Mary Kay Doesn’t Work For Everyone

A Mary Kay consultant tells us how easy it is to make money in Mary Kay. After all, with minimal effort, she sells $400 to $500 in reorders. And if she worked more, she’d make more. She was told there is no quick and easy way to make money in Mary Kay. Huh, that’s funny. I’ve always heard directors say how easy this “business” is. Here you go, ladies. We all just did it wrong.

Does Mary Kay work for everyone? No. There are plenty of reasons why that might be. You may not enjoy the work, you may not have the time to really focus, you may have trouble selling, you may not have access to customers, you may be at a disadvantage you can’t overcome, etc. But this is true of any sales job. And true for any job really. Haven’t we all seen people be hired at our own jobs and they don’t last? Some people are just not cut out for certain types of work and maybe they have extra hurtles that don’t help. But why blame Mary Kay for something that happens with every career? I love my full time dance teaching job. But you know what? Some people hate it and that’s fine. We’re not all built the same.

I’ve been with Mary Kay for two years now. I came in to make a few extra hundred a month and that’s exactly what I do. I make about $400-$500 a month with minimal parties. I essentially built my customer base at the beginning and now the bulk of my income comes from reorders. And during Christmas time, I pull in almost $1000. One thing is for sure, when I spend more time on it, that’s when I make more money. I know that, at least for me, I could make more money if I had the will power to work it more. But I didn’t get in to make it a full time career and that’s okay. My friend did make it her full time career and she’s doing very well for herself.

Can some women be pushy and desperate? Of course. But haven’t we all met sales people like that? Why the focus on this particular company? I’ve been hounded by car salesmen who don’t stop calling me. But I still go back later when I need to shop for a car. I don’t blame the entire Carmax company for a few desperate individuals.

Do they recommend you buy product? Yes. Right now, if you opened up a jewelry store, for example, guess what you have to invest in? Jewelry to sell. I didn’t start off with product right away. I had to learn that a lot of women will cancel or not buy if you don’t have the product on the spot. So by month three, I invested in a good amount of product. No one had to trick me into doing it. I had to learn it for myself. And my director was still nice enough to pretty much lend me her product when she could. Nothing of what they recommend you do is unlike starting any kind of retail business.

I’m sure there are plenty of bad consultants and directors. Just like you can find bad employees and bosses at almost any job. But that’s not the experience that all women have in Mary Kay. I’m happy with the decision I made. I move my products well and I definitely make way more than my mom did when she sold Avon or my friends selling DoTerra. It’s worked out for me for what I was personally chasing. I was a customer long before becoming a consultant and I and my customers stand by this product. So to me, when I spent $100 on a kit worth more than $400, it was a deal. If I decided to quit, I could either return my starter kit or keep it. I knew I would keep it if I quit because I was accustomed to spending $95 on the Miracle Set anyway and at least this way, I was getting the Miracle Set plus mascara, my foundation I adore, makeup remover and there were a few extra things when I signed up. And I could still give away the stuff I wouldn’t use as gifts to people. I have struggled with acne since I was in 5th grade. I have adult onset acne now. I’ve tried everything under the sun. The ONLY thing that has ever actually improved the pH in my skin is Mary Kay. I still have friends who haven’t seen me in a few years who ask me what I’ve done for my skin. So yes. I’ve been genuinely recommending MK since before I was a consultant.

What I’m reading is a lot of people who had bad experiences with their director or unit. My experience has been wonderful. My director was honest with me. She told me I couldn’t make a few hundred just doing catalog sales. That I’d have to do at least some parties. She told me from before that I’d likely lose sales if I didn’t have product on hand but she didn’t push me into it. I learned on my own that she was right. I’ve done pretty well. I didn’t go in expecting to get rich. The day I went to the studio meeting and signed up, all of the directors said, “There’s no easy quick way to make good money. You have to work for it.” They were pretty honest before we were even given the chance to sign up. If you’re going to really invest in your store, then yeah. You’re going to make somewhere closer to 40% so you can keep up with new products coming out and your demos. But to be fair, they strongly recommend you set no more than 10% of your 50% to that kind of stuff. Why new products? For the same reason Sephora and Macy’s are constantly releasing new products as well. To compete with the market. 40% for me has still proven to be good for me and what I wanted and 40% is still high compared to other direct sales companies. For example, I know DoTerra gives a 25% commission.

