Author: Jennifer Sharko

The Allure of Pyramid Schemes

My father-in-law has sold Amway for decades. He attends weekly meetings and a few times a year travels to weekend conferences. However, despite his commitment I have yet to hear about him making a liveable income. But, he is unwavering in his belief that this venture will pay off. His blind tenacity reminds me of when I worked at a pharmacy that sold lottery tickets. Like clockwork, every Friday certain customers would buy their tickets. They also believed that this payout would succeed in the end. The statistical improbability did not phase them.

Once my father-in-law was asked if Amway was a pyramid scheme. He answered loudly and defensively, “If there’s a product it’s not a pyramid scheme!”

Perhaps he’s right. These businesses are fun and profitable for a lot of people. If you are outgoing and social, the parties are enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon or evening. But, often the impression given is the products will sell themselves. What a tantalizing idea! How wonderful it would be to be part of an organization that virtually guarantees profit.