Magic Words in Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

Oh, I wish I had the magic words! Just what does it take to get the message across to the pink believers that MK is a scam? What part don’t they get?

Maybe a short reminder would help:

1. Mary Kay is the best selling brand in the U.S. – This is an old phrase that has been manipulated over the years to make it appear true. The biggest problem is that the numbers assume everything sold to consultants ended up in the hands of a real customer. We know that’s not true. So if Mary Kay is the best selling brand, it’s only to the consultants.

2. Mary Kay is a dual marketing plan. NO. It is a multi-level marketing plan, plain and simple. Dual marketing is a lie. Why are they permitted to say it? Because there are different descriptors that are legal for MLMs to use that sound a bit nicer. It smacks of a pyramid scheme. The NSDsat the top are making money off the orders from those below them. This is NOT a gift from Mary Kay for all of their hard work, this is money from YOU! And your orders!

3. There are no quotas. Then please, explain the earned discount system and the minimum wholesale order every three months to stay active. Also explain that quotas to remain a director and to qualify for a car.

4. You have to show up to go up. Wrong again. Seriously, how many of you have attended everything offered faithfully and are still not “moving up?” It doesn’t matter how often you show up. If you want to go up, you must recruit. Period.

5. You are the owner of a home-based business. No, you are not. You are a distributor of products purchased from the company. You are not allowed to advertise, sell your business, open a store front, or sell your customer base. Your dentist owns a business. You do not.

6. You have “job” security. You cannot be laid-off, fired, riffed or demoted. You really don’t believe that do you? Read your agreement. If the company chooses to, they can give you 30 days notice. If they choose not to, your termination is immediate, with no recourse. Mary Kay can terminate you at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. You own nothing.

7. Mary Kay products are on-trend. Hardly. Look around the department stores and the discount stores/drug stores if you want to see on-trend cosmetics. You will not find them in Mary Kay. MK will tell you that product “delays” are as a result of intense product testing and quality control. This is a clever ruse.

8. You can write your own paycheck and give yourself a raise whenever you want. Not exactly. You CAN make more money if you can book and hold the classes and facials, and recruit those people. Good luck with the class holding thing. You might be lucky enough to get some sales through social media, but good luck making that consistent. If you were in business for yourself, would you have another business owner hire your staff? Why does your director have to do the inventory “talk.” Why is she interviewing for you?

9. How about that warm chatting thing? Have you looked at it from a safe distance? What must people think when you approach them? Have you noticed that if you get a name and a number, it may not be accurate? If you have such a terrific opportunity and fantastic product, why don’t these women take your calls or reply to your emails and texts?

10. Having to “run through the numbers…” This is a “numbers game…” “No means next..” Again, if this is so wonderful, why do you need so many people to say no, before someone says yes? Are they all stupid? Can there be that many people who “don’t get it?” Is the “quality” of people you are asking the problem? Are you intimidated by “sharp” women and find it is easier to approach those who may need a hand up? Join the rest of us.

11. The unlimited income potential. See above. Note that they numbers you hear do not include any deductions. Nor does the facsimile check that your director parades around. There are lots of expenses that no one mentions, and those expenses are a big part of the reason almost everyone loses money in MLM.

12. Time for your family. Not really. If you are showing up and going up, booking, selling and recruiting, working full circle, playing the numbers game… you are not available to your family during those times. If you are working on unlimited potential income, you are not seeing your family. At least, while they are awake and receptive to your attention. (And having your kid unpack more boxes of inventory you don’t need, does not count as family time.)

13. Being a team player. Benefits your director. Period. Your orders increase her check. That’s all. Really.

Decided to stop at 13 as that is the Mary Kay sacred number. Please. You cannot make it in MLM. Read and listen. Watch and learn. I promise you, your dream is carved in sand.


    1. Changeyourthinking

      So true. My intuition told me that many of these things were not true. Any time i asked my senior for the source of these claims, i was brushed off as negative, critical, and skeptical. Little by little, independent thought is discouraged until you become a little pink robot. So sad.

      1. BestDecision

        Same here! We were “negative” if we asked any questions or voiced any concerns about anything. I had my reservations about new colors or the new foundation formulas, but I was looked at as a loser for doing so. Isn’t that sad?

