We Did All That Work For a Few Trinkets?

Mary Kay PrizesWritten by sadnpink

During the course of my time in Mary Kay, I never missed being a star consultant.  I believed that I deserved those nice gifts they were giving away each quarter, and I managed to accumulate quite a few.  It wasn’t until I resigned as a director and returned my products that I came to realize how little those prizes really were worth.

My statement indicated that for the entire year my star gifts were valued at a whopping $49.00!!!  Wow…. that said a lot right there.  I had been a consistent Emerald that year which means I did a LOT of ordering.  I earned the pink blender….which broke within two months and rusted out at the base.  I had earned a voice recorder which would take an electronic genius to operate and did not work well even when it did operate.  In short, the gifts were cheap.

Perhaps the only thing really worth the effort was the luggage set that I earned, since I needed one.  The quality was good, and when I went to sell it, a friend asked me why I would want to sell the luggage since it was well made.  She said, “After all, you bought it each quarter.”  It was then that I had a “V-8 Moment.”

That’s right!  I bought every single star prize.  I paid for it through my orders.  Certainly the company was losing nothing on the gifts.

They are dangled in front of us as “must haves” and unfortunately, many of us pursued winning them.

It isn’t just the company that gives out cheap gifts though.  Sales directors and NSDs also give out prizes that come at little or no cost.  I remember receiving a special unit ring from my SD.  It was a pretty amethyst ring with a gold band.  I wore it proudly and many people remarked about how pretty it was.  One day, however, I noticed it turning green in the back.  So when I went to seminar, I decided to check out the vendors there and see if I could find a similar ring.

Imagine my shock when I came upon that very ring being sold for all of $4.00!  Later, when I became a director, I was told that we should never spend much on unit prizes for our consultants.  The vendors sold pins, bracelets, rings and other pretty baubles for $4.00 to $6.00 per piece.  In some cases, it was less, and the quality was not good either.

So tell me…. Why did we work so hard to earn something so cheap it could be a prize in a gum ball machine?  Somehow, we just had to get that star each quarter so we could struggle to get it attached to the ladder pin.  The gem stone was so tiny as to be totally insignificant.  In reality, none of the prizes or gifts were worth all the hard work and time we spent trying to do Mary Kay.

Lest you think that only sales directors give out cheap gifts… think again.  NSDs also give away cheap items too.  At one year end banquet, my NSD gave a bracelet to each of her directors.  Within two days, mine had turned green.  I was horrified because my NSD told us that she shopped specially for these thank you gifts.  The next day, while at the Vendor’s area, I found that bracelet  on a rack for all of $2.25.  I was so glad to know that my efforts and support were so greatly appreciated.

Even the GREAT seminar award program leaves much to be desired.  The diamond rings are not the highest quality and the diamond bumble bees are not either.  Then, if you decide to return product and leave MK, you will have to pay for that ring or diamond bee if it was earned during the year you left.  So, once again, you just bought your own prize!

In all honesty, there is nothing given to us out of the kindness of Mary Kay Inc’s heart.  They cover themselves very well financially.  We are the ones that are foolish for pursuing these inexpensive gifts.  We sacrifice family time, our faith and every spare moment so we can achieve what?  A $4.00 pin or ring?

If anyone feels the need to have a “bling bling” ring, please just go out and buy one for yourself at one of the vendors.  They can easily be found on the internet!  It is cheaper, less time consuming and when it turns green, you can always pick up another one for the same price.

Don’t sacrifice the precious time you could be having with your family.  Don’t go into debt trying to earn gifts that are low quality and not worth the effort. In fact, the best gift you could give yourself is to not get involved in MK to begin with!


  1. BestDecision

    Gumball machine prizes. That’s exactly what they are! I once had this beautiful sapphire ring that I’d earned for being a Star. The “gem” got scratched on its face, which would never happen to a real sapphire. Then, the silver band turned. I was so disappointed, embarrassed that I’d shown my family my earnings, and grossed out that a company bragging to be debt-free and so “Godly” would award such cheap trinkets.

    But, I kept going. We were so brainwashed into thinking it gets better past being a Consultant, better past the Red Jacket, and even better past the Director suit that we overlooked those trinkets and feelings.

    That is, until I was a Director for a few years and received that ceramic asparagus-looking thing for my Christmas present from MKI. The gifts kept getting cheaper and cheaper, yet I was working harder and harder. The warm fuzzy feeling I used to get when calling Directors’ Information was fading. The exclusiveness I felt at Leadership faded the moment they let Consultants start coming. (That was actually one of the pivotal points for me in starting to think about resigning.). The Director suit got uglier and more uncomfortable, and the design and fabric felt cheaper.

    All of this while I was putting on hose and skirts to head out into the summer heat to hold a facial or class. All of this disappointment brewing as I calculated how short we were for another Seminar goal. All of this while I was looking around the arena in Dallas and seeing fewer seats filled.

    Consultants and Directors reading this, you’re not alone. We saw the warning signs, too. Get out now!

  2. diane

    No wonder once I left MKC every business I started resulted in happy clients and hostesses…I gave baskets of products for 3 bookings, and nice thank you gifts. I hosted dinners for my hostesses with more nice prizes. My clients thought I was Santa Claus because they would get products in their orders they never expected and end of the year gifts. My consultants could come get products and supplies from me. My sister consultants could barter products or use my products to sample their clients. Thanks MKC for helping me to be a good consultant once I left you!

  3. Still Breaking The Basic

    “Imagine my shock when I came upon that very ring being sold for all of $4.00!”

    My ex-director would go to dollar stores on Saturday morning when they opened so no one would see her. A $1.00 piece of crap for a $600 retail order that cost the consultant $300 plus full tax and shipping.

    Sadnpink, don’t feel bad about your ring. At least your director paid more for it than my ex would have.

  4. Iescaped

    I joined MK in June and even though my former SD/NSD wanted me to go to Seminar there was ABSOLUTELY no way I was. She was debuting that year as a NSD and she wanted the biggest crowd possible. Since I work in the healthcare field, and she was leaving her elderly grandmother without family to care for her, she asked if I wouldn’t mind checking in on her. Sure, why not? She would call me from Dallas daily to see how things were and gush about the “special gift” she had picked out just for me as a thank you. When she returned, it took her more than two weeks to get me my “special gift”. One night at the weekly meeting she handed me a tacky, cheesy, and very cheap key ring!! I never looked in on her grandmother for a “gift”, but rather out of the goodness of my heart. I was a bit surprised that her gratitude for this was worth no more than a dime store trinket. Sad to say that I have received better gifts from non MK friends for watching a pet!

  5. Abbey Brooke

    You sound very bitter! I say you worked your Mary Kay like you wanted to and that’s that! Every director is different and maybe yours went around it the wrong way. I don’t know, but I do see women in Mary Kay cars. It must work!

    1. TRACY

      Actually it does NOT work. Most of the women in those cars are paying dearly for them and spending much more than if they just went and got cars of their own. Stick around and read up… you’ll learn a lot about what a clever con Mary Kay is.

  6. Sam

    I was a struggling college student trying to make ends meet while keeping a high GPA and when this MK opportunity arose I took it in hopes that the money I put on my credit card would pay back in time… it never did. I went into crazy debt for MK and they didn’t even take back half everything that I had not opened- which we all know we opened stupid amounts of out-of-pocket products for those stupid parties. I joined in April of 2015 and got out in March of 2016… still paying it back in 2017 almost 2018. Lesson learned. There’s a saying out there that goes, “If it sounds too good to be true… It is.”

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