“Amazing Wealth System” not so amazing, alleges the FTC

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An FTC lawsuit alleges that money-making claims made by a related group of companies and individuals for their Amazing Wealth System are “amazing” all right – if by “amazing” you mean “not credible” or “unsupported by the facts.” The complaint charges the defendants with violating the FTC Act and the Business Opportunity Rule. One interesting factual twist is how elements of the “system” allegedly depend on subverting Amazon’s rules about online reviews and third-party sales.

Defendants advertise their Amazing Wealth System via direct mail, radio, YouTube videos, social media, and live events. (Consumers may know them by names like Amazon Wealth Systems, FBA Stores, Insider Online Secrets, or Online Auction Learning Center. But let’s be clear: The defendants have no affiliation with Amazon.)

According to the FTC, the defendants lure prospective purchasers in with claims like this:

  • “My name is Adam Bowser, and over the past 18 years I have sold over $50 million online. I’m going to be hosting a few local workshops around the Seattle area to share my secrets for making money on Amazon.”
  • “Get started selling on Amazon and make $5,000-$10,000 in the next 30 days . . . Even if you have never sold anything online before.”
  • “Just last year we sold over $12 Million on Amazon.com. Now we want to help you become our next Amazon success story.”

The defendants’ initial step is bringing consumers in for a free two-hour seminar. At the seminar, they pitch their $995 three-day workshops: “How many of you would love to be able to learn how you can make an extra $5,000 to $10,000 a month by spending 30 minutes to an hour a day learning and implementing a plug-and-play system I’m going to share with you here in a moment.”

According to the FTC, the three-day workshops shift the hype into overdrive, including the sale of more expensive packages like the $34,995 “Diamond” enrollment. As one pitch person said at a workshop, “So whether you want an extra $20- to $30,000 a year or you want to create a million dollar a year business, I’m going to show you how to do either of those.”

The complaint alleges that in purporting to showing people “how to do either of those,” much of the information the defendants convey is basic stuff available for free on Amazon’s Resources and Tutorials page. However, other “tips, tricks, and techniques” allegedly violate Amazon’s Business Solutions Agreement, the document that sets forth the rules that companies must follow if they want to sell on Amazon. For example, according to the FTC, the defendants instruct consumers who buy their Amazing Wealth System to get fake product reviews for the items they list on Amazon – advice that violates Amazon’s Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews. Another of those “tricks” teaches people to use various ruses in an effort to “win the box” – in other words, to be the seller of choice in Amazon’s coveted Buy Box when the same merchandise is available from multiple sellers. As a result, says the FTC, purchasers who use the defendants’ system often experience problems with their Amazon stores, including getting suspending and losing their ability to sell on the site.

The FTC lawsuit charges that people who buy the Amazing Wealth System and try to use the defendants’ strategies are unlikely to earn the income the defendants advertise. And according to the lawsuit, the defendants’ brief “earnings disclaimers” are ineffective to undo the net impression that people who implement the “system” are likely to make money.

The complaint alleges other specific violations of the Business Opportunity Rule. The FTC says the defendants failed to make advertising disclosures mandated by the Rule, including the number and percentage of people who bought the business opportunity and achieved at least the stated level of earnings. Furthermore, in many cases, the defendants allegedly failed to furnish prospective purchasers in a timely fashion with the disclosure document and attachments required by the Business Opportunities Rule.

The case is pending in federal court in Nevada. The court has appointed a temporary receiver over the corporate defendants, enjoined the defendants from making deceptive claims, and frozen their assets pending resolution of the FTC’s preliminary injunction motion.

Even at this early stage, the case is a reminder to companies that offer business opportunities to conduct a Rule review to make sure they’re in compliance. What’s the message for would-be entrepreneurs? View money-making claims with a seriously skeptical eye. In addition, if anyone suggests that you solicit, post, or in any other way involve yourself with product reviews that aren’t 100% accurate and independent, you’re getting really bad advice. The FTC endorsements page has resources on that subject.
 

