The “50% Profit” Lie

Over and over, I am nauseated when Mary Kay ladies repeat the lie of “we profit 50% on product sales!”

Even Mary Kay Inc. repeats this lie to the general public:

No, consultants do not profit 50% on product sales. If a consultant sold all products at FULL suggested retain prices, she would have 50% gross profit. (Unless she was in Australia, where Mary Kay priced things such that they’d only make 40% gross profit.) From that gross profit, you then have to subtract your other costs, such as shipping, supplies, samples, transportation costs, etc. That calculation would get you to your actual profit.

But we know MK consultants don’t typically sell products at full retail pricing. Everyone pretends they do, of course. But it’s impossible. There are so many consultants peddling their wares. There are products available on sites like eBay and Craigslist. The consultant down the street is offering a discount, so you have to discount too if you want to sell anything.

Sales director Ali Zornes demonstrates the discounts well. As she struggled to finish her Cadillac last year, she placed massive orders for products. She has a unit that is not producing at the Cadillac level, so she had no other choice. She recently had a huge sale to help deplete some of the products she had amassed. Ali said she was offering 40%, but the truth was that she offered 50% or more off of many products. She was losing money on this.

But don’t think that this was a one-time deal under a special circumstance. In a little over a year, she has had 10 massive sales:

  • Nov 23, 2018
  • Dec 15, 2018
  • Jun 18, 2019
  • Jun 29, 2019
  • Aug 16, 2019
  • Sep 2, 2019
  • Sep 12, 2019
  • Nov 29, 2019
  • Nov 30, 2019
  • Feb 28-29, 2020

This doesn’t include a bunch of smaller sales where she was discounting a particular product or t0ow. During the big sales, Ali offered discounts that were often 40%, 50%, or BOGO (buy one, get one free). And yet she will tell you in her Instagram stories that you should join Mary Kay because, among other things, you will earn 50% on your product sales.

Here’s a better look at the sale Ali ran over the last year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Comments

  1. PeachyNotPink

    The other thing they don’t tell you is that you need to order $225 wholesale ($450 retail) every quarter to get that 50% discount. My recruiter said there were no quotas and told me I only had to order the minimum once. Imagine my surprise when I learned that my discount was only good for three months after I made my minimum order.

    Imagine my disgust when I found out that the three months of discount was NOT a rolling three months. I was convinced to place an order at the end of June (I know, I know…. I hadn’t found Pink Truth yet). I thought my discount would be good through end of September. Nope, they counted the entire month of June in that three months even thought I placed my order on the 27th. So my 50% discount ran out in two months at the end of August.

  2. BestDecision

    The timing of her sales correlates to her finishing her Star and Seminar prizes. BOGO actually COSTS her money. MK and the people still in it think others are too stupid to not ask questions or do simple math.

    I’ve got simple math for you: 90% buyback. Feels amazing, too.

  3. Enorth

    Ali is taking away business from other MK consultants, and she obviously doesn’t care. And, considering the large volume of products she continues to order, her up-line will just look the other way. They, too, are desperate.

    1. NayMKWay

      She was very specific about the symptoms; I think it’s probably true. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs because it causes a strong insulation reaction. As little as one gram of xylitol can kill a 10kg (22lb) dog. She probably heard the “shot of insulin” analogy from her vet.

  4. Shay

    oh Ali is lying a about getting refunded on your $100 kit https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3047869705226208&id=1427026507310544
    “ I’m giving this beautiful LV away this month to one of my Mary Kay team members!!! The pic on the right is the starter kit! The starter kit comes with $450+ worth of full sized product for only $100! There are 3 types of consultants! 💕NO TIME- I just want a 50% discount on my products. Not team building. Not holding parties. You’re ordering your personal products 1-4 times a year. 💕PART TIME- working around 2-10 hours a week. Getting a solid bonus each month from your small team. Earning prizes from mary Kay. Usually holding 1-3 parties a week. An average of $1,000 profit a month. 💕FULL TIME- you’re a sales director. Driving a career car. Earning a more than love able income for your family. Working max 30 hours a week. Leading a large unit of women to achieve their goals. But Ali- what if I sign up and it’s not for me? We have a 90% buyback guarantee for a whole year on your kit! It’s a $10 “risk”! I’ve made worse $10 decisions (one trip to starbucks, chick fil a). Which consultant would you want to be? No time, part time or full time??

