Who’s Selling Mary Kay Products? Not Kim Sabourin’s Unit!

Kim Cowdell Sabourin Mary Kay DirectorFrom time to time, I like to take a look at who is actually selling Mary Kay products, and what kind of living they’re making from it. Pink Truthers are often told that it’s easy to sell MK products. The products “fly right off the shelf” or “sell themselves.” We’re told that if we were unable to sell the products and make a decent profit from those sales, it was only because we didn’t work hard enough, didn’t work the right way (the “Mary Kay way”), or we’re just lazy losers.

That’s why it’s so helpful to take a look at large units, see who is selling enough products to make a living (or even close to a living) and then compare ourselves accordingly. Today we’re taking a look at Kim Sabourin’s unit (formerly Kim Cowdell).

As of January 2, 2012, Kim’s unit had 298 members. Kim is a “top director” in Mary Kay, doing “million” more than once, driving a pink Cadillac, and going on top director trips. We’re told that directors get to the top and stay at the top in Mary Kay by doing things right!

What is Kim doing right?

She must be teaching her consultants to sell, right? Wrong. Below you will see the numbers for the top 20 consultants in the unit of 298. These figures start with the retail value of orders placed by the consultants to Mary Kay from July to December 2011.

 What can we learn from these numbers. The top person out of 298 unit members has ordered $13,175 retail value of products from Mary Kay in six months. If she sold all of that product (I know that’s not the case, but play along with me, and let’s err in her favor) with some minimal discounting and hostess gifts, she would have a gross profit of about 40% of that amount, or $5,270.

Of course, that doesn’t include all of her other business expenses, which would reduce that $5,270. But let’s ignore those for a minute.

Gross profit of $5,270 for six months equals $878 per month. Multiply that by 12 to estimate her full year gross profit, and she’s got $10,540.  That doesn’t sound like making a living to me, or even anything close to it. Heck, that’s far less than even a minimum wage worker makes.

And remember, this is the top person in the Sabourin unit! There are 297 other people making even less. What does that mean? No one (not even the director herself) is even coming close to making a living from selling products. Out of almost 300 women, no one can sell enough Mary Kay products to support herself.

It gets better as you look down the list. Go all the way down to the last person, who is number 20 in the unit of 298 people.  She ordered $2,323 retail from Mary Kay in six months. With our generous 40% gross profit, that’s $929. Which calculates $155 per month gross profit, before all other business expenses. If she does this for a whole year, she’ll have $1,858 in gross profit.

Now some Mary Kay supporters will say “That woman probably only wanted to make a little extra money, and $155 per month is great!” That’s a typical excuse – – that none of these women want to make a living or want to make substantial money. But again, this woman is number 20 out of 298. That means 278 people are making less than her!

I’d buy the “she only wants to make some pocket change” argument if this woman was number 180 in the unit. Not when she’s in the top 20.

So is Kim Sabourin teaching her million dollar unit to sell? No. Why? Because the market is saturated with too many Mary Kay women selling products, too many potential customers who don’t want to deal with the home party and recruiting aspect, and too many MK items available on eBay.

But maybe Kim’s unit isn’t selling a whole lot because they’re busy recruiting. Kim is recruiting, and is teaching her consultants to recruit, right? Because you only move up when you share this opportunity with other women. But you’d be wrong again.

In six months, this unit of 298 women recruited a whopping 6 qualified recruits. Kim Sabourin herself, who does Mary Kay full-time and claims to want to move up to national sales director, has only recruited 2 qualified women in 6 months. Talk about not working your business! (And for those interested in non-qualified recruits, the unit has recruited 13 women total during the last 6 months. Still not impressive.)

What does all this prove? It supports the notion that multi-level marketing is business model that dooms its participants to failure. You cannot sell enough products to make a living. So you must turn to recruiting women into the pyramid, but even those efforts are doomed to fail for most. Look at Kim. She’s been in Mary Kay for years and years. And even she can’t recruit at a respectable level. (And don’t tell me that’s because she’s busy running her unit. Running what? No one is selling or recruiting, so there isn’t much to run!)

298 women in a “top unit” in Mary Kay with a “top director”, and still no one sells enough products to make minimum wage. And even recruiting commissions won’t be enough to get them to minimum wage. Are all 298 of those women failures?

73 Comments

  1. feshoutofpink

    Fantastic breakdown of the real numbers inside Mary Kay!

    Even million dollar directors can’t sell the product or recruit new unit members yet they continue to claim they are living the dream. Apparently the pittance they do make qualifies as “living the dream” material. They just don’t get it.

    I wish someone had pointed this out to me when I was in for so many years. Maybe today I’d have 401K or some retirement instead of nothing.

    Mary Kay is the master of deception. That is for sure.

  2. freshoutofpink

    Fantastic breakdown of the real numbers inside Mary Kay!

    Even million dollar directors can’t sell the product or recruit new unit members yet they continue to claim they are living the dream. Apparently the pittance they do make qualifies as “living the dream” material. They just don’t get it.

    I wish someone had pointed this out to me when I was in for so many years. Maybe today I’d have 401K or some retirement instead of nothing.

    Mary Kay is the master of deception. That is for sure.

  3. Scrib

    Ouchie! And Kim’s website even offers the encouragement of “Put forth the effort and you will get results!” Do these sagging numbers mean that Kim is not “putting forth the effort?”

    I love how Kim’s most recent newsletter features a training event in which NSD Tammy Crayk wants $20 a pop for acolytes to have dinner with her and hear the same tired “Are you ready to move up the career path?!?” garbage that’s parroted throughout Mary Kay. And do take note that ONLY the team leaders, DIQs, and prize winners get to stay after the dinner and have “girlfriend time” playing Bunco with NSD Crayk and basking in her arrogance. Wheee!

