Garage Sales: All the Benefits of Mary Kay, None of the Debt!

Written by The Scribbler

Recently I shared how Mary Kay recruiter claims of “Can you get excited about making $80 for a two-hour class?” weren’t quite as fantastic as they sounded.  I also shared a bit about a garage sale I’d recently held:  how I toiled 14 hours, made a $75 profit, and howled like a rabid gibbon when I realized it worked out to $5.36 an hour – a situation which mirrored the many untold hours IBCs and Directors put in to acquire and execute skin care classes.

While $75 isn’t going to cover the cost of my dream car (an Aston Martin DB9; although the fee I’m charging friends to visit my home should help with that!) I didn’t have to worry about convincing any of my customers “That’s exactly why you need to host a garage sale!”  Man, it’s satisfying to enjoy ethically-earned money.

“But Scrib,” you may say.  “It’s never about the money in Mary Kay, it’s about enriching lives!  Mary Kay has so many benefits that you cannot put a price on – you can gain things like self-esteem and confidence, satisfaction at your sales, relationships, and the ever-coveted “paycheck of the heart!”

Want know a secret?  I experienced all those benefits during my garage sale without having to buy a starter kit and inventory.  It’s simple proof that Mary Kay does not corner the market on positivity and personal growth, despite statements from upline members like “I believe there is no finer opportunity in the world for women than Mary Kay.” (SNSD Debi Moore)  I’m thinking less “finer” and more “pricier” though; the cost of obtaining Mary Kay’s “benefits” is comparable to signing up for a year’s worth of Scientology courses.

So let’s start with the benefit of self-esteem and confidence.  Let me tell you, it was an most empowering feeling realizing that the hard work I’d done on my signs (colorful, computer-generated, and festooned with streamers and balloons) had paid off – people had found my sale despite my home being at the very back of our housing development.  One neighbor saw me taping up streamers and remarked, “You’ve got a good marketing campaign going, there!”  Oh yeah, baby – if you’re keeping track at home, place an “X” in the box marked “Recognition!”

How about the satisfaction of seeing product move?  Check-a-roonie, thanks to watching décor, toys, and jewelry literally sell themselves: people came, grabbed what they wanted, paid, and bid me adieu – And holy cow, I didn’t need to overcome a single objection or sneakily explain the “Husband Unawareness Program” to anyone!

Here’s one benefit I had that Mary Kay can’t claim in the Relationship Department:  the bliss of an ulterior motive-free environment.  If someone said they needed to think about a purchase and come back later (as one woman did), I didn’t have to barrage her with “Smart women like to think things through; what is it specifically you want to think about?”   And while I know not every IBC is going around spouting such bully-worthy blabber, there’s a good chance that folks rushing to complete DIQ might be tempted to.  Sweet heaven, woman; remember how much fun it was to talk with people because you wanted to, not because you better?

“But what about that “paycheck of the heart,” Scrib?”  I got that, too; in the melting-pot of life stories and backgrounds my customers shared with me.  I felt honored when the elderly gent with the model railroad told me that he’d be decorating his prized possession with stuff from my sale.  I enjoyed trading war stories with the retired Air Force chief who was determined to buy at least one thing from a fellow vet (a 25 cent foam football for his bird dog).

And I laughed for hours after the interaction with the kindly Asian fellow; he’d bought a “Jewel” CD and a pair of red Christmas pillows.  “I don’t want them because they’re Christmas things,” he said in broken English, “I want them because red is very lucky color in Chinese culture.”

So no, I didn’t have any pink caddy at day’s end or the privilege of delivering a heart-shredding speech at a unit meeting, telling all present that “I don’t know how Mary Kay can fit into your life, but God knows!” (NSD Linda Toupin) but I had something much more than that:  the gratification of knowing that I turned an honest profit, no scripted manipulation necessary.

That, and realizing that tonight – somewhere in the Midwest – there’s a Chinaman listening to “Who Will Save Your Soul” while lounging on reindeer-themed bedding accessories.