Mary Kay’s Retail Sales Fraud

Written by Raisinberry

A revelation of the real business plan of Mary Kay Cosmetics… The fact that Mary Kay takes pains to invent the term “dual marketing” to disguise the business model tells you that even Mary Kay is embarrassed about being a multi-level “direct seller.”

Multi-levels and pyramid marketing scare off the majority of right thinking Americans, and rightly so. Pyramid schemes rely on the recruitment of people for income gains over the sale of the product. In fact the sale of the product is secondary if “going to the top” is your goal.

Think about your NSDs. They come into town with the primary function of guest events, and rarely do “free” workshops that focus on training directors or teaching selling. The training is supposed to be free, yet rarely is, at that level. Some require “qualifying” to be in their “space” for training. Advanced training is given only to those who have recruited and are at a higher “level”.

The consultant who wants to just sell better is a cast-off, relegated to learn on her own if she can find any on the art of selling (rather than recruiting). Rarely is salesmanship “inspected” by any director working with individual consultants. Directors know that unit production comes from new recruits, not improving the sales ability of the lowly independent beauty consultant by attending her classes, observing and offering suggestions. That’s just too much work for so little gain.

We are taught in Mary Kay to “inspect what you expect.” The idea is that if you take time to note or recognize any area of the business, it will become more developed. Funny how Mary Kay NEVER really “inspects” retail sales, and instead continues to perpetrate the retail sale lie in recognition of unit clubs and court of sales.

Most years, a little trinket is given out by corporate for an intermediate level of recruiting. You need something like 7 people who have each placed a $600 wholesale order, to win it. There is no intermediate recognition for retail sales on the individual level.

The fact that Mary Kay does not want to legitimize the court of sales and the unit clubs by requiring documentation of actual sales (rather than just basing it on ordering) is a glaring admission that they don’t really want to know. If it was discovered that the vast majority of product purchased remains on consultant shelves until it becomes obsolete, Mary Kay would be a corporate laughing stock, and expose the truth of MK’s pyramid.

It has been said that people could fake the documentation of retail sales, so why should MK bother to try to verify it. Yet Mary Kay will still honor fake unit clubs calling them “Circle of Achievement” and “Circle of Excellence” when the actual figures used represent only the doubling of wholesale orders, bonuses and PCP orders, with no regard for retail sales at all.

A legitimate business would:

  • Record actual sales and award for actual achievement with retail customers.
  • Bring on new “hires” because of a need for new sales personnel in a particular area.
  • Not make an attempt to turn every customer into a “franchisee,” creating their own competition.
  • Not send mixed signals that from a corporate standpoint, inventory is optional, while telling sales leadership that all their recognition depends on how many “stars” they have, how many issues they can use to create orders, how many monthly ordering contests they can run, etc.
  • Back up their sales force with adequate training, and consistent messages that promote the long term well being of the sales force in its entirety, “inspecting” to face the TRUTH of what is the result of their marketing plan.

Seminar is a gathering of thousands of consultants and directors, celebrating fraud. The company pretends to be rewarding the retail sales figures of thousands of units with no legitimate inspection of that fact at all. The consultants will be honored at their individual area nights, standing up in Top Tens with no “inspected” retail whatsoever, indoctrinating them into the “look the only way” club. It’s pretense and everyone, except new recruits, knows it. It’s not real, and never was. Much the way Mary Kay pretends to be a legitimate business and not a pyramid scheme, Seminar reflects that hypocrisy. Sales are fake, Recruits are real.*

Recruits are accounted for, sort of. They physically exist, with their $600 wholesale orders attached and confirmed. (Although no one really knows who coerced someone into letting them use their name and social security number, while paying for the starter kit and initial inventory for them.) A towering pyramid must have its base “inspected” on a regular basis, or it crumbles and falls… and trendy little trinkets being given away by corporate for recruiting acknowledges the only achievement that Mary Kay Corporation must confirm and “inspect” the influx of new drones that metamorphoses other drones into hamsters. Salesmanship? Profitability of the sales force? Actual gross retail sales recognized and rewarded? Nope… nobody wants that inspection headache when it is so much easier to pretend.

*acknowledging an existent social security number


  1. This is something I never understood for the longest time – HOW on earth did the top consultant or director in my national area SELL over $100K of products??? That’s just insane! I started having my doubts when I went to my senior’s home. She has been a top “seller” now for like 20 years as a consultant and director. When I saw the BOXES of products in her basement office area, I was floored. I do know that she moved products rather quickly since she did have clients who bought a LOT of stuff at once. Yet she had boxes upon boxes of body washes, lotions, skincare, and more. There was ZERO verification of her selling 100K of products each year. None. And she was praised for being such an amazing person.

    Queen of Ordering is a more appropriate title for her.

  2. Another on-point, just-the-facts gem from Raisinberry. Excellent work!

    Mary Kay would collapse in a matter of months if there weren’t a steady stream of new recruits. People get suckered in, are soon disillusioned, and quit, in need of replacement. That’s why Mary Kay pushes recruitment so hard: they know the numbers game they’re running. They always have.

    I’m sure we’ll soon see a Friday letter telling us we’re all a bunch of bitter, lazy loosers [sic]. But the numbers don’t lie: 40-60% annual churn rate at Mary Kay. They can’t all be lazy.

  3. They push it… do it fast. Slow is good but fast is better.. the one month wonder. That’s the director in one month. Or is it DIQ?

  4. I saw an Instagram story on Jamie_v_taylor account saying:

    “mlm is different from direct sales and I’ll be glad to teach you the difference.”

    LoL 😆 🤣 excuse me, Difference? Really?

  5. You know what is really telling? We have been exposing these truths for 16 years, so if mary kay wanted to clean up their act, they had plenty of time to “get legit”.

    The fact that nothing changes tells you, this is EXACTLY the way it is profitable.

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