Amway Review: Pyramid Scheme or Legit Opportunity?

Welcome to my Amway review.

You probably came to this page because you wonder if Amway is legit or a pyramid scheme.

No need to worry you’re in the right place.

Over the last years, I’ve been busy creating reviews about all kinds of online products.

Some turned out to be fake other were legit ways to make money online but in the process I learned how to spot scams. 

In this post, I’ll show you absolutely everything you need to know about Amway and after reading it you’ll know exactly if you should give it a chance.

Amway Review Overview

Name: Amway

Website: Amway global

Founder: Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel

Product Type: MLM company selling nutrition, beauty, home, and health products.

Price: $80 – $100 to join

Rating: 5/10

Amway main page


 Amway is the oldest active MLM company being founded in 1959.

It sells nutrition, beauty, home, and health products which you can make money by becoming an independent business owner.

After doing some research I concluded that Amway isn’t a pyramid scheme but I did find a lot of other things that you should know before investing in joining Amway.

Similar to: It WorksYounique

Rating: 5/10

Recommended for: People with extraordinary sales and recruiting skills that can beat the odds of succeeding with Amway.

What is Amway?

Amway stands for the American way and is the biggest MLM company in the world. It is also the oldest MLM company and was founded in 1959 by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel.

Amway sells and makes products in the categories of beauty, home, nutrition, and Energy/sports. Amway is active in more than a hundred countries and. 

What is MLM?
MLM stands for Multi-Level Marketing a.k.a. Network marketing is a sales strategy where the company makes use of recruiting to sell their product.

This is done by encouraging everyone that joins to also recruit people creating a pyramid-like structure.

Amway to this use MLM and rewards its members by giving them bonuses based on how much they and their downline sell.

How to get started with Amway?

People that are making money by selling Amway products are called Independent business owners or in short IBO’s. You can become one by following this simple 4-step process. 

1. Sign-up and create an Amway account
On the official website, you can register and you’ll receive a starters kit and training. You’ll also have to pay a business registration fee.

2. Buy products
Through Amway, you can buy products for a special price because you are an IBO (Independent business owner).

3. Sell products
Sell the products at a price point of your choice

4. Keep the difference
Keep the price margin of every Amway product you sell.

Important to know

  • To become an IBO you need to pay a business fee somewhere around the $100 depending on in which country you’re located.
  • You’ll also be required to pay an annual fee.
  • To make more than the price margin you’re going to have to recruit people and earn a commission by managing them and their performance as an IBO.

Who can benefit from Amway?

Who would benefit from Amway

  • People with extraordinary sales and recruiting skills that can beat the odds of succeeding with Amway.

Who shouldn’t join Amway

  • People that want to earn a full-time income.
  • People that don’t like selling and/or recruiting new people.
  • People that don’t have a big budget to invest.

Pros and Cons


  • longevity 
    Amway has been around for 60 years and has proven it’s here to stay.
  • A lot of bonuses
    Aside from your sales, you can earn all sorts of bonuses.
  • Possible to order products digitally
    You can have people order products digitally which means you don’t have to be there for every sale.


  • Hard to sell products and recruit
    The products are expensive and a lot of people think it’s a pyramid scheme making it hard to sell products and recruit people to become eligible for bonuses.
  • The appearance of a cult-like community
    A lot of the independent business owners view Amway almost like a religion when it comes to how bought in they’re. This comes off as a cult-like community with which a lot of people aren’t comfortable.
  • High financial risk
    Just for joining you have to pay $100 after that, you have to buy products that you have to sell without the certainty that you can sell them.

Amway Products

Amway product can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Beauty
    Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare
  • Home
    Disinfectant Cleaners, Laundry products, Cookware, Air treatment
  • Nutrition
    Weight management products, Vitamins and supplements, Energy drinks, and sports nutrition
  • Personal care
    Bath and body care, Haircare, Oral care

I haven’t tried the products myself but I have seen a lot of good reactions about products in every one of these categories which leads me to believe that they are of quality.

Consumeraffairs amway hair products comments

The only thing that keeps being brought up about the products that might prevent people from buying it is the price of the products and how frequently these prices change.

Consumer affairs comment price keeps going up

Amway Compensation Plan

Amway has paid since 1959 over 6 billion dollars to IBO’s. This is a lot of money but it doesn’t answer how much you can make if you become an IBO of Amway. 

On the Amway Global website, they got a page dedicated to how much money you can earn. To give you an indication of what you can expect here’s a snippet from that page.

Amway position part-time

On the website, it also states that 48% of IBO’ers are active ( IBO’ers that are selling products every month ) and the average money they earn is $207 in the United States and $186 in Canada.

In the “how to get started” part of this post I already explained about product margin but this isn’t the only way you’ll get compensated for your efforts. 

Amway offers 3 ways you can make money.

  • Selling products at a retail margin
  • Earning monthly performance bonuses ( based on PV and BV)
  • discretionary cash rewards for reaching monthly and annual performance levels

Retail margin
As an independent business owner, you’ll buy products which you’ll resell to others for a price point of your choice. Whatever you earn above the price of the acquisition is yours to keep.