I write this only so that people can know that these bad experiences are not representative of all units, all consultants and all directors.


  1. Char

    I want to know why this person thinks it’s okay to participate in a pyramid scheme?

    I could take all her talking points and apply them to my little drug dealing business. I don’t want to make a ton, I’m nice but some dealers aren’t, I got a deal from upline cartel, and I love the product. Lol.

    The point is, everything she mentions is irrelevant to her perpetuating and committing the act. She is a pyramid schemer because she joined a pyramid scheme (MLM company) regardless of her dollar amount or effort.

    Question this. Should she be discussing why Walter White’s blue meth has a better high and PH, yields more profit than Jesse’s chili pepper meth, is Walter or Jesse nicer, whether Skinny sells more than Badger, (all this is the sentiment of her entire email) OR should she be concerned and discussing why drug dealing is a bad business to make money in, and does it risk harm to others?

    This author has no clue what keeps a pyramid scheme thriving. Her SELFISH support netting a few hundred is like a druggie selling to kids to keep her own little habit going – without regard for the bigger problem and business of it all.

    She’s not the brightest crayon in the box. The pink smoke clearly has had ill-effects on her brain.

  2. BestDecision

    Only 1 person nationwide earned a Grand Achiever car in August according to the December Applause. One. Out of all the Consultants and Directors not driving Premier Club or Cadillac, only ONE PERSON EARNED A CAR. So, you expect us and those you’re targeting for recruitment to believe all is well in MK?

    Bless your heart.

  3. Shay

    i am so sick of the “if you open [insert store] you would need to buy inventory.
    Shut it. Just stop.
    I can buy shoes online, furniture online, clothes online and guess what else I can buy online?
    No one wants your over priced makeup.

  4. Shay

    Oh Tracy,
    Have your read the lawsuit against Lularoe? The one MyDyer filed, their supplier. The docs are the in Defectors Support group. LLR got the big group shut down.. Anyhow..
    Remember when LLR was telling the consultants they were crazy and it was them the reason why their leggings and shirts were paper thin and ripping and the excuse about softening fibers..
    Well, Mark & Deanne shorted their supplier, MyDyer millions of dollars so MyDyer filed suit. LLR turned around and said they had to issue all this money for refunds as an excuse for shorting them.. MyDyer turned around and said they told MARK specifically the risk using the cheapest fabric and urged him not too. Haha haha. Caught in another lie.
    Now all lawyers are using that in their lawsuits.
    I LOVE IT ???

      1. Neverpink

        Lularoe countersued MyDyer for – get this – a BILLION dollars. With a B. They cite “personal attacks” and other BS. I think they’re just trying to stall until this goes away.

        I sincerely hope these crooks go to jail and set a precedent among MLMs.

          1. NayMKWay

            “One BILLION Dollars!!!” (Pinkie to one corner of mouth, Dr. Evil style)

            Here is some entertaining reading (from almost exactly one year ago) about LuLaRoe co-founder DeAnne Stidham:


            Not only is it authentic insane gibberish, it is a look into what can happen when you take “no negatives ever!” to the extreme. She and her brother are completely out to lunch.

  5. coralrose

    “Nothing of what they recommend you do is unlike starting any kind of retail business”…. Except:
    – Recruiting your customers to become your competitors. That’s a biggie.
    -If you want to retire, quit, or pass on the business in your will, you can’t. You don’t have an official business to sell like “Kay’s Jewelry” or “Smith Hardware store” or even “Steve’s Yard Service”. All you have are unsold products.

