Worse Than Madoff: Amway Launches Domestic Revival

While the alleged Ponzi scheme of New York investment manager Bernie Madoff has claimed significant parts of the fortunes of celebrities, B-list millionaires, charities and foundations, another outfit has left a trail of a slightly different sort over the years: the broken dreams of middle-class wannabe entrepreneurs left only with garages full of products, motivational tapes and get-rich-quick books doing little but gathering dust.

If you watched any television at all since the holidays, you might have wondered why a company called Amway Global ran so many commercials. Were these ads for the same company that has, over the years, been widely accused of running a pyramid scheme, paid nearly $20 million in fines in a Canadian criminal fraud case, and whose image with the public in recent years soured faster than a carton of cottage cheese in the sun?

More recently, two former Quixtar distributors filed a class-action suit in the United State District Court, Northern District of California, charging Quixtar and several of its high-level distributors with fraud and racketeering. According to a report at CaseWatch (“Your Guide to Health Fraud- and Quackery-Related Legal Matters”), the allegations of the complaint include:

“Quixtar is an illegal pyramid scheme because most of its sales are to distributors rather than to retail customers. “

“The defendants recruit distributors by making false or misleading statements.”

“Quixtar products would be difficult to sell to unaffiliated consumers because they cost much more than similar products at retail outlets.”

“Quixtar’s lowest level distributors are instructed not to waste time on marketing and retailing the products, but instead to focus on consuming the products themselves and recruiting others to be distributors.”

“Most products are purchased by Quixtar distributors for their own use, and any profit is eliminated by the costs of buying instructional materials.”

“Quixtar has ‘unconscionable’ arbitration policies that prevent most distributors from recovering their losses if problems arise.”

Despite these controversies, and after virtually dropping out of sight in the US around the turn of the last century, Amway—currently known as “Amway Global”—appears to be heading back home. Can the company, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, stage a successful comeback in the US, or are they throwing a very desperate Hail Mary?

“Heart wrenching testimonials”

Eric Scheibeler, author of Merchants of Deception: An Insider’s Look at the Worldwide, Systematic, Conspiracy of Lies That is Amway/Quixtar and their Motivational Organizationsavailable free on the author’s website — told me that the controversies stalking the company continue to this day. Scheibeler said that he had “worked with local victims and initiated a UK government investigation in which the DTI/BERR (Department of Trade and Industry/Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) took legal action against Amway and is waiting for an appeals court decision to potentially ban them from the country.”

According to Scheibeler (a high level “Emerald“ Amway member who uncovered fraud and deception within the company and was ostracized for it):

UK Justice Norris found in 2008 that out of an IBO [Independent Business Owners] population of 33,000, ‘only about 90 made sufficient incomes to cover the costs of actively building their business.’ That’s a 99.7% loss rate for investors. The scheme appears to be falling apart in the US, UK and Australia hence the beefed up prime time ads in the US

Many of [Amway’s] highest level distributors have left to join other multi-level marketing groups, and I now have an internal management document detailing a five year 96% drop out rate. Thousands of Amway victims from countless nations have sent me heart wrenching testimonials. Quite a few involve losses in excess of $10,000.

Through his time selling Amway products, Scheibeler, who had developed a business that extended from North America to Europe, South America, and the Philippines, met a number of politically powerful Republican politicians and conservative Religious leaders, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Iran/Contra figure, Oliver North, and then-Senator Rick Santorum. Religious leaders like Charles Stanley (a former distributor), Dr. Robert Schuller and the late Dr. D James Kennedy of Florida’s Coral Ridge Ministries — a multi-media, multi-million dollar ministry — gave the company and its founders a credibility that seemed to be beyond reproach. Former US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush also spoke to Amway distributors.

In 1959, the Ada, Michigan-based Amway — an abbreviation of American Way — was founded by two high school buddies from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Richard DeVos and the late Jay Van Andel. In 2000, it became part of an umbrella company called Alticor Inc., which does business as Quixtar in the US and Canada and as Amway Corp. throughout the rest of the world. Whatever name it goes by, Amway is in the process of launching a major comeback in the US

A Scam by Any Other Name

Over the last four decades of the 20th century Amway became a phenomenally successful company, and is now the second-largest direct-selling company in the world. In 2007, Amway Global and other companies under the Alticor umbrella reported sales of $7.2 billion, marking the company’s sixth straight year of growth.

