Failing at Mary Kay Since 2011

Here’s a note from Tina, a Mary Kay lady who has been failing since 2011 but is not going to quit! There are reasons! Obviously the opportunity still worked for her, and she’s sorry it didn’t work for us.

Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM. It is a dual marketing model. Now that that has been settled, I’m sorry that Mary Kay did not work for you. As with all entrepreneurial ventures there are upsides and downsides and it takes a lot of work and knowing when to exercise discretion and good judgment in the appropriate amount of inventory to purchase based strictly on your ability and or desire to get out there and sell it. This is a HARD business to be in these days. It takes a lot of work, dedication and endurance, not to mention a thick skin.My business never took off because my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness around the time I joined in 2011. I’m still in and don’t plan to leave. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve been “porched,” ghosted, stood up, cancelled at the last minute, missed my goals, been inactive almost to termination and been part of a brand new unit only to have my director lose our unit. Been there for the cheers and tears.

Fact is, anyone with a job is expected to meet certain goals and criteria for continued perks and employment. If you don’t, you lose your rank and they take away your company car. I don’t hold with the mad dash to recruit, especially when trying to make sales director. What you DON’T want is a bunch of people trying to do you a favor who have no intention of actually staying and doing the work. To me, that’s the quickest way to lose your unit in a flash. Mary Kay millionaires are out there. I’ve met many of them! It can be done and is being done.

Actually, I have no idea why I am even on this site writing this. I find the overall nasty tone of the Pink Truth unpleasant and off-putting. Also you are not working FOR Mary Kay, Inc., you are and independent business owner. As the boss, get your own insurance and set up your own 401(K) and do some private lending.

There’s a lot of sour grapes on here. But seeing as how I’m still making money working when I am able, getting great training, meeting new friends and generally enjoying the Hell out of hanging ith positive, powerful women on a mission, I’m gonna hang around with the Mary Kay ladies. Again, sorry this opportunity didn’t work out for you.


  1. Kristen

    Such a rare find! A critic who doesn’t use ALL CAPS or excessive exclamation points!!!!!! Still, a run-of-the-mill criticism that hits the same arguments: we didn’t work hard enough and that Mary Kay consultants own a business just like other legitimate businesses. Tina, many of the women on pink truth WERE directors. You were not. They did know how to keep a unit but found the only way to do so was crushing their conscience. I’m glad you don’t scam others into joining. But if this was so “easy” and “product flies off the shelves” as MK touts, why are you still failing? Even with the terrible situation of a spouses illness, this was promised as an easy part time job, work around your family, put in 9 hours a week. I would guess that you have a bookshelf/closet/basement/garage filled with inventory that you are “someday” going to sell?

  2. NayMKWay

    Tina is the ideal Mary Kay victim: both tenacious and gullible. She thinks MK isn’t MLM because the company says it isn’t, and that settles that, doesn’t it? Tina, do you have an upline? Does your Director get a cut of what you purchase? Do the ones above her get a cut of what you purchase also? Yes? Well, that is MLM, Tina. MK lies and claims otherwise for one reason only: MLM has a bad reputation. So they came up with a silly new name for what is and always has been multi-level marketing. Tracy has covered this deceptive claim in depth.

    “I don’t hold with the mad dash to recruit…”

    Ooh, Mary Kay doesn’t like that attitude. They emphasize recruiting above all, because they sell more products to front-loading recruits than to customers. Why don’t you start a campaign within Mary Kay to discourage recruiting, and see how Corporate responds? Hey, if you’re lucky, maybe they won’t notice.

    “Mary Kay millionaires are out there.”

    So are lotto millionaires, but no one pretends playing lottos is a career. Have you ever noticed how MLM– sorry, dual-marketing– companies like Mary Kay use the same come-ons as lotto ads? Mansions, fancy cars, a life of luxury…it could be you! Yes, but what are the odds? Mary Kay is counting on you keeping those stars in your eyes while they pick your pocket, Tina.

  3. Char

    Tina says, “Mary Kay is not now, nor has it ever been an MLM.”

    Attention consultants: All commissions from your recruited individuals’ orders and their downline orders are cancelled. The only commission available to you is on product that you personally resell to NON-affiliate customers. There will be no commission made from “your team”. Pass it on!

    In the meantime, Amway is sticking with the MLM system. Here’s how Amway describes it copied directly from their site:

    [IBO=Consultant; points=production]

    1. RETAIL MARGIN — Buy the products at a special IBO price, sell them to customers at a price you determine — you keep the difference (the retail margin)!

    [Each IBO orders direct from Amway via a computer. Then she can resell to customers for a retail profit. Sound familiar?]

