Mary Kay’s Sinking Ship (Australia and New Zealand Markets Shut Down!)

As of today, Mary Kay has announced the immediate closure of its markets in Australia and New Zealand.

We’ve been beating the drum about the Mary Kay scam (and more generally, the MLM scam, since they’re all the same) at Pink Truth for more than 13 years. But Mary Kay Inc. has been around since 1963 (56+ years!!!) and they’ve got their act together. They know exactly what works to recruit people. So even when a potential new beauty consultant thinks critically and researches MK on the internet and finds all truthiness on Pink Truth…. her MK recruiter has a good chance of talking her out of her critical thinking skills.

“The company wouldn’t be in business for 56 years if it wasn’t legit. We have women making tens of thousands of dollars per month. They couldn’t do this if it wasn’t a real business. Everyone starts from the same place. You can make as much or as little as you like. It’s easy to sell the products. Work however much you want.”

Our purpose has never been to “shut down Mary Kay.” My only goal from the start was to educate and inform women. If they take the time to research, the will find us. And what they choose to do with the information here is on them.

Mary Kay is struggling, and we can’t take the credit for that. But man, does it make me happy.  We’ve talked recently about MK closing distribution centers and terminating corporate employees in an effort to reduce costs.

Check out how the company’s sales have been falling over the years. I haven’t been able to find 2018 and 2019 numbers because the company is not disclosing them. Why do you think that is? The numbers in the United States have been contracting for years. (See how the number of sales directors and consultants has been dropping.)

For the last ten years or so, Mary Kay has been hitting the China market hard. And it worked. Even though U.S. sales were falling, what they were gaining in China made up for it. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Annual decreases in worldwide sales (of products to consultants, mind you) dropping 5% to 7% per year make me happy.

If this isn’t bad enough, as of today, Mary Kay Australia and Mary Kay New Zealand are closed.

Less than a month ago, a Mary Kay NSD in the U.S. (Kristin Sharpe) was bragging about how she is working to develop NSDs in Australia and New Zealand. (And MK never bothered to tell her that was a waste of time!) Just like that, the markets are shut down and the recruiters and consultants there are out of luck. Which market will be shut down next????

64 Comments

  1. Lazy Gardens

    The closing AUS/NZ seems to have completely blindsided the affected consultants. One FB post they are burbling happily about the great opportunity and how wonderfully they are treated, just one big happy family, and then a couple of hours later have to tell everyone that their business has been shut down, they are locked out of their account.

    There was going to be a Career Conference in Aus this month, leaving many of them with non-refundable reservations, and I wonder if they can get a refund of registration fees.

    I wonder what happens to orders placed an hour before shut-down?

    And which SDs and NSDs who “opened Australia” are going to take a huge hit to their love checks with all that returned product and no more commissions?

    1. Ruby Slippers

      This is not a quick decision and so if they planned Career Conference in Australia there was also talks at the same time about closing the business there also. Shame on them!

      1. Ruby Slippers

        And also a Zoom meeting…… Explains a lot. Not worth it to fly anyone out in person. I remember Allison Lamarr (Chaya) saying do in person interviews with the potential recruits you REALLY believed in and phone interviews with the rest of them.

        I think today is Kristin Sharpes day for Million Dollar Message….. I listened to see if she was on.
        Jordan is still on and sounds soooooo fake!!

        1. rdr

          Yeah, giving people no notice sucks!

          Nitpick: what was the worth of flying someone out in person? Did it cost a 2-week stay in quarantine at the destination (so something would need to be worth a lot more to be worth the trip)? I don’t know when this was or remember when AU and NZ started doing that.

          I bet if it wasn’t for the pandemic they might have still gone ahead with Career Conference in Australia and shut down immediately after (after the IBCs spent all that extra).

      2. Coralrose

        Terrible! I hope Corp *at least* refunds the cost of the conference. But, still, there’s plane & hotel costs.

        Meanwhile, directors in the US are pitching to potential recruits “Be your own boss/the CEO of your company, and you can never be fired”.

      3. Pat

        Im in Aus- I joined for the products myself, not really selling. Found this page early on and decided I never wanted to sell to people, would only let people place orders if they wanted the stuff and even then I’d give them my discount so I wasn’t making money off my friends.
        That being said, this has blindsided consultants in Aus. Yesterday they were posting about the company growing, the opportunities, my director signed someone up. Today its all tears, head office is shut down so we cant get in contact with them. We cant even make orders, just nothing. My director was an incredibly lovely lady and a great friend to me- now left with nothing after 15 years for the company. It makes me sick that people that rely on this for their livelihoods had no warning at all.

