Things I Wish I Knew About Mary Kay Inventory

 When I first started Mary Kay, oh so long ago, I bought into the hype. I heard about inventory, was told I NEEDED it in order to be successful, so I bought a bunch. After all, who in their right mind starts Mary Kay with the intent to fail? We all start with the intent to succeed, and if that’s what we NEED, then we’ll do it!

Back then, I was given a sheet from my sales director that outlined how many classes per week you needed to earn so much, how much the supposed average sales per class were, how much the supposed average reorders were… Little did I know, all of that was total fiction. Made up.

These days, Mary Kay Inc. has an invenotry worksheet to fill out. It has looked like this or this in the past. I read those sheets, and I realize that just about everyone “needs” $2,400 or $3,600. Heck… You even give yourself extra points on your worksheet if you plan to attend weekly “success meetings”. What? You need more inventory because you’re going to waste your Monday nights at rah-rah sessions?

Give yourself more points depending upon how many appointments you’re going to hold each week. Don’t forget that you’ve been lied to about how long an appointment will take, and you don’t yet realize that no one wants to have classes. No big deal. If you don’t know these things right away, you’ll give yourself a zillion points and you’ll “need” more inventory.

Now look at the “goals” toward the bottom. I think a lot of women get involved in Mary Kay and have those goals up front, because they have no idea what it will take to get there. (i.e. They’ve been mislead in the recruiting process like 95% of the recruits are.) But if they have those goals… voila!… they automatically have 8 points and “need” $1,800 wholesale.

So what do I wish I would have known then?

  • All the guidelines about how much inventory you “need” are inflated. No, Mary Kay Cosmetics and your sales director are not looking out for YOUR best interest. They are looking out for their own, and that means pushing you to buy as much as possible.
  • $600 is the magic number for inventory, and will the be the lowest option that your recruiter offers to you. This is because the contests run by Mary Kay Cosmetics all depend upon “qualified” recruits, and qualified means that they have ordered at least $600 wholesale.
  • The company changes the products on a regular basis. Products are discontinued, formulations are changed, and packaging is changed. They do anything they can to change the product so that yours is outdated and no longer listed in the catalogs (and therefore harder to sell). You’ll need to “invest” in the new products because that’s what’s in the catalog.
  • Your sales director will try to convince you to stock inventory because women won’t buy if you don’t have it on hand. That is not true. Those who have inventory do not get significantly higher sales. They might have a few extra items sold here and there because they have it on hand, but it’s not enough to justify sticking thousands of dollars into inventory.
  • Your sales director will try to convince you to stock inventory because it will cost you $9(ish) for shipping each time you order from the company. It is not that big of a deal. Even if you placed an order with Mary Kay Inc. every single week, in a year you would spend less than $500 on shipping. That is still less than the interest on a credit card or loan. Do you want a few thousand dollars out of your pocket and into inventory, or would you rather pay a little shipping fee when you need something? Oh, and they always forget to tell you that even if you have inventory, someone always seems to order something you don’t have on hand. You need to place and order and pay shipping for that too. So why not avoid inventory and order on an as-needed basis so you don’t get stuck with any outdated products?
  • In order to receive your products at wholesale (50% discount off suggested retail), you must be “active”. Active status is achieved in the month you place a minimum $225 wholesale order (A1) and the following 2 months (A2 and A3). Example: You order $225 wholesale on April 6. You are considered active in April, May, and June. After June, you must place another minimum $225 wholesale order to receive your discount.
  • Your consultant agreement prohibits you from buying products from anyone other than Mary Kay Inc. Why? To force additional purchases from corporate. If you were free to buy products from another consultant, you would both benefit when you need a couple of products to fill an order. By forcing you to buy only from corporate, Mary Kay Inc. profits from another wholesale purchase, especially if you must purchase the minimum $225 wholesale.
  • Your director may tell you that it’s against the rules to trade products with other consultants. That’s not true.  The consultant agreement only specifies that purchases of products must be made from Mary Kay Inc. It does not address trading between consultants. Your director has told you it’s against the rules in order to try to force you to order from the company and pad her commission check. You should ignore her, and trade products if you can find a consultant with what you need.
  • The lure of  “free products” when you first sign up is available during your first AND second month as a consultant. Sales directors try to get you to purchase an inventory package of $600 wholesale or more during your first month in order to get product bonuses from Mary Kay Inc. Those bonuses are available when you make an inventory purchase in month one or two. Example: You sign up on September 20. If you purchase an inventory package of $600 wholesale or more in September or October, you can receive free products. If you wait until November, you will not receive free products, no matter how much you purchase.
  • You can use Mary Kay’s product repurchase” option at ANY TIME. Mary Kay will buy back from you an amount of products equal to your wholesale purchases from them for the last 12 months. (Many recruiters and directors will lead you to believe that the repurchase option is available ONLY in your FIRST 12 months with the company. This is not true. It can be done at any time.)
  • In the U.S., the amount you receive back for your products in the product repurchase will be based upon the most recent wholesale price of the products, which could be lower than what you paid for them. Example: You purchased a limited edition item for $10 wholesale. Mary Kay has put it on the “pink sale” at a reduced price of $7 wholesale. You will only get credit for a return of $7 wholesale. (Some consultants have successfully gotten their actual purchase price back on items that went pink sale, however, by providing copies of their purchase receipts.)
  • Limited edition items almost never “run out”. If they do, it is only because the sales directors scared everyone into thinking they’d run out, so everyone bought more than they needed. This tactic is often used on the Christmas items. Sales directors want you to buy, buy, buy to help pump up their commission checks. The bottom line is that limited edition products do not sell as well as they’d have you believe. And if MK really does run out, you’ll be able to find plenty of limited edition products on eBay!

Oh, how I know that the Kaybots are seething because we’re telling their potential recruits about this. They are able to frontload much more when the whole story isn’t out there!

117 Comments

  1. MLM Radar

    The worst part about receiving “free” products comes when you try to claim your rights for the 90% buy-back. That’s when you find out MK Corporate suddenly decides they aren’t “free” anymore, and subtracts the “value” of all that “free” stuff from your refund check.

  2. veritaseequitas

    As a new MK IBC, who is experiencing a sense of frustration with some of the realities of being a MK IBC, I happened upon your Pink Truth website.
    While some of what you say is true and while I have realized that I based a business decision at least partially upon an emotional response; I nevertheless have made a more sober decision to continue with my business despite some dismay over what is required to make a MK business pay off.
    Yes, some important pieces of information were left out of the equation when my SD presented the business to me. No it is not as easy as falling off a log. Yes, there was (for me) a significant outlay of cash to get started.
    All that being said, it was my decision to make, no one twisted my arm. If I cannot attend a function for personal or family reasons, I say so and do not worry about any fall out. If I am not moving as fast as my sponsor or SD would like, that is my choice to make too. Their goals are not necessarily my goals.
    Is MK a perfect company? No. Even Belk will not take back a return at full price if you do not have the receipt for it. Is MK in business to make money? Yes. Would anyone join a company that was not? MK is a multi-billion dollar company. They must be doing something right. Do you think they would be this successful for this long if they were not honest, ethical and with a good product to market?
    Any business takes a lot of hard work and at least some risk. That is one of the beauties of entrepreneurship.
    Just because direct marketing is not for you, is not a reason for all the sniping, backbiting, exaggeration, finger pointing and downright lying that is being written on Pink Truth.
    Like I said, some of what you say is valid, but the more I read on this pitiful website, the more I realized that most of you posters are a bunch of whiny babies who couldn’t or wouldn’t put in the work to get the reward.
    Maybe MK wasn’t for you. That is fine. But please don’t bring everyone around you down into your particular ditch. It is unbecoming.
    thanks for reading what I think.

    1. Tia

      “They must be doing something right”

      What they are doing right is for themselves; not for you. The real Mary Kay customers are the consultants. They have no interest in keeping track of retail sales. Now, you may say that is because it is the job of the independent distributor… ok, fine. Does your director keep track of her RETAIL sales? You will notice at the weekly rah rah rah meetings that the praise that is given is for how much you ordered! Red flag. I knew something was up when I was getting a vast amount of praise for ordering $600 worth of cosmetics and my director told everyone I “sold” it.

      I understand making a decision to join Mary Kay based on emotion… the vast majority of us did too! But if you are going to make any kind of sound business decision regarding ANY kind of venture, you want to know both sides, right? Pros and cons? The costs and the benefits? Market saturation: how many consultants are in your area per customer? What brands are people interested in? What is your net profit after the time invested of sales calls, driving to meetings, actual time spent during a class? Providing a class holds at all, apart from your warm market.

      There are plenty of holes in this “business.” I invite you to continue reading on this site. These are real stories and experiences from real IBCs SDs, cadillac directors, and so on. If you are any kind of savvy business woman, you will want to know the whole truth… not just what some director in a suit told you to “bee-lieve.” I don’t think name calling is going to get you very far and is very unbecoming of a “professional” such as yourself.

    2. timewise

      Welcome veritaseequitas! I too was very optimistic when I started with MK and really thought it was going to provide me with some extra income by just selling the products. However, the pressure to keep bringing “guests” to meetings and begging my friends to host parties was just too much for me and in the end, I realized it was not easy to actually sell. I won’t even get into all of the lies I was told because I am sure you have read all of those on this site and unfortunately, they are true. Just focusing on the business of MK, I realized that if I did not “recruit”, which for me translated into deceiving people to join and order inventory, I was not going to make money. That is not because I did not put the work in to sell, it was just the reality. When my DIQ had her husband become a consultant because she needed one more recruit to become a Director, I realized MK was a scam. There are way too many consultants out there selling the product and honestly, people started avoiding me because they did not want MK. They thought it was a crappy brand sold by a “cult” so keeping a large enough customer base was impossible. There are THOUSANDS of listings for MK products on sites like eBay and Poshmark for dirt cheap so why would someone go to a consultant and pay double? In addition, if MK was such a great product, why are there THOUSANDS of unsold products listed on these sites? Let’s take MK out of the equation as the product and say you were selling Estee Lauder or Maybelline. As an IBC, you will never sell enough of these well-known products because people can get them at the store or online from many, many sites. You could not possibly set yourself apart from all the markets that sell these products to make a living. And with MK, you are even more limited with how you can market yourself and your product – check your agreement. There are reasons why you cannot set up your own MK store or sell on eBay, etc. Because MK wants you to RECRUIT more IBC’s to buy inventory so you need to constantly be in front of people talking about the “MK Opportunity”. MK could care less how much you actually SELL so you will soon learn that conversations with your Director are all about recruiting and guests and parties. MK corporate and Directors make money on inventory purchases and that is it! Not retail sales of IBCs – inventory only! They could give a sh$# if it all sits on a shelf somewhere for years because they got their money and their commission (which is less commission than most general sales jobs).

