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

The Mary Kay Questionnaire

349497988_fb751a5e3a_m.jpgWritten by Raisinberry

Once or twice in my stint in Mary Kay, corporate sent out a business questionnaire to ascertain the level of satisfaction with my business. Now that I think back, the questions had wording that skirted any perceivable problems.

I am wondering now if it was a fishing expedition, to see if anybody was really ticked enough to talk, or more like a way to pretend that they had real concern. Regardless, the questions that should have been asked to get a real handle on what is happening in the field were left off the document.

I have to believe that somebody in Mary Kay is absolutely enraged about the testimonies of the very successful Directors and Consultants on this blog. I mention the word “successful” because it is an easy thing to dismiss the rantings of wanabee’s. The fact that multiple car, trip and court winners have come clean on this site is horrifying to those who want to believe that only the “un”successful post here.

Over the last year we have read the stories of the NIQs, Executive Senior Directors, Senior and Directors describing the same “behind the scenes” scenarios as if we all had the same playbook. We all have testified that we were in denial, blinded by the quick scripted responses from our uplines and the instruction to “listen to your Director” along with the fact that no one tells the full truth about their “business”.

We glued on our positive mental attitudes and hoped that someday it would all come together. No one asked us any questions that would have caused us to evaluate fully, without canned scripted responses. In fact, just the opposite! We were told to “put our blinders on” in an effort to make sure we didn’t think!

Success in Mary Kay is an illusion, a game being played with numbers and effort and hours and prizes and hoopla. As an area top ten Director for many many years, I can assure any reader that when the dust settles, and real accounting takes place, Unit profitability, and personal business profitability is a tragic comedy. It is nowhere near the “executive level income for part time hours” that we were promised!

At Seminar one year, the husband of the perpetual queen of sales leaned over to tell me, in a somewhat lubricated voice, that she was “ruining” them. I dismissed it then, but now I wonder. Some people will go and go and go to be in the limelight, and this is the very woman that Mary Kay exploits.

I suggest a business questionnaire that focuses on accurate assessment with an evaluation of what is being said, and taught, looking at real results. Let’s see if it is really corrupt character of certain Sales Directors and NSDs who have led women down the wrong path, or if the consultant alone carries the burden of her bad choices. Let’s find out if Mary Kay Inc. is guilty of non-disclosure, and if Sales Directors are the carriers of the fraud.

How would you answer the following questions?

For Consultants (Directors can answer also):

  1. Were you able to complete a profitable perfect start?
  2. Do you feel you understood how to break down the incoming money in terms of profit and cost in a real and responsible way?
  3. Were you taught to budget?
  4. Did you tend to use the money your customers paid you to order more merchandise without taking a profit?
  5. If you did this, how long did you do this?
  6. Did you account for real expenses weekly: Sample supplies used, travel, room fees, business supplies, giveaways, incidentals?
  7. Did you fill out a summary sheet or mentally “track” your sales?
  8. Did you “log in” your time on the phone or warm chatting?
  9. Did you ever order to finish a Star on the advice of your Director, using more money than was in your inventory account?
  10. Were you ever pressured to be at a Mary Kay event?
  11. Have you ever attended an event you could not afford, because you were told if you couldn’t afford it, you HAD to be there?
  12. Have you ever ordered to win a company promotion or prize, and then been disappointed in yourself?
  13. Have you ever felt that you had too much inventory, but ordered anyway?
  14. Do you tend to order more than you sell on a monthly basis?
  15. Have you had to switch to another credit card due to being over you limit?
  16. Has team commission benefited the profitability of your business? Or do you use it to purchase more stock?
  17. Do you routinely take “profit” from sales and restock with new product? (Meaning your inventory account will not permit adding new merchandise, it only restocks recent sales)
  18. Have you ever been called or guilted for not attending a Unit meeting?
  19. Were you ever encouraged to put in extra production, over and above your monthly order to go “on target” or otherwise finish a Unit Goal?
  20. Do you know your current state of assets and debt from your Mary Kay business? Is your overall yearly business in the black or in the red?
  21. What is your real class average for the month? How many facials do you actually hold? What is your class average? How many customers have reordered from you in the last 90 days?
  22. Taking in your actual outlay of funds and incoming funds, including all real expenses, 1/12 of yearly expenses included, WEB, PCP, Samples, supplies, postage, giveaways, discounts, events, gas, what is your real profitability for the month?
  23. Are you satisfied that your business works and is teachable to your recruits?
  24. Do you do your Mary Kay more for recreation than for profitability?
  25. Do you seem to “not care” what actual profitability is as long as you are having fun?
  26. Have you looked the other way or been troubled by any training, meeting activity or recognition awards?
  27. Do you believe your Director is making an “executive level income”?
  28. Has your Director ever showed you her schedule C, earnings statement, or weekly summary sheet to back up her claims about her income? (This is especially important if she is using those claims to entice someone to join MK or move up in MK.)
  29. Have you ever attended a skin care class done by your Director?
  30. Have you ever felt spiritually manipulated at Mk events?
  31. Are you able to voice concerns about Mary Kay that get honest heartfelt answers?
  32. Were you aware that commissions earned from team members are charged back to you if they send inventory back?
  33. Are you aware that many Directors and Grand Achievers make co-pays on their cars? Do you know how much those monthly co-pays are?
  34. Did you know there were product incentives tied to deadline dates for ordering merchandise, BEFORE you signed up?
  35. Did you know you would lose your recruits if you don’t order at least every 6 months?

