How to Win a Pink Cadillac

We’ve all heard Mary Kay ladies say they’ve “won” a free car from the company. That’s not true. They get to drive a car that Mary Kay leases, but only if their team/unit keeps ordering lots of products. There is a lots of ordering of products that goes into getting a Pink Cadillac, and no one knows that better than sales director Chelsea Claytor.

She “finished” Cadillac in June, but things haven’t gone well since. In other words, she didn’t meet the minimum Cadillac production in July, August, or September, and that’s a problem. More on that later.

How do you “win” the pink Cadillac?

A sales director needs $102,000 of wholesale orders ($204,000 retail) within a period of 6 months. That averages out to $17,000 wholesale per month (or $34,000 retail per month). If you do that, you either get the Cadillac or you get cash of $900 per month.

BUT… You only get the Cadillac or the cash if you keep up the production. Every quarter your unit has to order $51,000 wholesale (same monthly average of $17,000 wholesale) or you have a “co-pay” for the car (anywhere from $90 to $900 per month) each month for the next quarter. If you’ve chosen the cash compensation option, your monthly cash gets reduced to $279 to $810 per month, depending on how far you’ve fallen short of the minimums.

Chelsea was pushing for Cadillac for a long time. But THIS YEAR was her year. In 2019, she was going to finally finish the Cadillac. She was going to do it between January and June 2019. She “finished,” but let’s take a look at how.

Applause Magazine is very helpful, as it lists the top directors for unit production and commission checks for each division. What was her unit retail production for each month? (Note that the “less than” figures are the production for the last/lowest director listed in Applause in Chelsea’s division, and Chelsea wasn’t on the list, so we know her production was below that.)

  • January less than $33,381 retail
  • February less than $45,413 retail
  • March less than $39,329 retail
  • April [no data available]
  • May less than $39,130 retail
  • June $69,185 retail

It is safe to say that in the first five months of qualification, Chelsea’s unit fell far short of the average retail of $34,000 per month. In the final month, they ordered $69,185 retail, which I suggest was EXACTLY what they needed to hit the total of $204,000 retail for the 6 month period. That means in the first five months, they ordered $134,815 retail, or an average of $26,963 retail per month ($13,481 wholesale per month).

The bottom line is that Chelsea’s unit was never supporting Cadillac production, and pushing to “finish” doesn’t change that. $13,481 wholesale is only 80% of what is needed each month. That’s a big deficit when you’re thinking about sustaining the Cadillac in the long-term.

Chelsea finished Cadillac by doing a massive sale to her own customer base. She gave huge discounts which hurt her a couple of ways. First, she made little to no profit on the sales she was doing. Second, all of her customers ordered products before they needed them to take advantage of the sale, which means in the coming months they’re not going to be ordering. She made sales now that gave her no profit, and her sales in the coming months will be very low. (And odds are that Chelsea placed an order in June for products she didn’t need just to finish off the production she needed. Hello credit card bill!)

Her production numbers in the months following June have shown that the unit continues to not support the Cadillac.

  • July less than $26,788 retail
  • August less than $33,246 retail
  • September less than $37,195 retail

Remember, the unit needs an average of $34,000 retail per month to keep the Cadillac.

In the case of Chelsea, she took the cash compensation and leased herself a pink Cadillac, since her driving record disqualified her from taking the Cadillac directly from Mary Kay. If you use the historical production of the unit, Chelsea is likely getting $630 per month of cash compensation now, rather than the $900 per month that she was expecting.

And the big commission checks? Poof. Gone. Chelsea’s commission check for June was $13,897. That was probably eaten up by the order(s) she placed for unneeded products. In the months since, her commission checks are likely in the $2,500 range. It might be even worse than that, as Chelsea was lamenting on Instagram about the slump she was in after June.

You have to wonder how much she’s paying each month for that lease and how dire her overall financial situation is. The pink Cadillac looks like success, but the reality (for most) is far, far different.

25 Comments

      1. TRACY

        It’s calculated on a quarterly basis for sales directors. So each quarter they have to hit the number (for the three months) or pay a copay in the following quarter. I think Jamie generally makes production. Ali *just* qualified for the Cadillac so she wouldn’t be considered yet. I don’t know about Taylor.

  1. Neverpink

    “In the case of Chelsea, she took the cash compensation and leased herself a pink Cadillac, since her driving record disqualified her from taking the Cadillac directly from Mary Kay.”

