Merchants of Deception by Eric Scheibeler-Amway Inside Story - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Merchants of Deception by Eric Scheibeler-Amway Inside Story

This post offers a detailed review of Merchants of Deception, a book by Eric Scheibeler, former Amway Emerald Distributor, who once believed strongly that Amway will fetch him a financial freedom and success, reached near top of the chain, only to discover that how fraudulent the system is and how everyone involved are guaranteed to lose money. His book exposes some key inside info regarding the operation of Amway (and such MLM companies) and is a must read to everyone involved in this business or considering to enter into it. Merchants of Deception, a Book by Eric Scheibeler, a former Amway Emerald distributor Most of you have heard of Amway and other network marketing/MLM companies. 

Chances are, some of you might be a part of it or faced pressure to join it. These “Business Opportunities” are projected as wealth creation tools or vehicles to achieve financial freedom. But the truth often is otherwise. Those who join these kind of business almost always suffer a loss- financial or otherwise. It may be difficult to blindly agree that these NM/MLM companies do more harm than good and you HAVE to read, Merchants of Deception, to know how exactly these companies fool people with an illusion of financial freedom. The ebook is 232 pages long and is free for download in pdf format from author’s website (2.91MB), (not working now in 2020) 

The book is written in first person, in a sequential order, starting from Eric’s life before joining Amway, his initial days as Amway distributor, how he trusted the company, developed loyalty to his up liners and slogged hard to promote the business and eventually climbed up the ladder to different levels in the chain. Then he gradually discovered that he is not making the amount of money he is supposed to me making at his level (Emerald) and slowly comes out of his pre programmed mind set and starts exploring things. The truths he uncovered and the trouble he faced from his up liners because of that make this book a must read for anyone who believe network marketing can make them rich. As some of you may not find enough time to read all 232 pages of the book, I am listing below some key extracts from the book, with permission from Author, the facts you might have never known and are guaranteed to find it difficult to digest.

Eric Scheibeler, Author of merchants of deception backstage an Amway motivational seminarAn open request to all Amway IBOs and members of other similar business who are reading this- I am aware that your current mindset doesn’t allow you to accept and digest the facts given below. Your upliners are guaranteed to brand these facts as rubbish and baseless allegations and distractions which will deviate you from your goal. MY sincere request to you- don’t trust me or your up lines- Think independently and make an attempt to verify the facts on your own. 

  1 Amway top leaders make fortune, NOT from Amway distributorship but by selling training material (Seminars, video, audio and books etc) While few top Amway IBOs (At Diamond level and above) appear to be super rich, everyone thinks they made money because of core Amway activities (buying and using products), but Eric has discovered that their IT returns prove that wrong. Just 5% of their income came from Amway and over 95% came from “tools business”, a collective name for motivational stuff they sell to down liners (Conducting seminars and charging people for it, selling audio and video contents with motivational stuff that will guide down liners towards success, books etc) Low level IBOs who buy these stuff think that the diamonds are sharing their success as to how to become millionaire line them, while diamonds pocket millions because of simple reason that others are buying their motivational stuffs. Hardly 1-2% of members in total network reach Diamond and above levels and mint money this way and rest of the distributors (IBOs) will never be able to achieve that (because they can’t create and sell such motivational stuff) If you doubt the above, ask for income tax returns of these millionaires.

2 There’s no way to track your earning Amway IBOs don’t have an option to track their earning on Amway website. If they get a check for an amount which is far below what they were supposed to get, there’s no way they can trace down the cause. At Emerald level, Eric was supposed to be making $ 100000 an year, but he was making little less than $30000, one of his down liner, a Ruby Direct was supposed to be earning $ 50000 but had made only around $ 4000. An IBO is not supposed to discuss is woes with his down liners or cross lines and up liners won’t give any explanation why there is a huge difference between what he is supposed to get and what he actually got. Not earning enough is attributed to “not working hard enough” or “lack of commitment to the business” or “a personal failure” and an IBO will be assured that all his woes will vanish once he reaches next level for which he needs to work harder. Everyone will be under an illusion that everyone else is making lots of money and only he is not making enough and try to hide this fact by attempting to show off wealth and saying they’re making huge money (if they say they are not earning enough their down liners will get discouraged and de-motivated, new prospects hesitate to join and business falls further, so faking success is the only way for everyone in this business)

3 Away founders were very much aware of all wrong things in the organization (Cultism, Tools Business, Distributors being under paid etc, fact that near 100% people lose money) Eric shows with evidence that the fraud he detected were not isolated incidents but is spread across the organization. More importantly he proves that Amway founders were aware of this from the very early stages and nothing was done to protect innocent distributors who lost tens of thousands of dollars or punish kingpin distributors who were making fortune by exploiting the unsuspecting down liners. Book also details several unethical things done by Amway management to silence things they didn’t want outer world to know. 

