The Lie of the Mary Kay Membership

Mary Kay directors and consultants use all sorts of different tactics to recruit women into the scam. One of them is the “membership” idea. Remember, all we have to do is get them to sign up. Then we have a pretty good chance of getting them to place an order, because they’re already “in.”

Our friend Chelsea Adkins is using this “membership” technique:Never mind that she lies about 50% profit on sales. Or that she doesn’t tell you that commissions and bonuses are only available if you recruit AND the recruits order AND you are active (i.e. you have also ordered).

“Join me and get your Mary Kay membership.”

The biggest problem I have with this is that she doesn’t tell you the 50% discount on products happens only if you place an order of at least $225 wholesale ($550 suggested retail). So the $40 set that you were thinking about purchasing…. which seems to cost you only the $30 membership…. really is going to cost you more than $250.

But you get a bunch more products for that $250!!!!

I don’t care. It’s a deceptive tactic. It’s par for the course. Lies (even lies of omission) are so commonplace in Mary Kay that they don’t even recognize them anymore.



  1. Yeah the lies by omission were one of the nails in the coffin for me. As a business owner now I would never dream of deceiving potential partners or customers. It is so highly unprofessional.

  2. On top of being deceptive, this “strategy” for building her area will ultimately fail. Taking away the only profit center at the consultant level will result in no one making an income (except for her) and massive attrition will follow. Her unit/s will collapse.

    • Agree! It is unlikely, the ‘oh by the way’ ; 225.00 plus tax order will be placed. She has more layering to do when she gets a bite on this gig. She will have them in a proverbial corner. Not good at all.

  3. It saddens me to think about how many women are running on this hamster wheel. I don’t know how many “members” Mary Kay has, but it’s way too many. So many families in debt because of calculated lies. The fastest way out (at some point) is to become the perpetrator of the scam. The only way to help these women is to STOP making pity purchases, pity inventory orders and STOP signing up under them in order to “help” them. It’s enabling.

  4. “I have a BIG GOAL…”

    Translation: “You should respect me because I have a BIG GOAL. You should want to help me achieve that goal because we as a society respect people with ambition. Besides, everyone wants to be a part of something larger than themselves; you should want to be a part of my big, ambitious team.”

    This is one of the many psychological ploys used by Mary Kay and other MLMs; indeed, by cults everywhere. Join me, we’re a team, we’re doing great things, my success is your success, sacrifice for the greater good, etc., etc.

    None of this makes much sense when looked at objectively. After all, why should any of us care if Chelsea has a BIG GOAL? Shouldn’t the needs of our own families come first? No, this is an appeal to emotions, not to logic. It’s borderline subliminal, and it’s insidious.

    Whenever you see an Insta or Facebook post by someone gushing over getting to see their upline “win” a car, this is why. They were emotionally manipulated into responding that way.

    • I have a big goal to make myself rich. Please dig deep into your wallet and give me your money. Thank you so much, “we” did this together. — Lol.

      • I have a big goal too! I need to finish my Masters program. You decide: write all my papers for me or become a member and pay my tuition! C’mon! My goal is important too. Think of how many people I will help!


      • But if we all just stretch a little, we can all take pride in the accomplishment of me getting a fancy car!!! Come on! Teamwork!

    • It works because we know being being a team player/ working well in teams is valued by employers and co- workers, so we carry that work ethic over to Mary Kay as well, thinking it’s real work & not just a pyramid scam.

      I remember my former director set some ridiculous unit goal, called it “OUR goal” & I thought “No, lady, that’s YOUR goal. I had no input in this. If you asked me, I would say that’s not realistic. I have no desire to work more than the part- time hours YOU promised. ?

  5. She is supposed to be a “direct seller” of makeup, yet she encourages her potential customer to become her competitor AND will forgo her markup that is supposed to bring her income….as a direct seller. She wants her mark to buy directly from MK, which would, in fact, make MK a direct selling company. The actual definition, not the one made up by the DSA.

    Also, she advertises that if you sign up, you can make a profit, but doesn’t practice that herself! Instead, she pushes joining. Alarm bells should be ringing!

    P.S. This always confuses me; but if I sell something at double what I paid, isn’t that a 100% profit? But, if I buy at half-price, it’s 50% off.

    • Char, your mention of Chelsea’s statement of the 50% profit is the closest thing to truth that Chelsea said! We know we don’t make 100% profit. When we offer product at 25% off, we are then making 50% profit. And how many of us sold items at 50% off, which was our wholesale cost and thus 0% profit? It’s rare to sell MK at full price because there’s always a B1G1 or a package at a discount, give-aways, hostess discounts, etc.

      • Who needs profit when you can earn a purse instead? And think of the pride on your family’s faces when you show them the red lipstick charm you earned for your charm bracelet…just for doing your job!

  6. I also find these social media posts of ‘help me with my goal’ that has others spend money or sign up for something very off putting and very self centered. It would be like somebody asking friends and family to sign up to run their errands, babysit their kids for free, buy stuff from them, give them money, help them to move, etc because they have ‘goals’ they need to reach. Doing that in an MLM doesn’t make it any less tacky or grabby.
    If you have to pester and manipulate friends and family into buying things or signing up, you should rethink your goals and this ‘business’.

  7. Again, the lack of professionalism astounds me. The free website…link…ew, pass. How am I supposed to improve my SEO, create back links, monitor traffic, click rate?

    How many abandoned carts do I have monthly? How long do people spend on my site? What’s the most viewed item? Anyone share a link?

    All of this would be crucial information in understanding my customer base, helping me stock inventory accordingly and knowing where/how my customers are finding me.

    So I’ll pass on a website link with kittyparrot2014 at the end of it.

  8. It shows that thinking went into this objective. Also that this star needs c$sh ASAP.
    It really does come down to this at any level in MK. No I do not need to be in a buying club, to have nice skin and skin care products.

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