One Amway Doubter And One True Believer

So much for minimizing advertising and eliminating the middleman. Direct-to-consumer, multilevel marketers such as Amway Corp. don't seem to pass the savings on to their agents or distributors, who are the prime consumers of their products ("Amway II: The kids take over," People, Feb. 16).

In addition, Amway prices are often much higher than those of similar products in the conventional retail marketplace. Such marketers try to package their goods in a way that makes them seem unattainable elsewhere. They say the products are concentrated--so that less is needed. Sometimes, they claim they contain rare ingredients. They advise customers to minimize their use of the products--but seem to rely on use being hard to reduce.

P.T. Barnum said: "There is a sucker born every minute," and that's more than enough, it seems, to keep the pipeline of new recruits full for multilevel marketing of every possible stripe.

Thomas D. East

Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Some facts you overlooked: You didn't mention that Amway had created more millionaires and financially independent people than any other company in the U.S. Yes, you are going to have some people who don't succeed, but that's true with any business.

Then you mentioned motivation. Most Americans don't know what it is like to have something positive in their lives. It's nice to be around winners who encourage you and work with you so you can have an opportunity to take care of your family.

Amway is not for everyone, because it requires change. But for those who want something better for themselves and their families, you will not find another business opportunity that not only helps you grow financially but also in all other aspects in your life.

Robert Strong III

Bothell, Wash.