So Many Mary Kay Lies

Mary Kay nsd Krista Neal Warner  has a training document on her area website called “Don’t Say No Until You Know About Mary Kay Inc.” Except the document is filled with lies. They range from the typical lies about Mary Kay being the best selling brand, to fabricated numbers about how much consultants and directors make. Some of the more outrageous ones include:

  • Mary Kay is #1 in brand loyalty among customers who buy skin care products. Three out of five women will buy the product after being introduced to it. It is estimated that 80% will continue to use the Skin Care after they have been introduced to the product
  • Some 30 million consumers purchase approximately 200 million Mary Kay products each year.
  • Mary Kay is the #1 best selling brand skin care in the U.S. for the 8th year in a row!
  • Mary Kay returns 37% of her dollar to Consultants and Directors in the way of bonuses and incentive programs. In 2000 this amount equated to over $400 million.
  • Fortune Magazine stated that one-year in Mary Kay was equal to $4,500 worth of training.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, there are more women in Mary Kay who earn over $100,000 a year than any other company in the world today. We have developed more millionaires than any other company in the world.
  • Mary Kay training classes are equal to college courses in marketing, communications, personnel, and small business management. Training is free and local.
  • Approximately 66% of all consultants work a full-time job and work Mary Kay part-time. They learn the business, build a customer base, and may begin building a team to manage. They may quit their full-time jobs when they are making more money in Mary Kay.
  • It is estimated that more women have earned over $1 million from their Mary Kay careers than at any other company in the world.
  • Mary Kay is #4 in Internet Retail Sales in the World!
  • Mary Kay’s marketing plan is taught at the Harvard School of Business and several other major universities.
  • Average ANNUAL income for management positions in Mary Kay: Grand Achiever – $19,000, Sales Director – $50,000, Senior Sale Director – $75,000, Exec. Senior Sales Director – $100,000, National Sales Director – $250,000

The lies about the earnings are so concerning because the company doesn’t have any idea how much people actually make. They know it’s not close to those figures, but beyond that, they just don’t have the tax returns of consultants and directors so they can’t know how much they make. And the truth is that most people lose money in multi-level marketing.


  1. Formykids

    In 7 yrs as an SD my wife hasn’t made more than $15,000 in net taxable income for 50-60 hrs of work per week……and I have the tax returns to prove it. That’s between 5 to 6 dollars per hour before taxes and babysitting cost with no benefits. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it:). Run, don’t walk as far away from MK and MLM as you can.

  2. BestDecision

    So many lies in there! No, training isn’t free. Directors would only make $50,000 if they were SOLID Cadillac producing units, meaning they’d not dip below $16,000 wholesale for even a month. And that STILL is high because you’d deduct expenses from that income.

    And NSDs don’t average $250,000 because, according to the Applause, the majority aren’t even on target for $125,000 this year. I counted about 80 as of March that had made at least $90,000 in commissions for the Seminar year. There’s a lot more making less than that, too.

    “30 million consumers”? Is that using PCP enrollment numbers? If anyone was like me, I put people on there that had not purchased from me, so how could they be even considered a customer?

    I wish I still had my old Agreements so I could count up how many people came into my unit compared to how many I actually had the day I resigned. Constant cycle of attrition!

  3. pinkvictim

    This document was posted on PT several months back… :-/

    At that time, I printed it out, went through every claim, noted where there was zero verification, and/or wrote out the real facts.

    Lies are SoP in MLM, esp. MKrap.

  4. FormerKoolAidDrinker

    I was in for 4 years. I never went to one “free” training session. We had to pay, even if it was held in a SD’s home. If anyone ever asked why, answers would range from “The hotel won’t allow us to have people in for training without paying” (um, the hotel doesn’t care who comes into the room you rented) to “You aren’t paying for the training, but for the childcare we hire” despite not having kids to “You get more out of what you are willing to put things into.”

    Seminar is expensive. Career conference is expensive. The January workshops were always expensive. The return on investment was always negative.

