Dishonesty and Deception Around This Former Mary Kay DIQ

This story was submitted by a reader of Pink Truth. If you think the part of the story about cheating is unusual, think again. Mary Kay supporters will tell you the cheaters are few and far between, and they weren’t following the Mary Kay Way. Wrong! Cheating is the rule, not the exception. I have yet to find a sales director who made it to that position without signing up friends or family who didn’t really want to be a part of Mary Kay. They all do it so they can move up the pyramid.

I thought perhaps now is the best time to tell my story as I am still sorting out the end of my MK world.  I won’t lie.  I have moments where I still think about being an awesome Director, and through being a good, honest person, winning that caddy, the jewelry, the huge checks.  I still find myself checking out the star consultant catalog thinking, well, maybe…  I even have to admit, I am curious what next years Court jewelry will be.

It started for me way back…  I joined the unit of a woman that many adore.  She’s been a million dollar sales director multiple times in her over 20 years.  But those of us in her unit found out really quickly how just absolutely selfish she is.  My inventory call came pretty fast, right behind the agreement where I was told NOTHING about inventory.  I didn’t buy any.

But I found myself soon wanting the praise and adoration.  I was dishonest, I admit it.  I wanted to be liked, and move up fast, and have people notice me.  So I signed up my friends and bought their starter kits and purchased their $200 activating order.  I sold it all on eBay.  I even stretched on eBay to make Star Consultant!  LOL!

The night I was finally fed up was the last day of seminar when I got about 50 emails telling me each hour where we were in wholesale, and could we stretch, just for the team, you need it don’t you, you want to support us, you want me to walk on stage, you want me to get that trip, you want me, me, me, to get all that cash?  So I faded.

Then I came back thinking she won’t ruin my business!  I will just do it without her.  But that doesn’t happen so easily, so I faded again.

Then I signed up again years later down the road with someone new, young, and vivacious!  She was hot to trot, and the entire seminar knew it.  You even know it, you mention her name here in PT many times.  If you ever figure out who it is, let me tell you from personal experience…  I was NEVER told to do anything dishonest, or forced into inventory, and in fact, I was always scared to say I did things the sleazy way if I did do them, because she would not stand for it.She will never assume you are doing something wrong, but if she knows it for fact, she’ll tell you to knock it off.

As I went through MK again I became more and more disillusioned.  I wasn’t built to sell makeup.  Some people are and they love it.  I don’t.  I feel that I am built for something different.  I was buying stuff just to make goals, I was recruiting ghosts, and those who weren’t ghosts weren’t working.

It all started to dawn on me when my best and brightest recruit wouldn’t quit buying inventory and I just let her knowing full well that it was helping my DIQ and car totals, but she wasn’t selling one bit of it.  She bought around $8,000 in wholesale and I was letting her.  And as she hit her one year mark all I did was pray that she didn’t sell back because God forbid she did, I was going to be cut out from that much commission.  How terrible, I valued her money over her friendship.  I did it with all my recruits who purchased big.

The moment it really hit me was personally watching reports and firsthand stories coming across in our area where it was coming to light all the corruption among the people who want to be just like her.

Now I say this because she wouldn’t condone it if she knew it was going on, and if she confronted these people and they denied it, then the most she could do was hope that God showed them the errors of their ways.  Of all the things I know about her, I do think she works with integrity and expects the same of her area.  But there are some trying to emmulate her that are just short cutting her.

I was nearing the end of MK career when it came to light a director was paying for her own DIQ’s recruits (all of them at $600 a pop).  Which effectively bought this persons way to the Court of Sharing.  Funny though – the person made Court of Sales  half way through the year, but never had another single qualified recruit all year, and only ONE of those recruits was over $600 in wholesale.  She kept doing this with more and more directors, and in the end I am sure her Court of Excellence matches her Court of Credit Debt.  Shortly after this I just checked out mentally watching these people ruin themselves for clapping, and then ruin others to get ahead.

Mind you this isn’t the only case.  Plenty of them have done the same, plenty are paying for their cars, purchased their court of sales, or bought their Court of Sharing at $600 a pop.  But the one thing I can tell you from what I know – they are all paying the price for their inequities.

And the ones who are honest in the area (and there are plenty of those too) are making honest cash and aren’t paying their way on to the Courts.  One of them specifically is someone who should be a National, and I wish she would get there.  I have never heard or seen a dishonest order or recruit, and she’d be the first to help you hold a class or tape up the boxes to get that wholesale off your shelf.

