The Truth About the Mary Kay Pink Cadillac

mary-kay-pink-cadillacMary Kay plants fluff pieces with the media to hype the company. Mary Kay’s public relations department sends out press releases and contacts reporters in hopes of getting television and print media coverage. This, of course, fuels the constant push to recruit new consultants.

Mary Kay is one of the most predatory multi-level marketing companies I have seen. I like to call it a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The company pretends that it “empowers women,” when in truth it is nothing but a leach which sucks millions of dollars out of women’s wallets each year. Mary Kay pretends to offer a business opportunity, knowing full well that almost everyone involved will lose money, because it is nothing but a glorified pyramid scheme which our government allows to operate.

The best marketing tool ever created was the Mary Kay Pink Cadillac. Everyone in the U.S. knows that a pearly pink Cadillac is a “sales incentive” for Mary Kay Ladies. What they don’t know is the harsh reality of the Cadillac drivers: They make relatively little money. I estimate that the typical Cadillac driver makes about $30,000 per year after business expenses, which includes the value of the Cadillac.

This estimate assumes that the sales director’s unit does the minimum production required for Cadillac status. If she does not meet the minimum, the picture is even worse. In that case, the Mary Kay director has a “co-pay”… which means she has to pony up some cash for the car. Then you can figure her income each year would be more like $20,000 to $25,000 (again after business expenses and including the value of the Cadillac).

While most of the Cadillac drivers are struggling to maintain the minimum production required to keep the Cadillac, the company reaps the benefits of the rolling billboards. What a great marketing ploy! The general public sees these status symbols, doesn’t know that most driving them are making little money, assume the women are raking in six figure incomes, and Mary Kay looks like a fantastic opportunity.

There are currently about 1,300 pink Cadillacs on the road in the United States. That means of the 600,000 consultants in America, 0.2% (two tenths of one percent) are in Cadillacs.

Watch the video below to see me explain the Cadillac con:

32 Comments

  1. BestDecision

    What struck me as a red flag was when they stopped offering us choices of models to choose from. We used to have 3, and now it’s only 1. It’s obvious that MKI has fewer people earning them, so it didn’t make sense to have an ongoing order with Cadillac and having low numbers spread across multiple models.

    For PR, my family and friends have all seen beautiful Cadillacs perched up on top of a tow truck. And we all know they weren’t broken down or stalled. Only their drivers were.

  2. Weekended

    I occasionally see a Mary Kay Cadillac when I’m on the highways, but not very often. Maybe twice a year. The ladies driving them “look” like pictures of success; but, as we all know, looks can be deceiving.

  3. PurpleH

    At least the Caddies serve as a warning when you spot them all parked together. I saw the local NSD’s and both of her SD daughters’ cars parked at Starbucks last week and quickly left that lot. Pity the ladies trapped in there for Career Coffees!

    1. BestDecision

      No, and that’s the whole point. Even Directors barely in the lowest car claim to make an executive income as a way to impress and recruit people, but the average one now is $170,000/year. To make that much in MK, you’d have to be an extended trip Director.

      So, if you’re a Consultant reading this, ask your Director what the retail total was for your unit last year. If it was less than $800,000 Circle of Excellence, she didn’t make an executive income. A unit would have to produce about $30,000 wholesale every single month to do $800K retail. Take a look at the Applause. When you look at the commissions of your division’s Directors, all of those making less than $7,000 for that month weren’t making anywhere near an executive income.

      It’s complete lies because they know no one will ask to see their tax returns. We used to get TRAINED on how to overcome objections like that for recruiting and morale purposes. Complete lies and made up stories that might have happened a decade ago. Even I would talk about my highest commission check that was over 5 years old. That’s just how it’s done.

  4. Notateamplayer

    There used to be several pink Cadillacs in the area where I first joined nearly twenty years ago. Now I see only one, with the same director driving it. I saw too many lose those Pontiacs to ever want one. I don’t even think my director drives a MK car anymore, because I never hear about car production.
    I had a hard discussion with my guy the other day when he found out how much I spent to stay active. With taxes and shipping it was approximately $275. He asked I would walk into ULTA and drop nearly $300 in one trip. The answer was no. My personal use days are over. I have enough product to hold me a couple years.

  5. Scarlett

    Sour grapes – that’s all I hear. Apparently you weren’t successful and that’s your own fault. And the rest of you really have not idea what you’re saying.n Your facts and numbers are false and made up. MK is a reputable company that gives back to women, inspires and empowers women, contributes millions to charitable causes and not to mention creates jobs and entrepreneurs in this dismal economy. MK has created/provided this world with more women millionaires than any other company or entity known. So much time wasted on this website. Sad.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      Scarlett … OK, let’s do the numbers (facts from Mary Kay website)
      Mary Kay Inc.’s global wholesale sales are $4 BILLION DOLLARS. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it. But, unfortunately, there are 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants in the world.

      $4,000,000,000 / 3,500,000 = $1,143

      That means that each consultant’s share of the sales is $1,143 per year. If any IBC sells more, some IBC is selling less, because that number doesn’t stretch.