  1. Changeyourthinking

    The last leadership or seminar i attended (they all meld together), the new President Nathan Moore said from the stage that Mary Kay is not number one. In fact, his main agenda for the year is to “get back our number one status.” So we can completely get rid of that argument.

    1. enorth

      “President Nathan Moore said from the stage that Mary Kay is not number one.”

      I’ve heard that from several NSDs and SDs. They are using it as a driver. “OMG! We’re no longer Number One! We need to get MK back on top! Get out there and work harder!”

    2. BestDecision

      I remember way back at Leadership that they called us a “prestige brand”. Bottom line is that it’s how many CONSUMERS use MK, not hoe much leaves the distribution center, that matters.

  2. MKCurious

    I am not sure if this is OK to ask here, but I know a consultant who, a few times a year, offers 50% off sales on her MK website if you buy at a special time. I’ve never been a consultant so I don’t really understand how it works, but is she actually earning anything on that sale? Does it help her numbers in some way?

    1. Changeyourthinking

      You can ask anything here! No, she is not making a profit at all. There’s several reasons they do that. She’s either trying to move out product she can’t sell or qualify for some prize. All commissions and prizes are earned by wholesale ordering. This is the trap so many fall into. If they fall short of a goal, they can simply buy their way and/or give away 100% of their profit.

      1. MKCurious

        Thanks! I appreciate the insight. She does always say she was “challenged” to sell several thousand dollars of product in one day or a certain quantity of a product in one day.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      is she actually earning anything on that sale?

      Not money, because she’s actually losing on shipping, but it means she can scrape together some money to order more … and you get prizes and crap for ordering.

  3. Dorothy

    Is it just me or does it seem like they have relaxed the rules a bit about on-line advertising? I’ve seen a few women on YouTube with a decent amount of followers who regularly make their own videos and leave their sales contact info below. I thought that was a big no-no.

    1. MLM Radar

      Mary Kay turns a blind eye towards certain [attempted] selling on-line, but only when it’s individual effort that make the seller look potentially profitable.

      So, individual “selling” through Facebook is not a threat to them. Even better (for MK) is that these individual efforts come heavily packaged in their desired “fake it” success trappings.

      BUT… put all those individuals together on one website, where you can easily tell there is TONS of unsold merchandise and HUNDREDS of sellers grasping for a few customers… like on eBay… oh no, can’t have that.

  4. Jayme

    I was just about to start selling mary kay. I have a meeting with a lady next week for “tips and tricks for success” and to get started….i told my mom about it and she panicked and told me NO!!! and sent me the link to this article. Thank you. I have definately dodged a bullet.

      1. Jayme

        Im so happy too. I would have been so devastated losing that money like that. I dispise people who step on the rest of us to get to where they want to be with no regards to anyone else or our situations. Only care about themselves. Which is fine for them just dont try to drag us in it as stepping stools. Pfffttt. Just irks me.

    1. BestDecision

      If only I’d had that advice when I ordered my Starter Kit! There isn’t a day I’m glad I was in MK. So many lies, cheating, stealing customers, unethical behavior, and horrible products.

      Use that money and go have some fun with Sephora’s sale!

      1. Jayme

        Yes!!!! Great idea!!! Lol. Honestly though…..thank you because as a single mother barely surviving i was going to really be taking a plunge because it sounded so good. I’m so happy my mom shared this article with me. Thank you all again!!!!

  5. MLM Radar

    Hi Jayme,

    You do NOT need to keep that meeting, you don’t need to reschedule, and you do NOT owe her an explanation.

    If you tell her anything at all, say this:

    “I have decided that Mary Kay is not in my best interest. Please respect my decision.”

    The only “tips and tricks” you’re likely to learn are that she has a library of scripts to answer your objections, and that she knows dozens of very effective ways to get your check or credit card number.

  6. enorth

    Jayme –

    Mary Kay will steal your time, money and energy. You will end up poorer and frustrated.

    The woman’s “tips and tricks” will be:
    – Buy lots of inventory
    – Borrow the money to buy the inventory
    – Let her “help” you decide what inventory to buy
    – Make a list of everyone you know who has skin
    – Schedule a debut party
    – Call, text and pester everyone you know

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