough scam-artists who start their own pyramid scheme and closely model it on Amway stand a good chance of making it big!
Right, the 1979 FTC ruling on Amway paved the road for other schemes to get started. While they might be legal by the letter of the law, they are in my opinion, operating on the fringes of legality that could be changed if the FTC would just clearly define some parameters.

The big one is their definition of end users. I take it to mean real customers who are not participating in the MLM. But apparently, the way the FTC defined the ruling, it allowed for interpretation that IBO's themselves are end users. It's redundant because without customers, your ability to profit depends on recruiting, which is then a factor in determining a pyramid scheme.

Icerat is good at attacking semantics and things but the bottom line is that Amway is a lousy business opportunity where nearly everyone makes nothing or loses money and their products are not competitive so it's easy to see why IBO's are the primary customers. Factor in Amway's in the toilet reputation (In the US) and you can see a recipe for failure.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 05:10 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Icerat, you're wasting your breath. No one buys that crap anymore.
I use their Laundry soap. I prefer it. Wife gets it from a gal she works with, who has had a modest distributorship for over a decade. We used their powdered dish washer soap on trial, and it's OK, but I am not sure it's any better than the other stuff I use.
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