Kaybot Commentary on Pink Truth

mary-kay-gun-to-your-headIn an effort to help Kaybots save lots of time in responding to Pink Truth, I have put together a list of common things Mary Kay lovers say to Pink Truth members. These things are meant to show us how wrong / silly / stupid we are and how wonderful / workable / easy Mary Kay is.

I’m also including Pink Truth’s “official” response to these phrases. We’ve heard them all before and none of them hold water. They’re simply parroting lines from the upline and corporate. They make incorrect assumptions about our members and their efforts in Mary Kay. So let’s debunk these phrases… and save Kaybots the trouble of telling us such things in the future.

No one put a gun to your head. – Pink Truth members are repeatedly told that no one “forced” them to do anything related to Mary Kay. Most often it is stated, “No one put a gun to your head.” And this is true. No one “forced” us to do anything. However, all of us were lied to. Some of us were told deliberate lies about how much our sales director makes, how much we can expect to sell, how much inventory we’ll need, the benefits of carrying inventory, how we can make money with just a “few” hours per week, how directors make executive pay or “full-time pay for part-time hours,” and a host of other things. Others were told lies of omission. Information about Mary Kay and the success (or more appropriately, the failure) of others was withheld from us. Deliberately. Without all the information, and without the correct information, we could not make informed decisions.

You should have researched Mary Kay before you joined! – Sometimes we are told that we didn’t do enough research about Mary Kay before we joined, so it is our own fault for being uninformed. Not true. Mary Kay does not allow anyone to see the “negative” side of the business. Directors and recruiters withhold the negative information because they are desperate for you to sign up. So-called “negative” (real?) comments on Mary Kay websites or Facebook pages are promptly deleted. Don’t listen to those negative nellies! Until sites like Pink Truth came on the scene, there was literally nowhere else to get the rest of the story about Mary Kay. And today, recruits are told that Pink Truth is full of lies and no one should read it. Mary Kay and its representatives are discouraging research outside of what they want recruits to see.

You should have said NO. – In Mary Kay, women are taught that “no does not mean no.” It means “I need more information.” Women are taught to repeatedly ask other women to consider Mary Kay, even if they have already said a firm no. They just don’t understand enough about Mary Kay. If they knew more, they’d say yes. So keep asking, and eventually you’ll wear them down. So even saying NO doesn’t work in Mary Kay, because you will still be hounded… whether it’s to buy products, sign up to sell Mary kay, buy an inventory package, place additional orders that you don’t need, or go to a company event. And coincidentally, many of us said no. It was just dismissed by our upline.

The business is simple. – The concept behind Mary Kay is simple. Sell products. Recruit new distributors. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The execution of the concept is not so easy, however. Due to market saturation, it is difficult to find women to sell to and to recruit. There are too many other options in the cosmetics market and there are too many other women trying to sell and recruit, with no limitations such as territories. Mary Kay sales directors and charlatans will teach you about time management, scheduling, goal-setting, interviewing, closing sales, and the like. What they won’t teach you is an effective way to find more potential customers or recruits. Why not? Because a method for finding such customers and recruits doesn’t really exist. It is next to impossible to get a consistent flow of new customers and recruits. About the only way to do it is the equivalent of cold-calling… constantly. In a real business, there are tried and true ways of getting in front of your market in a way that will turn into business. In MLM, everyone is a target and there is no true way to isolate the good candidates (read: the ones who are easy to sway) to give yourself a good chance of being successful. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. There are a few hundred women in Mary Kay who are very successful. Years ago when the company had 700,000 consultants in the U.S., 480,000 were quitting and being replaced each year. Your chances of success are almost nil.

You shouldn’t have ordered more inventory than you could sell. – This makes sense, right? You should only order what you can sell. The problem is that women are coerced into buying large inventory packages with misinformation. They are told the products “fly right off the shelf” and that “you can’t sell from an empty wagon.”

Due to market saturation, the products are extremely difficult to sell. Women have too many choices available all around them, and many times they’d rather pick something up in a store or shop online… where they won’t be hounded to hold parties or sign up to be a distributor. It’s easier and more convenient to buy elsewhere. And even when women do choose Mary Kay, there are so many representatives to choose from and tens of thousands of Mary Kay auctions on eBay, giving them lots of options for cheap(er) products. Although carrying inventory might help facilitate some sales, women often have the wrong products on hand, requiring them to order more from Mary Kay.

