Amway Review: Is it a good business opportunity, a scam, a pyramid scheme or even a Ponzi scheme? How likely are you to make money with this company? This review answers all.
My priority here at The Opportunity Scout are the folks who are looking for work-from-home opportunities.
If you one of such people and you are reading this review, you might as well stop here because Amway is NOT a work-from-home business opportunity. That friend or relative or neighbour that told you Amway is a work-from-home opportunity is only trying to recruit you.
I have read a few posts about this company online and I have seen how passionate the Amway fanboys and Independent Business Owners (IBOs) can be. For their passion, they are getting a whole section dedicated to them in this review.
My Experience with Amway
Before I get to where Amway came into the picture, I want to give you an outline of series of events that happened before I even heard of them.
On one fateful evening in December 2014, I went on Kijiji (I live in Canada) to look for a job and one particular ad caught my attention. This job ad was so vague, and yet so loaded that I filled in my contact details so the person who posted the ad could get back to me. This guy got back to me via the email I filled in and he told about brand new exciting business opportunity. He also sent me a couple of videos showing me people in mansions, beach houses and the rest by exploring this business opportunity in another city.
I was completely unsuspecting and was actually quite excited about this opportunity. I was supposed to have dinner with him and his mentor but we had to take a rain check on it due to my school commitments. His mentor ended up explaining some stuff to me via a Skype video call. He mentioned their “hub” where I could buy products I buy regularly anyway. Stuff like toilet papers, energy drinks, supplements, etc. He said I could save $600 just by purchasing this stuff through this hub.
At this point, he wanted to test my commitment to the business. He asked me how much time I would be willing to put in to save $600 a month. I was confused. Why should I have to put in time to save $600 if all I have to do is purchase at their hub? It was at this stage he realized that maybe he went a few steps too fast but I noticed his reaction and realized something else was up. I told him I would get back to him and that was the end of it for me.
I went on Google to search for this company and I learned it was in fact, a pyramid scheme. The company was called WakeUp Now and it has since been shut down. It was while I was researching WakeUp Now that I came across the platform that has taught me how to make money online legitimately.
On To Amway…
I’m not quite sure if it was in February or March 2015 that a friend invited a bunch of us to her apartment. She told us someone was coming to make a presentation on a business opportunity we might be interested in and there would be red velvet cake. The cake was enough to make me go.
About 20 of us showed up and this guy was basically reading the same “save money” script as the guy from 2-3 months earlier. The old guy was from WakeUp now while this new guy was promoting Amway. Unfortunately for this new guy, he found me a few months too late. We sat through the guy’s speech but I told everyone not to join because it was a pyramid scheme. Most listened, some did not. None of them were able to make any profits before they eventually quit!
I completely ignored Amway until now for a number of reasons: (1) The Opportunity Scout was created in mid-2016 (2) I felt there was a lot already written about Amway (3) It did not rear its ugly head in my life again until recently.
2 of my friends have recently become IBOs with Amway. They are still young in the business and are still buying the hype of being “business owners”. They really believe they can make money selling the products they themselves were made to buy. They have since been trying to sell us those products to no avail. This is what you will be reduced to if you choose to become an IBO with Amway.
I was just speaking with another friend of mine and he told me that one of the two IBO friends I mentioned tried to sell him Amway products too. He told me that he himself was an IBO with Amway in 2013 and he was recruited by a mutual friend of ours. Can you see what Amway makes you do to the people closest to you? Fortunately he realized what he was into before losing a whole lot of money but like 99% of IBOs, he was only able to cut his losses and not make profits.
Is Amway a Pyramid Scheme?
The real reason I am writing this review is because there are not enough real articles on the first page of Google doing justice to this question. The answer is YES. It is a complicated type of pyramid scheme, the kind that is sometimes difficult to shut down.
The traditional definition of a pyramid scheme is a scam where there is more emphasis on referrals than the products and the people at the very top get money from the activities of the people at the bottom. Amway and a few other companies have made it confusing to decipher if they are a pyramid scheme or not.
There is something now called a product-based pyramid scheme. In these schemes, members can choose to sell products or recruit members or both. This makes a company look less like a pyramid scheme but it is still pretty apparent to people who are familiar with what a pyramid scheme is. However, Amway has still been able to complicate this issue.
