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Direct Sales Preys on Women

Mary Kay nsd Lily Gathreaux educates us on how stupid we are. She hates it when people say that direct sales preys on women. Because if you’re not stupid, you just sell the products and then you make money.

Lily says the definition of “prey” is to hurt, steal, or cheat. Mary Kay does every one of those to everyone involved. You see, we (Pink Truth?) need to stop being ignorant and closed-minded about things we know nothing about. Really? I know plenty about MLM, and I’m here to expose it for the scam that it is. Sorry if that hurts you in the wallet, Lily.

She includes the false earning claim that MLM produces more women millionaires than any other industry. Nope! They call someone a “Mary Kay millionaire” if they have brought in $1 million in gross commissions over their entire career in MK. They don’t subtract the many, many expenses. They make it a cumulative thing. Imagine believing this lie? Any woman who works a real job for ten years making $100k a year is a “millionaire” under MKs criteria. Working a real job at $50k a year for 20 years makes you a “millionaire” according to MK ladies. There are many more women who are NOT in MLMs who are at this “millionaire” status if you add up what they’ve made over the last 10 or 20 years.

What Lily doesn’t mention:

  • “Direct sales” is a phrase that is meant to conceal the REAL business of MK. Mary Kay is MLM, meaning it is an endless chain recruiting scheme. The product is simply the thing that makes it look like it’s not a pyramid scheme, but the real deal is it’s an opportunity to recruit people into an opportunity.
  • Almost no one makes money in MLM because they can’t sell the products for a profit
  • They can’t recruit enough people and frontload enough to make enough commissions (see: most sales directors in MK make minimum wage)
  • The handful of women who do profit (such as Lily) only do so because hundreds or thousands of women below them lose money. MK is a pyramid scheme and money is just transferred up the pyramid from a whole bunch of losers to a handful of winners.

Here’s your proof that selling products doesn’t make you money: Chelsea Adkins had her BIGGEST DAY EVER, selling 633 items to 102 customers. And she made NO MONEY on that big sale. Why? Because everything was sold at 40% to 50% off suggested retail prices. That means she sold it all at cost.

Imagine selling $12,000 of suggested retail for $6,000. Not only did Chelsea make no money on those sales, her customers have all stocked up so she’s not going to sell them full-price products any time soon. And she’s also setting the precedent that they should only shop when things are on sale.

Shame on Lily, who knows that almost no one in her national area is making money selling products, yet she pushes the narrative that you’re an idiot if you can’t sell products for a profit. She claims she never preyed on anyone. Of course she did, every time she lied, just like she did in that video.



  1. “Women are not weak so we can’t prey on weak women,” she says. Women can be in an emotionally fragile state that makes them more vulnerable. Being strong doesn’t mean you can’t go through hard times. This is one more blame-the-victim approach. You knew what you were getting into because you’re a strong, powerful woman (who wants to deny THAT?). So it must be your fault…Shame on Lily for using feminism for her own gain.

    The critics never change their attacks. No hard work=no money/success . True enough. But if you work hard, you won’t be successful either.

  2. “It’s pride and ignorance that keeps people from seeing how magical the world of direct sales can be.”

    You sound like the unicorns trying to convince Charlie to go with them to Candy Mountain. Maybe if Charlie had been more prideful and ignorant he’d still have his freakin’ kidney.

    Bonus points if you remember that YouTube video. “Shun the unbeliever!” “Shun!” “Shuuuuuuun!”

  3. “only shop when things are on sale.”

    I’m watching this unfold with a relative who sells EOs. The only time I see an inkling of interest from potential buyers is BOGO-time. And she’s constantly giving free products to try and get classes. It’s painful to watch.

    • I always thought it was my actual knowledge of, and extensive experience with, retail sales that prevented me from seeing how magical the world of (pyramid scheming) could be. I’m so glad Lily is here to set me straight! Who was I to think that “no protected territories”, the inability to advertise, and the expectation that I would lose actual customers by sharing the opportunity were all bad things?

      I’d love it if someone has some Applause lists that give us an idea if Lily herself is consistently making “executive income” or if she’s towards the bottom of the NSD earnings.

  4. “Anyone can sign up.” Uh huh, even your customers. In fact, that is preferred by the company because they are a “direct sales” company.

    “I followed the plan.” See above. The “plan” from the company is to get as many people “directly ordering” from them.

    Honestly, I’m getting so frustrated with this MLM-er perspective. How many times have we heard how corporations are evil, 9-5’s, and J.O.Bs.. These particular idiots, yes idiots, forget that the MLM company *is* a corporation.

    You know what I find so ironic? The CEO of Mary Kay is a man!