    For those of you considering joining Mary Kay for the girlfriend time, this bit of information should be a BIG red flag to you. In Mary Kay, “girlfriend time” always seems to come with some sort of hoop that women have to jump through. REAL girlfriends and friendships are not like that.

  4. Lynn

    Numbers don’t lie, and these numbers are staggering. Especially when you consider that no one sells all products at full price. Amazing.

    I can’t help but be reminded of the condescending “well too bad for you if you chose not to work your business” comments people leave for pink truth members as a supposed rebuttal to claims that mary kay does not work. So does this mean no one in Kim Sabourin’s unit is working her business? Maybe they don’t have their big girl panties on? Or perhaps what Kim really needs is a haircut- that long hair is unprofessional, don’t you think? A “slammin” new style would be just the thing.

          1. Scrib

            I see where Lynn was coming from. I’ve seen the whole hair thing abundantly taught in director and NSD documents:

            “Keep a current hairstyle. Long or short, should be off of face & never distract.”

            ~From the document, “Looking like a Million…Dressing for Success.”

            “Wear a hair style that compliments your facial features. Preferably an up to date style and off your
            face. Have you received a compliment recently? If
            not, consider a different hair style.”

            ~From the document, the Power of a Strong Beauty Consultant.”

            And NSD Gloria “I Need $1200 Wholesale” Mayfield-Banks advises her followers to have “SLAMMIN’ HAIR!!” in her document, “Building a Strong Team.”

            Overall, higher-end directors and NSDs tend to sport shorter hairstyles, and the above guidance may have much to do with that phenomenon.

            I will say that on a personal note, I detest the Kate Gosselin ‘do with a vengeance and feel it should be burned from the earth before its ashes are fed to starving Komodo dragons. So let it be written, so let it be done. 😉

  5. Deflated Pink Bubble

    This is a huge unit and this is all they are producing? It’s worse than I thought within the structure of Mary Kay and you can bet that this unit is indicative of what the rest are doing as well. Not a good time to be a Mary Kay Rep…. Oh wait, it’s never a good time to be a Mary Kay Rep!

    1. TRACY

      In total the unit is producing a lot, but it is based on ordering by tons of people. She needs about $1600 wholesale ordered per person, per year, to “do million.”

      Kim is making a lot of money. Unfortunately it is on the backs of other women who are losing money but ordering products because they buy into nonsense like “you can’t sell from an empty wagon.” It sounds logical, but it’s not true. And even worse, even when you have stuff in your wagon, it’s often not the right stuff. So you need to order again, and must meet a minimum, then you get another order and don’t have a product… and you order again, and have to add extra so you meet the minimum… and little by little women accumulate thousands of dollars of unsellable product on their shelves.

      The proof that it’s unsellable is the 50,000 to 60,000 auctions for MK items on ebay at any given time.

      1. Deflated Pink Bubble

        With a unit of this size, of course the numbers for production and whatnot are there. I think the part that sticks with me is that these are her TOP performers and those are some pretty non-impressive numbers for the cream of the crop. Just proof that it’s not as easy to sell this stuff in this economy as they claim. And, this is what they are ordering, no telling how little of it is being sold.

  6. didpinkawhileago

    I wonder if anyone in their unit has seen this. And if they have, how do they explain coming to this negative website and seeing it? Lurkers, these are real numbers from a real unit that is claiming to be a top unit. It dosent add up all that working your business does it? Negative? Sure it is, but truth hurts sometimes dosent it?

  7. raisinberry

    Gee, I think this NSD Wannabee is BUSTED. Now if she also uses the “you have to show up to go up” dogma, you can also deduct $2,000 off the “profit” these top twentys have, just showing up at Seminar, career Conference, Retreats, Guest Events, Lips and Tips, Muffins and makeovers, Pizza and Possibilities.

    Its madness…its lies, and everyone knows it, but pretends by saying that executive level income from home is POSSIBLE. In 15 years…I never saw it even ONCE from any consultant.

  8. NeverWasPink

    Amazing article!! I felt like standing on my chair and cheering.. I bet every senior director in MK is crossing their fingers (and legs, so they don’t pee themselves!!) with eyes closed hoping “not me next, not me next, please, please…”

    Rock on PT!

  9. Sabourin Unit Adoptee

    I googled several of the top directors in Tammy Crayk’s area and saw this article on Kim. How horrible! She is a close friend of mine and my adopted director. It breaks my heart that all of you ladies have such a sad impression of Mary Kay. One of the things that you all don’t understand is that you don’t make full-time money in Mary Kay unless you have a full-time sales director position. I know those top 5 consultants personally, and they aren’t working 40 hours per week with their business right now. They have other jobs or are choosing to spend 5 hours per week with their business because that’s how much time they want to set aside. And just as a side note, Kim’s unit regularly hits $20,000+ in production each month, sometimes going as high as $30,000 or $35,000. So regardless of what you think, her unit is selling…I see it every week when I attend unit meeting. Also, regarding the girlfriend time…that is one of my favorite parts of Mary Kay. Yes, there are events that we have to pay for, but the reason for that is because there are expenses related to putting on those events. The National isn’t “making money” off of the events by any means. But, if she’s going to plan a dinner for certain consultants who it specific goals, someone has to pay for the food, right? It’s only fair that the consultant attending should pay for the meal and the rental space if she is going to benefit in some way by means of training or other information. My favorite kind of Mary Kay girlfriend time is when it’s unexpected. This past Christmas, I couldn’t fly back to Indiana to be with my family, and after a very emotional evening, I showed up on Kim’s doorstep unannounced on Christmas Eve and she welcomed me with open arms. She could have turned me away and said that she was spending time with her family, but to her, I am “family.” We’ve gone to movies together, had several sushi dinners, and sat for hours just enjoying each other’s company…and this from my ADOPTED sales director who doesn’t gain anything from helping me with my business. (And she has helped me, immensely). I know my comments are not going to change your opinions of Kim or of Mary Kay, but I would challenge you to ask yourselves why you target specific directors like this. Your comments, however true you may feel they are, do nothing but hurt people’s feelings and spread untrue statements. If you aren’t happy with Mary Kay, fine, own that. But, don’t smear other women because of your own insecurities. If any of you truly gave your businesses an honest effort and didn’t make excuses, my guess is that you would have been successful. Instead, you chose to be negative and bring other people down with you. How sad. I hope you ladies learn what Mary Kay is really all about someday. Joining this company has been the best decision I’ve ever made in my 27 years on this planet, but that’s me. Best of luck to you all in your future endeavors.