      If you plan to stay with MK, I wish you the best but if you don’t take away anything from all of us on Pink Truth, please at least do this: begin logging all of the time you spend on MK for things like making calls, attending meetings, doing classes, preparing for events, making flyers, sending emails. posting on Facebook, etc., and give it a dollar value (maybe $15-$20 an hour that you may make at a regular job); keep track of what you spend in inventory, shipping, gas, fees for meetings, bags and tissue paper for gift baskets, etc., and keep track of your losses on free product giveaways and additional product discounts to entice more people to buy. Then take all of these expenses and subtract them from your actual “sales” each month. I think after several months, you will get the picture of how much you are actually “earning” as an IBC. If you are just looking to have fun with the product and with parties and don’t care if you make money, then MK could be right for you.

    3. onelessSD

      Hello, and welcome to PT. I hope you do stick around and read some more… because there is a wealth of information here… at your finger-tips that I wish I had way back in 1993 when I was first being presented the ‘opportunity’. I was actively in MK- working for many years… at least 15. My SD loved me… because I was consistent, persistent, and I believed. I believed in the whole pink dream. I would set goals and work my tail off to get there. I was a star consultant for I think 47 or 48 quarters… the last 5 years of that… Pearl Level and above- as I did the National Court of Sales for 5 years in a row. I was a SD for 7 of those years… so please don’t tell me I didn’t work hard enough. I never earned a car (Thank God)… because I just couldn’t push my team/unit to do more than they were willing…. and I saw the foolishness in recruiting my customers and cutting my 50% “profit” to 4-13%… that didn’t make any sense at all. At first appearances… I was successful… had the diamonds and the suit to prove it. In all honesty.. I was a selling machine… I’m very good at sales.. especially when I believe in the product being sold. What happened you ask? I got very tired of constantly running on that treadmill from hell. Because once you enter that level … every month you have to run on that treadmill to make production or you lose everything you’ve worked so hard for.

      MK is not like every other company out there… the company itself may be debt free… but their independent sales force is anything but debt free. Because you are encouraged to take out loans, credit cards, borrow from family… the sales force is carrying the load of debt.. but without the freedom to work the business in any way necessary to sell. (when I left directorship… I was $22K in cc debt.. not from product purchases… but from all the extra expenses that you incur as a SD…it averaged about $3K more than I brought in every year I was a SD)…You are restricted in many ways of what you can do to advertise, market online, even sampling of products. The business model itself is so out dated, it’s crazy. If you don’t adhere to the strict guidelines set by the company… they can terminate you at their whim.

      Just to make you aware… your SD will tire of you … if you don’t adhere to her standards/rules… (meaning, if you aren’t ordering constantly, you don’t get her time)… or if you don’t dress according to her standards… you don’t get her help. This is what we are taught at the SD level. I know- I went thru DIT week in Dallas. I’ve seen it first hand from sister directors. If they have a consultant that isn’t pulling their weight… they ignore or shun them… sometimes even publicly shaming them. Is this the type of person or company you want to follow? I finally woke up and said NO!

      As a newer consultant, you simply haven’t been around long enough to see any of this… so please don’t discount what we are saying. I have no reason to lie to you… as I don’t get compensated for every person I may help out of MK…. but your SD directly gets compensated for keeping you in and ordering. (notice I didn’t say working… she really could care less if you sell anything.. but by all means, keep ordering to keep her attention).

      I know my response is long, however, I’ve been around the MK world a long time – have seen things you can’t even imagine.. .because you are still in the rosy-glasses stage… but it’s there. There are thousands of us here on PT… and isn’t it a bit of a coincidence that our stories are so similar? (chew on that for a bit)

      I do know that MK isn’t for me… and yes, it’s fine. However if everyone knew how degrading the whole MK life is (forced to wear uniforms… which by the way are meant to shame others for not attaining higher levels… forced to do insanely crazy things.. such as go to a stranger’s house for an appt?! you seriously have no idea what type of situation you are stepping into!… being encouraged to ‘burn your bridges’ of current or past job opportunities that may pay health insurance, 401K’s, other benefits… encouraged to “remove all forms of negativity” from your life (which could mean long time friends/family… perhaps even a spouse… just dig into the divorce rate within MK.. very high) ..and encouraged to NOT think critically and analyze how your business is doing… to just name a few)…. I would consider the MK life to be living in a ditch, cave, hole, whatever. Personally… since being out of that … has opened up my mind to really see what it all consisted of… and to take the steps necessary to protect myself, my family and my financial future… we are the ones on the mountain top.

      Seriously, I hope that you will take the time to read my post… since I have taken the time to read and reference yours… and sincerely hope that you will keep an open “pink fog free” mind… and just simply see for yourself.

      Thank you for reading what I think.

    4. Lazy Gardens

      “As a new MK IBC” … Ah, a honeymooner.

      Come back in 6 months and post your progress, OK? After your friends and family have “supported” your business with a few parties and pity purchases you are going to find out that no one wants to pay full retail for this stuff.

      Look at Facebook! Sale after gimmick after sale and discount.

      Look at eBay. 55,069 results for mary kay just now. And when you sort by ending soonest, you see most of them are closing with no bids.

      That’s your competition – people desperate to sell the stuff and get any cash out they can.

      1. Still Breaking The Basic

        While many people are celebrating New Year’s Eve, desperate directors are busy dialing for dollars to get in those last-minute orders because today is the last day of the month.

        I’ve gotten 9 emails and 3 phone calls today so far.

        And there’s 54,588 results on eBay right now.

        I just received the 10th email while typing this.

        How’s that for desperation?

        1. TSM

          In early spring of this year I helped out a friend who was new in the business by letting her do a makeover on me. In support, I bought a few products, and while I liked them, I thought they were overpriced for what they did considering I could buy the same stuff for way less at CVS. I even briefly considered joining her in this business venture because she was so excited about it. I went so far as to go visit with her director. I then came home and did my research. Guess what the first thing that popped up was? This blog. I read and read and read. And knew that MK was NOT for me. However, said friend is still after me to joint her line. She’s become a BMW driver now and is crazy into MK. I got an email from her tonight encouraging me to join before year’s end. Think she might be desperate for recruits????Thanks Pink Truth for saving me a lot of heartache and a LOT of money!!!

          1. TSM

            I am positive. She just posted pics on FB of her getting her BMW. I thought it was crazy too. But then I look at all the people we know that she has pulled in and think I guess it could have happened.

          2. MLM Radar

            My guess is that she’s been told she is “on target” for a BMW.

            That’s a meaningless but important-sounding non-accomplishment. Its sole purpose is to get you to stop hesitating and order more inventory, even though you’re still sitting on your last order.

            All you have to do to get “on target” for any Mary Kay car is place a big initial order, recruit a couple of your customers, and let your Director realize you still have available credit.

          3. TSM

            No, she has the BMW. However, I was wrong about when I went in for the makeover. It was actually at the end of 2013. I guess that probably makes more sense. So she’s been in the business for a little over a year. I can’t even tell you how many people I know that she now has in her “line” and she is still sending me emails at least once a month trying to get me to join. I just see first hand through her the MK delusion.

          4. enorth

            “I can’t even tell you how many people I know that she now has in her “line” ”

            It’s easy enough to get people to sign up, but, after they eventually learn that they have to order, order, and then order more, they’ll quit.

    5. mitdemherz

      Do you think they would be this successful for this long if they were not honest, ethical and with a good product to market?

      Given the current state of the economy and issues with major corporations, MANY companies–MLM or otherwise–are making massive profits, while their methods are questionable. So yes, there is a possibility for a company to make money while screwing over the consumer.

      However that does not make MLM a viable candidate. The difference between MLM and Corporate America is, at least Corporate America, you know what you’re getting. MLM pretends to be better than that, when it’s not.

      1. MLM Radar

        There are three tactics which make an MLM profitable:

        1. Transferring the cost of inventory, and the risk of inventory spoilage/obsolescence, from itself to its outside sales reps. Mary Kay takes this even further by intentionally accelerating the rate at which inventory is discontinued, so as to squeeze even more orders out of the consultants.

        2. Transferring the costs of sales to its outside sales reps. Mary Kay does virtually no advertising. Most of the “free advertising” pink cars come with hefty co-pays. Mary Kay reimburses you for nothing, you bear all the “training” fees, and the “prizes” are virtually worthless. When your personal sales falter, you are blamed for not putting up enough effort (and money) to promote the company’s products.

        3. Convincing the sales reps that incurring personal debt to promote the products results in income tax savings. The problem with that? You have to lose $100 in real money to “save” $15 in taxes. The other $85 is gone forever.

        Mary Kay is debt-free cause its consultants bear the debt. If the company had tried to cover even a fraction of their sales costs Mary Kay would have died bankrupt and been buried in a pauper’s grave.

    6. Still Breaking The Basic

      From Wikipedia:

      “Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business or other organization. The entrepreneur develops a business model, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure.”

      Mary Kay isn’t entrepreneurship. It’s a MLM. It does generate a lot of money for very few people at the top of its pyramid using dishonest and unethical practices.

      We are not a bunch of whiny babies. We are adults from all walks of life who have experienced Mary Kay at several levels, some for many years. How is it possible to have this level of exaggeration and downright lying from so many people throughout the country, and possibly the world?

      Your sense of frustration is a clear warning that all is not right. Please heed it.

      1. Still Breaking The Basic

        My SD started sending emails on December 26th telling the unit to do end-of-year sales to move current product and have cash to order the forthcoming limited edition products in time for Valentine’s Day.

        I received them for the next five days.

        Then yesterday, December 31st, we start getting emails reminding us that it’s the last day of the month and the unit hasn’t met “its” monthly goal. I received 11 of them in total with the 12th coming at 11:55 PM that the goal was met. Pink Cadillac unit for another month!

        If you stop to think about it, wasn’t the purpose of the inventory reduction sale to have cash to place your order in January for the new product? How then, did you finance your December 31st purchase of product that will probably become outdated next month?

        Yes, they are doing something. But it is not right.

        1. Lina Rendon

          I’m wondering if somebody could help me on this. After I told a consultant I wanted to wait a couple days to think about making an $1,800 investment into Mary Kay she convinced me to do it right then and there. The next day I called her back and told her that I wanted to cancel my order. She told me that this was not possible, that once the order was placed I could not cancel it. Mary Kay headquarters is only open Monday through Friday hence why I’m posting here. Does anyone have any insight on this? Thank you very much.

          1. nomoremlm4me

            I hope you called Corporate yesterday to cancel the order! If not, when it arrives, write “Refused – Return to Sender” and then dispute the charge on your credit card. Take pictures of the box and when you take it back to UPS (or whichever company delivered it). Let us know how it goes!

