Business & Blogging

I Was a Mary Kay Consultant for 9 Days

You know how sometimes your gut says no, but you forge ahead anyway?

That’s exactly how I came to be a Mary Kay consultant. However, you probably figured out from the title that I’m not doing Mary Kay anymore. Yep, that little business venture only lasted a week and a half.

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Here’s the deal

About a month ago, I attended a Mary Kay debut with a family member, and enjoyed listening to the speeches from women who were obviously so excited about the product. I wasn’t particularly happy about my current direct sales company, and thought a fresh start with Mary Kay might be just what I needed to help our income out a little bit.

Besides, I was a total convert to the products – they do truly work! So I made my list of questions and took advantage of this meeting to thoroughly comb through the details.

I went home saying no to the Mary Kay opportunity that night. There was nothing wrong with Mary Kay, I just didn’t feel it was for me. I’m a writer and a blogger, and wanted to devote my time to developing the community here.

The month of April came around, and starter kit was being offered at a stellar price. I gave it another honest go-around. What if I could just buy my own products at cost and sell to family and friends?

Uh oh.

Once I’m in, I’m all in

I got right to work when my starter kit arrived.

There was a new Facebook page to be had, a blog post debuting my new business, a giveaway (which ends tonight, and yes, the winner will still receive their prize), as well as a mass email to all my friends, co-workers, and family.

Then I pulled out a fresh new pink notebook, and starting working my way through the MK website.

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During this time, I realized a couple things:

  1. I had to spend more money than what the starter kit required. There’s the additional business cards, MK website, and a credit card processing program, among other incidentals.
  2. I was strongly encouraged to buy a significant amount of inventory. A great deal, for sure, but again, more money. I declined.

Then my first order came in. I was ecstatic! But when I tried to submit it, that 50% discount I had been promised wouldn’t go through.

Note: the fine print. A consultant must place a $400 retail order every 3 months to maintain active status and receive her Earned Discount Privilege. (The 50%)

Funny. No one mentioned that. So, I went ahead and coughed up more money toward inventory to secure my discount. I was currently almost $500 in the hole, and I had yet to place that one order.

That’s when I started to rethink my decision.

What was I going to do with all that product? We had just moved to Florida, and I didn’t have any contacts yet! Perhaps the question I had the most, how did I not know this before I signed up?

Then I found some other MK consultants who had gone through similar situations to mine. Reading their words made me feel even worse, yet validated, and I knew I couldn’t continue any longer.

A lesson in business practice

Mary Kay Botanical Effects

I want to be careful with my words so as to not damage the relationships of those I know in Mary Kay, and also those reading whom I don’t know personally. I’m not saying that Mary Kay is a scam, or a MLM company that doesn’t provide you with legitimate income.

However, if you are considering an “opportunity”, here’s what I want you to know: You are the only person with your best interests at heart. Not the company, not it’s directors, YOU.

Likewise, it is your responsibility to get the facts first, and then fact check again. Talk to those who were previously with the company, or gain the perspective of consultants who are not directly involved in your up-line. The point is to gain a well-rounded view, so you can make the right decision.

After quite a bit of research into Mary Kay business practices, I could not visibly foresee it being a profitable venture, unless I, one, focused on recruits, and two, pushed hard on sales to get rid of all that inventory (or continued to buy product myself to meet my sales quotas).

Not to mention I had already spent two years working hard for another direct sales company and after all my expenses, I barely broke even.

Either way, I wasn’t being true to myself, and I just can’t live with that.

**2016 Update** For those of you who claim I don’t know what it takes to run a business, I actually make my full time income with this website! Click here to read about my journey of how I made it happen (without any quotas or requirements).

FAQ

Over the years since I published this post, I’ve received a lot of questions from those who found themselves in the exact same spot I was. Here are the answer to the most common questions I receive!

I want to cancel my membership with Mary Kay. How do I do that? 

