Mary Kay is a Numbers Game

They tell us that multi-level marketing isn’t a pyramid scheme. When I say that it’s endless chain recruiting, they tell me that’s nonsense. But it IS all about recruiting. They pretend it’s about the products, but we’re bombarded by requests to bring guests and interview them. Oh, it’s just for practice. Let the director interview them. It’s just for fun! Have her do a survey. We just just want her opinion!

Tell me why we’re wasting everyone’s time if we’re just pretending? Because they’re not pretending! They really DO want to recruit them. AND IT’S A NUMBERS GAME. The more people they talk to, the greater chance they have of recruiting someone.

But that’s not the only numbers game that’s involved here. In Mary Kay they pretend that there are an infinite number of women with skin. There are an infinite number of women to recruit into this scam. Sorry, but that’s not true. The marketing plan ensures that nearly everyone will fail. But lets just assume they’re right and “everyone” can succeed with this awesome “opportunity” and can recruit anyone. What would the numbers look like?

I’m a new sales director and I have 30 women in my unit. Since anyone can success with this “business,” they all become new directors, so they all have 30 women below them. This is a viable business opportunity, and they’re all on the fast track and this all fast and easy and they all become directors within 4 months of signing their agreements! Everyone keeps becoming directors. See how fast this multiplies:

1 director

30 new recruits in 4 months

900 new recruits in 8 months

27,000 new recruits in 12 months

810,000 new recruits in 16 months

You can see how quickly this gets absurd. Imagine if each of these directors/consultants got 100 customers each. (Having been in Mary Kay, we know how difficult it is to get 100 loyal customers because women have so many choices for their products these days, but work with me here.) The amount of products that would be purchased as each of these women worked through DIQ and the required production of $18,000 wholesale each would add up quickly.

I’d be a National Sales Director in no time if the numbers game worked like this. And the population of the world would quickly run out. It’s impossible to recruit like this, and there are always losers at the bottom of the pyramid. Why do you think that the women at the bottom of Mary Kay are always scratching to make a few pennies? Even the women at the top who are supposedly the most successful are still putting on a front.

Why do you suppose Mary Kay stopped printing the incomes of a whole boatload of NSDs each month? Because their incomes were embarrassing. They’re at the very top of the company yet they were making less than $10,000 per month. Would consultants be inspired by that? These are not nameless, faceless women. These are women like Roya Mattis. She is put up on a pedestal as the ultimate success in MK, yet she is one of the approximately 36% of NSDs who is making less than $10,000 per month that MK is ashamed of. Let that sink in for a minute.

This idea that you *could* make a ton of money in Mary Kay is so silly. Sure. Anyone *could*. Almost no one *will*. When will women accept that the odds are so far stacked against them that it is the worst deal in the world? When are women going to stop taking money from their families and putting into this stupid nonsense, pretending it is a real opportunity for them? Yes, it’s a numbers game. One that is stacked completely against them.



  1. BestDecision

    Well, the Director on pages 6-7 of the March Applause has been in for 28 years and has < 3 offspring. A Director for 17 years. It isn't a numbers game, and it isn't PROBABLE for anyone. Even NSDs like Kathy Helou and Pam Shaw have recordings where they talked about doubting if they could make it to NSD and even if they wanted to resign once they debuted and do something else. I won't argue that people have achieved things in MK, but the VAST MAJORITY don't and won't.

  2. Char

    The MLM con game trains us to focus from the wrong perspective – that of the distributor.

    Pretend you are MLM “corporate” and ask yourself who you need/want buying your products? Think hard.

    Hint: Does corporate prefer distributors or distributor customers?

    Distributor customers are irrelevant to MK. (Remember, “you” are not MK) Only you the distributor thinks customers are important. Ask yourself why all customers can be distributors? Well duh, that’s what corporate wants. And as you can see, it’s an inherently flawed pyramid scheme.

    Makes you question what kind of people start MLMing companies doesn’t it?

    If corporate founders had a truly great product, they wouldn’t have to confuse distributors and “empower” them as people. How insulting. I’m already a great person thanks.

    And that irony is they are empowering you to rip off friends and family. Ugh, NOTHING good about this con game.

    Great article btw. Add what it said to my post and you’ve got youself a real winner NOT.

  3. rebecca

    I have a friend who started selling MK and it sounds so awful. WTF is this obsession with “pampering”? If someone tells me they like to be “pampered” or they like to “pamper” others – this seems so weird?!? How is smearing some product on my face pampering? Assuming this is a 1950’s word for “relaxing”, I’m not getting how looking at outdated brands of makeup you can buy is pampering? Are women so desperate? Do they know how stupid and airheaded and NOT LIKE BUSINESS OWNERS they sound? It’s embarrassing, quite frankly.

    1. MLM Radar

      Welcome to the twisted dictionary of Mary Kay lingo, where the words you hear are meant to bring conventional images to your mind, but the real Mary Kay definitions are something else.

      Pampering = self-applying samples and listening to a recruiting pitch

      Party = high pressure sales pitch to “help” a friend and profit a pushy Sales Director you never met before

      Selling = 2x whatever you just bought, which still hasn’t been delivered to you

      Sharing = recruiting someone else into the scheme

      God helped me find the final 6 recruits I needed on my last day of Director in Qualification = she bought starter kits in the names of her sister, gramma, great-aunt, husband, best friend, and dog, none of whom agreed to join. It had nothing to do with God.

      There’s more, but you get the idea.

  4. BestDecision

    And there’s Gloria in Woman’s Day magazine alongside some Loreal lipstick. Hilarious they put another brand in the same article as her! (As seen in Pam Shaw’s video post)

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