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

Questions For Mary Kay NSDs

Written by Robin

After spending a few years in Mary Kay, I quit. After $41,000 invested in this “business” and seeing what I saw, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was tired of all the deception. These women don’t live in reality. They think they are running a business, but they know the consultants aren’t making any money. How can that be a business? I’ve come up with a list of questions I wish a Mary Kay NSD could answer for me.

  1. I’ve been told the most common reason people quit Mary Kay is that they don’t have enough inventory and they get frustrated that they are unable to service their customers. Has anyone done a survey to ASK them? I imagine a MUCH more common reason for quitting than that would be that most people don’t make a profit! In your ACTUAL experience, what is the most common reason you’ve personally seen for quitting? Do you know what percentage of the Mary Kay consultants in your national area go into debt versus those who make a profit? Knowing that the percentage of people who “quit” a Mary Kay business is so high, doesn’t it ever bother you when you go to do different recruiting events around the United States… has it ever crossed your mind that MOST of the people who end up signing up due to your influence will most likely fail in (or quit) their business?
  2. Do you really believe that Mary Kay Cosmetics is a “dual-marketing” plan? I’ve heard it explained that because we buy our products for a dollar and sell them to our customers for two, that we have two exchanges taking place, in essence, a “dual-marketing” plan. HOWEVER, that explanation LEAVES out how our recruiting works! Have you ever taken the time to LEARN about what a “multi-level marketing” plan is or how a Mary Kay business may fit the criteria for a multi-level marketing plan?
  3. How often do consultants drop off as “inactive” or quit which forces you have to look for new recruits to place orders in order to meet production? It seems to be quite a challenge for many directors to keep up that minimum production quota! (By the way, why can’t we call it a “quota?”) There must be a tremendous turnover
  4. Do you REALLY think it’s ethical “business practice” to ask someone to place an order NOT because they need products to sell, but because YOU needed to meet production!?
  5. Is Mary Kay really America’s best-selling brand of cosmetics?
  6. Is the Mary Kay marketing plan really taught at Harvard Business School?
  7. Since 1963 (or even as far back as you remember) has the size of the product line grown? I imagine back in 1963 that it did not cost $4,200 to buy a “full store” of inventory. My suspicion is that Mary Kay Cosmetics (corporate) got greedy and started adding more and more products to the line to make it more profitable for them… and in theory, to offer something to “everyone.” Do you see how this could be a potential problem?
  8. Can you show me a working business model where a person can actually make a profit just selling the products (not by recruiting)?
  9. What will you do to correct these problems that I have pointed out to you?
  10. What will you do to ensure that others are not deceived at Mary Kay meetings?
  11. What will you DO to make sure that your future team members and unit members have more HELP with making sure their businesses are profitable?
  12. What efforts will you make to keep new Independent Beauty Consultants from going into debt?


  1. Char

    This should be part of Tips and Tricks for consultants to test Mary Kay.

    Ask any of the above questions and bust them in a lie. Then how will you feel knowing your upline is lying to you? And don’t accept some vague answer like, have faith and believe, don’t be so negative, or it’s nothing you need to be concerned about right now.

    Btw, she will probably shun you for asking, and you will essentially have your answer.

    Listen very carefully to WHAT THEY DON’T SAY!

    1. TRACY

      LOL – Allison changed her whole identity (now named Chaya Mushka BenShabat) and got as far away from MK as possible. However, she’s still on the MLM train since she married the owner of Seacret.

  2. raisinberry

    Very simple, straightforward questions. I asked some of the same, and got a response…
    “Well, I am going to the NSD meeting in a week and I will ask other NSD’s for their input.”
    Best blow off answer on record. You can not directly answer without lying, there is no script, run and get help while appearing sincere.

    I think there is only two ways to go with NSD’s. One way is that they indeed know and they could care less. The other way is they do indeed know, and they are trapped in their lifestyles, mortgages and pride to come clean and make amends.

    1. MLM Radar

      1. You’re not asking for an NSD survey next week. You’re asking HER. Now.

      2. She’s an NSD herself. Or maybe she’s an NSD wanna-be. That puts her in a position to know without taking a survey.

      3. She can’t answer your questions. Or she won’t answer them.

      That, right here, tells you everything you need to know. And since you can’t just ask for reassignment under an honest NSD (do any of them exist?) the only real option you have is to quit the scam.

  3. Hun

    R/antimlm welcomes you to lurk or join in the conversation .. best sub reddit ever.

    The one thing I never understand is how they convince people they own a business when they are very clearly the customer. Hey hun! Buy this companies stuff – now you are a business owner !!
    No shade just curious.

  4. Mickey2942

    Signs that you are in a cult.

    1. When you ask questions, you are told to stop being “negative”. Critical thinking is not encouraged.
    2. When you leave the cult, your “friends” in the cult never contact you.
    3. Cult leaders encourage you to “hide” things from your spouse or family.
    4. You are supposed to have “loyalty” to cult leaders, ie, “buy more stock…”.

    Does any of the above sound familiar?

  5. Anna

    The dual marketing thing really leaves me scratching my head. Isn’t that how every business work? One entity buys a product at Price x and resells the product at Price x + a profit amount.

    I would say the dual marketing concept is very sneaky because it’s answering a question that no one is actually asking.

    1. MLM Radar

      Real dual marketing means you offer complementary products together: airfare and hotel/car; pizza and soda.

      MK dual marketing is a redefinition dodge used to distort the truth thatwhat they’re doing is really multi-level marketing. Yes, the products only go from Corporate to you, then (you hope) to a customer. But to know the truth you have to follow the money trail.

      When you buy a MK product for resale, your recruiter gets a commission, your Director gets a big commission, her upline gets a commission, and levels above her get “production” commissions. That’s multi-level marketing.

      No, real businesses do not work that way.

      1. Char

        “When you buy a MK product for resale, your recruiter gets a commission, your Director gets a big commission, her upline gets a commission, and levels above her get “production” commissions. That’s multi-level marketing.”

        And that’s a whole bunch of middlemen too.

        “LOL, we’re not MLM, we’re dual-marketing and we cut out the middleman costs. Now pull my finger.”

  6. enorth

    “R/antimlm welcomes you to lurk or join in the conversation .. best sub reddit ever.”

    Lurkers: If PT still hasn’t opened your eyes, take a look at the above-mentioned subreddit. And brace yourselves.

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