Earning monthly performance bonuses
To earn monthly bonuses, you and your recruits are going to have to sell products. These bonuses are commission of which the percentage is based on point value and business value.

Point value (PV) is a unit amount assigned to each product.
Business value(BV) is a dollar figure assigned to every product.

The higher these are, the higher your commission.

Additional cash bonuses
These are awarded to people that have been working as an IBO for more than 6 months and consistently bring in 7500 points.

These points are based on the number of products you and your recruits sell. 

How much can you earn with Amway

In an ideal world, you can become a millionaire with Amway but unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. 

Most of the money you’ll make with Amway comes from the profit margin of every product you sell which is why a lot of people resort to recruiting to earn bonuses.

A lot of work is involved in getting these performance bonuses. 

This is why I think Amway presents itself as a part-time thing.

On the Amway website, they have a page that shows the average payout. 

This is what the 48% that is active is making at Amway:

  • Average pay US $207
  • Average pay Canada $186

Keep in mind this does not include the annual fee and the costs of the products. 

Is Amway a Pyramid Scheme?

I can see why a lot of people think that Amway is a pyramid scheme. 

Amway uses multi-level marketing to sell its products but even with all the rumors of it having a cult-like community and court cases I have to conclude that this isn’t a pyramid scheme.

The organization of a pyramid scheme does have a similar structure as an MLM company but there is one crucial difference.

A pyramid scheme has no product that people can make money off.

In a pyramid scheme, the members that get recruited have to pay a fee (which goes to the creators of the scheme) and believe they’ll get money just for recruiting people which is false. 

Amway works with actual products and lets you keep the retail margin of what you sold. 

Amway is not a pyramid scheme but is it something you should invest in? 

Read further and you’ll find out what I think about that.

Amway Cult Rumors

When I was researching Amway a certain subject seemed to keep coming up. 

Is Amway a cult?
Before we get into this I want to make clear when I say cult I don’t mean the exaggerated kind where they wear cloaks and sacrifice animals. 

I’m talking about the textbook definition of a cult.

In the dictionary definition of a cult is:

“a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.”

I have seen multiple stories about people “losing” their friends to Amway once they started criticizing how Amway operates.

Is this enough to conclude if Amway is a cult? no.

We don’t know what was said to make these people leave but seeing how many of these stories there are online it does raise concern.

I have also found a book written by a former distributor called Amway: The cult free enterprise in which he explains how similar the practices of Amway are to that from a cult.
book: Amway: The cult of free enterprise — Stephen Butterfield, a former distributor

I don’t know if Amway is a cult but I do think the way Amway presents itself has resulted in people buying into it almost like it’s a religion.

This as a result has created a lot of distributors that give off a cult-like vibe when you talk to them.

My Personal Take

Amway has been around for almost 60 years so it has to be doing something right. 

That being said I wouldn’t recommend joining Amway because of a few reasons. 

 1. Fierce competition
While there aren’t that many members active as 5-10 years ago you still have a lot of competition to deal with.

This means the price point you set for your products is influenced by your competitors.

I can imagine that this heavily affects the price margin which results in not making a lot of money. 

 2. The difficulty of recruiting
To earn above the price margin you’re going to have to focus on recruiting which is a difficult task for Amway.

People, in general, are skeptical about network marketing and add to that the cult rumors that are flying around everywhere you look online.

 3. The weird bonus compensation structure
While I understand the bonus structure based on point value and business value, the one thing that bugs me is that the business value is equal to the price of the product sold.

This causes you to make a lot less money than what it’d be if they gave it the actual dollar value.  

 4.The financial risk 
I realize that some opportunities require you to make an investment upfront but if I’m going to do that I want it to be in something that has a high chance of succeeding. 

Just like every other MLM company you’re dealing with the same risks.

  • You have to pay around $100 just to become an IBO.
  • You have to buy products with no certainty you can sell them.
  • You have to recruit people to make an actual profit.

According to statistics most people either lose or make no money with MLM. 

You could very well be the exception but are you willing to put in the time and effort to find out? 

 I’d rather go with something that is set-up for me to succeed.


Product rating

Is Amway A Pyramid Scheme or a Legit Opportunity?

After doing extensive research I've come to the conclusion that Amway is neither.

While I do recognize that you can make money with Amway most people won’t make more than $200 (which is a tall task) while investing an annual fee from around the $100.


Amway might not be what it presented itself to but there are other products out there that are legit.

If you want to make money online from anywhere including your own home by making content about what you love I recommend you to look at Wealthy Affiliate.

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It’s the platform that taught me how to create an online business revolving around a niche of your choice and make money from it.

Click on the button to read about my highest recomendation Wealthy Affiliate.

That’s all for today. If you have any questions or you just want to show some love don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

See you at my next post

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About Rogier

I’m an Affiliate Marketing and SEO veteran, Blogger, and Pinterest Marketer based in The Netherlands. On this website, I share my learnings about online entrepreneurship, and digital resources while enjoying life to the fullest.

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