Maximizing Ordering in Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

Everything in Mary Kay is set up to maximize team and unit ordering. It doesn’t matter to corporate if a single product is sold to a bona fide customer, although those sales do help perpetuate the con. Once a consultant orders product, Mary Kay Inc. has made their profit. This is why everything focuses on ordering, and the company has perfected the methods used to get consultants and directors to order as much as possible.

Take for example, going on target or “winning” a car. You need $23,000 in wholesale production ($18,000 of that must be from your team), and 16 personal recruits. The production each month must be at least $5,000, and you have up to 4 months to complete the requirements.

Except the person you recruit in the first month will drop off by the fourth month if she doesn’t order again to stay “active.” Now who selected 4 months as the magic qualification period? So you are building to 16 you need $23,000 wholesale from everybody (which is remember $46,000 RETAIL if it had ANYTHING to do with selling!!)

Month 1 – 5 active and let’s suppose $5,750 in orders. You now have 3 months to add 11 recruits and $17,250 wholesale.

Month 2 – You add 3 consultants who each order $1,000. You still have to order $2,000 yourself to meet the minimum monthly requirement of $5,000. You now have 8 active consultants, so you still need 8 more.

Month 3 – You recruit one emerald star ($3,600) one $600, and one $225. Yes that is how they about you… by what order you came in with. You have to order at least $575 to meet the monthly minimum. You now have 11 active consultants, so you still need 5.

Month 4…The 5 who were active in the first month won’t count unless they order again. You also have to recruit 5 new ones. And you still need $7,250 in orders if none of the recruits has re-ordered since you started this process.

THIS is how the pressure and the manipulation is placed on the consultant…to finish and look good for her team and the Unit by becoming a car driver…a thing the Director tells her is prestigious and helps in her further recruitment efforts.

So she works all month…she adds 4 members…who total $5,800 in production… Has ANYONE SOLD ANYTHING??? Sure the On Target Consultant has, but she’s given a lot away too to try and get people to meet with her or book with her. She’s on the HUNT. She doesn’t need real sales, she needs to get in front of recruit-able women!

So she needs thousands of production to finish, and 5 went inactive so she has to get them to order again or recruit new people to replace them. She begins her calls of desperation, asking the recruits that are inactive, to activate. Anything anyone orders is that much less that the on-target woman has to order herself.

NOBODY in these scenarios needs any more product! They are ordering to “help” her. And it is this dysfunctional relationship of financial abuse that Mary Kay thrives on! By “enmeshing” women together in so called teams, they become responsible for whether the National wins her trip, the Director gets her Caddy, the Unit goes “on stage” or qualifies for some luncheon, etc, etc.

What person can dismiss an appeal from a “friend” to help them reach their goal? This is the tactic that MK, Inc has used for DECADES to extract the highest level of financial compensation possible, using the team leaders and DIQs and Sales Directors to do it.


  1. raisinberry

    “Yes that is how they *** about you… by what order you came in with. ”

    Talk is missing. It strikes me again just how sad this all was. When on a conference call, we’d be asked to share about our recruiting efforts. I never once heard, “Oh I have a great new team member, she has a sales background and is the mother of two kids….etc”

    Nope. The “sharing” amounted to, ” I signed an Emerald last night!” or My new recruit came in with a Sapphire…” Yep. They were all either “active”..”qualified”…or GEMS! Not a human being among them! 🙁 SMH

  2. Sarah

    I like to think this wouldn’t work on me. If you aren’t meeting your business goals, that’s your problem! I’m not going to screw up my business by stocking too much inventory to save yours. What an outrageous request!

    1. TRACY

      Sarah – A lot of us thought something like this would never work on us. Then we got deep into Mary Kay, and the requests to order just a little more to help with a goal or stay “on target” came. It was always justified by saying we’d sell it and turn a profit. This kind of manipulation always starts small, and soon you have accumulated hundreds or thousands of dollars of inventory you never needed and are unlikely to sell.

  3. morningstar

    Talk about a hamster wheel to keep things going!
    I have been thinking about this point for a while now. MK corporate is the distributor of goods….period end of story.
    All the rest is smoke and mirrors. It behooves their bottom line to do this-however it has been done at the business prospect of diluting their brand.

    In other words a viable company with a (quality product) is interested in distribution to the market and keeping it going to which in return keeps the quality up on the product.

    MK pretends to have this intention with the sales force, but as any MK consultant veteran can look back and compare how the quality just keeps getting worse and worse. Now the introduction of $$$$ products such as the mask (available at sallys beauty and others for 3 bucks) and vitiamin c squares is an attempt to extract more money from the people who order goods from corporate. Ya gotta be super smooth in sales to justify the cost of these items to your “customers”. Meanwhile as it gathers dust in homes all around the nation MK has made that buck – do not let this allude you to think you are a “distributor” for MK cosmetics. You are the buyer and whatever you want to do with the hoards of product is up to you. Trash, charity, store it is up to you. MK is looking for YOUR next purchase. The commissions paid to the upline are based on getting more orders in and they have calculated all of this in advance. I can’t help thinking how much better the product would be, the sales force would be and how much more profitable MK would be if they truly set up consultants to be “the distributor” and taught people sales techniques. The tired old ways of telling consultants to sell drives my point that you are the end product “user”.
    As MK looses market share expect more “stuff” from them “offered” to buy at a high price and other shiz they will try to pull.

  4. ‘Sounds like the stuff of an American Greed episode without breaking any official laws, otherwise it would qualify for one; that’s what sucks!
    ‘Just tried to find out if any American Greed episodes featured anything related to crime and cosmetics but found the below article in the search results mix that reminded me of a former boss of mine at a loan & real estate brokerage who encouraged goal setting as a process of ‘thinking bigger & adding more zeros.’
    There’s alot of markup on ounces of cosmetics whose contents cost pennies far exceeding the cost of gas that seems criminal-I think there’s something like 128 ounces to a gallon so have fun using that to figure the cost per gallon of whatever item measured in fractions of an oz. on up is-it’s crazy!
    This is a pretty good example of making some ‘big bucks’ with a video clip. Imagine grossing in the millions off of only lip products in a company you created? Enjoy!

  5. Shay

    Fun Story for Pink Truthers

    So I ordered some MK off of eBay, I got a 100 pcs samples for like $18.95 I don’t know how MK reps can tell new consultants the product sells itself.
    I have expired make up that works better than MK.

    With that said, let me tell you what I did.
    I was on eBay and searching for samples or small lots of MK to talk a friend out joining so she could see how crappy the products are.

    I messaged a seller and told her I was looking to try a variety, so she made me a listing.. when my package arrived there was a note in there for me to email her if I wanted more..
    I replied to the email and said that I would let her know if I did. (Despite knowing I would not) She replied and said, “I am NOT trying to recruit you to sell MK, but I do want to let you know if you liked the product, I can make you I can give you a good deal” something like that..

    Something told me she that she is trying to sell off inventory. Long story short, she reads this blog and someone who I won’t say (could be sister, brother, father, friend) handles the account bc technically she shouldn’t be (you know the MK “contract”) but she is doing this way just to save herself a headache!

    Waving at you and I said I would tell this story on December 20, in the comment section.
    Small world 🌎 and amazing how many people read this site.

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