Then there’s the issue of being “active” in Mary Kay. You have to order at least every three months to qualify for the discount, and at least every six months to retain your downline. Even if you have lots of inventory and you don’t need more products, you’re going to have to order to stay on the merry-go-round.

And of course, there is the pressure from your upline to constantly order. Directors and recruiters are notorious for hounding women to order additional products. The excuses run the gamut from “order the limited edition products before Mary Kay runs out of them” to “we’re trying to meet a goal and an order from you would help the team.” If you are working toward a goal and trying to move up in Mary Kay, more times than not you will need to “top off production” by placing an order for yourself. You don’t want to get so close to the goal and then miss it because your production was a little short, do you? You’re told that a modest order now will pay off in the long run, as you will be eligible for higher commissions and you’ll eventually sell the products.

Sure, women still have the opportunity to say NO. But don’t underestimate the constant subtle (and not so subtle) pressure to continuously order products.

You just didn’t work hard enough. (Also: “Mary Kay works when you do!”) – Either we didn’t work hard enough, or we didn’t work “the Mary Kay way,” or we didn’t believe in Mary Kay enough, or we didn’t do the right things. No matter how much work you did, you will always be accused of not doing it right or not doing enough. You must be made to feel guilty for your failure. Because Mary Kay doesn’t want you to realize that it is the fault of the multi-level marketing system and a host of market conditions that almost ensure you will lose money. Pink Truth has had thousands of members who all worked hard and did things exactly as they were instructed. But they didn’t get the results because this “business model” dooms almost everyone to failure.

You wanted a get-rich-quick scheme. – Pink Truthers are often accused of wanting to make money fast with little to no effort. It doesn’t matter that they were told they could make money in “a few hours a week” or that they could make “full-time pay for part-time hours.” Those are deliberate lies, used to downplay the amount of time and effort needed to have even the slightest chance of success at Mary Kay. Yet recruiters continue to push these phrases, implying that Mary Kay is a get-rich-quick scheme. Even still, the vast majority of Pink Truth members realized that any small business takes a lot of work, and they put in the time and effort. They simply didn’t succeed because MLM sets almost everyone up for failure.

You quit before you had a chance to become successful. – MLM promoters commonly say that people didn’t quit because they failed…. they failed because they quit. They claim that too many people quit before they’ve had a chance to succeed in MLM, making their failure all their own fault. The problem is that 99% of people fail in MLM. They see the failure, and they quit. That’s a good business decision. Stop the bleeding. MLM is not like a real business. In a real business, your chance of success is reasonably correlated to the effort you are willing to put in. Not so in Mary Kay. There are hundreds of thousands of women diligently putting in the effort – – working many hours, doing all the things they’re taught to generate leads and business, holding classes and following up – – and they still lose money year after year. It’s because the system of MLM guarantees failure for almost everyone. The real truth is that you didn’t quit too soon.


  1. Cindylu

    Sometimes I think there are a few who are living in the past. Even MK herself had to sacrifice family and marriages along the way to supposedly be successful. Her first directors sold her limited products in a party sales format. Right from the beginning calling it a party, skin care class or a make over was misleading. At least back then there weren’t hundreds of consultants, dozens of competing make up companies, eBay or the internet etc. to compete with. Also women stayed home so these fake parties could be done during the day. Even in the 70’s women soon became aware that these mlm’s were exploitive. Most women made nothing in MK, Avon, Amway, Herbalife, Tupperware, Nuskin, etc. MK women are not trained aestheticians. They are not allowed to touch the faces of others. All the scrips developed by MK from her days with Stanley Home Products or World Gifts were designed to convince women to buy or recruit. There was no concern about husbands, children or struggling women. The goal was profit above all else. The early NSD’s had to fool themselves into believing that spending 45 or more hours building MK’s empire was ok. When we look back on those meetings, conferences, phone calls, warm stalking, fake training sessions, seminar and occasionally being in a complete strangers home, we eventually realize our families pay a horribly hefty price. I have had jobs with long hours. However when I was home my mind was on my family. When I went to a mall or out with my husband I didn’t have to give out business cards or approach others. My pay check, insurance, savings were consistent and mostly guaranteed month to month. I got promotions and pay raises that I kept. I found that MK was a really old fairy tale. Worst why did MK have a company that even in the 90’s bring out the worst in directors etc, (constant lying, front loading etc). My SD learned that sabotaging her Directors or DIQ’s was the way she could maintain her unit. The final straw was when I got sick and absolutely NO one in Mk cared. My children hated MK and years later continue to dislike anything MK. Kaybots can continue to delude themselves with decades old stories of success, by NSD’s from the 1970’s. In today’s saturated market this company’s outmoded skin care and recruiting format are being called out and questioned by women who lived, worked and were financially abused by this cult.