I just remained an inactive consultant until my yearly subscription ran out, then I just didn’t sign on again.

How did you return your starter kit/inventory order?

As long as you haven’t used any of the products yet {and the forms are still in their original packaging}, you should be able to return the kit for a full refund. Just call the consultant phone number, and they can give you directions on how to return everything. I never got a refund because I had used some of the catalogs already, but I was able to cancel my inventory order with no problems, and received a full refund.

Were you able to get your website fee back as well?

I wasn’t, unfortunately!

What should I do with the inventory I have?

If you can’t return them, you can try to sell them elsewhere, perhaps as lots on eBay.

My director/upline is pressuring me. What should I do?

If you truly love the product and think for sure you can sell it to family and friends to cover what you personally use and perhaps make a little extra on the side, then I would be very firm with your director and say that you will be working Mary Kay on your own terms. They like to call it incentives and encouragement, but sometimes it can be downright rude and pushy. Don’t let them control your business…YOU control it. And if you find out it’s not for you, you can always sell off the inventory and walk away.

My friend/family member is joining Mary Kay, and I want to support her but I have some concerns. What should I do?

I would encourage you to support her in her business ventures, but to also strongly encourage her to keep accurate, up-to-date business financial records. Many times people in MLMs feel like they are making a profit because they aren’t keeping an accurate ledger and are being their own best customer and don’t realize it. With accurate records, over time she will be able to see if Mary Kay is a path worth continuing.

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246 Comments

  1. Oh, so sorry it didn’t work out as you’d hoped! I know that hurts. But thanks for your honesty and openness. It adds depth to your focus on “creative savings” – to know that you’ve tried something and it didn’t work, and want us to learn from that. Thank you! And have a great weekend at the beach!

      1. Just a question. I’m a hair stylist and between booth rent, marketing and product expenses I spent about $9000 bucks over a period of 18 mos before I saw a real profit in my business.

        In the beginning I had to hustle heads just like a MK representative has to hustle faces.

        Why do people think MLM is any different than any other business? Is it a mindset issue?

        If half my profits had to go back to the product manufacturer, the owner of the salon or marketing, what’s wrong with half of your profits going back into the MLM company and upline?

        Trust me it cost pennies to join MLM companies compared to how much it cost to start up an organic business.

        If I had given up on my hair business in one week I would have never realized my dream of opening up my own salon. That took me 10 years.

        I’m just asking. As an entrepreneur who has never really been able to depend on a “regular” job it just doesn’t seem that most MLM opportunities are given the chance to work. Those who stick with it seem to do as well as I do as a stylist.

        1. Candi, you are so right! My family has been business owners my entire life, and I currently joined the MLM opportunity with Mary Kay. I actually think some of the things she said its a little off the reality.

          I didn’t need someone to promise me the world without working hard for it, and be patience about receiving my first profits. I know what I need to do, and Im with the conviction that this might be a slow process, but I know it will be a reality.

          Nobody either force or told me to buy inventory, my director suggested inventory, but she said to start working and see what are my customers needs before I order a big inventory, so I did. I make a list of my closest friends, family and my own wish list after my first party, list of my personal use and I based my inventory.

          I was told if the this was not working for me, I can return everything for a 90% total invested back. Not everything is lost. I just think that she got the wrong information, and sometimes, because I have done the same mistake, have misinformed about how the business work, just because we are so excited to share and work with someone we clicked with.

          Those first expenses, such as business cards, which are the ones I feel the most important to acquire, can be earned with sales or reaching goals. Like I said probably she just had not all the information at hand.

          Indeed like any other business you have to invest in order to see profits, so many ladies make the goals faster than others, but the most competitive women in the top, all of them tell you the same thing, it was not easy, it was hard work, but they made it.

          Thank you for sharing, I hope someone neither see like any MLM business opportunity means to become rich or great income from one day to another.