But the others you will notice this year are half way down on their courts, are nowhere to be seen for Sharing or Unit Circle, and have so many sell backs that I’d be amazed if they made anything on commission this year.  Others are losing those dishonest offpsrings they made, and others can’t hold $4,000 to save their life.  It will come crashing down for those that did it wrong.

But its all that wrong that just gets me.  I can believe MK was once a company where they valued your sales and not your inventory.  They valued you truly wanting to pass on a good opportunity for the right reasons, and not to make some Court.  I do think Anne Newbury did it right and the recent Applause article tells me that she is disappointed in what she hears and what she may have seen since she retired.  I can’t possibly believe MK herself is looking down thinking, WOW, I’m so happy I put all these women into debt!

So what happened?  Mary Kay died.  I think the true transformation of greed in these Directors happened when a male took over her company and shoved everything but the Go Give Spirit into this company.  I’m not saying MK is perfect, but you have to admit, these problems weren’t around to this degree before about 2000 while MK was still running the show.  It was there, but she at least could make you lather it in love and friendship and you felt forced to be good.

I don’t think sales is bad.  Heck, if you think of it, franchises are pyramid schemes.  You have to pay someone who pays someone who pays someone.  It’s the nature of business to some degree when you are in a franchise type business model.  But MK stopped believing in building women, having a product that was better than the competition, letting women truly run their own business, and started pushing money, products that don’t deliver expecting the name will sell it, and tightened up on women to the point that legal is sufficating them.

What happened to meetings in your living room?  Products that were quality?  Directors that didn’t care if you bought one thing wholesale, they enjoyed your company?  Nationals who talked more about how they hope they helped you, not about their commissions checks and diamonds?  What happened to girls night out being about spending time with nice women, and not those who did big wholesale?  And what happened to MK being part time around my schedule, and you not mocking me for having a job I love and not wanting to leave it for MK?

So until I can enjoy MK for what it was intended to be, an opporunity to have a little something for myself where women didn’t judge me based on my wholesale order or recruiting totals, then count me out.  I’m sure selling back my MK counts me out anyhow.  I’d rather watch women who brag more about their money than their good friends crash and burn.

And for you that think you’re too hot to trot reading this, I don’t care how much money you have or what jewelry you wear.  Show me a job that really means something.  That stay at home mom you make fun of is giving constant love to her kids.  That job I took over your lipstick is providing national security to you here at home and needed information to the troops overseas.  That job that many took after MK is paying off the debt you helped them build and giving them medical care they didn’t have while you filled their heads up with air.

Go ahead and compare your houses with each other, while I compare how good I feel about myself and my job and my contribution to the US, while you drown your offspring and consultants in more debt.

And for those of you who aren’t NSDs laughing at us here on PT who have JOBS – at least we have medical, dental, retirement, 401K matching, vacation and sick time.  When I add up everything my company gives me and what I earn for work (the 401K matching, the medical, the dental, the social security and medicare matching that employers are required to do, and retirement contributions they make to my retirement account), I make over $11,000 per month at my worst.  Which last I checked your worst month of the year (July commissions) – 37 Nationals were UNDER that and only 37 Directors made OVER that.

So you can keep your HIGHEST CHECK IN ONE MONTH kudos and your I make six figures bull.  Because I do, too.


  1. BestDecision

    I’ll forever be embarrassed that I saw my unit members buying their Stars or whatever with more orders than they sold. To stop them would’ve cut my own paychecks, though! It’s a total flaw in the business model to have someone’s check be directly affected by someone’s purchases on that scale.

    I do slightly disagree with the reason the company has taken a turn for the worse. It’s not because it’s run by a male.

    Actually, it started to decline when they allowed us to go into DIQ without first finishing our cars and with just 8 team members. The purpose behind that was they realized they have a lot of NSDs approaching retirement age, so the goal was to beef up the number of Directors so we could fill those gaps. We had no parameters or boundaries. People figured out they could afford to pay for Starter Kits and $200 orders just to get across the finish line. MK wasn’t checking up and validating people. DIQS were using fake names and even DEAD people as new team members on agreements.

    But, then you started to see people falling out. Because so many built their units on fake people and fake orders, they couldn’t maintain their minimum production every month. We saw Directors dropping like flies. It’s crazy, yet true, that there are STILL Directors paying for their units to be maintained every other month even 17 years later after all that got started!