Van Andel and DeVos used a portion of their wealth as a de facto insurance policy, becoming major financiers of Republican Party candidates and Religious Right causes. According to Progress for America, Amway’s founders contributed $4,000,000 to a conservative 527 gropups in the 2004 election cycle. In April 2005, Rolling Stone reported that Amway CEO and co-founder Richard DeVos was connected with the dominionist political movement in the United States and that DeVos had given more than $5 million to the late D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries.

Despite the controversies and legal challenges the company continues to face, it never went out of business; it merely shifted the bulk of its efforts to overseas markets. These days, the company’s three hotspots are Russia, China and India. “In the late 1980s, about three-quarters of our business was here in the US,“ Steve Van Andel, Alticor’s co-chief executive and son of one of a founder, recently told the AP. “Now about 80 per cent of it is outside the country.“

According to the Associated Press, Alticor is “shelving the inert Quixtar label and pouring millions of dollars into reviving the Amway brand in North America with market research, national television commercials and ads in newspapers and magazines and online.”

The privately owned company, which is called Amway Global — though it intends to revert back to Amway in about a year — has several goals. Not least among them the corporation seeks to refurbish its tarnished image and to reacquaint the public with the company’s extensive product line of health and beauty items, home care products, jewelry, and water purifiers.

“We thought, well, if we’re going to build a brand, build the brand that everybody knows already,“ Alticor president and co-CEO Doug DeVos said in an interview with the AP. “It’s going to be much more successful and cost a lot less and happen a lot faster.“

While times may be tough economically for a sustained re-birth, company officials “hope to repeat in the United States the kind of growth they’ve seen abroad in the past—and to revive the mystique that helped the company spread throughout the Midwest and, by the mid-1960s, the rest of the US Amway’s hundreds of thousands of distributors dreamed of getting rich by selling cleaning products and by recruiting their acquaintances to join the fold,” AP reported.

According to the AP, the company is still “operating on that basic model, including prices that tend to be higher than those of their competitors, Amway saw global sales revenue top $7.1 billion in its 2007 financial year. The company predicts another $1 billion increase this year. And most of its recent growth, in such developing Asian markets as China, India and Russia, has been under the Amway name.”

Despite hiring marketing executives to help revitalize the re-launch, and despite the fact that an FTC examination into Amway’s business practices concluded in 1979 that it was not an illegal pyramid scheme because compensation is based on retail sales to consumers and because sales people are not paid for recruiting new colleagues, government investigations are underway in England, India and China.

Political Kingmakers

There is no question that the Amway story is a unique Horatio Alger-like American success story. What makes it even more fascinating is that the company’s founders—and their progeny—have become political kingmakers along the way.

In October, former Amway Corp. chief Dick DeVos, held a private fundraiser featuring President George W. Bush, to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee. For nearly 40 years, the DeVos family has been a major benefactor of both the religious right and the Republican Party. Shortly before the 1994 election, the Amway Corporation gave the GOP $2.5 million which, at the time, was “the largest political donation in recent American history,“ according to the Washington Post. And, in 1996, the company donated $1.3 million to the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau “to help fund a Republican cable TV show to be aired during the party’s national convention,“ the Associated Press reported. The program featured “rising GOP stars as ‘reporters,’“ and aired on the Pat Robertson-owned Family Channel.

The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, which was founded in 1970, has provided major funding for such right wing groups as Concerned Women for America, the late Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation, Michigan Right to Life, Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins’ DC-based lobbying group, the Family Research Council. Foundations with the DeVos family name attached to it now include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation (1990), the Daniel and Pamela DeVos Foundation (1992), and the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation (1992).

There is also a DeVos connection to Blackwater USA, the world’s most powerful mercenary army, and the largest contractor providing security in Iraq. That company too is currently up to its neck in Iraq-related legal problems. Blackwater was founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, the son of Edgar Prince, a wealthy Michigan auto-parts supplier. The elder Prince is described by Jeremy Scahill, in his bestselling book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, as a “radical right wing Christian mega-millionaire“ who is a strong financial backer of President George W. Bush, as well as a donor to a host of conservative Christian political causes.