          2. BestDecision

            Once you’ve submitted your order, there actually isn’t a way to cancel it. At this point, you can only return it all for the 90% buyback guarantee and get refunded. You can certainly try getting your order tagged before its processed by calling 1-800MARYKAY, but they do process orders rather quickly and have most likely already pulled your order and shipped it.

            But, good for you to have already wisened up and realized it’s not what it seems!

    7. Nicole Maronge

      I have only been with MK for a short time and I quit. They want me to buy all the inventory and recruit . I’m financially strapped and can’t time them this. I’m being harrassed I can’t post a family picture on Facebook with out them posting about me calling them they need to speak to me its ridiculous

      1. Mindy Bunny

        That is definitely ridiculous! They are just trying to get your attention so that they can “speak” to you to talk you into buying more inventory. I would block them on FB and continue living your life and posting pictures of your family in peace. 🙂

  3. Still Breaking The Basic

    Oh yes, you NEED inventory. You can’t sell from an empty wagon. Today’s sharp woman want instant gratification. If you can’t fill her order NOW, she will find another consultant who can.

    And if you want the ultimate in recognition at Monday night’s suck-cess meeting as a new consultant, you HAVE to purchase the ultimate $8,400 inventory package.

    You don’t need to know that Mary Kay has taken planned product obsolescence to a new level.

    What you need to know is that this is the last week of the year. You should be doing an IRS. Internal Revenue Service? No. Inventory Reduction Sale! Call, email, text all of your customers to offer an end-of-year sale. If you can sell it by December 31st, you won’t have to count it as inventory for your tax return! And you will have cash to purchase the new limited edition products. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

    Book, recruit, frontload, repeat.

    1. pinkhooker

      “Today’s sharp woman want instant gratification. If you can’t fill her order NOW, she will find another consultant who can.”

      LMAO thats always my favorite line! People change consultants so they can get deeper discounts, thats really the ONLY reason, not for the instant gratification. I go to Shopko or Walmart if i need ‘instant gratification’ on makeup. I watch people on my local yardsale fb “ISO: blabblah consultant with X on hand” and i always have to post “Cover Girl and Loreal is on sale at Shopko this week for 20% off” or “Slimfast has a coupon this week at X-Grocery…” “Alco has handbags on 60% off, you should totally check there they are SOOOO cute!” because i’m a bitch 😀

    2. Abigail

      This website truly breaks my heart. I am in Mary Kay and all I can say is that it TRULY is an equal business opportunity. It is NOT MLM, and I’m PROUD to be a part of it.

      I’m only 6 months old in the business, I am NOT a sales director, I have NOT earned a free car, I have NOT qualified for star since my inventory purchase. I’m the girl you all are saying is being taken advantage of. But you are wrong!

      I wasn’t lied to by my recruiter, I have not been scammed & and I walk into my parties (which by the way, people LOVE hosting! I have had people re-book with me up to 3 times! If people don’t like booking with you it probably is a reflection on who you are as a person, rather then Mary Kay the company.) with confidence that I am representing a company and product that are both quality and full of integrity!

      Sure, there is a lot of hype~but when the hype is gone, I’m left here selling $500-$1000 in product in one week and bringing home a little less then half as profit while only holding 2-3 parties!

      Money talks, take it from a girl who isn’t a rock star in Mary Kay, just a normal consultant. I’ve never received a commission paycheck from the company, so saying these things isn’t going to help me earn money. I’m just a girl who knows the truth. And the truth is the Mary Kay is an incredible company that truly offers women the opportunity of a lifetime! It has impacted and changed MANY women’s lives for the better. And if Mary Kay isn’t for you, then please avoid being bitter and taking other successful women down with you.

      1. pinkpeace

        Wait, I’m confused. First you say that you fully agree with this post and call it well written. Then you tell us this site breaks your heart, because MK is such a great opportunity.

        Which is it?

      2. Lazy Gardens

        “Sure, there is a lot of hype~but when the hype is gone, I’m left here selling $500-$1000 in product in one week and bringing home a little less then half as profit while only holding 2-3 parties! ”

        You claim to have sold $12,000-25,000 in the last 6 months. To be blunt, I don’t believe you.

        1. Abigail

          No, I did not claim to sell that much. I don’t work my business every week. But the weeks that I work my business (hosting 2-3 parties) I have consistently sold $500-$1000. My first week in Mary Kay I sold $1000 in product.

      3. Still Breaking The Basic

        Hi Abigail,

        You’ve been in MK for 6 months so your director is looking at you as a newbie. She will watch your ordering, your success meeting and event attendance, and potential recruit interactions during the first year in order to evaluate your potential for her attention and your future in her unit scheme.

        You’ve been shown the DISC for customers and recruits? Directors have another one they use to pidgeon-hole and manipulate their unit into moving up to meet their needs, not yours. IBCs have scripts to use on customers. Directors have scripts to use on consultants. Nationals have scripts to use on directors. Corp has scripts to use on nationals. No matter which way you look at it, it is predatory and manipulative. Corp has been on my ex-director’s a$$ to promote herself from EESD to NSD because it looks bad to be in Go Give for years.

        Can you please tell us what brought you here to Pink Truth?

        1. Abigail

          I have only ever been to 1 meeting. I have not attended any events except Seminar which I paid for with the sale of my product. My director has not done the DISC survey on me. However, I do know about it. I am fully aware that there is constant pressure to move up. But I’ve watched my director support me through sickness, telling me to take the time off and rest. Support other consultants through hard life circumstances fully supporting their decisions. She doesn’t try to pressure me to advance. If I want to advance she supports me in that. And she always answers my messages rapidly even though I don’t go to the meetings!

          1. BestDecision

            I’m going to let you know a Director secret: The reason your Director is so patient with you now is because she has a small unit. When you start to earn cars, which not all Directors actually have, you heave production maintenance and deadlines. Until those things hit, we were all softer on our units.

            Unfortunately, I’m very much going to disagree with your comment that MK is “easy” to sell. As a Director, I was asked by MK to be in numerous focus groups and surveys. At Seminar and Leadership Conference, all Directors became privy to those results, which showed CONSULTANTS ARE STRUGGLING. Why do you think MK just launched a facial peel? What about the cleansing brush? Because other brands had already launched them and are killing it in sales. MK is desperately trying to catch up with Sephora and brands much higher in sales than MK.

            I’m sorry, but your experience in 6 months and your comments on how your Director is positioning you reveals a complete lack of experience. You’ll get there…just like us.

        2. Abigail

          oops, sorry! I didn’t answer your question about how I found Pink Truth. I was actually googling information on which days of the month are the worst days to place orders with the company. I have been working my business and have money that should be going towards a product re-order that I want to place. However, I know that when you place an order on the last day of the month it can take over 2 weeks to process. ICK!

          The reason is because everyone places their orders at month end, usually to accomplish their goals.

          As I read the articles on this site though I just think that the majority of your problems with the company could have been resolved by simply using good money management. You sell the product (it’s REALLY NOT THAT HARD.) And cover your costs up front. The first few months you probably won’t profit that much. I EXPECTED THAT coming in! That is TYPICAL for starting a business. And the first week of every month you probably won’t pull a lot of profit. But if you work consistently and manage your money wisely, most all the frustrations you guys have are rapidly resolved.

          I understand that many of you had bad experiences in MK. I’m sorry about that! But I truly hope you can see that not EVERYONE in Mary Kay is out there trying to get people’s money. It just isn’t true.

          1. Lazy Gardens

            Abigail, try this 5-step reality check …

            1 – Add up ALL the money you have spent on Mary Kay (product, taxes, shipping, car expenses, party hostess gifts, etc.).
            2 – Add up ALL your income from Mary Kay (actual cash you have received).
            3 – Add up ALL the time you spent on Mary Kay (ordering product, delivering product, answering customer phone calls, answering director’s phone calls, finding hostesses, packing for the parties, holding the parties, cleaning up adter the parties … all of it)

            4 – Subtract the number in step 1 from the number in step 2.
            Is it positive? If not, you are losing money.

            5 – If it is positive, divide the result of step 4 by the number of hours you worked. That is the hourly “wage” you are getting.

            I would be amazed if you are making more than a minimum wage part-time burger flipper if you honestly report the expenses and the income and the time it’s taking.

          2. pinkpeace

            Abigail, I appreciate your willingness to dialog with us here at Pink Truth. But your analysis and comments are somewhat inconsistent.

            First, I’ll overlook the insult of your presuming we didn’t use good money management in our businesses. Money management is not the reason people lose money in Mary Kay. The business is specifically designed to keep consultants ordering product they don’t need, especially at key times during the year. These practices are described in great detail in other places on this site.

            You state that you expected not to make a profit for the first few months you were in Mary Kay. But you’ve only been in for six months, so how do you know you’ll be making a profit? You say you sold $1000 the first week in your business, which I’m betting was from appointments with family and friends. (When these women run dry and you’re looking at “cold customers,” that will change.) But then again, you hedge your sales claims by telling us that you don’t have appointments every week. How many weeks in your six months DID you hold 2-3 parties? How much extra money is in your bank account after your expenses? How much per hour does that equate to, when you consider booking, coaching, packing, delivering, etc.?

            You make it sound like you automatically got close to 50% profit on your sales, but we both know that there are sales aids, customer discounts, hostess credit, etc. that quickly eat into that profit margin. In addition, there are ordering quotas you have to meet to qualify for your company discount, which many times will force you to order when you don’t really need to.

            Then, I have to ask how much you spent on Seminar, and why you even went, when you claim you’re not even committed to simply attending unit meetings. I you find it very difficult to believe that you sold an extra $2000+ retail in your first 3-4 months to fund a trip to Seminar. Maybe you live in Dallas and commuted?

            I hope that you continue to read here and come back often to check in. We all started like you, enthusiastic about Mary Kay and really believing we were changing women’s lives. Many of us stayed for decades, climbing up the ladder to all levels in sales directorship. But the longer we were in Mary Kay, the more we saw the deception and destruction that runs rampant in the company.

            You don’t see it now, but keep your eyes open. And when things start to go sour for you, remember it’s not you – it’s how Mary Kay is structured. We’ll be here for you.

          3. Still Breaking The Basic

            Hi Again Abigail,

            My issues have nothing to do with money management. I am a degreed accountant who knows how to manage money. I joined MK as a personal use consultant to get the product at cost for my mom. I researched the pros and cons going in, and worked my orders to get the earned discounts and not be deactivated. I neither made nor lost money. And my director left me alone for the most part because I was low hanging fruit to her, which suited me fine.

            The manipulation and deception is horrendous. It isn’t visible because it’s hidden under the sisterhood, smiles, enriching womens lives, and the God First spiel.

