Can 26,000 Mary Kay Consultants All Be Lazy?

Written by Lazy Gardens

Admin Note: This article was first published in 2007. But the results are still valid, so I’m running it again.

Just for fun, I analyzed a bunch of Court of Sales data that I collected. My collected data contained the estimated retail sales for 26,279 consultants in 519 units, mostly for July, August, September, October of 2006, with some data from the full 2005-2006 Seminar year.

What did I find? First, there is no evidence that anyone is regularly having $300 parties, $1,000 days, or any of the types of results shown in Mary Kay propaganda.

Sales are estimated from wholesale orders, which means I can’t tell who is selling product and who has a closet-full of inventory gathering dust. However, even if we pretend it all sells, nobody is getting rich except the upline. The total wholesale orders by these 26,000+ consultants was over $4,000,000.

I wondered what the love checks would be on $4 million in wholesale orders???

Here’s how the numbers worked out for those ordering Mary Kay consultants, assuming that they take home 1/3 of the retail value of the products:

  • 23,101 consultants (87.91%) took home less than $200 per month, which is less than working 10 hours a week at a minimum wage job
  • 3,178 consultants (12.09%) took home more than $200 per month, which is greater than or equal to working 10 hours a week at a minimum wage job
  • 430 consultants (1.6%) took home more than $600 per month, which is greater than or equal to working 32 hours a week at a minimum wage job
  • 120 consultants (0.46%) took home more than $825 per month, which is greater than or equal to working full time at a minimum wage job

Did you read that right? Yes you did! Only 120 Mary Kay consultants out of over 26,000 made more than $825 a month selling products. And that’s assuming they’re actually selling what they order. (I know, it’s a long shot.)

In order to complete my analysis, I considered the following:

  • I excluded units that only gave data on the top 10 consultants.
  • I included a few units with suspicious data – all the unit’s values were over $1,000, which was unlikely, but the director did not specify top 10. It biases the results in Mary Kay’s favor.
  • The highest average estimated retail sales volume was $5,464.
  • Remember that I assumed all of the ordered product was sold, which isn’t even close to the reality for the vast majority of Mary Kay consultants.
  • Only 10 consultants had estimated retail sales of over $4,000 per month, putting them on track for Cheryl Warfield’s $100,000 income plan.
  • I realize the data includes personal use consultants, but I doubt that 86% of the consultants signed up with Mary Kay planning to make less than a burger-flipping teenager, and that 98% of them are happy making less than a WAL-MART greeter.
  • Oh, yes, it adds up to a bit more than 100%, because of rounding errors and because the IBCs in the last two categories are also counted in the second category.

So what are we to conclude from all of this?

Are twenty-six thousand Mary Kay consultants, in the unforgettable words of national sales director Mattie Dozier, “TO LAZY OR TOO EVIL OR TOO SLICK TO WORK THIS BUSINESS”? Should we think, as Ms. Dozier does, that “SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG WITH THEM OR THEIR ATTITUDE AND WORK HABITS OR THEY WOULD BE MAKING GOOD MONEY TOO”?

Is Pat Fortenberry going to give them a talking to, and tell them “I believe it is because you are not working with discipline and determination.”

Is Allison LaMarr going to tell them “Choose today to BE GRATEFUL!”

Is some anonymous suit at MK Corporate going to tell them “You never know… a $1,000 week or your next team member could be right around the corner!”

Well, I’m going to tell them what Benjamin Franklin (or perhaps Albert Einstein) said a couple hundred years ago, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If you are working your business as hard as you can, month after month, and it’s not working for you the way your upline claims it works, maybe it’s time to stop the insanity. Add up your expenses and your debts, and compare them with your income. Are you sliding slowly down the debt-drain, one order at a time? No true businesswoman would prop up a failing business by sliding into debt … they might borrow to get a business started, but real businesswomen know when to pack it up, ship it out, and get over it.



  1. Right now, only 1% of the US sales force are in a career car. So, 99% of the population, when generalized, are lazy? The same population where over 25% of them have gotten a degree? Included in that 99% are farmers who work every day, without a day off, and in bad weather?

    (Source of figures: 500,000 people is generous estimate, given they dropped 100,000 people a year in 2007 and 2008 . 6,000 cars as reported recently by MKI).

    • Things are way worse. New Applause shows Directors with 2 more unit members attending Seminar than last year get earrings, standing recognition, and a button to wear. Just 2 more, not a percentage increase? And when did we ever get anything for having our units attend the sold out Seminar??

