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Amway - Quixtar

  1. Jun 5, 2008 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.quixtar.com/

    I saw that Amway now has a slick advertising campaign running on TV. I don't have the time to comment on this in detail right now, but I can say that I got involved in Amway when I was 18 years old. I had a downline of over 50 people, including one of the richest men in the area, and that by age 19 I had discovered how Amway really works. IMO it is a scam, but not quite the scam that many might expect. I will write more later, but I thought perhaps we might have some other comments.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2008 #2
    A friend of mine tried to get me to join (back when I wa 18). I even went to one of their meetings. It really felt like a cult meeting and it creeped me out. lol I just got bad vibes from it and it seemed like a pyramid scam. You can probably make decent money off of it I guess, but the fact that the people higher up on the ladder will always make more money than you turns me off. Plus, I don't know anyone that actually buys stuff through Amway. Five years ago they claimed they would dominate the market. That never came close to happening.
     
  4. Jun 5, 2008 #3

    Tsu

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    They claimed that 30 years ago. I'm still waiting.
     
  5. Jun 5, 2008 #4

    mgb_phys

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    Ok so the queues are long and it's not the fastest train service in the world and it costs a lot of public money and americans don't use the train but is it really a scam?
     
  6. Jun 5, 2008 #5
    lol, I assume you're joking. Sarcasm/humor is sometimes hard to pick up over the internet. :D
     
  7. Jun 5, 2008 #6
    I recently read some well-researched articles about Quixtar/Amway and what makes it a 'scam'. The lawsuit they underwent in the late 70's established that the their model is only valid if the majority of their sales were to people not involved in the program. It appears that they have not been keeping to the restrictions placed on them for many years now...

    The interesting part of everything I read was that it's basically impossible to generate outside sales with their products these days because they're all radically overpriced. Even if their distributors sell everything at cost, it still amounts to 150-250% of the cost of competitive products.

    Apparently, the problem is that the profit for the upstreamers builds in an enormous cost that the ruling families are not willing to let go of. It's worth noting that an extreme proportion of the money made all goes to the top of the ladder--- something like 89% of the money made goes to just 0.4 percent of the people involved!
     
  8. Jun 5, 2008 #7
    If you'd like to read what I did...
     
  9. Jun 5, 2008 #8
  10. Jun 5, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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    Surely you mean only valid if most sales were to people INVOLVED in the program. It's hardly a scam if the model assumes selling to customers outside the pyramid - that's called a shop!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  11. Jun 5, 2008 #10
    WTF is Amway if I might ask?
     
  12. Jun 6, 2008 #11
    No, I meant exactly what I said: If they're only selling to people involved in the program, then it's not a business at all; it's a pyramid scheme. It's legal to run a business selling products to the public; the nature of a pyramid scheme is that no 'real' sales go on--- all you have is distributors buying the products for self-use (what they call "internal consumption") or giving them away or throwing them away; they're buying the stuff to qualify for the bonuses. Pyramid schemes, by definition, are those business models where the only real money that can be made is from building the 'downline', not from actual sales of product. And that's exactly what, so it is alleged, Amway is doing.

    It's actually against their own rules, which were developed in response to the big supreme court judgement in the late 70's I referenced before.

    BTW: One of your earlier comments seems to suggest you're confusing Amway, legendary multi-level marketing firm, with Amtrak, the money-losing (roughly $2 billion a year) government-owned rail corporation in the US. They are different entities.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  13. Jun 6, 2008 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    Amway, which allegedly stands for the American Way [though I have heard another version of the story], is a multilevel marketing company that sells products ranging from laundry detergent to televisions. The got their start selling the first concentrated laundry detergent generally available, which at the time offered a signficant sales advantage and was probably a good buy. But they have always been overpriced generally.

    Speaking from my own experiences: Amway is not a pyramid because the number of tiers is finite, and they do actually sell product. Many people falsely believe that the downline - people whom you have sponsored into the business, and everyone they have sponsored, and everyone they have sponsored - is infinite, but there is a cut-off based on monthly sales figures. When someone in the downline goes direct, meaning that they get product directly from the factory instead of their upline, you lose their business and only get to count a fixed and small percentage of their sales. As they move farther up the ladder, IIRC, you lose them all together unless you continually advance beyond them.

    I know that it is possible to make real money in Amway. And the proof of this is what finally turned me against Amway altogether. Money can be made in any number of ways. First, some people do actually just sell the product. But since they became non-competitive pricewise, I doubt this happens much any more. And even in Amway's hayday, this was never more that a small supplemental income. Next, money is made by selling product and starter kits to newcomers who are soon disillusioned, but who are constantly reminded that IF they are serious about the business, IF they are willing to do what it takes to become sucessful, then they will use the product. And the cult reference made earlier is exactly correct. I didn't see the cult side of this at first, but when I started meeting other people in the business, it was clearly a cult that worships the worst god of all: money. And that's where the real bucks are made - selling the love of money.

