Premier Club Director Gail’s Earnings

I wanted to examine the income of a Premier Club sales director. There are about 13,000 sales directors in the United States, and only a few thousand of those are Premier Club or Cadillac drivers. When you make it to those levels, you are assumed to be doing well, as not many sales directors get there.

I did a sample calculation based upon the estimated income and expenses of Gail, an actual Premier Club Mary Kay sales director. She said that her Mary Kay business contributed a “significant portion” to her family’s income. That suggested to me that she must be approaching or at that “executive” level income. I was wrong!

$31,351 commission checks (This is based upon her unit retail of $228,339, and includes estimates of her director commission, personal recruit commission, and unit volume bonuses. She was doing about $9,000 monthly, and her average “love check” was about $2,600.)

$14,822 retail sales (I’m assuming all items were sold at full retail, even though we know many were probably discounted.)

TOTAL = $42,673

I don’t know about you, but even this income of $42,000 before expenses is not impressive to me. It’s certainly not executive. It’s certainly not the “big money” we’re led to believe so many make in Mary Kay.

These are all estimates, of course, based upon my experience and multiple conversations with other Mary Kay sales directors and ex-directors. I have actually estimated these on the LOW end, meaning that many sales directors will actually spend more on these items.

$8,893 product costs plus other miscellaneous expenses related to selling products (supplies, customer gifts and incentives, postage, etc.)

$350 director suit
$750 Leadership Conference
$250 Career Conference
$900 Seminar
$1,200 unit prizes
$500 demo products
$750 advertising, promotions, giveaways
$50 Mary Kay website
$1800 office assistant
$350 office supplies
$500 postage on newsletter for 65 unit members
$1,200 meeting room rental ($100 per month)
$360 telephone expense (yes, it costs money to make those business calls)
$250 computer software and supplies
$350 meals for career coffees, breakfasts, and other recruiting meetings
$0 health insurance (this sales director has coverage through her working spouse, but those who don’t will need to fund this themselves)
TOTAL = $18,453


Self-Employment Taxes 15.3% = $3,706


(Don’t forget you’ll still pay regular income taxes on that Net Income amount!)

Oh, and what about that car, you ask? The value of the car (as evidenced by the cash compensation option) is $500 per month, or $6,000 per year. That adds to the sales director’s income, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. But the income is then reduced by the cost of using that car to go to events, skin care classes, recruiting meetings, etc. I believe that the majority of this amount (if not more) will be eaten up by the gas, mileage, and service expenses.

So there you have it: the “successful” sales director’s income is a whopping $20,000 a year, if she’s lucky. And that’s not for part-time work. The vast majority of sales directors at this level spend well over 40 hours per week working Mary Kay. That’s barely over minimum wage.


  1. BestDecision

    Before my Cadillacs, I was a Premier Club driver. A base unit will earn her a $2,000 check/month. $24,000/year gross income. That’s essentially $9/hour after taxes and before expenses are subtracted.

    $9/hour. For all that stress?!

  2. Formykids

    You are being very very generous. My wife is a premier club unit/driver, currently paying a copay. She did drive the pink caddy for a couple years as well, also paying the copay for most of that time, as much as $900 per month for the last 6 months. In her best year her gross revenue(commissions plus bonuses plus retail sales) was just under 90K. Her net taxable income that year, after expenses, was about 13K, and I have the schedule C’s to prove it. Over the years her total revenue has fluctuated between 40-90 K and her taxable income has fluctuated between 8-18K, and again I have the schedule C’s to prove it. So in her best year of Net taxable income where she netted 18K, she easily worked 50 hrs per week, giving her an hourly rate of just under $7 per hour, and that was her best year in ten. That doesn’t account for all the babysitting we needed so she could work, which is not tax deductible. In the end it likely cost our family money for her to work her business.

    1. JanRD

      Thanks for the disclosure. So these Cadillac drivers are not always the picture of prosperity, though I have heard them described as “very successful.” If a “business” does not generate an income that justifies the hours worked and the time away from family, it sounds more like a hobby to me. An expensive hobby. Too bad none of those who claim executive income have offered to share their schedule C’s.

