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

Making it Easier to Become a Mary Kay Sales Director

Mary Kay is deep into its “All In With 8” promotion, which lets consultants enter DIQ (director in qualification) with 8 active team members instead of the usual 10. In addition, the requirements to complete DIQ have been reduced, but only if you qualify within 3 months instead of the usual 4 month maximum. If you can do it fast, you can become a sales director with only $13,500 total wholesale production, rather than the usual $18,000. Here are the details, with the relaxed requirements highlighted in red:

The promotion sounds great, doesn’t it? It offers an opportunity for consultants to move up faster. That has to be good???

Of course it’s not good. It’s already hard to make the minimum monthly production of $4,500 with a new unit. When the rules are relaxed like this, women are recruiting people who are not as strong. When I say strong, I mean less likely to pretend this is a business and go hard at it to generate sales. So even if the DIQ makes it to sales director, she is probably starting out with a weak unit.

Mary Kay is setting women up for failure with the relaxed DIQ requirements. Sure, you can start with only 8 recruits, but you still need to make the minimum monthly production of $4,000 to stay in DIQ. That’s harder with a smaller group.

What happens when the DIQ fails? The company and the upline benefit from all the recruiting and the orders. The DIQ gets a tiny little commission check (that doesn’t even put a dent in paying for the inventory she probably ordered to help meet requirements). Anyone on the DIQ’s team who is not a direct recruit of hers goes to the unit of her sales director and doesn’t come back if she goes DIQ again.

So is this a clever ploy to get consultants to recruit and push inventory orders, knowing they probably won’t succeed?  It certainly creates a bunch of quick orders and money flowing up the pyramid!


  1. BestDecision

    2 things immediately stand out. She doesn’t have to be selling (no Star required), and she’ll finish with a small unit of 24 versus the 30 we used to have. This spells out to me a fast, pushed, forced DIQ. Although there are (very) few exceptions, fast building leads to a crash landing as a new Director. You’d have to have someone coming up behind you bringing in new unit members and car production to keep the momentum and numbers going after this.

    From someone who debuted under the original “8 active” DIQ promotion years ago, it’s not fun doing it this way, nor is it smart.

  2. raisinberry

    There is only one reason for this change.
    They are losing Directors at record pace and need a quick infusion of 4,000 and 4500 profit centers (Units) that will become the reason all the DIQ’s/Directors PUSH HARD to stay in place.

    If they don’t make it, it is easy to just not order the next month. If you MAKE it, you HAVE to order, to keep the ride going. This is FORCED ordering within a desperate state of affairs in the Mary Kay 2% Club.

    And do not kid yourself…they KNOW this kind of qualification reduction reduces the ability of the Unit to succeed. The only one who doesn’t is the poor sap DIQ who will lock herself into adding production as required over the next year, limping along to try and hold on to her Unit. Her only hope is to stay in the CON and recruit a new lady she can lie to, (about what a great job she has!) to take over and drive production.


  3. enorth

    To the uninitiated:

    Note the code words: “active”…”qualify”…”production.”

    Those all have to do with BUYING inventory, not selling it. The DIQ and her team have to do a lot of BUYING of Mary Kay inventory. And those requirements never stop.

    It may work for a while, as long as you have lots of girlfriends to “help” you, plus a husband or boyfriend paying your rent and utility bills. Eventually, though, it catches up to you.

    Just like in other MLMs, it’s the distributors (consultants, partners, ambassadors, etc.) who are the real customers.

    So, whether it’s called production, qualifying, active, Personal Business Volume, or whatever, it’s the company’s way of ensuring it gets its money up front.

    Don’t fall for it.

  4. Lazy Gardens

    “only if you qualify within 3 months instead of the usual 4 month maximum”

    How many months of not ordering does it take for you to go “inactive”? Is it by any chance 3?

  5. morningstar

    I see that at the end of DIQ there can be room (time) to recruit people who do not place orders at all (except for the starter kit) to make a unit of 25 people. In other words, at the end push (supposing the DIQ money qualifications are met), you can finish DIQ with people who do not have to order the 600.00 minimum. This is a real eye opener to those who made it as a director following recruiting requirements for minimum orders for new people in the unit, and solidifies a weaker unit going forward to meet the 4K monthly production requirement. It just shoves the problems down the road, or under the rug so to speak. Again corporate wins, and the failed unit can roll back up.

  6. Peaches

    Mary Kay Lite… As opposed to Mary Kay Strong… Sounds like beer to me. Getting on on that pink smoke and that Mary Kay Feeling “all over me!”

    What happens to the “lite” unit once the relaxed rules are all gone? Then is it “churn and burn” every one in the pink path? Got Credit? Then you are a Mary Kay Consultant in the making. Got Friends, Family and Frenemies? Then you are the perfect Mary Kay Consultant in the making. Want over priced prizes and plenty of fake recognition for ordering? Then you are REALLY the PERFECT Mary Kay Consultant in the Making.

