I Was a Mary Kay Salesgirl: How I Barely Broke Even

Cheryl Lock

Today, LV Moms editor Cheryl Lock shares her personal experience selling Mary Kay, and explains why, in the end, it just wasn’t the money-making scheme she was led to believe it would be.

Virginia Sole-Smith argues in her Harper’s story, “The Pink Pyramid Scheme” that Mary Kay, a nearly 50-year-old institution with a sales force of 2 million women worldwide, is a huge scam.

While I can’t speak for every woman who has ever sold Mary Kay, I can tell you my own personal story about working with the Pink Ladies. (I’m calling them that, though I doubt it’s something a Mary Kay consultant would call herself.)

My experience working for the company was about six years ago. Though some of the details are fuzzy, I remember the overall process like it was yesterday …

I Was in a New City, and I Was Lonely

My story starts back in 2006 when, as a just-out-of-college graduate, I had followed my then-boyfriend to a little town in northern Florida, where he attended graduate school. I had a journalism degree and big plans to move to New York City to become an editor at a magazine … but that would not be possible in St. Augustine.

I was young and in love, though. No one could reason with me.

I settled in decently enough, but St. Augustine never felt like home. I took freelance jobs at the local paper, then full-time ones at newspapers in neighboring cities. Although I appreciated the experience, I worked mainly with older men and found it hard to make good friends.

Something about living in St. Augustine was lonely, and I felt like the life I envisioned for myself right after college might never come true.

How I Met My First Pink Lady

I met my first Mary Kay contact (let’s call her Helen) at a networking event. My first impression was that she seemed great. She was young, beautiful and impeccably dressed. When we first met, she was working as a manager for a spa.

I didn’t know right away that Helen was selling Mary Kay–I actually didn’t know much about her involvement with the company until she had quit her job to sell Mary Kay full time, and I had quit mine.

It started innocently enough. Helen and I became friendly, so it seemed normal that she would reach out to me upon finding out I was leaving my company. I remember the first phone call happened while I was sunbathing at my apartment complex pool. (Florida wasn’t all bad, after all.) It went something like this:

Helen: “It’s a shame you’re leaving the company, but I wanted to tell you that I’ve actually left my job, too, and I’m selling Mary Kay full-time.”

Me: “Mary Kay, is that the make-up?”

Helen: “Yup. It’s so simple to do, and we have a great support team. Our team leader in St. Augustine has made millions. Her husband quit his job, they live in a great house and it’s all because of Mary Kay. Is that something you’d ever be interested in?”

Me: “Sounds fun! Sure, I’d try it out.”

Have I mentioned how naive I was? This is not to say that I don’t think anyone could be successful selling Mary Kay. If you’re a true businesswoman willing to put out the time and money to make it happen, you probably could end up making a lot of money.

That just wasn’t my experience.

That Very First Phone Call …

I knew going in that Helen would be making money off my sales, and that the person above her was making money off of her. But the way I saw it as a 23-year-old was that Helen really believed in me, and she’d be that much more willing to teach me the ropes.

Instead, Helen passed me off to the all-powerful St. Augustine team leader. Let’s call her Marissa. We spent about a half hour on that first call, while Marissa explained to me (again) how fabulous Mary Kay had been for her. She and her husband lived richly, she said.

The husband was able to quit his job and the two of them traveled for Mary Kay all the time. She said she barely had to find new people to sell to because she had such a steady base of customers and such a fabulous team. Not to mention that that company set her up with the elusive pink Cadillac to thank her for her hard work. (According to the Mary Kay site, more than 130,000 sales force members have qualified for use of a “career car,” or elected the cash compensation.)

The Dream They Sold Me On

Mary Kay salespeople are individual sellers who each essentially own their own Mary Kay “business.” I ordered product from a warehouse, and it was up to me entirely to sell that product for a profit, whether by setting up my own website, acting as a Mary Kay representative at parties hosted by individual people or–and this was my least favorite–literally walking up to people to introduce myself and ask if they wanted or needed makeup.

As a MK representative I would be purchasing product at a 50% discount, and then selling it at full price. I was also required to purchase things to start my business off on the right foot, like mirrors and make-up holders for the parties I’d be attending, sample inventory to test out on people at the parties, sample brushes, sponges, mascara applicators and order cards.

It only makes sense to purchase bulk inventory each time you order, since the shipping fee was flat no matter how much you buy, Marissa explained. And when you’re getting started, you should really bulk up, because the last thing you want is to make your customers wait for their products to come in.

