Seminar: The Biggest Fraud of Your Life

Written by Raisinberry

Years of postings on Pink Truth from consultants and Directors have yet to produce an honest response from the company or the Nationals concerning the abuses suffered from starting a Mary Kay distributorship. I say distributorship because it certainly is not a “business”.

Hundreds of women have posted here about their years of working it, multiple earned cars, status on the career path, and still they have come away with the realization that they can rarely be truthful about the internal workings of Mary Kay because women wouldn’t join if they knew! Telling the TRUTH would definitely curtail all the enthusiasm!

The scripts have been revealed, the tactics discussed, the poor conduct and unethical behavior of those we were supposed to trust are now out in the open. Mary Kay Cosmetics, the Corporation, has the power to issue an apology, or at a very minimum, make their regret known concerning the core values that were compromised along the way. Instead, we are barreling towards a celebration in Dallas saluting how well we all deceive each other

It would be easy to say that Corporate owes us no apology. But that would be another deception in a long line of same. Corporate knows and has known all the atrocities that have been perpetrated on consultants and Directors for years! They choose to look the other way because they need the money… they want the money… they MUST HAVE the money. They are totally aware that orders will come in to win a bonus product or a Mary Kay token. They are completely abreast of how many orders are placed on hold, or declined at month end. They can see how many orders are delivered to a Directors home in another persons name, and they also see the chargebacks. They know that consultants deep in the pink fog will order $1,000 worth and more to win a prize from corporate and to receive recognition from their NSD and Director. In fact, they bank on it. And Seminar is the great culmination of all those orders and recruits.

The fact that the company NEVER wants to see your actual retail sales, never requires your weekly summary, never requires them as mandatory, never asks you to include sales tickets, when doing so would be as easy as posting them on intouch under the PCP… this should SCREAM VOLUMES to any women with an ounce of sense. If they did, they would have to acknowledge that no honor bestowed at Seminar is legitimate.

The year end extravaganza has you, me, all of us, sitting in our seats, applauding not ONE SINGLE OUNCE OF RETAIL PROOF. What kind of mind control must exist if after 45 years, women still flock to a giant awards night to PRETEND they earned a RETAIL SELLING AWARD with the greatest portion of the wholesale still sitting in boxes or on consultant shelves.

This isn’t the “greatest night of your life”. It is the “greatest fraud of your life!” And you are paying for it. PAYING for your dress, PAYING for your transportation, PAYING for your food, PAYING for your hotel, Paying for your registration to sit in a Convention center and pretend! Those who are new to the game of course think it is all real. Plus, you get to sit the following day and listen to top director stories that are sanitized from what actually occurred for the sake of the newbies and the “PMA secret pact.” The actual events that led up to the so called “miracle year” can not be made public.

One of my offspring applauded her Queens Court of Sales winner at our area Seminar Awards nigh . She wanted to be QUEEN. It was her goal. When she found out who she had to beat, she coughed up the dough to achieve it. No, she didn’t sell it. She just wanted to BEE it. All night long, I sat there, watching the attention paid her, and the climatic moment as the NSD read off the Number 1- “Our girl”.

She wore the tiara, sat in the throne, got the microphone, shared her secrets to success… all those secrets anyway that didn’t involve interest rates. And I thought to myself, we are all supposed to swallow this as true. Smile and Nod.

In this area event, we watched a microcosm of the grander fraud happening in every hotel ballroom all over Dallas. Do some sell it legitimately? Sure…probably a few… those who do not recruit and those with a volume selling scam. Selling $36,000 a year means you sell $100 a day, everyday… $3,100 a month. Other than holiday open houses where big discounts are given, and fund raisers once or twice a year, the typical consultant is nowhere near that figure legitimately, so I think we can all agree that Queens Court rarely equates to $36,000 sold much less $18,000 in profit.

So there you have it. From start to finish, Seminar is a phony awards night, clapping for phony achievements while phony achievers sit on a cardboard throne, with a faux tiara, telling a phony story about how they achieved this grand accomplishment.

Since they can not reveal the total truth about the real condition of their area, or achievement, even their humble acceptance speech is phony. The only thing “real” about Seminar is the sweet deal they got on all the jewelry awards and the hard earned cash you’ll part with just being there. We are told Seminar is the Emmies, Broadway and the Academy Awards all rolled up in one! That is very true. It is true because all those awards programs recognize excellence in ACTING- which is the ability to stand on stage, convince your audience of a fictional reality and be a credible pretender! Sounds like a perfect description of Seminar to me.


    1. JanRD

      Pinkvictim, thanks for sharing – this is well worth the time to watch! Word for word, here are a few things that really stood out when I viewed this.

