My New Recruit Will Be Signing on Saturday!

Written by SuzyQ

Whoo hoo! I have a new recruit! “She will sign Saturday morning, she gets paid Friday! This is so much fun and so easy!!!!” Until Saturday comes, and there is no response to your calls or text messages… the email address you had for her bounces…

This is so common, it’s pathetic.  We all live for new recruits.  Product in your basement may be your “ATM” but recruits (team members) are your retirement income.  Except that so many do not sign.  The typical scenario is like this:  You take your “guest” to your Mary Kay meeting on Monday night.  Your director is ON that night and your guest is so excited!  YOU are so excited!!!  Your Director is soooooooo excited!!!!  Your director calls your potential team member to schedule an interview, and suggests coffee or lunch and SHE GOES!  The fact that your Director giving is her a free mascara or a limited edition product “for her time” is a factor, but still…

SHE IS IN!  She is so excited again!  Your director was soooooooo good and your potential team member is all but in the bag!  You call her.  She squeals, you squeal!  All you have to do is wait until she gets paid.  No biggie.  You send a thank you note.  Your director sends a thank you note.  You are imagining all of the applause and “Atta girl’s” you will receive at the next meeting.  This is great!  It’s easy!  This “layering thing” works!  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK!  Wow.

Until Saturday comes and she has disappeared from the face of the earth.

Your calls to her are unanswered, your director’s calls to her are unanswered.  The emails bounce like rubber balls.  No response to multiple text messages, even the “just checking to see if you’re okay” one. Your voicemails increase in urgency.  You are talking to your director frequently. She asks you to give it a day or two and maybe send a note.  You agree and do so.

Your new best friend and team member has bailed.  You will not get a response.  Trust me on this.  Who knows what happens?  They find Pink Truth?  Talk to someone else?  Have an unexpected bill?  Feel pressured and then calm down and think rationally?  Realize that all of the marketing information shared at the meeting, and then restated again at the “interview” sounds too good to be true?

It happens to all of us.  Really.  Even directors, even top directors, OVER AND OVER AND OVER.  More often than not.  We learn as directors not to “count” the person until the agreement has been submitted.  Then we hold our breath until we determine how much inventory they will come in with.

Please understand that there is a period of time between the actual signing of the agreement and the “Inventory Talk.”  When a newbie signs an agreement, she is under the impression that her total expenditure will be $100 + tax and shipping.  She is not told that there is more…

As directors we are taught that we lose $600 wholesale on the inventory for each day that goes by after an agreement has been signed but before she whips out her credit cards and buys the inventory. We like to set up an appointment to do the inventory talk with the newbie within 24 hours of the agreement.  We go through the usual spiel, using the company brochure, or we copy another visual one off the internet… and off we go.

We hit the ordering bonuses, the “freebies,” the Star Consultant program, the recognition, the full wagon scenario, the website, the business kits, etc., like our lives depend on it.  They do.  The more production we bring in, the bigger our checks. Most of us bought the spin from MKC that “Mary Kay does not like her directors to have other J.O.B.S.” so this IS our income.

The worst scenario is when a unit member (or a director) has a NEW POTENTIAL RECRUIT at the end of the month.  It is critical they sign NOW and come in with inventory.  We know how quick someone can get a credit card.  It is hard to avoid the desperation that oozes through the pores of the struggling director who needs just ONE star to finish a car, or do production, or get an award or whatever.

Consider this.  Products change frequently. They have to in order to keep things fresh and to get everyone excited. But when those products change (and you never know which ones are next), you’ll have obsolete inventory. You could have a huge stash of inventory, and someone will order something you don’t have… leading you to have to order again. It’s an ugly cycle, this whole inventory thing. And your director and the company will discourage trading or selling inventory between consultants, because every time that happens, they lose out on an order that would have been placed with the company.

There is a reason that people change their minds after saying they will sign their agreements. They were smarter than we were.


  1. MLM Radar

    From a consultant’s perspective:

    Your friend chose to pay $100 fir the starter kit (buy everything at a discount!) instead of buying $100 from you. No sale, but hey you’ll have a recruit…. on Saturday.

    Question: How much will she have to buy before you’ll see that $100 you didn’t get when you recruited her? Remember, as a consultant you’re at 4% commission and you get 0% on purchases made by her recruits.

    1. From the starter kit purchase you get nothing.

    2. You don’t get any bonuses on her purchases because you’re just a consultant. All bonuses go to your Director.

    3. At 4% commission she has to buy $2,500 wholesale for you to get $100. Add sales tax on the “full retail” price, plus shipping, plus Section 2 products, and she’s spending well over $3,000 for you to get that $100.

    4. Hope that she doesn’t return anything, because Mary Kay will immediately come after you to repay that commission.

    5. With a recruit holding $2,500 in inventory, you now have serious competition for new customers.

    6. Remember that you still didn’t sell the inventory stockpiled in your closet, and the credit card company is not very forgiving of missed payments.

    Is recruiting really worth it?

  2. PurpleH

    ^^^ All of this. Turning customers into competition makes no sense. When you finally find someone who wants product, you try to get them signed on so you never make a retail sale to them. And her family & friends will now be HER first customers instead of referrals to you.

  3. Jason Houston

    I always suspected Mary Kay was a scam, but this just confirms it… just like Amway, and all those worthless diet rip-offs and other highly illegal ways of separating people from their money.