So, would I be willing to shell out $350 for my first order?

That might not sound like a lot now, but at the time I was unemployed and had no way of knowing when my next solid paycheck would come in.

I forked over the cash.

Selling Make-Up Was Fun … for a While

I wasn’t thrown directly into the lion’s den–my first step was to attend Mary Kay “classes,” taught by Marissa at a local event space.

I showed up to my first one, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with Helen, and we sat in the front row soaking it all in. I was introduced as a new hire, along with a handful of other women who were also newbies. We watched make-up demonstrations, learned about ways to find new customers and, of course, heard more success stories:

The flexible schedules!
It’s not hard to do!
I work from the comfort of my own home!

Armed with tons of inventory, all the supplies I needed to start my sure-to-be-wildly-successful business and my expert knowledge from the classes, I did what every good business owner would do: I started asking all my friends in the area if they’d like to throw a Mary Kay party.

I had only known these people for a handful of months at this point, and they were all, for the most part, grad school classmates of my then-boyfriend. Read: dead broke. “Come on!” I chided. “It’ll just be a fun party! Plus, when you host, I can give you a discount on any stuff you buy for yourself!”

And so the parties went, for a little while. I hosted about 5-10 parties, never making much more than $15-$30 from each. I also held a “flash” sale in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, in which I emailed my family and friends to say I would be donating 50% of my proceeds to a breast cancer research fund. In essence, I would be making no profit from a sale. (“What a savvy businesswoman I am!” I thought, when I got a few bites.)

This is the text of an actual email I sent out:

Dear Preferred Customers and Friends,

Exciting news!! I’ll come right to the point. I am in a very special
contest right now, and in order to qualify I must have $1,000 in retail sales in
one day! Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, I’m hoping this is where we can
help each other …

I was getting desperate. I even manned a booth at a local business fair when Helen dropped out last minute and had already purchased the space. I made business cards, bought ribbon and cellophane wrappers and made up dozens of cute little gift bags containing sample products with my business card.

I handed out about ten of those.

The Beginning of the End

After a few months it was becoming increasingly clear that my days selling Mary Kay were coming to a close. No matter how much a person loves you, none of my friends or family members needed a lifetime supply of microdermabrasion sets. And I was learning that my talent for approaching random people and asking if they’d be interested in make-up was slim to none.

The pros would say I just wasn’t doing it the right way, but selling Mary Kay really wasn’t the career for me.

I slowly started backing away. I stopped trying to have parties, wasn’t attending any more training sessions or picking up the phone when Marissa or Helen called.

Marissa put in a call every week or two in the beginning. I never answered, and her message was always the same: “Come back now and you won’t have to pay a re-activation fee for your account! Mary Kay can really make you a lot of money–call me and we can discuss ways to grow your business!”

According to this site, keeping an “active” account means ordering a minimum order of $200 to start, and continuing to purchase $200 wholesale every three months.

In the end, I roughly broke even when you compare the cash I made with what I spent. I did, however, end up with a ton of leftover makeup. Some I used myself, some I gave away and I ended up throwing out a lot more than I would have liked.

I don’t regret my experience, but I certainly didn’t make any lifelong friends (I haven’t spoken to Helen since I left Mary Kay). I definitely didn’t come away with any extra cash or skills.

On the plus side, to this day I still carry around leftover Mary Kay Oil-Absorbing Beauty Blotter tissues in my purse.

So at least there’s that.

Cheryl Lock is the LV Moms editor at LearnVest. Selling Mary Kay was the final push she needed to break away from her St. Augustine life. A few months after she stopped selling, she moved to New York City and started working in magazines. She’s been living the dream ever since.

  • anniemac

    I live in St Augustine  It is a great town with lots to do and lots of opportunities.  I think the outcome with Mk would have been the same for you anywhere, 

  • Cecile4email

    I can’t comment on pyramid schemes, but I have had experience with what I think is called a multiline scheme: you spend money to buy the product you are going to sell, your next-in-line gets a percentage of your profits, and up the chain. A goal is that you will eventually get your own line of underlings and get a percentage of their profits.

    I sold Cabi for three seasons and gave up because of market saturation. Someone from Arizona could drive out to California if they had a friend who would throw a Cabi party. Sometimes an invitee of such a party would have already been at a party I led. You’d never know what you were working with. There was always competition from someone else in your town, or someone willing to schlep clothes from even another state!

