Amway - Success Statistics from SA-4400">
The Amway Business Review (the SA-4400) contains quite a bit of information about the percentage of people who make it to the direct distributor level and beyond. The information that follows is from the SA-4400 that is in effect as of Jan 1997. A distributor is required to give you a copy of this document if they show you the business. So don't take my word for it. Read this document and verify it for yourself.
Amway takes an independent survey of it's distributors every five years. The Federal Trade Commission (and I assume the Canadian counterpart) requires Amway to take this survey and publish the results in the SA-4400. Since this information is not required in other countries, the survey is done for the North American market only. I asked Amway about this and they did verify that the survey is only for the North American market.
An "active" distributor is defined as one who attempted to make a retail sale, presented the Sales and Marketing Plan, received bonus money, or attended a company or distributor meeting in the month surveyed. From the survey conducted between April, 1994 and March, 1995, 41% of all distributors on record were considered active.
The survey and company records show that approximately 3% of all "active" distributors who sponsor others and approximately 2% of all "active" distributors met Direct Distributor qualification during the survey period. The way you meet this qualification is to maintain 7500 points for six months out of the year, or you sponsor a group who maintains 7500 points for six months out of the year and you have maintained at least 2500 points for six months out of the year. You will learn a little more about points on later pages.
If we know the number of distributors in the North American market, we can come up with reasonable estimates of the number of "qualified" direct distributors. Business Week published an article called Amway II - The Kids Take Over in their Feb 16, 1998 edition. In this article, they stated that there were 750,000 distributors in the United States. I assume that this number came from Amway, but really have no idea where it came from or how accurate the number is. But let's use it.
The number of active distributors would have to be approximately 307,500. Of these distributors, only 2% are qualified directs which would be approximately 6,150. This is one out of every 122 current distributors making over $25,000.
Now let's look at the number of emeralds.
In the spring of 96, the Achievers International cruise, was held on the Carnival Cruise ship Ecstasy. You must be a qualified emerald or above to take this 4-day trip. I am sure that there are more emeralds now, but looking at this cruise will give you a baseline to begin coming up with an estimate.
Carnival Cruise Lines is on the internet, so I looked up the information on the Ecstasy. The MAXIMUM number of passengers that this ship can hold is 2,040. Which means there are 1,020 passenger cabins. I am sure that some people may have had to miss it for some reason. But I'm also sure the vast majority of emeralds and above were there. How many of you would give up a free cruise to the Bahamas?
Since this cruise there have been about 225 new emeralds and I am sure that there have been distributors who have re-qualified as an emerald. So let's take a wild guess and say there are 1500 emeralds. That is only one out of every 500 current distributors.
Now lets look at the Diamond pin, the pinnacle of Amway success. The SA-4400 states that 1.7% of directs who received a leadership bonus, received the theoretical diamond bonus of $45,504.
Now if the numbers in the Business Week article is correct, and if the percentages in the SA-4400 are correct, this would mean that less than 1.7% of the 6,150 directs are receiving the diamond bonus (not all of the qualified DD's would be receiving the leadership bonus -- that's about 105 "qualified" diamonds.
In Feb. 1997, Dick DeVos sent a Family Matters message, which is a weekly message that is sent to all Diamonds, who sends it to all of their directs, who in turn sends it to all of their downline, from Hawaii. He had just finished the Executive Diamond Club conference and was just about ready to start the Diamond Club conference. To attend this conference, you have to be a qualified Diamond, not just have the pin. He said, and I quote, "There are hundreds of people who are here--hundreds of Diamonds who will be celebrating together at Diamond Club."
There might be more distributors that have a direct, emerald, and diamond pin. It is a well known fact that once you have attained a pin level, you are always introduced at being at that level, regardless of what your volume is. This gives an illusion of permanent residual income when in fact most people are constantly rebuilding their business due to the high turn-over rate.
You cannot question the fact that some people are succeeding. But if you ask the corporation for the number of diamonds and emeralds who qualified the last fiscal year, you will be told they don't release those kinds of statistics. If you ask a distributor, you'll get an answer such as "100% of those who want to succeed."
It was my experience that the real success statistics published in the SA-4400 were never discussed with potential distributors. Sure, we gave them the SA-4400 that had the statistics in them, but I was never taught to point out that less than 1% of the distributors on record qualified as a Direct distributor. Heck...I didn't even realize it myself until I discontinued my Amway business and actually read the darn thing!