Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.
 

Sales Directors Frontloading

I think many Mary Kay sales directors have convinced themselves that they are “working ethically.” That they’ve made themselves believe that there is nothing wrong with the Mary Kay pyramid scheme and nothing wrong with the fact that almost all women will lose money in Mary Kay.

Here is an example of just such thinking. This Mary Kay sales director thinks she’s doing the right thing by “only” having consultants purchase $1,800 or $2,400 of inventory when they start. We all know that “part-time” consultants don’t need that much, and that’s frontloading. (Frontloading is the practice of getting someone to purchase a large package of inventory before they have sold the products.)

The email I received:

Tracy,

I stumbled on this site and found it interesting. I have been in Mary Kay nearly 28 years – a Director for 26. I have seen it all.

I do believe many the stories. The sad part is that you are painting “all” Mary Kay people with the same brush.

I sell Mary Kay products with ease and fun. So do my unit members. We do not frontload – a star order is plenty for a part time consultant. We trade inventory to help each other out.

I could retire but enjoy it so much I just want to take lots of time off and do business part time.

Have always driven a company car and NEVER made a car payment. You have to be smart – the years I had babies – went Grand Am – then Grand Prix was great when the kids were young – now driving a Cadillac but plan to take cash as going part time.

Why would you do this? What is your story? What is the point?

It is all so depressing!!

I am sad that you don’t allow any positive feedback. That could be interesting – don’t you think?

Anyways, please know that there are many, many hardworking, honest, sincere Mary Kay Directors out here.

I sent her this reply:

You wrote: “We do not frontload – a star order is plenty for a part time consultant.”

You just proved that you DO frontload. A part time consultant doesn’t need $1,800 or more wholesale on the shelf. Quit lying to them and lying to yourself.

She wrote back:

Are you confusing “part time” with “personal use”?. Of course someone that is doing Mary Kay as a small business needs some inventory. When I think “frontload” – isn’t that like 3000-4500 and encouraging orders when they are not selling? I stick to the fact they can’t sell from an empty wagon – remember my unit does Sell!!

This is a great product!!

And my reply:

No, I’m not confused. If you’re telling part time consultants they “need” $1800 or $2400 wholesale, then you’re frontloading.

This is why it is so important that sales directors see Pink Truth. I believe most of them have convinced themselves that they’re not frontloading, even when the objective evidence proves that they are.

20 Comments

  1. BestDecision

    Hanging on to hope for 24 years. Imagine what she could’ve built outside of MK in that time! How many $75 masks did you sell last week? How ethical are you when you have to fake excitement over that horrid blue suit with flowers all over it? Or, how can you stomach being associated with a company whose survival is dependent upon Directors faking success, lying about average commissions checks, or convincing people that a new product line is, in fact, a better product?

    Believe me, I’ve been there. Until I got sick of all the hypocrisy and lies and got out. BestDecision ever!

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  2. Lazy Gardens

    If she’s recruiting with “just star” orders, SHE is the one benefiting the most from the bonuses.

    Also, isn’t this forbidden by the contract? “We trade inventory to help each other out.”

  3. NayMKWay

    If she’s so sure everyone she ever recruited “needed” the inventory she talked them into buying, she should be willing to contact all those who dropped out of her unit over the past quarter century and ask them if they ever sold everything they bought. Did they even sell 60% of it, and maybe break even? I’m betting that 1) they didn’t, and 2) she has no way of finding out because she cut them all off when they quit.

    But, hey, as long as she kept her pink Cadillac, that’s the important thing, right?

    1. Mountaineer95

      This! Over those 25 years, how many of the hundreds of women who signed up under her and “just” ordered $1800 actually REORDERED that much regularly? And I don’t mean the few who tried DIQ (and ordered to make production), I mean these women who are just retailing this product that’s so super easy to sell. How many sold all of their initial order so easily and continued to sell $3600 retail over and over?

      It’s not complicated: if a consultant ordered $1800 up front but never ordered that much again, she didn’t sell all of that initial inventory order, and that is proof of frontloading.

      And why is her deserve level so low that in 25 years she chose to not promote herself to NSD?

  4. Cindylu

    Since MK constantly changes products, that $1800.00 order soon becomes obsolete. Women are sick of these fake parties where they feel obligated to make a pity purchase. Most women during COVID would avoid these facials etc. that an unqualified stranger is giving. MK sales women are not certified estheticians. When you’re living pay check to pay check this is indeed mean spirited. Convincing women that they can resell these over priced products is giving them false hope. E-Bay with thousands of discounted products is the reality. The market is saturated. Also it seems unkind for directors to boast about cars, trips and checks (Which often were earned years ago) when realistically most units have a horribly high turn over rate. The only thing that is depressing is that MK for decades has ruined families and indebted far too many.