    I’m giving this beautiful LV away this month to one of my Mary Kay team members!!!
    The pic on the right is the starter kit! The starter kit comes with $450+ worth of full sized product for only $100!

    There are 3 types of consultants!
    💕NO TIME- I just want a 50% discount on my products. Not team building. Not holding parties. You’re ordering your personal products 1-4 times a year.
    💕PART TIME- working around 2-10 hours a week. Getting a solid bonus each month from your small team. Earning prizes from mary Kay. Usually holding 1-3 parties a week. An average of $1,000 profit a month.
    💕FULL TIME- you’re a sales director. Driving a career car. Earning a more than love able income for your family. Working max 30 hours a week. Leading a large unit of women to achieve their goals.

    But Ali- what if I sign up and it’s not for me? We have a 90% buyback guarantee for a whole year on your kit! It’s a $10 “risk”! I’ve made worse $10 decisions (one trip to starbucks, chick fil a).

    Which consultant would you want to be? No time, part time or full time??”

    1. Whitney

      This is one reason why I am in the process now of doing the 90% repurchase option. This was all I was able to do to get sales and even then it wasn’t enough to be bringing in anything profitable. Also MK must really be hurting for sales right now since they are doing another double credit month when they just did one in January. That alone should make people stop and think that something is not right

  5. NayMKWay

    She keeps lying about how long it will be till her next sale.

    June 28: “Last sale till Black Friday.”

    August 16 (7 weeks later): “Big Sale!”
    September 1: “Big Sale!”
    September 12: “Big Sale!”

    Black (sorry, Pink) Friday: “No more sales till June”
    THREE DAYS later: “Cyber Monday sale!”
    And AGAIN at the end of February.

    What do you want to bet there will be a few more big sales before June? I guess she figures it’s OK for her to lie, since Mary Kay Corporate lies about “Earn 50%” and “Lucrative opportunity.”

    (And I’m pretty sure her giveaway drawing is illegal because it takes money to be entered. Promos like that are supposed to have a “no purchase necessary” disclaimer and allow people to just sign up to participate.)

  6. NotimpressedwithMaryKay

    I also had the same surprises, and was not impressed. It actually turned me off of Mary Kay. That!! & How rude, pushy, manipulative, my Director is. She only cares about getting her car payment paid. Doesn’t care if any of her consultants are broke, or going bankrupt. She pushes them to buy more Inventory. “Fake it till you make it!!” Her favorite saying. “You have to show up to go up.” No, your meetings cost $7.00 ontop of what I am already spending on gas. Just so you can try to brainwash, and push buying inventory on others. Ya, no thank you.

  7. SickofwastingmonetonMaryKay

    So many expenses. There is no way, anyone really makes good money in Mary Kay. Gas money, travel expenses, flights, hotel rooms, product (wether its testers, or inventory), supplies, weekly $7.00 classes, and raffle tickets, clothing, shoes, mk jackets, shipping in canada went up to $12.99 (regardless what you order), table rentals at trade shows, etc.. etc.. yup you are not getting 50% profit.

    1. Char

      Please don’t EVER pay double price to a consultant. If you really want a MK product, tell the consultant you will help her make “production” and you’ll only pay their price. Otherwise, you will gladly acquire the product elsewhere, thanks.

      Digging deeper, this is one of the inherent flaws with all MLM where rewards are based off ordering and recruiting. The whole purpose of the re-sale conversation to non-affiliate customers is only there to mask the scheme and give the illusion of legality. As shown in the article, most people probably don’t pay double retail anyway. So if you’re not making money on the markup, how then? Ordering and recruiting!

      Some dummies and/or mom and Aunt Sally will throw the consultant a bone, but it’s nothing more than that. MLM is not a viable product retail business. It is an endless-chain recruiting scheme where consultants are the actual customers and also the perpetrators. If you only buy the products, you are guilty of enabling the schemers and the company.

  8. parsonsgreen

    Ali’s also quite confused on how the taxes work and did a live about it. She says she’s required to pay tax on the retail value. So during her last sale, she said even though she was selling the charcoal masks for $5 she had to charge tax based on $24. Saying she didn’t want to get in trouble with the IRS.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      She was never taught how to request a refund for excess pre-paid sales tax … she should track sale prices, and request a refund from her state of the tax on $19 of the $24 that they pre-collected the tax on. She’s losing an needless $1.50+ on each sale.