      ***************
      Let’s look at Mary Kay Canada, because Mary Kay USA doesn’t have to reveal earnings, comparing 2009 to 2014 (the last year I have numbers on).

      2009: “Of the 553 of those who were Mary Kay Independent Sales Directors, the top 50% earned commissions during the year of $17,471 to in excess of $100,000. ”

      Average of 53 consultants per director. Half of the directors earned less than $17,471 in commissions

      2014: Of the 491 of those who were Mary Kay Independent Sales Directors, the top 50% earned commissions during the year of $19,832 to in excess of $100,000.

      68 consultants per director. Half of the directors earned less than $19,832.

      If you account for inflation, the news from Canada is even worse. To match the $19,000 that was the middle of the pack in 1999, a 2014 director would have to make $25,555.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      And, Scartlett, you claim “MK has created/provided this world with more women millionaires than any other company or entity known.

      Utter bullfeathers! Only if you count the earnings the “Mary Kay Way” which is to count the total, adding up every year they are getting commissions. Earning 100K a year for 10 years does NOT make you a millionaire. It means you watched a million as it flowed through your bank accounts, going off to bay bills and prop up your units.

      To be a real millionaire, you need ASSETS … stocks, bonds, real estate.

      FWIW, many of the people who joined Intel when it was young and kept working at that horrible Corporate America Corporation’s J.O.B. … even working as production technicians … retired with over a million net worth in their 401Ks and stock portfolios if they just left it alone. And that was after the indignity of working with health care, paid vacations, sick leave, maternity leave and education funding.

    3. BestDecision

      Oh, dear, I’m sorry you’re so confused. I myself am a former Cadillac Director that had Offspring Directors (note: pleural. More than 1, which is intentional and not by accident.). It’s impossible to have the diamond bar pins I have and to be at the level I was before I voluntarily resigned–by pure accident.

      It involved many, many nights and weekends away from my family. It involved sacrificing the benefits I had in my former career like health insurance, dental, vision, 401K, life, and disability. It involved not having paid vacations and PTO, which, unlike we all believed in MK, was NOT the equivalent to reorders coming in when we did take vacations. It involved always being “on”. Ask any other Directors on here, and they’ll know what that means.

      I’m not bitter. I’m better. There lies more confusion you’re facing. I’m so, so glad I stepped away from the disaster of a business model MK flaunts, and I’m VERY thankful I’m not boarding a plane to go to Leadership Conference this week and learn nothing, yet coming home exhausted and scolding myself for not doing enough.

      As to having “more millionaires than any other company”, you’re flat wrong. Percentage-wise, the odds are against you to ever even being a Cadillac Director, let alone make it to NSD and actually clear $1 million for the year. If you add up the lifelong incomes of most business people and even doctors, you’ll find millions made by WAY more people outside of the MK sales force.

      While there are, admittedly, some that never worked diligently and consistently to earn their Red Jacket, car, or Director suit, on this website the majority did. Please read carefully before you insert comments that make you appear very naive and condescending.

    4. Kathie Collins

      I agree. And ending it with “$25,000-30,000 a year income, and thats including the car she is driving”… a Caddy starts off at $34,000. So even if they sell nothing (meaning they wouldnt have gotten the car in the first place), they would still be making more. I have seen the success this company has to offer. Most people’s problem is, the just dont want to work for success.

      1. TRACY

        Kathie – She doesn’t GET the Cadillac. She gets the value of the lease, which is about $450 per month. So yes, the $25,000 to $30,000 income does include the value of that lease.

        You THINK you have seen the success that Mary Kay offers. What you see is a tiny fraction of people making money. Almost everyone LOSES money. Almost all of the sales directors make minimum wage. A very small number make middle manager money (although they falsely call it executive pay and probably work about 80 hours a week to make it). An even smaller number make the big money…. but only because thousands of people below each of them are losing money.

        Again, that’s not a business.

      2. BestDecision

        If a Director isn’t listed in the Top 100 units for retail production of at least $32,000 for the month, she’s not making Cadillac production and is making less than $4,000/month. Period. $4,000 x 12 months is $48,000 gross income. Subtract expenses, and even a base performing Cadillac Director isn’t clearing $50,000 or “executive income”. And she’s not getting healthcare, dental, or vision benefits. Or retirement.

        And if she slips below a quarter’s worth of Cadillac production, MK zaps $900 off each commission check for the next 3 months. $2,700 penalty for a bad quarter.

        Don’t be fooled into thinking people on here were lazy quitters. That’s the current Directors and NSDs telling you to ignore what is behind the curtain in Oz.

  6. als8432

    How can I find out a ballpark idea of how much my director is making? She’s a senior Cadillac director, but I looked at the order listing a few months ago and we definitely did not make enough to meet Cadillac production.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      als8432 … look at the commissions listing in your Applause. If she is NOT listed, she’s making lower commissions than the lowest person on the list. 🙂

      Also, check HER upline’s newsletter – the ESD or NSD who is above her – and see what sort of recognition for ordering she has done.

