Author Topic: Amway Rage  (Read 8700 times)

arielcole

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Amway Rage
« on: November 11, 2014, 04:06:58 PM »
I just wanted to share my rage with you all, so that I don't feel so alone in it.

Have you heard of Amway? Short for American Way, Amway sets 'entrepreneurs' up with their own website so that they can sell Amway products and make money off the mark-up. They call them 'independent business owners' and help people who are willing to start their 'own little company' selling these very expensive Amway products (usually just to their friends and family). Seems innocent enough right? It's Like most other industries that sell goods to distributors for wholesale prices so that they can sell them to others at retail prices and make a cut? Right? Wrong, the independent business owners have to meet sales quotas, and are encouraged to sign up more 'IBOs' under their 'company', so that they get to make commission on signing up new members. Thus it's Pyramid scheme as those at the top are making commission every time any one of their lower IBO's signs up a new member.

Anyways, I hadn't heard of it before. I suppose I'm kind of naive, but when this woman tried to get me to start my own website selling health and beauty products under her by saying "Ariel you have that kind of entrepreneurial spirit", I knew a few minutes into her speech that she was a trying to scam me. I went home to read all about it and discuss it with my father, who laughed and said Pyramid schemes had been around forever, and that he felt sorry for the women who was just trying to make a living. 

I am now very enraged about the whole thing. Mostly because the whole thing runs on this false, fake, premise of being 'the quickest way to get rich', and 'an honest way to earn an income on your own', and 'you are an entrepreneur' bullshit that makes me want to get out my face punching machine, but also because these poor uneducated people end up working for some tricky shitty system that promotes consumerism. Anger.

pzxc

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 04:19:45 PM »
I agree, it is offensive. It bothers me most because it obfuscates what true entrepreneurship is about. A lot more people are capable of starting (and successfully running) a business than those that actually do it. But these scams, whether you call it MLM or a pyramid or something else, only those in the top levels make the profit that makes it worth it. So it scares away a lot of people from starting their *own* thing when they target people who might be interested in becoming REAL entrepreneurs but don't really know how to do it and then they fail.  It pisses me off.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 08:07:07 PM »
Good for you-- you didn't fall for it and recognized that it was a scam.

GizmoTX

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2014, 08:40:26 PM »
The MLM/pyramid scheme companies recruit their "entrepreneurs" through greed -- the money is in recruiting other "dealers" who will do the work of getting customers & orders. My own brother is pushing a very expensive skin care product called Nerium and a food product company called Tastefully Simple. Their focus is on recruiting more dealers while the product is all but ignored. I have no problem saying no.

gimp

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 10:08:05 PM »
It's predatory and morally wrong, but it also preys on the stupid and greedy, so I'm a little bit conflicted.

Just like a state-run lottery, except that tends to spend part of the proceeds on educating kids on why they shouldn't play the lottery.

MikeBear

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 10:18:57 PM »
I think Amway started the pyramid business, as they have been around for like 55 years now. I know a LOT of people with plenty of soap in their basements due to it.

Good thing you recognized the scam, as the average person won't make any money running this business.

MrBuckBeard

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 10:40:14 AM »
Lots of people fall for this sort of thing.  I see several of my friends post to social media about their upcoming beauty skin products, Tupperware, steaks, and bedroom toys.  It's all a pyramid scheme. I notice that a few people ALWAYS comment on this, and I assume it's the people who "brought them in" to the fold.  My girlfriend hates this especially, because three of her close friends fell for this too.  They always invite her to these "parties" which she declines, because no one wants to put themselves in a position to have to say no to a friend, so it's easier just not to attend.

Surprisingly enough, some of the people I know who do this are otherwise intelligent people who don't see what's clearly in front of them.

MoneyCat

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 10:46:52 AM »
We were once asked by friends if they could "practice their pitch for Amway" on us and we said yes because we are good friends.  They ended up actually trying to recruit us.  I felt so sorry for them, because they were in desperate straits at that time and they were getting really badly scammed by Amway.  The profit margin for Amway is ridiculously low.  People are much better off selling crafts over Etsy or selling goods over eBay.

