The Reality of “Cadillac Director” Earnings

Written by TRACY on . Posted in Sales Directors

 You know I love to get my hands on these things: the real, live numbers that prove how few people are actually making money in Mary Kay. Now let me set this up for you to prove that almost no one is making that “executive pay” in Mary Kay.

A sales director driving a Cadillac is supposed to do $96,000 wholesale production over two quarters. That works out to $16,000 wholesale per month, which equals a commission check of about $3,200 monthly (using an average commission rate of 20%). That equals $38,400 per year gross commission if the director is just meeting the Cadillac minimums. (And then you have all the business expenses that must be paid out of that!)

And there are plenty of Pink Cadillac drivers who don’t make the minimum production, so their commissions are even lower AND they have to pay extra money to the company to keep the car.

Why do I do these figures? So that you can understand that all the directors below Cadillac (which is the vast majority) are making less than that per year.

And here are the alleged figures from Mary Kay Inc. through a sales director:

I called corp. last week to find out numbers. As Directors we are among the top 2% of the company. There are 14,000 directors. Out of the 14,000 directors only 2,200 are in the Pink Cadillac. That is only 15% of the 2% are driving the Pink Cadillac. That is 1/3 of a % are in Cadillacs. CONGRATULATIONS to all who are in your Cadillacs!!! You ROCK.

Did you get that? 14,000 sales directors in the U.S. Only 15%, or 2,200, are in a pink Cadillac. The director wisely points out that almost no one is in a Cadillac. Of the 750,000 or so total consultants in the U.S., those 2,100 in Cadillacs represent 0.28% or less than three tenths of a percent.

As of 2014, a reported 1,300 pink Cadillacs are on the streets in the U.S., meaning less than 10% of sales directors have them.

See how few in Mary Kay are actually making any money?

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Comments (26)

  • Lazy Gardens

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    It’s even easier … just look at the numbers reported in Applause.

    Some of the NSD income numbers were so low they stopped reporting them all out of embarrassment. If your NSD’s name is not on the list, she’s making less than $10,000 a month in gross commissions (from which she has to pay all her expenses). FYI, 8,333 a month is the magical “6-figure income)

    Look at the commissions reported for the top 100 directors in each division … especially the last one in each division. Those are the top 500 earners out of the 14,000. That means the other 13,500 are earning LESS than that. If your director brags how well she’s doing, and she’s not on the list, she’s making less than whoever is at the bottom of the list.

    Reply

  • CdnXMK

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    Looking at statistics like this is what got me really thinking about how much MLMs set people up for failure.

    If there are 2,200 cadillac directors and that works out to 0.28% of all MK in the US, then take a look at the number of NSDs out there. There are far fewer than 2,200! I am not sure of the exact figures, but assume that there are 500 NSDs out there. Out of 750,000 consultants, that’s pretty pathetic.

    And as an MK consultant/director, we were supposed to strive for this position? LOL. No wonder directors and NSDs preach ‘analysis leads to paralysis’! They don’t want anyone to see the truth.

    But numbers don’t lie.

    Reply

  • MKL

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    I am an independent Beauty Consultant at Mary Kay and I totally disagree with this. There are not many women driving the pink Cadillac because ****completely made up information removed****.

    Reply

    • TRACY

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      Sorry MKL, but I felt obligated to remove your lie from your comment. You made that number up. That’s simply not allowed here. Thanks for trying though!

      Reply

  • StayAtHomeMom

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    I’m currently a stay at home mom to a 20 month old with baby number 2 on the way. I would like to earn some sort of supplemental income a month to add to my husband’s salary. How difficult would it be to earn $600-$700 per month selling Mary Kay? What is the initial investment?

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Lazy Gardens

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      StayAtHomeMom –
      By “earn” I assume you mean “have $600-700 a month to apply towards household expenses, AFTER the business bills are paid off”.

      Using an NSD’s own formula for calculating expenses, IF you somehow managed to sell everything at full retail (no discounts, no freebies), AND IF you managed to avoid having unsold inventory piling up … you would have about 30% of your retail sales as “take home pay”.

      To reliably clear the $600 to $700 a month that you want, you would have to repeatedly and consistently sell $1800 to $2100 a month, every month, with absolutely no discounts ($21,000 – $25,000 a year at full retail). If you follow the director’s advice to get sales with all kinds of discounts, you would have to sell even more than that.

      Look at any director’s newsletters – very few of the consultants are ordering more than a couple hundred a month – that lets you know they aren’t selling much, that’s the absolute minimum order to keep their discount alive. After the initial big order, most of them quickly run out of “warm market” (friends and family).

      Are your friends and family going to buy $21,000 – $25,000 a year in cosmetics from you? I doubt it. Are you going to be able to leave your toddler and infant for the hours it will take to find a large enough customer base to buy that much? You would need several hundred customers .. where will they come from?

      As for the initial investment: they suck you in with the $100 starter kit, then hit you with the “you can’t sell froman emopty wagon” speech and try to get you to buy several thousand dollars worth of stuff before you even have your first customer.

