Amway has been around for a long time. When the company first began, it wasn't uncommon for people to go door to door, perhaps with products in a radio flyer to sell them as a way to make some extra money. There were no extensive training program that I know of and certainly, there wasn't the stigma that the company has now. But in today's world, when people refer to Amway as being a scam, what they usually refering to the motivational leaders and the associated systems. I believe that the systems were first invented as a genuine way to train distance groups, but the income and power of systems seduced some upline leaders into becoming conmen. Thus I believe that many if not most systems are corrupted. I witnessed personally and still hear of stories where IBOs are encouraged to go into debt or sacrifice basic family needs in order to purchase more system materials. Amway's involvement in this is knowing that these abuses occured and not taking any substantial action.
But what are the merits of the program when broken down? Many Amway defenders are quick to point out that many IBOs "do nothing", which may be true, but for the sake of argument, let's not even consider the ones who do nothing. Take the 6-4-2 plan that many use in recruiting. It involves 1 IBO with 78 downline, all of whom do 100 PV. This plan also generally assumes that IBOs will be a part of the system apparently, because non system IBOs generally do not have the dedication to keep moving and selling products. This is because many systems teach IBOs that they are successful when they lose money! In 6-4-2. you have one platinum, allegedly the break even point for system IBOs, and 78 non platinums, spending money on products,and winding up with a net loss, if they are dedicated to the system.
Of course, system expenses vary, depending on which system you are a part of. I have heard IBOs mention that their system expenses may be as low as $75 a month, to over $1000 month for hard core fully dedicated IBOs. I have issued a challenge, which noone has ever undertaken, to shows an actual platinum group where the collective group made a net profit after system expenses were accounted for. Noone has ever come forward to disprove this point. I believe a retailing group could show a net profit, but I do not believe that a group of prosumers or buy from yourselfers could ever collectively net a profit.
So for Amway IBOs and prospects, please keep in mind that it is the system that is often the downfall of many IBOs. A dedication to any system is very likely to nearly guarantee that you will end up with a net loss as an IBO. Can someone still succeed? Sure, but your chances are similar to that of someone hitting a big jackpot in the lottery. At least buying lottery ticket doesn't take up much of your time.