Comments

I went to the initial Amazing Wealth Systems free seminar twice. Tge second one I signed up for the three day program and at that one I dove into the deep in with the sharks! However, knowing this would take work on my end. If I didn’t put in effort no money would come out of it. At no time was I promised to get rich quick. In fact I am certain that it was stated that the average person only made $500 or so in profit after 6 months of hard work. I far exceeded that in one month! Anyone who thinks they can pay the money and then sit back and watch it roll in is dreaming. Yes you can do it on your own, without coaching, tools, wholesalers, etc. Amazon does have tools and a lot of help blogs, to find them will take a lot of time. My past experiences shows that spending the money for the education cuts your learning curve down and increasing your odds of making money. At no time did Amazing Wealth System ever promote getting fake reviews in fact quite the opposite. They certainly promote getting reviews after selling an item, but NEVER fake reviews as stated above. They do advise that Amazon is very particular about sellers and you must dot your i’s and cross your T’s. Amazon will suspend your store for anything so be quite careful you follow all of Amazons rules and keep up to date on all rules as they can and will change. Amazing Wealth Systems never says to break the rules or get around them not one time, they always said to follow them!
Thank you for your time.

RE: Marcia Rudnyk.
My experience exactly. I was never promised 'riches'. I was told I could use the information provided, leverage the coaching (which I did) and WORK to make a successful business. The biggest barrier to my success has been Amazon itself (changing rules, losing merchandise, coming in as a seller and undercutting everyone) and other sellers underselling Amazon (and me) and clearly selling at a loss for whatever reason making the price fall well below my actual costs. Not a single bit of that is on AWS/FBA Stores.

I was never told to lie (quite the opposite) or to in any way defraud Amazon or buyers. I see no justification for this lawsuit and think it is based on people hearing what they wanted to hear and feeling entitled to instant wealth with no work. My opinion.

As for the complaint that all they were selling was repackaged information Amazon already provided, anyone who has tried to resolve a Seller problem by reading the mass of information Amazon buries you with, 90% of which isn't relevant, knows that having a GUIDE is invaluable. Everything you need to know to be a pilot and fly a plane is also freely available on the web, but I'm not going to expect a well-read person to fly any plane I'm on. They need EDUCATION (and a licensing agency :o) and someone with greater knowledge to walk them through the information that is 'freely provided' to be competent. That's what I saw AWS as providing...training and improved competency to get you sooner to success with fewer mis-steps.

I hope the suit closes soon, the dust settles, and we can pick up the pieces and move forward. I was at the seminar in Vegas and met the team, and while they were clearly focused on selling more of their solutions, I didn't feel fraud or insincerity, more that they were just functioning at a much different level than me, and I had more work to do. They were open, honest and answered all of my questions, and I for one planned on continuing to work with them for a long time to come. I hope I still can.

ITS ABOUT TIME! Thee are terrible. I saw the seminar in Vegas this month just to peak at what I’m missing in my current selling world in Amazon. I immediate knew this was a scam in my first 30 min. Being a current seller on amazon, I spoke to some of the staff and they couldn’t answer my questions.. something felt off and wrong.

Will people receive a full refund of their money? I have already contacted my bank about retrieving the money I had wired to AWS. Is AWS responsible for returning money given to them for their fake "membership" packages?

The FTC just filed the lawsuit in March, so the case is still before the Court.

How do I join the lawsuit. They defrauded me of $9995 + $4995. Please advise of steps I should take to get my money back.
Thank you,
Jim

I also payed AWS a lot of money, over $25,000 for coaching which was completely inadequate. I payed for software that no longer works. I payed for ungating in Amazon Categories which was a waste of money. They started working on the ungating process then sent and email that I had to finish the process.

I called the FTC and put in a request for a refund. I would like to know how to pursue this further, join the lawsuit or whatever else is necessary to be sure I am on the right track to getting my money refunded. Kindly, Lori Grey

The FTC has filed the lawsuit and it's pending in court right now.  When there is updated information, we'll definitely post it on ftc.gov.

We attended a seminar in Winnipeg, Canada last November 2017 which cost $995.00 CA. After considering this further we found it wasn't for us and advised them we wouldn't be participating in the program within the 3 day period We also returned the product which cost and additional $50.00. After numerous emails and telephone conversations we still did not receive our money- They kept telling us it was approved and would be sent soon.It has been 6 mos.now - Today I emailed and telephoned but no answer. Is there anything more we can do at this time?