      “False and unsubstantiated earnings claims are deceptive and unlawful. Multilevel marketers should stop presenting business opportunities as a way for individuals to quit their jobs, earn thousands of dollars a month, make career level income, or get rich, because in reality, very few participants are likely to do that.”

      Characteristics of a legitimate MLM (sounds like an oxymoron to me):

      1. A legitimate MLM must be focused on real customers.
      2. A legitimate MPM opportunity must be based on sales that are both profitable and verifiable.
      3. A legitimate MLM should not use targets or thresholds that are met by mere product purchases.
      4. The compensation paid by a legitimate MLM must be tied to retail sales.

      It is heartbreaking to think of how many people have left a promising career for an MLM “opportunity.”

  1. Cindylu

    Sadly it felt like a scam and abuse. Even when MK herself was at seminar, all I heard was her brow beating her NSD’s. This bully that failed at Stanley’s Home products, took that failure to a whole new level. Scripts on how to con vulnerable women. Find their weak points: Praise, accolades, fake jewelry and a party/marketing system that was always based on deceit. Anything to get ahead including misusing and abusing Christianity. Nice. The cost of Seminar is enormous. The selling of lies and whittling down of moral ethics for fake reward ongoing. Thousands of lies for decades. Hideous. Everything about seminar is disgusting. The exploiting of vulnerable women for the heirs of this stupid mlm. Why the heck is this snake oil pyramid scheme still allowed to exist?

  2. Lazy Gardens

    …you are paying for it. PAYING for your dress, PAYING for your transportation, PAYING for your food, PAYING for your hotel, Paying for your registration to sit in a Convention center and let Mary Kay Corporation convince you how great and generous they are.

    1. JanRD

      And then post pictures/videos on Facebook to make Convention look like so much fun! From everything I’ve seen posted on PT, it’s quite the opposite. And I imagine, like a bridesmaid’s dress, the dress is not likely to be worn again. (I’ve seen pictures of some that shouldn’t have been worn the first time.)

      1. enorth

        “make Convention look like so much fun”

        I’ve seen some pathetic photos. Standing around with other women wearing pink cowboy hats, drinking soft drinks, looking bored, in a half-empty Gilley’s.

        1. BestDecision

          The red cowboy hats are so silly looking on them! Can you imagine a corporate company doing that for their staff?

          And I’ve seen a lot, way to many to be exact, of women wearing flip flops and sandals this year. Whatever happened to a simple pair of dressy flats?

          And Awards Night is now at 3:00 in the afternoon. The longest show I’ve ever imagined, a whole 5 hours long, is no longer running to past midnight. The arena used to be 75% empty by the time the number 1 director was crowned, and it was exhausting to sit through the top 3 speeches the next morning.

          I’m glad MK has learned a few lessons, but obviously their target market standard continues to drop.

          1. Lazy Gardens

            “The red cowboy hats are so silly looking on them! Can you imagine a corporate company doing that for their staff?”

            One company I worked for bought the entire team cowboy hats and matching western shirts for part of a conference presentation … but it was a real Stetson and a decent brand shirt.

              1. enorth

                Did you say tacky?

                Roya Mattis “rewarded” her Power Achievers by allowing them to shop her closet. She brought a ton of her clothing, jewelry, purses, etc., to her Fall Retreat. She was also selling raffle tickets. I believe it was to win a coaching call with Roya…and she has her photo right there in a gold frame. See FB.

                While the women were shopping Roya’s used clothing and other personal belongings, the husbands were participating in paintball.

                Mary Kay sure is an expensive hobby.

                1. BestDecision

                  She copied what Pam Shaw has done for years with the “shopping my closet” thing. I’m all for raising money for charity, but it’s a bit egotistical to think people want the clothes and shoes off your back. But then again, Pam has pictures of herself working out all over the place.

                  1. enorth

                    “it’s a bit egotistical to think people want the clothes and shoes off your back.”

                    So, consultants and SDs “earn the prize” of being able to buy the NSD’s used clothing and accessories?? That is bizarre and cultish.

    2. Pink is my least favorite color.

      Of course they do! Don’t you know they ‘own’ their own ‘business’? It’s a business expense. They aren’t silly employees with a J-O-B!

  3. ran4fun

    “Queens Court rarely equates to $36,000 sold much less $18,000 in profit.”

    Even if, best case scenario, she sells $36,000 retail at full price – subtract cost of product, shipping, section 2, weekly meetings, seminar, career conference, gas and other car expenses, child care – she’d be lucky to have $12,000 profit. Then she has to pay taxes on that $12,000.

    When all is said and done, she would have $200/week to spend on herself/family/home. And this is Best case scenario! We all know discounts and freebies are regularly offered, so the reality will be much lower.

