Multi-level marketing schemes like Amway MLM often sound incredibly exciting and profitable. In this Amway MLM review we'll be taking a closer look at this business opportunity and by the time you've read until the end, you'll know if Amway MLM is right for you or if you should run for the hills.
I'll tell you what Amway MLM is all about, if Amway's products are worth the money, how much it costs you to join, how you will make money and how much money you will probably make. We'll take a look at the pros and cons of Amway and also look at the possibility of Amway being a scam or not.
I'll also suggest a better alternative to Amway MLM (or any MLM for that matter) toward the end of the post.
It's no secret that I'm not keen on MLM. I'll tell you why I'm not keen later on. Right now, I want you to read this review objectively and with an open mind before you jump into Amway MLM. Reading this might save you a lot of time and heartache, as well as money and friends.
What is Amway?
Amway is the world's largest direct selling company. In 2018 Amway generated revenues of almost 9 billion US dollars. Direct selling is also known as Multi-Level Marketing or Pyramid Selling, according to WikiPedia.
Doug DeVos and Steve Van Andel founded Amway in Michigan, USA in 1959. So that makes Amway over 60 years old right now.
Globally, Amway employs over 3 million sales people. Amway was the number 1 direct selling company in 2018 by Direct Selling News.
Amway's core mission, according to their manufacturing VP, is to help people lead a better life through beauty, home and health products.
In 2019, Amway joined forces with a non-profit organization, Kids' Food Basket, also located in Michigan, to help combat poor nutrition in children. Over 8000 healthy "sack suppers" are distributed to kids through Kids' Food Basket every day.
I watched a promotional video for Amway's MLM and discovered the following details.
Amway Independent Business Owners are their own bosses. They sell products directly to customers. IBOs (Independent Business Owners) sell in person and can also sell online.
You can start your own business with Amway for the same as the cost of a night out, according to their promotional video.
Working with Amway means you can work whenever and wherever you want, because the company claims you'll have flexibility and freedom. They also claim you'll be working "for yourself", but never "by yourself".
The promo video features beautiful people looking at their laptops and mobile phones with a smile on their faces. It also shows them meeting up and hugging and chatting to each other as though all is well in the world and they're living the life of their dreams. hmmm.
You'll be part of a "team" that share advice and mentor each other. Amway claims to be all about "personal connections" - Well, any MLM company could make that statement.
In the same promotional video, Amway claims to be one of the most successful direct selling organizations EVER. (I believe this statement to be true).
Amway's product lines are what people need and use every day. They have over 350 different products in several categories.
What Products Does Amway Sell?
- Nutrilite vitamins & supplements
- Artistry skincare & cosmetics
- XS Sports nutrition & energy Drinks
- Many other brands and products
According to Amway, their products are NOT available in stores. But they are available in other places, such as Amazon.
Are Amway Products Worth The Price?
I did a little fishing around and found out that technically, Amway is making false claims about their product not being available in stores. They failed to mention anything about their stuff being available at places like Amazon. Yes, Amazon is online, but you get the picture.
As you can see by the image below, there is a bit of a price difference. We must also take into account the cost of shipping and import fees. Depending on where you are in the world, you could get a much better deal on Amazon for your Amway products. Hmmm
The Amway MLM Opportunity
If you want to become an IBO (Independent Business Owner) with Amway there aren't many barriers to get going. You need to sign up to Amway via a sponsor. I tried signing up to see what would happen with no sponsor but it doesn't seem to be possible.
I was asked for a sponsor number and a name. Never mind, I don't want to sell Amway's goods anyway, because I have a better way to earn money, and it's easier and less stressful, too.
Once you're registered, you'll have to purchase around $100 worth of Amway products and that will be your starter kit.
After registering as an Amway distributor as an IBO, you'll need to do some training that'll teach you how to sell Amway's products. This training will also teach you how to recruit people into your team so you can create new IBOs that will be positioned under you. This is an MLM scheme, after all, so that's to be expected.
Once you've got enough training under your belt, you'll be expected to arrange home gatherings with friends and/or relatives so that you can show off the Amway products. You'll demonstrate what the products are and how to use them.
If you're good at your job and you manage to sell some products, you'll order the products from Amway then you'll have them distributed to your customers.
And if you're recruiting people into your downline you'll no doubt give them a specially assigned sponsor number that they type into the website I was talking about where you sign up for Amway as an IBO.
Maybe it is not so simple in practice to do all of this. Some people are naturally good at selling. Some people aren't. Are you a good salesperson or do you struggle? This is something that's going to be very important if you're considering joining up with Amway as an independent business owner.
Anyways, let's have a look at what it costs you to join Amway.
How Much Does It Cost To Join Amway as an IBO?
Becoming an Independent Business Owner (IBO) with Amway MLM is going to cost you only about $100 for the registration fees.
I've included a short video that explains why Amway charges a registration fee to join.
