School of Financial Freedom

Is Amway a Pyramid Scam – A Deep Analysis

Is Amway a Pyramid Scam - Header

Hey everyone! In this post I will be uncovering AMWAY and its structure, and I will review this company too. If you don’t know what Amway is, let me tell you a little resume.

Amway was founded in 1959 by Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos and based in Ada, Michigan. This company is known for selling various products in different niche which are household cleaners, health, beauty, artistry, nutrilite and their own water eSpring. They sell these products all around the world and the company made $8.8 billion in sales in 2018.

Now, is Amway a Pyramid Scam? This is the question at $1000. Throughout this review, I’ll look with you what is Amway and how this company works, what is its business model. Let’s dive in!

General Information

Name : Amway
Founder : Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos
Website URL :
Price : ??
Rating : 3/5

What Does Amway Sell Exactly?

So like I explained earlier, Amway sells a lot of products in different niches but all close to each other. Let see these different products in these screenshots :

So there are many products that you can consume by keeping the status of ”customer”. In fact, starting as a customer is probably the best solution if you want to become an IBO (read the next chapter to know more) since you’ll learn what type of products they sell and if they are good enough so that you encourage people to consume them.

Amway’s Business Model

Amway works with direct selling and multi-level marketing strategy. What that means is that Amway distributors, who are called Independent Business Owners (IBO), sell products to customers but they also promote the company to these customers so that they can become IBO’s too.

So you can buy products from Amway like any other company and you can EARN money with Amway. There are 3 different ways to earn money with them :

  1. By selling products to customers ;
  2. By teaching and mentoring customers so they become IBO’s and sell, you make profit on their sales;
  3. The more IBO’s you form, the more you rank in the company (Is Amway a Pyramid?! Let’s continue!)

You can check this video if you want to have more detail.

Who says rank says pyramid but that doesn’t mean it is a scam. Let’s find some more information before telling this.

When you take a look to these three ways, you may think it is interesting and that there is a lot of potential to make money with Amway. You’re not wrong but… You know that BUT… Let’s check out this brochure Amway shares on its website when you subscribe to become an IBO :

When you go in the chapter ”3 Ways To Make Money”, you see the three ways I presented you, fine. Right under, you can see ”How Much Can You Earn?”. Wow, it looks very fantastic to make money with this company! But take a closer look… Wait let me help you :

Take a look at the little numbers 2, 3 and 4. It is written clearly :

  • 2 : ”Approximately 0.38% of IBOs in North America achieved at least Q12 Platinum status (but not Sapphire or higher) in the calendar year ended December 31, 2016.”
  • 3 : ”Approximately 0.10% of IBOs in North America achieved at least Founders Emerald status (but not Founders Diamond or higher) in the calendar year ended December 31, 2016.”
  • 4 : ”Approximately 0.03% of IBOs in North America achieved at least Founders Diamond or higher status in the calendar year ended December 31, 2016.”


It is written : ”The average monthly gross income for active IBOs was $207”. It doesn’t look like the Platinum rank.

So they are showing us the attractive income of when you become these glorious ranks BUT not even 1% achieved these! Sounds like scam to me…

Enough for this part, I think you understand the business model of this company. Is Amway a Pyramid? I think you can answer that question.

Let’s see if it’s for you.

Learn To Be a Marketer At Amway

Amway has a school? Yes it does. It is a platform that you can have on any of your devices so you can follow the training whenever you want. They say that they have more than 90 free courses on business ownership, selling and leadership. You can watch this short video to know more.


Have you ever thought of a school that could teach you exactly the secret of affiliate marketing? What if there was one and that it was completely FREE to start their first course? If you are looking for a way to make money online, I think you found the ultimate opportunity!  

Is Amway Made For You?

So this chapter won’t be very long because it really depends on you and what you want to do. Amway offers products and an opportunity to start your own business. You can decide to only consume the products or you can decide to promote them too.