In the 1980s, “the Prince family merged” with the DeVos family as Eric’s older sister Betsy married Dick DeVos, whose father Richard was a co-founder of Amway, according to Scahill. Together, the two families became one of the “greatest bankrollers of far-right causes in US history, and with their money they propelled extremist Christian politicians and activists to positions of prominence.“

In 2006, former Amway President Dick DeVos, decided to run for governor of Michigan. Running as a Republican against Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, DeVos was soundly defeated by 56 to 42 percent of the popular vote. He recently announced that he would not run again in 2010.

“Although Bernard Madoff allegedly swindled $50 billion from about 8,000 victims, he seems to be an amateur in comparison to Amway,” Eric Scheibeler noted. “Amway has brought in far in excess of that amount from tens of millions of consumers who invested in ‘their own Amway business’ and it seems near all did so and continue to do so at a loss. The difference is that the Madoff pipeline is shut down, while you may be recruited to an Amway meeting tomorrow.”

* * *

Note: We contacted Amway Global with several questions, including ones about the UK suit and its political donations. A public relations spokesperson answered a few general questions and said that he would pass the rest on to other company officials. We have not heard from any other company officials.

Bill Berkowitz is a longtime observer of the conservative movement. His column, "Conservative Watch," documents the strategies, players, institutions, victories and defeats of the American Right. Read other articles by Bill, or visit Bill's website.

21 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rosemarie jackowski said on February 11th, 2009 at 10:50am #

    Very important article – The Amway/Blackwater connection needs more exposure.

  2. Crow said on February 11th, 2009 at 11:18am #

    I have a relative who got sucked into Amway. She used to be a smart, funny, personable woman, with plenty of common sense. But I think insecurity about her job made her vulnerable to Amway’s allure. She is one of those people with loads of products, and her family quiety says she’s not making any money at it. They too, worry about her personality change since falling for the Amway way of life. I once asked if I could buy some products from her. She was evasive and never did sell me anything. She used to be a realistic person who could converse intelligently on any topic. Since Amway, she only talks about “positive” things, meaning she never deals with life as it comes at her. Her family does that I guess. She’s in her own world, or more accurately, Amway/Quixtar’s world. Most communications from her, on the rare occasion we get any, are like infomercials for Amway, cryptically referring to her great fortune that lies ahead as a result of her involvement with a “Fortune 500 Company,” blah blah blah. It’s as if we lost her to a whacky cult. Maybe we have.

  3. Tree said on February 11th, 2009 at 11:56am #

    Wow. These people make Richard Mellon Scaife look like a harmless little mouse.

  4. justin said on February 11th, 2009 at 1:06pm #

    the merchant of deception-eric scheibeler failed to mention that his pet lawsuit was thrown out in the uk as unfounded and frivolous.
    he also fails to acknowledge that many succesful amway sales people are being completely ignored in his slanted commentary.
    the other thing this article fails to mention is that you cant invest money in amway.
    no one has a garage full of products.
    amway will refund every dime on any product for any one.
    they have always done that.
    i have 23 years of experience selling amway.
    i will guarantee you this-
    if you check out eric scheibeler very closely you will find out his life is pretty screwed up.
    anyone care to do the homework on this?
    meanwhile- amway does over 8 billion in sales in 2008-
    over a billion in north america.
    from distributors like me who actually sell the products.
    i bet even money that eric – the merchant of deception is making money off his anti-amway scam.
    his website begs for money which he says goes to lawyers.
    what kind of nut-job does it take to have a web site begging for money
    so he can give your money to his lawyers?
    this man is unhinged.
    he is also making money from his scam.
    follow the money.
    by the way- eric the merchant of deception-wont return my e-mails.
    schock of all schocks! he only wants to talk to complainers.
    no success stories are allowed.
    no posotive experiences are welcome in his in box.
    does this strike anyone as odd?
    it is disgusting to me.
    who is the next target? the avon lady?
    mary kay?

  5. Adrian Monk said on February 11th, 2009 at 9:58pm #

    Amway has been around for 50 years. It has steadily grownover the years and is known for quality products esp in the categories of health & beauty. When you talk to consumers about their Nutrilite, and Artistry range- and compare it with quality/name brands like Estee Lauder, Lancome, or GNC vitamins, their prices are very attractive not cheap, but not expensive either. Value for money! I know many Amway distributors who have been relying on their Amway income as their only income – derived from a balance of retailing and building a sales organization. Amway has also contributed a lot to children campaign via the One by One programs.