    1. TRACY

      Lisa – You completely missed the point of this article. It is not to pick on Kim, nor is it to spread false information. It is the exact opposite. To spread the truth. Mary Kay women have always claimed that top directors have selling units… that people only make money when others SELL Mary Kay.

      Well here’s the truth: Not one person in this unit of 298 women is selling enough to make even MINIMUM WAGE.

      If this article hurts feelings, it is only because it is exposing Mary Kay for the scam that it is.

      And Lisa… the unit isn’t selling. The unit is ordering. There is a HUGE difference.

      1. Sabourin Unit Adoptee

        And why do you think the unit keeps ordering? Could it be because they are selling what they order? What a novel concept. Why do you think her unit would hit million 4 times in a row if they weren’t selling what they purchase from the company? Maybe you were ordering and not selling. If that’s the case, forgive me for speaking what I believe to be true by saying that it’s your own fault for not following the business plan like you were taught. Instead of blaming the company for being a scam, maybe you should look inward and have an honest conversation with yourself about your own efforts.

        By the way Tracy, since I didn’t put my name anywhere in my comment, you must either be a former member of Kim’s unit, or at least in the Crayk area, otherwise you wouldn’t have the faintest clue of who I am as an adoptee. Let’s be fair. If you’re going to call me out and start a trend of your Pink Truthers picking on me by name, I’m going to call you out. If you had such a horrible experience in Mary Kay, own it and use your full name.

        1. TRACY

          Lisa – My full name is all over this site. So there. 🙂

          The unit keeps ordering because that is the Mary Kay culture. The bulk of what they order is unsold, but there are many reasons they have been convinced to order more…. all which they believe are legitimate. It’s just the way it’s done in MK and other MLMs.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      It breaks my heart that all of you ladies have such a sad impression of Mary Kay.

      It’s not an “impression”, it’s a fact-based analysis. Of the 200+ women in her unit, not one is making minimum wage at Mary Kay, even if we assume they are selling everything they order.

      If Kim’s unit is regularly ordering $20,000 in product each month, she’s making somewhere between $2,600 to $5,200 a month before expenses and taxes. The higher figure is only if she is also the recruiter.

      So her gross commission check is between $31,000 and 62,000 a year … and after all the bills are paid, what does she have left to live on?

      Do this – ask her to show us her business tax forms: the Schedule “C” where all the expenses are listed. For the past 5 years.

      It’s not personal, it’s business. If I were buying a hot dog stand, I would want to see the books for that business. If yhou expect us to believe that Mary Kay is a money-making opportunity, show us the money!

      1. Sabourin Unit Adoptee

        First of all, your math and commissions calculations are so beyond incorrect, I don’t even know where to start. As a director, she makes 13% on her unit’s sales, and %26 on her personal recruits, plus bonuses. In the January 2012 Applause magazine, Kim is listed as earning $8,631 in commissions and bonuses for September 2011 and $7,854 in October 2011. Even if we look at the low number and multiply that by 12, it’s $94,248 for the year. Just as a point of information, I don’t have to look at Kim’s IRS forms because I’ve personally seen copies of her pay stubs. She’ll be honest and tell you that her salary as a director is over $150,000 per year in commissions from her unit and from personal sales….and that’s AFTER business expenses are taken out.

        Yeah, she’s broke alright. Don’t know how she could live on as little as $7000 per month. I feel sorry for her. 😛

        1. Scrib

          “She’ll be honest and tell you that her salary as a director is over $150,000 per year in commissions from her unit and from personal sales….and that’s AFTER business expenses are taken out.”

          You’ll have to excuse me for not buying that one; I generally give people the benefit of the doubt, but I often can’t apply that principle to the Mary Kay world. Know why? It’s because directors are commonly taught to present an image of success so others will want the director position. Do you really think a director on the up and up is going to “be honest” about the true state of her MK income, particularly if she needs to snag bodies to keep her directorship?

          Schedule C or nothing, my friend. If someone’s supposedly doing so wonderfully in MK, I would like to think that they would not fear showing their true numbers to those who would ask.

          By the way, Lisa, what do YOUR numbers look like? How much inventory were you conned into getting when you came in?

        2. Lazy Gardens

          Just as a point of information, I don’t have to look at Kim’s IRS forms because I’ve personally seen copies of her pay stubs.

          That’s the one that shows the gross income, without the deductions for chargebacks, car co-pays, etc. Ask to see the form 1099 from Mary Kay. That’s one that shows income minus all the deductions for returned product and other things.

        3. Lazy Gardens

          Oh, Lisa, remember this. Kim gets the commission when anyone in the unit ORDERS something. Not sells, orders.

          It doesn’t matter if the product is sold to an IBC’s customer or if it goes on a shelf in the garage.

        4. alaskan_blue

          Whether your math is wrong or right, nobody in Mary Kay can be believed about their true earnings until the present their tax return. Show me the ACTUAL money earned after expenses and then I’ll believe you. Far too many SDs & NSDs (former NSD Allison Lamarr being a PERFECT example) make grandiose claims about income potential and yet their circumstances prove that they’re not making nearly what they claim to.

