A Mary Kay Failure Who Doesn’t Plan to Leave

Poor Tina starts off confused. She doesn’t realize that Mary Kay has its consultants recruit into multiple levels (recruiter, director, senior director, nsd)…. making it multi-level marketing. It gets worse. If we just worked hard enough, we wouldn’t be so negative. She has failed in MK since 2011, but there are reasons! Obviously the opportunity still worked for her, and she’s sorry it didn’t work for us.
Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model. Now that that has been settled, I’m sorry that Mary Kay did not work for you. As with all entrepreneurial ventures there are upsides and downsides and it takes a lot of work and knowing when to exercise discretion and good judgment in the appropriate amount of inventory to purchase based strictly on your ability and or desire to get out there and sell it. This is a HARD business to be in these days. It takes a lot of work, dedication and endurance, not to mention a thick skin.

My business never took off because my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness around the time I joined in 2011. I’m still in and don’t plan to leave. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve been “porched,” ghosted, stood up, cancelled at the last minute, missed my goals, been inactive almost to termination and been part of a brand new unit only to have my director lose our unit. Been there for the cheers and tears.

Fact is, anyone with a job is expected to meet certain goals and criteria for continued perks and employment. If you don’t, you lose your rank and they take away your company car. I don’t hold with the mad dash to recruit, especially when trying to make sales director. What you DON’T want is a bunch of people trying to do you a favor who have no intention of actually staying and doing the work. To me, that’s the quickest way to lose your unit in a flash. Mary Kay millionaires are out there. I’ve met many of them! It can be done and is being done.

Actually, I have no idea why I am even on this site writing this. I find the overall nasty tone of the Pink Truth unpleasant and off-putting. Also you are not working FOR Mary Kay, Inc., you are and independent business owner. As the boss, get your own insurance and set up your own 401(K) and do some private lending.

There’s a lot of sour grapes on here. But seeing as how I’m still making money working when I am able, getting great training, meeting new friends and generally enjoying the Hell out of hanging ith positive, powerful women on a mission, I’m gonna hang around with the Mary Kay ladies. Again, sorry this opportunity didn’t work out for you.

22 Comments

  1. pinkpeace

    “I don’t hold with the mad dash to recruit, especially when trying to make sales director. What you DON’T want is a bunch of people trying to do you a favor who have no intention of actually staying and doing the work. To me, that’s the quickest way to lose your unit in a flash.

    Nice try.

    As any sales director will tell you (and it was taught by Mary Kay Ash herself) that at any given time 1/3 of your unit will be working, 1/3 will be maintaining, and 1/3 will be on their way out. That means you have to GET THE BODIES IN to compensate for the 2/3 of your consultants who aren’t producing any income. I never once met a director who built her unit on 30 solid sellers. It just isn’t done.

  2. BestDecision

    Again, horrible grammar. Are they recruiting 3rd graders now?

    You compared our MK journeys to a job in that you can’t be expected to profit in MK without putting in the work. That’s true. However, the vast majority of the time, work, and energy that go into an MK business is fruitless as far as pay goes. When I show up in my career, I get paid. I don’t wonder how much I’ll make, and I don’t worry about my employer not showing up, prohibiting me from making any money that day.

    And let me give you sa implement math lesson (since your grammar is so elementary): MK “millionaire” means they’ve had over a million dollars in CUMULATIVE commissions for whatever time they’ve been in. So, in those terms, a nurse working for 13 years after getting her degree is also a “millionaire”. A businessman making $100K/year is a “millionaire” in 10 years.

    And another thing about those commissions: Don’t forget they don’t get to keep all of it. Taxes, expenses, chargebacks, car payments…

  3. Char

    Sounds like this woman wants some sort of praise and recognition for participating in a pyramid scheme. Seriously? What is the world coming to?

    And she doesn’t like some of the “nasty tone” and finds it “unpleasant and off putting”. How then should pyramid schemers be treated? With grace and acceptance?

    Isn’t part of the problem that we have turned a blind eye and been nice to MLMers – which actually encourages them. Billions of dollars have been lost because we are too polite to call these people accessories to the crime for the scam that Corporate has been running – whether they know it or not.

    While not all participants are monsters, they are involved in an unscrupulous “industry”. Own it, or don’t do it; but please don’t make excuses for it. Or at the very least, admit you were brainwashed and help potential victims understand how they duped you, so they don’t make the same bad choices.