I was also scammed by this company. I attended the workshop in Jan 4th - Jan 6th in Houston. Purchased the "Gold " plan for $10,000. I am so disappointed. Please let me know how I can join the class action lawsuit if there is one pending. thanks

I was/am involved with FBA Stores since my 2 hour intro in Carlsbad,CA in July 2017. Then I went to the 3 day workshop and signed up for the diamond plan. The promises were hard to get and I had to work harder to get done what I thought was getting done for me. I talked w/others @ the Summitt in Las Vegas, we were all getting different stories and inventory. I did meet some down to earth wholesalers that shared info that they probably shouldn't have, keeping me from purchasing any more of FBA's fake promises. I want in on this class action lawsuit and I want to be kept up to date on lawsuit progression. Thank-you

I'm interest in getting instructions to be part of any class lawsuit against AWS. I attended the three day seminar for $995 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The final day, the AWS representative insist us and gave us a paper with the exact words we can use to ask the financial institutions a raise on our credit limits so we can paid for the packages. I paid the $9,995 package because of the $5-$10k sales per month promises, the statement of "You can sell Who Cares" (which means anything), and an offee of form the legal entities to be use for our seller's account Non of promises is true and can't be reach. Please consider this information in any future legal action.

I was also scammed by this company. I attended the three day conference in Sacramento, CA on February 2-4, 2018. I purchased the Diamond Plan for $3000. I want to join the class action lawsuit.

I have been approved for a refund and never got it. Now their emails and phone's do not work. I need to know how to get my refund. This really sucks.

How do I get in on filing for a reimbursement?

The FTC filed the lawsuit two months ago, so the case has not gone to trial yet.  If there is any news, we'll post it on ftc.gov. 

Please let me know ,how can I be part of any lawsuit against AWS diamong package here,...Tampa

We want in on this class action lawsuit. In all the meetings we attended we saw senior citizens cashing in their their retirement savings, pursuing huge lines of credit and taking out loans to try to pay for the AWS programs. Seniors were being fleeced and abused. We attended the intro information meeting in Carlsbad, CA and signed up for the $995 three day class in San Diego. At the class we were led to believe that it was almost impossible to make money on Amazon on our own but if we if we signed up for the $50,000 Diamond program we would be counseled and be well on the road to success and wealth. We signed up. At the Summit meeting in January 2018 in Las Vegas the pitch was to sign up for an additional $22,000 program that would really make one successful. I, Gary now have severe health problems and can't start the AWS program. I contacted AWS and told them we would have to drop out of the program. We had never used any of the counseling services. We spoke with four different people. Adam Bowser signed an agreement to refund $5,000. A very small portion of all the money we had invested. AWS said it would be 30 days to receive the money. We have not received a dime and all emails are kicked back and we are unable to reach them. At the Summit in Las Vegas one of the first questions the speaker asked the group was who in the conference room of approximately 200 people had sold anything on Amazon one time and maybe five people raised their hands. This response spoke volumes. It raised a red flag to us and we knew that AWS is making millions yes.....,
They are making a lot of it off the people who come to these AWS meetings hoping to make some extra money and instead are being fleeced. We spoke to people at the Summit who signed up for the $22,000 program because they had already invested $35,000 and didn't want to loose all of their investment.
Even though they weren't making any money. They were nervous and shaking because they were spending their retirements in hopes of a better future. Seniors need to be protected from companies like this. Please let us know how we can participate i this lawsuit.

We also went to the Selling on Amazon intro & paid the $995 for the 3 day workshop. We paid for the Diamond package for $35,000 to get several perks & to attend the Summit in Las Vegas where they had several speakers telling us how they did & Adam Bowser was there to make everyone believe how easy it was & several other companies asking to sign up & pay more to get their help in making sure everything we did was legal & have insurance to make sure if we were sued we would be protected. These companies were asking for very high fees which we decided to not purchase even though they tried their best to get us to sign up that day. We want our money back & will be happy to join this lawsuit in order to make them pay for scamming people.

I went to a free 2 hours presentation. Paid for the $ 995 for the 3 day workshop and now I can't get in touch with this company to see when the 3 days are happening in New Jersey. Phone is always busy and website "not to be found". does anyone have any advice on how I would get my money back ? Is there any group law suite I can join?
Please let me know

I went to school with these fools. Both men and their families are living their life like nothing happened. Vacationing... they need to be exposed. It’s disgusting.

Paid the $995 plus $1000 of the $5000 package. Asked for my money to be refunded and they kept saying it was approved going from one board to another. I have emails and phone etc. it’s been 6 months and no refund.

I attended the three-day seminar for $995 and subscribed to their 13-week coaching program for another $29,000 after about 8 coaching essions the phone was disconnected.

Attended the 3 day seminar in Ottawa hoping to learn about doing business on Amazon. Almost everything they told us turned out to be useless or simply untrue. Would like to get the seminar price back.

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