You Can Start Your Own Business For Only $100

Written by SuzyQ

Is it true that you can start a Mary Kay “business” for only $100? Almost. The starter kit is $100, plus tax and shipping, so technically, it’s almost $120. But that’s not a biggie. The biggie comes with the other stuff a smart business woman needs.

Your director wants to set you up for success, and she will tell you that her job is to give you her best advice, so she will talk about business cards, a website & product reorder labels. You can get the business kit, and that saves some money on ordering those items separately, but it still adds up.

She will talk with you about attending her meetings because she is so busy, she can’t really train everyone in her unit individually, and the training at the meetings is fabulous! There’s only a small fee for that, because of course it’s only fair that everyone chip in a small amount of money to cover the cost of the fee to rent the room. And she will ask you to bring a couple of friends with you, so you can work smart and not hard. She will talk about you doing a power start, and earning your pearls of sharing. And then she will talk about inventory. (Because you can’t sell from an empty wagon. And no one wants to wait for their products. And you’ll sell a lot more if they can get their products right away.)

Generally, you will be given a sheet of paper with a little “quiz” on it to determine what you want from your business. Once you add up the numbers for your answers, there will be a suggested inventory package to help you achieve this goal.  The smallest package will be $600, on up to $3,600. Depending on your goals. Funny that it doesn’t mention that you could order less, and you “need” $600 wholesale even if you plan on doing almost nothing.

The largest package will be discussed first, even though that may not be the suggested one for YOUR goals. You will be told about all of the freebies you can earn with each of the higher inventory levels, and the star prizes you will receive. As she goes down the list of inventory packages, you may notice her voice tone going down to match. There will be some sadness as you reach the bottom of the list, maybe even a head-shaking, as she explains that a $600 is essentially a personal use package, with little free stuff.

You will be told that it doesn’t matter to her what package you choose, but her experience has been that her customers do not want to wait, and Mary Kay herself said “You can’t sell from an empty wagon.” While she is saying numbers and you are hearing money, there’s a bit of a disconnect.

She will encourage you to stretch and to believe in your ability. She will discuss financing options, and will probably encourage you to get a credit card. She will have more options than you have objections, and will wear you down.

You will learn that personal debt is bad, and business debt is good. (It’s really not even debt, it’s an investment!) Your product is your personal ATM, you make half of what you sell, and you can have this paid off before you know it because the product just flies off the shelf and sells itself. Besides, there is a 90% buy back guarantee, so this is essentially a risk-proof decision.

When you can finally get a word in and explain that you prefer that people pay up front and then you order as needed, she may furrow her brow a bit and tell you, confidentially, that she has never seen anyone have any success doing their business this way, but, if that is what you want to do…

There will be no free product, you know, and she knows lots of people who will buy from someone else if their consultant doesn’t carry an inventory. She just wants to set you up for success. After all, would you buy a dress from a store that just had pictures of the clothes instead of the actual items? Of course not. And you are a business owner!

So, your $100 decision that may not change your financial picture, but just could change your life, is not entirely accurate, or then again, maybe it is.

What you thought was only $100 to start a business has suddenly turned into $1,000 or $5,000. Wow!


  1. JanRD

    Fantastic article about manipulation and intimidation at its best!

    “Because you can’t sell from an empty wagon. And no one wants to wait for their products. And you’ll sell a lot more if they can get their products right away.”

    Really? What if that argument was used with Pampered Chef consultants?
    I have visions of basements full of pizza stones, apple peelers, etc. Yikes!

    ” After all, would you buy a dress from a store that just had pictures of the clothes instead of the actual items?”

    No, but most of us would buy a dress (among other items) online and gladly wait a few days for the convenience of shopping at home. I am so DONE with home parties.

  2. Peaches

    Can we just say “BuLL $hit and move on? Because let’s face it, if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk. And if you give said mouse a glass of milk, said mouse will want a straw, and if you give him a straw, he’ll want a napkin to wipe his mouth. And this can go on, and on and on.

    The MK “Business” is like the story If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. If you tender the $100 check, then you’ll have to purchase a website at what? $50. Once you purchase the website, you’ll want to order your business cards with that web address. Once you have that done, you’ll need to order at least $1800 worth of inventory because we all know, you can’t sell from an empty wagon. So now that your wagon is full, you’ll want to spring for invites, food, party favors, additional samples for your business debut party.

    Can you see how this is a Never Ending Story? So, who do you know who you would like to caution against starting a MK “business”?

  3. morningstar

    All this layering cr&p is the start of your relationship with MK, IF you purchase the starter kit. This post truly mirrors (pun intended) what a director will tell you. It was spoken verbatim to myself in 1993. It is meant to put the director “in charge” of your decisions because she knows best and is your new bestest friend, the one person you can’t live without. I had my 2 guests win a starter kit at a brunch and my director almost tripped over herself and the rest of the people in the room to get to the winners. They were excited to get free products, but were not in a position to start a business. They could barely make ends meet due to circumstances. They saw through the spiel and the director chastised me for not bringing more qualified people. Luckily, they saw what was going on and did not hold it against me. I was their co worker at the day job. Smarmy and outdated tactics are still used today; preying on anyone. I am sure the winning of the starter kit was rigged. Director dearest lost some money that day!

  4. enorth

    When they say “starter” kit, they mean it. It’s the “start” of more things you’ll have to buy — and keep on buying — for your fake business.

    Just like other MLMs, you’ll have to keep buying minimum amounts from the company to “qualify” for your commissions and prizes. And you can be certain the company ALWAYS gets its share FIRST.

    Pretty soon, you’re dishing out hundreds of dollars a month — every month — to ensure you’re “qualified” to collect your measly $74 commission check.

  5. TRACY

    All the things you have to hide and minimize and pretend about… all to sell this wonderful “opportunity” that is the greatest in the land??? That’s Mary Kay for ya!

  6. Wow…this is exactly what I was told in 2016, I signed up for 100$ and thought I was doing great, and then my director I needed to order 3000.oo worth of inventory, I was broke, just finished paying off fines!! She told me to open a credit card…I said in front of all her friends at the meeting we had ; ” I just got done filing bankruptcy! Have yall ever had to file bankruptcy? I don’t have credit! ” they all looked at me like I was a damn alien!!! Rich old women on their high horses! I quit. Never went back…got scammed for 100$ but she wasn’t sucking blood out of this turnip!

    1. Lazy Gardens

      Nikki – “Rich old women on their high horses!”

      Nope … women up past their eyeballs in debt, with a basement full of product, paid for by a second mortgage.

Comments are closed.