  2. Char

    “These things are meant to show us how wrong / silly / stupid we are and how wonderful / workable / easy Mary Kay is.”

    I too have a question….that might imply how silly/stupid consultants are:

    Since when is a good idea to recruit your own customers to be your competition in a supposed sales business? —

    Just think about it. Wait, the McDonald’s franchise comparison you say? Okay, let’s compare.

    Each MD franchise is strategically sold by Corporate. Existing franchisees do not recruit other franchisees endlessly to be in the same vicinity as their business let alone next door. Now that would be silly, but isn’t that what you do in MLM? Isn’t that what you do in Mary Kay?

    1. Autumn

      This has been what I have said every time I’ve stumbled into an MLM party/recruitment drive.

      I ask “Will I have a protected territory?” when the answer has (inevitably) come back “No, blah blah bla” I have backed away. Occasionally I’ve tried to educate the person but usually I just shrug and find a pity purchase for the hostess.

  3. raisinberry

    You know, it is not often talked about that the “system” of recruiting levels also is a subtle gun to the head about ordering. With the recruitment chain in place, the person below has an implied responsibility to “help” the person above, reach their goals. If you are a necessary link in THEIR success, there is not only financial pressure to order, there is emotional pressure to order. Do YOU want to be the “no” that caused SuzyQ to not make her car qualifications? Do YOU want to be the “no” that made Miss NSD miss her inner circle trip? Do YOU want to be the “no” that caused your SD to miss her stage walk at Seminar??

    The Multi-level system builds in a multi-level dependence and opportunity to hound the downline for contributions or be the spoiler! Who wants to be the spoiler?

    1. PeachyNotPink

      If you had a business selling widgets, would you order just because the sales rep for the widget manufacturing company told you they wouldn’t get their bonus unless you “stretched”?

      MK is nothing but a huge emotional blackmailing scheme.

    2. Char

      Oh silly ME. I thought this was MY business about ME.

      One of the greatest manipulations is to give you the impression that you are the top stone in your pyramid. And it works. You are going to build “your” business is the mindset you will be in. I am the top who is going to recruit/build – my business.

      Now pan out to get an overview of the pyramid. Where are you now? You are a base stone.

      Here’s where it gets tricky. A pyramid will always have a base – a bottom. People don’t like being base stones and will aspire to move up; but if they can’t, they lose interest and leave. That’s natural. That spot must now be replaced or the upper blocks slip down into that slot automatically when there’s nothing underneath.

      Someone is always needing to fill the bottom level whether it be someone new, or someone sliding down who lost the support under them.

      Again, no one is really happy at the base supporting all the blocks above, but there must be a base or it crumbles. That’s what consultants are doing like raisinberry said – supporting upline. And you thought this was about you miss new consultant. LOL

      One of the greatest lies of all in MLM is that you can retire on residual by building a business. How is that possible when the inevitable base stones are understandably disappearing from discontent? Remember, there’s always a base/bottom.

      What about the people closer to the top, they got there right? Sure, by constantly replacing support stones. The question is, did they tell you that? What else aren’t they telling you? Would you join if you knew the truth about constantly replacing stones? Would you be able to recruit others if you told the truth?

      Safe to say, top stones lied their way up. They are “successful” liars who are working much harder than you think, and the quarry is nearly depleted.

    3. cbbgreat

      I once had an automotive “service advisor” who would flat out tell me that he would get fired if he received anything less than ‘Excellent” for each question on the survey I would be sent, so could he count on me to make sure he kept his job?? ! I was flabbergasted and would consistently give “Adequate” or “Met Expectations” marks – needless to say I am not his favorite customer!

  4. Jacirene

    “You shouldn’t have ordered more inventory than you could sell”

    There is pressure to “lead by example”, so SD needs to be Emerald Star, Pearl etc to set a good example for its leaders. This cycle is repeated at Mary Kay on all levels (see the Sales Courts and the Quarterly Challenge with their ridiculous prizes).

    1. Lazy Gardens

      I think you meant Bernie Madoff : Bernard Lawrence Madoff is an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier, fraudster, and convicted felon, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme.

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