Amway is a legal company. They were investigated by the FTC back in 1979 and the FTC ruled that Amway was not an illegal pyramid because they did not pay for recruiting (headhunting fees) and they required product purchases. Also, there is no required purchases and Amway has a fairly generous refund policy. So yes, by the letter of the law Amway appears to be a perfectly legal MLM company. What is not true is that the better business bureau (BBB) endorses Amway or that the FTC "praised" Amway after the 1979 ruling. In fact, Amway was fined in 1986 for deceptive income claims.
However, that being said, doesn't mean that Amway IBOs and IBO leaders can't run their independent businesses in an illegal and unethical manner. For example, if your upline tells you not to sell anything and to simply buy your volume to qualify for bonuses, that is a very questionable practice. If your upline tells you to deceive people about the Amway opportunity, or teaches "fake it till you make it", that is also a questionable practice. IN what business can you rely on deception and hope to make it a long term and sustainable success?
Amway the company has some standards that they uphold but at times, IBOs or IBO leaders will disregard those standards. New IBOs and prospects at times may not know when their upline or sponsor is leading them astray, which is what prompted me to write this post. If you are taught to "submit to upline", keep in mind that you are an independent business owner and will be responsible for what happens with your business. Too many times I've seen or heard of IBOs failing and accepting the responsibility all the while following the "experienced" advice given by upline. What is troubling is that many serious IBOs will be paying for advice from upline in the form of functions, seminars, cd of the week, open meetings. Yet when followed advice fails, upline will tell the IBO they are responsible for their own failure. Seriously?
Some IBOs I've known stayed in Amway for many years, spent tens of thousands of dollars or more and have not made a cent in net profit. They have been programmed to think that they will succeed if they never quit or that success is right around the corner and they can't quit because they don't want to quit just before the business pays off. In the end, a business is a business and IBOs need to look at their bottom line. If you aren't making a net profit after following the plan and advice mapped out by upline, there comes a point where tough business decisions must be made. Maybe Amway is not the way. Maybe it's time to do something else? Nobody can make that decision except the business owner. Look at the facts. If you aren't making a net profit, perhaps your business isn't as viable as you think?
So to summarize, the Amway corporation appears to be perfectly legal but your sponsor or your upline can be running things illegally without Amway's knowledge, which can cause you financial damages. New IBOs and people who are looking into the business need to be aware of these facts.