    I was left with clothes (no small investment) and ended up giving some away to friends and fellow workers.

    I like the Cabi line, I just found I didn’t have what it took to be the bigger than life type of personality to draw consistent crowds. I didn’t like having to spend $2000 per season to sell clothes. I also didn’t like having to push getting even more people to sell Cabi.

  • Moongirlsm

    Mary Kay is a scam quite simply. The big kahunas get all the cash while you toil and bust your butt to barely break even. Their drop out rates are enormous! I encourage you to do your own research before following such things.


  • Jenniferh2008

    This company also makes profit at the expense and pain of animal testing. Not cool, and NOT OK with me!

    • Pollyanna

      Mary Kay does not test any of their products on animals.  Check their website.

  • Tashy Mary Kay

    Mary Kay is a great company. It’s not for everyone, but if you decide not to do it. The company has a 90% buyback so i dont see what the problem is. Love the extra cash and the products. To learn more link me at http://www.marykay.com/tsybliss

  • Lbouza

    I totally understand as having been there myself, and in this economy I don’t feel comfortable with myself selling a woman makeup product when she takes that money from the groceries.

  • MZB

    I agree you get what you put into it.  I would NEVER recommend someone who just graduated college attempting a Mary Kay, Avon, or Beauti Control. You have to invest a lot to see rewards and for most people in this economy is just not doable. Also, this company makes money off the hard work of women who want to bring in a little extra cash each money, and lets be honest it is really just a little.  However, I know friends and family who have done it to get the cheap make up and sometimes they may be worth it.  I encourage everyone to do the research and figure out if it is a reasonable job for you.

  • Notyerbiz

    Everyone’s so down on hierarchical earning–that someone earns money off of the person at the bottom, and someone above THEM earns money off them, etc.  Well, hate to break it to you all, but that’s corporate structure in general.  The manager of a store earns more than their employees, the district manager earns more than the store manager, and all the way up to the CEO.  So what’s the problem?

  • Wheatie09

    My brother almost got sucked into something similar to Mark Kay, it was the Cutco knife sales company. They have that same “be your own boss! Become a successful businessman” pitch

    • Evanlee87

      I actually sold cutco for a while right out of high school… biggest bust ever. Dishonest sales tactics, stupid 18 year old “boss” running the sales office. He quickly skipped out on the business and left me to just give it up. I made almost $2K, but in gas expenses and having to fix my car after a minor accident, leaving a particularly depressing sales call, I think I barely made any real useable cash.

  • LoriB

    Interesting article… I have never been involved, but have many friends who have and am constantly getting invited to their “parties” which costs me a fortune.  Saw this “mockumentary” movie recently about MLM and it was hilarious! http://www.changeyourlifethemovie.com/

  • Paige Serna

    Thank you for your article! I recently joined Mary Kay and have seen and heard a little of what you’re talking about. It really isn’t for everyone and if you can make it in the company you can make a lot of money. If you are good at sales, you would be a good fit for this company. I don’t think Mary Kay is intentionally out to get people’s money. I in fact love the product. Follow me at http://www.kaylooks.com to join me in my journey with Mary Kay!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/762WXJ7BANDYTQGP2VFZJ3TU4I charlito

    Thank you for posting this! I wish I would had found you before I join this unethical company. I see at least you got some training I have got none and still waiting for it! they took my $600 dollars and now I am attending meetings just to learn how to recruit more people needless to say I am online always looking for an opportunity to share my negative experience with this company. 

  • P_halligan

    I had the same experience working for Avon. Recently unemployed and disabled, I was hoping to find a job I could do from home. Unfortunately, I was spending more than I was bringing in. I gave up after four months.

  • Erica

    Mary Kay is not a scam, it’s like investing in a franchise, what you put in, you do get out. I am a National Sales director and i’ve been working Mary Kay for 7 Years, only ONE of which (my first year) I have not made 6 figures. I support my family of 5, retired my husband, i’m on my 5th free Mary Kay car, and bring in anywhere from 15,000-50,000 a month in commission. She is NOT rude what so ever, BUT don’t assume that because one woman couldn’t do it, means it’s a scam, like ANY business that is your own, you have to put into it, before you can get out. NO business what started without investing into it, and it does take time before you see profit. you work this business as fast or as slow as you want, but when you put the time and effort into it, boy does it pay off. I do hope she finds a great career choice for herself, but women shouldn’t assume that just because it’s not FREE, that it’s a scam. 

