Mary Kay’s Million Hostess Challenge

Mary Kay runs promotion after promotion. Nearly all of them are designed to recruit more women, get larger inventory orders from them, and order more products yourself (reasons for you to order: almost on target and just need to order a little more, order X sets and you get a prize, order at least $_____ and you’re qualified for this contest…)

The company’s latest promotion, however, is designed to make it seem like MK is a SELLING company. There is lots of talk about retail selling (remember when they used to say “think like a retailer”?), but Mary Kay Inc. knows that very little of the products ordered by consultants are actually sold to customers. Yes, you have a consultant or director here or there who sells a lot, but they are the exception.

There are about 425,000 Mary Kay consultants in the U.S., and a few hundred of them reach “court of sales,” which would equal $40,000 of retail sales (if they sold everything they ordered). After you factor in discounts, a woman selling $40,000 would profit around $10,000 for the year. That’s certainly not enough to live on, and the effort it takes to sell that much is more than people might expect.

What about the other 420,000+ MK consultants? They do very little actual retailing. But in order to continue to the ruse that MK is all about SELLING A PRODUCT, the company has do do things that make it seem like they care about sales to actual customers. (The consultant is MK Inc.’s customer, but they have to pretend that consumers are the customers.)

And thus we have the 1 Million Hostesses Challenge. If Mary Kay has 425,000 consultants, the million hostess challenge means an average of 2+ hostesses per consultant. That’s not a lot, but we also know that a lot of consultants don’t have ANY hostesses in a month. MK is going to give out 1,000 designer handbags… 250 to the top consultants in each division.

What do you think of this contest?


  1. Tracy, did you see the post 2 days ago on “let’s talk pink”? It was a video of an organized office with about 20,000 wholesale (at least) of MK .
    You should view it .

    I did an inventory of what I have left over and it was $8, 000 retail ($4,000 wholesale)
    I about threw up . I wish I would have sent it all back when I had the chance. I still have a few lingering customers (the ones who call me) I have no desire to make a sales flier to sell at a discount to recoup loss. I have no desire to take a sales basket to them .
    I would at best sell $1000 if that.
    I have to ship most items . It’s a huge pain in my butt. It’s a huge loss and a wake up call to completely move past this whole MK waste of my life for over 20 years .
    Also MK Corp has about 5,118 hostesses as of yesterday . I highly doubt they will get to a million.

  2. Just imagine the disappointment when MK Corp decides, due to poor numbers, to give out flounder lights instead of designer handbags.

  3. This is so frustrating because everyone will be do pity calls just to get a “hostess.” People desperate for recognition will do the following:

    “Mom, I just need you to have 2 people over. They don’t have to BUY anything, I just need you to be a hostess se we can be entered to win a prize.”

    “Sis, come on! I did the Pampered Chef party for you last year! Do this for me, please? We might win a prize”

    “Aunt Nicole, you know that Bible Study you lead, do you think before this week’s meeting you could let me do a Satin Hands? No, of course I won’t make it into a sales pitch. I just need you as a hostess so we might win a prize.”

    If MK sold itself, they wouldn’t have to do these schemes. And we know that the whole point of getting a hostess isn’t about selling, it’s about finding warm bodies for recruiting. For instance, “Holly, did you ever wonder even for a moment that you might like to do what I do?” (Recruiting spiel continues from here…)

      • Looks like it’s hostesses held because 3 have to be in attendance. It’s a holy oar trying to save a sinking ship.

  4. Entry #1

    Hostess: Jane Smith 123 Maple St.
    Guests: Sue Jones, Mary Johnson, Anne White
    Receipt made out to Mary Johnson: one lipstick “sold” (cash)

    Seriously, what’s to stop me from doing this?

    • It’s like the Century Club we had years ago. No one verified we actually sold that much. So ridiculous!

    • IBC holds a live virtual party with three hostesses who each have three attendees. Counts as “three hostesses.” Attendees then take turns being “hostess” at future virtual parties.

  5. I have had two consultants whom I personally know contact me about this promotion. They are desperate for hostesses, especially since their SD is also dangling prizes in front of them. I have reminded them I do not support MK or MLMs in general and then directed them to this site. (I don’t even have it in me to make a pity purchase of anything MK.)

    • Good call, Heather. Here’s the approach I recommend: Tell them you’ve made a personal decision to boycott all MLM products because you feel the business model is unfair and exploitive.

      I think the word “boycott” closes the door more firmly while still being polite about it. If you say “I don’t support MLMs,” you open yourself up to the guilt push-back of: “Well, can’t you just support MEEE then?”

  6. I notice they don’t say WHO designed the handbags. Any one want to take a bet that it’s the same designer behind those spectacular MK Director Sweaty-Stinky outfits?


  8. The “counter” for adding up Hostesses has disappeared and no where is it on InTouch . It was 12, 198 on the 20th

    It’s disappeared off InTouch just like Product reviews disappeared on Marykay website . Just like NSD’s disappear as they leave . No trace of any articles about them …. hmmmm

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