Mary Kay Cosmetics: A Pink Predator

A few years ago, I appeared on HuffPost Live, discussing multi-level marketing and its negative effects on those who become distributors. Below is a clip in which I discuss my opinion that Mary Kay Cosmetics is one of the most predatory MLMs out there. Nothing has changed since this was filmed. Mary Kay is as evil as ever.

18 Comments

  1. pinkpeace

    Brava, Tracy! Every word is so true.

    When I was deep in the fog, I used to admire Mary Kay’s marketing and ordering schedules. I thought the Star Consultant program was brilliant, the product bonuses were to reward hard-working consultants, and the constant product changes were to keep consultants current with beauty trends.

    It was only when I detached from Mary Kay that I saw how precise the scheming was, and how the company ruthlessly preyed on well-meaning consultants. The company’s pressure for that big first order is relentless, and few new consultants are able to resist.

  2. cindylu

    To this day I am embarrassed that I ever became an IBC within MK. No where to advertise. Constantly having to find customers in a very saturated market. Decades of women who have been lied to. When I tried to do a perfect start, those I asked hesitated. Those who did attend, made pity purchases. Then there was the constant lying: Training was NOT free, products did NOT fly off the shelves, NO breaking the set lol (I was lucky if I sold a lipstick), etc., my SD’s high check from years before etc. The costs were unreal: Career conference, Seminar, products being constantly changed on purpose by this mlm. Everything geared to making profit for the heirs, a few CEO’s and a few NSD’s from the 1970’s. Most items I sold were heavily discounted. Yes all I remember is the embarrassment of being taken in by this mlm and schlepping make up in some areas that were less than safe.

  3. Is there a way to create participant guidelines and other laws protective of people’s pocketbooks? Ie: Taking into consideration an individual’s current income/assets, credit history and current documented customer base to limit purchase of inventory? Also, why not require companies to have a warehouse within so many mile radius of distributors so that once orders are made, the reps can deliver from existing stock without investing in it? For example, Kirby vacuums. We had 5 in the van for the day we went knocking doors and once sold, other orders taken were delivered next day. No investment by salespeople required and the Kirby owner supplied the demonstration products, transportation and trainers.

        1. Julie,

          Show me the rule that states that Wikipedia is not an “acceptable source” (while you are at it, define “acceptable source”).

          Show me the information in the Wikipedia entry that is incorrect…

          Is the DSA a “acceptable source”: https://www.dsa.org/forms/CompanyFormPublicMembers/view?id=7F3000001C5

          How about MLM Legal: http://mlmlegal.com/profiles/kirby.htm

          Your knee-jerk response is what’s called the genetic fallacy.

          http://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html

          Are you trying to rebutt the claim that Kirby is an MLM, or just nitpicking on Wikipedia as a source? Either way, you’re not doing a good job.

          1. Julie

            No I’m trying to stop you from looking stupid. Wikipedia is not an accepted source in the real world. I shouldn’t have to explain this to you. The fact that you automatically assume I’m defending kirby is sad. Do not use wikipedia as a source when you are making an argument. Seriously, it’s not accepted even in high school. My point was for you to post a real source so you don’t look like an idiot cause it’s not helping the cause. But nevermind, go ahead jump on people who try to help you.

            1. BestDecision

              So, I guess we shouldn’t read and believe anything about MK Inc on there, should we? Like this:

              Mary Kay consultants earn a 50% gross profit on products sold at full retail price. The quoted figure of US$1,057.14 per year (2015) for the average consultant was derived by dividing the annual wholesale sales by Mary Kay Inc., by the number of Mary Kay consultants. This figure does not take into account product returns, eBay, auctions, sales at a discount, and purchases by “personal use consultants” which would lower this figure.[citation needed]

              Consultant turnover rate
              A 68.6% per annum turnover figure has been calculated based upon information supplied by Mary Kay (USA) to the Federal Trade Commission.[48] An 85% per annum turnover figure has been calculated, based upon the data supplied by Mary Kay (Canada).[49] That document excludes individuals who earn a commission and are in the company for less than one year. It also excludes individuals who are in the company for more than one year but do not earn a commission check.

              1. reader

                I could go on Wikipedia myself and change that to say “However Mary Kay has been restored to PETA’s “Don’t Test on Animals” list from the “Do Test” list.[55]” and that edit would soit there until pinkvictim or another editor came along to fix it.

            2. MLM Radar

              She’s trying to help us, with all the wisdom and authority of a recent high school graduate.

              I guess she doesn’t look at all the citations at the bottom of the Wikipedia articles, which give the sources for the articles’s statements. And I also guess she doesn’t realize that the Wikipedia editors include people who are highly experienced former MK Consultants and Directors who police the articles to remove MK half-truths and deception.

              Oh yes, there are also Certified Public Accountants and Certified Fraud Examiners thrown in the mix, too. Just sayin’.

              But, hey, what really counts is that her high school teacher told her not to trust Wikipedia for anything, right? Because we all know that we should get our MK facts from the MK website itself, right?

            3. reader

              Yeah, the thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it.

              When I check a Wikipedia article, maybe the most recent change was made by a vandal, maybe the most recent change was made by an editor cleaning up after a vandal, I won’t know unless I check some other source on the same topic…

              …so why don’t I save myself some time and go to that other source in the first place?

              1. TRACY

                Because maybe you weren’t aware of the other source to begin with? I find Wikipedia super helpful. I find a lot of useful information, and if I’m going to cite that information for some purpose, I go verify it. It’s particularly useful if I want someone to get an overview on a topic, just like traditional encyclopedias were useful to me as a kid. Wikipedia is a great starting point. To say someone is an idiot for using it or citing it is just ridiculous.

        2. Lazy Gardens

          Not acceptable?

          Perhaps not as the sole source for a term paper or a PhD dissertation, but much of the information on Wikipedia about Mary Kay comes from Mary Kay’s corporate statements. it’s in the references at the bottom, with links.

          1. I added and updated quite a bit to thew MKult Wiki entry. I monitor the page occasionally, as Kaybots will show up and make changes trying to claim “dual marketing” and other gobbledygook BS they are brainwashed to believe.

            Working on adding all the lawsuits MKC has been involved in.

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