Standard False Earnings Claims

One of the most frustrating parts about Mary Kay Cosmetics is the deception during the recruiting process.

“Doesn’t this look eeeeeeasy????”

“All you do is squirt and smile! Squirt and smile!”

“I just know you’d be great at doing what I do!”

“Unlimited earnings, full-time pay for part-time hours, replacing your income…”

There are literally hundreds of standard lines that the scary Mary Kay ladies use to draw women into the pink bubble. Typically, they downplay the time and effort needed to sell Mary Kay products, and exaggerate the amount of money earned from Mary Kay activities.

Here is a typical flier that makes all sorts of exaggerations about your Mary Kay business. Oh wait! These numbers are possible, aren’t they? Well of course they’re possible. The problem is that they’re presented as the average, when there isn’t even any credible market research to back up these “averages”.

The claims include:

  • At each skin care class, there ranges 3 to 6 people (an average of 4). That may be true. The unfortunate reality, however, is that skin care classes with guests are very hard to book and hold.
  • The average sales are $250 per class. With 4 people, that would mean each is spending over $60. That is not the average. Not by far. Oh sure, you’ll hear of the person who had a $1,000 class with four people. But it’s not the average, and neither is $250 per class.
  • We retain 85% of our customers. Really? And exactly where is this documented? And how does one define a customer? As someone who bought once? As someone who buys regularly? How regularly? I don’t know of anyone in Mary Kay who has that high of a retention rate.
  • The average reorder per customer each year is $200 when they are introduced to additional products to sample. Really? $50 per customer, per quarter? Again, I don’t know anyone in Mary Kay who has that high of an average.

So all of these things are presented as facts, and then the sheet goes on to use lower numbers. Why lower numbers? If they’re the average, then let’s use ’em! In the end, the claim is made that with:

  • 5 classes per week, you’ll profit $48,347 per year
  • 4 classes per week, you’ll profit $38,748 per year
  • 3 classes per week, you’ll profit $29,061 per year
  • 2 classes per week, you’ll profit $19,375 per year
  • 1 class per week, you’ll profit $9.687 per year

Doesn’t that all sound fantastic? Gosh, just a couple hours a week to do 1 class, and you can make nearly $200 profit per week! Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The fact of the matter is that Mary Kay takes much more time than a couple hours a week, even if you’re only doing 1 class a week. The fact is that you’ll likely make much less that the projected numbers even if you are able to book and hold as many classes as you want to have.

So what’s my problem? This sets up unrealistic expectations from day one. And it’s simply not true.



  1. It’s like a cartoon series where all I hear is “wah wah”. A broken never ending record of deceptive BS. Six people at a class, ya right. $250.00 in sales except when you get a pity sale of $15.00 only. The NSD’s and Directors must be so tired of these silly boring repetitive, ineffective sayings. Fifty years of useless slogans that rarely worked for decades. Recruit, lose that victim and then start the same con over and over again.

  2. The fact that Mary Kay US refuses to publish a public income disclosure statement is super sketch. Ask for one and all you get is platitudes like the ones above in return. If the income potential is so great then WHERE IS THE INCOME DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.

    • Mary Kay Canada does publish, because they are legally required to. You can deduce many interesting things from it.

      • Yes I’ve looked at MK Canada’s income disclosure statement. I think a real income disclosure statement for the US would look very different though, considering Canada has around 35k consultants versus the 2.4 million in the US. It would be interesting and enlightening to see the numbers.

  3. “We retain 85% of our customers.” Really means “Only 15% manage to join the witness protection program and get away from our harassing phone calls.”

  4. This is why they don’t want people to be a realist I guess. Some people think that a realist is the same as a pessimist which is not true. A realist imo is just someone who sees things for what they actually are.

    • Facts, not feelings. That’s why we never wanted prospects to ask for our commission checks and gave them the biggest one we ever had.

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