          1. I love the responses and the one Candi made….yes, Mary Kay is like any other regular business. And take note Mary Kay is not an MLM business because in an MLM business the person that recruits you is has a better compensation percentage than the person starting in Mary Kayeveryone has the earnings on profits. If you buy something for 1 dollar you sell it for 2 and your profit is 1.o0. And everyone gets the same pay raise as you grow same as any company.. Mary Kay’s compensation plan is exactly like NY Life Insurance just different products. In Mary Kay you are the wholesale buyer and sell at retail like any other small or major retail store. Example: MACYS has to first invest buying large quantities of wholesale products to stock up and fill up their store so people can buy. Once the products are moved, MACYS then takes the profits and reinvests in buying more and paying it’s employees, rent, and general overhead. In Mary Kay, you don’t have a storefront expense since you stock your products at home. So in turn it gives you a tax benefit because you claim that as an expense. And of course I can go on with the benefits. And like any real business becoming rich is not an OVERNIGHT thing. Anyone who promises you that you’ll become rich overnight should be an indicator that most likely down the road your investment will go downhill.

          2. I was hounded to buy inventory and apply for all these credit cards. My friend is in for almost $4000 and just started. I didn’t apply for the cards or get inventory.

          3. Well said! Thank you for sharing, I too had the same experience as you. I was provided more information up front.

          4. This is how I feel about working any MLM business. It is no different than any other business to get started. One still has to forefront money to buy products, business cards, store front, insurances, ads etc.. I can go on. I do not think most take that into perspective. You spoke what I am always thinking.

        2. SOOOOO true, Im 51 went to my first mary kay facial 6 years ago in which I took my bff and said we ARE NOT BUYING OR SELLING anything…… I JOINED THAT DAY FOR THE SAVINGS….and I love that you focused on REAL, because the fact is when joining for only 117.oo you receive over $450 in full size product… if you want more the company needs to know that a real consultant is joining hence at 50% off placing a $225 wholesale order, with tax and shipping under 270. I DID NOT have $600 for the first quailfied order to get the BIG bonus products to sell for profit…. I passed a book at work and EARNED IT!! i became a director in 18month working a full time job, and doubting myself most of the way, earned a car!! now on my 3rd in 6 years… I was teachable, and Mary Kay women LOVE to encourage each other!!!
          I hope this helps someone reading, DISIRE for more in you life and PLEASE encourage others
          The other part is and believe me LOTS of research because I was you tupperware, avon, amway, all have much to offer, put products need to be 1 consumable at a quick pace, and 2 Mary Kay is the only company that gives 50% off!! Lets also throw in that there that out of all the women millionaires in America over 70 % of them came from Mary Kay.
          How do women lose… because it takes long term desire, and persistence to LEARN.
          say your husband wanted to open up a tire store…. But wait to see if anyone needed a tire then he would order it and get it in a few days….I know anyone can succeed at anything if they are teachable

          1. Thank You, for that inspiring truth. I have been considering be coming a Mary Kay Consultant and am now doing my research and asking questions regarding Mary Kay. I am finding that the percentage of consultants that are very successful are the ones that know this is NOT a get rich quick company and like anything else, you have to be dedicated, work hard and believe in yourself and have some kind future goal in mind and then pursue that goal. I also agree that this sort of consulting is not for everyone just like any other jobs out there are not meant for everyone. I do stand by the Mary Kay Products, for the products are wonderful!!!! I recommend using Mary Kay to anyone. Anyone can be a success at anything if they put the effort, time,, energy and stay positive and become creative in your selling technique, be loyal, honest and get to know your customers.

          2. wow! Thank you! I really needed that. All the negative stuff about selling mk, I needed someone who could help encourage for I am about to have a baby anyway and am looking forward to not only helping support my family at home after but to enjoy it! 🙂

          3. Women like you build and shape the lives of other women and I love it. Your response was REAL and the TRUTH! I work full time and do MK on the side to supplement my income and i absolutely love it…the best part is the relationships, the sisterhood that we form along the way. MARY KAY is the company to join.

