Written by Raisinberry
I found myself in a salon yesterday with a few other women. One lady got to talking about the “jewelry” party she was invited to, and I kept quiet, trying to get a “feel” for the temperature of yet another home party mlm.
The ladies began to chime in, and the comments made me want to sink into a hole.
Once again, I found myself coming face to face with something I had either denied or never thought of concerning our Mary Kay world. The woman speaking shared how she was “baited” into coming to this friend’s house by her friend who shared that “she must come and see so and so’s new home… it is just beautiful… she doesn’t have to buy anything, just come and see it….
The remarks that followed made my stomach turn. The woman sharing, (we’ll call her Sue) went on to say, “She never has even visited my home, and she wants me to come see another friend of hers home and do this overpriced jewelry thing…” Another woman said, “Oh she doesn’t want you to see her home, she probably promised her friend that she would get some guests there and she figures she’ll use something that will work on you… you probably like fancy houses?”
“Yes, I do check out models from time to time… So you mean she is just manipulating me to be there at the party, not being thoughtless?” She smiled as if she couldn’t figure out which was worse.
“Oh yea, that’s what they do. No one wants to go to those party things… the purse one is outrageous! So they have to guilt you into coming or bait you into coming, and you go and of course you have to buy so she can get her free stuff. I paid $75 for a purse that is just cheap… and I could kick myself”
Another woman spoke up. We’ll call her Marge.
“I have a friend who holds every kind of party all the time. She said to me, ‘Why don’t you come over… I never see you, have some fun and talk and just relax.’ And you know what I said to her? Why don’t you ever invite me over without the party thing, when nobody can talk much to each other anyway? If she misses seeing me, why does she only think of me to be at the party where I have to come and buy the cheapest thing I can find and she gets free stuff for doing it?”
“I just hate being asked to go, but if you go… then they ask you to hold one too, and I just tell them that I don’t want to put my friends in that position.”
“The stuff is always over priced, and for the most part cheaply made for the price they want, but that isn’t the worst part. Once you are on the mailing list, you will be bugged to join up and sell.” Said Marge.
A collective groan went up from the group. I said nothing, except, “All Multi-level product pyramids are the same, and you would be wise to stay away from them.”
I couldn’t say anymore. I couldn’t say “I speak from insider experience… I can tell you what is really going on and how much money is lost, and how manipulative they are and how cultish they behave.” I couldn’t speak because once again I was left in a deep sadness and awareness of how blind I had been, how much I fantasized that booking with me was what someone wanted to do-not something I manipulated out of them with any number of bogus challenges and contests.
I told myself they loved working with me, and I know many of them did once I was there, but that doesn’t change that most likely they secretly dreaded the fact that I put them in that position to be unable to deny me.
For this article’s sake, I have edited the fullness of these ladies’ remarks. The overall effect was to silence me in my shame. These were great ladies who felt safe enough in this environment to honestly share how hurt they were to be manipulated, used and financially abused so that Holly Hostess could get all she ever wanted in free stuff, off their purchases. Holly Hostess was trained in the “con”, just the consultants were. And just like Directors make their money off beauty consultant purchases, Hostesses as well, get their “compensation” off who they can manipulate into attending and buying.
I guess I had never considered that not only were we consultants trained and hurt by Mary Kay manipulation, but we also extended that reach out to the general public. They don’t talk about it either, I learned. Not to the consultant’s face. But when the subject comes up in a safe space, where there are no women with scripts, trained in overcoming objections, and where the women can say what they really feel, the truth comes out. They hate being asked or manipulated to hold the parties and they hate having to show up at other’s parties (having been manipulated by the hostess) to prove what a good friend they are.
It’s a terrible position to be placed in when the attendance is so small that whatever you buy or don’t buy will be well known… and whether Holly gets what she wants, depends on how willing you are to fork over your credit card. See why customers make the best consultants? They are pre-trained.
I should also add that these ladies aren’t “negative.” They’re honest.
Kinda like here at Pink Truth… but without the abuse of friendship.