  7. Greenerpastures

    I’m not understanding why this is bad. I think it’s much better. Diq is not required to be a star (so she won’t be pressured into ordering 1800 to get into diq) and she doesn’t need to get the qualifieds (so she won’t pressure anyone to place a 600 dollar order.) Units have been 24 for a long while now and 3 months is better than 4. 4 it just drags out and some people aren’t active by then. I really think this takes the pressure of front loading off. Also they are including in the new agreements to keep sales receipts and that they need to be avail on demand. It’s an effort to stop front loading and stop sales on eBay which hurt the consultants who are selling. Really confused why this is being viewed as negative? A weak unit to me is one that is full of frontloaders. They can return product at any time. I never recruited that way. I did not see the point. Teach people to sell, gather orders. Not pressure them to place 600 dollar orders and hope to God they don’t return it because I didn’t teach them how to demo or do an appt or set up a Facebook group. Madness.

      1. Greenerpastures

        The new agreement went into effect on the 16th or 18th. Just a few days ago. I can get it. Where should I send it? It should be on in touch and I can still log in on there.

      2. Greenerpastures

        Nevermind , I found the contact info. I sent you a screenshot and 2 files of the updated agreement and internet sales via Amazon and eBay. Hope that helps. I don’t think I’ll return to this website because I asked a question (why was it bad, because I honestly just see it as an improvement and step in the right direction) but instead was talked down to and called a name. Anyway I agree I doubt they will ever look at a receipt. But I do not doubt about them going legal for internet sales. They terminated about 800 beauty consultants already and told every one if they come forward now, and promise to stop the eBay sales and to never do it again, basically the past will be in the past. So they gave everyone a chance to come clean if they are breaking the agreement. Anyway hope that helps, thank you for your time.

        1. TRACY

          Thank you for sending the documents. As I suspected, they don’t say what you indicated they did. You said consultants would have to keep sales receipts and have them to the company on demand. All the agreement says is:

          “I agree that I will maintain documentation of my sales to ultimate consumers.”

          Mary Kay isn’t doing anything to track retail sales with a sentence like this in the agreement.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      “3 months is better than 4. 4 it just drags out and some people aren’t active by then. ”

      How does this prevent people from going inactive? It doesn’t. Those people who would have gone inactive in month 4 will still do it … leaving the new SD frantically trying to fill the holes in the first month of her directorship.

      1. Greenerpastures

        No What I am saying is for a diq by month 4, the people who went active in month 1 sometimes are not active by month 4. When you are doing huge orders. Does that make sense? A good diq or director would recruit every month because people will flex in and flex out because you can work at your own will.

        1. pinkvictim

          Why are people not active by month 4? Why would they quit after 3 months? Don’t the products fly off the shelf? Why would they leave a “God-given” opportunity after three months?

          If your reply includes “MK is not for everyone,” then please identify those that MK is NOT for.

      2. Greenerpastures

        Oh and another thing about 4 months is you have holes like you said, then you don’t get to debut so you lose all your recruits recruits to your director. No thanks. 3 months, you are more likely to have everyone be active and debut just fine.

        1. Lazy Gardens

          “Oh and another thing about 4 months is you have holes like you said, then you don’t get to debut so you lose all your recruits recruits to your director. No thanks. 3 months, you are more likely to have everyone be active and debut just fine.”

          A business is more than a grand opening … if it were a solid sustainable business, you wouldn’t have to worry about holes. What happens after the debut? Scrambling to plug the holes instead of selling product.

          Why would Mary Kay write the rules so that your director gets your second line recruits if you don’t debut? They are rewarding her for your failure, which means your success is NOT in her best interest.

          And they encourage poaching … unless they closed this loophole:

        2. BestDecision

          What I see as a major problem here is counting on a snapshot of 3 months to equate to a solid, strong unit. If people fall off Month 4, it means they’re not selling anyways. You want a strong unit, not one that collapses the month after you debut. Trust me, it’s hard enough to be a new Director, let alone have a huge hole once you have to maintain production AND have enormous expenses.

    2. BestDecision

      The reason they changed DIQ about 10 years ago to require her to be a Star was to assure she was SELLING, so their removing of that piece tells me, a former Director who started my own DIQ with just 8, that they’re softening the requirements because so few are actually selling $3,600 retail in 3 months. The ONLY drive for this whole change is a need for more Directors. Whether they tell you that or not, that’s the fact.

      And if they really have changed the language of the agreement to include keeping receipts for validation, please know you’re falling prey to EXACTLY what they want. They want you to believe they care about sales, but the truth is they don’t. They can’t require proof of sales because it would make you an employee and not an independent contractor. By inserting whatever line in there, they’ve fed you a line of ethics that MK just cannot or will not keep up.

      Please open your naive eyes.

      1. Greenerpastures

        I’m not naive and I don’t appreciate you calling me names. If you want to have a conversation then by all means, do so. Like I said, it’s an effort to stop front loading and ebay sales. I never said they are working on consultants selling. I said the eBay sales are hurting the consultants who do sell. There are consultants who sell. And the eBay prices hurt them.

        1. Lazy Gardens

          “There are consultants who sell. And the eBay prices hurt them.”

          No, the Mary Kay price structure hurts them. A real retailer can sell Revlon at 60% off and still break.
          The unrestrained recruiting hurts them because they can’t get a reliable customer base.

          eBay is just where they try to recover some of the money they spent on inventory.
          Pink Truth is where some of them try to recover their dignity.

          * 46,897 eBay listings for Mary Kay as of a couple of minutes ago, ranging from a single lipstick to an entire inventory.

          Let’s do the numbers (facts from Mary Kay website 2016)

          Mary Kay Inc global wholesale sales are $4 BILLION DOLLARS. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it. Makes you want to sign up and get a piece.

          But, unfortunately, there are 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants in the world.

          $4,000,000,000 / 3,500,000 = $1,143

          That means that each consultant’s share of the sales is $1,143 per year. If any IBC sells more, some IBC is selling less, because that number doesn’t stretch.

      2. Greenerpastures

        I forgot to ask you, or maybe just share…
        My director pressured me to buy my star so I could go into diq. I told her no. I had good customers but i would have needed another month before hitting star. She said just buy it now. So…again…I don’t agree that this change is bad. It takes away reasons for people telling you to buy your star or buy a qualified order before you have even gotten customers and gathered orders.

        1. Lazy Gardens

          ” It takes away reasons for people telling you to buy your star or buy a qualified order before you have even gotten customers and gathered orders.”

          No it doesn’t. Your SD still has quotas to make to keep her car, to get the bonuses and prizes.

          She gets a bounty on every qualified order, and every star order in addition to her normal commission.

  8. Char

    “Teach people to sell, gather orders.”

    Ask yourself this?

    If you started an MLM, would you rather one customer who might buy $50 worth of product, or an invested, brainwashed distributor who buys 1000s and looks for more distributors who will do they same?

    It really is this simple.

    All the other crap is part of the illusion. They don’t give a $hit about sales receipts to ‘your’ customers. What you make beyond your purchase is of no significance to MK.

    Now they may want you to provide receipts so they appear not to be a pyramid scheme. They are a pyramid scheme though, and they would cease to exist if they relied on retail alone. It’s a catch 22, so they aren’t going to look too hard. Perhaps they would even suggest fudging them like Amway. Aunt Sally Smith strikes again.

    Start thinking from any MLM corporate’s perspective and the light bulb will turn on.

    Distributors ARE the customers.

    1. Greenerpastures

      Obviously not appearing as a pyramid is another reason. But I was telling what the statement from them is, which is to stop front loading and stop eBay sales. I have never started an mlm. But I have sold Mary kay and have helped others sell. No way would I ever want someone to buy 1000s. Get your starter kit, and collect orders, that’s all.

  9. enorth

    >”proof of sales”
    What’s to stop them from just filling out fake sales receipts?

    >“Teach people to sell, gather orders.”
    You can teach people to sell, but if no one is willing to buy MK’s obscenely over-priced, mediocre products, the consultants are S.O.L. (surely out of luck).

    1. Greenerpastures

      I’m sure people can fill out fake receipts. But personally I would advise against that because I think it’s stupid and also taxes could be an issue. I really don’t know. I’m not defending them. I’m just asking what was wrong with the new requirements because I really didn’t see it as a bad thing. As for gathering orders, I’m not in agreement that the products are overpriced or mediocre, if I didn’t like the products I would have never signed up. Same goes for being overpriced. Alot of people are die hard Mary kay users of the skincare. There are a few things that I think the price needs changing, like the single eyeshadows. I think it would be better to sell whole palettes and charge 25% less or even 50% less. And include the price of the compact. But that’s the only item I think I would want to see a change in. Actually, too many mascara are offered. I think just lash intensity and lash love is enough. But the main point…eBay sales hurt the consultants who are selling. And the people on eBay are either front loading people or sometimes they are people who buy inventory from someone leaving.

      1. TRACY

        This new “requirement” is useless. All the new agreement says is:

        “I agree that I will maintain documentation of my sales to ultimate consumers.”

        What does that mean? What is documentation? What is supposed to happen with it? It’s a meaningless sentence and certainly doesn’t mean that the company is tracking any retail sales.

      2. BestDecision

        I think most would agree charging $70 for 4 sheet masks is ridiculous. And TimeWise, a formula that is well over a decade old, needs serious updating. Overcharged there, too!

        1. Char

          You ladies have heard of “The Ordinary” I hope. They sell active ingredient skincare for under $10 that actually work and in high concentration. Vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, squalane, SOD, hylauronic acid, niacinamide, B5, etc. etc. And, it is most certainly NOT an MLM as they have too much integrity. Sephora has started carrying some of their line, but you can just order direct from the company.

          This Mickey Mouse MK skincare is a thing of the past, and a rip.

          Please watch this video if you only ever watch one. Deciem is the umbrella company, Niod the higher end, the ordinary, more affordable. It’s all good. Brandon also gives you insight how the beauty industry works. You’ll understand more from the video.


          Coming soon: Grey hair reversing peptide. I’m not kidding, and how’s that for a teaser?

          Let’s put MK out of business for good.

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