    I am living proof. Ya’ll have an incredible day! :)

  • Charmaine

    5-10 classes only making 15-30…that’s terrible!  My first class with 4 people made me 300.  Everything Is not for Everybody.

    -MaryKay Beauty Consultant-

  • http://twitter.com/loyaltytoday Brandy Middaugh

    I’m currently with Mary Kay, I was recruited knowing that I had no family or friends in this town so I knew that I would have to go out and find customers.  You have to do it daily, religiously even, to keep the momentum going. That’s where I fall short because I don’t feel like working some days, then it turns into weeks.  Then I get back on and really start to work and make money.  You just have to know how the business really works and I’ve been in 6 months and still learning the ropes and trying to keep the momentum going. You can’t leave out a step such as having a party but not booking from the party or finding team members from the party.  You have to warm chatter daily and get names and numbers for at least 10-12.  Everything is so routine once you figure it all out you can make a schedule that fits your lifestyle and make the money that you want depending on how hard you want to work.  Work your tail off in the beginning to grow and cultivate a team so you don’t have to work as hard later.  I live in a town with at least two National sales directors, tons of pink Cadillac driving women and there is still room for more!

  • WrappingHousewives

    I like the article- but i do not think its a scam. She definitely should’ve done her research. Part of succeeding in these businesses is research, self growth and hard work. These companies are just like any other company out there- somebody makes it, sells it, ships it, then re sell it. The difference is we do it from home and we dont have to answer to the “boss” These types of businesses are not for everybody. I recently joined MK because they are the only products i can use- but its not my thing. I do however sell here and there and that extra cash rocks and helps me buy more make up for me. You have to learn warm chatter and go outside your comfort zone otherwise you’re stuck looking like a beggar. 

  • Cline633

    I also tried Mary Kay with my friend and I who both worked full time plus school. Our “leader” called us non stop and would basically scold us when we couldn’t attend a meeting due to work or school. That right there was it for me and my friend, we told or director up front about work and school and she said it was about our schedules and that this would work. She was beyond wrong and annoying. So glad I got out! They don’t tell you either how much of your own money you out into it, other wise I would have ran for the hills earlier!!

  • Tia

    The beautiful thing about MK is that if it is not for you, you have an easy out.  The company will buy back the inventory if you chose to have any for 90% and you can move on with your life.  I am not a “sales” kind of girl, but in my debut alone I sold $600.  I don’t harass family and I don’t approach every single person I see, but I am a success.  It is what you make it and just like any job…it is not for everyone.  I find the environment super encouraging and it has changed my life.   You get what you put in and we are all ready for endeavors at different times in life.  :)

  • Me

    Well, we are all adults. Live and learn and find your “no” bone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jenni8 Jenni

    This opportunity is not for everyone.  This was her experience and it wasn’t her thing.  I’ve seen much worse out their in bashing Mary Kay just because they got in over their head or joined a group of ladies who were not the right support.  I am new to this myself, but I already love my recruter and I know she is going to help me every step of the way.  The thing that I think most do not grasp is that this opportunity is a personal BUSINESS that you need to run and manage yourself.  And in starting a personal business I sure don’t see other companies offering support as Mary Kay does.  I am looking to start a personal business of a different sort and I see this as an opportunity to learn how to do that along with learning to take better care of my skin and to look and feel beautiful to gain confidence in selling myself.  Cause face it ladies, you aren’t just selling product, you are selling a relationship to be successful.  You don’t just sell the product and never follow up, you call your customers, find out how they like what they purchased and find out if they need more.  I DID do a lot of research before making the plunge and I see why others don’t make it.  I am also realistic, as I don’t plan on making a ton of money, although that would be pretty awesome if it worked out that way.  I plan on making some extra cash, earning some awesome products for myself, making some great connections and friends, and learning how to run a personal business.  Sure if I started a different business later on for my ultimate goal, it would entail a lot more, but this opportunity has already taught me a lot in such a short amount of time and this learning experience will only benefit my needs.  Other than having a great team to help you learn, it is also very important to have good support from your friends and family.  I actually thought everyone would say I’m crazy and in reality it’s been just the oposite.  Another thing going for me is that, even though I’m not exactly a social butterfly, all my best friends are.  And they are stoked to be able to host a party for me to earn free makeup.  SO the important thing here to learn is to do your homework, use positive feedback as inspiration, and the negative as the route not to go.  Everyone has to face this opportunity based on their current situation as well.  Be realistic and NOT put yourself into debt initially if you cannot afford it.  It costs a hole lot more to start up a business in general.  I have already put a great deal of more money into my other dream which I still have not given up on.  From the looks of how my initial startup is already going, it looks like I’m going to just about break even after my first order.  And this will include a decent start in some inventory as well as some satisfied customers to start.  So yes I am very optimistic with a strong team to help me along the way.  Finding the right team to work with is definitely the key. Too bad it wasn’t the career move for you, but at least you broke even, better than going into major debt like others I’ve read about.