  4. Alexia

    Hi so I just ordered the starter kit and it’s coming in today. I really just wanted the starter kit for myself- I didn’t want to get into the selling business. Did I screw myself over by buying that? Will I be required to do something for MK?

    1. Jason Houston

      Depends on what your signed contract says! Of course, I hope you didn’t dive head-first into the barrel. If you did, however, show your contract to a trusted attorney and have him point out any flaws that would let you out.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      Alexia asked … Did I screw myself over by buying that? Will I be required to do something for MK?

      You will be HEAVILY PRESSURED to order MORE stuff buy yout recruiter and the sales director. I suggest you read this page and mark it “REFUSED” and send it back without opening it.

      If you actually like the products, you can buy them on eBay for a fraction of the cost.

      And in the future, insist on taking the time to READ any contract you sign, before you sign it, and if you don’t understand it, talk it over with a lawyer before signing it.

    3. MLM Radar

      If you haven’t opened the starter kit – DON’T! As Lazy says, mark the unopened box REFUSED, then drop it off at your local UPS store (or FedEx if it came that way).

      Why? Because Mary Kay will pay the return shipping on unopened boxes, as they’re required to do.

      But, even if you did open it, you can still return it within 30 days for a full refund. There are only two catches: (1) You get stuck paying the return shipping cost if you opened it. (2) You have to return EVERYTHING or you get no refund.

      Now, if you’re like me, you may be very, very good at taping or gluing an opened box shut again so that it looks unopened. If you try going that route, know that Mary Kay will inspect the package carefully and won’t hesitate to subtract the return shipping cost from your refund if they have evidence you opened it.

      Here’s a dirty trick they pull to get you to eat the shipping cost: Instead of just refusing the package you call MK asking for the return instructions. They tell you to slide your paperwork into the box before returning it. Don’t want it to get detached on the way back, right? WRONG! Anything inserted into the box is evidence that it was opened, no matter how little. And that’s enough for MK to have a legally valid reason to shortchange you on your refund.

      1. Jason Houston

        Thank you for your great reply, MLM Radar. Here are some additional tips I use when dealing with packages I may not want.

        Turn the box upside-down and, using a single-edge razor, slit the clear tape (if it has it) and open it from the bottom. Then, using identical clear tape, reseal it so it appears virgin. If it has other than clear tape, carefully lift whatever tape is there, just enough to open with minimum impact, then reseal it using spray adhesive. If they want you to include an invoice, place a COPY in an envelope marked “INVOICE” and clear-tape it to a side of the box away from the address label. Send them a separate letter, indicating the unopened order has been returned as received, and that Mrs. Jones has just been committed to an extended hospital stay, and won’t be available for an indefinite period, and to please return her compete payment ASAP. You might also include a “CC” to a local attorney. Works every time for me.

        Dirty trick? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes, when dealing with shady con artists , we must stoop to their level by fighting fire with fire. Nothing wrong, morally or legally, with that.

        I wish only the best for you folks who have been hoodwinked by this crooked outfit.

    4. Coralrose

      You should also know that you’ll be disappointed in the starter kit. I know they said you’ll get $350 of product for only $100, but only 1/4 of those or less will be usable to you. Most of it will be foundations not in your shade, half will be normal to dry formula, the other half will be combo to oily formula. Multiple mirrors and crappy, disposable applicators. The products you’ll actually use will be worth less than $100. I know I was disappointed when I thought I’d be getting lots of make-up I could use for myself.
      No, they can’t make you sell anything, but like Lazy said you’ll be heavily pressured to buy inventory.

  5. Jason Houston

    For years, I’ve used my superior ability at persuasion to talk these victims (usually women) out of getting any deeper in these slippery MLM scams. I’m always tickled when I get a call a few days later, thanking me for showing them the light. I wish more people could read this column, as all of your comments and experiences are timeless as well as priceless.

    1. MLM Radar

      Hi Jason,
      I’d love to hear how you figured out the scam. The reason I ask is that the MLM scam (Primerica) which briefly sucked me in was run by men recruiting both men and women. And, other than Mary Kay, nearly every other MLM that was pitched to me was pitched by men.

      Gladly, it only took one for me to understand that MLMs are scams.

      1. Jason Houston

        You are correct, men usually run these scams, including Mary Kay. With items such as makeup and cleaning products, they target women because it’s a known marketing fact that fewer women than men possess astute business skills. These same naïve women are also compulsive shoppers (especially with credit cards) and they are seen as “easy pickins”. You’ll find few, if any, savvy business females in outfits like Mary Kay or Amway.

        MLM scams are simple to spot:

        1. They’re a national company, but never advertise.

        2. They never make their products available at retail outlets.

        3. The only way you hear about them is through someone (often a recent acquaintance) you believed was a friend.

        4. They are comparatively overpriced, especially since they have zero overhead by way of advertising, distribution or marketing expenses.

        5. They concentrate more on stuffing your money into other peoples’ pockets, than they do on why, if anything, their junk is actually good for the end user.

        In the final assessment, only #s 1 – 3 are important enough to remember. If you can identify these three elements, reporting the outfit to your state’s Attorney General might just save future victims.

        I live in Arizona and frequently attend bar association conventions or lunches. No less than three times in the past year, have otherwise reputable attorneys offered to include me in some off-the–grid special get-togethers where these people can make lots of spare cash doing nothing but recommending each other for some nebulous leisure activity.

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