Questions For Mary Kay Inc.

Written by SuzyQ

Dear Mary Kay Cosmetics,

Pink Truth has been around for almost 17 years. I’ve been here almost as long. The things I criticized in the beginning are unchanged. I know  someone at the corporate offices has monitored the site from the start. I know the executives know full well how consultants and directors are taken advantage of, how almost no one makes money, and how this wonderful opportunity for women actually ends up damaging women’s finances.

But please hear my heart on the following points:

1. Do you ever look at the numbers of “T” consultants coming back into the company on the last day of the month? Any month? With as close to $225 wholesale as one can get to it? And rarely is there a Section 2 order attached to these orders?

2. Do you ever pay attention when a new consultant has 2 or 3 initial inventory orders that have been flagged as “credit card decline”? Do you know what that means? No? Well, it means that a director has placed usually a $1,200 AND an $1,800 and has 3 days to get a credit card for the new consultant, and based on the credit limit, one of those orders will be approved before the month closes and the other will remain as “on hold.”

3. Have you ever paid attention to what is fondly known as the Unit Bounce? This is what occurs when a personal use consultant is moved from one unit to another depending on who needs a body at a particular time. You might be interested in tracking Social Security numbers to see just how frequently this happens. Sometimes, the personal use consultant in question actually knows about this, sometimes he or she just suddenly starts receiving the Applause again.

4. Isn’t it interesting that a director can use her own credit card to place an order for a consultant? All she has to do is promise that the consultant gave her the money for the order in advance. So you mean to tell me that all these newly reactivated consultants do not have credit cards of their own, but do have cash lying around to give to the director who uses her own credit card? It might be fun to just check by phone with the newest reactivated consultants, especially in June, or in the last week of car qualification, to find out why these consultants just happened to come back in with a $600 order, and then forgot to order section 2 items.

5. Does the rate of directors losing units and cars ever bother you? Did anyone ever think of doing something like an exit interview (something done in real jobs)? Does this strike you as a viable topic for one of those high level meetings? Has it occurred to you that your NSD Advisory Board doesn’t have a clue as to what is actually going on in the field? And that they have vested interest in keeping things as they are, and that they are concerned that their checks are continuing to shrink.

6. Has anyone ever thought that starting DIQ with 10 recruits is a bad idea? It seems it’s really good for corporate and for the DIQ’s director. But the DIQ herself? Not so much when she has a weak and small team. It creates weak directors and wreaks financial havoc on those involved. Back when DIQ started with a team of twelve or started after finishing the car, it created directors who at least had a fighting chance.

7. Have you noticed how many directors are make and miss production every other month? Did it occur to you to check to see the director’s personal production in the months she made it to $4,500? I believe you will see a correlation.

8. Again, with directors. You are losing them. These are not all new directors. You are losing seasoned directors. That should at least cause a wrinkled brow on someone. There IS in fact, something afoot. This should concern you. Really. It might be worth your time to find out why.

9. And really, the religious abuse needs to be addressed on a corporate level. I am dead serious. Your NSDs and their hot shot directors are really really causing great emotional distress among the consultants and others. If we consider quitting MK, we are also quitting God? That Mary Kay Ash is deified as a god.

10. And last but not least. Shunning and lying. If one of the favorite phrases in the recruiting interview is the no risk thing… don’t like it? Send it back! Then you might want to reinforce that those who choose to leave are not pariahs, but are simply women who are on a different path. We haven’t gone to the devil, we aren’t losers, we aren’t turning our backs on God, we just changed our minds… for a variety of reasons, see “exit interview” above.

I will be done with this last comment. There would be no need for Pink Truth if you hadn’t lied, manipulated, deceived,  and have been generally awful to your sales force.


Another Loser Director Emeriti


  1. Great questions. Too bad there’s a snowball’s chance that they’ll ever be answered honestly.

    Question of my own: what are section 2 items?

    • Section 2 items are promotional/”business support” items. Catalogs, mirrors, mascara wands, product samples, etc. Consultants who are consistently selling need these things to keep their customers engaged, to be able to show new products, give out catalogs, all that jazz. When a consultant is NOT ordering section 2, one of two things is happening. She’s personal use (and NOT selling anything to anyone except herself), or the director is ordering for her, with or without her knowledge. I think SuzyQ is referring especially to this second practice–directors will shore up production, car quotas, consultant minimums for contests, etc. with their own funds but in the consultant’s name. So it looks like she has 30 active consultants because on the last day of the month, the director placed a $225 activating order for 5 consultants on her own credit card.