    This is just a case of an idiot who “hates” Amway – or has a vested interest in condemning Amway to write nasty articles to put down a success story. The Merchant of Deception is actually Eric. Just because he signed up as an Amway distributor, and qualified Emerald once upon a time does not mean he is an honest man, and is qualified to tell “the truth about Amway. If not for the internet- there will be no avenue for idiots like him to voice out his crazy ideas

  6. Johnny Peepers said on February 12th, 2009 at 9:41am #

    Amway/Quixtar is a Dominionist cult that seduces naive individuals with promises of great material wealth and early retirement fantasies. They employ love-bomb psychological massage techniques ala Scientology and other brainwash religious organizations. The products they push have a much higher unit cost than those that can be purchased at any big box or retail store. Usually the mark is too overwhelmed with feelings of group belongingness and up-chain IBO approval reinforcement before they find out the scam.

    Amway/Quixtar-sponsored gatherings are brainwash events where the scammers at the top of the pyramid flaunt their wealth, happiness, and liberation from the rat race suffering. Many times, the gatherings are centered around a Christian revivalist come-to-Jesus theme to conflate the merchandising rip-off scam with Salvanationist/Redeemer indoctrination. The speakers employ Ericksonian Neural-Linguistic hypno-speak to entrance the flock.

    Avoid this cult at all costs (and I mean all costs).

  7. Eric said on February 12th, 2009 at 11:04am #

    Greetings,
    I attempted on several occasions to make money as an Amay distributor. Amway and other multi-level operations are well known in urban areas, particularly during the 1980’s.

    The problem with trying to sell Amway products in a major city is that there is too much retail competition from local retail stores. People can walk down the block and buy soap if they want, rather than waite for me to deliver it to them. Amway products do cost more because Amway products are of higher quality. Retaling Amway would work best in suburban or rural areas because the distributor making a delivery would be a conveinence.

    It was not easy for down -line like me to obtain products. There was little retail support for distributors. There was a great deal of emphasis on recruiting distributors under you, but not enough training on how to do that. A litle less pressure on that would have made me more comfortable.

    The political donations of Amway owners is their business, so long as they are not contributing to hate groups. The owners of Amway might not agree with my political leanings.

    Other than my above concerns my experiences with Amway were positive. I did like the products and used them myself. If Amway comes back in a better way I might consider it again.

    Eric

  8. Phil said on February 23rd, 2009 at 4:28pm #

    I am an Amway IBO, and I am proud to say to! i lead a team of over fifty with great success, though i began my ventures to financial success over 5 months ago. I am seeing profits already, and you can adjust the amount of educational materials you purchase, they do not make you buy the educational materials, they’re optional. I’m posting this because im so sick of all the flak that AmWay catches that is not deserved. Not a shred of credible “negative” on the internet can be backed up, or else AmWay would have changed to help end the source of the negative.

  9. Phil said on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:03pm #

    It’s been common knowledge for many years that Amway is a huge scam. The facts are irrefutable.

  10. Mike B said on March 1st, 2009 at 8:47pm #

    THis Website have the perfect name, the dissident voice! What a positive name! So im not surprised to ear you bark to the moon with the Amway business and try to alert people about something they dont know!

    My father have an oncle who built a amway commerce, by the way he died a lot of years ago but his wife still received the chek every months…
    Ask her if she beleive in Amway !!!
    So its not new that some people say its a scam and dont work ! But what is special his that people forget to say that they got 50 years business that not supposed to work….!
    Its not because the commerce didnt work for you that it not good!

    When you compare it to Madoff it is stupid (sorry for that!), when people buy from Amway they have some real good products…and a opportunity to develop a commerce …if they want to do it!

    By the Way, Quixtar was the new version of Amway when they went on the web. They come back to Amway name because the made a survey who tell them that the Amway (products name) was well known! More Then Quixtar. So they came back with the original name because its the 50th anniversary in 2009.

    they are in almost 80 contrys and made last year 8.2 billions dollars of sale products.

    If i got a consel for any of you….just dont listen to any stupid people who tell you that you would be millionnaire in the next year with Amway. But listen carefully somebody who is developping this commerce seriously with a good team of leader, learn from them and set your personnal goal and put the action on the same level of your dream, good luck and have a nice journey!

