No Free Training in Mary Kay

Written by The Scribbler

It’s proudly proclaimed on most Mary Kay recruiting scripts, leaflets, and packets, most of the time in capital letters: FREE training! But is “free” a description that’s dead-on or just another fabulous fib?

Pull up your favorite NSD or director’s website and you’ll encounter a bevy of training documents covering everything from what questions to ask yourself each day (“Who am I interviewing today? Who is my next personal recruit?” “Who is my next offspring director?”) to how to “grade” the consultant summary sheets (“Write in different colors! Use fun stickers!”) Check your inbox, too – one director said that “about 50% of our consultant education is via e-mail.”

While they tout free training, the truth is that nothing is free in Mary Kay. Even though training events should be free to attend, (when was the last time you had to pay out of your own pocket for training at your J-O-B?), the reality of having to pony up is often justified with a quick, “It’s a life-changing event; you can’t afford not to go!”

Take Seminar for example. It costs a couple hundred bucks, which does not include airfare, hotel, rental car, food, gas, and special anti-boredom spouse events (which usually from $75 to $150 and are not included in your spouse’s price of admission). Add up these expenses and we’re looking at flipping a grand or so into Mary Kay’s collection plate when all’s said and done.

Friends, if you’re going to put a thousand bucks towards a “must-attend” event, wouldn’t you rather go on an actual vacation? Wouldn’t you rather treat yourself to that instead of engaging in the “stand-clap-curse-sit-repeat” routine for three days and attending eye-rolling classes like “Follow the Money Trail” and “If Only You Would Believe!” in full MK uniform? Me too.

Let’s take a peek at some other pay-for-training scenarios in Mary Kay you may encounter, such as the director who tells her unit that “CDs are available to purchase at the sign-in table. These items are sold at my cost to make it easier for you to get the information.” Gee, if only there were some way to make it easier for consultants to get the information they need. Like making it free.

Some of the events are “cheap” at $5 to $10 each. There are often add-on sessions for another $10 to $15. But there are also additional up-sells from there. $30 here, $50 there. Sometimes there are ordering requirements to attend an event… such as must be active or must order $600 wholesale.

Weekly “success meetings” (when they’re in-person) will cost you too. Directors and NSDs alike charge monthly fees or dues. These usually ranges from $5 to $10 per week. Why the fee when you were promised free training? “The training is FREE, but the facility is not. Dues partially offset the high meeting room costs.”

OHHHHHH! So it’s the facility we’re paying for! You can’t even enjoy “free” training when it is free because you’re stuck funding someone else’s extravagant tastes in meeting rooms.

So is there free training to be had in Mary Kay?” Yes, there is some, provided you have a computer, an e-mail account, and internet access. But if you’re “serious about your business” and the claims that these “essential” training events will change your life, electrocute your business, and infuse you with the forbidden knowledge of the NSDs, have your checkbooks and credit card(s) at the ready.


  1. Char

    I have an additional criticism about the “free training”. What are they training you to *DO*?

    – Are they primarily training you to “build a team” aka endless-chain recruit?
    – How to find women to join and place “full store” initial orders?
    – How to manipulate an “interview” to get someone to join?
    – How to stalk to find new downline?
    – How to have a party with the goal of sign-ups?
    – How to fake it til you make it?
    – How much “production” for a car?

    In order to understand and take issue with what training consists of, lurkers must realize that endless-chain recruiting is not okay; it’s illegal. An MLM company’s primary focus must be on resale of products to non-affiliates in order to be legal.

    Note: Just because a company hasn’t been audited and investigated doesn’t make them “not guilty”. Product-based pyramid schemes are illegal to protect you, the participant.

    I’ll ask again, what are they teaching you to do in this “training”? If you’ve never thought about it, start now. Pay attention to the training and see if it’s mostly about endless-chain recruiting, aka BUILDING a team, unit, business, career.

    – Are they training you to have your contacts order direct from the company? Isn’t that what new sign-ups do, order direct? Or, are they teaching you how to resell your own, already bought inventory sitting on your shelf? Which option do you think the company prefers? Does the company see any additional profit when you re-sell? (No) And who buys/orders more: a sign-up or a random resale lipstick customer?

    – Does upline make an additional commission when you resell your already bought product?(No) Or, does upline make a commission when you sign-up someone new, and that person orders direct from the company? Which option do you think upline prefers?

    All roads lead to endless-chain recruiting. Still don’t believe me, ask yourself if you were recruited? Did the lady who recruited you try to resell product and keep you as a customer, or did she TRY to recruit you – like she was “trained” to do?

    Mary Kay Inc. is a “direct selling” company. THEIR goal is to get as many people ordering direct from them. That means becoming a consultomer. No wonder they train people to find THEM new consultomers. Oh, and you pay for that privilege of learning how – as Scribbler pointed out! Scumbags.

  2. PurpleH

    Before I fully realized what the weekly meetings were all about, I used to get so frustrated. We’d do the class, and instead of giving us a few minutes to meet with our guests to sell them product, my SD would launch right into the career talk. Who would want to buy full-price product when she was up there pushing half-price plus making money?
    Yes, there were precious few guests and we always ran late, so they had one eye on the door, but she killed any chance we had at sales. I never saw a single Miracle Set or even a Basic plus foundation go home with a guest. Lose $5 a week times 40 weeks for a useless meeting with no actual training? We’d be better off staying home and setting $5 on fire each week, at least we’d get supper with our families and not waste gas & samples.

    1. Ruby Slippers

      I hated going to meetings. Even as a Director, it was a huge waste of time. Same old people, same old most of them doing nothing except a girl’s club. So glad I’m out!!!

    2. Pinkiu

      You are so right! I thought bringing a model meant I was going to get training in makeup application! But instead, they whisked the “model” into another room while I had to stay behind and listen to more recruiting strategy talks. Le me tell you how kept in the dark I was…it wasn’t until I came to PT that it dawned on me that taking before and after photos and bringing guests to be a model WAS the recruiting strategy. And here I thought it was supposed to show off how great the product looked on people.

Leave a Reply

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