No Free Training in Mary Kay

Written by The Scribbler

It’s proudly proclaimed on most Mary Kay recruiting scripts, leaflets, and packets, most of the time in capital letters: FREE training! But is “free” a description that’s dead-on or just another fabulous fib?

Pull up your favorite NSD or director’s website and you’ll encounter a bevy of training documents covering everything from what questions to ask yourself each day (“Who am I interviewing today? Who is my next personal recruit?” “Who is my next offspring director?”) to how to “grade” the consultant summary sheets (“Write in different colors! Use fun stickers!”) Check your inbox, too – one director said that “about 50% of our consultant education is via e-mail.”

While they tout free training, the truth is that nothing is free in Mary Kay. Even though training events should be free to attend, (when was the last time you had to pay out of your own pocket for training at your J-O-B?), the reality of having to pony up is often justified with a quick, “It’s a life-changing event; you can’t afford not to go!”

Take Seminar for example. It costs a couple hundred bucks, which does not include airfare, hotel, rental car, food, gas, and special anti-boredom spouse events (which usually from $75 to $150 and are not included in your spouse’s price of admission). Add up these expenses and we’re looking at flipping a grand or so into Mary Kay’s collection plate when all’s said and done.

Friends, if you’re going to put a thousand bucks towards a “must-attend” event, wouldn’t you rather go on an actual vacation? Wouldn’t you rather treat yourself to that instead of engaging in the “stand-clap-curse-sit-repeat” routine for three days and attending eye-rolling classes like “Follow the Money Trail” and “If Only You Would Believe!” in full MK uniform? Me too.

Let’s take a peek at some other pay-for-training scenarios in Mary Kay you may encounter, such as the director who tells her unit that “CDs are available to purchase at the sign-in table. These items are sold at my cost to make it easier for you to get the information.” Gee, if only there were some way to make it easier for consultants to get the information they need. Like making it free.

Some of the events are “cheap” at $5 to $10 each. There are often add-on sessions for another $10 to $15. But there are also additional up-sells from there. $30 here, $50 there. Sometimes there are ordering requirements to attend an event… such as must be active or must order $600 wholesale.

Weekly “success meetings” (when they’re in-person) will cost you too. Directors and NSDs alike charge monthly fees or dues. These usually ranges from $5 to $10 per week. Why the fee when you were promised free training? “The training is FREE, but the facility is not. Dues partially offset the high meeting room costs.”

OHHHHHH! So it’s the facility we’re paying for! You can’t even enjoy “free” training when it is free because you’re stuck funding someone else’s extravagant tastes in meeting rooms.

So is there free training to be had in Mary Kay?” Yes, there is some, provided you have a computer, an e-mail account, and internet access. But if you’re “serious about your business” and the claims that these “essential” training events will change your life, electrocute your business, and infuse you with the forbidden knowledge of the NSDs, have your checkbooks and credit card(s) at the ready.


    • There is absolutely nothing about MK that is free — the ribbons, quarterly prizes, cars, training — you name it. YOU pay for it one way or another.

  1. Well if you are a business owner then you are expected to be paying for training. I had to pay for attending the Jimmy John’s Owners Conference.

    Altho soooo much else is odd about it actually being a business you own.

    • You don’t actually own your business, despite what they say. You can’t sell it or leave it to anyone, there is nothing there that you actually own – except your inventory.

  2. I got sucked into MK in the 90’s. Yes, I fell for all the lies about the freedom to work when you want. The push to buy a big quantity of inventory to start out. My director, Ms. Keyes who proudly used the sligan “keys to success” encouraged me to apply for a credit card just for the business. 🤔 To this day I am still angry. I managed to book 1 party where no one bought a thing. I also drove, on a Sunday across town to present my pitch to a co-worker who bought 1 item.MK had a tactic where you would set up a jar at a place of business with a sign, “Win a Free Makeover.” Anyone who filled out the card was called and told they won. Christian values my a##. Trickery abd deceit is more like it. Consultants would have to continuously, by that I mean monthly, buy more inventory or be penalized somehow. I can’t remember. Is that running your own business? I also worked for a small lawfirm at that time. My boss said to me, Do you know how many tunes of lipstick you would have to sell in a day to make a profit? That hit home. MK is a sham. They call you up at those meetings praising you as a Star consultant in the hopes others attending will get sucked in, when being a Star Consultant means nothing more than the amount of inventory you purchased. Disgraceful. One last thing, if you like 1 of the products you used for the facial, oh no you couldn’t buy just that one product, you had to buy the whole facial kit. I could go on and on about my utter disgust over this companies’ deceitful practices. Thank you, thank you, thank you for The Pink Truth. I hope it’s dissuaded a lot of women from considering MK as a business opportunity. Number one brand in the US come on really?


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