  2. And just to reinforce, you are saying they SOLD the stock they purchased.
    It would be closer to reality to say make less than HALF of minimum wage, but as you say, you’re being generous to assume they sell it all.

    If you had a company where your sales force (retail units) stockpile merchandise in the back room, would you address the problem?

    • And the new Applause promotes a 56.5% discount on skin care sets for June. Just an added 6.5% incentive to order big, right?

  3. Please correct my math if I am wrong…$4,000,000 wholesale divided by 26,000 consultants = $153.85 divided by 4 months (July-Oct.) = $38.46 average wholesale per consultant per month.

    • It’s harder to figure out because not all consultants were in for all 4 months … I ended up doing “consultant months”, and dropping any units where only the top 10 were reported.

      Also … “The data contained sales data from 26,279 IBCs across the USA, representing the potential sale of $39,139,496 in product, in 2005 and 2006″ That’s almost 40 million, not 4 million. The total sales divided by the number of consultant-months in the study gives an average monthly sales of $283.73 per consultant.

      Probably my error when I rewrote it from Yahoo! for Tracy.

      Here’s the original article …

      Notice the HUGE spike of sales at less than $100 a month and the fast tapering off to something providing an actual income.

      QUOTE: Only 3178 of the 26,279 consultants (12.1%) were selling enough to equal or exceed the take-home pay of a teenager working 10 hours a week as a minimum-wage burger flipper after school.

      Only 428 of the 26,279 consultants (1.63%) are selling enough to equal or exceed the take-home pay of someone who works 4 days a week as a minimum-wage Wal-Mart greeter.

      Only 119 of the 26,279 consultants (0.45%) are selling enough to equal or exceed the take-home pay of someone who works 40 hours a week as a minimum-wage cashier at a convenience store.

      I would love to repeat this analysis but the sites are mostly password protected.

      It’s hard to get more than a couple hundred data points.

      • Go look at pages 6-7 in the July Applause. A Cadillac Director was so desperate to keep things going that she did over 40 “new” faces a week for 6 weeks. More than her entire unit did in the same time period. The hamster wheel never, ever stops!

  4. Question from a friend,

    “Is Mk worth it if you just sign up for the 50% off discount”?

    • Shay, tell your friend this:

      It’s NOT a discount. It never was. Mary Kay tells you it’s a discount because they’re comparing it to their seriously overstated “suggested retail” price. Mary Kay is deliberately diverting your attention in the hopes you’ll believe it’s a discount.

      A certain reasonably priced furniture store I know of has a slogan, “We don’t mark it up just so that we can mark it down and call it a sale.” Mary Kay does the opposite.

      Mary Kay takes the real wholesale price, which is their cost to manufacture and ship goods that are equal to low-end Wal-Mart goods, adds aallllll the commissions and bonuses they pay to your recruiter, Director, Senior Director, NSD, and everyone else who qualifies for a cut, and calls THAT the wholesale price (the “discounted” price). Then they double that price to get the “suggested retail price” and make the “discounted price” look good.

      It’s disheartening to know that women who are so good at coupon-clipping and bargain hunting for their families will fall for the empty feel-good tactics used by the pink predator.

    • Nope. Not worth it. I’m finding drugstore brands work better and are less expensive than MK’s 50% “discount”. Also the MK satisfaction guarantee doesn’t apply to consultants.

  5. If you want to buy your MK products at a discount, head over to ebay. Even with shipping etc you still come out way ahead.

  6. I should add, I just checked ebay for their latest and greatest product the charcoal mask= something that has been on the market for several months, but hey! MK is up on it and they have it!

    You have 48 options to buy it, a lot at a very discounted price too.

  7. Like the snake oil sales of yesteryear and door to door sales, this mlm pyramid no longer works. Hundreds of women in North America have been conned by: Avon, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Belcraft, Cutco, Weekender, Amway, jewelry parties etc. Who the heck has the time or money for these sad expensive second rate pyramid schemes. After realizing I’d been conned, abused and used, I stopped using the over priced inferior products. Why encourage women to continue in a business that is based on a decades old scheme. Absolutely no where to advertise. A company that constantly changes their products at the expense of it’s mostly female sales force. Cannot wait for this company, its NSD’s, the heirs and mostly male CEO’s finally stop making a profit. Then the decades of inferior, chemical laden make up will be only good for donation to the “Look Good Feel Good program” (Cancer patients). Sadly now and many more years to come these continuously changing unnecessary products will end up polluting the land fill sites for decades to come. Sadly recycling lipsticks, perfumes, make up pallets etc. isn’t happening with this company and many others.


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