Multi-level marketing is not a business. It is a thinly veiled pyramid scheme, designed to appear legal to regulators. Not only is it not a business, when you’re in Mary Kay, you don’t actually OWN anything. Look no further than a lawsuit between Mary Kay Inc. and Amy Dunlap, a former Mary Kay national sales director. (This lawsuit was settled a couple of years ago, but I’m bringing it up now to illustrate what a top-ranking member of the “sales force” had to say about Mary Kay’s business opportunity.)
In the lawsuit, Amy said that Mary Kay lies to women when it says you “own your own business”:
11. Mary Kay, in the conduct of its multilevel marketing business, has engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive acts and practices, as the purveyor and seller of an Independent Business Consultant business to Defendant and the many other Independent Beauty Consultants, Unit Independent Sales Directors, and National Sales Directors similarly situated to her, which acts and practices are unlawful under the provisions of §17.46 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code.
12. By agreeing to acquire her beauty consulting business as an independent contractor, entrepreneur and the owner of her own business as a result of her contracts with Mary Kay, Defendant was a consumer of the Defendant’s services as that term is defined under §17.45 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, having relied on the written and oral representations of Plaintiff that, as an “independent dealer” she was the owner of her own business. Throughout her relationship with Mary Kay, until the very end, she was deceived by the company’s continuous, non-stop, orchestrated campaign through speeches at the annual Seminars, business opportunity meetings, CDs, DVDs, cassette/VCR tapes, brochures, letters and emails, representing to her and the other Consultants in her National Sales Director Unit, and throughout the company for that matter, that they were being provided by Mary Kay the business opportunity of “owning” their “own business.”