      1. Eric

        To go back to a common analogy here, I dont feel bad for a drug dealer whose connection was arrested, leaving them without a supply line overnight, nor do I feel bad for MLMers whose company shut down with no warning. You signed a contract giving the company the right to do exactly that, all the while boasting about being a CEO of your own company or a business owner or whatever.

        I hope we see more MLMs shut down, and more commission checks disappearing overnight

  2. BestDecision

    Kristen Sharpe’s post yesterday reads this: “Mindset matters.” Way to dodge the facts!

    Directors, how are you going to spin this to your units? When your “smart, educated” Consultants read these facts, what lie or diversion are you going to use to circle it back around to rainbows and sunshine?

    I saw the writing on the wall when I left and could feel the pulse of the company lowering steadily. The brave thing to do is get out now. Admit you made a bad decision, get your money back on your inventory, and get back to the freedom of not having to get names, leads, bookings, or recruits. Stop the chase of the next big idea that’s going to be magical for your business and face that IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS. You are chasing a carrot on a hamster wheel, and you’ve no idea how much relief you’ll feel off it.

    The ship really is sinking, and there’s no big door for you to float on.

    1. Ruby Slippers

      @BestDecision, Dacia’s post yesterday was about worry and give it to God. She supposedly had an IG story (vid) which I could bot find. She was talking about worry about natural disasters, “making a decision” etc….. Probably thinking of jumping off the sinking ship!

      1. BestDecision

        Dacia says “You know…” way too many times to not be 11 years old. It’s embarrassing she got her degree to teach. And, can she possibly be any more obsessed with her looks? She recorded her son coming from his orthodontist, and he looks miserable. Dacia, be in the moment, and don’t film your poor kid!

  3. Patty

    Wow!! That is huge to shut down two large markets. I can hear the MK ladies here though — “well that market never did well, but remember, we are the #1 beauty brand in the US” LOL I do feel sorry for those that went all in on it and now are out of their paychecks on the drop of a hat. So much for “your own business” This proves they are all just employees that work on commission – not a business owner like they tell you.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      New Zealand has the same number of people as Los Angeles (the city), about 4 million. The LA county has 10 million.

      Australia has 25 million. About the same as Southern California.

      They couldn’t sustain recruiting in that small a population.

    2. Teresa

      They are probably doing you a favor. After 23 years of selling Mary Kay I had a year where i had a lot of stuff come up and could not place my order. I was going to do so in Dec but they had to wait till after New years. on the 2nd of Jan I tried to login and was not able. I tried the next day thinking they were just doing maintenance only to find out since I did not place the order in December they cancelled my account. When i explained that I did not want to leave Mary Kay but just was physically unable to order but planned to the representative just said we cannot do that. It was 2 days. I asked could i at leas login and get my customers information to let them know and i was told nope! You read your contract and should have known. My Director moved and i had not found a new one so i was out of luck. I’m sorry there is nothing they would be willing to do to help me.
      Obviously they could care less about their customers or consultants. The agreement i signed 23 years ago supposedly tells me if i don’t order the delete me even though they could see i had been logging into my account regularly. and even days before creating an order. No email was received, not notification warning on the website when i logged in. My AWAL director apparently was informed but not me. So now everything is just simply gone. Thank you Mary Kay somehow this does not sound like the Golden Rule. Very Sad

    1. Rebecca

      It’s quite telling that Australia was the first international market to open and now the first international market to close. Perhaps MK has burned through the entire population in recruiting efforts since launching into that market in 1971. Everybody has either been burned by MK or knows someone burned by MK. There are no human beings left in Australia who can potentially be recruited. So, MK shuts-down operations, locks current consultants out of their accounts (to screw them out of returning product), and pushes forward in markets that still have potential recruits.

        1. BestDecision

          Now Dacia is promoting other brands’ fragrances on her Instagram posts. Michael Bublé, apparently, is her latest push.

          You mean an NSD wanting to make Inner Circle (like she also talks about in her Stories) isn’t using MK’s perfumes exclusively??

          I’m sniffing and smelling something bigger coming…

    1. PeachyNotPink

      I saw that, too. Poor desperate people who lost their jobs in the recession in the U.S. Not sure when MK expanded into South America or China, but I would think that a big chunk of those consultant numbers were from the U.S.

    1. PeachyNotPink

      In addition to that timeline being harsh, MK will do everything they can to delay that return by not sending the forms/information, etc. Heck, they already shut down the website so IBC’s can’t log in and start the process. MK Corp does NOT want to get that product back, nor do they want to pay back the consultants.

