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

New Consultant Avoids the Inventory Con

One of our new members shares this story of how she got sucked into the pink vortex, but recognized the scam before buying inventory.

Let me start by saying that I am new to this group, and I am so glad I found it! I think this is the perfect place to tell my story in hopes that someone who is considering going towards the light will realize IT IS A TRAP!

Two weeks ago, my husband and I went to a local restaurant where three women dressed in black with red and pink high heels greeted us as we walked into the door. The ladies were eager to hand me a red rose and welcome me to Lady’s Night. They then asked me if I would like to enter myself into a drawing for a prize! This was a once in a lifetime chance to win an all inclusive spa day at a top of the line facility (I swear thats what I was told) for myself and up to 4 friends. Of course, I entered because I was told there would be a massage and facial!

Fast forward two days and I WON! The lady then informed me that she would need the names of up to 4 of my friends that would love to come along with me and be totally pampered at no cost! Naturally, I thought of my husband and his best friend, and my best friend. I invited them and supplied the lady with their information and the type of skin they have, because this facial was tailor made to each of us.

Move forward a week – we are on our way to our wonderful spa day! We are so excited to be all alone together and enjoy a facial and a massage custom to us. We pull into the parking lot and walk up to the front door of the building that is, indeed, a spa. We give it a good tug and…. it’s locked. Hmm? Why…? We give it one more tug and then a woman rounds the corner and asks if we are here for the spa day! YES! We must have a different entrance to go through. The lady from the emails did mention that this event was especially for us and that they had rented out the building for us (I swear this was also said).

We walk through the doors around the back and it hit me. I see 8 other women sitting around this table with their trays and samples. I realize this is NOT what I signed up for. My husband is pissed at this point, so he and his friend go to a bar up the road and my friend and I sit through the “spa day” which turned to be us applying product to our face and listening to these people sell us products and push us to sign up for Mary Kay. We go through the “up and out” and “ring finger” techniques, we go through the quizzes and the “I am fabulous game” where we quickly write down the numbers of as many people as we can think of that may enjoy Mary Kay. I filled out my 20 and got 3 raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing, which later turned out to be a small tube of lip gloss that was this ghastly shade of puke orange-red.

The “leader” of the pack proceeded to tell us all about herself! She JUST got her first car through Mary Kay and she wanted us to know how easy it is to get one! She told us about all the fun incentives and the 50% off that each representative gets after buying their welcome kit. She also told us of a cruise that we could go on just by selling a little product that had so many seats open! The whole cruise ship was all rented to MK! Even if we decided to not sell Mary Kay, the new sign up package comes with SO MUCH PRODUCT and that in itself is worth it. I was also told I did not have to carry product at my home, and that it could all be done online! I would still get my 50% off of my online product and I could just keep my product stocked online! How awesome is that?!

At this particular time, one of the girls being “pampered” by her own two hands is getting tired of the crap, and asks if this is a pyramid scheme. The “brains of the pink operation” in the room seems floored, as if she could not believe that she was asked this question. “How could this be a pyramid scheme? Pyramid schemes are illegal!” We all get quiet for around 30 seconds and then one of the Elle Woods jr’s says “okay time for SATIN HANDS”!!

I think it is important to say that I usually do not fall for things, but this had me hook, line and sinker – on top of the fact that the leader was in the military and WHY would she have any reason to lie to me or try to con me? The military teaches against that. I would know! My husband is military! I was told that I wouldn’t have another option to sign up unless I won another facial as well, or repeated my visit. My concern was losing money if product didn’t sell, and they reassured me that they have a 90% buyback, so if it doesn’t sell they return 90% of what you paid for it. I decided that I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity so I signed up.

The next day, the leader called me and how the tables turned. She spoke with me about how many hours I was planning on putting into the business, and I told her around 20 a week because I only work part time! “WELL THAT’S AWESOME!” She said… then asked me which package I would like to purchase to have my product at home. I told her that I was told by her and another representative that I did not have to have product on hand and I could just sell what was in my online inventory – she told me that nobody wants to wait for product – they will buy what they see if it’s something they can take with them the same day. I then tell her that people wait for packages all the time, then I ask for the package prices and she sends them over….

The only option she sends me is $1,800 . I avoided contact for around 24 hours while I delved into the MK website and realized what I was being fed was not true. This cruise that was so easy to get on.. 2 spots left! This car? I need to sell $12,000 worth of product to get the car and MAINTAIN that!

The next day she calls me, I then tell her that I really am not willing to spend $1,800 to start a business, and that I feel as if I was lied to and she tells me that she totally understands, but with the hours I will be putting in to the business that is the package she recommends, plus it comes with a free website and 3 full product sets of my choice. I reiterated to her again that I was not willing to spend that kind of money.

