T Nation

Ugh...Pyramid Schemes

Anybody have experience with people involved in these? There’s a girl I went to college with who’s involved with Quixar (legal pyramid scheme owned by Amway) with her boyfriend. They completely alienated all of us who were there friends, since we wouldn’t join. She started emailing me recently, in just a friendly manner, and then started dropping hints about her “business” and how she was retiring in May when she graduates. Does this stuff just not bug the hell out of any of you? All pyramid horror stories are welcome.

For those T-men that like to get in touch with their feminine side, Oprah will be covering this topic on tommorows show.

Damn Quixar. A girl in one of my classes was trying to get me into that shit. Had to shoot her down.

You know, people just don’t get ‘rich’ off of that shit. Sorry.

Amway and all that other crap is annoying as hell! I don’t want to take part in that, and when people approach me about it, I tell them, “Thanks, but no thanks!”

Here’s something else. I hate people who forward those stupid emails that promise if you keep it going Bill Gates, Outback or some attorney is going to give you gift certificates, $100, $1,000, or some other amount of money. Don’t be stupid! I immediately flame people who send that sort of shit. Forwards in general are bad, and I hate receiving them.

Nate, you can shake your head all you want, but when I’m rollin in the dough after I get that cash promised to me from the Nigerian government, we’ll see who’s laughing last. :wink:

SpiderFan - I thought you were joking. You weren’t (not that I checked it out at Oprah.com). Maybe I took to heart some of that “psychic for a day” stuff on the other thread.

I was contemplating whether to get into this discussion or not, but then thought, what the hell.

First off, Quixtar is not owned by Amway. They have the same owners (the DeVos and Van Andel families, though it’s the second generation that owns Quixtar), but there’s been a major reorganization of the comapnies. The umbrella company is Alticor, which in turn owns Quixtar (an online mall, for lack of a better explanation), Pixis (a R & D company), Access Business Group (manufacturing of products traditionally made by Amway), and Amway (international businees only). So Amway is really no longer operating in the US. A lot of people just want to say that the new company is nothing more than Amway on the internet. The reality is that the business ownership has been restructured, the manufacturing and marketing have been separated, and the comensation has changed (for the better) over the old Amway model.

Another thing that a lot of people have problems with is separating the people they come in contact with and the Quixtar company. Quixtar (and even Amway when it was operating here) did NOT tell any business owner how to operate their business. There are a number of “teaching” organizations out there that will dictate anything from door-to-door sales (a total waste of time in my book) to ridicule (another waste of time) to dishonest and misleading tactics. Not a good way to run a business to me. But remember, you may have had a problem with a certain PERSON, but that doesn’t make the COMPANY or the opportunity bad.

As for the potential for developing income: Very real, and very long-term. The comment that “you can’t get rich off that sh!t” is not quite right – you can’t get rich quick, and if you can, it won’t last. Quixtar IS different than most in that it can generate long-term, very high income. It takes a lot of work, which turns a lot of people off (in this lottery mentality, super quicky-mart society).

There are people out there who’s only criteria for trying to “get some one in their business” is a pulse. Again, not smart. If the person who approaches you has that mentality, then you’re better off without them. They’re trying to use you. But for the legit ones out there, if they approach you as a prosceptive business owner, then it is a BIG compliment to you, as they see drive and ambition in you. If you’re not interested, then fine, so be it, and they should leave it at that. If they don’t, then I think you’re back at the “using you” thing.


Sorry buddy, you’re too late. I already received the billions of dollars promised by the Nigerian representatives.


I have never heard of this Quixtar thing but have known (sat down, talked with & hung out with for long weekends) at least 20 different couples involved in Amway that each NETTED well over a million dollars a year (some for up to 16 years). My dad was involved with it for a while and while he has neither an abundance of people skills nor business sense, he netted around 300k. The reason he’s not in it now? Cancer. Kinda takes over your life and rearranges priorities. Anyway, my whole point was to second Brider in saying that YES, you can make a lot of money off Amway IF you are willing to work it the way it’s designed to be worked. It’s much easier to say something won’t work than to look at yourself and declare you’re too incompetent or lazy to make it work.

From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t mathematically work out for many people, and for those that it does, the money doesn’t come from commissions off of selling. So I decided to ask this girl some questions, and all I can get from her is that I need “the sheer will to achieve my dreams” and other ambiguities. Not one fact has come out of her mouth. I still don’t understand how the common person can “retire in 2-5 years” or any of that other stuff. I would love to see some facts backing this up, but all I ever hear is “I know someone making X million dollars a year”, which doesn’t help anybody believe in it (with belief being the cornerstone in the whole business).

