I will admit that I was once upon a time, an Amway IBO, because a good friend of mine had joined and had qualified as a "direct distributor". I didn't really know much about it at the time but I knew it was a fairly significant level in the Amwya business. Sadly for me, my friend reaching that level was just a way to get me in the business because I had other friends who joined Amway and failed, all the while telling me they would become rich and would have to hang out with their "rich" friends. Of course they were back hanging out with us months later when predictably, they failed in Amway.
I used to participate in very active Amway/Quixtar forums around 2003 and 2004. Amway was a hot topic back then and Amway switching names to Quixtar in North America brought a lot of controversy and criticism. It seems like Amway was hoping that a name change would "fix" their reputation but it also failed miserably. I recall IBOs and Amway defenders saying Quixtar had nothing to do with Amway. I would respond with "then why do you sell Amway products such as LOC and why do your bonuses come from the Amway corporation"? That's when the insults ususally took place.
Basically, in my opinion, Amway sucks. Their products are grossly overpriced and that's because they have to include Amway's generous "up to 33% bonuses" in the prices of their products. Thus Amway charges at least their own mark up and then another 30 - 33% to the prices to pay for the IBO bonuses. A business like WalMart marks up their products maybe 15% to 20% to pay for their rent/lease and their employees and sells their products with razor thin margins. Amway ca't do that because they have to pay IBO bonuses. That's why any neutral and open minded price comparisons will have Amway losing by large margins.
But what makes Amway suck even more, in my opinion, is that Amway as a business opportunity, is used as a "front" by the diamonds to sell voicemail, books, CDs, seminars and other training materials. Thus an IBO has products that re generic in quality and premium in price to sell, and then in order to get into "good graces" with their upline, will have to participate in the "training" system that consists of those CDs, seminars and the like. Those who refuse the system are basically "shunned" by the leaders and "unteachable" and unworthy of being "mentored" by the diamond. Those lucky enough to be mentored, will be advised to be immersed in the teaching system, which nearly assure failure. This totally sucks.
Joining Amway is like a case of betting with someone on a coin flip where the coin flipper has rules that say "heads I win and tails you lose". The vast majority of Amway IBOs have effectively zero chance of success but the opportunity is pitched as foolproof and "guaranteed". Amway just sucks because Amway sucks. If you read this and still join Amway, good luck to you but keep your eyes wide open.