  • Cohemistry

    Anybody that buys product in the beginning of a business is crazy. People you know your financial situation better than anyone. I have sold Avon and now I sell Mary Kay. And sell with very little inventory. If you can’t move it in a month then don’t buy it. My MK sales director told me never go into debit for Mary Kay. If you have a sales director that wants you to buy inventory and you know you can’t afford it or haven’t networked enough to move it don’t buy it. All direct selling companies are builded on the same principle meet a lot of people, sell and recruit. If you can’t or won’t do that direct selling is not for you. We as adults have to accept responsibility for our actions.

    • MT


  • MKHubby

    While she does mention that some can be successful with Mary Kay, the article itself as a whole is depicting Mary Kay in a negative way. My wife has been in Mary Kay for 10 years now and it has been a blessing in our lives together. No, it’s not for everyone, nothing is. But it is a great thing for those who are willing to put in the effort. A LOT of ones success in this depends on the leadership, an I mean from the consultant to the director, and on up. Their support, recognition, counsel, availability, presence, and integrity can make or break one’s MK career IMO. Once again, the individual has to have the drive, ambition, willingness to learn, dependability, and character to help make their business successful as well. I told my wife from day one, “I am fine with you doing Mary Kay as long as we aren’t loosing money or hurting the family in some way”. And those early times in her business were hard at times but she stayed the course, kept he focus and vision, and worked hard to advance. Today she is a senior sales director and has just earned her 4th Mary Kay car. And you know, if she had never made one cent this whole time I would still support her in it because Mary Kay has done so much for her in regards to confidence, leadership, friendship, freedom for family, and joy of her job. That alone has been worth it all in my opinion, just how much she has grown as a person. The bonus is that she is making good money with it. I do agree that starting up can be rough, but you have to work to get to the next level and have the support in place to help show you the way. Also I mentioned that my wife earned her cars, not that they are free. Yes Mary Kay pays for it and for 85% of the insurance but you have to WORK to earn it, they just don’t hand them out, couldn’t stay in business long that way. Just FYI, this is Mary Kay’s 50th year. I don’t think they are going anywhere! Husbands, you have to support your wife in this as well for her to have success! Anybody can do this business, but not everybody will have it to work out, such is life with a lot of things. Thanks for reading, signed…Car payment free for 10 years husband of Mary Kay Sales Director!

  • Mary Kayncer survivor.

    mk is a scam

  • LH

    I just became a Mary Kay Consultant about a week and a half ago. I was searching for some advice about wording on google and this came up. The title made me scared about my decision to join MK. BUT, when I read it, I wasn’t scared anymore. Without any offense or strong emotion meant, here’s my take on the subject:

    1st: Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme in it’s purest form, thank God. In Mary Kay, you keep working for your income; you don’t just feed off the labor of your minions. It does fall under the Multi-Level Marketing category, as stated in the article. However, one of the biggest financial traps of MLM is making a huge initial investment in inventory. While Mary does recommend it (mostly because we live in such an instant-gratification society and people don’t like to wait to get their product), it’s certainly not required. You pay less than $125 for your starter kit which is stuffed full of very usable product, plus it comes in this awesome bag! (Seriously, I’m not uber into bags, but this one is really cool!) If you never do anything else as a consultant, that is still a great value for the items you receive.

    2nd: Mary Kay suggests a budgeting plan to help you manage your business wisely. Say a customer orders $100 worth of products. $50 of that is the whole sale cost that goes back to the company. According to MK’s budgeting plan, you’d then allocate $10 for business expenses (i.e. office supplies, samples, inventory, etc), and keep the remaining $40 as income.

    If you (the author of this article) couldn’t afford to hold a 50% off sale, then it was a foolish business decision. You cannot blame the company for that choice. Even if it was a challenge from the company, you clearly couldn’t afford to participate in it. You said yourself that you were young and naive at that time. Maybe you were too immature at that point in your life for this kind of business. (And I don’t mean that in a rude or offensive way.) Nor is a direct-sales/home business, like Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware or whatever, for everyone. Sadly, you learned the hard way.

