FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions from visitors to Pink Truth. Many more answers to your questions are coming soon.

About the Mary Kay Opportunity:

Are there quotas in Mary Kay?

Yes, in order to be eligible to buy products at wholesale prices, you must first activate with a minimum order of $200 wholesale ($400 retail). You must then continue to purchase $200 wholesale every three months to continue to purchase products at wholesale. You must order at least $200 wholesale in one year, or you will be terminated as a consultant. There are also other quotas that car drivers and sales directors must maintain.

Do I really need inventory?

No, you do not need inventory. No one needs inventory in Mary Kay. Your recruiter or sales director will tell you its optional, but they will twist your arm to buy inventory. They will claim you’ll sell much more if you have inventory. (Not true.) They will tell you that women won’t want to wait for their products. (Not true.) They’ll tell you that those who are successful in Mary Kay carry inventory. (Not true.) They’ll tell you that if you’re really serious about being successful in Mary Kay, you’ll buy inventory (Not true.)

The real truth is that Mary Kay lives and dies by the inventory orders of new consultants. Your recruiter and sales director are counting on you to put in an inventory order for the sake of their commission checks. They often start by talking about ordering $3,600 wholesale value of inventory, but if you’re not receptive to that, they may talk about $2,400 ro $1,800. Worst case scenario, they’ll twist your arm to buy $600 because that is the magic number that qualifies them for bonuses and extras.

Scroll down for more information on inventory.

New Mary Kay Consultants:

Read this article first

Sales Director or Director In Qualification:

Calling All Mary Kay DIQs

Just the Mary Kay Facts

Backstage Reality of a Mary Kay Director

20 Reasons I’m No Longer Pursuing NSD

About Pink Truth:

Why are you women at Pink Truth spending so much time rehashing your failure in Mary Kay? Get over it and move on!

Success in Mary Kay means you are good at lies of omission and are skilled at manipulating women to join by bait and switch tactics. Successful Mary Kay women eventually become brainwashed by inputting only company approved information, a systematized deception, while critical thought is discouraged. Mounting debt from inventory, expenses and travel are commonplace and hidden from new prospects. Soon the “successful” Mary Kay leader is living a life of hypocrisy and fraud. It was leaving Mary Kay that turned our lives from “failing” to succeeding, with part of the healing process involved with making amends where possible and helping to warn others. A long as Mary Kay continues to do business as usual, there will be no “moving on”. Responsible people do not hide inside when a predator is loose.

Read more about the mission of Pink Truth here.

I love Mary Kay. Why am I not allowed to talk about how wonderful the company is and what losers you Pink Truth people are?

Pink Truth is a safe-haven for those who have been hurt by Mary Kay or who recognize the abuses of this multi-level marketing company that is nothing more than a predator for women’s wallets. There are hundreds of pro-Mary Kay sites for those in love with pink to sing the company’s praises. This is not one of them. We’re here to talk about the reality of Mary Kay, and in particular, the “other side of the story” that you won’t hear from the women in love with MK. You’re not allowed to bash us because this is our playground, and we make the rules.

Why don’t you offer a “balanced view” of Mary Kay Cosmetics by having a section on here for MK success stories?

We don’t believe in Mary Kay “success stories.” Yes, some women make a little extra money in MK. Yes, very very few make an executive income in MK. But the vast majority of women lose money in MK, and those who “succeed” generally leave financial devastation behind them because of all the women losing money with MK. We’re not here to promote that type of success.

Further, we don’t believe any sort of “balanced” view of MK is necessary on this site. There are literally hundreds of websites offering warm pink fuzzies about Mary Kay, and we encourage those who love MK to go share their stories there. Unless Mary Kay Inc. is willing to add a “pink truth” section to their site to give it “balance,” we see no need to add a section here to promote MK.

More on Inventory

How much inventory should I order?

Little to none. You should only order what you’ve already sold or what you’re sure you can sell quickly. Mary Kay makes changes to their product line frequently, so you never know when the inventory on your shelf will suddenly become discontinued.  It’s also common to have inventory on your shelf and still not have what women are ordering.

Mary Kay makes money when consultants order from them. They don’t care if you ever sell any products. The company’s best chance of getting money out of you is with your first inventory order. This is why your recruiter pushes inventory so heavily, and the company offers a bit of free product when you make your first order.  But it’s not in your best interest to carry inventory, especially when you’re new and you have no idea what you will be able to sell.

What about the “free products” with my initial inventory order?

Free products are the bait to get you to place an initial inventory order. They are enticing you to order more than you probably would normally consider ordering. Free products sound great, but the tradeoff is that you will have money tied up in inventory sitting on a shelf. You have no idea if you’re going to be able to sell it, so it’s not advisable to place an inventory order before you take some time to try out the business first.

I’ve been in Mary Kay for more than 12 months. Can I send back my inventory?

Yes, yes, yes!!! You can send back products you have ordered in the last 12 months, no matter how long you have been a consultant. Recruiters and directors often say that you can only return products within your first year as a consultant, and that is absolutely not true. You can return products at any time. See the details on returning Mary Kay inventory here.

How do I send back my starter kit?

Details on returning your Mary Kay starter kit are found here.

How do I send back my inventory?

Details on returning your Mary Kay inventory are found here.

What do I do with the inventory I can’t send back?

If you’re trying to recoup some of your money, you could try selling your products on eBay, Craigslist, or another sales site. You should be aware, however, that Mary Kay has a history of filing lawsuits against women selling Mary Kay on these sites. It might not be worth the trouble for you to try.

