I Do Mary Kay My Way

I received this email from a relatively new Mary Kay consultant who wanted to share her experience with us.

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to send you an e-mail. I have been a Mary Kay consultant for over a year now and can honestly say it was a great decision for me and my family and has more than supplemented our income.

I know what you must be thinking…“oh no not another kaybot.” It is not my intent to insult people on here. I believe in letting people see both sides of things, and hopefully my story can assist the people who come to your website to see if MK is right for them.

I researched for 2 months before I decided to try to sell MK. My research involved websites such as yours The Fraud Files. I read the comments and stories and made a very informed decision to sell the product.

I opted to start off with $600 worth of inventory. I work in a hospital and know a lot of women.  Before I ordered my inventory I made gift baskets filled with samplers and catalogs and sent them to every department I work at in the hospital. I got many orders that way, and that gave me an idea of what inventory to order. I was able to sell the initial inventory in less than two months.

I also do show parties and sell online. The five parties I have done in my year of selling MK I have seen turnouts between 2-8 women. My online sales haven’t been bad either. I keep my inventory minimum, stocked with only what my customers order.  I only have 16 customers I regularly service. My business is small, however that is my choice.  That is all Mary Kay is to me, a secondary income.

I do see some faults with MK, however.  My sales director is a prime example of these faults. She is very pushy and we have clashed quite a bit. Every time we get together it’s “rah-rah girls Seminar is coming up and I’m soooooo excited to be in the queen of sharing but for us to move up we must have more wholesale items and start moving it off our shelves! We must Sell-Sell-Sell!!!”

I know you all have heard it before. I actually saw her chastise a woman once in our meeting because this woman had missed a month before due to a family emergency and could not “make production.” (Meaning she couldn’t buy more inventory). Now I only go to unit meetings when new products are coming out, which is about every two months.

Mary Kay Ash started an opportunity that allowed women to put God first, Family second, and Career third. It has turned into a business in which too many people are in it for themselves. With all these “incentives” and “bonuses” and “trips” the MK Corp is turning out more of these directors who do not embody what Mary Kay Ash started. They are not enriching anybody’s lives but their own at the expense of their offspring directors, their star consultants, and consultants.

Really, the money is in just being a consultant and servicing a small clientele. My advice to everyone starting or thinking about starting is the following.

  1. RESEARCH everything. Go to the blogs and websites and read what other women have experienced.
  2. TRY the product. MK is the only product that works on my overly sensitive face. That is one reason why it is so easy for me to be enthusiastic about selling it. If it works for you, you can market yourself as proof that the product works.
  3. BELIEVE in the product. If you think it is crap, then obviously you can’t sell crap.
  4. START SMALL. Don’t buy into the hype of “you must order thousands of inventory!” Think about who you know, where you work at, where you work-out out, where you socialize at. If at all possible, ask your friends if they would honestly try MK.
  5. EDUCATE yourself on the products. My director, annoyance aside, knows these products, and she spent hours with me once educating me on them.
  6. BE YOURSELF! Use your own script and words to sell. You don’t have to sound like a troll hyped up on pink kool-aid to sell MK. You don’t have to turn into overdressed make-up caked frenzy because it’s “the standard”. If I’m doing parties I’m wearing something nice, but definitely not a dress!
  7. Don’t buy into the HYPE OF MOVING UP! Read the stories on this website to see why.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for starting this website to educate the public and help women make informed decisions. Good Luck and God Bless.


  1. BestDecision

    Well, at least she’s honest that she only had 5 parties and 16 customers after a whole year. Directors and NSDs are very much to blame for so many things happening in MK and that have been happening for YEARS. It’s not just an isolated case here or there.

    The NSDs just arrived in Dallas for their yearly Summit. This year’s theme is “Stronger Together”. The flow of self-absorbed posts and selfies have begun, so watch Instagram, especially, for more proof of how badly they act.

  2. MLM Radar

    She’s the “one good apple” in the Mary Kay barrel, so she thinks that as long as she personally does things right it’s all OK. Newsflash: you can’t overcome rot with air freshener.

    She’s spent a lot of time and money doing research in her own target market. But she only has a handful of customers after a full year. I wonder if she ever added up how many hours she spent researching, or if she ever calculated how much she’s really earned per hour.

    Or is she just thinking that her earning per hour are based on MK party hours, and all the other hours invested don’t count?