      1. Mountaineer95

        I hope that this screams for a class action lawsuit against MK. But they likely used a completely different corporation for their Australian operations (ie “MK Australia LLC” or however that is specified in Aus) so MK USA itself won’t be sued.

      1. Phoebe's Mom

        MK Corporate is so completely heartless and just plain horrible. They wanted to sound like they care by offering 100% buyback instead of the standard 90%. Then they locked everyone out of the website so they can’t return the useless inventory unless they want to try to do it using the phone number they provided. I wonder how many thousands of people have been on hold for the last 24 hours?

      2. The Pink Bubble Has Burst

        Correct. Everything is lost. No customer details are all. At least I had mine in my phone too but many others didn’t and relied on the InTouch database. So many wouldn’t be able to reach all of their customers which to me is utterly disrespectful to them. Consultants should have been prepared so we could give customers a heads up. Not every customer is in our facebook Group nor does every customer have Facebook!

        1. BestDecision

          This is the true colors of MK Inc. Closing 2 markets with no advance warning or access to your own customer profiles. I am so sorry they’ve done this to you all, especially with all the devastation you’ve faced with months of wildfires.

          Mary Kay, you should be ashamed.

  4. enorth

    “now left with nothing”

    And that’s how it is with all MLMs. Here today, gone tomorrow. They can close their doors in a heartbeat.

    Your MLM could be next, even if you’re a Senior Double-Diamond Executive Ruby Ambassador.

  5. Shay

    Google Levin’s Furniture buys back stores..
    today, the former owner who sold a furniture store chain in 2017 announced he would be coming out of retirement and bought back his stores so his employees would not lose their jobs..
    See this is the difference between MLM’s and regular jobs. Of course, many will say, businesses close all the time.. tell me the last time you heard of someone on the top of the food chain in corporate make a sacrifice like this?

    MLM’s don’t care about you. Even their employees (warehouse workers) don’t get all that good benefits despite making billions a year..

    * Wonders if Tracy can look at her analytics to see how many New Zealand and Austilla visitors she has gotten over the past few years* because I think Tracy and the writers here deserve the credit for this. ❤️ Nothing but the Pink Truth. ❤️

  6. Neverpink

    I feel badly for the huns who have been tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. Lurkers, this is what ALL MLMs will do to do. Lia Sophia did it, Jamberry did it, and countless other MLMs that suddenly shut down all left their distributors out in the cold.

      1. Ruby Slippers

        InTouch has buried the info on MK news. It’s not showing in news archives (from 2 days ago) and if you search “Australia” a link comes up,but the link has a “server error” . Also there is a lot of questioning and scuttlebutt on a FB director site. People seem to be nervous and also upset because the FB site always deletes any negative discussions.

      2. Ruby Slippers

        Also this “FB group” had an absurd post from a Pink Fog Director suggesting that “they all Max out double credit” to show MK U.S. Support and help the company. That’s right, buy product that will rot on your shelf, or be sold at 40% off, or go in a landfill because MK decides to discontinue or rebrand yet another product. And by the way, bleed your own family dry while putting $ in the pockets of Ryan Rogers and heirs.

  7. The Pink Bubble Has Burst

    As a consultant I had to find out when I attempted to log into my account. My Director never informed me, my Director is lovely and I honestly think she was blindsided too. Really quite appalled tha they did not notify all of the sales force!

    After all the work, time and money we put in and this is what we get. I was working my up and had one several awards. Apparently that’s not good enough to at the very least send me and the many others an email.

    Extremely disappointed

  8. SuzyQ

    Wow, this is horrible for the consultants (and directors) And this is what will happen in the US too at some point. I would like to say MK is rolling over in her grave, but she’s not. Isn’t it close to career conf time? Are they having those this year? Hope this is hurting the corp bottom line, too! Like, a lot.

  9. Onegative

    So they have been in Australia/New Zealand for 30 years and there are no NSD’s at all? Some markets (like Russia and China) the US consultants can’t go to to recruit. I think it’s called the Global Leadership or something like that. If there are no NSD’s in that market it sounds like it was a franchise of the MK business model.

    Colombia is a MK corporate ran branch, but some of them are not. I would be that Australia and New Zealand aren’t ran by Corp, just sort of a very regulated franchise of the company. Maybe they couldn’t find anyone to buy out the business so they just shut it down or they weren’t doing enough for MK corp.

    Also it looks like Kristin Sharpe did a zoom call amd didnt go over there.

    1. AUS/NZ MK Consultant

      We had about 4 NSDs but they all became Emeritus within the last 4 or so years (or were Emeritus – guess they are just retired AUS Citizens now!).

