Stuck After Starting Mary Kay

Written by Lorraine
I have been a consultant for about 6 months now. I’d like to start from the beginning.

A good friend of mine starting selling. I came to one of her first parties. Her recruiter was supposed to be the one to run the show but she showed up about a half an hour late. So, we just kinda started the makeovers as best we could. I liked what I was trying on especially the foundation. I didn’t have any money to buy anything so that was that.

A couple of weeks later my friend  invited me to one of the Monday night meetings. I don’t do all that well in big groups of people that I don’t know, but I said ok if I could bring someone with me. So, I brought my husband’s grandmother with me. I was really put off by all the  power clapping and hoorah of it all. Not my thing. All seemed kinda fakey to me and I am not a fakey kind of person.

Went upstairs for the makeover and had an ok time.  Again, I really didn’t have any money to spend.  I told my friend when I had money I would like to get some things.  I was kind of looking for something to do at the time for an at home job so I was willing to look into this.

Next, was the turn for me. I went to one of the brunches. I was impressed to hear about all the free cars, directors’ incomes and all that. They read a poem about stepping out of your comfort zone. 

Since I am a person who tends to stay in my comfort zone  and not really take risks I thought they might have a point and this could be a personal growth experience for me. So, after talking to my hubby, doing some research, and talking to my friends director I decided that I didn’t have much to lose with a $100 start up fee and a 90% buy back guarantee. Plus I was getting all the product that I wanted. I was also told by my friend (or now recruiter) that I only had to purchase $225 of product a YEAR to stay active and get my discount.

Which later I found out was incorrect.

Well, I started going to all the meetings and at first, despite all the fakey hoopla and power claps, I loved the meetings. My director used me as an example because she said I was dressed the way all of MK women should be it dressed and I was so cute.  Well, I loved it (except for having to stand up in front of everyone because I am shy so that was hard) because I have a low self esteem it felt good to be pointed out, told nice things about myself. Who wouldn’t like that?!

Then, it all started. The pressure was on to buy a full inventory. I called all the hotlines and what not. I decided to just be bluntly honest with my director and tell her that I have no money, credit cards and can’t get a loan to buy inventory.  Whoa! Did she ever back off of me all of a sudden. It was like I didn’t even exist. I was really irritated but determined not to let her stop me in building MY new business. So, I kept going to meetings. My friend or recruiter did recommend if I could do a $600 order then I could have my director come out give me a debut party and earn some free product.

I thought ok maybe I can sell enough just starting with my family to get that order. I did. My mom loved the product and she also loves to spend money so no guilt in it for me she wanted it and spent $350-not just for herself but she also bought gifts for other family members.

Shes using it and her skin looks AWESOME! I was slightly frustrated because I started to break out from the product. I have had acne since I was 11 years old-severe cystic acne. I used everything under the sun including acutane. Used some of the newer stuff from the dermatologist that worked but dried my skin out horribly. My recruiter told me to give it a couple of months sometimes a new product does that at first. She was RIGHT! Six months later I have no acne, no dry skin, and it looks better than ever in my entire life!!! Totally satisfied with the product. Constant compliments on my skin!

Anyways,  I sold to my mom and came up with the rest of the money myself to make that six hundred dollar order and got my debut party where 4 guests came and I sold $70 worth of product. My director did a horrible job, didn’t  talk about the business opportunity or anything, which she later admitted to me it was the worst party she has ever done and apologized. I know she never wanted to do the party in the first place because I didn’t really BUY inventory, I SOLD product to get to that $600 mark and she only does parties for people who she believes are serious and spend a lot of money to start with otherwise its not worth her time.

Well, I still really wanted to make this work and thought maybe that I really would do better if I had inventory and people wouldn’t have to wait for there order. SO, I applied for a couple of credit cards and, thankfully now, I got turned down, which I expected. Now I see how that was a protection!

Well, I still wanted to keep going. I would take my bag of makeover equipment and what little product I did have to the school where I take my kids, a homeschooling program where I have to stay on campus, and thought if people see my bag they’ll ask me about it. A few people did, but didn’t  lead to anything.I did a few facials for my girlfriends which was fun. I love for them to walk away looking and feeling beautiful and if they buy something fine and if not fine, too. One of my girlfriends decided to sign up  because I told her that it was worth it if she wanted the whole ultimate miracle set because all she had to do was order $225 a year to get her discount (which I was wrong and felt horrible for.) She was not upset, though and decided to do some selling, not a lot. Which I have NEVER received a commision check off of any of her orders as of 3 months now.  She is now quitting but still loves using the product.