    1. MLM Radar

      If you were running a real business, you’d have to collect sales tax from your customers based on the actual selling price, then file monthly (usually) sales tax returns with each of the state(s) and county(ies) where you made your sales and pay each governmental entity their proper share of the tax you collected. You’d probably hire an accountant to help you do this right, and you’d get monthly reports about your actual sales.

      Basically, in a real sales business you’d have a monthly reality check on how your company is doing when you saw those sales tax returns.

      But when you’re in an MLM the MLM company handles all that for you, in the way that is the most expensive for you, but the least likely to get themselves in trouble with the government. (Unless you’re with LuLaRoe, but that’s another story.) The MLM company doesn’t want you adding up those pesky real sales and purchase numbers every month while they’re applauding you for “selling” 2x whatever you just ordered. So the MLM collects from you 2x the sales tax on your order, based on the theory that you might – just might – sell some of it at “full retail” price, then the MLM files anticipated sales tax returns on your behalf.

      That’s why, when you sell your inventory back to the MLM, they have to refund you the sales tax you prepaid based on the “full retail” price.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      They collect tax on the full retail amount, under the assumption that you will sell it all and recover the tax. This leads consultants to ILLEGALLY collect the full tax on a discounted price trying to recoup it

      If you sell for less, donate or dispose of a product, you can get a refund of excess taxes paid by filling out and submitting a form. However, the existence of this way of getting tax back is a deep, dark undisclosed secret because it means you have to track sales and prices and that might remind you how in debt you are and lead you to quit.

      Mary Kay shuns any real accounting practices and inventory management because it reveals the ugly truth: that stuff is NOT flying off the shelves.

  5. Jamming Berry

    “Mary Kay training classes are equal to college courses in marketing, communications, personnel, and small business management.”

    Hahahahahahaa——— Hold on while I get up off the floor I was laughing so hard. I work at a college and I can verify for a fact that this is NOT TRUE!!

    1. enorth

      I just heard a SD offering a “Mary Kay MBA” by the end of summer. You’ll just need to do 30 faces, have a $1,000 Day, attend all meetings, etc. This woman is young, attractive and articulate. What a shame she’s wasting time on MK (and dragging others along with her).

      Yes folks, you, too, can earn a Mary Kay MBA. You’ll be bursting with pride as you show your diploma to family and friends. Just imagine the look on their faces.

  6. BestDecision

    Do you remember getting a survey about once a year in which they asked us the total value of Section 1 wholesale and Section 2 we had at the moment? It also asked us to give how many current customers we had and how much we sold over the last few months.

    It just dawned on me that this itself is an example of how MK lied as they had Laura Beitler deny that they knew/know people have masses of inventory on their shelves. The surveys! They can’t possibly deny they are unaware of the problem that exists because they asked us directly in that survey!

    How many Directors will be finishing their 4 quarter Star this week? How many are watching their production right now to see who’s ordering and, therefore, what level of Star Director they’ll finish? How many will be finishing the Seminar year with dozens of boxes of product being delivered days later? I personally know Directors that did it, some even having over 50 boxes coming to finish a higher unit club.

    MK the company, all itself, is guilty of lying. Sure, the sales force lies, but their lies are the most expensive and abusive of all.

  7. Cooling Off

    And the Double Credit gives such a false sense of what’s going on. Court Achievers in Dallas know their truth. It’s such a game.

    If the Latin/ Spanish market was not being ‘developed’ over the past couple of years, the sales would reveal what’s going on in the US market. It’s all smoke & mirrors that the US is having a successful year. The hype is exhausting. Look at the director’s names at the top of each division list….most are Spanish.

    1. BestDecision

      Very valid point. The Hispanic market is key to the U.S. sales, just like China and Mexico are the two markets making MK the most money right now. I’m actually sad for the American market and sales force on all this.

      Don’t even get me started on the Nigerian fiasco from years ago.

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