    “This is a HARD business to be in these days. It takes a lot of work, dedication and endurance, not to mention a thick skin.” – The same could be said for drug dealers, so what’s you point?!

  4. Lazy Gardens

    “Also you are not working FOR Mary Kay, Inc., you are and independent business owner. ”

    You don’t own your “business”: you can’t sell it to others and you can’t will it to your children. You are just a reseller with a contract to buy a limited selection of goods and resell them to others. It’s a very lop-sided contract that favors Mary Kay, prevents you from carrying other product lines, prevents you from using many ways of promoting your business, controls where you can sell, and can be cancelled by Mary Kay at any time for no reason at all.

  5. JanRD

    “But seeing as how I’m still making money working when I am able, getting great training, meeting new friends and generally enjoying the Hell out of hanging ith positive, powerful women on a mission, I’m gonna hang around with the Mary Kay ladies. Again, sorry this opportunity didn’t work out for you.”

    1. Interesting how the claims of making money are never validated with a Schedule C.

    2. Is the great training free? A job generally pays for essential training, as well as compensating you for the time, travel, lodging, meals, etc.

    3. Leave Mary Kay and let us know how many of these positive, powerful women are still your friends.

    4. No, this so-called opportunity does not work out for the vast majority of participants. As Tracy has consistently reminded us, 99% of people in MLMs (yes Mary Kay IS multi-level marketing) lose money.

  6. ran4fun

    “meeting new friends and generally enjoying the Hell out of hanging ith positive, powerful women on a mission, I’m gonna hang around with the Mary Kay ladies.”

    Honestly, I believe this is the crux of the matter. Women generally want/need to be around other women (community). Of course, no one wants to be around negative people, so Mary Kay has established a community of upbeat, positive, affirming, accepting women. It just happens to be built on a *legal* pyramid “opportunity”. Recognizing the reality of the flawed opportunity would mean facing the fact that your upbeat, positive friends have been lying through their teeth about their “success”, just like you yourself have. They all prefer the “pink bubble community”. (I have heard MK ladies actually refer to their pink bubble, as if it’s a positive thing!)

    Despite losing directorship and car, my loved one still admires and loves her MK “family” around the country. They are nice women. They do help each other with meals, fundraising, donating breast milk, sharing burdens and milestones and all sorts of other things not related to MK. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that? Take away the flawed business opportunity and we would all like them, too.

    We here at Pink Truth recognize how these wonderful traits we women have, are being used to enrich the very few at the top of the pyramid, at the expense of the many below who hang on because of the “community”.

  7. MLM Radar

    Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model. Now that that has been settled…

    Oh really? Just make a bold statement and that’s it? Sorry, that’s not enough. You could start by defining Dual Marketing. Let us know what you learn when you look the term up from a non MK source.

    Set up your own 401(k).

    That claim only proves (1) you don’t have one, and (2) you know nothing about how to set one up.

    I’ve seen enough here.

  8. cindylu

    I resent the fact that women are being used and abused by this scam. Every aspect of a woman’s nature has been studied and exploited so a few predatory wolves in pink can profit. The company was designed to use women’s caring and compassion against them. Women want a job where they can be there for their children. Women want flexible hours. Women want to help others. Women also want an ethical, principled company to work for. The spiritual quotes, some I stories and of course the MK fairy tale tug at our hearts and eventually our purse strings. We stayed longer because the women we worked with seemed genuine. Then we began to discover the lies: the high pay check was from years ago and the rags to riches I story of a local NSD was false. She had a husband who was paid well. Together they also sold training tapes. Seminar with its gaudy throne, sash, over the top gowns and fake sales exuded cultish behavior. We wanted to believe that these were women helping other women be successful. Instead we were in a mlm not dual marketing. Training was costly, mostly poor and irrelevant. Also we were not truly independent or running an actual business. We were working for a company that had some directors taking grocery money from a welfare mom or encouraged lying to our husbands. Not sure why anyone would stay with an association that changes products at the expense of the women selling it. The products aren’t actually advertised and MK sales women have no where to actually advertise. I now get it. Stop buying these products and tell others not to buy them either. A company that takes advantage of women is not something any of us should ever promote.

  9. Lazy Gardens

    “Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model.”

    You have been misled. The only definition I was able to find for the term “dual marketing” (also known as dual branding or co-branding) is a partnership between two companies to advertise complimentary products together.