Watch This Video - Why Does Amway Charge a Fee to Register?
Can You Make Money Selling Amway Products?
There are 3 ways you can make money with Amway MLM.
- Earn commissions on each product you sell directly
- Bonuses given to you for your business growth (performance based)
- Incentives rewarded as you achieve key milestones within Amway
You'll Have to Recruit People into Your Downline to Make Better Money
As with any other MLM scheme, you'll do better when you recruit other people into your "downline", which to me is what puts me off the MLM business model. A large portion of earnings will be generated when recruiting friends and family into your team. When your team earns revenue by selling Amway's products, you'll earn a percentage based commission off of them.
And that brings problems. If you're not selling enough and recruiting enough, you're not going to make a lot of money.
You are going to have the person who recruited you giving you stress all the time about being "lazy" and not working hard enough. I thought this was supposed to be a flexible and free type of business?
Didn't the promotional video say you get to be an "independent" business owner? Doesn't that mean you're supposed to be your own boss? Amway hardly seems to be the type of business opportunity where you truly have the freedom and flexibility to work when you want or where you want.
It seems to me that Amway is just like any other MLM where you are pressured by your sponsor into doing more to keep your upline (whoever recruited you) happy.
Check out the Amway Business Overview Brochure PDF Document to learn more about Amway's products, your income potential and more.
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Amway MLM Pros
Low Startup Cost
If you want to get going with Amway as an IBO (Independent business owner) you can begin with around $100 for the registration.
Amway is Available in Many Countries
You'll find Amway is available in around 100 countries and territories around the world, including -
- Many European Countries
- The Americas
- South East Asia
Large Variety of Products
Amway covers a lot of different products from health products, home products, beauty and skincare, weight loss products, personal care, energy drinks, sports nutrition, to name but a few.
Free Training Courses
Amway includes a lot of free training materials which include presentations, podcasts and courses to help you achieve success within their MLM scheme.
And in addition to the free training courses from Amway, and if you're willing to pay for it, you could join Amway's World Wide Dream Builders for additional support and training.
Fees are Refundable
If you're not satisfied with Amway's MLM company you can request a refund of any registration fees as long as it's within 60-180 days of joining.
Amway MLM Cons
You Pay Shipping Costs
One thing that Amway fails to make very clear is that you'll have to pay shipping costs for every item you order for your customers. This will inevitably eat away at your profits (commissions). I find this issue quite distasteful myself, how about you? Do you mind covering the cost of shipping all that product out to your customers? Amway sure doesn't mind that you cover the costs of that.
Products Are Expensive
Many Amway product prices are inflated and can actually be bought cheaper sometimes on Amazon. Check out the image above and you'll see one such product that costs $72 on Amway's site where the same product is around $20 cheaper on Amazon.
1998 FTC Ruling
Back in 1998, the FTC ruled that although Amway wasn't a pyramid scheme, it did need some restructuring if it were to be allowed to continue with business as usual.
I've included a screenshot from the FTC government website below which mentions Amway and some issues they have had with Amway's MLM business policies. You can click here to read the whole article. (The page will open in a new tab so you don't lose this one)
You Might Have to Buy Stuff Yourself to Meet Thresholds
What happens to you as an IBO if you don't achieve the minimum monthly sales threshold? One major irk I have with MLM schemes is this. If you don't sell enough, you don't qualify for bonuses or commissions that you've fallen short on and you are, how can I say it politely...punished?
If you're not selling enough and you're not recruiting enough people who also sell, then you're going to find your business is a lot harder to run than Amway will try to convince you into believing before you join up. Remember all those pretty people in the video? That's a ploy, of course, to suck you into their MLM scheme with promises of a better life. Aren't all MLMs the same?
With any MLM company, always read the small print before joining so that you know what you're getting yourself embroiled in.
Amway MLM Complaints
I've fished around looking for complaints, because any company, even the best companies are inevitably going to have complaints. Amway is no different in this regard. Some complaints we can accept and some we cannot. It's up to you to decide what's okay and what's not.
In the screenshot below, you'll see that some people are having problems getting a refund of their $100 registration fees were promised to be done within their 90 day guarantee period.
After contacting Amway several times, they got no response. However, when they filed their complaint at the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Amway replied within 2 days (which is a positive thing at least to get a reply in a reasonable amount of time).
However, look at what I've highlighted in red below in the image. The complainant and her husband are clearly telling us that they believe Amway are waiting it out and trying to go beyond the 90 days when the clock runs out for their refund. They say on the 11th of February, their 90 days will expire.
Look at Amway's reply just 2 days later on the 27 of January.
It says "I hope to have a response by 12th February, which is clearly one day after their 90 days has expired. The message being dated 27th January shows that Amway know full well they're going to drag their feet so they can keep hold of the money without refunding.