      Mary Kay collects the tax on the suggested retail and forwards it to the state/city/whatever … if you sell for less you are ENTITLED to a refund of the excess tax, and there are forms to do it.

      Mary Kay will NEVER mention this because it means you have to keep track of the sales and prices and how far off retail they are and you would realize that you are making no money by discounting so much.

      1. morningstar

        My clients did not care if I charged the retail tax amount and put wrote it ON the sales slip, (as retail sales tax) during the discounting of the MK product. I was up front that MK charges ME retail sales price taxes. Was trying NOT going to lose MORE money.

        That said, let me make it clear MK was a draining proposition on money time and energy. What chapped me is the retail sales tax on a 225 order is around 98.00 and then shipping prices. You better sell the shix you paid taxes on, or sell it back to them. The desperation of these directors is getting actually very funny and unfortunately in some respects dangerous to vulnerable women even more that usual. All in the name of looking good (in your mind) in a pink car. Imagine, all the freak out energy going on here in mid March; CC numbers low, downline ordering dwindling, corporate closing down and rearranging inventory sites. And closing a global sales entity in AU and NZ without a mention ( shh, a secret). Enough corporate! Enough!

      2. EyesWideShutNoMore

        We really weren’t taught either up here. It shows an example on Intouch how to fill it out, but it’s SO archaic. Filling out an order form like it’s a customer! I rarely used those forms for actual orders, never-mind to sit there and painstakingly write all the items out that I ordered over the past year. We have 13% tax so it’s a chunk! The fake it directors would have their assistant do it, but I really don’t think a lot of regular consultants did it. Corporate probably kept the forms knowing that most people wouldn’t bother to recoup the taxes.

  9. roo2

    Kristin Sharpe just posted your little poem from a few posts ago about “just ask” lol

    This fog is thick for someone to be thinking 50% off sales are worth anything! At that point you might as well be personal use and have your friends order what they want so you can stay active.

  10. Gettingusedleft&right by Mary Kay.

    Not impressed with Mary Kay, “Find a consultant” search button. It only brings up top directors, and top consultants, that are not even in that area, or postal code. They tell you, if you pay $30.00, a year, for the marykay website, your webpage will pop up, when your area code is entered. This is an outrite lie!!! People from 2 hours away popped up. But no consultants, not even myself, who actually lived in my area popped up. Just another way for Mary Kay to line the pockets of the top buyers/ i mean sellers, while squishing, and trampling on the efforts of the struggling Consultants. $30.00 that went to waste!! Another useless expense on Mary Kay consultants. Another MK scam.

    1. MLM Radar

      That’s the way the MK website works. You only get “recommended” if you’re currently a Star consultant (you made big purchases recently). If you just pay the $30 you’re still on the MK consultant finder website, but someone has to be specifically looking for you and enter your name in the search box.

      If it’s any consolation, you’re not missing much. Nobody in their right mind goes to the MK website looking for a random anonymous consultant. “Hey, I love MK makeup and I’ll just go looking for someone who’ll charge me the highest possible price!”

      Nope. It’s more like, “Hey, I kind of liked that [whatever]. But it sure cost a lot and there wasn’t much in the package. I wonder if I can get it on eBay for less?”

      I live in a large city. There’s an NSD or Senior Director living here (I’ve seen the pink caddy), meaning there are a LOT of directors and consultants in this area. I put my downtown zip code in the Mary Kay consultant locator It came back with three directors and seven consultants. This is where they were:
      4 lived within 15 miles
      5 lived about 30 miles away
      1 lived over 50 miles away.

      When I entered the zip code from the small town where I used to live it was even worse:
      6 lived within 20 miles
      1 lived 60 miles away
      1 lived 80 miles away
      1 lived over 300 miles away
      1 lived in another state.

  11. Mountaineer95

    Do we need any more proof that MK rewards ORDERING and not ACTUAL RETAIL SALES? If MK Corp rewarded actual sales, Ali wouldn’t earn the caddy by ordering product that she then sells for the same price she paid for it (and even possibly ate the sales tax Corp charged her, effectively LOSING money). She’d earn the caddy AFTER she actually sold the products. Instead, MK declares her a caddy driver based on what she ordered, and even if she didn’t sell a dime of it, she’d still get to drive the car. Wake up, lurkers!

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