    2. pinkvictim

      Wow, you’re lucky. Your MKult victim’s Schedule C’s were sometimes actually in the black. I have 12 years worth of MKult Schedule C’s, and every single one of them in the red. That doesn’t even include the non-deductible expenses.

      Right now we’re struggling to pay for mortgage, food, doctor, marriage counselor (haven’t been in weeks), etc… yet, my MKult victim is trying to finagle a way to go to Fall Advance – $250 plus food, transportation, “accessories”, et al. (She already spent $150 on wrapping supplies for all the big Holiday sales she’ll be making. All the sales like last year that totaled about $150)

      Add that onto the fact that months ago I scheduled a short trip to go camping with a college buddy who I recently re-connected with (at this point, probably the only friend I have because I had no social life while staying at home to take care of the house and the dog for the past 13 years while MKult victim played Barbie beauty salon with her “friends”), and I was expecting her to stay with our dog, who is almost 16 and in her final days, for just 3 days, but she starts to blather about going to a “career conference” (she thinks I don’t know that it is Fall Advance [what a stupid name]) that weekend and getting her brother to house sit.

      I will probably wind up canceling my trip just to make sure someone is there for the dog, because I no longer trust my MKult victim to do the right thing and actually put family first, instead of sneaking off after I am out of town (better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission). Of course when I cancel, she’ll see that as there’s no more reason NOT to go. YAY!!

      Sorry for the rant.

      1. JanRD

        Unfortunately, it probably wouldn’t be beneficial to remind her about MK’s prioritizing of family (including pets) over career, but then the more I read on this site, the more this seems not to be the case. Anyone with survival level math skills can see that Fall Advance plus holiday supplies, won’t be covered by holiday sales. Ditto to Neverpink’s so, so sorry comment.

      2. pinkvictim

        @Neverpink, the word you are looking for is “brainwashed”.

        To the rest, thank you the kind words. All I can do is forgive my wife for her actions and do what needs to be done to take care of the dog and myself.

  3. Changeyourthinking

    Wow. I am truly heartbroken for the husbands on here and the marriages that have been ruined because of the denial and brainwashing. Mine was headed in that direction if I didnt get out IMMEDIATELY. I thank God that I came to my senses!

  4. raisinberry

    My cpa, for years, was trying to “get my head on straight”…but he was SO EASILY dismissed as a negative influence because I KNEW, I KNEW, that NSD was right around the corner…just keep the blinders on!

    When I finally let him figure my hours against income it was $6.00 an hour. I was running so hard I had two sales meetings a week in different locales, plus orientation and basic training on another evening. Plus Saturday mornings at least 3 times a month. Then add my own interviews, facials, classes and warm stalking.

    What an idiot I was. I refused to look at whether my “business” was profitable…I was so happy to have a career car, I let the other accounting measures go…mind on the prize—–never be negative and boy, credit card debt is negative!

    The day comes when you face the music and hopefully you can dig out.

    1. JanRD

      I just love knowing that a CPA started Pink Truth and that those who have emerged from the pink fog are contributing to this site. The accurate calculation of hourly income is a real eye opener. Every self-employed person needs to do this, whether they have a career car or not. Years ago, when I ordered MK from friends, I always wondered how well they were really doing, as most of them were never able to quit their day job.

  5. MLM Radar

    The value of the car (as evidenced by the cash compensation option) is $500 per month, or $6,000 per year. That adds to the sales director’s income, doesn’t it?

    If I recall correctly, MK tells you that the cash compensation option is only 1/2 of the value of the car. That’s how they justify those (profitable to them) outrageous co-pays. But when you compare the MK car co-pay to a lease and insurance you could get yourself…. well, that would be negative, so you won’t.

    True or not, MK has never hesitated to inflate the value of prizes, then hit you with a 1099 for that inflated value. Anyone want an $800 spit-diamond ring? Makes it seem like you’re earning a lot, when you’re really not.

    Would someone who drove a MK car confirm that the 1099 you get on that car says you got a lot more than the compensation?

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