MrBuckBeard

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 10:52:15 AM »
We were once asked by friends if they could "practice their pitch for Amway" on us and we said yes because we are good friends.  They ended up actually trying to recruit us.  I felt so sorry for them, because they were in desperate straits at that time and they were getting really badly scammed by Amway.  The profit margin for Amway is ridiculously low.  People are much better off selling crafts over Etsy or selling goods over eBay.

Ugh!  This is exactly why my girlfriend refuses to attend.  Worse, it seems like this "job" (read with air quotes and sarcasm) takes over their personality.  They can't just joke, have fun, go out, and be friends anymore.  No, they are sharks, and they are trying to work the system that the company provides to get income, both actively and passively. 

Reminds me of the first sales job I ever took, doing advertising.  That was bad enough (and a bad fit for me), but since they sell to friends it just permeates everything they do.

SU

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 12:16:00 PM »

Hunny156

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 12:24:11 PM »
Funny story.  Hubby & I were working super late one weekend, painting our new home before we moved in.  It was a long drive to our existing apartment as we were in the middle of a relocation, and we were both starving, so we stopped at a diner.  It was easily 2 AM, and the parking lot was jammed, which was very weird.

The diner was packed, the waitresses were clearly overwhelmed, and of course it got our attention.  Especially once we were seated, because in the large private room, we could hear speeches, followed by rounds of clapping.  We also noticed people dressed in business attire, walking in and out of the room.  Everyone else around us were young kids and drunks, and getting service was near impossible.  So, we focused our attention on trying to figure out what was going on.

Hubby figured it was an MLM, and told me how his grandmother was hardcore Amway for years, and actually was decent at it, but eventually gave it up b/c it required too much time.  We recalled another family member soliciting us for Amway at a holiday get together, and we called it Scamway.  Well, one of the drunks at the next table overheard our conversation, and every time we heard clapping, he would clap too and yell "Yay, Scamway!" at the top of his lungs.  We were on the brink of exhaustion, so this was the funniest thing ever to us, and we kept egging him on.  He happily complied, and one of the men in suits hurried down our aisle, glaring at him, on his way to get a manager to shut him up.  As he passed, we saw an Amway pin on his lapel, so that further confirmed our suspicions (and our laughter).

The waitress calmed him down, but on our way out, he high fived us, and then started a whole new round of "Yay, Scamway!"  I think we literally rolled out of the diner, laughing our @sses off the whole way.

MooseOutFront

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 12:40:52 PM »
I've never encountered amway in TX, but there's certainly juices and work out supplements and all sorts of other crap.  OP, at your age you should just be thankful you learned the scam before you ever had any skin off your back.  It took me several days and 2 training sales calls for Kirby Vacuum to learn the same.  No money lost but the waste of time and recognition of my own gullibility was embarrassing.

All in all this salesperson is in a worse spot than you because she's actually trying to sell the crap, so pity is probably the more appropriate response than rage.

chuckaluck

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 12:45:48 PM »
Years ago there was another company that was set up nearly identically to Amway, except it sold primarily health foods, vitamins, and protein powders ("Shaklee").  I was a graduate student at the time and really didn't have a lot of time to hold down another "real job" (I already had two and was in school full time).  So I thought I would try my hand at selling Shaklee products, which I could do whenever I had the time.  So I went to a meeting at the request of a friend, ordered my "starter kit" which included many how to and where to sell information. I was assured that the stuff was so good and in demand that it would "sell itself". Oh, by the way, I also had to buy about a $100.00 worth of inventory (at over-priced wholesale prices, of course!). I was again assured that even though the 100.00 was a lot of money and represented a substantial majority of my net worth at the time, that I would soon be rolling in money --- not only for the stuff that I sold, but on a percentage of the stuff that others sold who I was expected to recruit!.  So even before I sold my first protein bar, they wanted me to start recruiting others to help me out.  The presenter even said to me that if I increased my inventory to the next level (I think about 500.00 worth), that the percentage of each person that I had yet to recruit would be even higher.  Wow.  Needless to say I ran out of there.  Soon after, I found out that just about everyone I knew was approached, and many actually tried selling.  But the problem was nearly everyone had 100.00 worth of inventory in their basement so they had no one they could sell to!