I have  done one party besides my debut. It was at my mom’s with some family members. I sold $420 and everyone looked and felt great and were happy with the product when they got home. I am getting ready to do my next party next weekend with different  family members.

I have been on this site before and pooh-poohed it. But looking at it more I see a lot of truths and SOME exaggerations. Some people I truly believe may have just had a bad experience due to MK or not.

The main problem I have right now is how religious my director is.

All her hotline is is spiritual advice not business advice.  I appreciate their philosophy of ” God first, family second, career third”. BUT, they don’t practice what they preach and I do. They are always pushing career first. On top of part of being a Christian means leading a simple life and I don’t believe that striving after all their prizes and free cars, and paying for expensive seminars is going to help me to lead a simple life. Along with the ethics of the way they want you to sell.  I was feeling like all I was talking about was MK and I could feel myself being tired of talking about it so my friends and family must be too. Even though they say you don’t have to be a pushy sales man to do this you really do in order to become a director or “win” a car.

Now, I feel stuck. I am not going to go back to the meetings, although I don’t have to pay to go like some have said they have to.

I still LOVE the product and don’t want to pay full price for it.  I also love doing the facials,not necessarily always a party, but just a personalized facial. I think its fun! I just can’t decide if its worth it to keep selling at all or not. I am not going to purposely recruit and will be honest with anyone who wants to sign up.At the end of the year are the taxes going to be a hassle? I just don’t know what to do now. I am sad because I really wanted this to work. I never expected to make A LOT of money or even get a free car. I just wanted to make $500 a month or so and I would be happy. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks for reading my story.

15 Comments

  1. raisinberry

    Yep. We all wanted it to work. Unlike some others here, I liked the product, too. If you never used a skin care regime before, Mary Kay’s is a miracle! Then of course, you find out that many other brands are out there with a regime of steps which also produce a great result for much less money.

    For me, the thing becomes, do you want to support a beast of a global predator, which is notoriously exaggerating income claims, not revealing the internal workings of how you actually rise up the career path, and absolutely knows that it’s sales force stockpiles product in their garages, second bedrooms, and basements, chasing awards and recognition. Mary Kay Inc. exploits low self esteem and neediness. They groom women for it! By your own admission, you are a perfect example.

    You want to help them continue on to exploit the next woman?

  2. enorth

    A few young women in my neck of the woods recently became SDs. Boy, they moved up fast! They joined MK and were in the director suit in just a few months.

    Checking their FB pages, I see they all have jobs elsewhere. GOOD jobs in large healthcare systems. And those jobs, no doubt, are subsidizing their MK “careers” and are the reason for their meteoric rise. They are buying their way up the ladder.

    I’m watching to see how long they last. They’re young and pretty. Getting lots of accolades, love-bombing, and “atta girls” from their up-lines who are earning commissions from their orders.

    Ultimately, these young ladies will look back and realize they wasted time, energy, and lots of money in Mary Kay.

  3. BestDecision

    That “stuck” feeling you have? That’s a major red flag that you need to listen to. If things stink this early in your business, it’s obvious it’ll get worse. Trust me–I was a Director that found the abuse of religion went all the way to the top, and I couldn’t stomach it.

    There’s far better skin care out there than MK, and I, too, had cystic acne throughout my time in MK until I got out and found better product elsewhere.

  4. Lazy Gardens

    “I still LOVE the product and don’t want to pay full price for it.”

    Buy from eBay … nothing there goes for full price.

    “I also love doing the facials,not necessarily always a party, but just a personalized facial. I think its fun!”

    You don’t need Mary Kay to do this. There are organizations that do cosmetics advice and facials for the elderly, for women re-entering the work force, and for teens.

    1. navyhawk

      We also do this for cancer patients, who can’t use MK, we help with licensed beauticians and have natural makeup donated from Shopper’s Drug Mart (the Canadian CVS), and other stores. I love volunteering with this!

  5. Char

    “But looking at it more I see a lot of truths and SOME exaggerations. Some people I truly believe may have just had a bad experience due to MK or not.”

    Part of the trap is getting you to think of the product. For a true understanding, you must go beyond that. MK has its people do MLMing for it to make money.

    You really should research MLM. Dr. Taylor’s article would be a good place to start. Also, read Amway horror stories, Herbalife, Vemma, to name a few.

    Let’s compare MLMing to something else you must do – like drunk driving. SOME drunk drivers crash, some get arrested, some make it home alive. Each experience is different, but they are all committing the bad act. Now, can you imagine someone who has been lucky enough to always make it home saying, “There’s nothing wrong with drunk driving and some people just exaggerate.”