      RUN! Run like the wind! This is not a real business, it is a way to move money from your pocketmintothe pockets of the directors, the NSDs and Mary Kay corporation.

      Reply

  • Rook

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    Just wondering if that number includes those that opt for the $ rather than the car, and if not, how many consultants qualify for the car but are aware enough not to take it? Even if an additional 2,200 qualified, the numbers are still abysmal.

    I am not, nor have I ever been, involved in MK. As a 19 year old college student, I had an older co-worker attempt to recruit me. She was in the process of qualifying for her first car and preparing to quit her full time job as a legal secretary. After spending some time on PT I tried to locate her through the MK website but couldn’t find her, at least in my area. A college friend of mine was recruited after being told she would be able to quit at least on of her part time jobs with little time spent on MK. I am fairly certain that she quit after less than 6 months. I attended the debut (I think) of a good friend and got a very hard sell from her director. She showed us her big check and was waiting for her car to arrive. Both my friend and her director are no longer involved in MK, as far as can tell. I guess my point is that MK has no interest in the longevity of their consultants, nor in their financial stability.

    Reply

    • TRACY

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      The 2,200 directors includes both those who drive the Cadillac and those who take the cash option in lieu of the Cadillac.

      Reply

  • unpinkedassistant

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    Drektor Dearest that I worked for was a cadillac director. She did gross $85,000. per year until the last few years. Now she is grossing about $65,000. per year. She is now making co-pays on the caddy, usually $450. per month.

    Expenses are so numerous that she actually loses money at the end of the year, as evidenced by the Schedule C on her federal income tax return. Her husband admitted this to me shortly before I quit my job. Things are much worse for drektor now than when I worked there. Her income is dropping every year.

    Reply

  • pinkfog_nomore

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    Some food for thought: I know a director that drives a pink caddy but she owns it and doesn’t actually qualify for it. She earned her caddy many years ago, bought it out, and now professes an image that she’s a caddy director, however she only recently qualified for a grand achiever = 1st director car, as seen in Applause.

    Reply

    • onelessSD

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      pinkfog- sounds like my director- she qualified for her latest caddie while I was in DIQ – and has never qualified since. Yet she still drives it – she bought it because she couldn’t bear the thought of driving a different car. I was a director for 7 yrs, and been out for almost 4 – that car is at least 10 yrs old.

      Reply

  • gotheart

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    Hey StayAt Home Mom,
    Go to our home page.
    Scroll down to” #1 Look Before You Leap”.
    Read all of of the article #1, #2.
    Read all of the replies.
    My kids were bout the same ages as yours when I started, this horrid company.
    I started for the same reason you are thinking about joining.
    The money you won’t earn, that will not supplement your husband’s income, will cause serious detriment to your family.
    Do your research woman.
    All the information is here.
    No way in hell are we gonna help you figure know “how difficult it is to sell 600. or 700. of the crap”.
    Nor will we tell you “what an initial investment is.”
    I’ll cool my jets, I am very passionate bout this especially when I think of your kids.

    Sincerely.

    Reply

  • gotheart

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    This is the front page…I said home page ….meant front page…just scroll down a few articles.

    Reply

  • onelessSD

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    Stayathome- this “opportunity” is so not worth it when your children are young- teenagers- etc. I started pushing towards directorship when mine were 3 & 1. I made it when they were 4 & 2. I quit directorship when they were 11 & 9. I missed so many things in their lives, and I totally regret it.

    Don’t make the same mistake I did- your children will lose in the long run. It’s so not worth sacrificing their formative years.

    Reply

  • raisinberry

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    onelessSD, you have posted the real tragedy…there real “con” of the working from home mythology.

    To think I chased “the dream” in order to be a better Mom. I could SCREAM my regret from the rooftops.

    Any goal requires effort, but that is NOT the bait that Mary Kay uses to suck a woman in. In fact, its quite the opposite. The story we were told is that we could be EXECUTIVES, while being stay at home Mom’s because this thing was so EFFORTLESS….just “smile and squirt”. You are just “teaching women how to wash their face” Gloria said.

    And then you get hip deep in it and NOW you find out how every waking hour will require your antennae up, your mouth open, your purse full, and your datebook loaded! And this will be required because your credit cards are full!

    Gee, just how serene and balanced do ya think your home life is, your parenting becomes, when your heart mind and soul is CONSUMED with struggling to “be at everything”, stay ahead of attrition, and collection agencies?

    Reply

    • Christy E. Bell

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      hear, hear Raisenberry!!!

      Reply

  • onelessSD

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    Yeah Raisin- I so wish I could do a “Do over” on that one. I bought that lie ‘hook, line & sinker’ too. There is no such thing as being a Stay at home mom- and a successful anything in MK. They are very subtle about it at first… you’ll hear this line for any function you’ll want to go to “although we love children, this is a business function, so please arrange alternate care for them”. OR, “you’ll love your weekly meetings- it gives the guys in our lives a chance ot ‘parent’ their own kids- while you get a break”. “Make your children your ‘Why’, not your ‘excuse’”.