4 Few cardinal principles of Amway (and such companies) Amway distributors were brainwashed systematically about 4 cardinal rules, that they should never ever violate. They will have 100% success rate as long as they blindly adhere to the system following instructions of their seniors and outside the system there is 0% success rate
a. Never De-edify Never question your up liners (You are expected to blindly believe in whatever that has been told/instructed to you by your up line- you’re not welcome to give suggestions/make deviations/use your discretion- Eric’s loyalty was questioned when he decided to correct few grammatical errors in a newsletter given to him for circulation by his up liner). Further, a distributor is expected to praise his up liner whenever there’s an opportunity and serve him (by fueling his tank, paying the bill etc and be loyal) whenever he receives advice/help from his up liner. You’re expected to blindly duplicate what your expected to. b. Never pass negative- Anything that’s against Amway is branded as negative stuff. IBOs are brainwashed to believe that those who chose not to join Amway are losers, who have no dreams, no hope, no ambitions and would ever achieve anything in life. Anyone who cautions you about any possible negative impact of Amway are jealous of your progress and trying to pull you down. You’re supposed to use only Amway products at home, never mind how expensive it is…You’re expected not to have a plan B as that would mean you don’t trust the system fully, If you’re not willing to put enough efforts to promote the business you don’t love your family…You’re always expected to give positive feedback and talk good things and show off (though you didn’t like the product or running financial loss) c. Never Cross Line: You need to interact with your upline and downline only and not supposed to interact with other members of the company who belong to cross line (anyone other than up and down liners). This is typically to ensure retention of secrecy. d. Never implement new ideas You must do what you’re told to do. Nothing more nothing less. You’re supposed to be the owner of your business, but you have no freedom to bring in a change or run it the way you want it…

5 Nearly 100% people fail
This can sound unrealistic…With so many millionaires as live example how can anyone say the system is not good? After recruiting over 2000 people under him, Eric realized that he could identify only 10 people made who a net earnings of $ 1 or above over an year (after deducting the expenses they incurred in promoting the business). The system is such that it ensures its members keep pumping money into the system, by buying overpriced products, attending seminars, buying motivational materials etc. The earning they make usually will be far lesser than expense incurred for all these. People are kept going till they break, under a nonexistent hope of financial freedom which would come as soon as they reach “next level”. Failure, when finally happens, is attributed to individual than the system, so others continue in a belief that “That can’t happen to me”. 

6 Dream building is a key technique employed A prospect is made to build a huge dream (mansions, private jets etc) and is made to believe that their current job can never take them there but business like Amway has the potential to take them there within years. Greed is quite common weakness in humans and MLM companies very effectively target that and most people don’t find any fault as such in the system and silently fall pray. The brain washing that happens gradually after they join will keep them loyal to the system and if anyone tries to save them from the impending disaster they are heading to, such people are treated almost like enemies who are snatching their dreams away. 

 The book explains all these in detail. Also reveals the cultism, the emotional and financial trauma he and his family faced, the tactics adopted by his up liners to keep him silent, how he was blackmailed and threatened and more. His struggle to recover to normalcy is remarkable. He could have walked away with huge amount of money, had he chosen to remain silent. But he chose to spread awareness and has actively helped law enforcement agencies across the globe to investigate scams of this nature. He has received over 3000 testimonials so far from MLM victims across the globe and his website is full of supporting documents, proof, latest news etc related to the business. I didn’t have much of disregard towards Amway so far and was thinking this is yet another network marketing company and probably slightly better than the rest due to wide product range, long existence etc. After I heard speeches of Amway leaders (A Diamond and an Emerald) in India and read above book, I can now see the other side of the coin. This book is a strong recommendation from me to anyone who is into this kind of business or considering it. If your family members/friends/relative members are into it, please read this book to understand their state of mind and where they are headed. There appears to be no printed version of this book. This kind of stuff is better circulated free-no publisher might have come forward to publish it for the fear of cash rich Amway and if published book can't be circulated for free. Since author is single handedly fighting against a multi billion dollar company I am sure he couldn't have done this without the support of credible documents. In one line- I know and you know that suicide bombing is a bad idea… But making a jihadi understand that is a near impossible task.