For DIQs:

  1. Were you told that attrition kills a unit and that recruiting 5 a month only keeps your unit even, and anything less is suicide by installment? (You may have also heard this referred to as “trying to fill a bathtub with the drain open.)
  2. Were you aware that there is no actual Million Dollar Unit, nor Retail Unit Clubs because the number is only doubled wholesale and does not reflect actual sales?
  3. Were you aware that when a Director tells her highest check at Guest events, it may have been 10 years ago and in no way reflects her current earnings?
  4. Are you aware that Units calling themselves Cadillac Units may have nowhere near Cadillac production, but instead, to keep the car, the Director is forced to make up any production shortfall or pay significantly monthly copays?
  5. Did you know that New Directors will face about a $1,000 cost for Director-In-Training Week, a $375 cost for her suit, and another $200 to 500 for her debut, and office set up, on top of what she had to put in to “finish” DIQ?
  6. Were you aware that if you miss finishing DIQ 4 times, your team will have to do $4,000 for two months before you are able to resubmit for DIQ, even if it is a year later? Do you think this rule might cause you to “finish” illegally if you were in the 4th attempt?
  7. Have you ever felt that your Director did not want you to finish DIQ so as not to have to give up your team’s production?
  8. Were you aware that your recruit’s recruits stay with your director’s unit if you fail to finish DIQ? Are you aware that your Director can use this information to pressure you to put in the production yourself, or lose them?
  9. Do you believe you can sell consistently month to month and get new appointments to keep a constant supply of new personal recruits? Have you ever successfully done that before?
  10. Are you aware that Unit production comes mostly from new recruits doing large star level orders, with the balance made up (base production) from the combination of former “tried and failed” consultants who now only do a $200 Personal use order twice a year, and the occasional hobby consultant who does $400 to $600?

Let’s just see if full disclosure and real training is the norm in Mary Kay, and how many of us would have steered clear if we had had this information.


  1. BestDecision

    When corporate asked us how much inventory we had in stock, what our average monthly sales were, how many customers we had, and how we generally felt about the strength of our business, it was very eye-opening. It also proved they knew a problem was going on. I think it was their way of quantifying it so they’d know the numbers of how bad it was.

    The biggest, most revealing questionnaire they ever did was the New Consultant survey around 2004. This had new people rate how their feelings were week by week, and it showed a heavy dip in their attitudes around Week 6. Think about it–this would be right after a Consultant were to finish their Power Start, had tapped into all their family and friends, and were stuck with the reality of this business. NSD Allison LaMarr trained Directors on utilizing this info with a weekly postcard mailing to new Consultants. The postcard around Week 6 was the strongest, most emotional one and was designed to scrape struggling Consultants up off the floor.

    For those that aren’t clear on this yet, MK corporate is very much aware how rampant cheating and personal ordering are, but it will never be addressed because it would sabotage their revenue. The blame falls ALL on them.

    1. raisinberry

      Agreed. That is why the 20/20 piece where the corporate spokeswoman responds with incredulity as to the indebtedness of the sales force (particularly Directors) makes her the defrauder in chief. It’s kind of astounding how what appears to be a decent human being can look into the face of an interviewer and absolutely deceive the public. They know. They all know, and they have known for a very, very long time.

      1. BestDecision

        You do realize that was Laura Beitler who used to be an attorney for our legal department? Who better than to give a new title of “VP Recognition and Events” and have on camera to dodge those questions?! She’s very smart and very good at what she was doing for Legal, so I laughed so hard during that special to see they strategically placed her up against the truth.

        If the current sales force doesn’t acknowledge that as a sign corporate is in it for the wrong reasons, I seriously question their own intelligence and ethics. I know that sounds harsh, but people have got to quit turning their heads and ignoring the obvious things that aren’t just “occasional”.

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