No Pyramid For Amway, But What About The Tools?
Amway. Not A Pyramid, But What About The Tools
At the very first Amway presentation I attended, the speaker talked about the tools. The tools are books, tapes, and events.
These were all designed to motivate and educate you so you will have a successful Amway business. I was in around 1989. At that time, the tape of the week was $5 and all I knew was they came from my sponsor. I picked it up along with my product pick up each week. Even the weekly product pick up was a chance to get together and motivate each other.
I remember the big earners saying from stage how rough it was driving to product pick up every week due to kids, snow, sleet, etc. Was paying your dues!
Once the FTC lawsuit was settled with Amway NOT being a pyramid scheme, the focus moved onto the tools business.
To summarize, the tools (tapes, books, rallies) were manufactured by and promoted by the highest level distributors. Famous names are Dexter Yeager & Bill Britt. These tools were sold to certain distributors of lesser, but very high rank in Amway. They were then sold to their respective downlines.
At this point, I se no reason to call it a pyramid. The top guns were just using their downlines as a customer base to sell the tools.
The major problem was the constant pressure on downlines to buy the tools. Get on the tape of the week. Go to all the rallies. Duplication equals success. Each person was pressed (so they say) to get their people on the tools.
I remember when I was in. I enjoyed tape of the week and $5/week was not that bad. I had a bit of trouble swinging the money to the bigger rallies, but the local ones were not that bad. I just stayed within my budget.
After reading a few of the lawsuits, I noticed common threads.
- Claims that only people at the top made all the money! Pyramid!!!!
- The plaintiffs lost a fortune. What is a fortune? That’s a lot of $5 tapes.
- The uplines misrepresented where their incomes actually came from. That is a fine line and can be cut either way.
- Nobody told them, nor did they have any reasonable way to find out, that the average person in Amway makes little or no money.
Value For Money?
What does $5/week get you? It’s a motivational/educational tape. Now this was way before the internet so you couldn’t listen to Youtubes for free. How much did a music album cost in 1989? According to Mr Google, it was between $8 and $10.
How much did record producers make? Millions
How much did the artist get? Millions
What was the value of a music album? Up to the user.
What was the value of tape of the week? Up to the user.
What were the costs of rallies in the 80’s/90’s? Anywhere between $50 and $300 depending on who you talk to or which lawsuit you read. $300 probably was the weekend long seminar.
I’ve paid $2500 for personal development seminars.
What’s the value? Up to the user. What they get out of it.
What was my value? I met Charlie Tremendous Jones and we ended up doing business together outside of the seminar.
I got saved. What’s that worth?
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Business?
Let’s look at Amway. Based on the business model in the 80’s/90’s, here is a rundown of what I think the maximum would be;
Sign up fee $100 (vague on that one)
Tape of the week $260
Quarterly Rallies $400
One Big Rally $300
Promotional Lit $100
I did not count the 100pv you have to do as you will be consuming those products yourself.
Did not count the excess fuel to run your car as that would certainly be recaptured if you had the correct CPA to do your taxes!
SO, let’s round up and say $2,000 / year to run a business.
That’s a drop in the bucket for a business. And Amway IS a business. You can make money in it. Is it for everybody? No. Do you have to hustle. Yes.
People generally hate to be deceived. It really is not good.
People hate to be taken advantage of. Not good either.
I have no idea why the population does not sue big corporations for these things. Listen to the ads on TV. 30 second bull.
I didn’t make much in Amway. I didn’t cry that I “lost” some money. I did not let people strong arm me into running up my credit card or buy a garage full of vitamins to get qualified for one month.
I did my research on Amway before I got in. I spoke to other people.
I took things at face value. Yes, I did buy about 300 tapes. Were they useful, yes.
I listened to them for years after I stopped being a distributor and I did buy products after that. I still use SA-8 and LOC. I drink the energy drinks they have.
If you talk to these people filing lawsuits, they will come off as strong people. So how in the world did they go hook line and sinker into allegedly spending a fortune on Amway?
My take is they are embarrassed. They recruited friends and family (which I found out is a big mistake) and then had a lot of egg on their face so they sued. To me that makes me look even more stupid.
Now, in this woke world we all live in, companies have to remove 100% of the risk just to avoid these lawsuits. It piggybacks on the “participation” generation whereby there are no winners or losers. You get the same rewards for being lazy as you do for hustling.
Is MLM for everyone? No
Is it for some – absolutely.
The world needs all kind of people in it. Diversity, right?
Are you entitled to bash MLM? Sure, it’s your right to have an opinion.
Good luck in all you do