    3. Christy E. Bell

      “It’s only fair that the consultant attending should pay for the meal and the rental space if she is going to benefit in some way by means of training or other information.” Really?? What about the FREE training we were promised when we joined? I strongly recommend that you keep reading this site. The truth will set you free.

      1. PinkPhoenix

        Agreed. I remember going to a training event every spring when I was working at my retail job. It was almost 2 hours away and associates carpooled. The company paid for the mileage if someone drove. Lunch was provided since it lasted from 9 am to 3 pm. We received FREE training on new and existing products and even demoed them.

        My husband travels a lot for business. The company he works for pays for his plane ride, hotel, meals and a rental car. Any legitimate company will pay these expenses for their employees. Why should MK be any different?

        1. Trina

          Absolutely! Not to mention that the upline is making money from the increased sales & business volume their downline is learning from them. By definition, they should be able to afford the business expenses associated with hosting a simple training meeting!

        2. TRACY

          Well that’s easy… MK makes women think they “own their own business” so that all the costs fall on the women. Sure, you can theoretically set your own hours in Mary Kay. (Ignoring, of course, that your customers set your hours for you.) Other than that choice, there are few choices in Mary Kay. There are a million rules about what you can and cannot do, sell, and be. Mary Kay has all the control and can kick you out with no reason at all. The MK consultant really owns nothing, but MK needs them to think they own a business so that MK doesn’t have to pay for any normal business expenses related to those consultants.

    4. MLM Radar Detector

      “I know those top 5 consultants personally, and they aren’t working 40 hours per week with their business right now. They have other jobs or are choosing to spend 5 hours per week with their business because that’s how much time they want to set aside.”

      5 hours per week? What, exactly, do you think those 5 hours consist of? It sounds like you’re just counting time spent giving facials.

      Here’s the way most business women outside of Mary Kay count weekly hours spent on business:

      — 5 hours giving facials
      — 5 hours setting up before facials and cleaning up afterwards
      — 2 hours attending unit meetings
      — 4 hours traveling to/from facials and unit meetings, and delivering orders to regular customers
      — 4 hours on the computer placing, verifying, and tracking orders
      — 2 hours inventorying newly received shipments and refilling kits
      — 1 hour culling inventory for old or discontinued items and setting them aside for gifts
      — 7 hours (one hour a day) “warm-chatting” to try to set new parties
      — 4 hours on the phone confirming party arrangements, helping hostesses get more than one person to show up at parties, and trying to reset cancelled parties
      — 3 hours mentoring recruits so they don’t quit
      — 3 hours updating business financial records
      — And this doesn’t include time spent on Seminar, Quarterly Meetings, or local weekend training events. I’m sure I’ve left a few other things off this list as well.

      Do you see how fast “5 hours per week” becomes 40 hours per week if you count all the time you REALLY spend with your business?

      You’re just counting the 5 hours per week doing facials, because that’s the way your director counted your time when she said you’re making $100 per hour. Add in all the other hours needed to spend with your business, however, and you’ll quickly discover you’re working TWO full time jobs (your regular job AND Mary Kay) while making waaayyyy less.

  10. onelessSD

    Lisa, you have much to learn. I’ve been in MK almost as long as you’ve been alive. I was that production cow for my Sd’s unit, then for my own unit. I know what it takes to work this business – and I know what it takes to sell this product. I did National Court of Sales- 5 yrs in a row and was $3K away from finishing my 6th straight year when I let it all go. You see, I was a working director- worked my butt off, day in and day out. When I left directorship, I was over $22K in debt- not from the product- but from everything else. I attended everything, tried everything to get my unit moving more forward, etc. It put a major strain on my family, my finances and my integrity. You have no idea the inner workings of the SD’s or NSD’s, so you speak from ignorance.

    Please take a deep breath and simply read. Trust me when I say this- my 1st time reading, I was in shock – but I kept coming back because what I was reading, I knew to be true. We aren’t bashing Kim personally, but the lies and deceit she willingly spreads. She may be a wonderful person, but one that willingly manipulates and deceives. How do I know this? EVERY SD that I know uses the same tactics to get new recruits, or existing ones to work more.

    Please stick around and simply read and breathe, breathe and read. The fog will lift eventually for you too. Good luck to you too.

    1. beebee

      Wow, oneless, it’s good to hear of your experiences, do you have a more detailed account anywhere on the net? if so, I’d love to read it.

      When I was in MK (twice) I was 19, and 21 the second time. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why it did not work. I’d work my ass off and would only be able to sell a bottle of blue astringent in a week (I can’t remember the products now, in my late-30s, but it was part of the basic line).

      They (director, etc) told me to NEVER sell the basic separately that it all work together, and I tried but if I would have stuck to my guns, I would have sold nothing at all.

      My thinking is, that this Ponzi scheme is eventually going to fold. MK’s reputation is rightfully taking a beating nowadays. People are savvy about it because of market saturation. They are now hip to the fact that you have to frontload, no one wants this stuff (I got pity sales), and that even if you sign on as a customer, some MK rep is going to HOUND YOU to join, so women won’t even use it as retail customers because who needs all of that friggin hassle when there are 5,762,129,645,264,273 cosmetics companies out there hawking their stuff and have no desire to recruit you into their companies.

    2. Sabourin Unit Adoptee

      You’re right about one thing, onelesssd, I do still have much to learn….I’ll admit it. There is so much of this business that I do not understand yet. But forgive me if I do not take you as my personal mentor. If you left directorship in $22,000 worth of debt from going to events and other things, then it’s your fault for not working your business correctly and following the path that is laid out for us.