    Hot dog company & charcoal company = summer barbecue season
    Luggage company and airline = travel
    Pottery Barn and Sherwin-Williams paint =- home decor
    Etc.

    Two (rarely more) INDEPENDENT companies selling products that go together in a coordinated campaign make up a dual marketing campaign.

    The term “dual marketing” is being misused by Mary Kay Inc. in an attempt to hide the fact that the company is a Multi-Level Marketing company.

    What makes it an MLM?

    Mary Kay Consultants earn money not only by sales, but by recruiting other people into the Company to also sell and recruit. Mary Kay Inc. pays Consultants a commission (up to 26% or so) based on the amount of product that their recruits order from the company. Consultants also earn commissions based on the purchases of the recruits of their recruits.

    Consultants can only advance to a higher level when they have a combination of recruits and purchases that satisfies Mary Kay corporate requirements. Higher levels have a more generous commission (sales directors, for example, get a commission on their own purchases), are set aside by distinctive uniforms, and can buy their way into specific vehicles and activities that are not available to lower level resellers.

    Don’t be fooled: Mary Kay Inc. is a Multi-Level Marketing company that uses a modified “Stairstep Breakaway plan” as its compensation model.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stairstep_breakaway_plan

    1. Char

      “Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model.”

      What amuses me about her quote is that it suggests that she wouldn’t want to be associated with MLM. Gee, I wonder why? ROTFL

      MK consultants aren’t always the brightest bunch.

      Thug: Hey MK consultant, would you mind taking that old lady’s purse?
      Consultant: Isn’t that stealing?
      Thug: No, you are helping her. Can’t you see how heavy it is for her to carry with all that money? It’s called “load lightening”.
      Consultant: Oh, okay.

      Fortunately at some point in time, the consultant realizes what she was actually being asked to do. Question is, what does she do about it?

  10. cindylu

    Then sadly MK takes back every commission and cost for prizes to Directors when they leave. The so called advocate for women punishes women when product etc is returned. The cars are not free. You can’t win the pink car. You can however lose the car or face unreasonable co pays. For a company based on Christian philosophies supposedly reaching out and caring for women, Corp makes sure to recoup every penny from the abused women. Corp even gets the women to pay for its self promotion: Seminar, Conferences, Look Good Feel Better with product, Prizes and Rent at Meetings. Meanwhile it is the underpaid woman covering the costs of shipping, advertising, marketing, brochures, products, taxes, phones, storage of products that won’t ever sell, cost to return products, paying for all the fake NSD I story training and their books, CD’s etc. I’m sure MK leaves no stone unturned in their zeal to maximize their profit while exploiting its mostly female sales force.

  11. enorth

    “Mary Kay millionaires are out there. I’ve met many of them”

    You’ve met women who CLAIM to be MK millionaires. You have no idea 1) if they really are millionaires, or 2) if they are, where the money came from. They could be married to wealthy men or have other income. And it depends on their definition of “millionaire.” They typically add up the reported value of prizes and trips and include that in the numbers they use in their envy-baiting speeches and posts.

    The lies and exaggerations are epic.

  12. DonewithMK666

    I hardly know where to start with this whole thing that this person wrote!
    first I was in Mary Kay for over 20 years I knew my senior director and many of my sister directors for that entire time when I left Mary Kay my senior director sent a letter to all of my sister directors telling them never to speak to me again because they were not “allowed“ to! I only found out about the letter because one of them felt guilty that she had received it and so she shared with me. 20 years of what I thought was friendship and bonding and sisterhood flushed down the toilet just like that!!
    Secondly it is correct when you leave Mary Kay and you want to return your product as a director you don’t get the full 90% back they deduct all of the prices that you have “earned or won” And deduct that from what they would pay you back so quite honestly it’s better to go and sell them on the corner or put them up on eBay or wherever it is that you can get your money back because Mary K will do whatever it takes not to refund all of your money! I often think when I read these messages left by lurkers or other people that are confused is they don’t understand that most of us in here our prior directors so we fall under a different set of rules that consultants do and the pressure on directors to maintain their unit doing “whatever it takes” can mean anythin I often think when I read these messages left by lurkers or other people that are confused is they don’t understand that most of us in here our prior to rectors so we fall under a different set of rules that consultants do and the pressure on directors to maintain their unit doing “whatever it takes“ ! my senior director when I would call and ask her questions as to why my commission check wasn’t bigger or why wasn’t I making more money as a director told me to “get it done no matter what it takes“ and then you sort of learn as a director to do unscrupulous things that she would normally not ever do and when consultants write in and say oh you don’t have to order that or nobody put a gun to your head they don’t understand the pressure that directors fall under it’s a different level and it’s a different arena so to speak!!
    My ultimate wish is that everybody would learn just not to buy Mary Kay and boycott it all the way around and make their sales fall to zero and that would maybe end this atrocity