            I’ve witnessed a lot of what the other regulars have posted, and come here to lend my supporting voice as well as add my two cents. IBCs in my ex-unit troll church services and the hospital looking for fresh faces. And a few even go through the obituaries. Why? They’ve been banned from warm chattering at Wal-Mart and Target and have production to make for the month.

            Why did I leave? Because of my mom. She was getting tired of the constant product changes, but the final straw was the unit. My director, an EESD, assigned me to a DIQ who was in her last month and desperate. She called my house and upset my mom (who was ill and on medication) trying to get an order out of me. Her blood pressure went off the chart and we had a scary trip to the ER. It was over.

            Please allow me to quote from your first post:

            “I’m only 6 months old in the business…”
            “I’m just a girl who knows the truth.”

            With due respect, I beg to differ. Six months time in any endeavor, personal or professional, is just the beginning of the journey. The acquisition of truth comes with time, experience, success and failure. You do not know the truth about Mary Kay at this time.

            PS: Several of the regulars here made money while they were active so the “lack of money management” doesn’t fly. Please look at the Mary Kay 20/20 clip on YouTube.

          4. GrumpyMillennial

            Honey, my mom’s been doing this crap for over 20 years. Yes, years.

            All she’s got out of it thus far is a pile of debt, a museum of discontinued/unsold product and a broken relationship with her only child.

  4. Mizar

    I apologize for this being an off-topic comment, but I’m having trouble registering for the message boards. One ‘prove you are not a web bot’ question comes back as being incorrect every time, and I have tried every solution I can think of to the question: answering in digits, spelling the number out in letters, adding spaces, trying to answer if the code is simple addition or is an incomplete set of prime numbers. is there a way around the questions?

  5. Renee

    I’ve never been involved with Mary Kay or any other MLMs, but I love reading this site for all of the interesting information.

    I’ve been curious about something. Has Mary Kay always been a scam? It seems like if it wasn’t they would have sold their products in stores like a legitimate cosmetic company.

    1. princess lea

      I like to think it started out innocently enough, through the hard working morals of Mary Kay Ash. But knowing what I now know about the direct sales model, MLM’s, network marketing, etc. etc. I highly doubt it. It’s been illegitimate from the get-go. She started this “opportunity” so SHE could make money off of people who thought they were making money. That’s how it’s always been, and that’s how it always will be.

      Like you say Renee, if Mary Kay was legitimate, the products would have been sold in a regular store. That would have given women a true opportunity to succeed!

  6. LT

    Happy New Years everyone! I hope that all of you will begin to clean out your unnecessary inventory this year the best you can so that you can make some money and eventually end this nightmare forever. I thank Pink Truth for validating everything I witnessed and figured out for myself over the past few years. My only regret was that I didn’t find Pink Truth before wiping out my life insurance savings account to pay for my first inventory at $1800.

    1. LT

      It’s LT again, please be aware that MK is suing anyone for selling MK products online. You cannot do this based on your contract. They are also going after people who have no contract ties to Mary Kay, but are selling the products on eBay. Throw a big inventory party and sell at wholesale cost to get back money you spent. Some items you will just have to almost give away. You will still notice people don’t want MK products. I happen to love the products but women do not care for the high price of what they see as a generic brand. Even Project Runway cannot help us sell MK products. It was $400 in tax added to my first inventory. It bothers me everyday when I see how much money I’ve spent on this so called business. Not in 2015! Tracy, please explain to us how to sell back inventory to MK after the 12 month expiration date. Also all of the discontinued products my director added to my first order, MK will not take back. That was done on purpose so that director would not have to pay back all her commission that she made on my first order. So low down and dirty, while smiling in my face!

      1. MLM Radar

        Mary Kay used to accept any products in your return, up to the total dollar amount you purchased during the most recent 12 months. Used to.

        No longer. They upgraded their computers. Now they send you a list of EXACTLY what you bought during the most recent 12 months (sometimes omitting Limited Edition and discontinued items – Texas law permits them to do that). You can only return those specific items.

        BUT, if they left off the Limited Edition and discontinued items, you should know that your Consultant Agreement (which THEY wrote) has no exclusion for those things. The return authorization paperwork does, but the consultant agreement says otherwise. They agreed in writing to let you sell back EVERY Section 1 item you bought during the most recent 12 months, at 90% of the price YOU paid. Not the discontinued price. Not the sale price. The price YOU paid.

        So it’s time to go find your purchase receipts and INSIST that they honor the agreement THEY wrote.

        For the stuff purchased more than 12 months ago, and your Section 2 supplies, and all the other Mary Kay claptrap you “had” to have… well, there’s always Craigslist (where you might find a liquidator), Goodwill, and the dumpster.

  7. princess lea

    Almost 11 years ago I was a starry eyed college graduate. I desperately needed work, and loved the idea of “my own business.” My recruiter love bombed me, and I ate up the attention.

    I ordered a paltry $400 in inventory (because I didn’t have any credit or a way to get it). Little did I know that everything they dangle in front of your nose revolves around the bonuses and contests for the recruiter &/or director.

    It has nothing to do with a new consultant’s success in Mary Kay.

    Over the years I grew my inventory like a good widdle consultant should, to about $3000. Guess what? I still had holes, and still had to place orders every month.

    Guess what else? Women still ordered from me! *gasp*

    Guess what ELSE? My unit was always offering free product incentives for ordering. Especially during the end of the quarter or at the end of the year. Not just at a new consultant’s sign-up.

    The pressure and guilt laid upon consultants to order large amounts of inventory is a greedy, and unnecessary lie based upon recruiters’ and directors’ own greed and personal business agenda.

    After ten years in, I am so glad to be out of Mary Kay now, and so glad to not be a victim of the guilt-laden intimidated anymore. And soooo glad I returned my useless inventory!

  8. Deflated Pink Bubble

    Have you guys missed this new MK consultants name? Veritaseesquitas? Verita sees quitas (quitters). Am I the only one that caught that?

    NO Verita, we are NOT quitters. We woke up, realized the scam that is Mary Kay and we escaped. Not quit. There are women on this site that ranked anywhere from IBC to a National in Qualification. You don’t get that high up the ladder by being a quitter. No, we didn’t quit.

    You are new to this Mary Kay experience and you’ve been fed a picnic basket full of poisoned fruit. LIES. They have told you lies. Straight out flat lies and lies by omission.

    Here is your comment along with my responses…

    As a new MK IBC, who is experiencing a sense of frustration with some of the realities of being a MK IBC, I happened upon your Pink Truth website.

    As a new IBC, that sense of frustration is just the start. The frustration never leaves. What you are sensing is warning signs that this may not be all it appears to be. Heed those warning signs because Mary Kay is not what it is praised to be.

    While some of what you say is true and while I have realized that I based a business decision at least partially upon an emotional response; I nevertheless have made a more sober decision to continue with my business despite some dismay over what is required to make a MK business pay off.

    EVERYTHING we say here is true. We accomplish nothing by propagating lies. Yes, you based a business decision on an emotional response but don’t feel lonely. That’s what the women in Mary Kay are trained to do. They find your weak spot and work on that. You’ve been used.

    Yes, some important pieces of information were left out of the equation when my SD presented the business to me. No it is not as easy as falling off a log. Yes, there was (for me) a significant outlay of cash to get started.

    Of course important pieces of information were left out… They never mentioned buying inventory when you first signed that consultant agreement did they? No, they tell you that $100. will get you started. In all reality, it can get you started. You don’t need inventory but they will never tell you that.

    All that being said, it was my decision to make, no one twisted my arm. If I cannot attend a function for personal or family reasons, I say so and do not worry about any fall out. If I am not moving as fast as my sponsor or SD would like, that is my choice to make too. Their goals are not necessarily my goals.

    If you do not make a function for whatever reason and if you’re not moving at the pace your SD would like, you will become invisible to your SD. She only works with those who are consistently ordering product.

    Is MK a perfect company? No. Even Belk will not take back a return at full price if you do not have the receipt for it. Is MK in business to make money? Yes. Would anyone join a company that was not? MK is a multi-billion dollar company. They must be doing something right. Do you think they would be this successful for this long if they were not honest, ethical and with a good product to market?

    No MK is not a perfect company. It’s not even a good company. MK will buy back all products you purchased in the previous 12 months plus return the tax you paid not because they are wonderful but because they are bound by Texas Law to do so. Believe me, if they didn’t have to do this, they wouldn’t. They have, however, made returning product very difficult in the past few years.

    Any business takes a lot of hard work and at least some risk. That is one of the beauties of entrepreneurship.

    Being in MK does not make you an entrepreneur. No, it makes you a contract salesperson with no control over how to market the products you have purchased. Notice I didn’t call it a business? It’s not. You have none of the benefits of a real business with Mary Kay. NONE.

    Just because direct marketing is not for you, is not a reason for all the sniping, backbiting, exaggeration, finger pointing and downright lying that is being written on Pink Truth.

    Not sure what you think you’re reading here but there is no sniping, back biting or exaggeration on this site. No finger pointing and definitely no lies. If you think you’ve found a lie, please point it out and we’ll address it for you. There are no lies here. NONE.

    Like I said, some of what you say is valid, but the more I read on this pitiful website, the more I realized that most of you posters are a bunch of whiny babies who couldn’t or wouldn’t put in the work to get the reward.

    EVERYTHING said here is valid. If you don’t like what you’re reading, move along. This isn’t an income producing activity for you. Just why are you here anyway? Don’t you have a Satin Hands set to sell?

    Maybe MK wasn’t for you. That is fine. But please don’t bring everyone around you down into your particular ditch. It is unbecoming.
    thanks for reading what I think.

    Mary Kay isn’t for anyone who wants to make any money at all. The business plan is flawed and making money is impossible. You probably think you can do this your own way and come out on top. Have fun trying that one. You’ll eventually see that we weren’t wrong here after all. Until then, good luck.

    1. dhagen02

      Perhaps Verita does not see the double meaning in her screen name.

      In Vino Veritas is very well known(in wine there is truth) so maybe she means In quitting there is truth? She won’t see the truth until she quite bee-lieving all the Kaybots.

