There’s No Such Thing as 50% Profit in Mary Kay

Those of us who have been hanging around Pink Truth for a while know that the idea of 50% profit in Mary Kay is a total lie. If a consultant sells all of her product at full retail, with no discounts and no giveaways, she has a 50% gross profit… out of which all other expenses have to be paid.

There’s not 50% profit, no matter how you slice it. And with this bit of sales magic, there’s even less profit to go around:

When you do a reorder or even meet someone say… “How do you like to get your cosmetics? Full price, Half off or FREE?”

She will say ‘what do you mean??’ You say… “Well – it is your lucky day – you were supposed to meet me – because when you become my customer you can have all of your cosmetics FREE for the rest of your life!!!!!”

For every purchasing girlfriend you get together for a makeover – you will get $10 of FREE MK! 8 girlfriends who purchase from me at a get together – you get $80 FREE!! So anytime you want cosmetics –just have a get together and you can get yours for free anytime- all year long!!!

Or… Half Off – Take the Look Book to work with you and get 10 orders for me and you get a HALF-OFF shopping spree!!! You can do this as many times as you want to!!!! Or – of course – my favorite – you can just purchase at FULL PRICE!! The choice is yours!!!

I realize that retailers all run sales and special offers that cut into their profits. It’s a gimmick used to get people in the door and get them buying. I’m not opposed to that basic marketing tactic.

Unfortunately, it seems so few sales in Mary Kay can be made without some sort of discount or giveaway. Every time you turn around, your director is telling you to give away a lipgloss, or offer a $10 free certificate, or give away hostess gifts,  and do a buy one / get one free, or discount the discontinued products.

Consultants certainly can’t earn a living this way.

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15 Responses to There’s No Such Thing as 50% Profit in Mary Kay

  1. enorth August 26, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Training/recruiting videos scream, “Mary Kay ALLOWS us to make 50% on EVERY sale! Isn’t that awesome?” But, the catalog says, “All prices are suggested retail.”

    Everyone knows consultants who sell at those “suggested” retail prices are few and far between. And, every time MK Corp raises those suggested retail prices it’s a good thing, right? Because consultants then make even more money! LOL

  2. Ne_Pink_Plus August 26, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    My SD told her recruits that sales prices undermine sister consultants, as well as debasing product reputation.

    I hated that I was expected to give product away for free (purchase samples, or whatever) and it came out of my bottom line. When I questioned it, my SD looked at me like I slapped Mary Kay across the kisser myself.

    • MLM Radar August 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      So you weren’t supposed to discount anything, but you WERE expected to just give it away?

      And the reason for that lunatic logic was that you were “training” the customers to not expect a sale price? Sounds to me like she WAS training the customers to expect a sale price: $zero.

      Tell ya what, Miz SD, if you want your IBCs to be giving away stuff, why don’t you hand them a few boxfuls out of your own closet? I know it’s overflowing. You could use the closet space for more “top off production” orders of your own.

  3. BartheDoor August 26, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    This is a variant of the bull that Nerium is pulling with my friend, who left Mary Kay only to find another, worse MLM. I didn’t think that was possible, but it is. Customers get free products if they sign up for auto delivery and if they suck three friends into buying on auto delivery too.

  4. raisinberry August 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Just another example of false and exaggerated claims for which Mary Kay is famous!

    When I was in, it was the closing sheet ( buy 2 sets get the third set 50% off…buy three get the fourth free!) Any way you sold the roll up bag, you were cutting into profit, and then add hostess credit and you were lucky to be pulling 30%. Now add the drive, the supplies, then remember to deduct a daily portion of all the monthly costs, including room fee, and you start seeing why you made very little on retail sales.

    Mary Kay math is initially 50/50…then once in, it goes to 60/40…Then it goes to 70/30 once you are stocking limited edition. At year end, you get a nice look at all that product that didn’t sell on your shelves…Money slowly going down the drain.

    So you better get recruiting cause that’s where the REAL money is!

    How many lies can they tell? It’s limitless!

  5. Sapphire August 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    I feel another rant coming on…

    50% is impossible because it pre-supposes that there are no other expenses will come out of the consultants bottom line. For one thing, there are taxes; yes they are pre-paid but how many times have you heard a consultant say “On I paid the sales tax.” The customer is happy and the consultant is down some profit. Then there is shipping. I don’t care wherther you purchase one order at a time or you carry inventory, there are going to be shipping charges that the consultant will have to pay. All the consultant replicated websites say “shipping is free.” The customer is happy but the consultant is down in her profit. Then there are samples, catalogs, reminder postcards, business cards, promotionals printed, time spent… All of this costs. The cusomer is happy but the consultant has cut into her profits yet again. Then there is the problem of Lilmited Edition products that were supposed to fly off the shelves because they were so on trend; Deep discounts in the next quarter and even free as hostess give aways and contest prizes. The customer is happy and guess what? The consultant has once again dipped into her 50% profit.

