So someone has introduced you to Amway as a great "opportunity to be your own boss".

But you're probably still wondering.... can you really make money with Amway? Or is Amway just a pyramid scheme or a scam?

Amway Review- is Amway a pyramid scheme

First of all, I want to congratulate you on taking your time to research the company. 

Up to 99% of MLM members lose money because they dive into them blindly.

This honest Amway MLM review, with videos, will expose the true pros and cons of the company, allowing you to make an informed decision. 

Amway Review

The overview and rankings

Name: Amway

Owners: Richard DeVos and John Van Andel

Type: Health and Wellness, Household Products MLM

Products (Including Pricing): 50 out of 100

Success Stories: 1 out of 100

Price To Join MLM: $69 registration fee + $99 starter kit (optional)

50 PV to remain active = $75+ a month (30 out of 100)

What To Look For In An MLM:

  • Low start-up fee & maintenance cost
  • High-quality affordable products
  • You don’t have to carry inventory
  • An affiliate-like system 
  • Generous compensation plan
  • Company is in the early momentum phase

Amway Pros

  • Proven history
  • Positive product reviews
  • It's well known

Amway Cons

  • Expensive products
  • Hidden monthly expenses
  • Pyramid scheme in disguise?
  • Most people lose money
  • No momentum

Summary: Amway is an MLM company that offers over 350 products in nutrition, beauty, personal care and for the home. 

Most people do not make any money from Amway because of the expensive hidden costs to remain active as an Independent Business Owner (IBO).

The only way to make a good income as an IBO is to recruit a lot of people into your downline. This makes Amway very similar to a pyramid scheme in disguise and is the reason that most members lose money. 

Make Time Online Rating: 27 out of 100 

Recommended: No

What is Amway?

Amway (America Way) is one of the oldest and most well known Multi-Level-Marketing company that exists. 

It was founded in 1959 and has become the largest company on the Direct Selling News Global 100 list in 2018, with sales of $8.8 billion. They now have products in the health and wellness, beauty, personal care and home products industries. 

The MLM opportunity exists in USA and other areas including:

  • Australia in 1971
  • Europe in 1973
  • Asia in 1974
  • Japan in 1979
  • Latin America in 1985
  • Thailand in 1987
  • China in 1995
  • Africa in 1997
  • India and Scandinavia in 1998
  • Ukraine in 2003
  • Russia in 2005
  • Vietnam in 2008

The MLM opportunity offers everyday people the chance to make money from home. The 3 minute video below explains more about this...

But you're smart enough to realise this is just a sales video. 

So you're probably still wondering... 

Is Amway a pyramid scheme?

Amway is not a pyramid scheme. They have survived numerous lawsuits that claim that Amway is a pyramid scheme (19792009, 2010, 2013)

Amway's IBOs (same thing as a distributor or consultant or associate in other MLMs) can make money by selling Amway products. 

However, the only way IBOs can realistically make enough money to cover their expenses and make a decent income is by recruiting people. 

This makes Amway very similar to a pyramid scheme in disguise...

What is a pyramid scheme?

A company that promises its members payment for recruiting more people rather than selling a product or service. 

These are illegal in most countries because it is impossible for every member to make money. 

Just see the Wikipedia diagram below to see why...

Most MLMs, like Amway, do provide legitimate products so they are not technically pyramid schemes. 

However, many of them operate like a "pyramid scheme in disguise".

This is because the only way for members to make "good money" (over $1,000 a month) is by recruiting lots of people into the MLM. Amway is very similar to this because it is hard to sell enough of their expensive products to cover the costs let alone "be your own boss".

The 5 minute video below explains this in more detail...

Success is rare with Amway

To tell you the truth... success is hard to find at any MLM company.

Did you know that between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives lose money?

MLM FTC Fact Stat

Now, I know what you're thinking...

"But I can be the top 1%, or maybe Amway is different".

Even if you are in the top 1% and don't lose money, the fact is you will need to make your money by recruiting other people who will HAVE to lose money (and if you're like me you're probably not a fan of leading people down a rabbit hole). 