      Although the rough translation of her name Veritas Aequitas (albeit hers is not the correct spelling) is Truth, Justice/Fairness, none of which she will find in MK

        1. Deflated Pink Bubble

          I’m always a little leery when a kaybot comes on here to try to school us on why we didn’t make money… I kind of see the worst sometimes! Nice to know she’s not seeing quitters! LOL

  9. New Recruit

    I recently joined Mary Kay after being asked to be a glamour model for someone at my church. I said I would come and then she reconfirmed the time and date by saying that she already paid for my spot. So I felt bad because my babysitter canceled…so I didn’t want to tell her no because I had no idea what amount she paid for me to be a model so I found a back up and went. I definitely joined Mary Kay on an emotional decision. Im a single mom and hearing her director’s story had me thinking “wow…that’s what I want to do…leave my job, make an income, spend more time with my son.” So I spent teh $100 and something dollars to join. After a week or so I was instructed to listen to a conference call (90 minutes) on hosting, inventory and all this other stuff. I knew I was in for some shit when she started asking me how much I have in savings and if I was willing to open up another credit card for inventory. Then told me that we could sit down together and she’d order the inventory I needed because I really don’t know how much I need. That’s when I had to send her an email and tell her I will not be ordering any inventory…nobody told me about ordering inventory. I had already set up a facebook page and a personal mary kay website – that was as far as I was going with it. Then I started seeing all of these blogs about people who had sold mary kay and the things they didn’t know when they signed up. All of this is true…that’s when I learned that to move up and become senior consultants and directors is based on WHOLESALE purchases. No wonder she wanted me to be in even more debt…for her to be able to USE (not own) a damn pink Cadillac. I wish I had done my research a bit more before jumping into this venture.

  10. Bubble POPPED!

    Anyone experience a director ordering products for a new consultant and ordering items not asked for? No, it was not a ton of money, but I am furious as I just held my first party and she kept pressuring me – “what do YOU want, what do YOU want?” So, I tell her what I want and then she tries to add more in. I told her “no, I just want to order what I told you” and I STILL have items I did not ask for. All she did was remove one or two items. What I actually WANT is to see the profit I just made, not blow it away on things I don’t need! Also ticked about no disclosure re selling $225 a year or you become inactive/have to file a new application OR disclosure about selling $225 a quarter or you lose your discount. Are there any of these type companies out there that are HONEST?!

    1. Mindy Bunny

      All MLM’s are dishonest in that they function by either lying to potential recruits and/or customers or by purposely withholding information that would allow one to make an informed decision (rather than emotional). The pressure they add to the lies makes them dishonest AND manipulative.

  11. Katelyn Wright

    I am literally brand new to this IBC world. I signed up maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago. My director seems genuinly like a sweet women, but I feel constantly pressured. When I first signed up she had described to me what I wanted. I told her I was in need of cash becuase I was starting school and extra cash would be very helpful. Watching her and listening to her talk about her experiences with Mary Kay gave me that extra nudge to join. Like many of you, I was unaware of the inventory scam. She presented this at our first meeting together and suggested I open a credit card or take out a loan. I can’t do either because I am only allowed the one credit card that I have(with a $700 limit, I’m denied any other) and I just went over $4,000 into student loan debt. I told her I could not afford it and she still continued to pressure me. I, seeing something was wrong and that someone who is supposed to be helping me earn money is pushing me to go into debt, went online and discovered Pink Truth. Thank you!!! You have saved me a lot of stupid decisions! Now, I am someone who doesnt like to hurt others feelings. I have noticed that because I am constantly busy and cannot respond to her texts as quickly, that she has lost some interest in me already. We have already set a date for my launch party and I have already invited many people to attend, so I plan on completing that, however, I do not want to continue past that. As I would love to sell Mary Kay at my own pace, and not my directors, I know that will be very hard to do, especially reading that I have to sell $225 regularly in order to recieve my discount(which I was told I would not have to do). I have some questions as to how I can get out of being a consultant. I love the products so I would love to keep my starter kit and don’t mind knowing I won’t be refunded the money. First, when the time comes, how do I deactivate myself as a consultant? Is that possible or will I have to become inactive for a year and let it terminate itself? Also, as I mentioned before I don’t like hurting others feelings and would like to know if the system will notify my director of my termination. If so, I may want to block or avoid messages from her so I am not suckered into staying. I am very greatful in having discovered Pink Truth, and wish I had the sense to look more deeply into the MK consultant world before emotionally convencing myself to do something I was not prepared for financially. I’m also very greatful in having found this so I can forewarn my friend who had planned to start as well, but just didn’t have the money at the time. Thank you all!!!!! Any further help would be wonderful 🙂

    1. BestDecision

      I’m a former Cadillac Director. I wish I was as wise as you when I was in college, but you have to believe that your Director is going to be all over you as soon as you hold your Business Debut. I’d ask her and your recruiter to remove you from their email lists and your contact info from their phones. After over a decade of working very hard and consistently, I had enough, resigned, sent my Cadillac back, and left the company with no regrets. Most Directors aren’t in Cadillacs, so there’s no way possible they make an “executive income” as they claim. The most they could gross (before expenses and taxes taken out) just under Cadillac performance is $48,000/year. That’s nowhere near what you’ll make with a bachelor’s degree!

    2. byefelicia

      Hi Katelyn,
      I’m in the same boat as you. I just signed up about a week ago and then started asking real accounting questions and loses/profit management and it was like the dead zone. I am doing my “kickoff” party but then I’m out! I bought $1800 (really $2480 with taxes, initial kit, propay, business kit, etc). I am more mad at myself for being suckered in. Thank goodness I’m moving…so..bye Felicia…haha. The inventory sale idea from someone is a great idea! I want to reduce the weight of what I’m shipping back also. I’ve already spent enough on this stuff. I plan to use that and send the rest back to the company. So glad to have found this site!

  12. MLM Radar

    Please cancel your launch party. The director knows you won’t make her much profit, so she’ll double down on her efforts to recruit your friends and family. Tell the director you changed your mind and there will be no party. Why not? Because it’s YOUR business and you’re going to run it YOUR way.

    Then tell your friends that you didn’t realize it was a scam when you scheduled the party, and that you think everyone will have much more fun if you all go out to dinner and a movie. Or stay in, order pizza, and rent a DVD.

    They’ll appreciate it. Guaranteed.

    Next, call MK Corporate, tell them to cancel your MK number, and to send you the inventory refund form for whatever you bought. Don’t just “go inactive” because the director will be all over you on a regular basis to reactivate. Cancelling is the only way to shut her off.

    1. Katelyn Wright

      OK that sounds like a good plan! Thank you! But one last question, do I have to return my products or can I keep them as I’ve already purchased them? I don’t want to return them if at all possible. The contract didn’t say I was required to, but I want to be sure I didn’t misread anything or miss reading that particular section. I read that they will do up to 90% refund on unopened unsused products but didn’t see anything about it being a requirement to return them. Thank you!

      1. enorth

        Why don’t you want to return them? Don’t you need the money? Don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings. Don’t allow a woman you hardly know to take advantage of you. Do what’s best for YOU.

        1. Katelyn Wright

          I really do enjoy the products especially those that were included in my starter kit, so I can get use out of those products without paying the full price. I also have a couple people I can give the products I don’t want to as gifts. I’m OK with having spent the hundred as I spent it before I knew how much in loans I would need. Now knowing how much I will have to spend in order to keep up my agreement and discounts and what not, I will lose more than it’s worth in return. I am currently looking into how to cancel my agreement. Thank you! 🙂

          1. MLM Radar

            If all you bought was the starter kit and you want to keep it, that’s no problem. You can keep anything else you bought too. In Mary Kay the consultant (you) is the real customer. Mary Kay doesn’t need or want anything back. They only take back the inventory products because the law forces them to.

            But DO cancel your consultant number, whether or not you return anything. If you don’t you’ll become a potential ghost consultant; the director will be able to use your identity as a fake reactivated consultant if she needs to meet a unit size or order quota.

      2. BestDecision

        You only have to return inventory to get any refund. If you’ve opened your Starter Lit, you can’t return any of it, nor can you get a refund on it. You can keep what you want either way.

  13. Fell for the lies

    Yesterday, I decided to meet with the “recruiter” (let’s call her Sally) and “director” (let’s call her Ashley). I didn’t even know that Sally was a recruiter since Ashley did most of the talking. So prior to the meeting, I met Sally because in March my friend had a birthday and she had a facial party with Sally as the host. I went and wrote down names of many women in my contacts to win the “prize” (which I haven’t even received). Sally a week later texted all of them, I didn’t realized that she was so committed into doing that. I was somewhat embarrassed as I had wrote down some names and their phone number, that I didn’t speak with anymore just to reach the required number to get my “prize”. At the facial party Sally had schedule meetings with me and the other girls who came to provide more information and get us into the $1k drawing that Mary Kay was having. I wasn’t able to meet due to my car having a dead battery and I prolonged in getting it fixed. She had continued texting me and I ignored it, until a few days ago when she asked if we could meet, so I could simply fill out a survey to get entered in the drawing. I am currently going through a rough patch and I decided I would like to try my chances, so I decided to meet yesterday. So we met at the Starbucks down the street from my job and they came off very friendly and even humorous church going women. Sally even bought me a drink. They started asking me interview like questions that I was unprepared for, I thought it was a simple survey and I would be done. So I obliged and answered the questions that went like, “how would you describe yourself”, “what brings you joy”, “if time and money wasn’t the issue, what would you be doing right now”, etc. I now realize those questions got the answers for them to sell me the idea of being a consultant and fulfilling my dreams. I then had forgot the reason I met with them, to fill the survey to enter in the $1k drawing. I felt skeptical about the compensation and prizes that you recieved from selling the products, like a new free car and paid vacations? Like it sounded like a dream come true from a young woman, who works full time unhappily at her job and is about to start college next month. I also expressed my skeptical thoughts since, with the benefits they express, how come I’m just now hearing about it? Why aren’t many many women in the job?? To which Ashley explained the “history” of Mary Kay to ease my worries. To which she said, Mary Kay started in the 60’s during a time when women suffered, stayed at home and didn’t have rights so Mary Kay ash started her buisness to help those women out, because she knows if you dangle a prize a woman wants, she’ll bend backwards to get it. That touched the righteous woman in me and had me consider the job. I also had questions about how they started and they went into their goals of using the profit they made to help out orphan childrens lives in Africa and South America. How that was their passion. Ashley even went as far to say she was working for a non profit child care here in Kentucky, her “dream job” and how she worked hard to start a salary and how they made her go from 40 hours a week to 60-80 and after 8 months she quit. During that time her friend got her into her Mary Kay party she was hosting, talking about the business aspect of Mary Kay. Ashley had stated before she started, she wasn’t the makeup girl, never wore any. And I saw then how she now wears make up and so I thought if someone who wasn’t into makeup can sell Mary Kay products, why can’t I?!? And as well after a few months in she was making more money than the salary she got from her “dream job” I myself love makeup and I wear it. So I figured I could do this, just for the financial benefits. To wrap it up, Sally stated she was quitting her part time job to work full time for Mary Kay to reach her full potential and as well to support her husband so well that he could quit his job to pursue his dream job. Ashley also stated that Mary Kay only gets back 7-9 cents of every dollar because hey, they’re a multi billonaire company. So when they asked when I wanted to start, I of course said “now!” So I had already forked over $100 for the started kit and I was excited about my future with Mary Kay!! Until, something inside nagged at me about it still being to good to be true. So after my nap I decided to do some research on the job. And viola!! I found pinktruth. I am horrified about the truth of Mary Kay and very thankful my gut told me to research this scam. I never considered that you would have to buy products to sell, I don’t know why I assumed that Mary Kay provided it. I think it’s because Sally had told me she previously worked for 31, a bag company and how she had to buy the supplies and basically spent more money arranging parties than actually making profit. I am very naive and gullible but I will not buy into this. Thank you all for sharing the truth before I got invested into it!!!!! One less consultant for them.

