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

The Post-Seminar Letdown

Written by Raisinberry

Here we go again. July numbers are always dismal, mainly because everyone ordered so much in June to “finish a goal.”

It’s August. The company sets up another promotion based around ordering, and your prize is a silly pin, charm, or something of the sort. Another push to add new customers to your Preferred Customer Program. Some sort of consistency club if you place an order each month.

It never ends. And of course there’s more. More contests, more ordering opportunities, more promos from your national to do FACES this year. Yep, they all want you to FOCUS on building your customers! But do they really mean it? Or is it another ploy to line the pockets of your upline and corporate?

It’s all lip service. The company HAS to pretend that their mission is customers and selling. If it’s not, then Mary Kay is a recruiting company and they would be on the verge of being an illegal pyramid scheme.

Nobody wants to have their consultants to peek at Pink Truth and see something that describes their directors “antics” to a tee. Once you know that what your director says is just about 90% scripted, it’s hard to get enthusiastic.

Directors who visit Pink Truth and follow their conscience start to back off anything that appears like frontloading (i.e. big initial inventory orders) and so the unit numbers plummet. NSDs with pangs of guilt try to back step and appear more concerned about training and salesmanship, etc… knowing full well that production comes from new recruits. Those are the only kind of “new faces” of which they are really concerned.

The biggest hope from corporate and those at the top of the pyramid was that Pink Truth would die out. They hoped our discussion would run its course and we’d go away, just like every other website dedicated to exposing the MLM industry. They tried to look like the focused on selling, but in the background really honing in on the more productive frontloading of new recruits. But 15 years and counting, and Pink Truth isn’t letting up.

If Mary Kay relied on orders from selling alone… 500,000 consultants ordering once or twice a year would put a serious hurt on. All the directors know that a unit (and therefore the company as a whole) is not sustained via orders from consultants who are simply selling. Units are kept based on the large initial inventory orders, and the orders from selling consultants are just a little extra.

So, it’s no wonder you are feeling the letdown after Seminar. That is… if you understand the reality that the same old recruiting and frontloading game is on, and no matter what the hype or the promotion, nothing has really changed. Absolutely nothing has changed in the core business of Mary Kay since Pink Truth has launched in 2006. Let that sink in.

So why are we even here? Pink Truth hoped to change things at Mary Kay. We knew that wholesale change at corporate was unlikely, but that we could reach consultants and directors one by one. We’re STILL getting over 1 million visitors a year to this site. We’re reaching people and educating them, and ultimately saving them from Mary Kay.

So you over-extended yourself placing that sizeable order in June. Now you are into August and all those unsold products are smiling back at you from the shelves. Holiday season is rapidly approaching, and you still have to unload thousands of dollars worth already collecting dust. How many boxes do you have that you didn’t even open yet? I’d be depressed too. I was many times, this time of year.

You sell better than anyone in your Unit and your sales are meager. Your expenses are high. You have plowed money into this “opportunity” for years and you get one step ahead and two steps back. Your recruits go inactive, your unit wilts and falls, you are once again topping off production with resources you do not have, asking your hubby if he has any “space” on his card, and now here comes September. Year after year you have walked through this cycle and year after year you compare yourself to the ones your NSD highlights and fawns over.

You know what you do to survive. You just don’t know that all the others are doing the same thing and pretending all is wonderful in Mary Kay. This is theater. Academy Awards stuff.

Any company that works this hard 3 times a year (Seminar, Career Conference, Leadership… not to mention the 3 or 4 more intermediate NSD events) to pump you up is telling you to your face that they know your business doesn’t produce enough excitement to sustain itself. Would even one Seminar be required if you were making the kind of money that’s been promised? Cash motivates… but this company is all about Credit. Your credit.

You are feeling the letdown from Seminar because you are going to once again work to pay off what you charged in June. Then you will be working to pay off Holiday ordering, then you will be working to pay off Leadership. Round and round and round it goes, with all your efforts doing nothing more than buying you a ticket on the MK roller coaster.

You are hunting for your replacement and you don’t even know it. As you slowly tire out, or refuse to add production out of your own pocket, you will lose your unit and those new red jackets of yours will drop safely into your senior’s unit, and be pumped for whatever you didn’t have the heart to extract from them. She will salvage one or two and push them up the career path to replace you. And they will work it for 4 to 6 to 10 years, until they tire out… or figure it out. And on… and on. (Have you noticed how many directors now crash and burn before they get even a year into this?)

Seminar is a pump-you-up celebration of fraud at a fever pitch, designed to be that “big picture look” that will drive your goal setting and activity till you have had just enough smacks in the face by reality to re-evaluate. Then it will be time for January Retreat and Leadership!

