Unit Clubs Help Us Calculate “Executive” Pay

Written by Raisinberry

For decades, Mary Kay published commissions in Applause Magazine for the women at the top of the pyramid. The vast majority of the directors never graced those pages, so you couldn’t find out how much they were making. Of course, that all changed a couple of years ago when MK switched to only publishing the commissions in their consultants-only corner of the internet, so that people like us (outsiders!) can’t see (and publish!) the truth.

Whether you have access to those commission numbers or not, you’ll never see the numbers for most of the directors. Until you get to the end of the seminar year. In July, everyone talks about where their unit finished at year end. They had seminar goals for certain unit clubs. If you know what the seminar goal was or how far away you were, you can easily figure your director’s paycheck.

The Mary Kay sales director is paid based on wholesale ordering, so any retail figure you see has to be cut in half. If your unit is in the $250,000 Unit Club, figure the amount at $125,000 wholesale.(Of course, we’re ignoring the whole double credit promotion Mary Kay likes to run each year, which just inflates the retail figures.)

Now divide that $125,000 by 12 months to get $10,400 wholesale production per month. Your director gets about 23% of that (if she’s over $5k per month, which means bonus money). She makes about $2,400 per month excluding her personal recruiting commission. You can find her recruiting commission, commonly called a love check in your newsletter (unless she’s hiding from that).

If she is a strong recruiter, and gets star orders this will be a significant additional commission. Usually a Director posts her “love check” in the newsletter and you can see it will range from $100 to $1500 per month. If she only has 4 or 5 recruits for the year, or has relied on her on-targets and DIQs to bring ’em in, this number will be low. Very low.

The listing of Seminar Sales Leaders gives you a picture because you can look at the names, divide the retail in half and total the possible commission guestimate at 10% because not all her months will be at 13%. It’s nine percent (even if she does her own $600 order) if less than 5 consultants order during the same month.

In our example, we’ll say the newsletter shows an average of $250 additional per month. She’s up to about $2,650 in commissions. She also may have picked up some bonuses for recruiting over the year (She gets up to $500 for 5 qualified in a month…haven’t seen this happen much at all).  Add $100 a month for this and we’re now up to $2,750 per month prior to business expenses.

So your Unit Club Director, at $250,000 retail production for the year is making roughly $2,750 gross commission per month. On the generous side. Before expenses. And we know how considerable these are. Easily (twelve months) averaged at $800 to $1,000 a month, and we all have to pay taxes. (Unless you lose money, and most “premier club” directors ultimately do.) In our example, the director is clearing about $1,750 a month after expenses, so she is making $21,000 a year.

Now, how many units are at $250,000 “retail” in all of Mary Kay? As you go to Seminar or your awards night this month, observe how many Units even made it to any type of Unit Club. $21,000 per year is okay helpful money for any home. But it isn’t “executive” by any stretch so if you left your job to pursue it, you’re screwed. Of all the units in MK, how many shine on that Seminar stage in Unit clubs? 500 per Seminar? 600?

Now why would we report on this? Aren’t paychecks kinda personal? In this case, absolutely not. Mary Kay’s marketing plan and “opportunity talk” elaborates on the high potential income of its consultants and Directors. They routinely share their “highest check” at guest events as the main bait to join.

Any consultant can see if she is being lied to. She can do the math on her own unit, and even being generous with bonuses, can get very near a clearer picture as to whether her director has “paid for college with her MK check…purchased her home with her MK check, is making executive income part time from home with her MK check.”

Any guest can verify what she has been told by simply asking the director what is the average wholesale production per month of the unit. She will never expect that question. She will stammer. You should press. She will give you a June number (typically the highest month for most sales directors) because she has to spin it (following the tenets of positive affirmation). Then ask her what March was and January. With those numbers you can figure an average and you will have her.

Pink Truth exists because directors lie and are lied to. Directors “suggest.” Directors “allude to” and we assume. Our first line of clarity involves getting directors to admit and face what they work so hard to deny. They teach consultants to deny as well, by simply not allowing anything “negative” to be spoken. The end product is an entire group of sales people pretending they sell more than they do, and absolutely clinging to that “highest check” as their reality instead of the exception.

It was our assumptions and Mary Kay’s inability to be forthright with information and documentation of financial facts that we relied on, that caused some of us, to make horrible decisions. But Mary Kay doesn’t promote (wink wink) what it makes its directors say. We promote “top” check, not “average” check. We leave out expenses and the fact that the top check was 15 years ago. That’s negative.

Do the math and find out exactly what kind of earnings YOUR director is bringing home, so you aren’t duped into “chasing the dream” that even your own director cannot catch.


  1. Great writeup today Raisinberry. I’d like to add to your comment, “Our first line of clarity involves getting directors to admit and face what they work so hard to deny.” In addition to denying the nature of MLMs like Mary Kay, and denying the realities associated with the “opportunity”, there remains this issue of co-opting and misusing standard business terminology in an attempt to give legitimacy to the MK experience. They conflate: gross with net income, orders with sales, bonuses with income, investments with purchases, income with pay etc.. Ultimately, they fail to clearly identify the real “customer” as viewed from Mary Kay Corporate.

    You can’t trust anything these MLMers say, since they use non-standard definitions for the terms they use to promote their “opportunity.” And even that word is misused. The direct financial beneficiary of a consultant’s orders is not the consultant…it is their up-line and MKC. The financial benefit to the consultant is at best potential, albeit statistically unlikely. Meanwhile the financial benefit from consultant orders is guaranteed for their upline and MKC (unless/until the inventory gets returned).

    When an MK recruiter uses the word “opportunity”, they are literally referring to themselves more so than the recruit.

    • People also assume “opportunity” means a net positive and ethical connotation, so let’s finish the sentence for them, “Are you interested in an opportunity to be scammed, and then maybe you can scam others?” “Opportunity” also doesn’t really commit to anything; it’s a great CYA word.

      Some of my other favorites: leader, skilled, career, hard work, negative and hater.

      Leader – lead liar, gang leader
      Skilled – skilled con artist
      Career – a career swindler
      Hard work – Work hard at scamming others
      Negative hater – I hate MLM scammers and child abusers. MLMer response: “Don’t be so negative.”

      And the most convenient, catch-all words “faith” and “belief”.

  2. Most Kaybots will declare this post and the info in it as “negative” or even “lies”. Consider this, Mary Kay faithful: if the numbers posted here are blatant lies, why won’t Mary Kay take legal action against Pink Truth? This certainly isn’t the first PT post to share the numbers of what MK directors are earning; Tracy has been sharing these posts for YEARS. Yet not once has MK Corp tried to initiate legal action against Tracy and PT for such “lies”. MK Corp is quick to take legal action against many current and previous Kaybots, from lowly IBCs trying to unload inventory on ebay to former superstar NSDs. So why don’t they challenge the accuracy and validity of these numbers? Think about that, before you decide that we’re just lazy loosers and haterzzz spreading lies.

  3. It seemed, back in the 90’s that the IRS would only allow you to claim a negative year two times or two times in a row then audit you after that. What about now days? 🤔 Does our forensic CPA know? I’d Google your director and the chain up to NSD to see who has claimed bankruptcy and or a criminal record. You may ne very, very surprised 😮!

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