      By the way, if you’ve been in Mary Kay for as long as I’ve been alive, and you had such a horrible experience as a director, why stay with the company? If you’re so negative about what Mary Kay stands for, why not sell your product back to the company or just go inactive until you terminate? Call me crazy, but if I was that unhappy with a company I was in, I wouldn’t stay for another 2 decades after the fact. Just thought I’d point that out.

      I appreciate your sentiment about read and breathe, but the more I read the more my blood pressure goes up. I have no desire to poison my thoughts with the streaming negativity of this site. The only reason why I’m even back on this article commenting is because I care about my dear friend Kim, and I will defend her to the ground if that’s what is necessary. As for the fog lifting, it seems to me that the one stuck in a fog is you…a fog of negativity that is extinguishing the light of your soul. I sincerely hope that your bitterness fades one day.

      1. onelessSD

        I’ll reply to you here Lisa- 1st of all, let me explain a bit of my situation: I was a selling machine – consistantly doing court of sales level. Yes I had a lot of inventory, but I turned it over quickly. I had a small unit- so my commissions weren’t great. So with small commissions that went directly to my family acct (because we needed the income… but I wouldn’t count $600+ commission a month much of an income). Why I ended up with $22K at the end of 7 yrs as a SD was simply this: My SD expenses were eating me alive. All the events, the suits, the office supplies, the prizes, the accessories, the incentives, the recruiting coffees, the appt coffees – you name it. There is an article on here somewhere that highlights all the expenses for a typical director- I’d recommend reading it- it’s staggering.

        2nd: I left directorship in 2008. Walked away completely. My reason for not returning product was because my recruiter and now SD is my mother-in-law. I chose to salvage the family relationship. If I would have sent it all back (and let me tell you, there were a couple of times I was angry enough at her to do it), but it would have hurt her financially, and we’re still related- and I want to have a good relationship with her. (She was angry at me enough for quitting SD as it was). So I chose to sell off as much excess product as I could. I still have customers who continue to buy, but I’ve moved on to other employment pursuits, so it’s very minimal for me – my choice.

        3rd: I’d also like to point out that I’m not a negative person- at all, and what I said to you earlier wasn’t negative. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that. I’m not consumed by this site, (maybe the 1st year here I was, but I’m very busy and don’t get here as often as I used too). I think you’re assuming since we have a differing opinion of the situation, that I must be negative- on the contrary, discussing/debating an issue isn’t negative – it’s the people’s reactions to what’s being discussed is what can be negative. I admire you standing up for your adopted SD. If I was in your shoes (not knowing what I know now) I probably would have done the same thing. Naive, yet admirable.

        4th: and I’ll end with this- age and experience have taught me a very valuable lesson- (I got into mk at the age of 25) things aren’t always as they appear. Case in point- when I signed- my SD (MIL) told me that she was making excellent $ in MK, that she didn’t work full time, on and on. I remember the year her 1099 was just over 6 figures. I was impressed and strived even harder to get to that level. WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW… was this- that pay stub/1099 isn’t a correct figure at all. MK Corp doesn’t take out ANY deductions for taxes, etc. We are independent contractors- so the taxes are on our own. She also didn’t explain/divulge the amount of expenses that a SD incurs. Meeting room rentals, and so on. The amount can be big, and it can break you. So if Kim is averaging $150K – the real amount is much lower in reality. Between the government (state/federal & local taxes) and all the other expenses, I’d be surprised if she’s clearing -cash hand – $70K. Remember- nothing is given away for free from corp – everything is taxed, so any prize, car, trip, is included in that $150K and is taxed to the individual.

        Tracy is the site owner by the way- and she’s a forensic accountant- she would know specifics.

        I do hope you stick around and read some more- there’s a lot of information to grasp.

      2. beebee

        Lisa,

        Being a critical thinker is accepting the truth no matter what it is: positive, negative, or neutral. Those who want everything positive are those who wish to live in ignorance.

      3. Howie

        My Wife was very “Successful” in MK by all appearances. She was a Senior Director with 2 first line and 1 second line Director. People loved and adored her and wanted what she had. Truth be told we were as broke as the day is long.

        We decided that we cannot have a relationship with God and MK at the same time because of the unethical things we were witnessing and involved in.

        We made friendships that would last forever. We would do anything for these friends. Where are they today? When we decided to get off the hamster wheel and get our lives back we never heard from any of them again. Not one word.

        These people are not looking out for you in the least. Believe it or not we are more concerned for you than they are and that is why spend our time spreading the truth.

        1. Exkaybot

          Lisa, Howie is spot on. No one here stands to gain anything whether you stay or walk away from MK but you.

          Those forever friends….I had basically the same experience. I was only an IBC, but out of a unit of 100, I’m only in contact with 1 person. So much for 99 BFF’s.

          Right now, maybe you see us all as mean or bitter, but I can assure this group of ladies (and gentleman) are far more sincere in what they say to you than anyone in MK. They want others not to have to walk the same painful road they’ve been down. They’ve endured losses financially and personally and they’re speaking out in the interest of helping others break free.

          Please, before you completely close your mind to what is being said, take your time and read with an analytical mind. The truth is painful, yes, but knowing the truth is less painful than staying and living a lie.

      4. Truth exposed

        Your dear friend Kim declared bankruptcy in September 2012…fact. Saw the public documents myself. Look it up. Hundreds of thousands declared in chapter 7. Pull your head out of the sand and catch a glimpse of reality. Stop sticking up for deceitful liars.

  11. Deflated Pink Bubble

    Lisa, I understand your desire to defend your adopted director. I also understand your naivete. You are 27. I think you are misunderstanding a lot of things right now. Let me enlighten you just a bit.