Hunny156

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 12:53:23 PM »
I can't for the life of me recall what company attempted to recruit us, but for some reason, the hubby & I decided to meet this person at the local Barnes & Noble for the presentation.  We pretty much figured it was a pyramid scheme, but the best moment was when the PowerPoint slide showed an actual pyramid to explain the "business model", and the woman said, I know it looks like a pyramid scheme, but its not.

Spoiler Alert: It WAS a pyramid scheme!!

GizmoTX

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 01:02:07 PM »
Wow, who does any kind of sales meeting at 2 am? That's funny in more ways than one.

My brother hijacked a family gathering to "practice his pitch". Everyone bought something, but this will never happen again.

There is a line of clothing (CAbi) that I really like that's not sold in stores, only the presentation is called a trunk show. It's not a party! The only guests invited are those who already like the designer or have admired & asked to see the line. Clothing pieces last for years & coordinate with prior seasons, but I have no problem not buying anything if it doesn't fit my plan. Too many of these "parties" are about free stuff for the host or "helping" the consultant & not about the value of the product. And a significant portion of revenue comes from selling the starter kit & inventory to the would-be consultants.

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2014, 01:09:33 PM »
Beware of any "friend" or relative who invites you over to discuss a "business opportunity". 

It astounds me that these MLM scams continue to exist!

Big Guy Money

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2014, 01:45:31 PM »
My wife's cousin and her husband at the time tried to get us sucked into Amway.  We were in plenty of financial trouble at the time and my wife got sucked in by the sales pitch pretty quickly.  I held off long enough to do some research and nearly threw up in my mouth when I realize the cost of a bottle of ketchup was 2-3x what we paid in the stores, which led to a Google Search, which led to explaining to my wife that the entire program revolves around families trying to sell crap product to their flesh and blood (not to mention the sales pitch to get them on board as well). 

I've always hated the concept of paying to be part of a program.  Usually that thought works out pretty well.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2014, 01:45:49 PM »

Silverado

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2014, 07:45:20 PM »
Had a great buddy in college fresh,an year that I kept in touch with. Was going from GA to NY in the Army a few years later and he was sort of on the way. So I contacted him and cruised by. This was 1993 so well before a lot of tech made that easy. Spent about twenty minutes there and he started yapping about Amway. Said I need to hit the road. Left and have never talked to him again. No idea why I had good instincts then, just lucky.

mydogismyheart

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2014, 02:01:06 PM »
I got sucked into ACN several years ago because a friend told me it was how he was able to take 2 years off of regular work to spend time with his daughter.  The concept sounded too good to be true (it was).  ACN works with regular cell providers, Directv, phone companies, electric companies, etc... and when you sign people up through you instead of directly through Verizon, you get a small percentage of the monthly bill, each time they make it.

It was the most obnoxious thing in my entire life.  I regretted it after about week two.  They promised me that there were other ways to find customers instead of hounding family and friends.  I told them I would NOT hound family and friends.  Come week 1 they are asking me for lists with names and numbers of my family and friends so THEY could hound them!  I think not!  NO way!

A couple years later my friend that signed me up admitted it was a horrible pyramid scheme and scam and he was not longer with them.

MoneyCat

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2014, 02:10:44 PM »
Years ago there was another company that was set up nearly identically to Amway, except it sold primarily health foods, vitamins, and protein powders ("Shaklee").  I was a graduate student at the time and really didn't have a lot of time to hold down another "real job" (I already had two and was in school full time).  So I thought I would try my hand at selling Shaklee products, which I could do whenever I had the time.  So I went to a meeting at the request of a friend, ordered my "starter kit" which included many how to and where to sell information. I was assured that the stuff was so good and in demand that it would "sell itself". Oh, by the way, I also had to buy about a $100.00 worth of inventory (at over-priced wholesale prices, of course!). I was again assured that even though the 100.00 was a lot of money and represented a substantial majority of my net worth at the time, that I would soon be rolling in money --- not only for the stuff that I sold, but on a percentage of the stuff that others sold who I was expected to recruit!.  So even before I sold my first protein bar, they wanted me to start recruiting others to help me out.  The presenter even said to me that if I increased my inventory to the next level (I think about 500.00 worth), that the percentage of each person that I had yet to recruit would be even higher.  Wow.  Needless to say I ran out of there.  Soon after, I found out that just about everyone I knew was approached, and many actually tried selling.  But the problem was nearly everyone had 100.00 worth of inventory in their basement so they had no one they could sell to!

