Reporter Declines to Think Critically About Mary Kay

As is usually the case, mainstream media completely ignores the reality of multi-level marketing. Stories are regularly run about how MLM “businesses” offer consumers an opportunity to make money, especially during times of high unemployment. What these stories ignore is the reality that 99% of people involved in MLM actually lose money.

Last week, Rebecca Rose of the Killeen Daily Herald wrote a glowing piece about women making money with Mary Kay. She cited no hard facts about Mary Kay, only anecdotal evidence (read: lies) from women involved in MLMs and with a vested interest in inflating their supposed success.

One woman featured in the story was Darlene Beckett, a Mary Kay sales director who claims her income from Mary Kay equals that of her 2007 salary as an Army captain:

Beckett said her Mary Kay income is comparable to what she earned in the Army. “I got out as a captain,” she said. “In order to maintain my lifestyle, I knew I had to be a director.”

So far, she’s earned three cars, but not the most famous one. “People only think about the pink Cadillac,” she said. “But consultants earn Chevy Malibus. Directors can choose from Equinox and Toyota Camry.”

Rebecca Rose didn’t research this claim about Beckett’s income. If she had, she would know it cannot possibly be true. The story indicates that Beckett served in the Army for 9 years, in which case her salary as a Captain would have been more than $60,000 per year at 2012 rates. Dialing back that salary to 2007 rates (when Darlene left the Army), she was still making more than $54,000 per year, at the very least.

There’s no way Beckett is making anything close to $54,000 in Mary Kay. Women driving pink Cadillacs make about $40,000 per year if they’re lucky. But Beckett isn’t even in the Cadillac. She is driving the Chevrolet Equinox, which is a current “Premier Club” car.  To get that car, unit production needs to average $9,000 wholesale per month.  That equals a commission check of about $2,700 per month, or $32,400 per year.

Another way we know Beckett’s earnings aren’t close to her military pay: She says her highest check (ever!) was $5,000. That would need to be a normal check in order for her to make her military pay. It’s not. This was a one-time deal.

Maybe Darlene makes a ton of product sales that boost her income? Not likely. In the last three months, Darlene has ordered less than $2,000 wholesale from Mary Kay. If she’s selling everything she orders (not likely!), she could have a gross profit of $650 to $700 per month.

And of course, Beckett has all of her business expenses that must come out of her commission checks and gross profit from product sales.  Best case scenario, she is probably making $25,000 to $30,000 per year. (And don’t let anyone tell you that’s for part-time work. You can bet your bottom dollar that Darlene is working 40 to 60 hours per week.)

So why didn’t Rebecca Rose look for any facts  or solid proof when reporting about Mary Kay? Who knows. She emailed me for comment:

Hi, I’m Rebecca Rose, the business reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald.  I’m working on a story about local make up sales consultants, like Avon and Mary Kay.  I found your website and was wondering if you or a spokesperson for the site would be available for a quick phone interview today? I’m particularly interested in what advice you would offer to someone who might be interested in joining the company?  What specifically do you think the public should know about what being a sales rep is all about?

It seems she didn’t take the time to read anything on the site, even when I pointed her to this article on some of the real facts new Mary Kay consultants should consider. Most notably, that story stated that directors’ incomes are inflated. Yet Rebecca didn’t include anything on the “other side” of Mary Kay.

Other very informative pages that are easy to find with the handy dandy links in the navigation bar include:

I’m not suggesting that Rebecca Rose had to believe all the facts and opinions we present. I’m not saying that she had to parrot anything found on Pink Truth. I am suggesting, however, that with just a few minutes of her day and a little bit of critical thinking, she could have realized there is more to the Mary Kay story. It was too easy to believe a sales director who wants some press, but who is blatantly lying about her earnings.

It’s sad that yet another news outlet reported false earnings claims by a director. Apparently they are only interested in the feel-good story, and fail to use any critical thinking skills in the process of “reporting.”

7 Comments

  1. MLM Radar Detector

    All this shows is how shallow most “reporting” really is. I’ve experienced it first-hand when reporters showed up to cover events I was attending, then left just as soon as they felt they had enough to write a story. Of course what they printed was totally at odds with what really happened and what the event was really about.