Disclaimer: This author is not a member of Amway or any other network marketing/MLM company. The facts given here are sourced from the book stated above and from independent observations. While Eric has quoted enough evidence/proof/reasoning to defend is statements, this writer hasn't verified most of those proofs. Anyone having any concerns about authenticity of the contents in the book are welcome to inform this writer and if found appropriate such concerns will be discussed in this blog. This writer has nothing to gain/loss from people joining/not joining any network marketing companies and this post is written purely in public interest. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion in using the information given here. Note: Cross posted on Desicritics, Mouthshut and Literaryforums

Also read: General Observations on Network Marketing /MLM Companies * 12 reasons why MLM companies face trouble GoldQuest/Quest Net is another similar 'business' which is spreading like virus, particularly among IT employees...

  * Book Review-it happened in India by Kishore Biyani
* Book Review- Not a penny more not a penny less- Jeffrey Archur * Zero percentile by neeraj Chhibba * 2 States-by Chetan Bhagat


  1. Sounds interesting. Must add to Shelfari.

  2. I read that pdf file.. couldn't stop imagining how bad the master scammers are! For them, it might be legal and way to survive... but in my view, they have no social responsibility and have no morality towards economical balance to bring up equality in wealth.

    It is such a shame that the common man becomes an easy prey for these scams and in the quest of making millions, drowns their friends/relatives too into the scam. Come on folks.. wake up please!

    1. I agree. AMWAY top people are ruthless.

  3. Yes Mohan...These very people pose and saviors of mankind who give millions of people a way to become rich...

    The very downliners who are robbed by these companies stand up in support of the company if anyone tries to ban it or says it is bad...

  4. NOT from Amway distributorship but by selling training material (and membership)

    Well deserved to be at number one.

    Other important point "They fake their success"

    Over all well summarised from this book.

  5. Hi Shrinidhi,

    This post is a real help to the society. It is really good that you have written a post on Amway (which is applicable to other MLMs as well).
    I hope this post will protect many innocent people who dream of making money (easy money!).
    I will definitely circulate this post (link) to my friends and encourage them to read the book as well.
    This is a good work towards the public interest.

    At least after reading this post or the book many would think twice before investing in such MLMs, or before forcing their ‘trust worthy’ or’ trusting’ friends to join this chain.

    As Indira Gandhi said… “There is no short cut to success, Hard work is the only magic”.
    We should always believe in hard work and not in such easy and fast money making tricks. Such things will only make us small and poor.
    It is only the efforts, hard work , faith and good deeds that fetch us fame and wealth. The wealth and fame gained by fraud, cheat and ‘short cuts’ will not only last for few days but also give us misery.

    I have downloaded the book, and will surely read it fully.

  6. Comments received for this post on Mouthshut

    vasudevbehere said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:20 PM

    Well a good review indeed.
    Now I need to visit the blog.
    Thanks for the patience for writing this, I dont know when I will read this book but I started buying Amway products and luckily, I discovered that Amway products do more bad than good!
    Anyway book seems to be good one!

    enidhi said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:24 PM

    Thanks Vasudev...

    I dont have the patience to make 2 2 versions of the post, one for my blog and another, the under 7500 character one, for MS... So leaving URL of blog post for those interested to read further..
    rohitthebest said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:40 PM

    Sahi bola baap,
    Its so damn true.
    In my life I have not seen anybody becoming millionaire by these MLM companies, I have only ’’heard’’ of them - never seen them.

    This was an eye opener of sorts.
    You know I just saved my 30K a couple of months back by investing it on questnet company :)
    vishalvkale01 said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:45 PM

    I have never been able to understand them... thanks for the information. It helped in clarifying the situation!
    Editenidhi said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:48 PM


    So true...