The only way you can win in an MLM like Amway is by making others lose. 

Amway doesn't release income disclosures anymore but this Amway review will dig into the company in more detail later on. 

For now, let's figure out...

How does Amway Work?

Amway produces hundreds of products that people use everyday. 

They sell these products without needing to spend huge amounts of money on advertising or marketing. Instead, they get everyday people to do this for them.

In return these everyday people (IBOs) get the chance to make commissions and bonuses from any products they can sell. 

In theory, it's a win-win...

Amway products

If you are serious about joining any MLM company then you will need to understand more about their products as this is what you will be trying to sell. 

There are over 350 products offered by Amway in the following categories:

  • Nutrition (vitamins, shakes, sports nutrition etc.)
  • Beauty (make up, lipstick, foundation etc.)
  • Personal care (shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser etc.)
  • Home (cookware, air treatment, cleaners etc.)
Is Amway a pyramid scheme

It's important to note that there are hundreds of other MLM companies that offer very similar products such as Isagenix, Ariix, Purium, ShakleeBellame and SeneGence to name a few.

So it's important to work out what is actually different to make each MLM stand out. 

You can usually find this out by their main product...

Amway flagship products

Here's the thing at Amway...

There is no "flagship product". They have so many products that it's hard to tell what their main one is...

Can you really make money with Amway

The selling point that I see at Amway is that you can buy almost everything that you need for your home and personal use (but I think there's another company that beats them at this... #Amazon).

They currently hold over 800 patents for their products so you can be sure that a lot of research goes into making these products.

But apart from the sheer quantity of products there really isn't anything that makes Amway stand out. The truth is, you can buy very similar products, if not better quality products, elsewhere for a fraction of the price.

Check out the Amway product review 4 minute video below if you want to learn more about what they have on offer...

Can you really make money with Amway?

It's very hard to make any money with Amway. The few people that do make money as an IBO are typically very extroverted people who are good at selling and recruiting people. 

The vast majority of Amway IBOs lose money due to the costs to remain active at the company.

Just like most MLMs there are 2 ways you can make money as an Amway IBO:

  1. Sell products and earn a commission (retail - wholesale price)
  2. Recruit people and earn bonuses from sales they make

This is the reason that Amway and other MLMs don't get shut down for being a pyramid scheme...

You can't earn money directly from recruiting people.

You technically only earn money from the sales or purchases that your "downline" make... but since you have to buy products just to start as an IBO you do actually make money as soon as you recruit people.

How much does it cost to join Amway?

It costs around $150 to join Amway as an IBO...

There is a $69 registration fee to get started.

It then also costs $99 for the starter kit which comes with:

  • $245 value of products
  • 10 mini catalogues
  • Basic training & marketing materials

But the costs do not stop there amigo...

Amway monthly cost

The monthly costs to "remain active" is what makes most IBOs lose money. 

Just for marketing materials (envelopes, business cards, stamps etc.) and a website it can easily cost $20+ a month before anything else. 

Amway has "live events and trainings" which costs more money to attend and that doesn't even take into consideration travel and accomodation for these events. 

There are even things like their "inauguration bundle", which members are encouraged to purchase when they are released, which costs a crazy amount like $383!

Is Amway a pyramid scheme
Can you really make money with Amway

Then there is the monthly sales quota to be eligible to receive the bonuses and commissions from the sales your team makes. You need to generate 50 PV (around $75 of products) each month to stay active as an IBO.

And you need to accumulate 100 PV just to receive any commissions for these bonuses...

That is around $150 worth of products!

So your total costs for your first year will look like this:

  • $69
  • $99
  • $20 x 12 (marketing costs)
  • $75 x 12 (product costs)

Total minimum expenses year 1 = $1,228

There are many forums online that suggest IBO's spend over $3,000 per year at Amway... and you can see how!

Amway compensation plan

For some reason MLM companies like to make their compensation plan harder to understand than a drunk Scotsman. 

And Amway takes the biscuit here! They have a 90 page compensation plan... I'm yet to come across one so hard to understand!

