In my opinion, Amway is a pyramid. They have not been found illegal, but still operate a product pyramid. The reason why they remain legal, apparently is because they do not pay anyone for directly recruiting downline and they claim to sell products to actual customers. But most everyone has been, or knows someone who was recruited by a zealous Amway IBO. The emphasis of most active IBOs is on recruiting and much of the teaching by upline is on techniques to recruit and/or how to talk to people without tipping their hat to reveal the Amway name. Most IBOs are not very good at this and they stick out like sore thumbs in many cases. It's also comical when uplines teach crazy antics, like how some IBOs use to deny that Amway and Quixtar were even remotely connected, or if anyone remembers the "perfect water" fiasco a number of years back.
One of the reasons IBOs use to justify their involvement in the pyramid is that they can earn more than their sponsor. While that is true, it is only because everyone below the emerald or diamond level is basically expendable, or a slave in the pyramid. There are many many IBOs who achieve fairly high levels who quit, or had upline wreck their businesses. Thus even platinums are expendable to upline. In fact an upline might make more money by removing the platinum. For new IBOs or recruits, do you really believe that you are going to ever surpass your current upline diamond or higher? If you believe that, you are sadly mistaken.
And for those who dream of achieving diamond and walking the beaches of the world. How do you think you can ever achieve that? You don't get something for nothing unless someone gets nothing for something. In order for you to receive income for little or no efforts, your downline IBOs must keep purchasing products and replacing IBOs who quit. If your downlines cannot keep up with the attrition rate, your business will collapse in a hurry. Come to think of it, if a diamond can walk away and collect a large income forever, why hasn't anyone done it? I mean we still see crown ambassadors still busy working functions or dying on the job and I don't know of any who walked away to spend their lives jet setting on the beaches of the world.
The sad reality is that you see new faces at meetings and functions, just as often as you see familiar faces disappear. With that kind of attrition rate, you may have to work even harder at the higher levels just to keep your business status quo. In Egypt, the slaves built the pyramids. Do you have enough slaves? What many Egyptologists find amazing is how the Egyptians were able to motivate the slaves to keep on going, doing backbreaking work all of their lives. The same can be said of a diamond level business (or higher)