Is Amway a Pyramid Scheme? Another MLM Program Exposed!

become an amway independent business owner

If you’re here reading this Amway review then I’m guessing that somebody you know referred you to them, perhaps that someone may also have mentioned to you about their MLM business opportunity and how you can earn money as an Amway Independent Business Owner.

I’m happy that you’ve decided to research this company before jumping into something that appears to be a legit opportunity to make money, but as you’re probably aware there are tons of scams out there trying to lure in innocent and vulnerable people and  you can’t ever be too careful.

So is Amway a pyramid scheme? A ponzi scheme? A scam? Or are they a legit company to start your own business with? Let’s find out…

By the way if you’d like to see how I personally make a living online then check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation where I’ll show you how to earn $1000+ monthly as a full time blogger.


Table of Contents


Amway Review

Name: Amway
Type: MLM (multi-level marketing)
Membership Price: $69 one-time registration fee + optional $99 starter kit

health wellness mlm business opportunity

Intro To Amway – What Is It?

Amway is a MLM (multi-level marketing) company that sells a plethora of products ranging from hair care, nutrition, beauty, bath and body, and other home products. They’ve been around since 1959 and have since become a global brand that’s well known worldwide.

The company was founded by Richard DeVos and John Van Andel, they are based in the USA but also have headquarters in many countries including Australia, Europe, Asia, Japan, South America, China, Thailand, Africa, India, Scandinavia, Ukraine, Russia, and Vietnam.

What Products Does Amway Sell?

Amway has a HUGE line of over 450 products in distribution, and new stuff is constantly being added. They sell products in various categories like nutrition, beauty, bath & body, home, and more.

Here are just some examples of the products they provide:

  • Nutrition – Vitamin pills, supplements, weight loss, energy drinks, sports nutrition
  • Beauty – Fragrances, makeup, skin care, moisturizers, anti-acne, and more
  • Bath & Body – Shampoo, conditioners, body lotions, toothpaste, and more
  • Home – Laundry, cookware, dish detergent, water and air treatment, and more

Click the images below to see on Amazon:

NutriLite vitamin supplement

Amway G&H Body Milk

Artistry skin cleansers, toners, creams, gels

Although they have a lot of products for you to promote, many of these products are really common everyday items that people usually buy from their local Walmart, why would they need to buy it off some random Amway distributor?

Usually with MLM business opportunities like the one Amway has to offer, you’re better off joining a company that provides unique products that they can’t get anywhere else.

Amway is a MLM company, meaning they utilize Independent Business Owners (IBO) to sell products to customers. Anyone can sign up to become an IBO to make money, and that’s what I’ll be going through next.

Become an Amway Independent Business Owner (IBO)

If you’re interested in starting your own business, Amway offers an opportunity for you. Once you become an Amway IBO you can earn money either by selling Amway products directing to your customers or by recruiting new IBOs and earn from your downline.

To become an Amway IBO you can go on their website and click the “Start a Business” section which will take you to a sign up page. Just fill in your details including your name, address, email, and the ID of your sponsor. If you don’t have a sponsor (the person who told you about Amway) then you can just skip that part.

The registration process includes a one-time registration fee of $69 and an optional $99 starter kit which includes:

  • $245 worth of products to use for demonstration or direct selling
  • Catalogs with business and product information
  • More training information
  • Quality brands
  • Marketing support

All these costs add up to $168 to start your own business as an Amway IBO which is pretty affordable compared to many other MLMs where the start up costs can run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars before you even make a dime.

As an IBO you’re working independently as your own boss, Amway is not your employer. As an IBO you can make money either by direct sales or by recruiting. Below I’ll cover their compensation plan to go over them in more details.

MLMs only work for people who are good with direct selling or recruiting, if that’s not your cup of tea then check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation instead where I’ll show you how to earn a full time income with a blogging business.

Amway Compensation Plan

As an Amway Independent Business Owner (IBO) you’ll have several different ways to earn which I’ll discuss below. Their compensation plan is pretty long and a bit difficult to understand so I’ll summarize it the best I can below:

Here are the 4 different ways to earn as an Amway IBO:

  1. Buying For Yourself – Buy Amway products from retail you can save money by getting money back from the Amway system
  2. Direct Sales – Directly selling Amway products to customers at retail price
  3. Recruiting Other IBOs – Get other people to join under you and earn residual income from their sales
  4. Bonuses – Amway offers rewards like vacation packages, watches, and other prizes for their top earners

To learn the full details you can visit Amway’s Compensation Plan or take a look at the video below.