    By not investing in quest net you mean...

    enidhi said:
    Mar 28, 2008 07:54 PM


    My pleasure...

    Thanks for the comment

    . . . . . . .
    Chintu25 said:
    Mar 28, 2008 08:00 PM

    wow thats an informative & useful review...

    Though have never known much about Amway but everyone I know used to criticise it....

    Keep writing

    sandy06 said:
    Mar 28, 2008 08:29 PM

    great review as usual,very infomative, you have an unique style of writing keep it up,
    Paulsb02 said:
    Mar 28, 2008 09:31 PM

    Hai Shrinidhi,

    That was an excellent review. Very informative and very helpful.

    There are many who fall trap into such dreamy offers. Like you said, they will refrain from accepting since they have a different mindset.

    The sad part is that people who fall prey for one scheme fall to some other sheme, some other day...

    It is good to have a useful book and a link. Due to time shortage I may not check the blog or book itself...but I am convinced of the message which you conveyed brilliantly.


    thakurman said:
    Mar 28, 2008 09:39 PM

    I had one visit me sometime in January to explain about Amway. And you are right, I got a CD containing the information about one of the successful members. That guy sure is making money due to the promotional material. Notice how these guys come charged up for these sessions and mostly try to impress their friends and relatives. Would it work convincing a stranger?

    aaryesdee said:
    Mar 29, 2008 12:25 PM

    Nice . Its an eye opener.
    I was a member ,got entangled in to it and even lost some money.
    So, No to - muchse lamba karo, ye naram karo, Muchse pathala karo, Muchse maaf karo.

    shriramsrinivasa said:
    Mar 29, 2008 01:55 PM

    Hi Srinidhi,

    Your efforts to make people aware of the consequences of becoming the members in MLMs, are really commendable.

    I feel this review should be read in continuation to the previous one of yours, where you have given your observations on the MLMs.

    Reviews like this mark the real meaning of MS.

    Great work. Keep it up.

    enidhi said:
    Mar 29, 2008 03:53 PM

    @Smita, Sandy and Paul

    Thanks for your comments and encouragement...

    enidhi said:
    Mar 29, 2008 03:54 PM


    Greed is very much common in humans... These people very effectively target that- by giving an impression that they can get rich quick... People easily fall for such tactics
    enidhi said:
    Mar 29, 2008 04:00 PM

    Aaryesdee and Shriram,

    THanks for your comments... Yes, this can be read in continuation of my previous posts.

  7. Comment received for this post at Desicritics

    March 29, 2008
    12:21 PMWow. Amazing.
    March 29, 2008
    12:27 PMThere is a reason why Amway was forcibly dissolved in the US and was declared illegal. It is a pyramid scheme, and only the people at the very top get rich. The government here finally stepped in to stop the madness because so many people fell for the scam.
    March 29, 2008
    12:32 PMactually, I misspoke... I just read up on what my understanding was and apparently they were not forced to restructure and were not declared a pyramid scheme. they were charged with tax evasion, though.

    anyway, I still hold the opinion that they only server to make the people at the top very rich.
    Naveen Roy
    March 29, 2008
    01:49 PMWow!! You have guts to write about this and other MLM schemes!!. I wrote an article once and got whole page comments ridiculing me and my thoughts on Ponzi and other MLM schemes. So bad in fact, that I took the article down.

    I advice you - prepare to get INSANE comments supporting MLM schemes on this post!!!
    Shrinidhi Hande
    March 29, 2008
    09:32 PMThanks People for your comments.

    @Smallsquirrel: It is proven truth that only people at top make money.

    @NAveen... I am prepared for insane comments... Let us see...
    March 30, 2008
    12:03 AMWhen in the US, I had come across many Indian couples who were into Amway. Needless to say, they were an annoying lot. They would walk up to an unsuspecting fellow Indian at a grocery store and begin their conversation with a lie : "Oh, have we met before?" or, "You attended XYZ college, didn't you?". Even if you answer in the negative, they would not leave you then. Of course, doing so would defeat the purpose.

    I considered them losers who needed to get a life. They generally had few friends outside of their Amway circle. And they had to religiously attend Amway meetings dressed in suits, like going to church. I had the misfortune of attending one such meeting at the invitation of someone I knew. The word "cult" came to my mind.

