Mary Kay: Still Not the Answer to the Economy

The Dallas Morning News ran this lovely article focusing on Mary Kay , and just like all the other articles on this topic in the last few months, the writer apparently did no fact-checking.

The charade that multi-level marketing companies are the answer to the economy continues. Mary Kay is all to happy to get on that bandwagon if it will help recruiting efforts. Remember that 2008 numbers were down about 14% from the year before, so they’re looking to make up some serious ground.

Mary Kay saw a high double-digit percentage increase in the number of beauty consultants this March compared with a year ago, Shasteen said.

Remember this article from a couple of months ago? Mary Kay was boasting 30% more traffic to its website, but wouldn’t share any real numbers, such as actual recruiting figures.

So now Mary Kay is talking and is probably close to getting back to the 40,000 recruits per month mark they were at in 2006. We know, of course, that this was achieved with the gimmick of the “rebate” on the starter kit if you bought $600 wholesale inventory when you signed up.

The most glaring error in the article is this:

At Mary Kay, some are happy earning $50 a week, while top directors can earn $1 million a year,Shasteen said. 

Now I don’t know if Rhonda was quoted wrong, or if she really made up such a whopper, but there is no sales director who has earned $1 million in a year from Mary Kay. Possibly she said “million dollar directors” and it was interpreted incorrectly? Either way, I doubt Mary Kay is rushing to have that fact corrected. It looks so much more impressive as printed.

Mary Kay suggests that being “self-employed” with MK means you’re in control of your earnings:

 “When you’re in a job and how you’ve been supporting your family is in question and you’re not sure whether you walk in the next day and you’ll be laid off or have your pay cut … people feel out of control,” she said. “They look for, ‘How can I gain some control over my situation?’ ”

Although we all know better. In Mary Kay you are completely at the mercy of customers and recruits who often have much more important things to worry about than makeup. Sure, it sounds good to say you’re in control of your earnings, but that’s only true to the extent that you can find people who will actually hold appointments and purchase products. Mary Kay is certainly not better than a real job with a dependable paycheck.

And this is a little less than impressive:

Stacey Griffith of Fort Worth joined Mary Kay after her sister sold over $500 of products in three weeks.

With an estimated gross profit of 40%, the woman earned a whopping $67 a week. Sure, that money can buy groceries or plenty of other things, but it’s certainly not going to go all that far.

Here’s a nice little lie:

Mary Kay sellers hope they benefit. Dawson sold $280 worth of Mary Kay products during a recent sales event – her profit is $140.

“Pretty good for two hours of work,” she said.

We at Pink Truth know the profit wasn’t $140. Probably $100 if she was lucky. And of course she didn’t just work two hours. There was plenty of time spent before, during , and after the event that makes those numbers look a little less impressive.



  1. Is it just me or does anybody else think that Mary Kay looked like Dustin Hoffman from the movie Tootsie?  If you put a side by side, the resemblance is uncanning. 

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