If you want a better idea of what the infighting between the head honchos at Amway and their top Quixtar distributors is all about, this complaint filed by kingpin Orrin Woodward and some of his cohorts in a California federal court will give you an idea.
The kingpins complain that Amway/Quixtar is an illegal pyramid scheme, because the owners of Amway of have deliberately priced the products to be distributed through the Quixtar distribution chain so high that they cannot be realistically sold to a genuine retail market -- i.e., to consumers outside of the Quixtar network. So while the high prices profit Amway, they don't profit Quixtar distributors except by recruiting sub-distributors to buy from them kits of Amway products on the con that they can sell the overpriced stuff to a non-existent retail market.
Therefore, the multi-level marketing structure of Quixtar does not serve to expand the retail customer base for Amway products. Rather it serves to profit those at the top of the distribution chain (Amway and the kingpins) solely at the expense of those at the bottom of the chain (the suckers who buy an inventory of unsellable Amway products). For that reason, it would appear Amway/Quixtar crossed the Federal Trade Commission's line between legitimate MLM to illegal pyramid scheme.
The kingpins' complaint is persuasive. In fact, what they say is no surprise to anyone who hasn't drunk the Amway Kool-Aid. Amway is no Avon. Of course, their complaint, being what it is, doesn't tell the full story. That full story needs to include how the kingpins were willing partners in this racket. They needed Amway to provide the sales kit for them to use as the gimmick to recruit sub-distributors into their organizations. In addition to profiting from the sale of Amway products to their "downline" distributors, the kingpins made even more money selling motivational seminars, tapes, books, and other nonsense to those same distributors as "tools" that would allegedly help them sell to a retail market the overpriced Amway junk they were saddled with.
So the Quixtar kingpins have hands as dirty as the owners of Amway. As I said before, it takes a lot of chutzpah for these bandits to claim they are victims. Let us not forget that the kingpins only complained about the cruelties of Amway, when DeVos and Van Andel juniors cut off their "tools" trade this summer. Amway ended the Mexican stand-off between it and the kingpins that had kept them working together since the '80s. Now out come the guns a-blazing. My bet is that the last man standing won't be the kingpins, but then Amway won't come out unbloodied either.