    So far, the people I’ve been working under have been helping me make responsible decisions for my new business and have respected that I’m not comfortable with investing personal money in inventory. I’m sorry that you didn’t get better guidance and wisdom from your director.

    I am, however, really happy that you you’ve been able to live your dream ever since then! Everything happens for a reason. Even a failed Mary Kay business. :-) Best of luck to you!

    • LH

      Just realized that I made the starter kit sound like inventory. It’s not. Mary Kay suggests anywhere from $300-3600 of inventory. But again, it’s not required. The starter kit gives you what you need to do a party. You do need that.
      :-) Just to clarify.

      • MT

        This is the best post! Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  • Glammie

    Mary Kay has a way of turning into something different that what it is presented to be. I was a director for years and mislead my share of people. It’s just the way your trained to do things. The biggest myth for me was the fake friendships. The sisterhood as they call it is conditional, like most things MK. Directors for the most part do not have your back, love and support are conditional. My hearts desire was to make a difference for women. It became clear that people were being hurt! The corporate office needs to step in and take control of how the business is being sold to new consultants. They also need to start tracking how people are qualifying for things. Their success numbers are artificial, often times positions and cars are with bought by the person qualifying or are gained at the downfall of an unsuspecting, innocent person. Sickening! Shady! Low down!

  • Andrea

    “A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.[1][2]” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme.

    Mary Kay is NOT a pyramid scheme. Each Mary Kay consultant sells a great product to the public. While this is not the only way to make money in Mary Kay, it is a main avenue of income for consultants. I know plenty of consultants who make a good living with NO team members (making no commissions). Plus, everyone – no matter their career level – purchases their product for the same price…one other trait that proves Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme. I am sorry that this writer had a bad experience with the Mary Kay business. I think she was a bit misled & that is too bad. But selling Mary Kay is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a BUSINESS. If you treat it as such, it will pay you accordingly. Also, you only need to order $200 wholesale ($400 retail) once a year to stay a consultant – not every 3 months. Ordering every 3 months ensures your discount for that 3 month span of time & keeps you on the company mailing list to receive the monthly magazine that’s sent out. Most women spend $400 on themselves for skin care, cosmetics, body lotion, sun screen, etc in a year so you could stay a consultant just based on your own personal use. Although I don’t encourage people to be a personal use consultant…seems like a better deal to be a hostess a few times a year if you want a discount on your products. :)
    Just wanted to clarify some inaccuracies in the article. :) Sorry this was soooo long!

  • Tanya

    If the business wasn’t for you, that’s fine. That doesn’t make it a scam though. There are plenty of people who were and are successful with Mary Kay and other direct selling companies. Like everything else, work and training is required to be successful. The company provides several approved training tools, videos, and online courses to take advantage of, especially if you didn’t like the people who were teaching.

  • Kimberly

    The problem with most direct sales company is you have to keep inventory and keep buying new products or to stay active in the business. I signed up for a direct sales company just recently and don’t have to keep active purchase a lot of product to keep inventory. Also, my business is a ground floor opportunity. It’s called Treskinrx. It’s skincare business that’s created by a board certified cosmetic and plastic surgeon. The first ingredient Iis organic pharmaceutical grade aloe vera. 99% of products first ingredient is water. I sell two week trial kits for $14.99 plus shipping and handling. The kits actually lasts 3-4 weeks. I’ve seen improvements in my skin and it glows. Customers just purchase directly from my website and I don’t have to have parties. If you’re interested in learning more about Treskinrx. Contact me at kimberlykroland at gmail

  • Hellllorrr!

    If you don’t like sale and if you don’t want to sale then don’t! Honestly a company doesn’t stay afloat for over 50 years by scamming people!! Scamming is illegal and don’t you think they would already be in trouble!??

    The truth is that MK is not for everyone, but just because you werent MK material, you should not be disrespectful and rude about the company itself.

    You sound like a upset ex-employee trying to make them sound terrible.

    If you’r better off flippin burgers then go for it.

    Oh and about investing. This goes with any business.


