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

I Refused to Buy My Way Through DIQ

quit-mary-kayA consultant shares her quitting story. She got as far as DIQ, and then finally decided to call it quits. Does her story look like yours?

One day I woke up and thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” I graduated with a degree in a foreign language. One I could do nothing with. I loved it, but after I graduated I had no idea what to do next.

Along came Mary Kay. One of my best friends held a “class” at her mother-in-law’s home and I attended it. She painted such a pretty picture, and I was feeling so down about my worthless degree that I thought, why not give it a go?

I did pretty well. Three recruits one month. Five recruits the next. Decent enough sales, I suppose, but after all, most of the profit was spent on re-ordering, re-stocking, taxes, shipping, cost of gas to get to and from parties, etc.

I was talked into getting a credit card after a few month. When I first joined I refused to get the credit card. But I was doing SO well, with all my recruits, that I thought, it’s time I’m a star consultant. Notice, I wasn’t doing enough in sales to get me to that point yet, so that’s why I said my sales were only decent. In the poor area I live in, my average class of 4-5 people gave me about $100 in sales. And that was on a really, really good day. I know skin care, and makeup, too by the way. I went to school for esthetics for a while. I’m also a good salesperson. But my director said I was just making excuses when I said that my area is poor.

I live in an area that is notoriously cheap. If I told you where I lived, instantly trailer parks and overalls would come to mind. But onward with my Mary Kay dream!

With that credit I purchased $2,400 wholesale inventory. Shortly after that, for some reason, I could not get people to hold bookings with me. Cancellation after cancellation. I went to career conference, which got me so energized and “ready” to be a director, that I said I would “do whatever it takes” to make it happen. I told myself I would NEVER ask my family members to join my team to get me into DIQ. But after career conference (I’d never been to a conference before), out of my excitement from hearing all the stories, my director convinced me to call up family members and get them all added onto my team and active within the next 7 days (the end of the month). And I did it. FIVE of my family members joined to help me, and placed the $225 minimum to get active.

A new month starts (with me now in DIQ) and I have zero appointments on my book. I started cold calling people from the name games I’d played months previously. No one took the bait. I finally called a girl who had attended a party almost a year previously and she miraculously booked with me. She had 6 guests attend, because my hostess credit was, have 6 guests, get $100 in free product REGARDLESS of sales (another strong suggestion my director said I should do during DIQ).

I arrived at this girl’s house, did the party (her, plus her guests made it 7 people)… not one person purchased ANYTHING. NOTHING. And it was 45 minutes out of my way! And here I am OVER $100 of product gone, when you calculate taxes/shipping. I cried my eyes out that entire 45 minutes back, then went for a long, hard run to run out my anger and bitterness from that day.

Towards the end of the month I knew I wasn’t going to make it through DIQ, and I told my director I REFUSED to buy my way into the next month. My best friend who recruited me had just bought her way into her second month of DIQ, and I wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t afford to.

So I failed. I had the worse emotional breakdown I’ve ever had knowing that I got my family members into this to help me and I was going to fail, but thankfully my husband was there to support me and tell me it was okay… He said failure is inevitable in life, and maybe I needed to take a step back from MK and relax for a little bit before entering DIQ again.

I’m so thankful he suggested that. I know on the inside he was thinking, “I wish she would stop with MK altogether,” but he waited patiently for me to come to that conclusion myself. We went on our first vacation in over 6 years, and I deleted my facebook, and turned off my phone for 8 days.

I felt like a human again.

Over the process of that year, getting into DIQ, failing… I neglected my marriage and my family. All my energy and efforts went into “building my business” that just wasn’t working. For almost a year while I was in MK I didn’t go on one date with my husband. How sad is that? I also lost a lot of friends. I used to have so many friends that I would see them all the time, who would call or text every day, and everyone stopped talking to me… probably for fear I’d talk to them about Mary Kay. I never wanted to be this person, yet there I was. It was really, really sad for me.

But then one day I woke up and I said there is no more. No. I can’t do this. I am returning my product and getting that 90% back. I am paying off that credit card, and I will buy my skin care from Wal-Mart for all I care.

I was able to get back to loving life, working a normal 9-5 job. The stability and regularity of a 9-5 job is so much more appealing now that I had this MK experience. And I’m going back to school for something I love. MK may have wasted a year of my life, but I suppose I won’t be deceived by any other direct selling companies ag


  1. pinkboo

    Be proud of yourself for listening to your heart and focusing on your mental health and your relationship with your husband. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Lurkers- stop and listen. Don’t you see that MK is NOT about selling cosmetics? It is about recruiting others to order inventory and ordering more inventory yourself. MK corporate doesn’t track anyone’s sales, doesn’t provide any real training and doesn’t care about your room full of dusty boxes because they already sold the product- to YOU!

    1. Cat Ballou

      No training is the truth! If a legitimate business launched a new product line, every member of the sales force would have training about those products. In MK, your “training” is some graphics posted in your director’s Facebook group.

      1. enorth

        I was never in MK, but I watch videos from SDs. The sales training consists of telling their down-lines to give freebies, hostess gifts, discounts, BOGOs. free shipping and GWPs. In other words, just “move it off the shelves” to make room for more.

      2. Char

        There is also another way to look at it. There IS training, just not the like you’d think you’d get. Mary Kay is an endless-chain recruiting company that uses products to mask the con game.

        The training is how to recruit; how to dream and opportunity sell; how to fake it ‘til you make it. And, the “sales force” is actually the “buying force”. They train you to get “inventory orders” from the buying force.

        Retail resales at double price are not their priority. Upline doesn’t profit additionally from that, and neither does the company. Direct buying consultants is what they want, hence the training they provide.

      3. Mountaineer95

        I used to love new product training from the manufacturers for which I worked as a sales rep. I legit got excited about mattress construction, and new enough to give plant tours to my retail store owning customers. And then training their retail staff on how to sell my products. If I worked as a legit makeup salesperson (I’m thinking MAC counter, etc) I think I’d be super psyched about new product launches.

        Not in Mary Kay though!

  2. Pinkiu

    I’m so glad you are going back to school for something you love. I am a faculty member in a teacher education program at a university. If you weren’t already in school, I would have suggested that you could turn your “worthless” degree into a teaching license through a certification only or T2T program. We are in dire need of teachers, particularly at the secondary level. I wish you much success in your new life!

  3. Mountaineer95

    “I live in an area that is notoriously cheap. If I told you where I lived, instantly trailer parks and overalls would come to mind.”

    I’m sensing a possible fellow West Virginian here! 😉

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