    1. BestDecision

      You were probably like a lot of us and believed these “church-going” women were telling the truth, too. They’ll say anything to get you to sign! I’ve even heard people using their health or, worse, that of their family’s to get further in the company. They sign deceased people to finish cars and Directorship, no lie!!

      Send your Starter Kit back (if you haven’t opened it), but first tell your recruiter and your Director to remove you from all their email lists and off their phone contacts. Tell them a former Cadillac Director says “hello”!

      1. Fell for the lies

        I just texted them to remove me from the email and phone contacts and I even told them you said hello 🙂 . I haven’t received the starter kit yet! Is there anything else I have to do to get out of this?

        1. Lazy Gardens

          When the starter kit arrives, DO NOT OPEN THE BOX! Just write REFUSED on it and call the delivery company to come get it.

          You will not have to pay return postage if the box is unopened.

        2. BestDecision

          You can call 1-800-MARYKAY to verify if you were charged for a Starter Kit or not and then refuse it without opening it if it does eventually arrive. If not, count your lucky stars that you avoided a major bad decision!

          1. Deflated Pink Bubble

            Exactly what Best and Lazy said. DO NOT OPEN THE KIT when it arrives and return it. You dodged a bullet! Mary Kay is a mess you don’t want to be part of.

    2. Still Breaking The Basic

      “…and they went into their goals of using the profit they made to help out orphan childrens lives in Africa and South America.”

      Profit? What profit? Both the recruiter and director are so low on the MK food chain that they do not have any profit to help orphans. Neither one has enough profit to sponsor an ant farm.

    3. MLM Radar

      Oh I have no doubt that these are church-going women. But the beliefs they profess aren’t the same beliefs you have. No, their beliefs are the Joel Olsteen message of “God will bless me abundantly if I just believe without doubt.” And they have chosen to believe that Mary Kay is the vehicle of that blessing.

      Church-going is just an image. What you need to watch for isn’t whether they’re standing beside you in the church. It’s what they do outside the church that makes the difference.

      1. Still Breaking The Basic

        Yes, church-going is just an image. They’re only looking for new recruits to replace the ones that have just quit so they can maintain their unit production. They would put fishbowls in collection plates and do satin hands in the pews if they could.

  14. LevelHeaded

    I’ve been using MK products on and off for years. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was the first cosmetics company I ever used (my mom was a loyal customer). I too signed up as a consultant as a 19 yr old college student who needed some extra cash on the side. I was blessed with a SD who actually was a decent human being and actually listened to what I said. We hosted my first party and that money is what we used to place my first inventory order. I sold most of what we ordered that day at my very first solo party and was super excited. I can honestly say I didn’t have a bad experience. I went away to school and was “adopted” by another SD who literally did not care at all. I placed the minimum quarterly order to stay active and continue to get the discount since I used and did like the products. Eventually, I let my consultant status run out. About a year ago I signed up again as we are now expecting our first child and I could use the extra money. Is it an exorbitant amount of extra money? No. Is doing 1 or 2 parties a month and not bothering with recruiting bringing in extra cash? Yes. I don’t poke and prod customers to do anything they don’t want to and it works for what I need. I have a great full time job with good benefits that I would NEVER give up for MLM. I generally like the products (and they are the only thing keeping my skin clear throughout this pregnancy) and pretty much stay active to keep the discount. I’m appalled at some of the horror stories on here! I went into MK knowing that I did not want to team build and with a level head. I think most women get fooled by being suckered into those monday night meetings (which I have not gone to a single one since signing back up). Getting back into it almost 10 years later, I definitely have a different perspective on things and it helps that my DM really doesn’t bother me. If/when I do sell, I only sell the products that I like and know work.

    1. TRACY

      Is that all there is to it? All of us are such dummies and just didn’t know what we were doing? But you’re so smart that you’re not going to do the dumb things the dumb dummies did?

      Nearly everyone loses money in MLM. Even if, by chance, you’re one of the very few who profits, you won’t make enough to make it worth your time. But have fun with that!

      So sad that we’re such fools and suckers and you’re oh so smart!

      1. LevelHeaded

        Wow, I don’t understand the attitude. I wasn’t saying anyone was dumb. Simply saying that almost 10 years post initially signing up, I figured out a way to get the discount and make a few extra dollars on the side. I don’t go to meetings, I block emails and don’t use the messaging app my unit does. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience and I’m really sad to see that so many others did. Is my experience everything they claimed it would be? No, not at all. Did I make it work for what my needs were? Yes. I literally bought none of the extras, no travel storage system or consultant coat or business cards or stationary. IF I need to ship something to someone, I charge them extra. I’m just a mom to be who needed some extra cash on the side and the way I work mk works for what I need.

        1. TRACY

          I didn’t have a bad experience in MK, so you don’t have to pretend to be sorry for that.

          Of COURSE you were saying that we were dumb when you said this:

          “I think most women get fooled by being suckered into those monday night meetings (which I have not gone to a single one since signing back up).”

          We’re fools and suckers, while you’re level headed. So your intent was clear, and that’s the cause of my attitude.

          1. Still Breaking The Basic

            We’re also lazy loosers who didn’t play ball with our directors because we didn’t bee-lieve in the opportunity. Our deserve level and abundance mentality were too low.

        2. Mia

          Good Day All,

          I really appreciate this site as it definitely prevented me from going into this business full throttle. I joined almost two weeks ago. I plan on making my first order for just at $700.00. I’m an infection preventionist by trade. I love educating people on how to prevent infection by starting with the skin as the first line of defense. My Mary Kay focus will be on skin care, Not makeup.
          I don’t want to be known as the hustling Mary Kay lady so I will have a calendar that tells persons what I’m teaching a few times a month. They can come if they like. I have a career and I’m passionate about what I do.
          I enjoy the MK products that I’m aware of and my daughter and her friends won’t stay out of my products.
          I truly am pissed off at the ladies who took advantage of the women’s vulnerability. I’m hopeful that we all learn from the mistakes and make something great from the lesson learned,
          In the meantime, if we don’t do Mary Kay and we love skin care what companies would you suggest to someone whom wants to educate of skin care? My focus is to teach teens, tweens, in between and the elderly how to ensure infection is reduced through good skin care.

          Please help me and direct me where else to start.

          Thank you all for sharing your posts. Your stories helped me make a good choice.

          Mssweetrn

          1. TRACY

            Where else to start? Don’t buy the inventory. Your idea is foolish. You’ll get a few people to come at first, then you’ll have a really hard time finding anyone, and it will be more trouble than it’s worth. The inventory is silly, for the most part. Because even though you will have some things on hand if people want to buy, they’ll always end up ordering something you don’t have so you’ll have to place an order with MK anyway. So the better bet is to NOT have inventory, and just place an order every couple of weeks. That way you don’t have products that never sell (I.e. You lose money on them).

            But let’s be clear. You didn’t make a good choice. This company is an elaborate scam with a mediocre product. There is nothing good about being involved in it. Almost everyone loses money in MLM, so it’s a total waste of your time and energy.

          2. BestDecision

            I’d recommend being an esthetician or work for a dermatologist. You can use your scientific knowledge way more there than in MK, where, unfortunately, you WILL automatically be labeled “the MK lady” and given the same attitude as those wearing frumpy clothing, ruining relationships with their ethics, and running people off by the poor quality of products. The only way you’ll reach an audience like you desire will be to market your business massively. But, the moment people hear “MK”, they’re going to think what they think without considering you’re trying to come at them from a different angle.

            There’s lots of other brands solidly focused on skin care, and you could even work with them. Go to Sephora’s site and browse “Skin Care”. There’s way better out there!

          3. Hardworking and Educated

            Thank you all for your valuable feedback. I won’t go into my credentials. But for information purposes an Infection Preventionist is one with a background in epidemiology. Attained either through an advanced nursing degree, advanced biology, masters in public health or the like. I’m highly trained, I was looking to further instruct, educate, and encourage beauty from within. No desire for a team or a car. I have my own success.
            I have taken your passionate advice under advisement.
            I am thankful for this website.
            Best Regards

            Mssweetrn

          4. MLM Radar

            If you want to teach about infection prevetion, I suggest you look into a licensing or certification program instead of buying into a MLM scam where you’ll get almost no training in how to use the products and lost of training in how to recruit people to be your competitors. Try calling the Red Cross and see what they offer.

            As an adult, if a strange approached me and said she taught infection prevention my first reaction would be to feel insulted: Does she think I’m dirty?

            I’d feel the same way if my BFF suddenly called me to teach me about infection prevention, except that I’d also be thinking, “She’s not a nurse or hygenist. What makes her qualified to teach that?”

            As a Junior Girl Scout, I did learn about infection prevention and wasn’t insulted. But the Girl Scouts have a process for teaching that and it doesn’t involve endorsing overpriced multi-level marketing scams. Instead it’s more about properly using inexpensive everyday products and having good habits.

            If you were thinking about teaching infection prevention to people like hospital volunteers or home health aids, think again. The companies who make use of people in that capacity have their own procedures which they follow to the letter. It’s a legal liability issue, and the local MLM lady is not part of the program.

            So while I think your idea of teaching infection prevention is a noble one, I also think you’re going about it in absolutely the wrong way. As I said at first: call the Red Cross and see how you can work with them to achieve the same goals. Take their classes, then look into becoming a Red Cross instructor yourself.

    2. BestDecision

      I sincerely commend you for being wise enough to know the difference. The challenging part is that so many people in the company, and even the company itself, promote such a lavish, successful lifestyle that women think it’s the norm. They put everything on the back burner to get the business going and get themselves into a car or replace their income. This is why so many people are on this site, and this is why attrition is enormously high in MK. To make money once taxes and expenses are taken out, you’ve got to recruit and have to hold a LOT of appointments. It’s as simple as that.

      Good luck with your baby!

    3. Lazy Gardens

      About a year ago I signed up again as we are now expecting our first child and I could use the extra money. Is it an exorbitant amount of extra money? No. Is doing 1 or 2 parties a month and not bothering with recruiting bringing in extra cash?

