Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Mary Kay Weasel Words

Written by MKWidower

Every company uses them… the fine print at the bottom of the page. They tell a lot about the limitations on your life insurance, the warranty on your VCR and even how much money you will make.

wea·sel words. plural noun. Definition:. misleading language: deliberately misleading or ambiguous language ( informal). (from MSN Encarta)

But your income in weasel words???

Yes! Go grab your Canadian version of the February/March copy of Applause and read along with me.

Before we start, keep this in mind: The company does not want you to understand or even read the weasel words. That is why they use lots of words and super fine print. Stay with me to the end, it’s an enlightening read.

The fine print on the MK Canada Feb/March Applause on page 14 reads as follows:

The vast Majority of the independent sales force member’s primary source of profit is selling product. (That’s the conclusion they want you to come to.) In addition, All Mary Kay independent Beauty Consultants earn income from commissions, dovetailing, prizes and awards. To be eligible for commissions, the independent beauty consultant must be active themselves and have at least one active recruit during the relevant period. Members of the independent sales force are considered active in a particular month (and for two months after) when they place at least $200.00 in wholesale orders for cosmetics intended for resale during the month.

(Now the good part.)

In 2006, there were 34,272 members of the independent sales force of Mary Kay cosmetics LTD in Canada. Of the 4,843 who where in the independent sales force for at least one year, and who earned commissions, 50% earned commissions in excess of $100. Of the 724 of those who were Mary Kay independent Sales Directors, The top 50% earned commissions of $16,500 to in excess of $100,000. Of the 21 of those who where Mary Kay independent national Sales Directors, 76% earned commissions during the year in excess of $100,000.”

Okay, lets break this down…

34,272 Sales force members. 4,843 have been there for more than a year and have earned commission. That means that 29,429 have not earned any commission, just their sales, we’ll ignore that for now.

Now lets look at the lucky 4,843. 50% of them, that is 2421.5 (one has a man behind her), earned more than $100, the others earned less than $100.

Now why do you suppose they would use a number like $100 as the standard ? Just how far does $100 go ? If they set the dividing line to a reasonable level, the dismal percentages would send many people on the run, but 50% earning commissions looks okay. What would happen if they said “12% earned enough commission in one year to buy one week’s worth of groceries”???? I thought so.

Next, there were 724 independent sales directors. The top 50% (that’s 362) earned more than $16,500 in commissions.

Any one can do it, right? And how do you achieve your dreams? Love cheques! Lot’s o’ big fat love cheques!

Wrong! 362 SD’s earned less than 16,500! We don’t know how much less, but I’ll bet that for most of them, it was a lot less. A SD is supposed to be an executive, or at least a junior executive. I’m not an executive, not even a junior. I’m just a ‘Salaried professional non manager’ and I bring home after taxes more than the commission of all but about twenty three of the NSD’s listed on page 14.

My manager’s manager is a junior level executive, and I assure you his salary is significantly higher than $16,500. I would not be surprised if his Christmas bonus exceeds that. People, $16,500 is not an executive salary.

Now lets look at the NSDs: 21 NSDs, 76% make greater than 100K, not bad, but remember these commission numbers are before taxes, before expenses before chargebacks, before everything! By my estimate, anybody who earns less than $6,000 commissions per month is not making an executive salary. I’m sure there’s an x NSD or two out there who can confirm these numbers. (ie: “Simple Math for a Mary Kay Sales Director” , published here on pinktruth) That’s 21 people earning an actual income, of which 5 are filthy rich, and almost a dozen are doing okay.

Out of 39,272, approximately .05% (21) are earning enough money to live, and another .92% (362) earned the equivalent of working 8 hours a day for 8 bucks an hour at Tim Hortons for one year, assuming you had no expenses, no chargebacks, no seminar, no RJU, no Leadership, No prizes, no PCP, no uniform, need I say more?

So they say “The vast Majority of the independent sales force member’s primary source of profit is selling product.”

Well, it would have to be wouldn’t it ?! Let me tell you a secret, My wife has been in the top few dozen in Canada for sales, and she actualy sells the product, not once, but twice, and still is not in the black.

Send it back ladies!