    I didn’t realize there’s a limitation on the Cadillac (aside from the minimum production)! I mean, that makes sense. I just didn’t think about it.

    What are the driving record restrictions? Does anyone know?

      1. MLM Radar

        That point system seems harsh and oversimplified.

        A speeding ticket for 10 MPH over the limit would get 2 points, and a DUI would get 2 points. An accident that you didn’t cause could also get you 2 points.

        But overall, anything that keeps a woman out of a Mary Kay car can’t be all bad.

        1. TRACY

          It’s all related to insurance and the fact that it gets too expensive when you have violations on your record.

          Here’s the rest of the relevant part. (No idea why I didn’t post the whole thing right away LOL)

          1. MLM Radar

            The part that amuses me is “Points assessed do not correspond to points assessed by the state.”

            I had a brand new car that was totaled by a drunken hit-and-run driver while I was stopped at a red light. Fault was clearly not mine. But according to MK car program insurance rules I’d be disqualified from driving a MK car because I was too high risk. Plus I’d be assessed points that would take me years to remove.

            My own car insurance company paid the claim in full. The only thing I had to pay was the deductible, because the police never found the hit-and-run driver. No points were assessed by the state, which the insurance took note of. A few weeks later I was driving a new replacement car and I’m still using that insurance company. No, my insurance rates didn’t increase.

            But as I said, if the MK car program insurance keep innocent women out of their cars, that’s actually a good thing.

  2. NayMKWay

    Chelsea in June:

    “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE STUPID PINK CAR!”

    But it WAS all about the stupid pink car, or she wouldn’t have leased it when she qualified. Any sober-thinking businesswoman would have looked at the numbers and said, “We can’t sustain production long-term. A miracle month isn’t a trend. I shouldn’t even take the car.” But of course she took the car, because that *was* what it was all about: a photo-op for her to dress up and unwrap that giant pink boat anchor with a huge, open-mouthed smile.

    That is one expensive photograph.

    1. TRACY

      And she had to go through extra hoops for hers. She had to find a director in MK who was turning in her pink Cadillac, and then arrange with the dealership a private lease for that vehicle. And then she gets to pay that lease each month, all by herself, whether or not her MK income supports it.

  3. morningstar

    Too much production for the car!
    MK corporate counts on the directors to make the money. We live in a world of abundance, while MK upholds a model of non touch skin care, and outdated marketing venue.

    The stress of 17K is not worth the acting needed to pull production. The low energy sales pitch given by the high energy MK actress doesn’t do it for most of us who have a life. Gift cards ( make or order your own) are unheard of in the context of how our society works. Check out the happiness at Sephora and Ulta, and Dept. stores (Note to MK corporate – you missed the ball here) while women are shopping. A big point is that MK corporate doesn’t have liability insurance as the other stores have, which translates to touch of skin (without a license), the stores manage this aspect, MK not so much.

    I like life, happiness, new looks all of which are not going to be given by the quota sales rep. in MK. And they want YOU to join!

  4. enorth

    “Chelsea’s commission check for June was $13,897. That was probably eaten up by the order(s) she placed for unneeded products. ”

    — And don’t they receive commission on their own orders? It’s a shell-game.

  5. Emmapeelfan

    Something just occurred to me…if she loses Cadillac status, can MK make her stop driving it since it’s a private lease? Would they bother?

    Also, isn’t it better for one’s credit rating to have MK pick up the car instead of the repo man?

      1. Char

        Why doesn’t a consultant just buy a used one if she’s so desperate to get one? Here’s a pink MK caddy for just $12,000:

        “2015 CADILLAC SRX ,6 CL, 66K ,AC,CD,PLAYER ,RINES,SUNROOF, LEADER, SENSORS, PARKING ASSISTANCE, AND MORE.”

        Imagine scamming people so hard to qualify when all you have to do is buy/finance 12k to be in the big mean girl club.

        Has a regular consultant ever done this, I wonder? She would have an instant Cadillac unit.

        1. BestDecision

          Oh, she’d be shunned and laughed at in a sickening way! But, it also hasn’t happened because we were all taught as new Consultants to follow anyone who was revered enough and in a Cadillac, and it’s be a dead giveaway she was a fake if she didn’t have a unit.

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