          4. Does anyone have information on how to enter your product in a spreadsheet to track your order/discounts/gifts.

            Thank you all for your help.

          5. YES!! my sister has sold Mary Kay for the better part of 30+ years. She is a director, and has a hustling unit. My sister is one of the Mary Kay success stories for sure. Did she invest time and $$? Of course…she has more than earned it all back too!! Also, other than the cars, there are all sorts of other prizes and she is a director so she gets great directors trips to go on!! I am considering starting online sales and maybe working toward full consultant.

          6. Yes. Some people join and don’t have good leaders. They have people who are only interested in moving up the ladder. My upline never hounded me to buy inventory or recruit. It was my business and she let me run it the way I saw fit. You do not have to buy all that inventory or get additional credit cards. I currently sell Paparazzi get my discount, sell to my customers, don’t have a team and me and my upline is fine with that.

          7. Deb, I have joined MK, I have probably $800 in product and just don’t have the motivation to sell. Where are you located, and if you could help me with a couple secrets. I guess the turn downs are just not worth the effort. Maybe I should turn in the product🤷🏻‍♀️

        3. Agree a zillion times. Posts like these burn my bread. What’s the intention? How about, I’m not business minded, the end. lol.

          1. Hmmm… to me it appears that she is very business minded. She’s built this website from the ground up and is very transparent about her numbers (income) and how much work it has been for her to get here. Transparent is no a term I can use to describe any MLM pitch I’ve been involved in. I’m a subscriber and in one of her recent newsletters she talked about how her husband works full time from home with her on this blog now.

            She seems pretty “business minded” if you ask me.

          2. The intention was to inform people like me that want to sell Mary Kay only to buy at a discount for myself, family and friends, that there is much more cost than the $100 bag. I for one was just getting ready to sign up when I read her blog. I was never informed I had to place $400 orders every 3 months to get the 50% discount, which is something I cannot do. She just saved me a lot of future hassle. I for one am grateful to her for posting the truth. So Ms Edmonson, go burn your bread some place else.

          1. I agree that Mary Kay is not for everyone, just like being a nurse, doctor, or blogger is not for everyone. She’s within her grounds to state her opinion. I’m sorry it did not work out for her, but there are several people who it does work quite well for. The difference is mindset, goals, being teachable, etc.

            I would like to add one correction. It is not a $400 order to receive the discount, It is a $225 wholesale order to earn the 50% discount for 3 months, which can be accomplished by receiving advanced orders of $450 retail plus tax.

            I’ve never been pressured to purchase inventory. It was certainly my choice to service my customers promptly. If you went to the local store for bread and they were out of bread, you would try another store, right? It is the same with any other retailer even Mary Kay.

            I cannot speak to personal use consultants as I have never been one or asked anyone to be one, nor will I encourage it. That’s just me.

          2. If you do not plan to recruit you do not have to stay (Active)
            You can place a $225 wholesale order 1 time a year to not be terminated .
            You should only recruit others if you intend to STAY active the ppl who complain are the ones who do not want to work to learn the job and typically have not been successful at their day jobs. I’m 54 and tired of the whiners and complainers at any job I worked at that is why Mary Kay has been a breath of fresh air anytime I want a raise I work a little harder got is my business partner and I enjoy making women feel a value but they have to be teachable

        4. You are so right Candi! People who usually don’t succeed haven’t really tried. I am starting Mary Kay and I’m super excited. I know that I will have to work hard to sell my business but for someone in the dental business I do this everyday. I hate the naysayers. Anything worth doing is worth working hard for.