      Have you actually done a cash flow analysis? Is your inventory 100% paid for? And does your Mary Kay “business” support itself so that 100% of your Mary Kay expenses are covered by the Mary Kay sales?

  15. TooGoodToBeTrue

    I am very new to the MK world, I knew nothing about this company when I decided to sign up. I have only been in this for about 2 months and have not made a dime but am now in $800 cc debt for my “had to have inventory ” !! When I signed up I asked my recruiter if the $100 was all I need to start and to make money she of course said yes so I would sign. Then I went to meet with my SD who told me I wouldn’t make any money unless I has inventory because we get women on an emotional buy ( which that comment right there I had an issue with) but of course I did it and placed a $600 order which turned into costing me $725 that my director made. I had my debut party and only sold about $200. So of course I had to place another order to replace those items and add more to my inventory!! I forgot to mention my SD is trying to get her pink Cadillac in June. I starred to change my feelings on this company when I was $17 away from being on target star and it was the last day of the month so my director was texting me very rudely that I need to be calling and messaging people to get them to buy our new mascara! I of course was not going to place a $17 order to pay 10 in shipping for no reason and that did not make her happy ! So I was googling how to switch units when I came across this website and have now learned so much about this company, and a lot of things make sense now to why they’re so pushy on “sharing the opportunity” !! I am now giving up my MK business and moving on to better things !!!! Thank you pink truth !!!

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      Good for you on sticking to your guns and not placing the $17 order. The $17 shortage will become $170 which will become $1,700. “Fake it until you make it” also means faking production so your upline can get her commission at your expense.

      Send your unsold inventory back for the 90% refund as soon as you can.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      I have only been in this for about 2 months and have not made a dime but am now in $800 cc debt for my “had to have inventory ”

      Send it back, take your 90% refund (plus 100% of the tax you paid on that inventory), pay off the CC bill and get the heck out of there!

  16. Kat

    I am a brand new consultant who just had her debut party a week and a half ago and has already bought $750-worth of inventory. I’m on the edge right now of believing in all that pink and being skeptical. Would someone please give me some advice?

    I’m hoping I’ll be safe if I don’t bother with (more) inventory, just ordering weekly as needed, if I don’t try to make a living salary from this, and if I don’t force myself to be a director or anything else.

    I don’t hate Mary Kay and I don’t want it to become my career but selling some decent products to people and doing facials is fun.

    1. BestDecision

      First, consider that placing an order weekly as you mentioned is going to cost you shipping and subtract from your profit each and every time. Because you might not sell a lot, you will also run the risk of not meeting the $250 wholesale minimum requirement to keep your Active status and 50% discount on smaller orders.

      As a former Director, my advice, since you’re asking for it, is do anything else for extra money if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s hard to keep your business small enough where you won’t have to buy more inventory and keep enough stock to support more frequent parties and customer reorders. But, it’s hard to keep your business big enough that your Director won’t bother the mess out of you and try to convince you to start recruiting. There’s definitely a fine line between having to choose which way you want to go with the size of your business.

      You’ll also need to remember that you will likely encounter demanding customers who want their products at that very moment. I shared on another post that I had customers drop by unannounced during our dinnertime, and I had some calling late at night. Just for makeup and skin care! They don’t see you as a student, mom, or wife. They see you as a BUSINESS and expect you to give them the level of service and convenience that no one else has given them. You’ll also have customers returning product over and over because NO ONE can make them happy. I remember writing a check to refund a customer on an entire Miracle Set about a week after I deposited her check. That was money I’d already planned for and spent!

      I resigned as a pink Cadillac Director and sent my product back, and I wouldn’t be associated with the ethics of the company or sales force again if you paid me any amount.

    2. enorth

      You’ll end up spending more than you make.

      You may have sold some products at your debut, but don’t let that fool you. You likely had family and friends there, correct? They bought just to be nice. Don’t expect them to re-order. You’ll also have people expect you to sell to them at a discount and give freebies. Once that starts, it never ends.

      Doing facials might be fun, but you certainly don’t need MK products to do them. You can use brands from the mall or drugstore. If you really want MK, you can buy new, fresh, unopened MK products from eBay, dirt-cheap.

    3. Deflated Pink Bubble

      “selling some decent products to people and doing facials is fun.”

      Here’s the thing with that statement. Number one, you’re NOT selling decent products. You can buy better quality products at Walmart for half the price. Mary Kay is actually crap. Number two, you’re not doing facials. You can’t even touch the other person. You’re just standing there telling them to put this on and take it off. We call it “Smile and Squirt”.

      Every 3 months, you will have to order $250 in product to stay active. That’s $1,000 a year. I promise you, after your first few months in, when family and friends have all made their pity purchases from you, you won’t be selling enough to maintain those orders. You’ll be stock piling product. It’s a no win situation. Get out now.

    4. Lazy Gardens

      You are currently $750 (plus tax, shipping and the cost of the party) in the hole.

      Look at the number of FaceBook posts offering HUGE discounts, pleading with people to buy, pleading with people to book parties and help them, the 65,000+ eBay offerings and ask yourself if you can get enough people to buy product at full price to even make back that $750 …

      One reason you were encouraged to buy is that your recruiter wouldn’t get any bonuses if you didn’t come in with at least a $600 order within the first 30 days. Yup, that “qualified consultant” means that your recruiter is qualified to make $100 or so because she talked you into ordering soon and ordering big.

      1. gotheart

        Your are Mary Kay’s prime customer. Shoot, you purchased over 750. from them, even Amazon gives their Prime customers free shipping. Mary Kay doesn’t even do that, they are such blatant scumbags!

        *The company gets away with passing shipping expenses to their customer, YOU.

        *They get away with telling you how you can operate your business (which is the scam you unknowingly bought into) as if you are their employee, they treat you AS AN EMPLOYEE. They tell you how to dress, you can not advertise, nor can you display your products in a retail outlet. Now that makes NO sense at all! Retail = selling to the public and ya can’t advertise or sell at a booth event or in the stretch mall in your neighborhood? You have to attend meetings or you receive no help. What and you are charged to attend? Plus you have to scam friends and family to attend too, with Muffins and Makeovers, and then they are scammed again into listening to the same scam you bought into? Doesn’t this make you head spin!

        However now get this, is your heart getting this? After treating you as and EMPLOYEE the Mary Kay company gets away with not withholding benefits to contribute to you Social Security. They expect you to do that with the scam you have bought into, which they know is a legal scam.

        Instead they purchase cheap Star Consultant prizes for you to earn so you will purchase more product. The Star Consultant prizes they purchase are tax benefit for Mary Kay company, regardless if you earn them though your product purchase or not.

        *The car winning ( this terminology is a scam too) is another tax benefit for MKC. By leasing cars for Scam Directors to “win” who don’t realize they are going deeper into the Mary Kay scam. Let me explain, the SD has been told if she gets to “this level” she gets a free car. Not true at all. Her efforts of getting to “this level” pays for the car leased, which is already a tax benefit for the company. And when the SD doesn’t keep her Units product purchase (the scam of selling products that no one purchases from the SD or her Unit) up to keep the car she has won, the company charges her a grossly inflated payment over what they are charged from the car lease company. So the company benefits from her failure.

        * The Mary Kay Company has done you the exact same way on a smaller scale. You have purchased a Show Case containing samples of products that will NOT provide a business for you, but has benefited them from charging you grossly over what it cost them to make the show case. They benefit from your purchase and they will benefit from your purchase if you send the case unopened back to the company.
        The company preaches career opportunity. Executive income for part time work. However they don’t tell you the opportunity is for them, it is a fabulous lifestyle for them, they actually do earn more than executive income. The founders designed this company based on a marketing plan which 99% of their customers fail to sell the product. They are counting on you to fail 99%! By purchasing the show case you have lost they have earned and their scam continues.

        YOUR Hope is the last thing to die.
        Your feeling of expectation, desire, because you WANT TO BELIEVE what they have told you is true is being taken advantage of, abused. Aren’t you hurting?

        ‘I’m hoping I’ll be safe if I don’t bother with (more) inventory, just ordering weekly as needed, if I don’t try to make a living salary from this, and if I don’t force myself to be a director or anything else.’

        Sincerely.

  17. Out of the Pink

    I joined MK at the end of last year. I “worked” the business diligently for 4 months before becoming ill and taking a forced sabbatical from MK among other life ventures. There were a few gut checks that I had early on such as inconsistencies in “information” my director gave me when I was supposed to be deciding on inventory. At new consultant “training,” I and my husband were sold the 90% buy back as a safety net. “What a great company that guarantees your success or your money back.” We asked in the years she had been in MK had my director seen anyone send back their inventory and why. She told us she never has seen it and that maybe only two had done it in her time due to dire life reasons which were something like death and cancer. Months later, I heard this director telling someone in DIQ that people send back the inventory all the time and she had better get used to it now.

    Other red flags were that I was told my SD worked MK full time and afforded her house on MK money and no other income. I found out later she had been working another job. I was also told I could build my business in just 2-5 hours a week as she did and eventually make enough money to quit my demanding job and make an executive income on part time hours. But as I worked my business I kept track of the hours I worked (making calls, prepping for classes, traveling, running classes tracking inventory, etc.) and I never made much more than $12-$15 generously. Also, when directors introduce themselves they tell their highest check. Anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000. That confused me. Why the major difference? Also, an NSD said once at a training that she worked 60+ hours a week with young kids to get where she was and if we wanted it we would have to put in the work up front for it to pay off later.” Work now while your kids are young and they won’t even remember it.” Huh!?

    At new consultant training, I asked if there were a lot of other consultants in the area that I would have to compete with. I was told no. I found that not to be accurate and the market in my area was saturated. I have been warm chatted in the grocery store so much! I never got any star referrals from the website (a perk of being a star) because there are so many other consultants out there. Could never get a table at an even such as a bridal showcase as they always already had MK vendors signed up. I was told training is free, but that is not true. Even the weekly meeting costs in dues. These were only some of the half-truths.

    I have been reading PT for some months, and I just don’t see how to salvage this decision to join MK. I made an initial inventory “investment” of $2,800 on the MK credit card. I haven’t made any money because anything that I made when to paying the credit card, dues, training fees, demo products, website, propay, gifts for parties, beauty coat, etc. I still owe almost $1,000 on this credit card which is stressing me out.