Other options including trading products with other former consultants (so at least you can get products that you may use or may be able to sell to the customers you had), giving the products away as gifts, or donating unused products to a women’s shelter. (Yes, they are always in need of personal care products. Just make sure they know you’re not trying to sell anything or recruit anyone. It is simply a gift to the shelter and the women they help.)

Other Common Questions

Is that “free car” really free?

Of course not! Mary Kay Inc. actually tells consultants and directors that they are not allowed to say “free car,” because it is anything but free! You can earn the use of a car by meeting certain production goals with your team. (i.e. Your team must order a certain amount of products each month or quarter. It doesn’t matter if they sell any of the products or not.) If you qualify for the car and then fail to meet the production goals on an ongoing basis, you will be required to make a “co-pay.” The co-pay is calculated based on your team’s orders.

Kaybots will tell you that this makes sense. Anyone driving a “company car” has to meet goals and maintain their employment with the company in order to keep using the car. However, other companies don’t make their employees pony up money if they don’t meet their goals. What’s worse is that if you don’t “make production,” you will have a very small commission check AND you will owe the co-pay. That’s a double whammy to your wallet.

How can I make my wife (girlfriend, friend, sister, etc.) see that she’s losing money in Mary Kay and needs to get out?

This is a hard one. Mary Kay and other MLMs are very cult-like. They use a lot of brainwashing techniques to keep you in the company. From the beginning, Mary Kay consultants are told to NOT listen to negative comments about the opportunity. Those people are just unsupportive!

Your best bet is to sit down with her and ask to see her results. Have her show you the sales she has made, the amount of product she has purchased, the free products she has given away, and all other expenses she has incurred in Mary Kay.  You will most likely see that she is losing money. If she is turning a profit, get her to figure out how many hours a week she has been working Mary Kay, and do the math to see how much she is making per hour. It will most likely be less than minimum wage. Make sure she is including ALL the time she devotes to Mary Kay. Her recruiter is probably telling her to only look at her time spent at skin care classes, and this unfairly inflates the dollars per hour. Make sure she includes all time spent on the phone, preparing for classes, going to meetings, delivering products, managing her inventory, “warm chatting” women in public, and the like.

When you get done with your calculations, you will see that she is losing money (like 99% of participants in MLM) or she is making very little. Her response to this may be defensive. This is normal! Her recruiter has prepared her for this, and she will have many excuses as to why she is not turning a profit. She will tell you she hasn’t been in long enough or hasn’t been working hard enough. If she says this, try setting a deadline for her. You can revisit her numbers in ___ months, and if she is not turning a profit by then, she agrees she will return her inventory and quit. (Fair warning: It will be hard to get her to agree to this, but you can at least try.)

This is the best way to evaluate her participation in Mary Kay because it is fact based. Do your best to keep the emotion out of that discussion (both hers and yours). Stick to the facts as much as possible, because it’s difficult to effectively argue with the facts. If you think she has an open mind, you can direct her to Pink Truth so she can see stories of other women who tried Mary Kay and lost money. This is a bit of a gamble, because she may get very defensive. The best is to present the site to her, and just ask her to read with an open mind. Don’t push is on her more than that. Just give her the resource, and hopefully she will spend some time alone browsing the site and taking it all in.

How much money can I make in Mary Kay?

Mary Kay recruiters will tell you that you have unlimited earning potential in Mary Kay. That is not true. They will tell you about the women who are making a lot of money. But that is not the norm. Even the women who have been in Mary Kay for years and/or have moved to the very top of the pyramid are mostly not making a lot of money.

The sales directors are the top 14,000 women out of about 600,000 current consultants in the United States. And most of them are making minimum wage or less. (If you don’t want to read that whole article, the summary is this: About 500-600 women are making $50,000 or more after subtracting business expenses. The other 13,400 or 13,500 sales directors are making much less than that. And the sales directors are supposedly the most successful women in the company.)

The truth is that almost everyone loses money in multi-level marketing. Mary Kay doesn’t release many hard numbers, because they don’t want you to see that truth. Instead, the company encourages sales directors and recruiters to show you their “highest check,” which is a one-time thing. It is the biggest check she ever got, and it doesn’t include any subtractions for business expenses and product purchases.

Ask your recruiter to show you her income tax return. Almost none of them will, because they know you’ll be turned off by the low profits or (more likely) the losses. If you do get to see a tax return, it will be the return of one of those 500 or 600 women at the very top of the company. Remember, there are about 599,400 other women in Mary Kay whose results are dismal.

Do not listen to any of the anecdotal stories that women give of making tons of money, paying off their debts, or sending their kids to college with Mary Kay money. Those stories are almost always lies.

Can I make money if I just sell the product and avoid all the extras (inventory, recruiting, training, seminars, etc.)? If I “do it smart”, can’t I just make a little extra money for my family and get my products at a discount?

Lots of women come into Mary Kay hoping to make a little extra money. While it is possible to do that, it’s unlikely. Even if you do find a way to profit from your hobby business, if you look at the hours that you are putting in, you will find it is not worth the effort. Hundreds of thousands of women have tried this before you. Lots of “smart” women tried it, and failed.

Why? Because the system is set up for you to fail. It is difficult to find customers who will consistently purchase products, and you will need to find new customers on an ongoing basis. There are just too many other Mary Kay consultants out there, and too many products available in stores or on the internet. It is next to impossible to create a consistent and profitable retail business in multi-level marketing.