What happens to many unsuspecting people is they join Amway thinking they will attain wealth and riches by "owning their own business", but in reality, they have basically become unpaid commissioned employees of Amway. You don't get health insurance, vacation, or any fringe benefits. You get to work unlimited hours and you get commission by moving products. You can leverage your commissions by increasing this unpaid sales force by sponsoring others into your downline. But overall, you are basically working to move Amway products at your own expense. You even get to pay for catalogs so you can move Amway products. You'd think the product brochures would be free but they aren't.
Some people do succeed employing this method, but you will need to be an elite recruiter in order to get people to sell Amway products for no salary. You are also handicapped right from the start because past IBO behavior has soiled Amway's reputation in the US and Canada and possibly other locations. This point is supported by the fact that Amway's sales appear to be growing the most in foreign countries and not as much in North America. Seems that everyone I know has been at one time, involved with Amway (and had a bad experience) or knows of someone who had a bad experience (i.e. tricked into attending a meeting, or deceived in some way about the opportunity or the products). But somehow, there seems to be just enough unknowing or unsuspecting people who keep joining and the churn produces enough volume to keep the system going.
Even if you are a great recruiter, your likelihood of attaining Amway success (emerald or higher) is a tiny fraction of 1%. And for those who attain Amway success, they have great difficulty in sustaining that level. It is why there are hoards of "former" emeralds, diamonds and platinums. How can anyone succeed in a system where most people do little or nothing and where nearly half of the IBOs quit in the first year? If they survive that, they are still unlikely to sponsor others and move enough volume to help make a significant difference.
You may hear about how Amway was found "legal" by the FTC or that Amway is #1 in online health and beauty sales. All of this may or may not be true, but it doesn't change the fact that an IBO is basically an unpaid commissioned Amway salesperson. You absorb all the business expenses, pay for your own training, and you get to share your commission with layers of upine (more middlemen), some of whom do not help your business, and some who don't even know you exist. It's a great deal for Amway but not for IBOs. You move their products and aborb the expenses and in doing so and they pay out a commission. As for any awards or credits Amway receives, it's great for Amway, but you are an IBO - an independent business owner. You are not Amway.
Bottom line - if you can get people to work for free, you can find numerous opportunities to get rich that are much better and more lucrative than Amway. :-)