    2. BestDecision

      Yes, looking at your monthly Applause will list Directors by commission. If she’s not having $14,166 checks, she’s not making an “executive income” as she claims. (The current exec income is averaging $170K/year.) And if she had less than $3,680 in commissions in any of those issues, her unit isn’t producing enough to maintain a Cadillac without her making a car payment for 3 months. (A Cadillac unit must produce an average of $16,000 wholesale/month for her to not have payments.)

      It’s exciting to see more and more people waking up, being brave enough to run the numbers, and to admit things aren’t as they seem in MK.

  7. Als8432

    I added up the orders for everyone in our unit for November and they were less than 16k. She’s not listed in applause, but she doesn’t have a national above her. Her recruiter is no longer with MK (not sure of the reason), and our unit was “adopted” by another national. I just don’t understand how she can be a senior Cadillac director. My recruiter keeps telling me that the director has over 100 people under her, but there aren’t 100 people listed in our unit. There might be if you count her first line offspring director’s unit, but not in our unit. I haven’t been in MK very long, but it just doesn’t add up.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      She’s not listed in applause
      If she is not in the commissions listing of the top 100 for the area, she’s making LESS than that in commissions. And that’s before expenses and chargebacks.

      So she’s probably making less than a What-A-Burger cashier per hour.

  8. Bethany Grissom

    I’d like to know what the resale value is on a pink car. Can ya buy used MK car?
    Who would want a used pink car. Well my daughter is in love with the pink camouflage and thing the MK Cadillac suv would be a good start to that tuff girl pink camouflage mobile!!!!

  9. Camille

    You know what? Your site kind sucks because is just tells the most obvious thing. Nothing new! You know what? People will not stop because of your shitty site! Any girl with a minimum of brain knows about all the “trhu that Mary Kay isn’t telling you” but will still join because at least they are making something in their life instead of regretting how bad was her pasts experiences was as your are doing. You’re just a bunch of looser girls that didn’t makes! Just admit that and go on. Go get a life instead of losing your time making this shit . No I have nothing to do with MK. Just fine that really shitty. Let people have their dreams and learn by their own mistakes…

    1. TRACY

      Thanks for your insightful comments, Camille! Unfortunately, 99% of people who participate in MLM will lose money. We’re trying to help people avoid that circumstances. Because the Mary Kay recruiters won’t tell the whole truth about this fake business, I’ve decided to help get the word out. I’m sorry if you’re offended by us telling people the facts and our opinions.

      And thank you for your concern about my life and whether I’m making something of it. I have a very successful business. A REAL business. So I’ve done quite well, and this site is one little way that I can “give back” to others.

  10. Danielle

    I was recently contacted to become a seller of MK. I read through all the comments but I’m afraid I don’t understand all the “lingo”.. why do MK consultants lose money? I was told there is a $100 start up fee and a $225 per year fee.. there is no way they aren’t making that back.. if someone can please explain to me. I am interested in making this a supplemental income on top of my full time career.

    1. TRACY

      There is no way they aren’t making that back? Well then I guess you already know everything about Mary Kay? Almost everyone loses money in MLM. It is difficult to sell the products for a profit. That’s the simple answer.

    2. BestDecision

      We were all taught to say we made an “executive income”, but even while driving pink Cadillacs, I never cleared that much. Because the sales force is “independent”, they are not employees of MK, so taxes are not taken out of their profits for them. It’s widespread that Consultants (and Directors, really) claim they make $x an hour, but they’re not willing to admit their expenses subtract from that.

      Secondly, and here’s a BIG one, there are expenses to having the most basic MK business. A personal website for your customers. Shipping costs. Meeting fees. Event registration fees. Samples. Even just things to assure you have a really good party will cost you more than “just $100” because those things are not included in your Starter Kit. Outfits that fit the dress code policy. Product giveaways for hostesses and purchasing incentives for your customers.

      And please don’t fall for the “all you have to do is $225 a year” ploy. The person trying to recruit you is using that to get somewhere in the company (contest, event invitation, a car, a new title within the company). If they really cared about helping you make good money, they’d talk to you about all the business they have rolling in, how their team members sell thousands a week, etc. Not just the basic minimums to stay in the company. Why would anyone benefit from doing just that??

      I earned diamonds and cars, and I highly advise you to steer clear of the money pit MK is.

  11. April DiBello

    I thin this sight is so very sad…..I am a mother of 6 kids and used my Mary kay income to support and grow my family.. I became a director after my divorce and the father of my children does not pay a dime of child support. mary Kay gave me back my pride and dignity as I became a director and earned a Car. I had to step away from Mary kay due to a custody battle with my ex for my young son although I am coming back this year!!! Best business and group of woman out there! Thank you my MK!! If you post this without harassing me Id be shocked! Please post this….I dare you!

    1. TRACY

      You didn’t “have to step away.” You lost your unit because you failed to make production, yet you still didn’t learn your lesson. It’s funny that you still have a Facebook page where you call yourself a director, but you aren’t even a consultant, according to the “page not found” when I click the link to your MK website. Please tell me how your pride and dignity felt when you lost your unit and MK took away your car?

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