      • Thanks, Frosty. I remember reading on here about shady directors placing orders in inactive consultants’s names. If they’re ordering all product and no support items, watching out for a lot of those kind of orders, allegedly by inactive consultants, in the same unit, makes a lot of sense.

  2. Like asking a drug dealer, “Don’t you feel bad your customer spends all her money on drugs, jeopardizes her physical health, and endangers the children she has in her care?”

    The answer: If the dealer cared, they wouldn’t be a drug dealer in the first place.

    If Mary Kay cared, they wouldn’t use the MLM system in the first place either. They are in business to make money, from the consultomers aka the “buyers force”.

    I’m sure Mary Kay Corpse thinks, “Well, PT is out there. It’s not our fault people don’t heed their warnings. Plus, we’ve got a company to run, benefits to pay, and need to maintain the lifestyle of our founding family.”

    I often get a sense that consultants, and ex-consultants, think they are somehow part of Mary Kay, or rather ARE Mary Kay. Think of Downton Abbey:

    The dramas surrounding the servants are very important TO THEM: who advances to housekeeper, the coveted butler position, the kitchen-maid feeling abused by the cook, who’s tall enough to be a footman, etc.. All basically inconsequential stuff to the royals and title holders.

    There is a servant pyramid and a royal pyramid, and the two are not conflated. As with MLM, you have the corporate pyramid and the MLM pyramid sustaining the corporate pyramid. The servants sole purpose is to keep the “House of Mary Kay” up and running.

    Do we really think the Granthams give much of a rat’s arse about the personal servant issues – at the end of the day? The Crawleys will put their concerns first: their own family, keeping their estate profitable, their status, their wardrobe, and if their daughters are going to marry up. (Go Lady Edith!) The servants are only there for the benefit of the Grantham Estate, and the servants are ultimately expendable. Cause too much trouble, complain too much, and you’re gone.

    – At least the Abbey staff are paid a wage for their time.
    – NSDs simply scammed their way to butler status. They are not royals!
    – Mary Kay is worth billions and debt-free. Why would they change a thing, unless forced to?

    The only way for Mary Kay to improve would be to ditch the MLM system. But again, why would they when their sales and marketing strategy of running a product-based pyramid scheme is so profitable for them?

    • “If Mary Kay cared, they wouldn’t use the MLM system in the first place”

      MLMs like Mary Kay depend on “churn”. The last thing they want is to care for a huge downline of consultants who are no longer ordering because they have maxed out their credit card and exhausted pity pirchases to F+F. For those unable/unwilling to recruit, it is best to blame the consultant for their failure so they leave without returning their inventory.

      Caring for stale consultants consumes resources better directed toward recruiting. The goal is to maximize churn, not build a stale downline.

  3. Wonderful essay, SuzyQ! (Do you have any answers you’d like to share with us, Corporate?)

    I’d like to add my own corollary to question 5, MKC: Don’t you think sending a noisy tow truck to pick up the car they no longer qualify for is kind of—well, shitty? Why not let her turn it in at the dealership? Why do you insist on making a spectacle of her so-called failure? It’s not a repo; why make it look like one? Are you that vindictive and petty? It sure looks like it, and it’s a bad look.

    I’m just askin’.

    • How else would they publicly shame her for her own personal failure in front of the whole neighborhood? Just another piece of theatrics they can use to intimidate other car drivers into desperately pumping their own money into the company because “YOU don’t want to end up like Mary, do you? She got her car towed away in the middle of the afternoon while her kids were sobbing and the nosy old woman across the street was on the phone telling everyone what a loser she was!”

    • Oh, my gosh, they really do that? They don’t give even her a deadline to turn it in herself before they send a tow truck? That’s just mean. What a way to repay someone who has worked so hard to promote the company.

      • What if she parks it anyway at the dealership, so it’s not at her home to tow in the first place?

        • That’s what I would do. “It’s in the dealer’s parking lot and they have the keys. If you want to pay a towing service to move it 50 feet, be my guest.”

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