Have you ever wondered how and why Pink Truth was started? Below is a clip from my appearance on HuffPost Live (more than 10 years ago!), in which I talk briefly about my Mary Kay experience and why I started this site.

It all began when I found other women on a consumer complaints board… and all of us were complaining about the Mary Kay “business opportunity.”   I spent time there an on a few other sites discussing MK, and in 2006 I decided I wanted my own site about Mary Kay, and I started a blog called Mary Kay Sucks. Corporate leaders at MK thought they would wait us out, since sites like these always go away eventually. And 14 years later….

I love Darrell Overcash’s advice to NSDs about how to handle us:

I would recommend that you not visit these sites at all, even to satisfy your own curiosity. I further recommend that you discourage anyone in your Area from visiting these sites – for two reasons. First, there is nothing positive to gain by reading the blogs. Why waste your valuable time reading such negative, false and upsetting exchanges when you can and should spend your time on positive endeavors? Second, because the life of any Web site is largely dependent upon the number of visitors it receives, we certainly don’t want to be unintentional contributors to their success.


  1. Second, because the life of any Web site is largely dependent upon the number of visitors it receives, we certainly don’t want to be unintentional contributors to their success.

    And still, so many MKBots stumble across the site on a regular basis.

    • I’ve done ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and one of the very first things they ask you to do is FORBID yourself from thinking of something, say ice cream, for five minutes. It doesn’t matter whether you like ice cream or not. The vast majority of people will be fixing to eat their way through a Baskin-Robbins within a minute and the minority will only be able to do it through massive effort, distracting themselves or hyperfocusing on something else.

      Darryl’s “keep off that website page views blaaaaaaargh!!!!1!” is essentially doing the same thing. Whether it’s defiance, FOMO, curiosity, whatever, it was guaranteed to make the huns more likely to peek (and feel guilty while doing it).

      If he had said “look if you want, but draw your own conclusions” that would have erased the forbidden fruit aspect and I’d bet there’d be fewer huns face planting in the vestibule.

  2. Your video summarizes the system so succinctly. Congrats on keeping this site going all of these years! Your engagement model keeps me coming back…something new every day!

    But we also have to give credit where it is due. Mary Kay has been successfully selling this lie for decades. I am a strong believer in the free market, the world would be a better place if these MLM systems were regulated.

    Endless-chain recruiting is the primary issue here. I have less concern with the MLM snake-oil sales tactics, as the high MLM price tag tends to limit the market penetration of these products with their dubious efficacy claims. Few people outside the MLM buy these products in any case.

    But the selling of the “opportunity to sell the opportunity” is where the real harm is done. I figured the Internet and social media would have facilitated the reputational downfall of the MLM model by now. While I see growing backlash, I remain dumbfounded at the number, size and scale of these MLM operations.

    How in the world is Amway still in business? The Amway faithful are all so poor…I just don’t know how they can afford to stay loyal. I feel so bad for all of these MLM folks every time I am approached.

    I have no idea how MLMs could be effectively regulated. Forcing the MLMs to reveal they are peddling an endless-chain opportunity, and be required to share industry failure rates as part of every signed consultant agreement would be a good start. Kind of like an investment perspectus.

    While this will probably never happen, I can always dream. Meanwhile, the MLM nightmare continues largely unabated…except for truth sharing sites like Pink Truth!

    • One easy regulation would be to require them to show how many active consultants there are in a given area. They HAVE that information already in their database, they just have to make it show up on a map and in a results form. If you research your “business opportunity” and see that your tiny town of 8,000 already has 20 active resellers for that MLM, or that your big city zip code has 142 … you can make a better decision.

      • A couple of years ago (pre-pandemic), there was a town in Ontario of circa 4,000 population which had 8 Scentsy reps. I only found out about them because one started to aggressively post to the Montreal BST (buy, sell, trade) page and always had the same three or four people responding.

        I kind of followed the town on google maps and watched the slow decline the number of reps over the years. It looks like there are non there now. However I did see an advert for a Spring Fete which said “No Direct Sales”, so I hope that no-one is going to claim that their small business isn’t direct sales.

        • The direct sales / MLM marketers are also doing their worst to ruin Farmer’s Markets and the non-juried craft shows. There is a long standing FM in a nearby town that a friend and I go to because it is close to a restaurant that we like. I don’t know why the MLM marketers keep showing up: the food trucks and baked good stalls and produce stalls all have lines of people waiting, which the crowds carefully avid the stalls with MLMs and the stalls trying to get telephone numbers so they can sell windows.

      • I love this. Also revealing would be the total number of inactive/jformer consultants in the same geography, as well as the annual “churn” rate for consultants.

        Something they will never share, but that new consultants should insist on, is the aggregate P/L of the recruiter’s down-line, including current and former members. Sadly, most recruits are not likely familiar with these business terms, but this P/L would scare away anyone with any sort of business background.

        • So you want current AND former MLM members? That would be possible, all they need to do is retain the addresses, which is not a load on a database. Getting the annual “churn” rate for consultants … also possible with the data they collect.

          None of this would burden any MLM – it’s a matter of reporting some data they already collect, and would take a decent database programmer less than a morning to write the queries.

        • “the aggregate P/L of the recruiter’s down-line, including current and former members.” If they aren’t tracking sales, how can they report this?

          They could report the churn rate of the uplines … that would have revealed some interesting things about some of the “fastest ever to NSD” sprints.

          • True, Lazy, they don’t track retail sales. But they do track orders (cost) and commissions/bonuses (revenue). This includes everything coming in to the MLM from the consultant, and everything going out from the MLM to the consultant. That would provide a “corporate view” P/L for each consultant, which could be rolled up to produce the aggregate for the down-line.

            Note: Anyone who believes there is any real money collected on sales margins is fooling themselves. It would be amazing to see the tracking on margins. Considering that most of the product is never actually sold, even if a small portion had a positive margin (even full MSRP), the “average” margin for all product ordered would still be negative. True retail profit is not a realistic notion in any Mary Kay downline, considering how much is never actually sold.

            Besides, if retailing was a path to riches, there would be no need to recruit! The scant few making money in MLM are definitely not doing it through retailing. Why show bonus checks if the real money comes from sales margins? A business ledger (or Sched C), would show true business profit. You won’t see these huns sharing this kind of detail. How many even keep an accurate ledger?



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