Mary Kay Math Gets a Reality Check

Written by Lazy Gardens

Breaking down the real profits a Mary Kay consultant makes from a skin care class.

My neighbor, whom I shall call “Boopsy”, recently signed up with MK and had her first party Friday, from 1-3 PM. Boops came over on Saturday morning to tell me she walked out with $300 in sales.

Boopsy: [enters in cloud of Mary Kay Affection] WOW!!!! THREE HUNDRED BUCKS!!!! That’s $150 an hour … this is fabulous! I’m soooooo excited my director shared this opportunity. [waves sales slips and checks under my nose]So how’s your boring J.O.B. doing? [sniffs disdainfully]

Me: [moving nose away from flapping checks, to prevent a papercut] Hold it Boops. Sorry to rain on your parade, but $150 of that money has to pay for product. You only have $150 commission.

Boopsy: [continues waving the checks] $150!!!!! That’s $75 an hour … this is still great! I’m truly excited!

Me: Boopsy you don’t have $150. [gently grasps Boopsy by the shoulders and shoves her onto the couch] Uncle Sam is going to claim about 30% of that for taxes and social security, and then there’s your business expenses like the catalogs, the samples, and the meetings. And your personal use products like that perfume.

[tilts head to the left and slightly furrows brow in concern]

Doesn’t your director say you should plan on 1/3 for the government, 1/3 for the business and 1/3 for you. According to her, you walked out with $50 you can call your own.

Boopsy: What stinkin’ thinkin’, you nasty Negative Nellie! [frowns prettily and points perfectly manicured finger (not that finger – the index finger!) accusingly]

But I still made $25 an hour and that’s better than some stupid department store would pay me! [tosses head indignantly]

Me: So girlfriend [sits casually on coffee table, out of range of finger] … how long did it take you to find a hostess for this party?

Boopsy: Oh wow, it was just like my director told me. [bounces happily on sofa, clasping hands together, crushing checks] I only spent an hour at Target warm chatting and found this really sharp woman with a slammin’ hairstyle washing her hands in the restroom and she said she’d just looooove to be the hostess. [bounces on sofa some more]

She was soooooo sharp. I bet I can recruit her and then I’ll be a Senior Consultant. Only two more and I’d look so good in that Red Jacket. [sighs deeply]

Me: That was really easy. [stifles astonishment] How long did it take you to contact all the guests?

Boopsy: Oh, about an hour to make all the calls and make the reminder calls. Some weren’t home and I had to call more than once. But I followed the script just like my director said to. She got it from her NSD. Now there’s a woman who knows how to work her business. [looks impressed]

Me: Did you do any preparation for the party? [leans forward, looking slightly interested]

Boopsy: You should have seen the trays and placemats I made. It was soooo cute. [bounces on sofa some more] It only took me an hour to do it all, even glue the glitter onto the sponges.

Me: How far was the drive to the party? [continues to look interested]

Boopsy: That’s what was sooooooo great. It was almost in my neighborhood – only 15 minutes away. Just like my daily commute!

Me: Do you have to deliver what they bought, or will Mary Kay mail it to them?

Boopsy: I just got back from making the deliveries. It only took an hour to deliver to all five customers.

Me: So let’s see [acting casual, even unconcerned] … that’s an hour warm chatting in Target, an hour on the phone, an hour of party prep, 2 hours of party, and an hour to deliver.

[looks directly into her eyes, with a look of concern, moving in for kill]

Isn’t that SIX HOURS of work for $50?

Boopsy: [pouts the lower lip, looking downcast] Well, sort of. If you insist on calling all of it “work”, I suppose it took six hours.

Me: That was the time it took to make that party happen. $50 for six hours of work is $8.33 an hour, Boops.

Boopsy: EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR!!!!!! [sits upright, waving hands indignantly] I could make more than that working for the Jiffy-Mart!

Me: I think they are hiring. [smiling smugly]