    The root of the problem is a bad business model that targets the needy. Someone who is desperate to get away from her job will do anything to get out of it. Someone who has no self-esteem will pay to keep her “friends” as a Director and keep those invites coming to meetings and other events so she’s not left out and lonely.

    It’s just a sad, worthless business and situation. I’m very, very glad I’m out of it.

      1. pinkvictim

        Franchises have legal disclosure requirements, restricted territories, are subject to a whole host of regulations that protect the franchisee, etc. MKrap…? Not so much.

        MLM apologists use the “franchises are pyramids too” rebuttal all the time…

        Tu quoque is pretty much an instant debate ender.

  2. raisinberry

    I tend to agree with BestDecision. “Back in the day” there appeared to be more honest and honorable checks in the run to DIQ. You even had to have a sales evaluation from your Director as to whether you’d make a good Director…

    A larger stronger team of 12 to start, after you already had experience with what it takes to get 4,000 wholesale in, because you had already won your car….

    And there also was a dual thing where you could win them both at the same time…what was the name of that? Anybody remember?…it was a kind of prestige accomplishment as I recall…the immediate push to Fabulous 50’s also…all these things made the Director in a better position, not weaker like today.

    Not that any of that is ideal. The model is corrupt when a Consultant’s objective is at cross purposes to the Director’s objective. The Consultant should be aiming for profitability…the Director is aiming for maximizing production…anybody see a problem with that, when a company makes ZERO EFFORT to support actual recognition of ACTUAL RETAIL SALES?

  3. Did Pink

    I have been out of MK for 20 years and I saw it happening in the mid 90s which is 5 plus years before 2000.

    I personally think Mary Kay Ash know this was going on all along. I also think of the two directors you speak of pulled a thick wool over your eyes. So sorry for your pain and I am hoping you are out. But do a bit more research on ‘that director we all talk about here’. There is a reason she rose so quickly and then crashed ever faster. She is also doing the same thing just with a different name.

  4. morningstar

    Good article. The man bashing could have been left out. Men came in to MK and ripped off the cloak of non exposure that was going on the whole time. MK is a mess in so many ways, hopefully it will hit them harder in the pocket book.
    I work in Aerospace and defense, so am used to men games in the work place.

  5. Lazy Gardens

    So what happened? Mary Kay died. I think the true transformation of greed in these Directors happened when a male took over her company

    Uh … that “male” was raised by Mary Kay, or so her bio claims, so his character should have been formed by her.

    I’ve traced the worst of the practices back to Mary Kay herself … the fake contests to get interviews, the lying by omitting inconvenient truths, the embellished “I-Story” to garner sympathy, using praise and withholding praise as a control measure, fostering jealousy and envy to get people to try harder.

    There’s nothing now that can’t be traced back to the founder.

    1. RiaJaize

      According to the book “Ask ME About Mary Kay,” it’s actually Jackie Brown — one of the first MK directors — who takes credit for lots of those “techniques.” I just read the book, and it was pretty entertaining to see how neatly she staked her claim in what Mary Kay is today. Of course, she saw nothing wrong with the business model. After all, she got in early and made lots of money.

      1. Lazy Gardens

        I have that book, and the “God first, family second, business third” was already being spewed when Jackie saw Mary Kay for the first time. And the “earn what you are worth” and “unlimited earnings” as well.

        None of that crap was original to them – it was already being used by the home party direct sellers like Stanley Home Products.

        And p210 Dathene Dark reportedly said, “I’ve known Mary Kay a long time” “We’ve both had a lot of husbands.”

        1. RiaJaize

          Ha, yes, I finished the book with the impression that while Jakie painted Mary Kay as greedy, vengeful, and duplicitous… it takes one to know one, maybe?

  6. Kimberly Charlier

    I tried doing MK in the early 80s then in the early 90s then once again in the early 2000s and it got greedier each time..I have cabinets full of old inventory that they refused to take back..oh those weekly meetings..huh stealing customers meetings…directors can take your customers if they needed to. Never again…a good product but who needs that nagging pushy director to ruin it.

  7. Heather

    Who was the honest director? The one who would tell you to knock it off if she knew you were doing something wrong? I wonder if she is still genuine now.

    I wonder if the selfish director was Gloria Banks. I’ve never sold MK or been in an MLM, but I remember seeing her video here where she begged for orders. Hope it’s okay to guess.

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