  11. Hue Longer said on March 1st, 2009 at 11:42pm #

    I used to live in a 10×10 foot apartment, ate pizza out of dumpsters and had a nasty meth habit until I discovered the power of selling meth to my downlines. Now everyone hates me but I eat good pizza.

  12. L Martin said on March 13th, 2009 at 12:12pm #

    My family’s experience has been very positive working with Amway corporation. I has provided an amazing lifestyle for over 35 years for my in-laws, a great 2nd income for my parents for 30 years and afforded my wife and I the ability for her to be a full time mom to our children and travel extensively for the last 20 years. As this obviously liberal writer has pointed out, the owners are great Christain people that support the cause of keeping our country great. They also have donated millions to Easter Seals. Lovin life as an Amway affiliated business owner.

  13. Ernest said on April 2nd, 2009 at 11:35pm #

    I choose Amway. A conscience decision. Because It works if I do.
    Instead of a brick & mortar retail store, or a real estate brokerage, or an entertainment agency (attorney agent), or a building contractors license, I opted to own my own business for less than an $100 investment.
    I make the decisions about work. To work when I want. To work with whom I want. To make as much money as I want, determined by MY goals, MY ambition and MY Hard WORK!

    Amway Global (Amway, Quixtar) has been a solid, profitable, worldwide FREE ENTERPRISE business for Fifty (50) Years!
    The only reason people don’t make money in this or any other business is because THEY don’t do the work The Amway sales & Marketing Plan works IF you work the plan.

    Today there is a very dangerous theory in America that if the government gets big enough it will “solve” everyone’s problems. How? The government will take from those that have (a result of being rewarded for hard work or brilliant ideas) and give to those that do nothing.
    Great idea?….NO! This radical leftist idea makes us all equal alright…..equally poor!

    Free Enterprise!
    Remember that? Sadly it is in big jeopardy here in the US as America is going through “Change”. The Euro/Socialist economy will fail. It always has. Tax the workers to care for the lazy and soon the workers stop working and it all crumbles. Zero production = Zero profit and Zero progress.
    Government entities have always failed (look at the Post Office & Social “Security”) Obahma and the Left’s ultraliberal philosophies will fail and ruin the world’s most prosperous nation.

    You want a better country, better health care, better education? Work for it!
    I choose Amway because it costs little to start, sells well and everyone buys, uses, uses up, and buys again the type of products Amway manufactures.

    Simple. That is what makes the Free Enterprise Market so successful.
    It is simply work, produce, sell, earn, buy and work some more.
    Remember:

    “You don’t get something for nothing
    You don’t get freedom for free
    You won’t get wise
    With the sleep still in your eyes
    No matter what your dreams might be”
    (“Something for Nothing” from the album “2112” By RUSH 1976 Anthem Records

  14. Khislop said on July 8th, 2009 at 11:36am #

    I can see that you are upset that a legitmate mutilevel marketing company that is debt free and is making many people financially free that choose to WORK HARD, is funding what you term as “right wing political agendas. For me…….that is a PLUS and a testimony. I personally know many people who work very hard to help any one who wants to succeed. Maybe you should sign up and find out. And by the way, the Artistry and Nutralite brands are GREEN, ORGANIC, and cost competitive with comperable brands. Do your homework.

  15. Harry Canary said on July 9th, 2009 at 9:58am #

    Legitimate multi level marketing company? That’s an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or military intelligence. Ain’t no such animal. Amway is the legendary crossbreed between a crocodile and an abalone. It is known as a crocabaloney.

    You clowns also believe the earth is 6000 years old, believe speaking in tongues is not stupid gibberish and Jesus is comin’ tomorrow to Rapture you away from all of this.

  16. Harry Canary said on July 9th, 2009 at 10:00am #

    On a more serious note, you salesboys are the Problem with our country. We cut wages and benefits for anyone who actually does anything productive and waste millions on high finance and sales scams. Time to put the lid on it and get most of you sales twerps to working for a living. But it would probably be too much for you to handle.