        5. Thank you for your comments!
          I started my MK business @ 18 as a college student and with a baby. After earning my degree(s), I still made more income in MK than I did in my field in a year. I am still thriving in MK @ 44 & love every single minute of it! Love my clients like family, love the products which are absolutely amazing, and love the opportunity that is still available to any woman who dares to dream! #mymklife

        6. Mind set issue or coughing up capital? I sold MK when I was in my 20s and years later as in today, I wanted to join MK again to be able to buy more products for personal use at 50% off. Instead I was presented with a kit I was told I had to buy and did not need by a director who was “excited” to meet me. I said no thanks, I want the actual products). Aha and my bank account. I was smart enough to say no thank you. Good luck all, But any product and I did sell this one quite successfully years ago with thousands of dollars of inventory still on my shelf years afterwards…that does not sell in any store will cost you so much you will have to go out and do shows to pay it off. Lesson learned. Nothing comes cheap, especially not Mary Kay. Still love the products but there are many which are awesome too without the $ hassles….and Ms. Ash, Mary Kay did eventually wrinkle too. God rest her soul..

          1. It sounds like you may have been dealing with a director who was more interested in bumping the number of people in her unit than actually developing and building a solid team. There are options and you can sign without even purchasing the kit. I started my Mary Kay business exclusively to get the discount and my business has become so much more! I love the women in my unit and my director and uplines are amazing women who are focused on helping me and all of our unit build the business that we want based on our own situations. If Mary Kay is something you’re interested in, talk with some of us who can and will give you the real deal and give you all of your options! I spent $30 when I signed my consultant agreement and while I do now have some inventory, I have never been pushed to do so. I’ll gladly answer any questions that you have. 😊

        7. Spot on! I’m over here now working my MK business and trying to work to come up with more inventory. I sell it through hard work and determination. It just takes time and yes WORK but it is so worth owning your own business!

        8. The difference in your business and a MLM is the fact that you’re making a profit even with putting 50% back into your business initially. People are always going to want their heads done along with other cosmetic services, but people’s view change about cosmetics on a daily basis depending on mainly what celebrates view as they best and worst is when it comes to cosmetics. Besides that Mary Kay skincare is completely private which means they don’t have to report their sales figures when it comes to how much product gets sold by their consultants to actual clientele! There “sales” report comes from how much each consultant orders only! Besides that your company’s product doesn’t have a 3 to 5yr shelf life and turns over just about every 6mths so that consultants now are stuck with old products they can’t sale because IF people want Mary Kay products at all they want the latest products. Also, most of your “sales” aren’t from other consultants, which are pushed to get “new recruits” as rapidly as they can to make commission which they’re talked into “reinvesting” back into their business that they’re making NO PROFIT off of at all and are going into extreme amounts of debts, which MK conveniently has a Credit Card to fix that issue but by the time you pay the interest you’ve lost more than gained because in order to get the 50% discount you have to spend $400 and keep a monthly amount of product being shipped. I seriously think if your business was causing you more than you got out of it even has the founder or top level that eventually you would cut your losses. Your business had to be at least pulling in enough for your to pay the basics! People are going into debt that they can’t recoup. Maybe you should look at a lot of the testimonies on http://www.pinktruth.com. MLM are legal pyramid schemes because of the way they word their business model to say that the employees are making sales, but a lot of them don’t report on where these “sales” are coming from the “employees” or the public, because by law they don’t have to if they’re a private company like Mary Kay, with everything done internally and they don’t have to answer to any other company through a distribution network so Mary Kay is under less regulatory requirements than a regular publicly traded business.

        9. Yeessssss thank you! Starting a buisness takes soo much money nothing compared to what you may invest with mary kay.

        10. Thank you Candi… I joined MK in 1979…still active with MK won my car, became a Sales Director, raised 4 children.. my MK business afforded me to open a full service hair and spa salon… … did all this alone… negative reports are usually from those that never looked at it as a real profit making business… and ALL real businesses go beyond “ your family and friends” network… not only does MK pay the highest commissions… but the wealth of education in business when received… is beyond words. Not to mention the quality and consistency of the product.