    1. It appears that you think we do not know the inner workings of the Mary Kay Corporation and the Mary Kay Business model. On the contrary, almost every single one of us on this site has been in Mary Kay. Some for longer than you have been alive. There are women here who were IBC’s, SD’s all the way up to one who was in qualification for NSD.

    2. Some of us lost more money in Mary Kay than you have earned in your lifetime.

    3. About your Mary Kay friends. They are only your friends because you are in Mary Kay and active and that includes your precious adopted director. Stop ordering and every one of those people will shun you. Mary Kay friendships are the most shallow of all friendships that exist.

    4. Nothing is posted on this site that cannot be proven. Here you will find TRUTH. At Mary Kay events you will find deception and manipulation.

    5. If Kim Sabourin is such a good friend of yours, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you ask her to show you her income tax documents from Mary Kay for the past 5 years. Tell her you want to see her Schedule C and see if she lets you. So you are not surprised, she won’t. She cannot back up her BS. None of them can.

    6. You found us. We didn’t come to you. SOMETHING made you stop at this site. Now that you’re here, pull up a chair, read for a bit. I just ask that you do it with an open mind. You will start to see things that are familiar to you. Then realize you are not alone. Don’t worry, it happened to all of us. We just have already figured it out.

    7. And just so you know. Every one of us on this site worked our business. We did what was needed. We didn’t fail. The Mary Kay Business Model failed. IT doesn’t work, not us.

    8. Take a look at your credit card debt from Mary Kay. Are you making enough money every month FROM your Mary Kay sales to pay that off plus have a profit? Do you have a lot of inventory at this point? How’s that working for you?

    You may not figure it out now but one day you will come back to this site and realize we were right all along. Trust me on that one.. It’s happened to most of us.

    1. Sabourin Unit Adoptee

      It’s easy to say that I’m the young and stupid one for believing in this company. If that’s what you think, fine. You have every right to think that. But I’m not as naive as you think. On the contrary, I’m very skeptical about most things. There was a point early on in my business where I did doubt if this company was legit. I did question whether or not what I was being told was true. “This golden rule thing has to be an act,” “No one actually follows the MK priorities right?” But, instead of shutting down and closing off, I opened my heart and trusted my gut.

      I’m not trying to change your mind, and I won’t let you change mine. All I’m doing is engaging in a debate.

      PS…Truth is relative. There is “big T truth” and “little T truth.” Little T truth is what is true for us based on our own experiences. Big T Truth is universal….and there are very few of these, such as gravity, an unlimited universe, the finite nature of life, etc. Saying that all of your comments are “truth” means nothing other than they are true for you and how you have experienced life. You can’t make broad, sweeping statements about little T truths…it doesn’t make sense.

      1. Scrib

        Lisa, let me ask you something. Have you always believed that getting both sides of the story to be a negative thing, or is this a recent Mary Kay thing?

        Let’s say you wanted to buy a new HDTV. If you’re like me, you don’t want to blow hard-earned money on a piece of crap that’s only going to function as the biggest paperweight EVER after it goes kaput in a week, so you research the pros and cons of each tv model before making the purchase.

        Now let’s hit Best Buy and see what they have. Wouldn’t you find it a bit strange if – while you were looking at various models – the salesperson said to you, “Lisa, you gotta get a Samsung. It’s the best TV out there in all the land. Is there any reason why we can’t ring this Samsung up for you today? What have you got to lose?”

        “Well, I’d like to hit Consumer Reports online and check out some of the pros and cons before making a decision,” you reply. “Besides, my dad had a Samsung that just flat-out sucked. I don’t want that to happen to me if I can avoid it. I think I’ll do a bit more research.”

        Now imagine the salesperson replying with: “STOP BEING SO NEGATIVE, LISA! That’s just your truth with a little “T!” You don’t need to go to a negative website like Consumer Reports; you have all the information you need to make an educated decision right here. Don’t you want a better tv for your family to enjoy?”

        I always wonder what people are trying to hide when they don’t want me to go research something further. And maybe you’ve felt that way – however slight – in Mary Kay, Lisa. I’m here to tell you that you are not wrong to want to do so. It’s not negative to do research; it’s SMART. So many folks here have done the work for you in the form of well-researched articles, all you need do is check out our “consumer reports” for yourself.

        Shalom. 🙂

        1. Lazy Gardens

          And then you find out that the salesperson gets a kickback from Samsung.

          And they they want you to share the Samsung opportunity by selling HDTVs to your friends and family. 🙂

          1. Scrib

            Ooh! Nice follow-up, Lazy! 🙂

            Don’t forget that God is all for Samsung and that He’s watching carefully to make sure you dazzle him by sharing the opportunity with enough people, lest he shake his head with disappointment at the yearly Samsung Seminar.

            That last sentence should sound very familiar to ol’ NSD Dacia “Lecturer of Lies” Wiegandt.

      2. Deflated Pink Bubble

        Sweetie, I am not saying you are young and stupid. None of us are. What we are saying is you have been conned. Don’t feel bad, the folks at Mary Kay have been perfecting this scam for almost 50 years. You got taken just like the rest of us did. The difference between you and the rest of us is that you are still fighting it.

        Truth is not relative. It’s a black or white thing. When you are inside that cozy little Pink Bubble, you see all the shades of gray. When that bubble bursts you will see that the gray areas were carefully painted for you. Right now you are seeing this as your version of the truth versus our version of the truth. What I am trying to get you to see is that what you will read here is something different. FACTS. Pure and unadulterated facts. Facts don’t lie.

        I fail to understand your logic behind truths. Is this a new Mary Kay thing? Truth is truth. There are no big truths or little truths.

        Mary Kay is a cult. I hate to break that to you but it is what it is. There are plenty of articles here that will show you that. You really do need to do some exploring on this site. Trust me on this one, if we were all wrong over here, this site wouldn’t be this powerful. We are the thorn that Mary Kay cannot pull out of her great big paw. There is a reason they haven’t been able to shut us up.. It’s because of truths.

