I believe there's a gigantic myth that people who ultimately fail in Amway simply didn't work hard enough and ended up quitting too early. Based on personal experience and observatioons of others, I truly that that to be true. Now I agree that many IBOs do nothing, but generally, these folks don't complain and their losses are generally limited to the sign up fee or kit. Most do not seek refunds and chalk up the loss as a learning experience.
I myself, put in some months of very dedicated work towards building a business. I had a decent sized group and was headed for platinum. But the fact of the matter is that even though my group was growing, I wasn't making a net profit. I seriously doubt that any of my downline made a net profit, primarily because of the business and tools expenses. I drove the miles, I showed the plan and I attended all the meetings and functions. I did what I was advised by my upline. My net profit at 4000 PV was little to nothing with a net loss when all the business expenses were factored i such as gas money, etc.
My upline also did a lot of work, and he put in the hours, drove the miles and attended everything. He told me his net profit was not any of my business. (If you hear that, it's a huge red flag). I suspect my upline and sponsor also broke even or lost money despite working very hard and doing what they were advised to. I later read the assessment made by the Wisconsin attorney general Bruce Craig, who examined the tax returns of platinums in his state and they averaged a net annual loss of $900. While the study is a bit dated, the business has not really changed except that there are more expenses and tools associated with the business today, then back when the study occured.
I also question the validity of Amway defenders who claim that people did not work hard enough or did not run their business properly. I seriously doubt that anyone has done a comprehenseive study of people who actually made an effort to build an Amway business, to determine why they may not have the success they desired. However, I can make my own conclusions. Many IBOs are taught to buy from themselves with little sales. They're taught to buy tools, even when they aren't making progress in the business. People who are struggling in Amway are often told that they need to sponsor more people, show more plans. (A struggling business opens new stores to improve business?).
In my opinion, hard work and success in Amway have little relationship. Sure, there is work needed. But working hard doesn't assure you of anything. You need to be able to develop a following. Just working hard has nothing to do with long term sustainable success. There are plenty of examples of hard workers who lost money. What I believe happens, is that IBOs get excited, get started and contact people and show plans. But Amway has the reputation of "pyramid" or "scam" and people quickly get discouraged and stop building the business. Those who try to sell AMway goods find that a month's supply of multi vitamins ($80) double x is a tough sell, or $50 cases of bottled water. They also get discouraged and quit.
Only those who can somehow recruit and replace those quit end up having a chance to grow their group large enough to sell them tools, which then makes selling Amway less important. But I don't buy for a minute that people simply do not succeed in Amway primarily because they don't work hard or smart enough. I challenge anyone to prove that a lack of work is the reason for Amway failure. The system is designed for only a few to succeed. Examine the 6-4-2, there is 1 platinum and 78 downline, and that's assuming everyone "did some work".
IBOs fail in vast quantities, but not because they don't do any work.