    “ I just wanted to make $500 a month or so and I would be happy.” –

    The complete thought here is actually:

    (I just wanted to make $500 a month regardless of how I do it or who I hurt. So I joined a pyramid scheme and ripped my mom and friends off, and exposed them to a pyramid scheme. I just wanted to be happy.)

    Now, I know you’re not thinking that way, but THAT IS THE REALITY.

  6. ran4fun

    “I was also told by my friend (or now recruiter) that I only had to purchase $225 of product a YEAR to stay active and get my discount.

    Which later I found out was incorrect.”

    ” I decided to just be bluntly honest with my director and tell her that I have no money, credit cards and can’t get a loan to buy inventory. Whoa! Did she ever back off of me all of a sudden. It was like I didn’t even exist.”

    “because I told her that it was worth it if she wanted the whole ultimate miracle set because all she had to do was order $225 a year to get her discount (which I was wrong and felt horrible for.)”

    Hmmmmm…why do you want to be around this company? They lied to you, shunned you, and influenced you to lie to someone else.

    “I just wanted to make $500 a month”
    Using MK’s script of 60/40, you’d have to sell over $1,200 per month at full retail to net $500 before paying income tax, which as a self-employed person you should make quarterly payments. Funny how nobody in MK tells you that. How many hours would you have to work to sell $1,200 each month? A part-time job at minimum wage will get you there without compromising your morals or taking advantage of friends and family.

    Lorraine, thank you for sharing your story. We all here at Pink Truth want the best for you.

  7. Mickey2942

    Your friends probably can’t afford to buy MK. So, who do you sell to? Your Mother?
    Your family?

    I can’t afford MK, or Rodan Fields, or anything other than Walmart.

    Has MK really made you any money? Do you really like the products? Try something else, just the skin care routine, using products from Walmart will probably do the same thing for your skin.

  8. Still Breaking The Basic

    “But looking at it more I see a lot of truths and SOME exaggerations.”

    Lorraine, can you please tell what you believe our exaggerations are? You’ve been in for 6 months but several regulars here had 20-25-30 years in Mary Kay. Did you see ABC’s 20/20 segment on Mary Kay? Former consultants interviewed for the segment are regular contributors here.

    I could tell you things that happened in my ex-unit, but you would think I was exaggerating or outright lying.

    Thank you for taking time to share your experience with us. Here’s the link. You may need to copy and paste. It’s well worth your time to see it.

  9. Lazy Gardens

    “I just wanted to make $500 a month or so and I would be happy.”

    $500 a month AFTER taxes and expenses …
    $125 a week

    You don’t say where you live, or what your skills are, but if you want to make $500 a month, all it takes is a couple shifts a week at a fast food place. Could you work the lunch rush?

    What is your education and skills? Hotel housekeeping, dog walking, house cleaning … it all pays more than you will ever make in Mary Kay because they pay you for the TIME you have put in.

  10. enorth

    I Just looked at prices for MK mascara. Most are $15, and one is $18. I can easily afford those prices.

    Today, I bought my fav mascara (L’Oreal Lash Paradise) at ULTA. It was on sale and I used a coupon. My cost was around five bucks plus tax.

    And, THAT, Lorraine, is why I won’t be buying from you. You don’t stand a chance in the real retail market. You’ll have to rely on family and friends to make pity purchases from you, or you’ll have to give deep discounts.

    You were conned. Get out now.

  11. Burned

    Lorraine:

    You say you would be happy to make $500 a month in Mary Kay just selling product?

    Well, after I quit MK I tried selling off a bunch of items on a local Facebook yard sale site (all priced BELOW the wholesale price I paid for them). Guess how much I sold? One item….and I practically gave it away. One of the biggest exaggerations in Mary Kay is that the “products fly off the shelves”. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say this statement is not just an exaggeration…it’s a blatant lie.

    Please do not continue to support this shady organization that preys on women. Send back your inventory, get your 90%, and be thankful you haven’t lost thousands of dollars, time, friends, family, self respect, etc…. like many of us here.

    The only way to “succeed” in Mary Kay requires you to leave your integrity at the door.

  12. Data Junkie

    That ABC special posted by Still Breaking The Basic was very revealing. These KBOTs could not even articulate how much they made the year prior. The one who hinted was asked, “And what about after expenses?”, and it was backpedal, backpedal, backpedal.

    These folks are not business owners, and have never been taught how to keep a balance sheet, or they could answer that simple question to the penny. If every new KBOT had a balance sheet, they’d quit after a few months of sustained losses.

    Even the national sales directors are making a pittance, but they don’t even know it, because they are distracted by the cars and the accolades. All part of the built-in deception meant to keep cash flowing into Mary Kay.

    So sad.

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