    Shallow, careless, misleading reporting is (sadly) the standard in the news industry. Think about that the next time you see an interesting news story.

    Many years ago I went to a “job fair” that turned out to be a sleazy, hard-sell MLM pitch for some company which pushed questionable “natural” products like Ma Huang (now banned in the US) and fluoride-free toothpaste. On of the presenter’s biggest selling points was the claim that Forbes Magazine ran a feature story on their company as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. I went to the library afterwards and it was true; Forbes Magazine DID publish the story, and included that MLM company in its “Best Of…” lists several times throughout the year. I didn’t take the bait; the sleazy pitch was too good to be true. But I saw a room full of people line up to lay down $2000 to $5000 (“borrow it if you have to, but don’t miss this opportunity”).

  2. raisinberry

    Here is the real tragedy to me regarding all of this. The LYING.

    Before Mary Kay, I knew what a lie was. After a few months of indoctrination, and a few tries up the career path, “lies” were not lies anymore. If you had ONE month of a 5,000.00 check, well you simply extrapolated that out in your head and that became your “income”. Expenses were never calculated, just like real inventory on your shelves at the end of year. Ballpark is good enough.

    It was all part of the fake it till you make it, never be negative, believe and achieve, speak your abundance into fruition mindset that COVERS FOR LYING.

    I can tell you that whoever the Directors are that are reading my post this very minute…they can REMEMBER when a “lie” was a lie, and they know EXACTLY what I am saying…they have chosen to ignore what doesn’t “edify”, per instruction, and they will pull their pollyanna heads back down into the sand and “ACT AS IF”.

    Darlene will one day, be mortified, that she fell so far.

  3. Rachel

    Tracy mentioned in passing the expenses Beckett would have had as a sales director. As oppsed to those expenses, in the army she would have had (on top of her salary) the Army Food Allowance (or free meals in the mess halls), the Army housing allowance (or a free place to live on post), and the Army clothing allowance, to pay for her uniforms. On top of that, all her and her family’s medical and dental care would have been provided at no cost by the military hospitals, or if she needed off-post care, the Army’s insurance would have taken care of the cost.

  4. Krystyna

    Hi Ladies i would like to thank you very very much for this side
    i was thinking to move my buisness and do Director ship but what i realised after reading all this post different beetwen succes and Lost is 40/13 what That mean when you are Consultant you dont have to be pushy and when you became Director you don’t have any choice
    You have to be this is policy of this company, 100% Dissatisfaction gurarntie ;-(
    Then deeper you go the worst this reallity is
    to quota NSD Gill Ortega
    Always care about prepare before skin care
    Firstly I thought it will be about set up for guest but know I understand it
    Be ready for hunting get as much info about potential Victem as much you can .
    In Mary Kay was only 3 important things to do not 6
    Are you ready
    Nb 1 hunt
    Nb 2Chase
    Nb 3 final attack
    The company is made to win all the time and you have
    option one losse potion 2 lose and go to debets option 3 repeat over and over again all step 1 and step 2
    So I decided to be consultant earn 40% only skin care and have happy customers and peace of mind
    I have no words to describe you how I am so great full because I am single mum and I haven’t got husband with huge checkbook 🙂 and my doughtier need mummy
    I would like Thank you for this woman who sacrifices their own passion love dreams hope and money to built Mary Kay and one more thing when you watch imagine possibilities you Can see there is logo MK in waterpool and I believed this is symbolic of the infinite flow soul in Mary Kay .And I Agee with NSD Gloria B after all you will never be the same person again

    Do you know want is behind this word

  5. Darlene

    This is funny because I am the ‘Darlene Beckett’ she is referencing in the above article. Real reporting would have been to contact me and ask me firsthand questions and really get to the root. I stumbled across this because I just wanted to Google my name and see what comes up… so glad I did… Please feel free to contact me Tracy and do “your own” interview with me…I’m sure if you found this article in KDH, you can find my number. I have hundreds of happy customers who have been able to locate me via our website locator. Thanks and PINK HUGS!

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