    1. Lazy Gardens

      This is not completely correct: “you want to return your product as a director you don’t get the full 90% back they deduct all of the prices that you have “earned or won””

      Only the prizes won for the purchase of the inventory you are returning. Directors deliberately make it sound worse than it is to keep you from sending it back, so they don’t have to repay the commission they got on that product you bought.

      “it’s better to go and sell them on the corner or put them up on eBay or wherever it is that you can get your money back ”

      You will never “get your money back.” There is so much product selling for pennies on the dollar that your best course is usually to send as much as possible back and get one check for the 90%. Also Mary Kay also has to refund 100% of the taxes you paid when you ordered.

      Selling the stuff on eBay (fees for selling) or at garage sales is tedious and unlikely to get you as much as sending it back.

      And the chance to make the witch who lied to recruit you pay back some commission … priceless!

  13. Mickey2942

    MK is a cult. The Kaybots are indoctrinated to parrot the same phrases. It is eerily reminiscent of “The Stepford Wives”. Especially when the “Bots” attack the normal wife who keeps asking questions.

    The reality is that even if a Kaybot does everything according to the playbook, there is a finite number of women who will buy MK, and the only way to make money is not by actual sales, but by converting others to become Kaybots. And encouraging them to buy more products for their “stock”. They prey on the desperate, who have little enough to spend as it is.

  14. Mountaineer95

    Well now, aren’t we off to a good start?…

    ”Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model. Now that that has been settled…”

    How? How is that “settled”? Because you SAY that it is?

    This aspect alone (I mean the definition…or even existence…of ‘dual marketing’) is a heated debate that extends to the highest levels (no pun intended) of MLM practitioners and their detractors; your elementary level of experience prohibits you from making such a statement without providing detailed clarification and support of this claim.

    We can’t proceed to address your other arguments without validating the first claim you’ve made, so you’ll need to successfully argue your point. The best way for you to do that is, of course, to provide a specific definition of “dual marketing” (this definition is needed since this term seems to be almost exclusive to MK and thus I know of no industry standard available to use in determining whether a company fits the description) and then demonstrate how MK meets that def and how other similar companies that you concede are MLMs differ in meeting the definition.

    Once you’ve successfully provided convincing data and arguments that support your contention that MK is, without doubt, a dual marketing business, you can argue and prove your next contention:

    1. Char

      Great points! While I don’t expect the author to answer, could a former Kaybot explain what “dual marketing” is through MK eyes. I’d love to hear it. Might it go something like:

      The way to make money in this business is by recruiting. You get a percentage of each purchase your downline makes on multiple levels.

      In all seriousness, could someone post how it was explained as dual marketing, and why it is presented as different than MLMing; or link the article that addresses this already. Thanks.

      1. enorth

        “dual marketing”

        — On the MK Inc. website, I found no reference to “dual-marketing.”
        — If you ask five kaybots to define “dual-marketing” you’ll hear five different answers.
        — The description I heard in a video: “The consultant buys product directly from Mary Kay, and sells it to the customer. That makes it dual-marketing. There are no middlemen.”

        LOL

      2. ran4fun

        In addition to enorth and Lazy Gardens input, I was told that since everyone, regardless of rank (IBC to NSD) purchases product from MKC at the same price, that also describes dual marketing. No need to buy through your “up-line”.

        1. Char

          Thx gals.

          “The consultant buys product directly from Mary Kay, and sells it to the customer. ”

          ““There is one wholesale sale (Company to Independent Beauty Consultant) and one retail sale (from Beauty Consultant to customer) of Mary Kay products. ”

          “ I was told that since everyone, regardless of rank (IBC to NSD) purchases product from MKC at the same price, that also describes dual marketing. No need to buy through your “up-line”.”

          This is how most MLM companies operate including the MLM mothership Amway. (For the enlightenment of the author)

          No officer, I wasn’t speeding. I was “hard accelerator pressing”. 😝

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *