The Cost of Doing Business With Mary Kay

Reader Bill shares his experience with Mary Kay. His wife put his family in debt with Mary Kay, and the lies and financial wreckage eventually led to the end of their marriage.

Everything on this website encapsulates my story. I won’t waste time repeating what has already been said so well and in so many different stories. My surprise is, I thought I was unique: her quitting her job with no discussion. Her explaining that I would have tried to talk her out of the change as her excuse (she had a great government job with great benefits). Later telling me I didn’t support her and I was a negative in her life. In all of this, I thought it was just me (and made me doubt myself).

Then there’s the financial destruction. 19 different credit accounts and 3 different bank accounts. Buying thousands of dollars of product for “necessary inventory” that was never sold. Income tax losses every year. Check kiting and flipping credit cards to pay bills. All for the sake of walking across the stage in Dallas, taking trip to the Bahamas, and “earning” the pink noose (the pink car is not free).

Again, I thought it was just me, I thought it was just my wife making bad, irresponsible, decisions. Now I discover the truth. The dinners and meetings I attended in support of my wife made me out to be the fool; the smiling “sweet” vixen of a director(s) was promoting this sly and destructive activity that led to the demise of our relationship, our finances, and our family.

So what was the cost, the damage?

This very week we both signed a settlement agreement leading to our divorce within the next month, after 29 years. Our family will be disrupted forever, my daughter and her family are torn, and my granddaughter will never be able to experience family life with her grandparents like I was blessed to experience.

Financially, my wife’s irresponsible actions (with MK’s guidance) led to the wasting of her inheritance. If it had stayed invested, in place, it would have grown to over $1,000,000 today (she has $15,000 remaining).

Her perpetual use of accumulated credit, to between $100,000 to $200,000 of debt, led to the steady leeching from my cash accounts and her shifting more than $100,000 of debt to our home equity line of credit. Additionally, she has continued to accumulate debt to $40,000 – $50,000, has had to do a debt consolidation, and now has a horrible credit history; her current debt payments mount to over $800/mo. and she has no income.

All of this has crippled my ability to save and will dramatically postpone any plans for retirement. I will buy her out on our mortgage, will have to assume all accumulated joint debt (of which most I did not know about), and will have to split my retirement plan assets with her in divorce. Of course, since she has no income, I will have alimony payments plus will have to pay her monthly health insurance costs.

Most importantly, while I am not perfect and made mistakes, this is Mary Kay’s contribution to the destruction of our vows made before God, family, and friends some 29 years ago. This is my story, but evidently the story of many others! I post this so that maybe my trials and experience may help to save other families from my(our) conviction. So think about it?



  1. Cindylu

    My heart goes out to you and your family. When we say MK is a cult, this epitomizes why blindly following this organization is risky. Through weekly meetings, costly conferences, seminar and endless brainwashing techniques women and families are destroyed. The fact that this lying scam has been going on for decades is alarming. Corporate greed at its worst. I was lucky. My husband tried intervening early on. Men know when women are being conned. That’s why MK put in the husband unawareness plan and advised women that their husbands would object. I was lucky. I got sick. I saw early on just how horrible my SD and the company itself could be. Fortunately I was able to return product and get back some money. I did waste time and money on this con. I also had my second job for half of my MK pastime. MK was embarrassing from start to finish. Definitely not an actual paying endeavor. Even my pre-schooler had the sense to know MK was fake. My child hated it when I warm stalked others at a store. My child knew it was wrong and probably sensed I hated it. Fortunately I just couldn’t do it. Decades later my grown children hate MK and I was only in that mlm for a short while. Your children and grandchildren are indeed paying a high price for the deceit of this predatory hoax. Hopefully you’ll still be able to enjoy your children and grandchildren without the constant reminder of any pink suffocating products (Pink Car too) nearby. Your wife will eventually have withdrawal symptoms and PTSD. Just like any addiction she’ll be haunted by this pink nightmare for a while. Of course the MK Kbots are trained to blame everyone else. (Not MK but husbands or themselves). I’m looking forward to the long overdue demise of this mlm.

  2. raisinberry

    Heart breaking. Happens just too much of the time. And Mary Kay Corp’s feigned incredulity over accounts like this is beyond disgusting…they have known all along how the money was coming in. They have presided over the tactics of NSD’s and looked the other way.

    Is there a vile enough word in the English language to describe this?