    Mary Kay Corporate also:
    -Tracks and rewards wholesale ordering from the company, but doesn’t tracking actual retail sales to customers
    -Overcharges consultants on the “wholesale” price. (Most retailers charge 100-200% mark-up, not 50%, but they buy goods from wholsalers cheaper to begin with)
    -limits where consultants can advertise or sell (it’s in your consultants agreement)

    So, maybe it’s more accurate to say the *only * thing that’s like a regular retail business, is you both need to carry inventory.

    1. reading

      Also, in normal businesses they don’t sell the inventory to the employees who sell it to the retail customers. The cashier at CVS didn’t need to it the shampoo from the manager before selling it to me, etc

  6. NayMKWay

    Two years of dabbling in Mary Kay, and she thinks she knows how the company works. Or she knows, but doesn’t care. It does not speak well of her, either way.

    Yes, other companies have employee turnover, but not 40%-60% per year. They’re quitting in droves in spite of their uplines begging them not to. “The only way to fail is to quit,” they say, and yet the average recruit lasts only 6 months.

    The typical recruit signs up, is coerced into buying inventory, on inventory, can’t sell it, and drops out. Does Mary Kay look at these stats and say, “We need to fix this”? They do not. They just keep flogging the same broken model and promising great riches to fresh victims. How can anyone be OK with that?

  7. MLM Radar

    She takes in $400 to $500 per month, and uses the MK over-optimistic flat rate 40% to figure her profit. She has no idea how much money she really nets after expenses.

    $450 x 40% = $180 per month or $2,160 per year. Yawn.

    She also has absolutely no idea how many hours she burns for that $180 per month. If she had a minimum wage one-day-a-week job she’d easily earn more than that.

    From the way she talks, she probably works on MK a lot more than 8 hours a week.

  8. MLM Radar

    “I love my full time dance teaching job.” She sells Mary Kay products to her students and their moms.

    “I make about $400-$500 a month with minimal parties.” Gross income, before subtracting expenses. Net income is $180 a month at most.

    “Now the bulk of my income comes from reorders. During Christmas time, I pull in almost $1000.” Because the girls need makeup before their Christmas performance, and if Mom doesn’t buy the makeup the teacher is selling to the other girls they’ll feel left out.

    “I had to learn that a lot of women will cancel or not buy if you don’t have the product on the spot.” Girls dragging their Mommies around make a lot of impulsive decisions. But Mommies who are shopping for themselves (where the real money is found) look for coupons and sales.

    “So by month three, I invested in a good amount of product.” After finding out what her customers were likely to buy. That did help her get a better start and stay longer.

    “When I spent $100 on a kit worth more than $400, it was a deal.” Because I really bee-lieved when I heard the $400 (full retail price) total, and I really bee-lieved MK when they said the starter kit contents were worth that much. All the other stuff (trial samples, order paperwork, and the bag itself) were free,

    “And my director was still nice enough to pretty much lend me her product when she could.” Her Director was wiling to violate her own contract agreement (buy only from MK Corporate) because she is a small-time, but consistent, purchaser.

    “I definitely make way more than my mom did when she sold Avon or my friends selling DoTerra.” They didn’t work in dance studios with a captive customer base.

    “My director was honest with me. She told me I couldn’t make a few hundred just doing catalog sales.” Not that she ever tried that, with her captive customer base of pre-teen girls who buy on impulse.

    “40% for me has still proven to be good for me and what I wanted.” Proving that she has never done the math herself to figure out how her expenses measure up to her sales.

    “For example, I know DoTerra gives a 25% commission.” Proving that she doesn’t know the difference between a product price markup and a commission.

    “Why new products? For the same reason Sephora and Macy’s are constantly releasing new products as well.” Sephora and Macy’s make new product decisions based on end-user customer demand. MK makes new product decisions to squeeze more money out of consultants, and doesn’t care about end-user customers. There’s a big difference.

  9. Stephanie

    Sephora and Macy’s sell other brands. While Sephora does have some makeup under its brand name it’s not as good as the other brand names they sell.
    Notice how sells a shit ton of makeup?
    My god this person is making excuses.
    What if the FTC made MaryKay follow the rules? What if you only got commission off actual sales?

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