    Ruvy in Jerusalem
    March 30, 2008
    01:27 AMThere is an old saying in the States credited to P.T. Barnum - "never give a sucker an even break". And Amway and the many other Ponzi-like schemes are perfect examples of this. Having floated on the edge of such schemes for a while, and even having sold Tupperware once, I figured out that the real money was in hustling the motivational materials, and in sucking in fresh blood all the time, thus selling the company's central delusion of ever expanding wealth.

    When I was trained as a Burger King manager many years ago, it was made clear to me that what I was selling was the delusion of flavor - that I was hustling dreams to hungry people watering at th the mouth to consume them. The same "Whopper" is sold by Amway and its brother con-artists - but instead of deluding the customer, you are persuaded to delude yourself.
    March 30, 2008
    08:03 AMEx-Amway distributor admits lying"Scheibeler")&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

    Shrinidhi Hande
    March 30, 2008
    08:23 AMLedzius and Ruvy thanks for sharing your experiences.

    @Billy: The link doesn't appear to be authentic enough and we're expected to pay for reading rest of the article...

    Please share links from any well known magazines/newspapers/government agency websites

  8. @ Prakrthi Kodakkal

    Thanks for the comment. Sure read the book and let us know what you think.

  9. HI Shrinidhi...saw your post..interesting yaar..I didn't have the time to readthe full pdf..but the key points you have posted is worth..

    now I am forwarding this to some who are already brainwashed & trying to brainwash me..:p..

    100 % failure is the truth..It's a pity that many ABO's doesn't realize that they are cheating the persons who join under them....

    Amway concentrates on one says invest rs.4000/- ..get Rs.2000/- worth of products..bring another brainwashed..within one month...take a voucher for rs.2000/- and buy products....

    It tries to create an image that you breakeven..once you bring in another person to the network...

    Unfortunately none realizes that the Rs.2000/- voucher they have got is nothing but the joining fee of his now the new joinee has to brainwash someone to earn theRs.2000/-he has on hold...

    Good post..spread this to create awareness..:)

  10. Dear Saravanan,

    Thanks for agreeing and help in spreading the message.

    At times it becomes really tough to counter their arguments...

  11. Bala: I Shrinidhi, I have joined Amway to use thier products like Multivitamins and Health Drinks. I have not joined it for wealth creation. Jus wanted to know your comments (personal or from anyone else) on their products. Shall I keep on using them. Till now I didn't find any side effects as they say their products are from Plant Extracts.

  12. Interesting discovery Srinidhi! :)
    Having been an Amway distributor I can say, even by reading just the preview of this book here, that this man who is said to be an ex-distributor has got most of the facts about the biz. & co. wrong! And regretably so have you & the poor souls here who have got u more hits to ur blogpage ever since u posted this controversial topic! Especially about comparing it with a pyramid, which, by definition, it doesnt qualify as!
    My intention, however, is not to 'convince' u or any of those whove joined the same school of belief here in favour of the Amway biz./co., you might as well know that they've been in existance since 1959 & are in 98 countries, with a Fortune 500 rating (assuming u know what that is), so one flashy controversial book against them posted in an otherwise anonymous blogpage like urs with feedback from ppl. who've NO idea what they're talking about is not going to make much of a difference to Amway or the distributors.
    However, it seems to have boosted the image of ur 'professional amateur' blogsite and also provided food for thought to those ppl. so intent on juicy gossip about MLMs (or, in their confused definition- pyramids! :))
    Wish u Good luck!

  13. @ Bala:

    I have not used Amway products, but some of my friends who are Amway distributors, say the products are excellent and have been extremely useful/effective...

    Others who tried some amway products after being forced to buy some, said they found it expensive and nothing special worth mentioning about them...

    It is relative-obviously the toothpaste wont make your teeth ivory white in a week- will it do so if you use it for 3 years? I dont know. Same with other products.

    Now that u r using their products, pls try them and let us know what you feel...

  14. @ Anon:

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you, my review or that book is not going to change the world.

    I agree Amway is in Business for long time, changing names, expanding and exploring new territories. Good, but can you please share the stats- how many million amway distributors are there in your country and how many of them have become millionaires? I believe that woould be around 2%, not more. The truth is, for you to gain 5 Rs someone else in the downline need to lose Rs 100...