  17. dre said on July 22nd, 2009 at 6:37pm #

    ok…first off…for the dude who made this website..i feel ur pain..i used to be a distributor myself, and i did give it a good shot, but u know what i think that the time put into that type of business can be used for better…so i dont think u shud be so negative cuz then it looks like ur a hater..im not a hater but i dont think this business is a good idea..as far as all brainwashed amway distributors who choose to argue back…im guessing those bullshit bonus checks are really keeping yall happy. And know that business and religion do not mix…the first time i went to spring leadership, it seemed more like a preaching thing..i felt like it was some type of money cult…filled with greed

  18. Brad said on July 23rd, 2009 at 8:21am #

    I like this web site discusson but no one seems to be asking the hard questions, there is no argument that Amwy Global is a Successful company. But what I would like to see are certified balance sheets and Income statements of the people who say they are making this money. One this seems to be clear is that tere is an issue with the sharing of the profits from tools. I would like to see the income broken down in to income from tools and seminars and income from product movement.

    As for the guy who wrote Merchant of Deception , it is clear he has some kind of issue , but he did build the business and, assuming rationality would not have left if the business were were truly incredible . Some where between there is the truth.

    Also I would like to know if any one has done a true analysis of the real cost sponsoring some one and finaly one statistinc bothers me and that comes from the UK where only 90 of 33,000 distributers make enough money to run their business in a commerciall manner.

    having done all this research and I like the concept some where along the way there seems to be at the very least some slight of hand and misdirection taking place.

  19. kallanu kanhi vekkunnavar said on July 28th, 2009 at 3:24am #

    amway people never work thair hand to feed thair childrens
    they brainwashing common people by well trained brain & tounge

  20. KMansfield said on August 17th, 2009 at 3:18am #

    It’s a dual pyramid scheme. You consume all that you buy, then they get you to buy the brainwashing MLM tapes and pay big bucks to attend meetings. YOu will meet some upstream people that will provide hook by showing flashing jewelry, their jets, their sprawling ranches, but they misrepresent where that money comes from, they make it from the tapes, not the products. They send you letters showing examples of the how rich the emerald and diamond levels are.
    They strongly encourage you to attend their MLM/Dominionist/Calvinist meetings.. Eventually, when you aren’t able to reach a 6 figure income, it’s your fault for lack of faith, its a testament that you aren’t one of the pre-ordained, the elect, one of God’s chosen. You are a reprobate and deserve to suffer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reprobate
    It’s actually good for God’s chosen to see you suffer, as it’s part of Gods plan too. These are the same nuts that are trying to bring on WWIII or Armageddon so they can be raptured before the earth blows up.
    Even if you read the book “The Secret” there is hope for you. You will be one of the “Left Behind”.
    Until then, they’re working out the newest testament of the bible- the authoritarian version. Maybe the CEO’s Brother in Law will be the enforcer-Eric Prince of Black Water fame.

    The man that wrote this book tried for 10 years, and discovered by mistake some information. He ran across some ex-amway internet posts. He got so down on himself that he stopped listening to the tapes for a few months and was able to begin to look at the program more objectively and get some help. He saw a mental heath cult specialist to help him deal with the confusion and break away.
    The apologist commenters here are drinking the Koolaid. If you’ve ever had someone try to sell you into Amway, you would see how nutty they are. If you don’t buy into it, just like Jehovah’s witnesses, you must be flawed and they don’t want anything to do with you.

  21. demonskull7 said on August 31st, 2009 at 9:29pm #

    in the early 1990,s i used to work with a guy that tried to sell me the so-called amway dream.he showed me the kit he bought to become an ibo,he told me the kit and the sign up fees would be close to 200 dollars or more!! he then showed me a product catalog,the prices were rediculous!!i asked him why would i want to join this rediculous nonsensical company ??there was no way i would pay the inflated prices for amway products,including shipping prices for no-name brands,when i could go to walmart and get name brands at a much better price!!!i also would not want to recruit anyone i knew or liked into this foolish cult!!my answer was an absolute NO!!!by reading numerous reports on amway i,ve learned that the top dogs in amway are the ones that make all the money!!the ibo,s have a 90 or more%failure or turnover rate!!if these statistics are true what more evidence could a person need to conclude that amway should be avoided like a plague!! in conclusion a few years later after my last meeting with mr. amway oppurtunity,..i found out he had dropped out of amway!!!!i wonder why??!!could it be he made little or no money doing this??!!could be!!!