And as long as Pink Truth is here to get the word out, your recruiting efforts will meet opposition. You have to understand our motivation. We don’t want any more of you. We don’t want any more women suckered by lies. We don’t want any more women publicly manipulated to lie because an “ intro sheet” asking them to reveal their high check stares back at them from a hotel podium. You are feeling a letdown after Seminar because you KNOW the truth. You just don’t want to face the truth.

It’s August, and here you go, all over again. Can you really go through all this one more time?


  1. ww1971

    Dont forget, open house season is coming. I read somewhere a director said to start Christmas open house in october. It never stops.
    Also I belive MK falls into a pyramid scheme by legal definition, because commissions are not paid on sales, just ordering……didnt Advocare mlm get in trouble for that?

    1. NayMKWay

      Per the FTC’s complaint against AdvoCare:

      “AdvoCare operated an illegal pyramid scheme that pushed distributors to focus on recruiting new distributors rather than retail sales to customers.

      “The compensation structure also incentivized distributors to purchase large quantities of AdvoCare products to participate in the business and to recruit a downline of other participants with the same incentives.

      “The income of AdvoCare advisors was based on their success at recruiting, with the highest rewards going to those who recruited the most advisors and generated the most purchase volume from their downline.”

      And get this: AdvoCare actually required distributors keep track of retail sales, claiming:

      “From time to time, AdvoCare may contact the customers listed on your Retail Sales Compliance form to verify that the sale took place as reported.

      “If you provide false or inaccurate information, your Distributorship may be suspended or terminated, at the sole discretion of AdvoCare.”

      Apparently, that was all a bluff, and in fact distributors self-qualified and signed up more to do the same.

      Really, is Mary Kay any different?

      (Credit where credit is due: I looked up Advocare at behindmlm.com to get the above quotes.)

      1. Char

        Check out “Gas Station Recruit” on the discussion board. I quote:

        “…..Next I immediately share inventories. I then popped my pink trunk with satin drapes & Ms Proper sitting on caddy chic says this is a beautiful mall. She sees smells fragrances everything. I show her REPAIR AND BIOCELLUSE. She wants everything & says I can do this and begins shopping with me……….”

        (Now at this point I’ll bet some might be thinking, “She’s going to resell her inventory.” But wait, this is MLM.)

        “…….I said oh no you order your own products & earn 50% profit. She said what? I said yep. Also women want it they want it now! So let’s get your order now. QUALIFIED ORDER AT THE GAS STATION. Forgive me Lord when sometimes I’m looking at those who quit rather than focusing on those you have lined up for me.” The steps of the righteous are ordered by God.”(End quote)

        Wait, you mean God didn’t line her up as a retail customer? He instead allowed a scammer to recruit someone into a con game. God sure works in mysterious ways.

        Credit to Parsonsgreen, and paging the FTC!

  2. Ruby Slippers

    Great article!!
    It’s always YOU, the NEW, and the FEW!! Typical MK motto! I’m sure most Directors and consultants have been thrilled with Virtual Seminar and all other virtual events.
    The have probably saved themselves from charging $4000 this past year and a half .
    I always spent a minimum of $1000 for every Seminar & Leadership. I did it on the cheap end. No fancy gowns, split meals, etc.
    My very first Seminar (when I was in the pink fog) I probably spent 1500-1800. I bought so much from vendors that first year . Rolling bags, totes, Boulevard software, etc, postcards . What a waste!! 20 years of my life chasing a pipe dream. I’m so glad I have a real job with real 401K and benefits.

  3. AnonyMouse

    You leave Seminar with corporate and your director telling you to start contacting your customers on your way home about ordering the new products they debuted at Seminar, but you already spent the entire month of June bothering the living heck out of your customers to purchase JUST ONE MORE THING so you can make your HUGE GOAL and they probably have way more products than they need at this point and one of them might just set their phone on fire if you text them now about this AMAZING NEW PRODUCT.

    Ya’ll. You’re never gonna arrive. It’s always going to be like this. Life can be better. Burn down the hamster wheel.

    1. TRACY

      You also leave Seminar feeling like a COMPLETE LOSER. Sure, you’re excited to get your business on fire again. But deeper than that is the feeling of failure because you never did enough or did the right things up to this point.

  4. Eric Thiessen

    It’s almost surreal to compare MK’s Amateur Hour version of sales with the real world. I worked for a $3 billion a year hardware/bldg material wholesaler that actually sold the $3 billion to real retail store owners. We had 300+ sales reps worldwide to cover roughly 4-5k accounts.

    We had two dealer markets a year, in February and in August where we had roughly a million square feet of manufacturers’ booths for our customers to get deals and information from. With Covid, there are now four done online for 10 days each.

    I’m not suggesting MK should do what Orgill did/does but having regional selling events where the reps could meet up with their better customers to view some new products and specials certainly would do more for the sales force’s profitability than the virtually nothing they do now.

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