So I will do my best to keep this simple...

There are only 2 ways you can get paid from Amway:

  1. Immediate income (15-25% commission... retail - wholesale price)
  2. Performance bonus (3-25% bonuses from your teams sales)
Amway compensation plan

Just look at that diagram showing you how you can get paid!! Seriously... what the fiddlesticks are they going on about?!

You really don't need to worry yourself about HOW you get paid from Amway. The only think you really need to know to start is WHAT you have to do. Remember all it is:

  • Sell Amway products
  • Recruit people

And when you really understand the compensation plan you'll see that if you want to earn good money... you have to recruit people (*cough* pyramid scheme in disguise *cough*)

Check out the 9 minute video of the Amway compensation plan below if you want to be confused a bit more get your head around it more...

Or you can read the full 90 page Amway compensation plan here. 

Is Amway a scam?

Amway is not technically a scam as they provide legit products and they pay their IBOs just like they say they will. 

However, some people would argue that because it is a pyramid scheme in disguise then it is really just a big scam as most IBOs lose money.

At the end of the day the choice is yours and the rest of this Amway review will help you to make an informed decision...

Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse Amway in any way.

I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn how to “Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.

Related content:

Ready to make passive income online?

In 2018 I had no idea how to make money online. I was a full time PE teacher with no marketing skills or online experience.

I fell for scams along the way but I've managed to create a growing passive income online. 

If I can do it, anyone can.

Mike Beatty

What I like about Amway

There are a few things that I genuinely like about the Amway MLM...

Key Terms:

  • Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
  • Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
  • Red Flag - A warning sign

#1 Proven history

Did you know that 1 in 3 MLM companies disappear before they reach their 10th birthday?...

Well, Amway has been in business for over 60 years!

This proves that Amway is not a scam and they are not likely to disappear overnight like many newer MLMs do.

#2 Positive product reviews

I liked that on Consumer Affairs it was possible to find genuine people that use the products like this...

Amway Review

You can tell when someone is a genuine customer and they like the products. Dawn even says she has some customer service problems so that is clearly a legit review. 

However, you do also find a ton of reviews from IBOs like this...

Amway Review

If a company has legit happy customers that would use the products even though they are not trying to make money from it, that is a good sign!

If I could only find reviews like Cathic's that would be a very bad sign!

#3 Amway is well known

If you asked someone if they'd like to buy something from Amway, chances are they would have heard of it before. 

That is not the case for most MLM companies. There are hundreds being created all the time and most of them are very small. 

Is Amway a pyramid scheme

Amway has used some big sponsorships and marketing campaigns to get their name out there.

This means the IBOs can piggyback off of these efforts as people tend to buy from companies they have heard of before.

What I don't like about Amway

So there are some good signs that Amway is not an outright scam. 

However there are some hidden truths that most IBOs find out too late after they have already joined. 

This section will help to open your eyes fully to the challenges and downsides to the company...

#1 Expensive products

This is the first thing I check in any MLM I review. 

It's the first signal to me that the company may be a pyramid scheme in disguise.

Check out their protein shakes prices...

Is Amway a pyramid scheme
  • Amway protein shake = $3.60 per 20g protein
  • Highly rated Amazon protein shake = $1.25 per 20g protein

Amway costs 200% more than alternatives. Now, I can almost hear your mind thinking...

"Surely Amway's products are far superior though?!"

Well I thought that too, so I checked it out...

Can you really make money with Amway

If anything you get far more protein and nutrition from the Amazon protein shakes than you would from Amway. 

Plus, I saw this kind of Amway review from numerous customers...

Amway Review

#2 Hidden monthly expenses

We already discussed the monthly fees to "remain active" as an IBO. 

You need to sell at least $75 worth of products every month to remain active. This is why so many customers feel "pestered" to join all the time...

Amway Review

If you can't sell enough Amway products each month you need to buy them yourself if you want to have a shot of "being your own boss" next month. 

This combined with the high costs means that...

#3 Amway is a pyramid scheme in disguise

Seriously just think about it.

