We get the same comments from Mary Kay supporters over and over: Mary Kay works when you do, don’t steal someone’s dream, it’s not a get rich quick scheme, it is a business and you have to treat it like one…
The sad fact, however, is that Mary Kay is NOT a business opportunity. Even those who are making money at the very top of the company are not doing so because they are running a business. They are “making money” because a scheme (often called a pyramid scheme) takes money from those at the bottom and transfers it to those at the top.
Those hugely successful women (and a couple of men) are “succeeding” only at duping people into joining Mary Kay Cosmetics and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on products they have almost no chance of actually selling for a profit. More than 99% of people who participate in multi-level marketing lose money. So all these “successful” women are doing is luring others into an “opportunity” to part with their family’s hard earned money.
Are you hoping that you can join Mary Kay to earn a little extra money in your free time? Or are you praying that you will be one of the lucky ones who will go on to make the big bucks? Either way, your chances are almost zero.
And what do you have to do to earn money?
- Try to sell overpriced products (for the level of quality) to friends and family. You’ll have to heavily discount the products in the hope of making some sales. That cuts into any potential profit you may earn.
- Build up your inventory, because you’re taught to believe that you “can’t sell from an empty wagon.” You will be told that women won’t buy if you don’t have products on hand, because they want their stuff immediately. Not true! Have you ever heard of shopping on the internet? People order products online by the millions, and *GASP*… they wait for the products to arrive. You don’t have to stock Mary Kay products to get women to buy. And chances are that even when you do have inventory, you’ll constantly need to place additional orders for items you don’t have on hand. While stocking that [largely unsellable] inventory, you’ll incur interest charges on the credit card used to buy it and you’ll tie up your family’s money in products that are regularly discontinued or revamped (so you’ll need to order the new stuff!).
- Spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to sell the products and recruit people, including paying for: samples, supplies, gas and auto expenses, events,etc.
- Try to recruit new marks into the Mary Kay scheme using deception. You will be taught to omit certain important information from the recruiting talk. You will be asked to claim you’re successful and making money, even when that’s not true. Your potential recruits will be shown your director’s “high check,” but not given important information like the amount of that commission that had to be paid back to the company when recruits returned products, or all the business expenses that deplete that check to almost nothing. You will be asked to claim that women in Mary Kay earn a full-time income with part-time hours.
So if Mary Kay is not a business, then what is it?
It’s not a social activity. I know, I know. When those opposed to multi-level marketing point out that 99% of people lose money, a common response is that “women join MK to have fun!” Wrong! There are plenty of free or low-cost social and volunteer opportunities. If women need or want to have fun, they don’t have to join Mary Kay to do it.
So what does that make Mary Kay?
It’s a very cleverly crafted scheme that has been perpetrated for 50 years. It is a company that convinced the general public that it “helps women.” While promoting that fantasy, it actually harms women and their families. It uses a product that appears to be legitimate as the front for the scheme…. Mary Kay can claim they’re not a “pyramid scheme” because they have a legitimate product that can be sold for a profit. They don’t tell you that your chances of profiting from product sales are extremely low.
The executives and owners of Mary Kay Inc. are getting rich, as are a tiny handful at the top of the pyramid. And everyone else is losing money in a sham that they thought was a chance to own their own business.