        Please don’t get the wrong idea. No disrespect was ever intended towards you here. We just want you to see what we think you have already started to see and shut down. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but once you do, it gets better. Mary Kay is a never ending hamster wheel and we can prove it.

      3. Christy E. Bell

        Sweetie, numbers aren’t relative. They are what they are. In MK,
        Personal Income=Sales and commissions-expenses. Just because ya make 250k doesn’t mean your INCOME is 250K.
        Personal Income=Sales and commissions-expenses.
        Do the math,and let your “positiveness” be based on facts.

      4. Lazy Gardens

        Lisa, you say – Truth is relative. There is “big T truth” and “little T truth.” Little T truth is what is true for us based on our own experiences. That is not truth, that is a point of view, an opinion, a way of thinking, one person’s experience. That is heavily filtered through expectations and personal history.

        Big T Truth is universal….and there are very few of these, such as gravity, an unlimited universe. There are many, many millions of Big-T Truths. They are called facts.

        Don’t forget the really, really BIG T TRUTH that allows us to investigate the law of gravity, design computers, build bridges, etc.

        It’s called MATHEMATICS and inside mathematics we have STATISTICS … which allows us to analyze what a lot of people are experiencing, lumping their individual one by one happenings, and all the small facts they experience and see what is happening to them as a group, and predict the odds of various outcomes.

        When someone analyzes – as I did – the estimated retail sales for IBCs, as reported by their directors we see a Big T Truth. I made every assumption I could to slant the results in favor of profitability for the IBCs … and it’s still not pretty.
        http://voices.yahoo.com/mary-kay-home-business-opportunity-133569.html (NOTE: if you want to challenge the data, you’ll have to show me which director lied when they reported sales.)

        When I can look at public documents and see that Mary Kay Ash told lies of omission and exaggeration to make her I-story better for recruiting, that’s not a “little-t truth” it’s a Big-T Truth.
        http://voices.yahoo.com/mary-kay-ash-missing-marriages-6543920.html

        When someone studies – as the Scribbler has – dozens and dozens of documents (CDs, tapes, and printed) created and distributed by the NSDs, SDs and even Mary Kay Corporation … you can start getting some Big-T Truths out of it.

        When an article here cites the words of an NSD, direct from a Seminar speech or training document, there is no little-t about it. It’s what she said, straight outta her mouf!

      5. alaskan_blue

        Your answer to Deflated’s response is heartbreaking. Not because of what you said, but what you didn’t say. You were given 7 very real, valid points and you ignored all of them by essentially sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes and refusing to listen to any of them. The only people who do this are the ones that KNOW there is validity to an argument and they are too terrified that acknowledging it will rock their reality on its axis.

        So you know, I was your age when I was re-introduced to the MK world. A family friend who was a red jacket and gunnning for DIQ had me over for some party under the auspices that it was “a practice presentation for new products that will be coming out in a few months.” Instead, I was in the middle of a blatant recruiting session that lasted 2 1/2 hours rather than the one hour I was told it would be.

        In that session several women did sign up and I was interested in becoming personal use but I wanted to research, get some facts and figures on MLM in general. Yes, I found Pink Truth, along with other sites. I found the DSA website which openly admits that most MLM sellers sell, at most, about $2000 a year. I also decided to cool my heels, sit back and observe. I saw those women who signed up leave MK almost as soon as the garbage truck picked up the packaging from their starter kits. I saw the Red Jacket try and fail 3 times to make Director. I saw on woman who had signed up try for red jacket and complain that nobody wanted to sell. I saw the other who wanted to sell complain that leads gave her fake phone numbers, or cancelled on her, and about 9 months in break down in tears because, and I quote: “I’ve been doing everything [recruiter & director] tell me to! I HAVE been working ‘smarter, not harder!’ I can’t sell it because nobody wants it! It’s too expensive at full price, and I can’t even break even offering it at discounts, and any time I meet someone who uses it, that tell me they already know someone who sells it to them at the wholesale cost!”

        After working like a little pink pit pony for 11 months. Ordering her initial inventory and maintaining the $200 orders & whatever Section 2 she had to get every quarter, along with skirts, pantyhose, and “maintaining a professional appearance” (as was insisted upon as “necessary” by the director) she spent about $5500 total in Mary Kay. Her actual profit from her initial sales to friends/family and the occasional random customer was about $1000 which was eaten up by section 2, and the previously mentioned “necessary” wardrobe and appearance. She almost lost her fiancee who was terrified at how obsessed she was becoming by something she had never shown a keen interest in previously that was clearly affecting her mental health with all the stress she was under to “succeed.” As it was, their wedding date was postponed for a year and a half. After selling back her inventory to the company and her Section 2 stuff on Craigslist/eBay, she wound up losing about $2300 total. Along with her friendship of her recruiter, a choice that was the recruiter’s.

        So, while I have never been in Mary Kay, I have seen lives and financial security ruined by this “business.” The excuse is always, “Oh, it’s just that director/recruiter/nsd/etc., mine isn’t like that! She’s an angel who would never do something like that. I’ve done too much research, conducted too many interviews with former consultants and directors, and I’ve seen far too many directors in their personal blogs and vlogs who hit at a minimum of 7 points on the Boyd Cult Scale (look it up). I’ve seen the truth for what it is as an observer, not a participant. And while some might say I’ve “gone native” it’s because I recognize Mary Kay for what it is. And no, I wouldn’t say it’s a pyramid scheme, it’s a pyramid cult.

      6. Tigger

        …quote…’the truth is realtive.’