    Under “How I Met My First Pink Lady” section you stated… “This is not to say that I don’t think anyone could be successful selling Mary Kay. If you’re a true businesswoman willing to put out the time and money to make it happen, you probably could end up making a lot of money”. Maybe this should’ve been your header rather than “Mary Kay, a nearly 50-year-old institution with a sales force of 2 million women worldwide, is a huge scam.” Let’s just be honest about life. To prepare yourself for anything that’s a bigger goal, it takes preparation, effort, failure and determination to learn from that failure. I think mostly everyone can come to agreement on that point. You just have to see the end result as worth the sacrifice. You wanted to be an editor so you went to school to prepare yourself to be able to obtain that position. You went to school and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars but at the end of your degree, the school did not hand you a job. I would not call your school a scam. They simply positioned you better to leverage your own EFFORT towards getting a job in your field. It’s a matter of perception. God bless you in your career and I am truly happy that you found your niche but lets not bash on one another and the tools we use to achieve our own goals and dreams. If you are willing to put forth the effort and your passion and commitment level is high enough to drive you through the times of failure to learn and keep pushing… you are a blessed person. Now that’s REAL.

  • MKnewbie

    i just got my mary kay kit 2 days ago and have been trying for a week and a half to get ppl for facials and my debut party but no one will respond or theyre “not able to come”

  • Jenny

    Any business gives back what it is given. This person is destined to always work for someone else. She clearly does not have the drive to achieve on her own. No shame there, just don’t ever try to start your own magazine, or you will be writing another blog article like this one.

  • B

    You get out what u put in and that is w any business. People who don’t do well are either working w low caliber women or aren’t wearing the jersey for the team. I got a car in 63 days it can be done but it is beneficial to plug into a director near you .

  • mariecat78

    I did horrible with Mary Kay too. It isn’t easy to sell, not for me anyway, especially to people you don’t know and to people who haven’t already done their own research on the products, not to mention, it’s really expensive! Not everyone would be willing to drop $90 on a Miracle Set or $15 on a lipstick! Also, if you already have a full time job and/or other responsibilities, it’s not easy to actually make enough money to make your business worth while. Now don’t get me wrong, it can be done, because I have seen and talked to many successful women, but if you do decide to sign up, make sure it’s because you actually want to and feel like this would be a good opportunity for you, not just because your friend needs you to join her team to help her meet her goals.

    That said, I was coaxed into joining many years ago by one of my friends. She needed another team member to qualify for something within the company, I forget what, but anyway, the MK business never panned out for me. Yeah, I didn’t give it my all as in putting out an entry box at my local nail salon advertising free facials or putting up a booth at my local street festival, etc., but I did realized that MK just wasn’t the right career path for me. I made zero dollars and I never actually put in a order because my first one needed to be like either $200 or $400 wholesale and I didn’t have close to that, so I quit and got rid of all my starter kit stuff.

    Fat forward to last week. So ANOTHER friend of mine had been trying to get me to join again for a while now and I kept saying “NO!” because I knew I didn’t want to fool with it again or spend another $100 to join. Her director calls me with her on the phone and says that for previous consultants, it was only $25 to re-join, plus shipping because they send you samples and catalogs. I still said no, but then after some talking and convincing, I joined again for $25 and signed up for a website for another $25 that is good for a year. I will most likely not sell much, if anything, but I did it so I wouldn’t have to hear her keep asking me.

    Now I’d love to sell Scentsy. That I could probably do AND even get people to join under me! Their starter kit is like $100 too, but the products are all pretty awesome and it’s WAY easier to sell candles and smelly good stuff for like $30 -$60 tops than it is to sell overpriced skin care. Plus, people will keep coming back because they will need refills for their warmers and they will want to buy new items and seasonal items. Granted, you don’t get much commission from Scentsy like you do from MK, it will all add up because you will be able to sell more, in my opinion anyways!

  • Jay

    Multilevel marketing is the second biggest producers of millionaires in the country. My mother does mary kay and our 2,700sq ft house paid off single parent. And my friends do verve lowest earner 30k a year highest earner 43k a month

  • Guest

    The girl quit after months, refused to speak to anyone out of her network who was broke, continued to recruit the same pool, refused to do training, and treated her business like a hobby. She broke even though. Most business owners don’t in the first year and this girl did in months. I’m sorry but if we are going to discuss this topic bring someone on who made a serious effort, invested in time and training and then failed. It just seems like it wasn’t the right time and she wasn’t ready to take

  • Carissa

    If you dont put the effort in then it will not work and quite honestly by ignoring phone calls and not attending events you wont get anything out of it.MK may not be for everyone but if you dont make it work for you, you will not succeed you have to stay intouch and branch out. MK lesson 101 keep in the loop and you will never stray away. You make your own hours and you are your own boss. You keep the balance and control not your customers. You dont settle for just family and friends, you reach out to others.