    Please disclosing your name and share the facts about biz and co that you think is right...


  15. always there are people to become scapegoats....even after knowing facts they want to try their badlucks! poor white coller foolish fellows!

  16. I am an Amway Distributor and I was active in Networking several years before. There are several aspects in this business. That is Networking, Selling and using the products. Its true thats Amway is not everyone's cup of tea. But cant you can say that regarding every business, job or way of making a living? As far as I am concerned I like Amway Products viz the Toileteris, Skin care and Nutrilite. Myself and my family have been using the products and also we sell the products to both near and dear ones and also to some people who are not so near and dear ones. In fact sometimes complete strangers have come to my office and asked for Amway products. I can confidently say that even some of the critics of Amway business have been using products from me and are quite satisfied with them. Its also true that a large chunk of AMWAY business is conducted through various groups viz Network 21, Brit, Winners International etc vide the books, CD's, Tapes and seminars but that is not a secret. This is known to one and all .The methodology of these groups keeps on changing according to the changing times. I have talked abouth this business and products with freinds in India as well as abroad. There are similar reactions everywhere. Almost everyone has tried the products one tiome or the other and mostly liked them . Many of the people appreciate the business and many do not like it at all. AMWAY has been a target of critisism from the very beggining and in my view is likely to be a target forever. Even I dont like going to the meetings or showing plans anymore but its equally true that I know some of the people who stuck to their guns and kept on doing the requisite things and got success eventually sooner or later. This perhaps is the secret of success in every spere of life. If you do not give up you are bound to succeed. Many of the AMWAY Distributors who are not successful in networking , eventually end up as product users and maybe sellers too. What is so sinister in this? People suffer more losses on the NIFTY and the SENSEX even after studying the scrips for long period of times. They loose whole fortunes.

  17. Chani,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I do not wish to pass any judgement on quality of Amway products.

    By and large agree with your view. But difference with share market and Amway is that in network marketing you pull others also into trap, often by misleading them. Those who enter the stock market are usually aware of the risks and have several options to minimize their losses. While MLM presentations are always misleading-saying everyone can become a diamond in no time, which is just not realistic.

    Stock markets also give excellent returns in long run, MLM doesn't necessarily do that.

    Yes, few who manage to get thousands of people under them make fortune-clearly at the cost of people below them.

    Best wishes for your business.

  18. They say -- "Help you friends" and the teach ways to do that - "persuasive" ways.. if one aims at helping a friend, one shud share all the facts clearly and straight.. why does one need persuasive ways.. why do they advice such methods, dialogs and ways to convince another man.. to help another guy, the best way is "to share info and let him decide" and "not bias him so that he gets bound to accept what u want to say"... this basic contradiction in the means of success taught to distributors proves that its fishy and one is not helping the so-called friend but rather trying to cheat him the way he himself was cheated.. one who doesn't realize this needs to realize and those who realize that they were cheated and now they need to cheat thousands the way they were were cheated to earn money have lost ethics and morality and blinded by their hunger for money and the forceful motivational stuff being poured on them by the seminars.. by all meanings and definitions, its a cult who motivate people to live and die as per set of rules with no excuses.. thats makes things even worse, every man was born free and will always be free... so this "BUSINESS" shud just share and let the free men decide their needs and their steps if the "business" guys really mean to help somebody...

  19. there are lot of people commenting on MLM network marketing business without knowing the indepth information about the business in the world or in india. the people who give some wrong informations about some companies must visit these companies personally rather than go by others openions. there could be around 2000 + such companies but it is for the general public to understand and to know how many of them are really good comapnies. there are only around 12-14 companies which are under IDSA.

    if anybody needs more information, they can contact me on 09391053875.

    p. ramakrishna

  20. @ Ramakrishna

    Can you please list those 10-12 companies for the benefit of our readers?

  21. Amway has been hit and brought to book in the UK.
    I still think the products are great.
    I will never have to buy a book cd or tape again from my up line.
    sounds good to me.

  22. Hi All,

    I have gone through the post. Products are good no doubt about that. For the people who are doing this business. Some do it as a challenge some for Fun, some for earning money, some doing for Charity, Some Doing becasue they want to and they need to earn money extra apart from the primary source.