My father "sold" Shaklee vitamins when I was a child and it was just as much of a disaster as you described.  He never made any money from it and ended up buying his own stock and giving us children the vitamins with our breakfast each morning.  We hated those vitamins so much that we would hide them and flush them down the toilet.  Of course, the toilet got stopped up from all those vitamins and we got a beating for it.  Good times.  My childhood sucked.

CommonCents

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2014, 02:44:35 PM »
My sister did one.  Can't remember the name of it.  She kept pushing me to sign up back in 2002.  Finally for Christmas of 2002 she gave me the "gift" of the membership.  I used it some that year (bought trash bags I had for *years* I remember) but refused to promote to friends or buy much.  A high school friend of ours was pressured into buying too.  Later, she wanted to sign me up again because they were doing "lines" of 10 rather than pyramids, and wanted my brother and me to be at the top of a line because it was the "best" spot.  I declined, even though she pushed super hard.  They used to spend money on travel to conferences and such and were convinced they would make it big.  They stopped talking a lot about it at some point.  Not sure if she figured out it was a scam and not.  She still uses the products.  I recently got about $75 in product from them for settlement of a lawsuit.  I picked out the laundry detergent package, so I'm set for a good while on that.

MgoSam

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2014, 03:12:04 PM »
Beware of any "friend" or relative who invites you over to discuss a "business opportunity". 


Drop your mic, lock the thread, game over!

tofuchampion

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2014, 04:30:41 PM »
I had a roommate in college who tried to get me into Amway.  I was suspicious from the start, because she wouldn't actually tell me what it was or how it worked - I had to go to a meeting to find out.  So I went to the meeting and figured out pretty quickly that it was a MLM/pyramid scheme, and I declined.  The next day, another of the reps called me up to discuss it, ask if I was interested, etc.  I said I had no interest in selling crap to people, and the fact that my roommate wasn't even allowed to tell me about it before I went to a meeting, was suspicious as hell.  He then got pissed, was incredibly rude, told me I'd be sorry that I missed out on such an incredible opportunity, etc.  I hung up.

One of my other roommates (there were 4 of us sharing a house) did sign up.  She had boxes of inventory sitting in her bedroom for the rest of the year that I lived there.  Pretty sure she didn't sell enough to make any kind of profit, but I never asked.

SMCx3

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2014, 06:36:06 PM »
Being a sales representative the past 20 years needless to say I have crossed paths with many types people.  On multiple occasions I have had the question asked, "Could we get together for lunch, I have something we need to discuss?"  You know immediately in your gut what is coming long before you walk into the resaraunt.  I have had family, friends, neighbors, and strangers approach me over the years.

These meetings have gotten much shorter for me.  I simply tell this individual I came to lunch to be with a friend instead of eating alone.  How much is this program going to cost?  Did you pay this startup fee up front when you started? Show me the cancelled check you wrote to the company in addition to a paycheck where you have more than doubled your initial investment.  When you can provide these two documents we will have this talk.  Until that time comes do not discuss this opportunity any further. 

I have yet to have someone show me where they have doubled the original investment.

homehandymum

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2014, 06:53:31 PM »
I've got a friend at the moment who is pushing some sort of beauty product "Younique" and some sort of miracle wrap fat-removal-by-magic thing all over her facebook feed.  Turns out that, as well as selling the product, she's also looking to recruit a 'team'.  Yeah, MLM.