    2. BONUSES — Earn performance points on products sold and, as your business grows, earn points from products sold by IBOs you sponsor. YOUR POINTS+ DOWNLINE IBOs’POINTS=BONUSES

    3. INCENTIVES — Elective Growth Incentives and rewards include Fast Track Incentive Program awards ACCUMULATED POINTS for new IBOs, rewards for key achievements in extraordinary growth and helping others succeed, trips and one-time cash awards.= EXTRA CASH + TRIPS

    As shown with the Amway direct comparison, Mary Kay is indeed an MLM company. Tina’s opening statement said is was not. Sadly, Tina is another Mary Kay liar. What possesses her to be like that?

  4. EyesWideShutNoMore

    Lol, set up your own 401k and do some private lending! Yes, let’s see that happen with someone who uses MK math. You’ll be rocketing to the poorhouse in no time – if you’re not already there from your “independent business” of Mary Kay.

  5. BestDecision

    Which NSD did you meet making a million a year? That would be the definition of a “millionaire” in MK, and there are none. Not even Gloria.

    Just because someone has earned a million in commissions over the course of their entire time in MK does NOT equate to a millionaire. Sorry, but MK has you bamboozled there. A Director with 25 years in MK who only grosses $40,000/year is a “Mary Kay millionaire”.

    Common sense and critical thinking are the keys to seeing MK for what it is. Please, please develop some.

  6. Cindylu

    Ok so when I search for a list of mlm’s, MK is on that list. (Including Amway, Lularoe, Avon, Scensy, Arbonne, Herbalife etc.). I was once convinced that MK herself was this extraordinary, compassionate caring person. My advice is don’t ever get sick. If you do become ill, you’ll be dropped like yesterdays news. Also unless you’re an NSD (which is rare and impossible to achieve without hurting others), then your retirement is going to be very painful. Maybe if you have a partner who is financially secure, than your hobby might not harm others. I just found being away from my children, the humiliation of constantly cancelled facials or no one showing up at an Open House were a betrayal. I am not sure how you can accept a company that often changes products without caring about the extra burden obsolete products have on many.

  7. Heather

    Since others have hit on many points in this post, I’m going to mention the retirement/401(k) stuff. I am not a financial planner or accountant and I don’t play one on tv.

    When I was with MK, including as an SD, I had a SEP/IRA (self-employed IRA). There were some VERY specific rules about contributions and such, even more than a Roth or traditional IRA. A 401(K) as a self-employed person has some higher contributions, yet at pre-tax dollars like all 401(K) plans. I highly doubt you were making enough to contribute the max amount these last 10 years or so to make having that account worthwhile. Retirement money is retirement money. HOWEVER, being self-employed (you are not a business owner in MK or any other MLM) means no matching funds. Matching funds add up quickly, and MK is not going to give you any kind of matching. Zero. Nada. Zip. If you are selling intermittently right now, you are probably not contributing to your 401(K) on a regular basis to make the account worth the time.

    Also, the “great training” you spout is merely a passing along of scripts. There is no true training, and YOU have to pay for said training. When my organization sends me to training (virtual or in-person), THEY pay for it, including my hotel, meals, and fees. My personal expenses for training are minimal compared to what I spent with MK.

    1. Wasrings90

      Exactly it’s about the matching. My employer doesn’t offer insurance benefits because he can’t afford to, but he does have a savings program where he will match the 1% to 3%. You want choose to put into it. I have only worked there for almost 4yrs and it has a good chunk of $ of cash in it. Because of the matching. I would never ever be able to save that much.

      1. Mountaineer95

        I had a nice bit of change in my 401k from my JOB, but I opened my own business (a legit, brick and mortar retail store, not the “pretend” business that Kaybots play dress-up for). Unfortunately the Great Recession killed me, and I used the 401k money to try and stay afloat but I had to close my stores (like so many others did). So while I used up my 401k, I’m very, very lucky that my dad’s JOB was excellent, he worked there for 40 years, and invested wisely, and that money is what has allowed me to pretty much “retire” at under fifty years old. I hope the Kaybots note my use of the word JOB. Heather’s smart example of intentionally having a retirement account as a Sales Director is an anomaly in MK. If you really strive for excellent savings and actual retirement, a JOB can get you there. An MLM will not.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      When Intel had its 50th anniversary, we got curious and asked HR how much someone who had worked with them since the start (within the first 5 years of founding) would have in their company retirement account.

      We picked a “fab tech” or “admin” … just a worker bee who signed on in their early 20s and pretty much stayed at mid-range for their job.

      We assumed they had kept the stock options, left the stock bonuses in the account (spent the bonuses that showed up in the paycheck), spent the stock dividends if any, and did the max allowed 401K contributions.

      The RETIREMENT ACCOUNT, not including social security, would be well over 1.5 MILLION in assets. That’s salable stock and spendable cash …

      1. Heather

        Exactly my point, LG! 1.5 million in assets, not including any other retirement accounts (e.g.: Roth or traditional IRA). And if you take distributions from it without touching the principal, that account will continue to grow and produce.

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