        The hell it is. It’s either the truth or it isn’t the truth. You don’t get to decide that one, Sweetie. Good Lord. This is what defines this new generation of K-bots. “I’ll decide what truth is.” What a laugh. All she needs is a few more kick-ass decades under her belt to realize all that glitters is not MK.

  12. Miranda

    Its all the truth.. and yes the truth hurts in the real world. Take a second look before you spend too much time and money interested in girlfriend time. We are not all liars and dont feed you scripts, everyone has an eye opening story they would love to share, no other benefit but helping you see the truth.

  13. C_Personality

    I remember Kim Cowdell from before Tammy’s rise to NSD when they were also in my National’s area (Julianne Clayson-McGillis-Nagle-insert current name here). Although this article is eye-opening on the money and selling issue, I find it sad that Kim now has a new name. That usually means a divorce. Which happens all too often, especially in Mary Kay.

  14. No Pink Fool

    Hi, Ladies!

    I am new to this site (well kinda sorta). I’ve been coming here to pink truth since I signed my agreement on December 10, 2011. What made me come here? Well after I signed my agreement that Saturday, I didn’t know I had to pay the money I did. I ended up spending for the starter kit and business cards only, thank God. I am not married yet and have no children. I am 31 years old and I am the sole supporter of myself, so I became frustrated when I didn’t have the money right off to purchase the “$4800 worth of wonderful inventory” my SD said I should purchase. Luckily, I was flat broke and had just quit my job due to illness in November. Had I still worked, I probably would have fallen for this scam sham mess! Long story short, my director started being a little…well..err umm…HIGHLY ANNOYINGLY PUSHY! So this got on my nerves, her calling, texting, scheduling meetings (SHE IS TEXTING ME RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS, lol, she might have me on phone tap). As I was saying, she is annoying and I became quite alarmed when she scheduled probably 5 meetings in one week as soon as I signed the contradct. When she kept pressing me to purchase inventory, I began to withdraw. I’m not the type who does well with people bugging me, so I ignore her efforts to reach out to me and thus I go online to google or yahoo the real truth behind this. Thank GOD for you brave ladies! I used up all my makeup in the starter kit today, gave the rest (OOPS ANOTHER TEXT FROM HER lol) to my sister and am using my stuff for me. Maybe in the future, I will order for anyone who wants to buy but I am so happy that I was too broke to invest anything in this company! My father kept telling me it sounded shady, but as you ladies mentioned, oh the trickery-the flattery-the lies-the painting SATAN pink just to fill their pockets. I commed you ladies who fought hard to make this work. Its certainly not your fault that MK is a scam. And Lisa, listen my dear. I never got started and I thank GOD I didn’t get to that point. Something told me this was not right and I am not falling for it. One last thing, everyone: why is she texting me still? Common sense will tell my SD that maybe I’m (OOPS ANOTHER TEXT FROM A GIRL IN OUR UNIT-I’M NOT KIDDING Y’ALL. THEY ARE LITERALLY TEXTING ME AS I TYPE THIS lol. Well let me end here for now. Thank you brave ladies for the enlightenment! Best wishes! 🙂

    1. Lazy Gardens

      why is she texting me still? Because she has been programmed into thinking that all she has to do is keep hassling you and you will cave in and order stuff. Get you to “help the team” and “get ‘er done” and “stretch to the goal” and “be a star” and “invest in yourself” and … good ghodz the cliches never stop do they?

      In other words, she’s desperate!

      Send M<ary Kay corporate a letter cancelling your consultant number.

      Your discount requires you to order $200 wholesale before it kicks in, then it dies in 3 months, so ordering once in a while won;t work.

      You are hanging on the edge … just bail out! Please?

  15. No Pink Fool

    Oh and one more thing…my SD is doing this to encourage me to join this cult. She, stupidly, keeps sending forward text messages/conversations between her and a supposed “interested” female who is seeking to rejoin. I know this because they have been sending me text messages all day about a stupid meeting, which I’m not attending. I don’t owe my SD an explanation. She lied to me and since she is so smart, ket her figure it out. I just installed an app to block those two cell phone numbers she is using to harass me. So much for professionalism from a MK SD. She is just mad because you ladies and gentlemen have enlightened me. Sorry it went wrong and you all had to endure such emotional distress and financial loss. I told my mother today that I wish some sort of compensation can be awarded to those of you who lost all your money. There are a couple of lawsuits against MK. I’ve read about some of them. Look them up. Thank you all for reading. 🙂

  16. Howie

    No Pink Fool

    Glad you found PT in time. Just be ready for a full assault from the Kaybots trying to lure you back in. They have a script to over come any objection you may throw at them. Your SD will want to do an exit interview with you (these are ploys to get you to change your mind). Tell her one time you have decided to get out and to respect your decision and you are done.

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  18. vivian evans

    listen i wanted to quite my full time job as a pharmacy tech..but i just could not sell the products even after i decided to quit mk and sell 50 percent off…doesnt even happen!! …i worked my tail off…to replace my income now and stay home.. id have to do atleast 3700 a month…every single month selling that…and that would barely get me by!!! id make 1480..but way more time and effort goes into packaging selling …trying to recuit..hit all the star level crap( that i could by at the dollar store) yes i fed into it..but if i saw over 30 faces in a month..and sold only 200 …30 faces…it is not averaging 50 a face even of o did that id still be short 2200…so double book and book and all of them cancel dont worry find new people..so i do that…it never ends and im just a senior consultant..wtih girls that dont wanna get active…seriously..doesnt work!

  19. Scrib

    “Kim Sabourin herself, who does Mary Kay full-time and claims to want to move up to national sales director…”

    Tracy, when this piece was written, can you recall what rank Sabourin was? Right now she’s a Senior Sales Director.

    That’s a sad place to be for doing full-time work with no benefits on a business that isn’t yours and cannot be sold or willed to kin.

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