  3. BestDecision

    The January Applause continues to amaze me. On page 3, a Director bragging about holding “a gazillion parties over the last five years”, yet she doesn’t say how many. Weren’t we told “A tracked number grows”?

    On page 7, there’s now only 7 NSDs on target for Inner Circle. That’s almost HALF as few as in prior years. And only 34 NSDs made over $10,000 in commissions in September. Where’d all the “executive income” go??

    On page 8, only 25 units nationwide added 20 ore more new Consultants. That used to be the standard for Unit Club and Cadillacs, friends.

    Page 11 shows the Top 25 personal recruiting 13% checks. The highest in the entire company is only $2,939.

    And, page 13 shows the Top 100 Director commissions. The lowest included one for $5,845.

    On page 17, those thinking they’re “all in” for a lifetime of MK need to be clear what that means. One of the Go Give monthly winners has been in for 32 years and only has 3 offspring Directors. I bet she’s still fully committed to NSD, yet she has nothing to bank on as far as retirement without being an NSD.

    And probably the most revealing fact published by MK is how many Cadillacs were earned in September. Nationwide, only…wait for it…17.

    Another month of FACTS that show, again, I made the BestDecision when I packed it all up and got my money back.

  4. Michelle

    I am so sorry for what you have had to go through. Your coming here and sharing your story to warn/help others shows a depth of character and a generous spirit. I truly hope that your good energy doubles back on you and showers good things when you least expect it. You deserve it.

  5. MLM Radar

    Thank you for telling what this costs from the victim family’s perspective. My own story was nearly the same. My difference was that my husband was the MLM-er, the dollar levels were somewhat lower, and there were several years of family separation and a permanent rift in my marriage, instead of a divorce. We’ve mostly reconciled, but there are a lot of deep painful scars that won’t heal. I can’t ever recover family heirlooms he stole and sold, I’ll be still paying off the debt for years to come, and I’ll never completely trust him again.

    My best friend’s family got the worst outcome of all. She embraced MLM as her life’s mission, Joel Olsteen, Joyce Meyer, name it and claim it, The Secret, The Prayer of Jabez, all the MLM self-help books and motivational audios… but she just couldn’t seem to get God to bless her MLM ministry. Her family told her to stop, but she really bee-lieved. It tore her up emotionally. She was so conflicted that she got drunk one night, had a car accident, and died. It was brutal.

    The cost of participating in this fraud is dreadful.

  6. Mickey2942

    It is interesting how intelligent people get converted to MLM cult, like it is a religion. And they defend the MK party line, even with the contradicting evidence staring them in the face, as they trip over boxes of inventory for their “business”. And think of the fantastic tax advantages!

    Any business with more loss than profit, for consecutive years, is evident that it is not viable.

    I am sorry for your loss, and for the cost to her, and your family. Anyone who encouraged your wife to continue purchasing more products for her “stock” is criminal. It is an addiction, not unlike compulsive gambling, always chasing the dream.

  7. FoggyPinkFriend

    Oh, Reader Bill, I am so sorry for your loss. This is exactly why I started reading Pink Truth. My friend got sucked into this. Has our friends and neighbors signed on as part of her “team.” She pays for all the team’s purchases. It blew my mind when I heard her husband say that their plan is to leave their current place of employment. His “job” will be hauling cardboard boxes into the house to support the millions they expect to make via MK. He has no idea how deep they are in, but has built a room onto their house to stash all the accumulated products to ensure no “empty wagon.”

    I was looking for answers. What can I say to them to make them realize this is a diabolical cult?? The answer is “nothing.” It’s clear that every former Kay-bot had to awaken on her own. Some never do. It’s a tragedy.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Enorth

      ” She pays for all the team’s purchases.”

      This is not uncommon in MK or in other MLMs. If you follow enough MLMers and/or listen to enough of their “training”, it’s obvious this is a common practice.

      Foolish, foolish people.

    1. Some Won

      I wouldn’t get my hopes up too far. The anti-male slant in the divorce courts is so steep you could sled on it in winter. Frankly I’m amazed Bill didn’t come off worse than he did already.

      At this point with so much damage already done I think the best course of action is just to cut and run as much as possible. By the time you get a lawyer good enough to POSSIBLY reduce the divorce damage the savings will be minimal even if you’re victorious.

    1. Char

      If she refuses, you will know they’ve really gotten to her and have her brainwashed. Sorry if that’s the case. When I told my neighbor to read PT, she said she her internet was down. Weeks later I asked again and got the same excuse. Laughable and her loss – literally.

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