It makes me sad for her because she's in a crappy position - small kids, one of whom is really sick and needs constant in and out of hospital care, so she and her husband have high, high bills (even with NZ's state-funded medical system), and erratic availability for regular work.  So I'm guessing she's desperate to make this thing work.  And it won't, because it's snake oil and makeup (which people can buy *everywhere*).

IME, the people who can make Amway and the other MLM schemes work are the people who are the really highly talented sales-people - they would do extremely well in ANY sales position, and usually are only in the MLM schemes for a short time before landing an actual job. 

In Amway's defense (and it's a very small factor), the products they make are actually pretty good (or they were 15 years ago, the last time I tried them).  It doesn't excuse the pyramid scheme aspect of it, but at least they're better than the miracle body-wrap and amazing green liquid type schemes.

infogoon

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2014, 06:41:04 AM »
I can't for the life of me recall what company attempted to recruit us, but for some reason, the hubby & I decided to meet this person at the local Barnes & Noble for the presentation.  We pretty much figured it was a pyramid scheme, but the best moment was when the PowerPoint slide showed an actual pyramid to explain the "business model", and the woman said, I know it looks like a pyramid scheme, but its not.

Spoiler Alert: It WAS a pyramid scheme!!

No, no. It's a triangle opportunity!

Hunny156

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2014, 09:50:54 AM »
I can't for the life of me recall what company attempted to recruit us, but for some reason, the hubby & I decided to meet this person at the local Barnes & Noble for the presentation.  We pretty much figured it was a pyramid scheme, but the best moment was when the PowerPoint slide showed an actual pyramid to explain the "business model", and the woman said, I know it looks like a pyramid scheme, but its not.

Spoiler Alert: It WAS a pyramid scheme!!

No, no. It's a triangle opportunity!

Ha!  I think she pedaled the line about how all companies have a pyramid structure, which someone else on this thread mentioned earlier.  They all regurgitate the same lines.

I had done a google search, and the founder was under federal investigation, repeatedly, so I used that as the reason why we had no interest.  The mark and his upline presenter blew up my phone, trying to explain that there are lots of lies on the internet, and pretending they wanted more details so they could get those lies removed.  The desperation alone should be a huge red flag to anyone evaluating these business opportunities...

Philociraptor

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2014, 10:18:57 AM »
Random guy at Starbucks chatted me up "because we were both reading". Ran into him a few more times, had some good chats, and he tells me to come to a... what did he call it... "business class" that he was attending. I wasn't aware of Amway at this point, so I was like "Awesome, this guy gets me!". Until I show up. The other hosts there seemed a bit too smiley. They gave me "VIP access" out of the blue. It was overall a bit creepy. About halfway through the presentation my BS meter is running high, and Amway flashed on the screen.  At this point I simply sigh, whisper "great, another MLM" under my breath, and start watching the clock for this thing to be over.  Afterwords he asks me what I thought and I frankly say "I don't do MLM's." His smile gone, he says "Maybe I'll see you at Starbucks". I stopped going to Starbucks during my lunch hour after that.

Raay

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2014, 11:16:08 AM »
This: http://thebaffler.com/salvos/dreams-incorporated

Thanks for the link. It was a facinating article.

I especially liked this part:

Quote
If he set the example of filling his house with only “positive” (i.e. Amway) products, so would they. Rich DeVos, more philosophically, calls this the Law of Compensation: “In the long haul, every gift of time, money, or energy that you give will return to benefit you.”

And that's why I'm very wary of overly optimistic people. To me it sounds almost like a sneaky paraphrase of MMM's "giving to your future self" and "optimism gun" sort of advice. My rule of thumb: if anyone else tries to convince you to be "optimistic" or "enthusiastic", chances are that they may have a hidden hand somewhere - you should become all more skeptical and pessimistic in response. Even if it's in an almost harmless sense, as is quite apparently the case with MMM. The only person who should be preaching the "can do" attitude to yourself or others is you. Which happens to be a little cynical, if you think about it...

gimp

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Re: Amway Rage
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2014, 11:36:03 AM »
Man, you're too pessimistic. Cheer up! Look on the bright side of things.