Jared – what in particular are you talking about: “From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t mathematically work out for many people, and for those that it does, the money doesn’t come from commissions off of selling.”

I’m not following you there. I’m pretty familiar with the marketing plan. Care to elaborate?

Funny you should mention it, I just joined one. It is a group related to Quixtar (they use the Quixtar system but run it just a little different). It is not that bad, you shop online, can find a lot of name brand stuff cheaper than in the stores, and you get a check cut to you every month based on what you bought, and in the case of the group I joined, based on what others “in your line” you have bought.

I am not out recruiting anyone (as you can see I am not mentioning my group’s name even). I haven’t really bought that much. I bought a new Ps2 controller (Sony brand) for something like $24 + S&H (so, $27 total) and got a check for $9 today ($18 for a new controller…not too shabby).

The big secret that the Amway/Quixtar people have been hiding from the general public is the people who make the big bucks aren’t doing it buy selling products, moving inventory, etc. The big bucks they are making is through the selling of motivational tapes, books and tickets for the motivational seminars that people are encouraged to attend. I got hoodwinked into that damn Equinox scam and have been kicking myself for being so damn naive. Live and learn I guess. To read more for yourself go to worldwidescam.com, falseprofits.com or mlmsurvivor.com.

Galvatron, don’t feel too bad. My good friend Kyle got hooked into that, too. I actually went to a meeting with him once.

He had just received a 10k check from his insurance and, being unemployed at the time, decided to look into Equinox (I'm pretty sure that's what it was). I had just finished a six-month internship with the Financial Fraud Division of the Oregon Dept of Justice, so I had been hearing complaints about these kind of companies every day. I asked, no, begged, him to leave his wallet and checkbook at home and buy nothing; to sleep on it. He says "no worries, I'm not going to invest anything right now". Sure enough, he went to one f*cking meeting and invested the lot. Ten grand worth of shitty product that sat in boxes in his bedroom for two years. He finally unloaded whatever he hadn't used himself (he never sold any of it) to some chick who was already in the club. He sold her the stuff for about .08 on the dollar. He got bent over… yet, it was his own fault. I warned him ahead of time that these salespeople can be extremely persuasive, but he didn’t want to listen.

Someone further up on this thread said that these guys don’t make their money from selling products. They’re absolutely right. Equinox encouraged everyone to work on recruiting new people rather than selling product. If Kyle had recruited someone (which he never did), that person would have had to buy product just like he did in order to join… and Kyle would have gotten a cut of that. Then that new recruit gets someone under them, and the pyramid grows. While I have no doubts that some people can make very good, and honest, livings through one of these companies, I think, for the most part, those people are the minority.

An important question that you can ask ANY ONE who is touting any kind of multi-level market to you is this:

If you had to freeze your organization right now, you couldn’t bring any one else into it, what would happen to your income?

If the answer is “It would decrease,” then run away – the whole system is as close as they come to an illegal pyramid and will eventually collapse. Add massive front-loading of product, and you have the recipe for a lot of frustrated people.

Of the Quixtar folks I’ve been around, NONE of them push joining on the first look. They ALL have said to give it time, take a step back and evaluate it, etc.

And I also watched the first 10 minutes of Oprah yesterday (and promptly did a gut-busting workout after to get the T back up). Any way, the sham that they were “exposing” (I’d been onto it over 4 years ago) was the “Dinner Party” scam. This one IS an illegal pyramid.

BTW – don’t confuse a people organization that can be drawn in the shape of a triangle to be an illegal pyramid. You can do the same thing with virtually any company, church, or government agency. It’s a people structure, nothing more.

I think the FTC, or whoever declares such stuff, declared Quixtar a “legal pyramid scheme”. I’ll try to look it up.

Yes Amway (and lets be honest here Quixtar/Amway are the same thing) WAS declared a legal plan back in the late seventies but they are suppose to unload at least 70% of the product on non-Amway disributors. When Amway hit its peak in '97, I think, it was reported by the FTC that only 18% of product was sold to non-distributors. It is kind of funny, I just attended a Quixtar meeting maybe three weeks ago to humor a friend, and it was almost the exact same sales pitch I first heard in '93 at an Amway meeting. Like claiming they are doing five billion in sales a year and in five years they are going to be doing one-hundred billion, like this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and if you don’t act on it you’ll always be a broke loser. Same old shit. I could go on but those websites I posted earlier have everything anyone needs to know about such shenanigans.