    Profit per actual hour invested is something Mary Kay doesn’t want you to notice. Seems she fell for that one.

  3. Char

    This is a nice email, but the problem is that the character role is confused. The author doesn’t realize that she basically amounts to a lousy customer FOR MARY KAY. I reiterate the word “lousy” due to her relatively small purchases and without recruiting new buyers for MK. The minimal amount that she resells, and any markup she pockets, is of little interest to anyone above her and corporate.

    The “faults” mentioned ARE the system. No wonder she clashes with upline. She will soon realize the business, the real business, doesn’t thrive with consultomers like her.

    And, why would I pay double price to her when I can just sign up or buy on eBay for much cheaper? I mean, she isn’t paying double price to her consultant, so why should I? I wonder, why wasn’t she kept as a good retail paying customer who clearly likes the product, and instead recruited?

    Since the author likes to research, did she actually study the inherently flawed MLM system and comprehend it? Enough consultomers like her and the MK pyramid scheme would flounder in a heartbeat. Duh.

    It’s not about the author the way she thinks it is. Too bad, she sounds like a nice lady.

  4. BartheDoor

    You seem sincere. Please add up the time you spend selling MK, your self-employment taxes, the costs associated with discounting products, free gifts, gas to deliver products, mailing costs, babysitters, etc. Are you REALLY making more than if you picked up a 10-15 hour a week part-time job? I think you aren’t. And I think you know that. The business model is designed to see you fail in the hopes that you quit after you can’t return the product.

    Again, you seem sincere. I hope you find a way out of this.

    1. HollyHop

      I agree. I would really love to see the poster’s Schedule C. Given that she seems to be more forthcoming about the dark side of MK than most in the pink fog are, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind sending us a copy of it to back up her claims. Just block out the personal info, scan it in and email it to Tracy.

  5. NayMKWay

    It bothers me to read these stories of someone who thinks it’s OK to support an abusive organization full of abusive people, so long as they play nice. “My director is pushy and abrasive, but she’s knowledgeable about the products.” Well, as long as she’s knowledgeable, right? Bernie Madoff was pretty knowledgeable about financial markets too, from what I hear.

    Some, like this writer, defend Mary Kay’s original vision of “empowering women.” News flash: it was never about empowering women; it was about enriching Mary Kay Ash. Maybe the company wasn’t “as bad” in the days of yore, when the barriers into the higher ranks were higher and the front-loading less blatant, but it was never all that great. The fact that the drop-out rate has always been high is telling. MKA herself likened it to trying to fill a bathtub with the drain open. But Ash was fine with continually using and discarding women, so long as she could find fresh victims to dump in the tub.

    Wearing a hazard suit to jump into a manure pile may keep the crap off your skin, but you’re still going to smell bad. Doing Mary Kay “right” is morally impossible when you consider how your money and personal efforts are contributing to the abuse happening right in front of your eyes. You did see your director abase another woman for no valid reason, right? And you’ve read enough here to see that that is the norm and not the exception, right? How you can consider yourself unsullied is beyond me.

    1. TRACY

      It bothers me too. I publish things like this because the reality is that there are people who think this way. I think there is a benefit to us discussing it.

      And you’re 100% right.

      1. NayMKWay

        Tracy, I say I am bothered, but not by your choice to publish this letter. Quite the opposite; I agree it is important for us to hear these voices of dissent. In the case of this writer, I see someone who is probably a decent person, but who has fooled herself into thinking she can participate in Mary Kay while maintaining a high moral standard for herself. I really hope she reads our responses and carefully reconsiders the ethics of her decision. As “Char” has pointed out here many times, moral relativism is a slippery slope. You can be an ethical drug dealer with honest scales, but you’re still a drug dealer.

        1. TRACY

          I’m a firm believer that there is no “right way” to do Mary Kay. It’s an abusive system which causes most to lose money, and they honestly have no hope of ever asking money. Yet they are told the lie of “you can have a retail selling business” repeatedly. They are repeatedly lied to about the commissions they will make, with the excuse that anyone *could* make the money. And they’re told the big fat whopper of the lie that this is a business for them. It’s a scheme. No matter how ethically one wants to be in it.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      “it was never about empowering women; it was about enriching Mary Kay Ash”

      She was passed over for promotions, probably because she dropped out of college to make money. The ONLY way she could be at the top of the heap, where she wanted to be, was to start her own MLM. So she did.

