Written by The Scribbler
WHOEVER WANTS TO SHELL OUT MUCH LESS FOR THEIR STAR PRIZE, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND!
I’m cheap and I’m proud of it!
If you were you to delve into the pages of my eclectic past, you would find thriftiness scrawled all over the place in dollar-store quality marker. My mum frequently purchased our school clothes from Wiebolt’s Budget Floor – a grimy section of the store accessible only by secret elevator. And by “secret” I mean “Built around the same time the Magna Carta was drafted.”
There’s the whole government commodity thing, too. Once a month Mom went to an old train depot where she was handed a box filled with blocks of cheddar cheese, a pound of butter, and a carton of powdered milk. I remember her saying before she opened the creaky wooden door, “For God’s sake, don’t smile while we’re in here!” I guess she was afraid my outgoing nature might get us shivved; or even worse, people might think we’re not really poor because we’re actually happy! The Order of the Cheerful Destitute was little more than a myth to me, dear ones – a myth like the winged unicorn, the One Ring, or an NSD saying at Seminar, “Man, I hate commissions.”
While I wouldn’t call myself a total miser, I do appreciate not paying more for a given item than I have to. Hence is the point of my article: Dissection of the 2007 Star Consultant Prize Brochure! Is it all glitz meant to fling your underlings into an admiring trance, or simply more overpriced, gas-station doodads one would expect to find wedged between the Skoal and the Mad Magazines? The mind boggles!
I’ve listed each prize’s wholesale level (the amount of inventory ordered needed to acquire each), followed by the ACTUAL price of the item (based on Google searches that used the item’s brand and/or description).
Come be an honorary spendthrift for five minutes and check out these unbelievable price comparisons. If you do, you’ll get a “I’m Cheap” name badge ribbon and standing recognition from all of us here at Pink Truth – now let’s get it on!
$1800 Sapphire: 30-cup coffee urn – actual price: $43.12 at Waresdirect.com
The sole difference between this coffee maker and the star prize is that the star prize has a tiny Mary Kay logo on its front. $1756.88 is way too much to be paying for a handful of little pink letters – shoot, for that kind of money, that coffeemaker better give me a scalp massage and follow that up by dispensing several French Silk Pies.
$2400 Ruby: Jensen universal iPod docking system – actual price: $114.00 at storesonline.com
For crying out loud, just go to Best Buy, buy the darned thing, and try your hardest not to make eye contact with the cashier. Sure, he looks harmless enough, with his gangly 20-something form and over-gelled spiked hair, but after hours he is the mighty “NekkidPirate31” – The World of Warcraft Master Mage! You were warned!
$3000 Diamond: Kosta Boda “Connect” Candleholders – actual price: $100, on sale for $74.99 at viacristalina.com.
I’m not sure what “Kosta Boda” means, but I’m guessing it’s Swedish for, “For some Mary Kay consultant, these Hobby Lobby knockoffs are going to “Kosta Buncha.”
Also offered in the Diamond pantheon is the Skagen women’s watch, which sounds exotic enough to pimp slap a Rolex upside the head – until you browse the website and realize that there’s not one Skagen women’s watch priced over $165. Since I couldn’t find an exact match, the actual price for a similar model, complete with mother-of-pearl face, Austrian crystal trim, and leather band was $105 at Skagen.com.
$3600 Emerald: Pink baby grand piano – actual price: $119.59 at platinumgalleria.com
This one’s designed to rip out your heart and stomp all over it. “If I buy enough inventory, my little Reginald will shame the world’s greatest composers!” On the flip side, if you fail to reach Emerald star status, Reginald has a bright future of being the creepy guy seated at the back of the mall’s resident piano store. Hear that? That’s the most haunting version of “Chopsticks” I’ve ever heard. Oh, wait. That’s just the demo on his Casio; my bad.
$4800 Pearl: A pink trunk luggage set; the brochure calls it, “Spot in a Blink Pink!” although by the time you drag it from the luggage carousel, it will be undoubtedly be several shades of “Hand-Me-Down Brown.” I didn’t get any matches save one – a fellow on eBay selling the exact same set for $84.99. His suggested retail price is $258.00.
The second prize offered in the Pearl division is an American Express prepaid reward card with a value of $100. I have no price comparison with this item – I only offer you my stunned silence. To review: Corporate wants consultants to charge up $4800 worth of makeup so they can “win” a $100 gift card! Come on, hardcore MKers, even you guys have to agree that something doesn’t add up here!
$6000 Pearl: Karaoke machine – actual price: $179.00 at smckaraoke.com.
This one comes complete with a free karaoke CDs filled with all your favorite Mary Kay sing-along hits! Give your NSD’s Karaoke Night in Dallas a new dimension as you belt out, “Go-Give, Go-Get, Go-Get-Bent”, “Hope Pam Shaw’s Enjoying Her Vacation in El Salvador” (Because My Orders Helped Pay For It), and “All My Woes come from Stinky Hose” (The Seminar Song).
$7800 Pearl: Pink Cadillac Eldorado Bicycle – actual price: $269.99 at cadillacbikestore.com
See, Corporate’s got it all covered. Since the price of gas is so high, you can bike around town in your closed-toe heels and black skirt, hand-delivering your customers’ orders. And since you’re already delivering newspapers on the side (those credit cards won’t pay themselves down, you know) you can forego ordering the Section 2 presentation bags and just wrap the product in newsprint. Imagine the look on your mail carrier’s face when he unwraps the Sports section and finds a bottle of Domain cologne! Add a bottle opener or a ribald magazine and you’ve cemented yourself a customer for life!
Consider yourself briefed, my friends. If you want a prize that badly, please don’t saddle yourself with debt and inventory you don’t need to “win” it. Your child will love you just as much if she doesn’t see you bearing forth a pink piano. Take her to the zoo instead; that way, you’ll get a laugh when you pass the zebra enclosure and be reminded of that tacky Zulu frock the NSDs seem to be passing around as of late.
Shasta wishes and government cheese dreams to you!