Why would anyone continue to pay 200%+ for something you can easily get on Amazon that you could even argue is better?

The reason is that the IBOs are the main Amway customers because they are being "encouraged" (forced) to "remain active" and buy the products from their upline. They will be told that "it will get easier" but they really mean "stay active so I can keep making money from you."

Can you really make money with Amway

Amway spent 4 years in court to survive being called an outright pyramid scheme in 1979 by the FTC

They managed to get away with it because it is possible for people to make money from selling Amway products. It doesn't seem to matter that it's pretty much impossible to make good money in this way.

They've even faced other lawsuits such as paying $25 million in fines for alleged tax fraud in 1982 and a class action lawsuit for $56 million in 2010 to settle alleged claims it operates as a "pyramid scheme"

Can you really make money with Amway

#4 Can you really make money with Amway?

No, most people cannot make money with Amway. 

Just see what Amway has on their compensation plan repeatedly in small print...

Can you really make money with Amway

The average gross monthly income for IBOs was $202. 

It seems like most IBOs spend over $3,000 a year meaning that "the average" IBO will lose money. When you take into account that some IBOs at the top of the company will be making hundreds of thousands a month you can see that the vast majority of Amway IBOs lose money.

Just check out the below example of profit and loss for an Amway IBO...

Can you really make money with Amway

Sure, they made $5,100 profit for the year...

But they lost $480 after they took out their expenses! And this is someone who dedicated their time to Amway, not just trying it out as a side hobby!

#5 No momentum

This is the final nail in the coffin for me.

You can see that the number of people searching for Amway has plateaued over the last few years...

Newer MLM companies like Farmasi show what momentum is like. 

If you really want to do well from an MLM then using their momentum will make it much easier to recruit people and sell products. 

Chances are people will be wary about Amway due to its shady history. But people that have not heard of Farmasi before may be interested in giving it a shot.  

Ready to make passive income online?

In 2018 I had no idea how to make money online. I was a full time PE teacher with no marketing skills or online experience.

I fell for scams along the way but I've managed to create a growing passive income online. 

If I can do it, anyone can.

Mike Beatty

My opinion - Amway MLM

Amway sells legit products that some people seem to quite like. 

But what do I think your chances are of making money from the Amway MLM?...

The expensive products and high monthly costs to remain active means that the only way you'll be able to make money is by recruiting them into the MLM.

And if you need to recruit to make money, that makes the company like a pyramid scheme. And it's impossible for everyone to make money from a pyramid scheme in disguise.

That leaves your ethics and morals with a tough choice...

Should you really give Amway a shot and try to make money knowing that the people you recruit will be very likely to lose money?

How I make passive income online

MLMs are technically not scams or illegal. However, I'm not a fan of them because of the restrictions to the expensive products you have to promote.

Once I learnt about affiliate marketing, I realised it's a far superior business model because:

  • You can promote anything you want and truly own the business
  • You never need to sell to friends and family
  • It's completely free to start

In 2018 I had no idea what affiliate marketing was.

But I went from a full time PE teacher to making a passive income online within one year...

Mike PE teacher to Passive Income Online

If you want to discover how I did it then check out this special video I created which explains exactly how. 

Ready to make passive income online?

In 2018 I had no idea how to make money online. I was a full time PE teacher with no marketing skills or online experience.

I fell for scams along the way but I've managed to create a growing passive income online. 

If I can do it, anyone can.

Mike Beatty

"If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die." Warren Buffet

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  1. Most of this negative information on Amway isn’t a surprise because it falls in line with the experiences I had years ago. This doesn’t even go into the pushy nature of the representatives (who called themselves “entrepreneurs”) who could get quite ugly when someone asked them too many questions. Pyramid scheme or not, I agree that there are much better alternatives to make money than to try with Amway!

    1. Thanks for sharing Aly. Sorry to hear about your experience and yes, that pushy nature often comes down to the fact that people don’t realise they will continue to lose money every month unless they get their “downline” to recruit and sell more products. 

      MLMs can be a nasty environment if you join with a rep that doesn’t know what they are doing (aka most of them!)

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