Mary Kay Prizes Aren’t Worth the Effort

Written by Sad In Pink

During the course of my time in Mary Kay, I never missed being a star consultant. I believed that I deserved those nice gifts they were giving away each quarter, and I managed to accumulate quite a few. It wasn’t until I resigned as a director and returned my products that I came to realize how little those prizes really were worth.

My statement indicated that for the entire year my star gifts were valued at a whopping $49!!! Wow…. that said a lot right there. I had been a consistent Emerald that year which means I did a LOT of ordering. I earned a pink blender… which broke within two months and rusted out at the base. I earned a gadget which would take an electronic genius to operate and did not work well even when it did operate. In short, the gifts were cheap.

Perhaps the only thing really worth the effort was the luggage set that I earned, since I needed a new suitcase. The quality was good, and when I went to sell it, a friend asked me why I would want to sell the luggage since it was well made. She said, “After all, you bought it each quarter.” It was then that I had some clarity

That’s right! I bought every single star prize. I paid for it through my orders. Certainly the company was losing nothing on the gifts.

They are dangled in front of us as “must haves” and unfortunately, many of us pursued winning them.

It isn’t just the company that gives out cheap gifts though. Sales directors and NSDs also give out prizes that come at little or no cost. I remember receiving a special unit ring from my SD. It was a pretty amethyst ring with a gold band. I wore it proudly and many people remarked about how pretty it was. One day, however, I noticed it turning green in the back. So when I went to seminar, I decided to check out the vendors there and see if I could find a similar ring.

Imagine my shock when I came upon that very ring being sold for all of $4! Later, when I became a director, I was told that we should never spend much on unit prizes for our consultants. The vendors sold pins, bracelets, rings and other pretty baubles for $4 to $6 per piece. In some cases, it was less, and the quality was not good either.

So tell me…. Why did we work so hard to earn something so cheap it could be a prize in a gum ball machine? Somehow, we just had to get that star each quarter so we could struggle to get it attached to the ladder pin. The gem stone was so tiny as to be totally insignificant. In reality, none of the prizes or gifts were worth all the hard work and time we spent trying to do Mary Kay.

Lest you think that only sales directors give out cheap gifts… think again. NSDs also give away cheap items too. At one year end banquet, my NSD gave a bracelet to each of her directors. Within two days, mine had turned green. I was horrified because my NSD told us that she shopped specially for these thank you gifts. The next day, while at the Vendor’s area, I found that bracelet on a rack for all of $2.25. I was so glad to know that my efforts and support were so greatly appreciated.

Even the GREAT seminar award program leaves much to be desired. The diamond rings are not the highest quality and the diamond bumble bees are not either. Then, if you decide to return product and leave MK, you will have to pay for that ring or diamond bee if it was earned during the year you left. So, once again, you just bought your own prize!

In all honesty, there is nothing given to us out of the kindness of Mary Kay Inc’s heart. They cover themselves very well financially. We are the ones that are foolish for pursuing these inexpensive gifts. We sacrifice family time, our faith and every spare moment so we can achieve what? A $4 pin or ring?

If anyone feels the need to have a “bling bling” ring, please just go out and buy one for yourself at one of the vendors. They can easily be found on the internet! It is cheaper, less time consuming and when it turns green, you can always pick up another one for the same price.

Don’t sacrifice the precious time you could be having with your family. Don’t go into debt trying to earn gifts that are low quality and not worth the effort. In fact, the best gift you could give yourself is to not get involved in MK to begin with!


  1. As a Director, it was always promo prizes for ordering . Neither had one who sold consistently plus myself. However, the fun of selling stopped as a Director. I ended up funneling profit from sales into making up production when no one ordered enough .

  2. Raise your hand if your director ever told the story of the mythical consultant who decorated her brand new house with all the home decor star prizes she had earned. 🙋‍♀️ Even as a brand new consultant I was doing the mental math on how many years that would take. 😳

  3. Can you imagine at the lowest star level, that $1,800 could buy a pretty nice ring instead of all those products…and the band would never turn green!

    • I can imagine that if consultants placing star orders were actually selling all those products at full price instead of adding to the pile of inventory in their basements, they would be able to buy all the blenders, luggage, and jewelry they want for themselves!

    • Pretty much all of the stones – diamonds, garnets, topazes, aquamarines, and more – were of the lowest jewelry quality you could get. My “fancy” garnet ring had a center stone in it valued around $10, and the diamonds surrounding it weren’t worth much of anything. The appraisals are WAY overvalued for the quality of the jewelry. When I took my garnet ring to my jeweler to have it resized, I shared the paper appraisal with him. He laughed and said I had been conned. The ring was not worth $500 (ish). It was worth about $100, with the gold being worth the most.

      • And consultants are being screwed twice over these so-called “prizes.” They’re buying inventory they don’t need to qualify for them, & MK adds the appraised value of the prizes as income on their 1099s. Nothing is free in MK. The cars, all expense paid trips, furniture, luggage, etc. are taxed as income. What a con job from MK!!!

  4. Exactly this. Is what happened to me when I was 20 years, in 2010. So disapointed for me. I realized my family, my friends and I do not deserve this waste of time. But mk boss nows: a penny gift with a 3$ ribbon and too many but too many aplauses yeeeah 🤭💕

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