    At first, it made sense to me (as at the time I didn’t have children) – but when my children arrived, it was such a battle internally for me to do what it ‘takes to make it in MK’ and what was really best for my children. I was told I needed to hire child care, I was told I needed to hire an office assistant, I was told I needed my husband to be more supportive, etc. The sd’s in my life really sold me a bill fo goods. But when I finally arrived there- it was nothing like I thought it would be. All of a sudden, I needed to double and triple my activity to get to 50 unit members, then cadillac, etc.

    If I could do it all over again- there is no way I’d ever put my children/family behind business. The women in MK are so whacked out in their need for recognition and fame- they have truly lost their souls. I honestly pity them. They are so consumed with working towards their futures, that they don’t live in the present. I’m sad for their families… as they suffer the greatest.

    This is definitely my greatest regret.

    Reply

  • morningstar

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    Just got the applause (don not know why I stil get the mag) and the numbers are dropping quickly for NSD commisions. You have the same regular tip top NSD crowd that has been there for eons in the “inner circle” at the higher levels. The ‘lower inner circles’ levels are telling. An example of my director/NSD is at the lowly 123600 commision mark for 6 months. Lets quickly take 50% off the top for chargebacks, taxes, event charges,etc and you have 61800 for 6 months. 10K a month is good money but when you have house expenses to pay on your exclusive mansion , pay for all you husbands expenses (her hubby is a kept man). Electricity is about 1000.00 per month. They have money and hopefully they are starting to save because expenses are rising to met their income. I say good luck in the next five year b/c who needs MK cosmetics. I was stalked at Walmart the other day, so sad to hear the line I am stepping out of my comfort zone…. I was shocked, saw her MK bag, pitiful. I was nice told her I am in MK, and she actually thanked me because I spoke kindly to her. I shuld have said PT to her, but she will figure it out….I could tell, she had some class about her.

    Reply

  • Mary Kay Top Director Income | Pink Truth

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    [...] – – aren’t making a whole lot of money. Even the most successful directors – – those in the pink Cadillac – – are making around $40,000 per year, if they’re lucky (and that’s only with 40 to 60 hour work weeks).  Even with repeated [...]

    Reply

  • Anyone Can Succeed in Mary Kay | Pink Truth

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    [...] point I am making here when demonstrating how little money Cadillac drivers make, and how few of them there are, and how they’re at the TOP of Mary Kay yet still not making a [...]

    Reply

  • exMKhubby

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    I’d like to comment on gotheart’s and onelessSD’s comments.

    I am the ex husband of an MK ISD. She has been working her business for eight years… stretching and reaching for that unobtainable holy grail… The Pink Cadillac. I will have to commend her for her tireless efforts in this endeavor but the cost has been great and she doesn’t realize it.
    It helped ruin our marriage and our kids only know their mother when she isn’t working…which is hardly ever. I have the kids on my visitation weekends, two nights a week and at least one day of her weekends with them.
    MK has great products, a great business plan(for themselves) and one hell of a “kool-aide” mix!!!! Don’t drink from it. It is poison.

    My ex struggles to make ends meet but will not give up now because she has spent too much time preaching to her “friends” about how awesome MK is and how she will have a big house, drive for free, etc, etc. It’s now a matter of pride. She can’t lose now! How humiliating would that be?!

    But what about the kids growing up with a part time mom? She doesn’t get it.

    “Dad, how come when it’s your weekend we’re with you but on mom’s weekends we’re with you or grandma or a babysitter???”

    Don’t do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • onelessSD

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      exMKhubby- I totally feel your pain. I’m so very sorry you and your children are victims of this scam. I’m forever grateful my husband was patient with me… but I was a struggling each month kind of director for most of the time. I knew I didn’t want the caddie because of how much work it took to get it and keep it. I wasn’t willing to sell all of my soul. But I hung on to directorship much longer than I should have – and that put me $22K in debt by the time I left that position. I’m still paying it off 4 yrs later.

      This is one of the biggest myths in MK – family before career. It just doesn’t happen, yet everyone I know that’s still in proclaims it loud and proud that this is a big selling point in starting a MK business. It’s a big lie.

      Reply

    • MK Taints the Color Pink

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      I’m sorry to hear MK has taken so much from your family and children. It sounds like your ex-wife is the custodial parent despite the fact that they actually spend more time with you. Is this something she fought for so that she could reap all of the tax benefits?

      I am happy to hear that your children can be with you even on “her time.” My husband’s ex has never told my husband when she is gone and has somebody else watch HIS child. That pisses me off beyond belief! My husband should have first rights to be with his child before her husband, mother or whatever other random person. She thinks we don’t know, but we do.

      Reply

  • Pink Truth » Mary Kay Top Director Income

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    […] – – aren’t making a whole lot of money. Even the most successful directors – – those in the pink Cadillac – – are making around $40,000 per year, if they’re lucky (and that’s only with 40 to 60 hour work weeks).  Even with repeated […]

    Reply

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