Amway sells real products. They have cosmetics and regular household products. They also offer CDs, motivational material and other stuff to IBOs. There is a whole lot of purchases that go on involving IBOs, none of this is free for anybody. Some IBOs are able to make regular sales to people who take the products but have no affiliation to the company. IBOs that recruit people still have to sell stuff to the people they are recruiting. Some people become IBOs just to get the “discounted” prices.
Whether there is more emphasis on referrals or sale of products is very debatable. It pretty much depends on the individual IBO involved. In the Amway gathering I went to, the IBO making the presentation stressed the prospect of saving through the “discounted” prices on the hub rather than trying to sell us the idea of making a lot of money. Some IBOs might try to sell you the idea of making a fortune right away. Some are pushy, some are nice people.
At the end of the day, they deliberately do not keep records to show if they earn more money from recruiting or from sale of products. People that are recruited are mandated to buy products and how do we tell the difference between people who joined Amway for the discounted prices and those who joined for the income opportunity but were unable to recruit? Everyone is bundled together so we will never know.
Some people can still see through all this that Amway is a pyramid scheme but the FTC needs income statements to close the company down. This is how the company has been able to operate for the past 50 years. The FTC does not help either. Because they do not have an explicit definition of a pyramid scheme, they are leaving the model of a lot of MLMs up for debate.
I know Amway is a pyramid scheme because if they were to stop recruiting today, they will be losing out on a large bulk of the sales they claim to have. When the people currently at the bottom of the pyramid get fed up with not earning anything, they opt out and the entire process replicates itself until the whole thing crumbles.
Unfortunately, I know the recruiting is not stopping today or any time soon and this is bad news for new and prospective Amway members. The best time to join a pyramid scheme is when it is just starting out. Imagine being at the bottom of a pyramid that is 50 years old!
What Amway Apologists Say
How can a scam operate for 50 years in 100 different countries?
They can because their model shows they make a lot of money from product sales. Never mind the fact that a lot of these sales are IBOs to new IBOs, but they are sales.
And by the way, I don’t even care about the company Amway itself. I care about the false income dreams they sell to unsuspecting individuals. There is a reason 99% of IBOs do not make profits.
They company has its own fair share of controversy too. Do you mind explaining why they had to pay this?
People fail in every business.
I 100% agree. But if you know what you are doing in a legitimate business, you should have a fair chance of succeeding if you work hard. I find it hard to believe that an overwhelming fraction of IBOs are not hard working enough to break even. The problem has to be more with the system than it is with the people.
My aunt’s cousin’s grandmother’s neighbour makes money from Amway
That’s great to know. Not everybody fails in this business but how much money do they make? In any case, they are one in a hundred people 🙂
You are trying to promote another product
If people are considering Amway, they are looking to earn money actively or passively. 99 out of 100 people will not make any real money with Amway, so I am suggesting a platform where they can learn how to build their own business online.
I’m not talking about the Independent Business Owner crap Amway tells its members. I am talking about you being in full control of your own business. I only ask people to create a free account to see if the system is a good fit for them. I do NOT get commissions for free accounts!
The funny thing is most of these apologists are not making any money from Amway. They are gullible people who have fallen for the lies other Amway IBOs have told them. How do I know this? Because people who are successful are too busy running their business to have time to jump from post to post to defend a company they do not own.
Is Amway a Ponzi Scheme?
They do not promise ridiculous ROIs so I would say no, it is not a Ponzi scheme.
I read an honest review from an ex-IBO of Amway who had 20+ people in his downline. The most he ever made after being in the company for 2 years was “a couple of hundred bucks”. He now makes a 6-figure income from his computer at home through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is not easy but it is much easier than making money with Amway. No selling necessary, no recruiting necessary, no pyramids, no Ponzi scheme. It is completely fun, you get to choose a niche you already love and it is free to get started.
There is no basis for comparison, to be honest.
PRODUCT NAME: Amway
Owners: Rich DeVos & Jay Van Andel
Summary: Contrary to what the IBO that is trying to recruit you is saying, over 95% of Amway distributors do not make profits. If you really want to make money, my recommendation is you do it by building your own long-term online business.