Amway is probably the most popular multi-level marketing company in the world.
It was founded in 1959 and sells a wide variety of products, and pretty much sells everything.
The outlook of the company is promising. Amway is a known brand with a proven track record. There has been a slight decline in sales in recent years, but its products remain popular and the company still brings in billions in revenue each year, so it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
Sign-up cost: $62
Global revenue: $47 billion
The Good: Large and diverse product line; low start up cost; proven track record; offers 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The bad: Not immune to lawsuits; has faced pyramid scheme allegations; low retention rates.
Amway offers customers a wide array of products. There are over a hundred products, most of which fall into one of four categories:
- Bath & Body
- At Home
Amway’s nutrition products include dozens of vitamins and supplements under the Nutrilite brand. There are also a wide variety of products geared towards weight management, as well as protein bars, protein shakes, energy drinks, and more.
Amway’s beauty collection includes dozens of products geared towards skin care, including moisturizers, cleansers, serums, and more. There is also a substantial line of makeup products.
Bath & Body products offered by Amway include those for hair care, body care, and oral care.
The At Home line of products from Amway includes cookware, air filters, water purifiers, dish detergent, laundry detergent, disinfectants, and more.
Amway has succeeded throughout much of its history because of the work of its distributors selling its products. They offer anyone who’s willing to work the opportunity to start their own business selling their products. Three ways to make money through Amway are:
- Retail margin
- Monthly bonuses
- Growth incentives
One can join Amway is a distributor for a start up fee of $62, which has a money-back guarantee within 90 days. This fee supplies the distributor with a Getting Started Guide, catalogs of the company’s products, and information on award programs. The Starter Kit the company provides for new distributors also comes with training materials.
Distributors are free to set their own prices on the products they sell, so they can decide how much profit they want to make on something, giving them plenty of freedom and flexibility when it comes to selling to customers. A distributor’s monthly bonus comes as a result of both his or her sales, as well as the sales of any distributors they’ve sponsored, providing incentive to bring others on board.
Obviously, there’s a lot to like about a company like Amway that has a great track record and loads of financial success. It starts with its rather large and diverse product line. The quality and value of products from multi-level marketing firms can always be debated, but the range of products offered by Amway is impressive. Obviously, it can be difficult to keep everything straight or become an expert on every product, but the large product line gives distributors a great opportunity to offer nearly every potential customer something they like or need.
The low start up cost of starting your own business with Amway, as well as the 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee the company offers, are more reasons to like Amway. Not only is $62 a reasonable start up cost compared to most other MLM companies, but distributors also get 90 days to test out a partnership with Amway. If it turns out to be the wrong fit or they are dissatisfied with the company’s training or support, the distributor can easily back out and get their start up fee back, significantly lowering the risk of getting involved with a multi-level marketing company.
The company’s impressive track record also speaks for itself. Not only has Amway amassed billions in revenue over more than 50 years in business, but the company has also received high ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Reviews from employees within the company have also been excellent and almost universally positive (1). Finally, Amway has several partnerships with high-profile companies, including Sony, Macy’s, and Microsoft, further adding to the company’s credibility.
Of course, any company that has been in business as long as Amway is going to have some black marks on their record. There have been accusations throughout much of the company’s history that Amway is a pyramid scheme. The company has found a way to avoid being legally described as a pyramid scheme, but some have given it the title of “legal pyramid scheme.”
One huge red flag in the company’s history is a 2007 class-action lawsuit that alleged fraud and racketeering, among other accusations. The case was settled in 2010, with Amway agreeing to pay $34 million in cash and $22 million in products (2). Amway did not admit any wrongdoing by paying out the settlement, but has said changes have been made to the company as a result.
Finally, some have expressed concerns about the amount of distributors that actually make a significant amount of money through Amway. The company’s retention rate is said to be around 40%. This means most people will drop out after struggling to make a profit. Only a small percentage of Amway distributors are able to sell enough to make it their primary source of income, with most lucky to make a few extra dollars (3).
In terms of finding a multi-level marketing firm that’s trustworthy, it’d be difficult to find one better than Amway. Some of the accusations about it being a “legal pyramid scheme” can be a bit troubling, but reviews from within the company are positive, and it’s difficult to find many who feel ripped off by the company. For someone looking to give direct sales a try to see what happens, Amway is a credible, legitimate, and safe option.
However, one shouldn’t expect Amway to be a revolutionary experience that turns into a career.
That may happen for a few people, but the company already has so many distributors and the market for many of its products are so saturated that it may be difficult to develop a large client base, which is what’s necessary to make a significant amount of money with an MLM firm.
You can take a shot with Amway without assuming much risk, but you shouldn’t count on it to be the thing that delivers financial independence and wealth.