      I had been in MK and became a director up until 5 or so years ago (and until yesterday a personal use consultant). I was a director right when AUS were on the brink of either growth or what we see now as an absolute collapse. For some years there was a lot of messaging from local Corporate and the NSDs about us needing to lift our game and bring growth, step up etc.

      I think there were some very noticeable differences here in AUS in comparison to the US – i.e. no inventory options to purchase from when you commenced and never any expectation to purchase ‘a shop to have in the trunk of your car’ – in my personal experience in any event.

      In my time as a Director there were very few new car driving directors either (cars not available below Directorship level) and those who drove cars I assume were making repayments back to the company based on the unit production you would see in applause. They revamped the car program in what I assume to be a way to try and get more visibility on our roads but that didn’t really do much either and the types of cars offered were certainly not eye turning on the roads, definitely nothing like the big pink Cadillac you see in the US – think white or black Honda H-RV (that was the most common) with pink writing and love hearts and well that is no comparison to Arbonne’s Mercedes.

      We also used to have a 50% commission on sales (again I think the commission worked differently in AUS) and that in the past two years got reduced to 40 or 45% from memory in what was obviously an effort to keep them in AUS/NZ.

      I have been watching from the sidelines for some years now wondering what would happen – the latest applause received in my physical mailbox today (of which included the new catalogue) showed that the 10th highest unit production in AUS for January was $12,697 AUD that is the lowest I have ever seen for a ‘top 10’ unit (I know January is ordinarily quiet and we had the awful bushfires but those figures still seemed shockingly low).

      The decision to close here has absolutely blindsided all consultants and directors – no messaging whatsoever that it was imminent and the local corporate staff as I understand had no warning either. I had understood a directors webinar was held at 11am to inform them with us general consultants notified at 12.41pm via email with the subject ‘Announcement’ of which included a phone number to query how to return products and just like that everything was gone.

      A sign of the times here in AUS – we have various Australian retailers going under at the moment too. An increasing cost of living, little wage growth and a largely casual workforce who don’t get consistent hours means that expendable money is limited – many people are shopping online to find the best deal/cheapest prices possible.

        1. Ruby Slippers

          Agreed. See my above response to previous comment you posted. MK corporate is burying the facts. Also I think several career conferences are cancelled. Sometihng is definitely up with Dacia. I give it 6 months until she quits. And also Cecilia James since she is a “decorator” now.

        2. BeautyGirl

          On Intagram Dacia as NSDDasic and now she is just her name and she posts a LOT about clothing and other products she uses – it’s affiliate marketing I am surprised. Gloria has done by branding herself and she’s a great motivational speaker.

  10. Lazy Gardens

    “You know how you can tell you’re NOT working for yourself and don’t own a business? When a corporation going out of business also means you don’t have a job anymore.”

    If a supplier shuts down, a real business owner has second sources of products to sell and keeps on selling.

  11. J

    Maybe it’s better MK was monstrous in this shut down. Acutely, the grief must be overwhelming, but long term I think people are better off to have a, hard to deny, abusive experience. You’d have to be in pretty deep pink fog to not be frustrated about the inventory situation, conference tickets/hotels, or embarrassed by your last post on your amazing ‘job’. I wouldn’t want to answer those questions from clients, potential recruits, concerned spouses.

    If MK had done this the ethical way, people would love the ghost/spend more time in denial (potentially).

    Nonetheless, I’m so sorry for the AUS and NZ consultants. I had a lot of time to make my decision to leave verses being told I didn’t have a job anymore. We’re here for you :/

    1. BestDecision

      Very valid point! The U.S. sales force need to heed this as an example of just how bad MK Inc is. If they did it to 2 markets overnight, they certainly can do it to this one.

      Sadly, the firing of Sean Key and the distribution centers resulted in a reaction of “They are trying to be more efficient” and then hiding it from unit members by Directors. Some people will lie no matter how obviously bad the truth is.

  12. Mountaineer95

    I think this market closure is a HUGE reminder that no IBC, Director, or NSD actually “owns their own business”. They’ll constantly talk about how it’s their business, and how you should support their business. But if it’s truly YOUR business, regardless of what level, only YOU can actually choose to shut it down. And you’d never be blindsided by such a closure because it was your decision to make. Now, some legit business owners can be affected if a major wholesale manufacturer they buy from just up and shuts down with no warning. But the actual small business that they own still exists, and they can buy from other wholesalers.

    Mary Kay is NOT a business for anyone except the corporate owners.

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