She then informs me that there IS a lower package option that will allow me to keep my benefits! That sounds better…. and then she tells me it is $600. I again told her that I really did not want to spend that kind of money at this time, and she offered me a $225 package and told me I would not lose my benefits (50% off and free bundle product). I told her that was reasonable, but I would still have to think on it.

An hour later I get a text that “hey girl, I just spoke with the state coordinator and she told me that you will not get your 50% off unless you purchase a $600+ package – you will also forfeit some of the awesome bonuses and won’t be able to earn your points towards that cruise! Let’s talk about financing! We offer a Mary Kay card and you can also take out a personal loan! I can help you do those if you’d like! That’ll be awesome! You are such an empowering woman and I think that you’d make a great addition! I want you to WIN”. I was absolutely flabbergasted to say the least that she is basically insinuating that I don’t have money to get started- basically like saying “since you don’t have the money, let’s put you into debt”.

Now I am realizing the fault of my ways. I tell her that I am not interested in selling Mary Kay anymore and she comes back with “if this is about money, the great thing about Mary Kay is you can start with JUST your welcome kit- let’s get you started on setting up your first party”. I again tell her I am not interested in doing this anymore and I block her from my phone and social media. I get SIX texts from other Mary Kay reps within a 2 hour span telling me about how they have all been where I was and they will do anything to help me succeed. I block them as well.

An hour later, one of my friends gets a text from the regional sales coordinator telling her that I am starting training next week, and would she like a free facial on Saturday that she can bring 4 people to as a way to congratulate me and welcome me to the MK team. Keep in mind this is after I have told her twice that I will not be continuing with them or their product/business. I post on my public Facebook letting everyone know that if they get a text from a Mary Kay rep, to not respond. Come to find out, all of my people I put on my “I am fabulous” sheet got the same text my one friend did about coming to a facial.

Meanwhile, my Mary Kay starter kit comes in and what is in this giant box is laughable to say the least. It has all sorts of useless things in it! There was hardly any product. The bulk of the package was items for throwing these stupid facials that I am super surprised that nobody has chewed them out for lying about (maybe because we all sit in a room collectively embarrassed that we were conned into this).

The more research I have done on this company, the more I have thanked God that I didn’t totally fall for their crock of crap.

The whole moral of this story is that if you see this post and you are considering Mary Kay, DO NOT do it. You will lose your money. DO NOT BE BLINDED BY THE PINK CADDY!


  1. Kristen

    Great post! It’s so telling that even after you realized you had been lured to a sales pitch instead of a spa day, you still wanted to join. That’s how persuasive these ladies can be. It doesn’t matter if you’re smart (and obviously you are) or not so smart. If you have the slightest inkling of trust in people, they take advantage of it. After all, we don’t usually expect people to be lying about everything they say, all with a smile.

  2. NayMKWay

    This cracked me up:

    “At this particular time, one of the girls being ‘pampered’ by her own two hands is getting tired of the crap, and asks if this is a pyramid scheme. The ‘brains of the pink operation’ in the room seems floored, as if she could not believe that she was asked this question.”

    …and yet “brains” had a scripted answer. Floored, was she? Naw, she probably had to fend that question off two out of three “pampering sessions.” Her being “floored” was just an act; one of many, many lies.

  3. Data Junkie

    Holy manipulation batman! Thank you for sharing OP. This if further proof that Mary Kay is primarily in the business of selling inventory kits to their own reps. If the point was to sell makeup to outside customers, just think about how different OPs experience would be.

    Imagine any startup company. They’d sell the product directly at a competitive price, without high cost to cover the overhead of hundreds of thousands of “consultants”. Any public contact with company reps out in the wild would include usable free samples and a brochure, complete with URL to order more product.

    On the other hand, if your goal is to build a huge pyramid of loyal customers fooled into believing they are business owners and thus fooled into buying way more product than they can ever use or sell, from which the folks at the tippy top get a tidy profit, you’d structure it exactly as Mary Kay has done it!

    1. Queens

      I have been given a rose in the last 8 years, at Chili’s, for a Mother’s Day Celebration. I also “won” the raffle. So like every other old, out-of-date idea or ploy, they resurrect it occasionally. She tried recruiting me back in, as I had gotten out a few years prior, but fortunately for me, I love my job too much to be swayed, and I knew that it wasn’t as easy as what they say. After I met with her, I came home and googled, “is Mary Kay a scam?”. Pink Truth was the first hit and the rest is history.

    2. Jasmar

      I’ve read this story somewhere else, but I can’t remember where. A few details are different but I clearly remember the part about the spa being locked and a MK lady popping up and directing them to another building. Weird. Maybe I read it on Reddit.

  4. Mountaineer95

    But you GUYS! Every Friday PT Critic will tell you that the (many, apparently) MK ladies in this story are just a few bad apples and they don’t spoil the “bunch” that make up such a wonderful company!!

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