Video Breaking Down Amway’s Compensation Plan:

Is Amway a Pyramid Scheme?

No, Amway is not considered a pyramid scheme because they have products for their IBOs to sell. They are what’s called a MLM (multi-level marketing) company, the way you can make money with MLMs and pyramid schemes are very similar, so a lot of people confuse the two.

With MLMs you can make money either by selling products or by recruiting new IBOs, but with pyramid schemes there are no products to sell and the only way of earning is by recruiting. Pyramid schemes are unsustainable because over the long term this type of business model will collapse upon itself.

Pyramid schemes are not legal while MLMs are. Since Amway has a huge line of health, beauty, and life products, they would obviously be in the category of a MLM business and not a pyramid scheme.

But although Amway is an MLM which is considered a legit business model, they are in my opinion one of the toughest ways to make money and in the section I’ll discuss why MLMs are not a good business to get into.

Why Amway Is a Tough Way To Make Money

If you take a look at Amway’s Business Reference Guide from 2016, there is an income disclosure statement in the compensation plan section where they state that their “active” IBOs were earning just $207 per month on average!

independent business operators earnings
Income disclosure from Amway’s compensation plan

I don’t know about you, but if I’m making only $207 a month I might as well just go work at Taco Bell. Also important to note that only 48% of all IBOs are “active” which just means those who have made sales that year. Basically about half of all IBOs are making less than $207 monthly!

Sure, $207 is just an average so that means there are top dog who are making the big bucks ($50,000+ per year), but these top earners only comprise of less than 1% of Amway’s IBOS.

These figures are not unusual at all, MLMs in general have a really high failure rate and most people going into these types of businesses do not profit in the long run.

The problem is that this business model requires lots of selling and recruiting which most people do not know how to do successfully, and no in-depth training is provided by the company on how to succeed.

I recommend you check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation instead where I’ll show you a top-rated training platform that offers step-by-step training on how to build a profitable part time or full time blogging business from scratch. Unlike MLMs there’s no selling or recruiting!

Is Amway a Scam Or Legit?

Amway appears to be a legit MLM company, they’ve been around for over 50 years and are one of the grandfathers of MLM businesses. Although legit, they’re not something that I would join myself or recommend to others because of their low income potential and level of difficulty to succeed for the average person.

Selling products and recruiting new IBOs require that you talk to a lot of people and make lots of friends, if you’re not good at networking then there’s no way you can find enough customers and recruits. Your personal friends, family, and neighbors aren’t going to be enough contacts to give you a thriving full time MLM business.

Overall the only good thing about Amway as an MLM business opportunity is that it’s startup costs are relatively low and so practically anyone can get in on it for under $200.

But in my opinion I highly recommend you stay away from MLMs in general. If you’re looking for a way to earn a substantial part time or full time income, I’ll show you what I currently do to make $1000+ per month online.

My Top Work At Home Recommendation

Personally I’m not a fan of MLMs and I rather invest my time and energy on another type of business called affiliate marketing. Unlike MLMs affiliate marketing is much easier for the average person to become profitable.

Basically what I do is I have a website where I write reviews just like this one, I recommend products and services to people and if they make a purchase through my link then I earn a commission.

With affiliate marketing there’s no selling, no recruiting, you get to promote ANY product you want, and your earning potential is unlimited. Also it’s free to get started, but you may have to invest in some tools like monthly website hosting if you plan on getting serious with it. 

If you’d like to learn how to build your own affiliate marketing website, check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation.

My top recommendation is a top-rated training program that teaches people on how to build a profitable online affiliate marketing business from start to finish. They offer step-by-step training, tutorials, classrooms, business tools, 1-on-1 coaching, and much more. It’s the same platform that got me started in building this website you’re on now.



Building an online affiliate marketing business is not an overnight get-rich-quick scheme, it’s a real business that takes a lot of time and effort into building. It’s 100% possible to make a part time or full time income from just one website, but expect to put in consistent work for at least 6-12 months.

In the meantime if you’re looking to make some quick and easy money online then I recommend you see my Favorite “Get-Paid-To” Sites which are sites that pay you for doing fun online activities like watching videos, playing games, taking surveys, reading emails, and more.

Don’t try to get rich doing these “get-paid-to” sites because they’re only meant for a small extra income. But they are a fun way to earn some extra pocket cash every month while your online business is growing.

That’s it for this Amway review, I hope this post was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any comments or questions about Amway or anything else.

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