    IMO and based on my observations, the big dirty secret about Amway is the source of wealth. Sure, the corporation makes money selling the product. But the upline, the diamonds, and double diamonds, and triple diamonds who inspire all of us mere mortals to be sucessful like them, only get a small percentage of the product sales. So they hold rallies where they show photos of their beautiful homes, cars, boats, and in particular, their motorhomes, and their trips to Hawaii, and they do everything possible to inspire greed. If you love your family you will do this. [See my diamonds?] If you aren't a loser, you will do this. [Look at my car.] If you are a winner, if you want to be sucessful, if you have what it takes to stand above the crowd, you can have all of this. [Don't you love your children?] And if you buy my books and tapes, and come to my rallies, I will inspire you to success.

    And that is the secret. Why do they all have big expensive motorhomes? It is because they live in them! I remember looking up on the stage and noting the dark circles under our triple-diamond's eyes. And then it struck me that this rich man who allegedly retired at the age of 30 is trying to sell books and tapes in a hotel a thousand miles from his home, at 11 PM on a Saturday night.

    Up until then I hadn't seen too much of this. But when I started doing well, the floodgates opened and I saw what Amway was really all about. It is a cult of greed that seeks to profit by inspiring more greed. It is a religion of money based on half-truths and spin; one that teaches that greed is good, and that money is all that we really want from life. And worst of all, they do this while hiding behind a smokescreen of family values and friendship. After all, if you love your friends, and if you love your family, then you want them to make money too!

    As soon as I saw this, I couldn't stomach another minute of Amway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  14. Jun 6, 2008 #13
    I agree, Ivan. What you've said is in keeping with many not-overly-partisan stories about Amway I've heard, and I tend to think that it's the culture of the whole thing that is so discomfiting.

    It's that internal culture, after all, that drives the 'dream-selling' aspect of recruitment; and the fact that such a thing is neccesary--- well, it goes right along with your observation that even double-and-triple diamonds have a tough time making real money these days, yet they're selling that very dream to new people.

    It seems to me that this disparity between the cheerleading, rallies, 'dream' side of it, and the reality of how easy or difficult it is to actually do well; that's what has people crying 'scam' all the time.

    Even if those people are being a bit blame-happy about the whole thing (there's a lot of professional victimhood out there; and often people are not willing to own their own responsibility in a deal like this), it's the way the idea is sold that makes it feel fraudulent, regardless of the specific dollars and cents (and who gets what).
     
  15. Jun 6, 2008 #14
    I love this part.

    Exactly!
     
  16. Jun 6, 2008 #15

    turbo

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    The local Amway top-dog tried to get a friend of mine involved in the cult and told him that to be successful, he had to LOOK successful, and that involved dressing well and driving a big, new car. My friend figured out in their first (and only) meeting that he was being encouraged to take on a lot of debt so that he would need to work very hard and make money for this guy.

    Shortly after my wife and I were first married, she needed an emergency appendectomy and we didn't have insurance, and with her being out of work for weeks, we were going to have to about flatten our savings account to pay for the operation. While she was in the hospital, a nurse visited her a lot and got to know her well enough so that my wife invited her and her husband to visit us. They showed up at the front door carrying briefcases and started hauling out Amway materials to show us how to earn some extra money. I invited those leeches to leave and they are lucky I didn't help them down the stairs with my foot. My wife and I discussed whether or not to report the nurse to her superiors, but in the end, we let her off.
     
  17. Jun 6, 2008 #16
    I can understand not being interested, and asking her to leave, but what possible grounds could you have to report her to her superiors? Your wife invited them to your house, at that point, their responsibility to the hospital is not in effect. I could see your point if they were trying to push it on her in the hospital, or similar, but not after they had been invited to your house.
     
  18. Jun 6, 2008 #17

    turbo

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    You had to be there. Her behavior was predatory and dishonest and she was taking advantage of her position to try rope in people that might be struggling financially. It is also quite likely that she accessed my wife's medical records and found out that she was uninsured - a potentially easy mark.
     
  19. Jun 6, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    The thing is that Amway does get a bad rap in that people think it's a pyramid. So there is this wall of false opposition that one has to get past. Accordingly, they teach people to be evasive until they get a chance to present the full deal. And to an extent I think this is reasonable. The real dishonesty comes later. Of course, many people are so blinded by greed at that point that they have lost all perspective.
     
  20. Jun 6, 2008 #19

    mgb_phys

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    Humour - see Humor.
     
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