A former Mary Kay consultant decided to sell her red jacket. She got a response from her recruiter saying she must really need money. This was her email back.

No, I’m not really in need of money, and kind of take offense to that. It’s the principle of why I want to sell it. I explained to you a few months ago and even a few days ago: I really am done with Mary Kay. Of course, I would LOVE to sell that horrid red jacket that I spent good money on. The amount I spent on all the “extra” stuff, that I felt pressured that I “had to have” as well as a FULL INVENTORY kinda makes me queasy.

I am also feeling bad that I brought Cara into MK, when I believe it’s morally wrong for me to make $$ off of what my team BUYS not what they SELL. I didn’t know when I signed up that I’d be making $$ off my teams’ wholesale purchases! I assumed I’d be making $$ off what they sell. I disagree with that business plan. It encourages debt, and if you disagree, then I can factually say it “perpetuates” debt.

Though I believe you are a GREAT woman, and only have the best intentions, I don’t like the MK marketing pressure to buy buy buy, order order order. I’ve received numerous emails from you asking me to place an order? That’s just doesn’t make sense to me. The true emphasis should be on selling. But, of course you will motivate your team to order, because you make $$ on their purchases not on their sells a classes.

Since my initial “small” inventory order of $1,800, I now have product that I will never SELL! And no, I can’t just have “a party and sell it.” My customers don’t want it. If my closet was stacked full of Miracle Sets, that would be better, but I can’t sell stuff that has been discontinued or is simply unpopular.

Since I worked for a global research company, I had access to some interesting stats about the debt of the MK sales force. It’s a frightening fact when thousands of directors are in SERIOUS debt just to keep their pink cars, directorship, prizes, etc. They are recruiting like crazy, because research shows you can’t make $$ off of only selling it.

My research shows there are a tiny % of consultants who actually make a nice income from selling the product and that’s like $20k – $50k (that’s not “dreaming big”) and the amount of work you have to put into it is a minimum of 60+ hours work week to keep up with it!  I already make that in my 35-40 hour job a week with full benefits and paid holidays.

MK marketing claims that you only have to work 20+ hours a week to make good money. That is a bold lie. So the only other option is to bring others into the plan, and ask them to place a huge order on an array of products because that’s the only way to make $$. In fact, you’ve said so yourself: many consultants who don’t place an initial order of $3000-5000 quit in the first year. EVERY event I’ve gone to trains you that you can’t succeed without a full store.

It’s also dishonest that we tell people it’s only $100 to join, and we are trained NOT to say anything about inventory until after they sign up. Is this company is legit and god-loving, why the dishonesty??? That should’ve been a red flag to me. That is exactly how MLM companies profit.

Yes, I am bitter, but I lost hundreds of dollars. How is that possible when I sold $7000 dollars in a few months and never made any $$? Because, I didn’t RECRUIT, and those that I did recruit, didn’t place $3000-5000 initial orders. Thus, I spent all my profit on events, samples, sections 2 supplies, mailing and mailing supplies, website, meetings AND paying off my original order. And when I had new orders, I didn’t have the products they requested, so I had to buy more.  So now, I have all this product on my shelves that my customers don’t want, and the money I made from my 50% commission went straight back to MK to order more!

The repurchase program is my next step. I don’t believe in the the goodness of the MK marketing plan. Of course Mary Kay has no support for those consultants who want to get out. Do you know where I found info to help me? On www.pinktruth.com,  the website you told me to stay away from. They have a full support page about what a consultant needs to do to get out, what the process is, and even the number to call.

I added up all my inventory and I have enough stock to return it and pay off my remaining debt! I will also be talking with Cara about this option.

I’m sorry I haven’t been completely honest with you about my real decision to leave the company, but I know you are an MK lifer and I don’t want to have bad blood. : )

Despite everything, thanks for your wonderful friendship, and in no way do I harbor bitterness or anger toward you! You are fabulous, and I wish you the best of luck with your business!!!

p.s. You can have the red jacket.


  1. This writer’s recruiter cajoled her into buying inventory she didn’t need, kept hounding her to order more, then mocked her when she decided to get out (“you must need money”). And yet, writer calls her a “GREAT woman” and a good friend. Wow, talk about forgiveness and graciousness. The recruiter, on the other hand…

  2. Congratulations on seeing the light, and eventually doing your due diligence. Tracy’s efforts saves another and is helping guide you through the process. Yay. I also think it’s wonderful that you intend to share the facts with your recruit. You seem genuine, nice, but no pushover either.

    It’s easy to understand why people get duped. The nature of a con isn’t intended to be blatant theft, and MLM (especially Mary Kay) has had many years to refine it’s con artistry. Lucky for you, you paid attention to the red flags and started researching before getting in deeper.

    I expect you were being incredibly polite saying, “and I wish you the best of luck with your business!!!” I get it’s a standard salutation, so I’m going to make a statement that is no way meant to be a strong criticism of the email, but…..

    I wish people would stop being so polite. It goes to the bigger picture of not encouraging scammers. MLM is not a business, and she is not “fabulous” being a pyramid schemer. I wouldn’t “wish her luck” with her attempt to further dupe others. We have to make it UNACCEPTABLE and DISCOURAGE people from being pyramid schemers aka endless-chain recruiters. This, if we are to stop nice people like you from getting conned in the future.

  3. So I have always wondered what happens if you wear a red jacket when you are not a red jacket to one of the MK meetings… (I understand it’s a very specific jacket that MK red jackets get). But do they yell at you or see it as a sign of confidence using the dress for the job you want type of mentality?…….

    Not gonna lie I kind of want to dress up in a jacket and go to meeting to see what happens…

    • If it’s an official MK jacket, most Directors don’t say anything for a month or so if you’ve fallen below 3 actives. After that, they’ll remind you your status in it is conditional to your team activity. If it’s just a jacket that’s red, no one will even think of it being worn for recognition.

      • I remember my director so gleefully telling me “don’t you dare wear your red jacket to our meeting” when I fell below the status. She was into negative motivation and wanted me to be shamed so I’d recruit someone else.

        • I recall reading that a director allowed her consultant to continue wearing the red jacket because she was afraid the loss would discourage the rest of the unit.

          I also saw a director whose small group of Red Jackets included one who wore a red sweater instead of a jacket. Could the woman not afford to buy the jacket? Maybe she was a “Future Red Jacket”? No matter, as the director lost her unit rather quickly.

          • Reminds me of the shenanigans they pull at Amway-related gatherings. Once someone achieves a certain level, i.e. ruby, emerald, diamond, and so on, they get some kind of pin to wear on their name tag indicating the level, and most if not all Amway participants continue to wear the same pin on the name tag even if they fall below the level of sales and/or group size to qualify for that pin. I believe some Amway motivational organizations give you something like two years to re-qualify if your sales and/or group size are no longer big enough to be considered a ruby, emerald, diamond, etc. At Amway, a diamond (typically the level where people supposedly make the big money) is not always a diamond. Looks are deceiving and sounds like some of the same things go on at Mary Kay. Of course, both of these so-called direct sales companies are built on deception so we shouldn’t be surprised here.

            • “Amway participants continue to wear the same pin on the name tag even if they fall below the level”

              Same thing in Arbonne. I’ve read scathing complaints about Arbonne “big-wigs” who had actually lost their positions but continued to hide it and lie to their down-lines. It was supposed to be a big secret. The other “secret” was that they were buying inventory for their down-lines to keep them propped up. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

        • Exactly! Just like not going to Career Conference luncheons or to classes based on unit size. There was always a way and place to make people feel like losers!

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