    *I think we need a series of articles from the corporate perspective. This might help give “direct orderers” an aha moment.

    P.S.. No one ever need pay full retail for an MLM product, EVER. I offer this PSA in case the few real customers happen to be swinging by. Call Chelsea if your consultant won’t discount 50% off. Lolol.

    • Yup. “Anyone can sign up,” and therein lies the rub. Endless-chain recruiting saturates the market with too many sellers, to the point the majority buyers are the sellers.

      She identifies the root problem with MLM in the middle of her defense of it.


      • Sounds like a paid ad to me.

        One that is meant to give credibility to MK. See!!! One of the world’s biggest banks writes about us!

        • Crazy. JPMorgan has a good name as far as I can tell. But to align themselves with MK? It would be fun to take one of these official ads apart and actually be honest.

          • I wouldn’t consider it aligning themselves. They’ll sell the advertising to just about anyone who is willing to pay the fee.

            • Forbes has a similar ad service. Write your own vanity piece and give them money to print a “special” edition. The notorious Ponzi scheme OneCoin went that route; the “Forbes” cover was splashed with a photo of co-founder Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in October ’17 and hasn’t been seen since. The feds caught her brother as he was about to board a plane at LAX; he turned state’s evidence.

              During the scam’s heyday, they crowed about their founder, the “Cryptoqueen” being on “the cover of Forbes Magazine!!!”

  5. Dear Rachel Ryan,

    When someone supports your “life you pray for at night,” they are doing so to the detriment of hundreds of women who are losing money in your scam.

  6. “Women aren’t weak,” she says, while promoting a company that trains in how to find and exploit people’s weak spots. Why even bother with the whole DISC personality profiling, if Mary Kay is such a great opportunity?

    My late mother was the strongest person I ever knew. A spine of iron, she had; I aspired to her level of fortitude. Yet she allowed herself to be coerced into buying a Rainbow vacuum cleaner she did not need and couldn’t afford for nearly $1000 — equal to about $6000 today. (And I know she didn’t need it and couldn’t afford it because she said so, out loud, while she wrote the check.)

    Why did she display such “weakness”? Because she bought it from her son—my half-brother—and was trying to be supportive. Every woman—or man, for that matter—has emotional vulnerabilities that can be exploited, and MLMs know this. They encourage everyone to “jump-start” their pretend business by selling to friends and family members, knowing they’re the easiest targets.

    The denouement: In his entire career as a Rainbow salesman, my half-brother sold exactly two vacuums. The other one was to our maternal grandmother.

  7. I suspect there are a number of narcissists in the mlm business even though people are trained to act that way as well. There are a number of interesting youtube channels if you are interested, Doctor Ramani, Surviving narcissism and The little shaman to name a few.

    • So, what exactly happened to all those nights & weekends I gave up for MK? They don’t count? I didn’t work?

    • “It takes a hell of a lot of hard work” doing WHAT?

      Lying, repeating lies, faking, endless-chain recruiting, illegal opportunity selling, spending, being delusional, narcissistic, sucking up to unscrupulous gang leaders, and trying to profit off friends and family (ewww).

    • “A hell of a lot of hard work”?

      What happened to “Executive pay for part-time hours,” huh?


    • Maybe Chelsea can explain to the IBcs in her downline how they are supposed to make profit by selling products when she’s willing to sell all of hers at 40-50 percent off retail? Of course, it works for Chelsea because of her commissions. But for a non-recruiting IBC, exactly how are they to sell any type of product when those same customers can just buy cheaper from Chelsea?

  8. I could only watch 20 seconds. Ugggg. Look at those lying eyes darting all over the place! Wow!

    • I couldn’t take the vocal fry. Maybe her voice just “does that,” but for me, it’s not listenable. Makes my teeth hurt.

  9. “Not only did Chelsea make no money”

    But MK and her up-line DID make money. She also spent time ordering, managing, and moving all that inventory. For nothing. Again. Yet, she continues.

    There must be a reason. Hmmm…

  10. There’s a good podcast on Financial Feminist called The Scandalous and Sketchy Truth Behind MLM’s. Great Listen!

  11. I don’t get it…if a sales consultant makes no money and recruits don’t sell and make money, then how does Mary Kay stay in business??..I’m certain there are plenty of women out there who are smart enough not to buy a load of inventory without an established customer base….is Mary Kay staying in business based on coercing others to buy loads of inventory that doesn’t sell? Makes no sense to me, whatsoever.

  12. Right in the beginning she perpetuates the tired trope that people who are anti-MLM are uneducated.

    Most of us know plenty about MLM. We’ve either been in an MLM company or have done a ton a research.

    Get a real job.

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