The Prize Machine at the End of the Mary Kay Year

ribbonWritten by SuzyQ

Okay, dear fogged ones… the prize thing. Let’s talk about the prizes.

When Mary Kay directors and nsd’s offer a major prize there are a couple of contingencies working here… First and foremost, your director can’t afford much, so the prizes are, shall we say, meaningful, but tacky? Our usual vendors make a mint during the last 3 months of the seminar year, and in June, oh my, the prizes in June! They are cheap, really cheap. And very often, the directors offer CA$H! That’s right! Actual money you can spend. If you win the drawing.

It goes something like this… if you order $200 in June you get one entry into the $500 cash drawing… $400 gets you two entries and so on… This is to reach the unit goal of $20,000 or some extraordinary number. (Now your unit has never done whatever the goal is, but this is June!!!! The month of miracles for those who BEE-lieve, so anything is possible.)

Guess what? The director never has the drawing because the goal is never reached, but you aren’t privy to that part of the contest… But, hey, production is up! And this is called “Sucking the unit dry in June.” And that means July will be pretty awful.

Second… many of the nsd prizes offered will, in fact, have to be purchased by your director. Betcha didn’t know that, eh? An added expense for her. Actually, in my decade long career, I only received one prize directly from my nsd that my senior did not have to purchase, and quite frankly, I am not entirely sure she didn’t have to pay for it then… nsd’s don’t have to buy stuff any more. Too busy, I guess.

As directors, we tell ourselves a couple of things:

  1. Who else gets a prize for “just doin’ our jobs?”
  2. If you don’t like the prize, save it and give it to one of your team members, the goal is to earn everything that is offered and
  3. Same thing, but save it for your director debut and give it to the “winners” of your diq courts and last but not least,
  4. It’s not the prize itself, it’s being a team player, and your potential unit will treat you the way you treated your director.

Audible sigh, they have an answer for everything. Don’t fall for it.


  1. ran4fun

    When my loved one started showing me all the wonderful prizes she was “earning” I wish I had said what I was thinking…”Nice, but I’d rather have the cash and buy what I really want/need.”

    I wish I had known about Pink Truth back then. Maybe I could have challenged her thinking on their use of the word “free” and “gift” and “prize”. Alas, her pink blinders are still firmly in place despite the great expense all those “free” gifts and prizes cost her….sigh…

      1. BestDecision

        You just brought back memories of how hot those tents were at the vendors. It was nasty in there! All those fake bar pins, jewelry, and gobs of junk made in China or Taiwan that just made you CERTAIN they’d help you make it back to Seminar in a different place. Rena Tarbet selling her old fashioned VHS tapes, David Cooper…I cringe to think how hot it was in our Director suits in there.

  2. Hunter

    Yeah, my Former Director always “forgot” to declare a winner or award prizes. She’d wait until someone in the unit reminded her. If no one did, no winner, no prize. Big shock.

    1. BestDecision

      My Director did that, too. I had to remind her so many times that I’d earned something, and she always blamed her kids for keeping her too busy as an excuse to not give them to me. Now that I’ve been a Director, I can see through it. She wasn’t even a Premier Club Director at the time, so she was probably losing money all over the place and couldn’t afford our prizes.

  3. juliegalstar

    You can now buy cheap stuff, i.e., just abt. anything & everything, sometimes for pennies, on eBay listed for sale by companies in China and India, especially jewelry of all kinds.

  4. FreedomLover

    The prizes are so depressing. I attended 8 weekly meetings in a row so I could receive a prize…which ended up being a slender pack of sales slips and a handwritten note. 8 weeks of meetings cost me 40 dollars plus 48 hours of my time (5-9 pm every week). How could anyone not feel scammed, even someone in the fog?

    1. BestDecision

      That’s horrible! While I understand that we had major expenses as Directors, that’s cheap to do that to a loyal Consultant. It was very hard to accept that we had to pay a room fee of hundreds of dollars a month and not have a guarantee anyone would show up, but still…so tacky!

    2. enorth

      The SD is having trouble getting unit members to attend meetings, so she has to bribe them. But because she’s not making money, she can’t afford to give decent prizes. Even if she did give handbags and trinkets, you can be sure those are just useless prizes she “earned” in the past and stored in her closet to be given as prizes.

      Earn a prize for attending meetings, seeing “faces”, listening to a recorded phone call, ordering inventory you don’t need, etc. Prize, prize, prize.

      Prizes don’t pay the bills.

      1. Exactly. Not only do prizes not pay the bills, but nothing like crappy prizes to set off my BS-ometer and make me start questioning the whole thing. I once got two old CDs of an NSD droning on about leadership–as a prize!! A plastic coin purse–as a prize. At a star achievers breakfast I couldn’t even *have breakfast with* my SD, since she wouldn’t order anything but a cup of coffee. Because she’s hemorrhaging money. I worked very hard from the get go, doing events, fishbowls, 3 parties a week, FaceTime facials, marketing calls, cold calls, and nothing left me feeling more disrespected than all those sh*tty prizes.

          1. I would calculate my hourly wage as I went along…sometimes losing money, sometimes making 2-5 dollars an hour, once I averaged 10 dollars an hour for all the work I’d done–and even that felt like so little for the amount of time and energy involved. I came up for air after 4 months and just had to step back from it all. Two months later I found Pink Truth!!!!!!!

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