  • Somebody’s Husband

    Not selling… but still carrying product. Now you know why Mary Kay is still making a life for many women (and men even).

  • mjphoto45

    This isn’t rude at all. Its a type of pyramid scheme. The women are brainwashed on Mary Kay. There is plenty of product out there for 1/2 the price.

  • Carrie5996

    First of all, direct selling is not a scam. It is merely a way to make additional income. I tried Mary Kay, it didn’t work out for me. Two months ago I signed up with another direct selling outfit and this one is taking off like wildfire for me. Of course there really is no selling for this one, no inventory, and no product. I simy help peoe save money on something they already have. And it is true, you get out of it what you put into it!

  • Rose

    I sold MK for 3 years. Then I got cancer. That was a huge eye opener for me.

    • Travel Girl

      What happened? Did you continue to get a residual income?
      Travel Girl

  • Safe

    You could of sent back all of the un used items for 90% or 80% back … should of thought about that

  • http://instantpaydaynetwork.com/jj1999 Justin Sowards

    I have tried other direct sales and MLM’s only to get burned
    by paying an initial investment fee and having to store products at my house with a bunch of stuff nobody wants. Also having to sell to family and friends. I have found a much better way to earn extra income without having to sell anything to family, friends or co-workers. If you are sick of all the endless things out there, look no further. REALLY!!! I had to try this myself and this is the only true online program that has ever paid me that I have found. If you have access to a computer and a valid email address you are in business. There are no upsells. Everything including back office support 100% FREE for the marketing materials and training. IF YOU CAN
    FOLLOW FOUR SIMPLE STEPS or even first three YOU WILL MAKE MONEY$$$. I won’t hype it up just try it and get paid daily and do as this turnkey system teaches you. LEARN MORE
    BELOW>>>>>> http://instantpaydaynetwork.co

  • Travel Girl

    I believe in direct sales or network marketing! I, too, tried Mary Kay. Love the company and what Mary Kay Ash stood and stands for…. Then, a friend introduced me to nutritional products. And,that where I truly fell in love with the idea of if all …and began to get educated on the whole network marketing industry. A really good friend of mine who IS very successful introduced me to the largest industry in the WORLD ….. Travel!!!! THE BEST COMP PLAN I have EVER seen!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZCgXVJH2xY
    Travel Girl

  • Right Now

    Hey, these pyramid sales bs adventures are the most embarrassing things ever. Usually young people get involved and burnt right away, but I’ve seen old people taking the shameful heat too. Legally they cannot be prohibited, but nevertheless they are a sort of scam for those who believe they are running a business. Imagine going to family and friends to try selling them things that they don’t even need. Besides all these products are way more expensive than what you can find in a regular store, and their quality probably same or lower. In the same time getting regular phones calls from your mentors up the ladder with persuasive schemes to buy more useless inventory. Ahh… Just kill me now please.

  • dailight

    I’ve join Youniqe and it is the best. Unlike MK you do not have to hold inventory. They have take the social networking approach. No monthly fees and week meetings to attend. Training and development is available and we all have the same goals. Commission are paid daily and yes I mean daily. No waiting. No one is pressing you to buy inventory they actually discourage this practice. You are in the business to make money not shell out more. The commission structure is unique and lucrative. I am willing to share with anyone who wants to see. We are open and hones upfront. We want you to know what you are getting into. By the way the products are all natural and some are even gluten free.

    reach out to me if you want more information


  • MissPriss

    If you don’t know anyone to sell to then of course you aren’t going to succeed. Lack of connection, lack of drive, lack of dedication, and lack of actually WANTING to WORK. That’s what I’m seeing here. It’s not for everyone.

  • Jo

    You just sound like a bad business woman. You can’t blame someone else for your failures. You call yourself naive well, yes, you are. Should have gotten all the information instead of walking into something blind.
    Don’t blame Mary Kay, it’s an amazing
    And is the only income I have for me and my baby.
    It’s been a blessing ! I love it
    Sorry you couldn’t experience the joy of it

  • Antoinette

    It sounds very unfortunate. I can see how this story can happen alot but I also don’t know if they offered it six years ago but if you don’t do good in your first year they will buy back your merchandise for 90% of what you paid.