Faking It in a Mary Kay Pink Cadillac

The iconic pink Cadillac is seen as the pinnacle of success in Mary Kay. Ask the average consumer, and they will tell you that someone who drives a pink Cadillac is making lots of money. But the truth is that many are faking it.

Yesterday Mary Kay sales director Ali Zornes picked up her new pink Cadillac. There was lots of celebrating for this big accomplishment.

It all sounds great until you find out the truth behind Ali “earning” this car.

To earn the Cadillac, a sales director’s unit must order $102,000 wholesale value ($204,000 retail value) of products in a 6 month period. (That’s not how much they sell, it’s simply the retail value of the products they order.) In September, Ali’s last month of qualification, the unit ordered $58,599 retail value. Things went right down to the wire, with the unit getting just enough production to “finish.”

This means that in the first five months of the qualification period, Ali’s unit ordered a total of $145,401 retail… which averages out to $29,080 retail per month. In order to stay in that Cadillac, the unit needs to order an average of $34,000 retail ($17,000 wholesale) per month. In the first five months of qualification, they were well short of that amount.

A unit doesn’t magically start ordering more just because the director is driving a pink Cadillac. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. So odds are that the unit will continue to order about $29,000 retail ($14,500 wholesale) per month. At that level, Ali is going to owe Mary Kay Inc. $270 per month in what they call a “co-pay.”

Ali got some awful advice from someone when they told her to fake it till she makes it. That once she gets to the Cadillac it will be smooth sailing. That the big money is right around the corner. It’s all a lie. She has set herself up for co-pays with a unit that does not support Cadillac production.



  1. HI ! Did you see her CLOSET sale on facebook? She is prepping for copays.
    Also sorry but you math is incorrect . I think you meant 8600 wholesale per month average.

  2. I grew up not far from where she lives and my parents still live there. There’s no way anyone who lives there can afford enough MK to support her Cadillac. My parents and their friends are the “rich” people and wouldn’t be caught dead in MK. It’s the same place Karhlee (however she spells it) Zambos lives. These towns are very close, maybe 30 minutes apart, and Karhlee lives in the wealthier one (my parents live in a subdivision of her county). No one can afford this makeup. For reference, it’s the place they made the heroin documentary about. The heroin capital of the country is where these girls are “living the dream.”

    • They prey on lower income women. A Director I know said they’re the only people she works with because they were humble and honored to work with her. I have seen women walking into guest events with barely any teeth and had one tell me she was about to be homeless.

  3. Not much of a party. Only a handful of people showed, and they had to hang around the dealership’s showroom for some time until Ali finally removed the pink tarp. The car is ugly.

    Given the many months of hype, it seemed anticlimactic.

      • She doesn’t owe it yet. Basically she has to hit the production requirements each quarter. If she doesn’t make it for a given quarter, then the next quarter she pays a copay each month.

  4. I just don’t understand the idea of putting in extra production to “finish a goal” when you have a group that won’t support that goal. Ali is on the hook financially for 2 years for this decision. I know what they say: that the pink Cadillac gives you more visibility and motivates people, so you’re automatically going to see a bump in production. I think that happens almost never.

    • It never did for me. My unit was excited to see it and ride in it, but it never made our sales or recruiting go up.

  5. If Ali were to give the Cadillac up, would she have to go through the qualification process all over again for the next lower car?

    • Yes. And there are also restrictions on getting a car again. MK would take a financial hit on her turning a car in, so they won’t let her get another one right away.

  6. It’s Chelsea Claytor all over again.


    New year, same story: cajole and push your unit to s-t-r-e-t-c-h for the goal in the 6th month of qualification, only to watch it crash in month 7 because the unit spent themselves poor. And some likely have burned out and will quit, making months 8+ dodgy also.

    I also find it ironic that so many in MLM express gratitude to “the company” for the opportunity (the text below the photo). Most people who work at a job understand their salary is reasonable payment for services rendered; neither side owes the other gratitude for keeping up their end of a contract. If the employee buys or leases a car–well, that’s a common life event, and most feel no need to stage a ceremony when they take delivery. But in Mary Kay, as in nearly all MLM schemes, the company touts itself as empowering women, and makes sure gratitude is publicly expressed at every opportunity. Of course it’s just to attract more recruits to exploit, which makes it all the more heinous.

    Empowering women, my eye.

  7. “It all sounds great until you find out the truth”

    According to her FB page, the Cadillac was provided “at no cost” to her and she’ll be picking up a new one every two years.

  8. I just saw one in a parking lot. The pink is way lighter, like a diluted with milk pesto bismol. It is a very ugly shade. Uggggg.

    • I was told by a director that they’re not actually painted pink anymore, it’s a wrap so that when the car gets turned in *cough* repossessed, it can be quickly put back out to another lease or sold.

      It would be interesting to get a number on how many cadillacs get returned before the 2 years is up.

      • Mine did! I called the car department and told them I was done and wanted them to come pick it up. Funny thing is, they weren’t floored. It was as if it happened all the time. I was making production and wasn’t even post-requalification, yet they were taking steps to have a new Cadillac picked up. They were so nonchalant about it, and that pretty much confirmed what I already suspected: I wasn’t the only Cadillac Director fed up with the company and was happily leaving.

        • Did you still have to pay a co pay?
          Did MK pay insurance?
          Or only a co pay if you didn’t meet quota?

  9. Tracy or anyone else,
    I know this link was referenced here before (heck, could have been by me) when Gloria Mayfeild Banks made the million dollar mark in MK. Was that wholesale she purchased in her whole MK career?
    “ including achieving the status of Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director, a position held by only three women in the United States. A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Banks also holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of Maryland Eastern Shore”
    Honory Degree. Wow. And she calls herself “Dr. Gloria Mayfelid Banks” and I bet the Harvard Business School is the same one Tyra Banks went too.

      • $100 says her “Harvard Degree” is the President’s Program. ?
        don’t get me wrong it’s an honor to be awarded an honoree degree and that Harvard Presidents program that doesn’t require test scores and basically anyone who has the cash can go.. it’s a hard course as well.

        What I have an issue with is,
        “Dr” Banks likes to tout her “doctor” title and alleged Harvard Degree to get people to buy her services (another Michelle Cunningham)
        (In my Edith Bunker voice)
        This is the same Gloria who sold tickets to see her home and I believe the purpose was to be “inspired” and offered 1/2 price for some but didn’t put the price

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