Frontloading By Sales Directors

I think many Mary Kay sales directors have convinced themselves that they are “working ethically.” That they’ve made themselves believe that there is nothing wrong with the Mary Kay pyramid scheme and nothing wrong with the fact that almost all women will lose money in Mary Kay.

Here is an example of just such thinking. This Mary Kay sales director thinks she’s doing the right thing by “only” having consultants purchase $1,800 or $2,400 of inventory when they start. We all know that “part-time” consultants don’t need that much, and that’s frontloading. (Frontloading is the practice of getting someone to purchase a large package of inventory before they have sold the products.)

The email I received:

Tracy,

I stumbled on this site and found it interesting. I have been in Mary Kay nearly 28 years – a Director for 26. I have seen it all.

I do believe many the stories. The sad part is that you are painting “all” Mary Kay people with the same brush.

I sell Mary Kay products with ease and fun. So do my unit members. We do not frontload – a star order is plenty for a part time consultant. We trade inventory to help each other out.

I could retire but enjoy it so much I just want to take lots of time off and do business part time.

Have always driven a company car and NEVER made a car payment. You have to be smart – the years I had babies – went Grand Am – then Grand Prix was great when the kids were young – now driving a Cadillac but plan to take cash as going part time.

Why would you do this? What is your story? What is the point?

It is all so depressing!!

I am sad that you don’t allow any positive feedback. That could be interesting – don’t you think?

Anyways, please know that there are many, many hardworking, honest, sincere Mary Kay Directors out here.

I sent her this reply:

You wrote: “We do not frontload – a star order is plenty for a part time consultant.”

You just proved that you DO frontload. A part time consultant doesn’t need $1,800 or more wholesale on the shelf. Quit lying to them and lying to yourself.

She wrote back:

Are you confusing “part time” with “personal use”?. Of course someone that is doing Mary Kay as a small business needs some inventory. When I think “frontload” – isn’t that like 3000-4500 and encouraging orders when they are not selling? I stick to the fact they can’t sell from an empty wagon – remember my unit does Sell!!

This is a great product!!

And my reply:

No, I’m not confused. If you’re telling part time consultants they “need” $1800 or $2400 wholesale, then you’re frontloading.

This is why it is so important that sales directors see Pink Truth. I believe most of them have convinced themselves that they’re not frontloading, even when the objective evidence proves that they are.

12 Comments

  1. raisinberry

    Right. They’ve been programmed. They do not question what they have been indoctrinated to believe.

    1800 wholesale is 3600.00 retail, plus any freebies…say 4,000.00 retail on the shelf

    A $300 week is applauded. IF, the new consultant can book a perfect start, and IF a perfect start holds, she does 5 classes in two weeks (with her mom, sisters, friends). IF she sells well, she sold 1200-1500.00 RETAIL. Leaving $2500-2800.

    She will now go into follow up bookings that consistently reschedule, and begin the weekly smattering of sales. IF she’s a rockstar, @ 300.00 a week it will take her 8 WEEKS to sell the equivalent of the remainder of her first order, only she will not have what they ordered so she will have to place ANOTHER order to fill in the skin care, etc. and MOST of what she ordered to “open her departments” will go UNSOLD.

    “Profit Level” inventory is a con job. A made up word, to frontload and heavily stock a new consultant for the purposes of securing the necessary production requirements of car driver, Unit Directors, Senior Directors, and NSD benchmarks…and free product bonuses (with purchase) are the bait. They use “can’t sell from an empty wagon” as if she is to function like a store in the mall, and use that reference to convince her. Only she does not have TRAFFIC.
    Nobody is passing by her house to drop in and take a look at her goods.

    Full inventory…Star Inventory serves many purposes. To pad the production of the Unit, trick the IBC into greater commitment once “perfect stop” happens, and insure the follow up ordering behavior that creates monthly consistency as she degrades into the role of minimum ordering “base Unit”.

  2. TheRose

    Interesting. You “can’t sell from an empty wagon”. Um…actually, you CAN; it’s called the internet. I sell custom-made cosmetics from my home and on Etsy/Ebay, and while I do need to keep a stock of base ingredients, I don’t need more than the one that’s open and one as a backup. With something like MK, which has prepackaged products, there is absolutely NO NEED WHATSOEVER for ANY inventory other than maybe a few demo products and what you actually use in your personal makeup stash. Yiur customers can order online, or you could order for them at the time of sale. Plus, starting out, how will you know what you will sell the most of? Even from consultant to consultant, I’m guessing the sales profile of each will have very different demographics – a large inventory to begin a business like MK would be a downright silly notion. Inventory should be established as business is established. It’s not a brick-and-mortar business, yet they seem to be treating it like one. I find this problematic and illogical.

    I have a friend who says that “MLM” stands for “Make Little Money”. I’m beginning to see why.

    This is so sad.

  3. enorth

    “MLM” stands for “Make Little Money”.

    I recently saw: MLM = “Moms Losing Money.”

    I just saw a picture of the new Timewise. Pretty pink packaging. Get ready: the MKers will be asking you to serve on their test-panels and give them your opinion of the new products.

  4. BestDecision

    When we had new produce coming out like the 3D TimeWise, we were challenged to order major amounts so that we were motivated to sell it. Sad, but we all fell for it, especially us Directors to prove to our units it was going to sell.

  5. enorth

    “required production $$$ (quota)”

    Two quotes I heard recently from two different NSDs:
    — “To make production, you need to team-build.”
    — “To make production, you need to be moving people UP.”

    Funny. Nothing to do with selling of products.

    1. BestDecision

      That’s exactly right. Directors are taught to focus on “the new and the few”. No one is taught deep product knowledge or makeup artistry without having to go on our own to a workshop of a real artist. We were taught to count on $1,000 wholesale in production for every new member to our unit and that every event we held must be geared towards recruiting.

  6. Pinkiu

    If Mary Kay were legitimate about selling, they would act like Amazon. The client could order online through her consultant’s website and pay for shipping and Mary Kay would send it to her. BUT that would assume that the end customer is the IBC’s customer. That isn’t the way MLMs work. The real customer is the IBC when she places that initial star order.

  7. Kaci Rae

    Oh man what is this 1983! It’s called drop shipping. Get with the times MK. Like other commenters said it is not a commercial store front. No need to be stalk piling product.

    I have recently been bombarded by crazy MLM people trying to befriend me to try to push their horrible cult like crazy business on me. All I have to say is if I wanted to put that much time and energy into a “business” I would start my own. Chasing people around just seems so exhausting and unethical.

    Amway has to be one of the worst and affiliated Amway cults like world wide dream builders. They are sneaky and will try to use programming techniques to get you sucked in. Sounds crazy but do some research on cult mentality and you will be surprised on what is found.

    I

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