      1. MultiLevelMoneyLosing

        Lol I thought that a Mary Kay party was probably similar to the fancy “facials” that I’d heard about when I was 18. After I grew up I realized that putting lotion on your own face in front of 5 other women has nothing to do with a facial treatment you get at a spa.

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            1. EyesWideShutNoMore

              Oh wow, I haven’t heard of that kind of party! Did any one book them? Too much work just to sell the body wash.

              I never promoted the pedi ones, those were ridiculous. Haul in tubs, fill them up (“Is the water too hot? Too cold? Add more water?”) and pass around the Satin Hands set. Not worth it at all. “And you get a free foot fungus, ladies! Who can get excited about that?!”

              1. enorth

                I recall seeing videos of those “foot spas.” Women sitting in a semi-circle in the backyard with their feet in plastic tubs… as they wait for a sample of something to scrub their own feet. Pure luxury.

                1. EyesWideShutNoMore

                  That was my “training” party when I first started. I was not impressed. Longest night of my life, it was indoors and I have no idea how much my director made that night. She also was involved with another MLM and rolled that into the individual close. It was so awkward, I was left to chat with the others (total strangers I’d never see again) and pretend like the pedi night was a great experience.

            2. coralrose

              lol! One MK lady consultant talked about “soft hands & hairy leg parties”, they used the garden outside for water. Brrr! (Where I live water from the hose is always Super cold, even in the middle of summer.)

              And shaving your legs outside, with a group of women? Klassy.

              1. J

                Haha ? my memory escapes me, but I think everyone brought their own towel to dry their feet on. Consultant brought the tubs for water, normally filled in a sink with a squirt of body wash. Then a back of the hand facial (apply a purposefully mismatched foundation to the dry hand and then to the facial-ed aka hydrated hand. And just like magic the dry hand looks disgusting), and hostess got to do satin hands on her feet—which, surprise, always a nightmare. Often hostesses would get part way through and excuse themselves while they used their tub.

                I can’t remember where the water from everyone else’s tubs were tossed… hopefully outside and not down the kitchen drain. What a hairy nightmare.

                I did prefer these, as you didn’t have to navigate around why freshly applied makeup was already fading. And besides the tubs, you didn’t need to haul a thousand plastic applicators, trays, mirrors, different colors, etc.

        1. Mountaineer95

          I remember the one and only MK “facial” party I went to back in ‘97 or ‘98, I think. I was working at a furniture store and a woman with a sharp haircut came in (and I mistakenly believed she had come in to shop for furniture when in reality she was “shopping” for MK customers) and invited me to this. I took my poor roommate along (so sorry again, Melinda, haha). I still remember my confusion and disappointment when we were just given a few glops of product and were told to put them on our faces ourselves. Then after awkwardly sitting through this, we made pity purchases of skincare product, and subsequently spent the next few weeks dodging her repeated recruitment phone calls.

          Lather, rinse, repeat. For 25 years. How sad.

  5. Heather

    This director is lying to herself and everyone around her. ALL consultants are personal use ones! ALL OF THEM. You have to work your butt off to sell $1,800 w/s, and it’s going to take you months. How often is this director asking or begging her unit to place orders? There is no way that she can have unit members place a start consultant order and nothing else for six months or more. Her words are pure delusion, and she’s going to fall off of her unicorn.

  6. Angela Isaacs

    I grew up in Appalachia and went to a old country “holler’ church with my great aunt Helen. I was a teen, so I think this was 89; but anyhow a guest pastor came to preach with his wife. After a guest pastor preached it was customary to feed them so all the women that day would bring a dish and we would do a potluck on the mountain side. We spread the food out on blankets and what have you while his wife is bringing out tubs. Everyone thought she was wanting to do a foot washin’ before we ate but it turned out she just wanted us gals to get together after eating and have a MK party. I don’t know what this woman was thinking these were a group of women like my Aunt Helen whose beauty routine was washing with soap they made and covering yourself with Avon original skin so soft for the ‘skitters’ and ‘chiggars’ and then if you needed more moisturizing you rubbed on Vaseline. Needless say she did not make any sells and I don’t think she tried to recruit any potential consultants.

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