    People working and earning. Not like anybody is cheating .. like in Chit busiiness..or any Fraudss....We all know what is RECESSIOn and ALL largest BANKS of US have be BANKRUPT...all share markets down..Jobs losted...People are on roads...But here people are making GOOD money and also they working HARD without investement....

    It's people mentality that..They want to do something.,. apart from HARD WORK ..And also they don't want to INVEST...and once they earn enough and Feel that NO that was not good...

    Still there are always Good and Bad about everything...

  23. Hey nidhi....

    Good article for sure :)

    But I dont agree fully though....of all the MLMs, I somehow dont find Amway to be that bad....this is cos their products are really good. When it launched in 1999 in India, my dad became a member and bought the kit. My mom really appreciated all the toiletries they gave then. The packing was awesome too. They were all concentrates and almost lasted for a year each.

    My dad dint continue as he thought it was not his cup of tea. So, we never used the product again but she appreciates it till date. I, personally do not mind paying for quality.

    I hate MLMs to the core and I've made my point clear on your blog earlier too. The biggest scamster is questnet by a mile. It makes you buy a coin you will never need. I dont actually mind the MLMs who are into FMCG. As far as I know , Amways pays you a commision on basis of volume of sales unlike questnet where you have to "recruit" other to make money. Even if you buy the products for self-use, its good enough right. They aren't ripping you off there?

    There are always the bad sides attached to MLMs and its mostly because of the ppl involved. The easiest way they can lure others into such business is by projecting it as get-rich-quick scheme. This brings the bad name to the entire community.

    Well, my advice is join the MLM only if you're interested in the products it offers and not for the monetary gain.

  24. I was an Amway distributor about 10 years ago and stayed active for about a year. Never sponsered many ppl butwas active with meetings, functions, books, tapes and such. I never made any money but I always thought that anyone who put fourth the effort couldmake it . Any time I heard something negative about the buisness, I always figured it was someone whodidnt make it and wasnt willing to admit to hisself that he just didnt put fourth the effort.
    Once I started reading Merchants of deception, I couldnt stop . I took Eric seriously because he wasnt just someone that just got in and got out(like me). He actually put fourth the effort and went up in the ranks. as I read the book , I related to alot of things that he experienced from going to functions and meetings , the mindsets of ppl. I have come to this conclusion.
    I am thankful that I didnt put fourth the effort as he did to go up the ranks. I figured I lost a couple of hundred dollars and a little time. Before I always would wonder what if I would have justdone what I was supposed to do I would be a rich and retired man today. But After reading this book, I realize this.
    I have made $100,000 last year at my J.O.B.(the going advertised rate for pearls and emeralds)and my job is no where near that demanding. they say (making your boss rich) Sounds like a boss is way better than a demanding upline that expects u to pay for expensive trips and use all your money that u made to be put back in the buisness. thanks Eric you have opened my eyes. That book was the most interesting book that I have ever read.

  25. Hi All,
    People are thinking AMWAY products are expensive. Think about Levis jeans, United color of benetton, does this type of brand are cost effective. Never all are too costly and everyone love to buy, no body will argue with this. PIZZA HUT, KFC MC Donald.
    If you are software engineer, have ever though about how much your company paying you and how much your company charging per hour to client. You never bother about this. People love to go abroad and who is getting benefited, company not you.
    If you will buy Levi,s jeans that cost around 2000 Rs, company will not pay you any single rupee.
    Here some people will tell if you need quality then you have to pay, Why not with AMWAY.
    Author is telling ABO,s are making money from selling taps, books , CDs.
    Think about this author Eric Scheibeler, he is doing same thing. Highlighting his book and making money , Simple.

  26. Triple M,
    In all other examples, you get some cash compensation for the effort (only effort-you don't give cash to your company and collect a part of it as salary) you put in. Company sells the efforts and generates revenue from outside the system and pays employees.

    But in Amway, total return you and your subordinates earn is never more than what you and your subordinates pay to Amway in total. So there is no revenue generation outside the system, but only collection of money from subordinates and distributing a part of it to higher ups. If you can understand this difference, things will be more clearer to you. thanks

  27. I am not sure, what the author of this book things or what went wrong with him. I am a Amway product user for last 8 years. Amway products are phenomenal. Few of the reason why products are good:

    1. Environment friendly - All Amway products are bio-degradable. Yes, I can tell because I tested them in lab. You can pour the residual of a floor cleaner in your kitchen garden and expect your plants to grow. How many such products are in India?

