Secrets to Unit Prizes

Written by SuzyQ

Let’s talk about the prizes. Oh, the prizes.

When Mary Kay directors and NSDs offer a major prize there are a couple of contingencies working here… First and foremost, your director can’t afford much, so the prizes are, shall we say, meaningful, but tacky? Our usual vendors make a mint during the last 3 months of the seminar year, and in June, oh my, the prizes in June! They are cheap, really cheap. And very often, the directors offer CA$H! That’s right! Actual money you can spend. If you win the drawing.

It goes something like this… if you order $200 in June you get one entry into the $500 cash drawing… $400 gets you two entries and so on… This is to reach the unit goal of $20,000 or some extraordinary number. (Now your unit has never done whatever the goal is, but this is June!!!! The month of miracles for those who BEE-lieve, so anything is possible.)

Guess what? The director never has the drawing because the goal is never reached, but you aren’t privy to that part of the contest… But, hey, production is up! And this is called “Sucking the unit dry in June.” And that means July will be pretty awful.

Second… many of the NSD prizes offered will, in fact, have to be purchased by your director. Betcha didn’t know that, eh? An added expense for her. Actually, in my decade long career, I only received one prize directly from my NSD that my senior did not have to purchase, and quite frankly, I am not entirely sure she didn’t have to pay for it then… NSDs don’t have to buy stuff any more. Too busy, I guess.

As directors, we tell ourselves a couple of things:

  1. Who else gets a prize for “just doin’ our jobs?”
  2. If you don’t like the prize, save it and give it to one of your team members, the goal is to earn everything that is offered and
  3. Same thing, but save it for your director debut and give it to the “winners” of your diq courts and last but not least,
  4. It’s not the prize itself, it’s being a team player, and your potential unit will treat you the way you treated your director.

Audible sigh, they have an answer for everything. Don’t fall for it.


  1. I work at a big box retailer, and I’ve received many prizes “just for doing my job,” including many meals/restaurant gift cards, paid days off, and gift cards for our store (whose value nearly doubled when paired with our discount), and cash bonuses. When my team members win recognition, their prizes don’t come out of my cheque, either. Mind you, I will never be eligible to receive a ceramic asparagus for my Christmas tree, and I will have to live with that!

  2. “The director never has the drawing because the goal is never reached…”

    As with most MLMs, even in the rare case there actually is a “drawing”, the winner is pre-determined anyway. This is all so unethical and wrong, not to mention illegal.

    As SuzyQ says, “Don’t fall for it.”

  3. “ Our usual vendors make a mint”

    And any vendors that are approved by MK Corporate pay a percentage to MK Corp. MKC is making money off their independent sales force in every way possible, including this. I know this because awhile ago there were some interesting job postings on the MKC careers site and at least one had to do with a position that worked with these vendors and it was clear that achieving profit for MKC via these vendor contracts was a focus. I saved the links to several postings that were very revealing, but after I linked a few here, they disappeared. I’m not sure if I saved the actual text of the postings; I’ll have to dig around.

    • “MKC is making money off their independent sales force in every way possible”

      Indeed. Seminar is another big moneymaker…especially for the kingpins/speakers. Mary Kay gets you six ways to Sunday. The consultants are the source of cash flow for the entire operation. They pay for absolutely everything in Mary Kay…the commissions and bonuses, of course, but also the salaries of all the folks at Corporate (by way of inventory orders), and don’t forget the the electric bill, property taxes…all of it.

      There is no magic money source in Mary Kay. The consultants are it…no outside sales necessary.

      If only the consultants could understand the role they play in this charade. This picture shows how it works in MLM vs. traditional businesses:

Comments are closed.

Related Posts