  6. pinkpeace

    You nailed it, Tracy. When I was in, I had many retail customers, but very little profit. For all the hours I expended to warm chatter, book, prepare for and hold appointments, I would have been MUCH better off with a real part-time job.

    I would tell my unit, “I sold $500 this week.” What I *didn’t* tell them was that a huge portion of that amount was discounted for hostess credit/gifts with purchase/etc., not to mention the cost of samples, Look Books and other paraphernalia. And I certainly never told them how many hours it took of my time to make that “sale.” I honestly was working for less than minimum wage (and it felt like maximum stress).

    1. TRACY

      I remember when we were told that our weekly “sales” was the full retail value of the products that went out the door. Didn’t matter if products were discounted or given away, they counted as retail sold.

      1. MLM Radar

        They counted as “full retail” for Seminar club-level purposes, which only confirms that all Seminar sales figures are lies.

        Mary Kay Corporate knows this. They intentionally congratulate women for sales that never happen, at prices that weren’t paid.

        The lying starts at the corporate level. It’s paraded in public at every Seminar. Anyone who says the company is innocent, and just from a few “bad apple” directors is either lying to herself or naive.

  7. Darlene

    I seriously doubt that MK is the “only thing that works” on her overly sensitive face. There are much better and much cheaper alternatives and MK quality is not even in the range of Aveeno or Neutrogena when it comes to sensitive skin and it’s hard outside those prices.

    New products every two months? That’s excessive and right in line with “updated packaging so you have to buy more since your products are old packaging” theme.

    1. ran4fun

      Mary Kay is the only product that caused dermatitis on my face. Rather expensive lesson considering doctor appointments and expensive medicine to clear it up. A friend of mine had similar issues with MK. The consultant told her sales director, and the SD said my friend was crazy! How’s that for customer service!

  8. Drew K

    This story reminds me of so many of my friends that got caught up in the WorldVentures scheme. Those “You Should Be Here” signs. They all had the same line “well what’s the harm in making a little extra money just to go on free vacations? Sounds okay to me.”

    To me, “too good to be true” sounded more accurate. My brother and I got the hard sell from a couple of guys we grew up with, but we were both skeptical because of their cult-like enthusiasm and didn’t buy in. Those guys both went in 100%, “moved up” quick, had the “free BMW” and everything…. for a little while at least. Not sure what they’re doing now, but it ain’t WV.

    I looked into WV more a few years later, when my girlfriend at the time had gotten the pitch from a fellow bartender. He had recently joined WV and went on some trip, came back trying to recruit her. She has always been hugely into traveling, so naturally it appealed to her. I’ve always been the skeptical sort (so much that it gets to a point of “crying wolf” where people don’t listen even if the “wolf” is real every time). So she mentioned it, probably knowing how I would react, and seemed interested. She hadn’t heard of it before, but I definitely had. So I tried to caution her that I knew former members and heard some things, and it might not be as great as it sounds. She defended the idea a little bit, but agreed to hold off on making a decision until we could research it more. I’m not even sure it ever came up again. She’s smart, I think she realized that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Plus, she did enough traveling already. She could probably look at what they were offering and tell right away that paying double for a normal “all expenses cruise” wasn’t a good deal.

    I believe researching that is also when I stumbled across PinkTruth for the first time, and that was when I first heard the term “MLM.” This was maybe 6-7 years ago when I was 27-28. I was hooked immediately and spent hours reading the stories. Admittedly, maybe part schadenfreude, but mostly because I want to be informed about these things when people around me get the pitch. Just want to give a huge THANK YOU to everybody who has shared their story. Make no mistake, it’s important. Too many victims of all sorts of cons and scams are too ashamed to speak up and admit they’ve been had. Or worse, they blame themselves and go on believing they failed.

    One thing I agree with the author about is DO YOUR RESEARCH. But don’t just research “the product,” research the company. Find out how much of their revenue comes from “the product,” and how much comes from new memberships. Find out if they’re even willing to share such information (if not… obv red flag). See if the company’s numbers line up with outside information. The only line between a “legal” MLM and an illegal pyramid scheme is how much money comes from new memberships. Mary Kay and WV use the right loopholes to stay on the right side of the law, but that doesn’t mean the business is truly ethical or profitable. Herbalife is another one. I’m sure Avon is the same to some extent, but haven’t heard any stories about them in particular.

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