    At first, I thought I would like to stay a part of MK as personal use and that I wouldn’t be so stressed if I could generate enough to pay what I owe on the credit card. But there are other things that make me uncomfortable. Such as how the meetings are such a time suck for the “value-added.” I really mostly felt discomfort at many of the meetings. Either because of being berated to do more and work the business and keep up with the repeat Queen of sales and Queen of sharing and Queen of whatever (same one or two people every week.) OR because we should be so grateful for the “opportunity” that Mary Kay – oops, I mean God and Mary Kay has granted us. We were told we were “selfish” not to offer that opportunity to others. There was a meeting that a lady triple crowned and a visiting SD started doing a worshipful wave saying “we are not worthy.” I was so uncomfortable. Like what!? Are we worshipping Mary Kay above God? Are we worshipping someone making a sale or swindling someone else to join MK? (I actually came out of a religious cult. These meetings were reminiscent.) OR how my SD (mostly) and recruiter seem to be off the charts with fake-ness. It goes beyond positivity almost to obnoxious. That is s big turnoff for me. I feel like-what are you hiding? She has continually said or posted via social media statements to the effect that she is so so so happy of the decisions she has made in life (the decision being joining MK) and if others don’t absolutely LOVE their lives like she does then they should change their decisions (and join MK.) Ugh!

    Now, my remaining inventory is boxed sitting by my front door so that I can send it back and get something back from it. I feel a little foolish that I got this far in before seeing the truth. I haven’t told my husband or family that I got taken for a ride out if embarrassment. I just am trying to bow out as quietly as possible.

    1. BestDecision

      Don’t feel bad. I was a Cadillac Director for over 10 years before I got out. It takes courage to go against the grain, and it also takes courage to go against the dreams you’ve been sold. I kept wondering if I was just a year away or a month away from a miracle happening, but it never did.

      I did have some success, but even I couldn’t duplicate that myself. I also began to see how expensive it is to pay for Director suits, Leadership Conference and airfare (because they’re never held in my part of the country), workshop after workshop, postage, gas (a Cadillac doesn’t have a tiny engine!), etc. Even with commissions from having Offspring Directors, I calculated that my net profit, after taxes and all my expenses were subtracted, was less than I made outside of MK. As a “prestigious” Cadillac Director!

      So, take it from someone who has been in and beyond your shoes. You’re not missing out on anything good by getting out now!

      1. Out of the Pink

        Thanks! I’m glad my friend (who joined MK after me and is still in, sigh) showed me this site. It confirmed my gut checks. She also shared the article she read (http://www.pinktruth.com/welcome/for-new-mary-kay-consultants/) with my recruiter which was HER coworker before this whole thing started for either of us. Interesting how the article was played down. I remember my director saying something like “Yeah, anyone can type negative stuff on the Internet. But they must be lying because they don’t even give their real names.” But I kept digging because much of the article resonated with me.

        Yeah-the “50% profit” is really a joke. By the time you offer a discount to folks, pay postage (ugh!), credit card processing fees, wrapping (such as boxes or bags), etc. There is nothing left. And that is just the costs generated by the sale. It doesn’t count overhead (such as propay, websites, Thank You cards, etc.) No, the products don’t “sell themselves” as we are told. I couldn’t GIVE away Satin Hands! Trust me I tried!!

  18. enorth

    The higher you go, the more expenses you have. You need to constantly prove that you’re serious about moving up. You will also be “encouraged” to attend costly training.

    There’s a coaching course being pushed now, and the company teaching it is owned by the sister of NSD Connie Kittson/aunt of NSD Kristin Sharpe. The three-day course is $1,000; you can expect to pay airfare and other expenses. And it’s not a one-time course. NSDs are encouraging their downlines to attend. (cha-ching for these NSDs? I wonder how much cross-pocket lining goes on in the NSD sisterhood….You line my pockets, sister, I’ll line yours…)

    A visiting NSD is coming to your town? You’ll pay to hear her wisdom and secrets to success. NSD wrote a book? You’ll be asked to buy it; be prepared to give a report at your next meeting.

    Yes, there is money to be made. But not from selling Satin Hands or roll-up bags at someone’s kitchen table.

  19. NewtoMKandleavingsoon

    I am a new IBC, I just signed my agreement in the beginning of November. As soon as I did, the red flags started popping up. I felt betrayed by my recruiter because I asked her multiple times how much money I needed to start and she said $100.00 for the starter kit. That was fine with me. Once I signed up, her director called me and insisted on helping me order and told me I had to place at least $600.00 in orders, so I did. She told me the offer for free products only lasts for 15 days and that I have to place my first order within 15 days. I have since found out this is a huge lie. I thought it was strange from the very beginning that they never asked about my sales. I thought it was so strange that the director sent me a list of 12 ways to pay for inventory, most of them involving getting into some form of debt to finance inventory. It was a MAJOR red flag to me.

    I have not gone to a single success meeting, thankfully I live in a different state than my director and recruiter, we are about an hour and a half apart. I like my recruiter for the most part, when I tell her I don’t have time to do all of these meetings and stuff, she is understanding. I told her I don’t want to recruit people and have a team. She said that is fine, she said just listen to the trainings so that if you ever decide to start recruiting or if someone approaches you, you will be prepared. Her director only talks about ordering and recruiting every single time I talk to her. I dread the phone calls with her. She is manipulative in every single way and she’s beyond fake. My cousin has been my recruiter’s guest at weekly meetings, but refuses to be an IBC and warned me the director is fake. I thought I would do this for a little extra money and the discount, but I am done.

    I signed up for January Jumpstart, which will most likely be a rah rah fest, but at least my money won’t be completely wasted since they are having a makeup artist come to do a workshop. After that event is over, I am done. I don’t want my recruiter to have to pay back commission, but I want my director to have to pay back every single cent she made from my order. I was fine until the director started bugging me. Thankfully I only signed up for ProPay, didn’t purchase business cards or the website.

    So now I need advice, can I return things without the boxes? Am I going to lose money because of the stupid cheap “Fake it til you make it” bracelet I “earned”? If I used something once, will they take it back? What other skin care lines did you switch to after leaving Mary Kay? I am so excited to be done with this company it’s unreal.

    1. BestDecision

      I used to be a Director before I resigned, so I’ll answer your questions happily. To send product back for a refund, it has to be unused, unopened. Any prizes you earned are yours to keep.

      You are very much accurate when you describe your Director smelling blood in the water with you because that’s actually the phrase we heard as we were taught where our pay checks come from. New Consultants bring in the most production, which is an automatic 23% commission for us. Then, we get bonuses based on how many new ones come in along with our ongoing unit bonuses we can earn. We often said it was “the new and the few” that make us money.

      After giving everything I had for over 10 years, attending countless events like your January Jumpstart, I had had enough of the lies, cheating, egos, and fake relationships and resigned. I drove pink Cadillacs, and I wasn’t netting the profit I should have at that level because it costs a lot to manage a unit of that size.

      Directors boast about an “executive income”, but, in today’s world, that would mean they clear $170,000/year. So, take a look at your Applause magazine. When you see the list of Directors listed under the monthly commission checks (not the unit retail production area), realize that only the ones making at least $14,000 for that month are actually grossing an executive income ($14k x 12 months = $168k gross income for the year). Then they have expenses, so it’s even fewer than those that are actually earning an executive income as they claim.

      My advice is get your money back for Jumpstart and return whatever unopened product you have. Save yourself the frustration that didn’t come to me as quickly as it has you. If you’ve this many red flags this early, it’s obvious it’s not something you should be doing.

    2. BestDecision

      Forgot to answer your last question! I now use Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Tarte, YSL, and Maybelline. Going to Sephora right after I resigned was like going to a wonderland! I was free FINALLY to experience so many other brands!

    3. MLM Radar

      Do NOT be concerned about the commission your recruiter received. She won’t lose any money when you return your order. On $600, she received $24 commission. She’ll simply have to repay the commission that she no longer qualifies for – no penalties, no interest, no harm, no foul.

      The director won’t “lose” any money either. She also will only have to repay the commissions and bonuses attached to your order, which she no longer qualifies for. But in her case it will be a lot more than $24; it will likely be something between $200 and $400.

      You’re the only person losing money on the deal, because Mary Kay will only pay you 90% of the $600. You lose $60 plus you have to pay shipping. But it’s a lot less than you’ll lose if you try any other method of getting rid of the junk.

      Quite frankly, if anyone “owes” money to anyone when this is all over, THEY should be paying YOU for YOUR losses, because they were the ones who told you this is a “risk-free investment.”

    4. MLM Radar

      So now I need advice, can I return things without the boxes? Am I going to lose money because of the stupid cheap “Fake it til you make it” bracelet I “earned”? If I used something once, will they take it back?

      Return it without boxes? Yes. Lots of women do that.

      Lose money because of the stupid bracelet? Depends on where it came from.
      If it came from your Director it won’t make a difference. However if it came from MK Corporate they’re going to deduct the “full price” of the bracelet from your refund, because you no longer “qualify” for the cheapo prize. The same holds true with all the rest of the “gift with purchase” bonus items you got.

      You probably should send the bracelet (and the “free with purchase” items) back with your inventory return, and clearly mark on the paperwork that you’re returning their “prizes” and “gifts.” Keep copies of all your paperwork and be prepared to challenge them if they still subtract the price of the “gifts” from your check.

      Used items? Well, that depends on whether they look used. If a quarter of the product is gone, or has visible fingerprints, don’t hold your breath. (That might be a reason for sending them back in the boxes, especially if they came to you looking used.) Mary Kay’s “100% satisfaction guarantee” only applies to end-user purchasers, who are not you.

      However MK does take back products with your consultant labels still affixed, giving your name and phone number. They also have been caught re-selling returned products to other consultants with the personal labels still affixed, even though they say they destroy all returned products!

  20. enorth

    The MK bracelets with inscriptions are “awarded” each month you place a WS order for $600 or more. Your goal is to attend Seminar with all 12 of them jangling on your wrists.

    The bracelets are also for sale on eBay.

  21. Lola S

    I am too another victim if this Mary Kay scam. I realized it maybe 1 week into it when my SD would always emphasize if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I was lost as into what do I do now so I would call or text with no answers. So I went to my recruiter who was the one who gave me most of the paperwork but the SD got mad because it was her job to answer my questions. She never helped me with anything and then went on Facebook to remind “everyone” meaning me that she had a life and she wasn’t obligated to answer calls or texts fast. That was the biggest red flag for me. Then I was suckered into the 600 purchase and promised extra gifts by the SD if I made the order in 24 hours which I’m still waiting to get almost 9 months later. I don’t like the annoy and harass people mentality they try to instill. They don’t want you to take no for an answer. I live in a small town so it is over saturated. I was never made aware I could return unused product till I came across your website. I am planning on sending it back asap as it’s just in a drawer. They never tell you all the information and they never said we had to pay for the Mondays rah rah fests. So obviously I wasn’t making money but loosing it. I’m so glad I came across this info and I can be rid of this once and for all. I hate the deceptive practices and the withholding of information until you sign up.

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