Fun With Numbers: Mary Kay Director Commissions for March 2008

One popular piece of Mary Kay Fiction is called How to Make $100,000 a Year as a New Director. Of course, the program outlined in this document is next to impossible to achieve. How do I know? There are about 14,000 sales directors in the United States, and almost noneof them can do it.

And the great thing about analyzing sales director numbers is that pro-Mary Kay people can’t legitimately call them lazy losers who don’t want to work. Of course, there are some directors who don’t want an executive income from MK. But I’ve talked to enough directors and ex-directors to know that most do want to live the MK dream and make the real, executive money. And they worked their butts off more than full-time and still didn’t make a whole lot.

The March 2008 director commissions (from July 2008 Applause magazine) provide excellent first-hand information about how much Mary Kay directors aren’t making. If you check out this list, you’ll see that there are 500 directors listed. Out of 14,000. That is 3.6% of the sales directors. And with a U.S. sales force of 700,000, those 500 women are 0.07% (seven one-hundredths of one percent).

Now remember, these are the top earning women in Mary Kay (aside from the nsd’s). The lowest commission check on this list is $6,728.

That means that the other 13,500 directors in Mary Kay are grossing less than $6,700 a month, or $80,400 a year (before expenses). Well $80,000 isn’t bad, you say? Yeah. Everyone is making far less than that. Even Vue/G2 directors (formerly Grand Prix directors) are barely making about $20k a year.

Who’s actually making this $100,000 that some brag any director can be made? Well I figure that if a Mary Kay sales director keeps her expenses to 25% of her commission check, she’d need to gross over $11,000 a month in commissions to hit that $100k. (And I’m being generous… I think directors will tell you that their expenses run more than 25% of commissions.)

And as Raisinberry pointed out, in this listing of commissions, the company is not figuring in chargebacks. These are commissions on wholesale orders placed before the chargebacks from products returned by consultants.

How many directors made $11,000 or more in March 2008? 103. Yes, 103 directors out of 14,000. Less than 1% of directors. The other 99% of directors have no hope of making that six figure income. (With these odds, why do Mary Kay ladies recruit with claims of fabulous executive incomes made by so many?)

Oh, I know that directors can make money from selling the products, and that’s not reflected in these commission checks. Stick around Pink Truth for a little while and you’ll see just how little product is actually being sold by anyone. It’s safe to say they’re not making much (if anything) from selling products.

So yes, it’s possible to make decent money doing Mary Kay, as evidenced by these 500 women. But it’s nearly impossible. There are 699,500 women in MK who are making next to nothing. I don’t think those are very good odds, do you?