    Just one look at any unit newsletter tells you virtually no one is selling this much even one month, much less every month, but people are being encouraged to quit their J.O.B.s for this! Just goes to show, selling is not where the money is…but recruiting people to buy inventory is where the big bucks are!

    “No, she didn’t sell it. She just wanted to BEE it. “

    1. Cindy Alford

      You forget that in a real JOB, I pay for my own education, my own C.E., my own car, gas etc., travel expenses required to keep my job but not paid for by my job. Why do you expect entrepreneurship to be different?

      1. Neverpink

        But in MK, YOU pay for your paltry “training” (in meeting dues, travel fees, food, time). In MK, YOU pay for your car one way or another – either by ordering or through copay if you don’t order enough.

      2. ran4fun

        In a real JOB you are paid for the hours you put in working.

        In MK (and all MLMs) you can work your tail off and there is no guarantee of profit after all the expenses.

        And pretend numbers – like doubling a wholesale purchase by an IBC and calling it retail sales, as if it was all sold with no discounts, without requiring any proof like sales invoices – is applauded, celebrated and rewarded with cheap trinkets to ensure more of the same activity.

        My loved one told me that nobody in MK pays taxes because of “all the good tax deductions”. What she doesn’t understand is that only 2 kinds of people don’t pay taxes – people who don’t make money and people who cheat. So which is it, MK ladies? A real business uses the IRS form Schedule C. Most MK people have no idea what this is.

          1. ran4fun

            ” It’s a sign of a very profitable business.”

            Not just very profitable businesses file quarterly.

            25 years ago I was self employed (not MLM), just part-time seed money while I raised my small children. But the first year our tax accountant said I should send quarterly payments just to keep the IRS off my back. Even just $100 per quarter. Sure, we always got a refund much larger than that, but my business did show a profit, so I treated it like a business. I paid quarterly even though my net profit was only around $5000/yr. That’s when I learned what a Schedule C was. And most MLMs could use the C-EZ form. Anyone with half a brain can fill it out.

            The problem with all MLMs, they call themselves businesses, but they NEVER TRAIN their independent sales force REAL business practices.

            If you truly want to empower women, teach them money management, sound business practices. THAT will truly empower women. Instead, many women are treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed compost.

      3. MLM Radar

        You forget that in a real JOB, I pay for my own education, my own C.E., my own car, gas etc., travel expenses required to keep my job

        What kind of real job do you have that you have to pay all those costs yourself? Obviously the wrong job.

        My employer requires me to have a professional license, so my employer pays the license fee, the continuing education, the annual company training, the mileage to and from clients, the hotel cost and meals when I have to be out of town overnight… And that’s on top of all the other standard employee benefits.

  4. Changeyourthinking

    “We are all supposed to sallow this as true. Smile and nod.”

    I developed a crick in my neck and I was afraid my face would freeze that way.

    One day I woke up and decided I
    couldn’t do it anymore.

  5. Poisonberry_Sparkle

    I have to chime in here in regards to this line: “We are told Seminar is the Emmys, [the Tonys] and the Academy Awards all rolled up in one! That is very true. It is true because all those awards programs recognize excellence in ACTING – which is the ability to stand on stage, convince your audience of a fictional reality and be a credible pretender!”

    The thing is, and I know this from experience, play acting and even film and TV, is about revealing the TRUTH of a character. GOOD acting, REAL acting is about being TRUE, that’s why it resonates so much and garners so many awards, because it’s NOT pretending to be somebody or something else, it’s about giving as TRUE a portrayal to what the character is experiencing as possible. All the greatest actors will tell you that. It’s about emotional truth in a fictitious story and the audience being able to connect to the truth in your portrayal.

    Mary Kay and all its “scripts” are as PHONY as a $3 bill or a stint on the Bachelor. It’s all so disingenuous that if you think you can “act” your way through it or “fake it till you make it”, well, that’s not acting, that’s drinking the pink kool-aid. The ONLY one you’re convincing is yourself, that what you are saying is 100% true, even when you know in your heart it’s false. Some of the audience will believe you no matter what. Some will not be convinced but will go along because you’re trying so hard. And some will see right through the overly excited (“Sooooo excited!!” Amirite?) catch phrases and not give in an inch. They are the “tough crowd”. Bless them and their inability to see how Mary Kay could “enrich” and “transform” their pitiful lives into something “AMAZING”. Actually, bless them for being able to spot a phony.

    If you think you’re a “good actor” and can perform the Mary Kay shuck and jive, after a short while it will ring so false coming out of your mouth that your heart will hurt. You’ll know you’re a phony. You are trampling your own integrity for a buck. That’s the Johnny Depp “Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 7” curse. It’s not acting. It’s pretending. And it’s DEFINITELY NOT award worthy. But here’s a $10 bracelet anyway. “You EARNED it!”

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