Real Mary Kay Stories: $4,000 Sold and No Profits

Written by Cathy

I am not new to reading Pink Truth but this is my first time commenting. I am currently a consultant (for 6 months) and becoming very discouraged by my experience. I will admit that when I first started to read PT I thought that this can’t really be all truth. My family runs a business and I know that sometimes dissatisfied employees will exaggerate their grievances. I am finding myself more and more relating to these stories.

I have used Mary Kay since I was a teen and have used the Timewise skincare for over 10 years and have been happy buying MK from a good friend of mine for the past 12 yrs. Never once did she bug me, hound me or ask me to become a consultant. I actually asked her about it because my kids are getting older (I am in my 40’s ) and I was looking for something fun to do. She, after all, had been in MK for 15 yrs and seemed to enjoy it. Even my mom and husband thought it would be good for me to do this. Not saying this to brag but I am thin, blonde and attractive and was told this would be easy for me to sell MK because I look so young for my age. I signed up! For the first 4 months it was great! I bought the $1,800 package (with cash not credit) and was queen of sales most weeks and was a “rock star” according to my director. I guess you could say my “warm market” was working well for me. I have sold to only two people who found me through my website so most of my 40 or so customers are people I know. I told my director up front two things:

1. I will not go into debt to run my business. (I haven’t)

2. I will not warm chatter. (I haven’t)

She assured me that I would be fine not doing those things. I have been involved with our very successful family business for many years and we run debt free. I know something about running a business and thought this would be an easy way to make some “fun money.” I may be one of the few who go into MK really not needing the money but just wanting something fun to do and the bonus of getting the products I love at half price.This is what I have found so far:

  • I have been a star consultant for the first two quarters. In that time I have close to $4,000 in actual sales. By the time I have bought product, attend meetings, career conference, extra class supplies etc I am shocked to say I have $59 in my MK account. No debt but no $$$$.
  • I have no team members and no one is interested in even hearing about being one.
  • I have a friend who owns a publication that goes to 6,000 homes and offered to run an ad for me for free for three months! This ad would have cost me $3,000 and it was going to all these homes free! What did I get….one customer and three NASTY calls from directors that I shouldn’t run this ad because other consultants can’t afford it and it’s unfair and I might take their customers AND I would be reported to MK corp (even though I used a MK approved ad). Never got that call from corp.
  • Although my calendar was full the first four months, I can’t get ANYONE to book or buy. I have gotten some reorders but that was only after I ran a special.
  • I did everything my director has told me (minus the warm chatter) and still no new leads. Wore my pin everywhere (not one person asked me about it), sent over 20 samples and flyers with a gift certificate to all my neighbors (one order), attended all meetings, posted on social media, got referrals (not one wanted a facial when I called) my friends were even reluctant to give me names. I haven’t been able to get anyone to do a party. They are fine to place an order but do not want to host a party. I know this is how I get new customers but even with a 1/2 price hostess shopping spree I have no takers.
  • My director (who lives in a different town) has come to see me a few times to “help” my business. All she wants to do is get my friends to come over and do “practice interviews.” I won’t do it. I know why she wants to talk to them and I am not putting them in that position. My director (different from my friend I bought from) is also the same person who told me that she makes all this money and supports her family but when she has come to town she asks if she can just stay with me. She asked to stay with me when she didn’t even know me. If she is so high up in MK and making all this money, why does she have to ask to stay with a stranger and not a hotel? ( I told her I don’t have a guest room or space ).
  • My director often runs contests for nice prizes that seem to NEVER get won by anyone.

I have come to the conclusion that I can’t possibly make any money at this. I can of course could recruit and get more money that way but I can’t possibly look at someone and say “Yes, do this! I have made money”! I have done it debt free and have 59 bucks to show for it!!!!

Now I am not sure what to do. I do have inventory that the customers I do have will most likely buy or myself, my mom or my daughter will use. I have made sure I have placed the orders and order things that will get bought or used. Because I really care about my friend (my recruiter) I may just be a personal use and stop wasting my money on meetings, samples etc.

Just my two cents from someone who is not one of those “not working her business” or “just bitter.” I really still like the products and I HAVE done all I can and more to work my business. I am finding with my friends who are honest with me that they just find it easier to go to the drug store or department store. In a way, I get that.


  1. Stephanie

    I have a question, you know MK has you pretend that you own your own business? When you sign-up, you know how you sign up with your name give, your Social Security etc. instead can you sign up as a company? Say I register my (fake) Mary Kay business with my state before signing up “Stephanie MK” instead of using my name when I sign up could I just use my MK business since you’re considered independent contractors anyhow ?
    P.s. no I am not signing up lol. Just asking a question:)

    1. MLM Radar

      Interesting question.

      How about this: If you register an LLC with your state (Sunshine and Light, LLC), and get an EIN, you really CAN say that you’re starting your own business. You haven’t done anything with it, but you’re getting the legal paperwork in order.

      But will Mary Kay let you sign up as a consultant using the LLC name and EIN?

      1. raisinberry

        The big timers all have a special name for their “organization”, using the area name, not Mary Kay, so they get the tax benefits of S corp or LLC.

    2. BestDecision

      I don’t think one could, simply because it does ask for your Social, date of birth. Never had anyone try it, but I think it’d be reported to the company immediately and then terminated mysteriously.

  2. enorth

    I just came across a MK consultant on FB who is advertising a sale.
    I thought that wasn’t allowed…”because it’s not fair to your sister-consultants.”

  3. raisinberry

    I, for one, appreciate your honesty. We never wrote articles on this site because we were bitter, or nasty. We are simply telling the truth of the reality of signing up for a mlm disguised as as a “business”. It isn’t. You do not make anywhere near the money they claim, and as in your case, your warm market is the scam they use to get you to believe it will continue. It won’t, and so NOW, you are more willing to recruit. This is the scam and you have pointed it out nicely.

  4. MLM Radar

    This lady keeps saying her MK business is debt free, but is that true? Specifically, she put up $1,800 in seed money which she says she didn’t borrow… from someone else, that is.

    Unless she has a money tree growing in her yard she probably took that $1,800 out of her savings. And now she has $59 in her MK account.

    Did her MK business ever repay the $1,800 to her savings account? Hmmmm…

    If she repaid her savings account then she can say her MK business is debt free. Break even, no loss no gain (assuming her time and effort are worth nothing).

    But if she didn’t repay her savings account, then she has a big MK bad debt. An $1,800 bad debt, to be specific.

    1. raisinberry

      Exactly. In all my years in MK, Not ONE TIME, did any “money management” course actually teach what real profit, and real loss, and real accounting principles were. NOT EVER.

      Your time was NEVER a real factor, as well. It was only used as a fabrication when determining skin care class hours divided into gross sales.

      Even the weekly summary sheet was a farce! The truth is they never wanted an IBC to calculate her real investment, real costs, and actual profitability…cause then SHE WOULD KNOW she was losing her shirt!

  5. Shay

    One more thing.
    I have a friend who sells crafts on Etsy. She buys stuff for $.10 /pc and sells them for $.70 plus she sells THOUSANDS of them and makes a living BUT she has to sell them for times seven what she bought them for.
    It doesn’t matter if you are re selling something that cost you $.10 or $1.00 you can’t just sell it for double and expect to be able to make a living. The math doesn’t work when you minus expenses and taxes. Unless of course you buy something for $1,000 and can sell for $2,000




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