Since Amway is a MLM, for sure it looks like it is a really nice opportunity and for the ones that are very good at marketing and that have a lot of time (I mean A LOT), maybe their MLM program can be profitable, but if I look at their brochure, either people don’t have time or MLM doesn’t work as well as they say…

Anyway, if you just like their products and want to consume them without promoting you can do it and I think that if you want good quality products, it is a good option. I tested their products back in the days and I have to admit they really are quality products.

Amway Overview : Pros and Cons

Pros :

  • As a customer, products are really good and not more expensive than competition;
  • As an IBO, you have access to a school to become a good marketer;
  • As an IBO, you can generate a lot of profit if you rank high in the company (not always accessible);

Cons :

  • The % of ranking high as an IBO is under 1% so the chance of creating a passive income with Amway is very low;
  • It’s a classic MLM companies, you’ll have to harass people so that they join you;
  • The price of their membership is not available on their website so I cannot tell if it can become profitable.

Is Amway a Pyramid Scam?

After all these information, can you say it is a scam? Hum, it’s hard to say because the company doesn’t look like a scam, I think it is totally legit since it makes a lot of money and has a reputation BUT the chances to become successful as an IBO are so low that this is what makes me say it is scam on the other side.

As a customer, I think it is totally legit. You buy products and you consume them, it’s fine.

As an IBO, since I don’t know their membership’s fees, it’s hard to say if it can be worth it… I mean if it cost $200 per month and you need to find minimum 15 new IBOs for growing your team before making a single penny, I don’t know if it can be worth it. And the % to become in the top rank are so low that…

Anyway, I would not recommend this company for growing a business. Since it is a MLM business, yes it is a pyramid sheme. It is not illegal but I don’t think it is the right MLM company.

I know a better company that will teach you way more and better the affiliate marketing world. It is not so easy and you need good mentoring to succeed. Be wise and choose the right business.

Hope this review was helpful. Let me know if you have any comments or experiences to share down in the comments below! 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Is Amway a Pyramid Scam – A Deep Analysis

  1. A very good write up on Amway, as you state being an IBO does not look like a way to make money. 1% reaching the top levels is not a great percntage. I think people would be better of spending their time learning about affiliate marketing instead.

    The company you recommend seems like a great place to start for anyone looking at a way to make money online.

    I know which one of the two I would choose.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Hi Frank,

      Definitely people should take more time to be inform on the right program that exist. I know it is not easy because there are many scams on the internet but with some effort, I’m sure everyone can find something great, like Wealthy Affiliate for example.

      Thank you for sharing!

  2. I have heard of Amway. The products look great. I’m not sure about participating in pyramid schemes, they don’t seem that profitable to me. I know some people who are active in pyramid schemes, but it looks like a lot of commitment is needed, and I would rather invest my time in something more profitable or something like my own online business (which I am already doing ?)

    1. Hi Christine,

      I totally agree with you, pyramid scheme doesn’t seem to really be profitable except if you are that 1% struggling to stand up.. I mean trying to get people to join as affiliate marketers can be very hard when the subject is selling products. I think that valorizing a strategy and sharing it with others so they can benefit from it is the best!

      Good luck in your business!

  3. Thank you very much for your review! It does not seem to be a scam to me. However, it is also not a very attractive way to make passive income. Based on the info given, it seems like IBOs are not making enough and the number of people who rise up the ranks are too few – I have the impression that the incentive does not justify the marketing efforts.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      Glad you liked my review. Like you said, with the numbers showed it is not very attractive to try to make money with this company. I would say that what is interesting is buying good products.

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Who says rank says pyramid – This sentence doesnt make sense to me and I’m a numbers person and all the percentages are a bit overwhelming. I love the verbal explaination in the beginning part of your post.

  5. Interesting review of Amway. I think you are correct in your review, these MLM companies can be really hard to start seeing an income. The worst is trying to sign all your friends and family up and bugging them to buy your products. I do believe Amway has for the most part good quality product. I know my grandmother has used them for years! Thanks for the information!

    1. Hi Jason,

      Yes their products are good I used them too for a couple of years through a relationship I had (it was not me the customer) I must agree. It’s the opportunity as an IBO that I don’t feel interesting since like you said, most of the time people are trying to enroll their friends and family.

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

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