    I don’t know about you… but it’s better to be a customer instead of a consultant. And that is assuming you want to purchase a product from a desperate woman who is trying to make a buck but can’t because she has to give it away by dipping into her profits.

    Way to go Mary Kay. NOT!

  6. enorth August 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    “The customer is happy”

    And, the customer may be happy today, but will drop you like a hot potato when another IBC offers bigger discounts/freebies or when Walgreens has a BOGO.

  7. gotheart August 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    I think it is repulsive how they speak of truth and lie!

    Profits are mentioned.

    I am referring to “the profits are hers to keep!” (Where is that swear word censer icon!)

    Raisinberry statement; “Mary Kay math is initially 50/50…then once in, it goes to 60/40…Then it goes to 70/30 once you are stocking limited edition.”
    We all know this is exactly what we were told when we joined and how the commission really plays out.

    “What’s true for every independent beauty consultant is a simple model – she signs an agreement directly with the company, purchases her products directly from the company at a wholesale price and then sells the product to her customers at a suggested retail price. If she sells a $13 lipstick and bought it for $6.50, the profits are hers to keep. It’s each person’s choice on how much product she wants to purchase from the company to sell to her customers. What’s also true for everyone who starts a Mary Kay business and isn’t pleased: if she does decide to buy inventory, she can return any products she purchased and we will refund 90 percent of the purchase price within one year of purchase. The incredible and continued interest in Mary Kay along with the longevity, reputation and success of the Company speaks for itself.”

    There was a time when MKC bragged about giving the highest paid commission of any Direct Sales Company. Not true, just a deterrent for women to join MKC instead of Beauticontrol. The competition between the rivals was hot and heavy.

    Reading the IBC Agreement you will not find any mention of 50% commissions or any figures for commission. Wicked.

    • Sapphire August 27, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      When is a prospective IBC EVER given time to read the IBC agreement in it’s entirety, small print, clauses and all.

      It was my experience, at one of those “round up” events, to have my emotions stirred up and then guilted into signing because it was “My Time”. And the guilt statement was => “Isn’t it your time? If not now, When?” And I wasn’t the only woman to sign… There were about 15 – 20 with a buch of directors running around with agreements and pens. I will name names, It was a Bea Powell – God’s Miracles National Area Event.

  8. CaliforniaGal August 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    There is another side to this as well When my recruiter/SD gave her director’s spiel to one of my customers. she told the gal that she would get 50% off for the rest of her life. I was so dumb, I thought that if she signed up, I HAD TO PROVIDE THAT 50% off to her. Otherwise, how would that be the truth, I erroneously believed. How naive is that.

  9. Queen of Section 2 August 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    You purchase the product for a dollar, plus shipping, plus tax, plus packaging, plus gas, plus ‘hostess gift’, plus interest (credit card), office supplies, etc., and you have to work to earn these monies back before you actually earn anything. That first dollar you spend to purchase the product is not free money. It’s what you borrowed (credit card/line of credit plus interest) or withdrew from your bank account in the first place that has to be repaid before you enter your “profit margin”.

    That is the reality of any MLM. It’s not ever buy for a dollar and sell for two. It’s buy for $1.35 and sell for $1.40, not including your time. It’s why NSDs push so hard to build teams. Teams ‘subsidize’ the loss. jmo

    • MLM Radar August 28, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      The purpose of “team” building is to convince you to recruit your own replacement before you get frustrated and quit. When an SD is good at encouraging “team” building she has her own little perpetual motion machine.

      The real truth is that most people can’t and won’t build an effective MLM team. They don’t have enough interested friends, and they aren’t morally bankrupt enough to spin the necessary web of misrepresentations.

      But most people CAN recruit one or two others before they themselves get disillusioned. And that’s all the SD really needs to keep her pyramid propped up.

  10. ohlalalaglam August 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    So when I signed up my recruiter bugged me with countless daily emails as well as vm. I signed up partly because I was really interested in this product… But boy was I surprised at the type of woman my nsd was… She would have a show up at random events dressed ridiculously and hand. Out cards… The people were looking at us like really??? We were even thrown out of an event… Then showed up at my job and I was so upset I gave her piece of my mind! She kept pushing me to buy 3 And 4 thousand dollars worth of product… But I didn’t want to not need to especially starting out with no base clientele! She was crazy and needless to say I have resigned as a woman in pink and I will stick to my day job!! I wish I would’ve known about this sight before I signed up!!


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