    2. Amway products are concentrated - My wife use a dish washer bottle for almost 12 months which costs her Rs. 480. Remember, this is chemical free as it does not hurt her hands even if there are knife wounds.

    3. Amway products are best in quality. I am not sure if you know the Nutrilite is number one health care brand in wellness industry. Artistry stands in top 5 brands. Tell me any cheaper top brand products.

    Yes, you do make money as we have been receiving a small cheque every month. She worked little harder and got a cheque of 45K.

    Why do you guys need to buy CD and attend meetings? Amway does not force you to do. You can build your Amway business without attending any meeting, reading a book or buying CDs.

  28. Download the free ebook pdf from -

  29. Nutrilite and good amount of Amway product selling and support require good understanding and personal usage of the product, otherwise it is like a paanwalla selling a mercedes or SAP and you buying it.

    None of the people who made money selling amway products ever mention they reached where they were in 2 days. The average time it takes to become those big emeralds and diamonds can be anywhere between 2-12 years, average 7-8 years in India.

    The short-cutters and barbers who got screwed trying to make money, I dont really care for them. These guys belong to the Amway cemetery.

    Wonder why Medical / IIT / Engineering education in India is not called a scam ? Stupid people spend 18 years and 15 lakhs on education in above scams for a career lasting 20 years after which you need to spend the remaining 30 years on somebody else’s cheques or live in penury or pensions. The BE guys in India have to spend another 3 years plus 6 lakhs clearing MBA.

    Amway education and earnings mean u continue getting royalties and live and die in comfort with a great lifestyle even till 90. It operates in 120 countries.

    Belongs to the general category of fools who think India is the next great economic challenge to the world bigger than China … About time these frogs came out of the well and stop making noises in the well.

    Nutrilite is older than Amway and is endorsed by WHO – The World Health Organization and is one of the leading suppliers of safe and useful food supplements to control and prevent illness by supplement low nutrition diets with right amount of vits / minerals and proteins.

    Please check up what Gartner has to say about the Wellness revolution and the Internet impact – the figures make IT look insignificant … at least for those who want to make great personal wealth and also maintaining good health, instead of spending 6 years trying to compile a crore doing slavish Cooliegiri for the US economy working nights out here.

  30. The link for the e-book provided in the post seems to be invalid now. Do you have a different reference?

  31. do not have the updaTed link. I guess author prefers people to register first at the site and then download the ebook...

  32. people do not fail, people quit (in all areas of life), keep it in mind, and stop reading only the negative part of the story, remember, coins have two sides.

  33. Good book review Shrinidhi! Please never take it down even if people put pressure on you because the orignial book itself is not available as the link is not working. If anyone has the pdf file, please upload a link here, you will be helping lot of people!

    I had been in the Amway biz in USA for 10 years and achieved a medium level of success and quit couple of yeas ago and came back to India having discovered those truths the hard way by myself what Eric talks about. I wish I had the good sense to see the truth sooner!

    I agree with 80% of what the author says. The Amway Corporation itself is not bad, they have about 80% good products and pay their distributors promptly and properly. It is the business model and 80% of the people and about 80%of the leaders that are the problems.
    Thanks for reviewing the book.

  34. Raghu:
    Author had requested me not to upload pdf as he wanted people to register at his site and download it...

  35. nidhi...

    author's website not working?

    if poss pls share the pdf file

  36. In regard to you mentioning his book Merchants of deception.
    Eric Scheibeler has admitted in federal court that he lied when he said he'd uncovered billions of dollars in consumer fraud with the company and that he falsely said he and his family were threatened, that he had been offered money in exchange for his silence and that Quixtar did something to his Web site.

    Scheibeler has been involved in testifying against Amway in the UK, India, and the United States and was cited in newspapers in Sweden as being threatened by Amway. He has caused untold damage to millions of Independent Business Owners. He should be enormously thankful that Quixtar has elected to drop it's defamation charges against him now that he has admitted his deceptions.


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