Is this some kind of sick joke to stiff the complainant out of the refund? 12th of February is CLEARLY a day late and it is OBVIOUS to me what they're trying to do here. I feel very angry and it's not even me trying to get the refund. I hate companies that stiff people like this. It's shameful for a $9 billion a year company.
I'm wondering if Amway ever did get back to the complainants before their 90 days expired and refunded their money in good faith. But something gives me the feeling they lost their money. I've seen it a million times and it's happened to me before, too many times.
You know that frustration when you know someone is passing you from pillar to post and avoiding you and giving excuses so they can get away with your money? It makes you angry, right? Well, Amway are obviously capable of doing this to people. It's there in black and white at the BBB.
You can check out more complaints at the Better Business Bureau.
Is Amway MLM a Scam or a Pyramid Scheme?
Amway was founded in 1959 and as such, has been around a long long time. It is probably one of the best-known MLM schemes in the world and generates the most revenues as a result.
I wouldn't call Amway a scam, but I wouldn't call it the best way to make money, either. Believe it or not, I think Amway is one of the better MLM companies out there. I say this because it's not too expensive to join and they have fairly good products and a decent assortment in their line.
If you really wanted Amway to work for you, you'd better get ready to work really hard at selling Amway's products, and also start recruiting people as a "sponsor". I can't see you doing very well if you decide you're not going to recruit people.
Are you prepared to beg people to join your gang?
The main problem I have with MLM schemes is the having to get people to sign up under you. It always ends up where you're annoying people all the time and they don't want to deal with you pitching them every time you see them.
It's going to be harder to recruit complete strangers than it is to recruit family members and friends. I don't know you and I don't know how good a "salesperson" you are. Maybe you're a natural at this MLM stuff. Maybe you're a complete beginner.
I found this thread on Reddit from someone concerned they were being lured into some kind of Amway scam. You can click on the image itself and the Reddit page will open up in a new tab if you want to read all of the thread. It is quite lengthy.
Is There a Better Alternative to Amway's MLM?
I'm glad you asked, because yes, there is something a lot better than Amway's MLM. If you don't like the sound of selling to friends and family (over and over again) and trying to recruit as many people into your downline as possible, then you might want to consider another type of business. That is if you're determined to be your own boss and call all the shots.
What if I told you about a method for earning money where you don't have to convince people to buy anything from you?
And what if I told you that same business is a lot less stressful on your relationships with family and friends?
Also, what if I told you that it would cost a lot less per month to get your business off the ground? What if I also told you that you get all the training you'll ever need in video format that you can watch over and over again if you need to?
And would you like to be working from home on your own schedule and not have to answer to a single person?
I'd like to introduce you to Wealthy Affiliate, which is a website that trains you in the art of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is much easier than MLM in my opinion. It's so much less stressful, nobody calling you up to crack a whip, and you get to choose a niche, choose what products you want to make money from and you get 100% control over your business life.
Affiliate marketing is miles better than other business opportunites because of the super low starting cost, the simplicity, and the amazing potential for you to earn a lot of money. And you can do it all from home without ever having to meet another person in the flesh.
But as with any type of real business, you're not going to earn a million dollars overnight. You're going to have to do real work, but the great thing is that it's really at your own pace.
If affiliate marketing sounds like something you'd like to learn, then you should definitely check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. It's a very, very detailed report about Wealthy Affiliate, which I joined in 2015 and has been instrumental in my own success as a solopreneur.
I call the shots in my day to day business life. I choose what I work on and what I don't. I choose when I work, what I sell, and I get to keep 100% of the profits.
I should also mention that after reading my review of Wealthy Affiliate that if you join through my affiliate link, I'll be the one helping you to get your business running. Sound like a fair deal? Okay.
Go ahead and check out the review and if it's something you're not into, no worries, no pressure, no sweat, nothing lost. But take my word for it, affiliate marketing is a thousand times better than any MLM scheme, even Amway.
My Final Verdict of Amway MLM
It should be fairly clear to you now that I really don't like MLM schemes no matter what the products they have for sale. I don't like the idea of recruiting people so I can make better money.
I certainly don't like the idea of having to deal with people face to face and try to persuade them that the products I have for them are beneficial. I'd find it hard to sell stuff even if I were selling geese that can lay golden eggs, lol.
And as for recruiting people into my team and cracking the whip when I think they're not pulling their weight and selling enough product? Forget that, it sucks.
One thing that really puts me off about Amway's MLM in particular is if I joined, I would have to cover the costs of shipping of all the products I sold. Ugh.
Tired of Scammy MLM Pyramid Schemes?
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Anways, that's it for this Amway MLM review. I hope you learned all you need to learn before joining, or not joining. I wish you every success no matter which path you take as an entrepreneur.
If you have any questions about MLM, about Amway, or anything else, let me know in the comments section below this post and I sure will get back to you asap. And if you've had bad experiences with Amway or other MLM schemes, I'd love to hear them also.
My name's Jim, it's been great talking to you today. Good luck and I will see you again soon.