        11. I have never been on this site before, but somehow found this article and I have to say, I agree 1000% with your comment! Whether it’s your own business, Mary Kay, Avon or some other business, you get as much out of it as you put in to it! Congrats with your salon, and wish you the best!

        12. Thank you Candi, you are correct it is a mind set.
          I spent 14 years with MK , it was fun, I made money and was a Director for my last fours. I retired that business in 2018 and started my own company in 2020. The same energy I used to build my Mary Kay business has to be doubled to make my own company succeed.
          The money I’m investing to get my company off the ground is welllll over the measly $500 the author spent the first week purchasing inventory from Mary Kay.
          The issue is most people who look to MLM want to make “EASY” money …running a successful, profitable business is not easy and generally not profitable for the first few years.

        13. I am a hair stylist, entrepreneur, and several other titles for profit. Although you have a valid point for your situation, your investment of $9000 is more than this girls $500. Apparently you don’t no everyone’s story or struggles therefor she is probably richer than you now just from blogging. So keep sticking to doing hair sweetie.

    1. she did not give a try, and didn’t work and never in at all, I have been in Mary Kay 7 years 3 cars, 2 court of sharing diamond ring, 3 court of sales diamond ring a 7 day trip paid for. what is the matter? when you open your business it cost I have a beauty salon it cost me 30,000. to open from lic, to furniture and every month i pay 1700. in rent and light, employee, insurance, water, supply’s. etc. you cant cry over a 600.00 dollar order I have been number one in my area 2 times. my highest sale in one day 3000.00 and then 2500. in one day and many time 1500. my inventory is about 15000.00 i believe that my Mobil store has to have product if i want to sell. oh and i become a Director in my 2nd year so stop winning and grow up.

      1. Stop winning? You mean whining! You know fair well as a director you do not need to sell just recruit. Not everyone wants to pay 80 bucks for a cream and read this silliness. Mary Kay taught us to be kind and to put God first not diamonds, pearls or pink cadillacs(she loved hers). Now the cars are black just like some of the negative mentality portrait in your thought system. My inventory was higher than yours years ago, we drove the caddy and taught MK mentality. “A company is only as good as the people it keeps. MK”

    2. When starting with a business you have to invest in your business and you have to put your all in your business. I sold all products with no problems. I am getting ready to be back in Mary Kay. It’s a beautiful business to be in. You must market the customers you want for your business

    3. I have been a consultant for over 20 years and just decided to quit because frankly, I can buy product that I use very cheap on ebay! I always ask the expiration on the item and I’m quitting mostly because I’m sick of the director BRAGGING that WE did it again this year and WE got a pink Cadillac- but I don’t see anyone else driving it but her!!! Shouldn’t she be sharing it with the members of the unit?? She wouldn’t dare! I’m sick of making her money and she reaps the benefits! Over 45,000 people on ebay selling Mary Kay! That’s where I’m going!

  2. Great article! That is very brave of you to put this out there! I’m assuming you found the blog about this very topic. I have had a lot of friends & family get involved in MK and other direct sales companies, and they’ve never made any money. Don’t be embarrassed!! Return everything you’ve bought and feel lucky you got out early!

      1. Hello Kalyn, I basically just went through the same thing so your words are encouraging. A girl whom I’ve known for quite a few months now was not 100% up front with me when I signed up. She said it would be a good idea for me to sign up so that I could get my $200 MK repair kit at 50% off and whatever else I would want to buy at cost. Obviously, I quickly learned, I would have to spend a fortune before it actually started to pay off, IF EVER!!! The crazy part is, I started an airbrush tan business and was spraying her weekly at no cost! Anyhow, I have a question.. I did buy the kit and did not spend much money on it. I also have used some of the products and am not interested in returning it. However, I do want to cancel my membership with Mary Kay. Mainly, because I do not want my recruiter to be able to have “my name” on her “team”. It may sound petty but that just puts her one step closer to driving that damn pearl pink Cadillac, that I feel she does not deserve. Do you know if I will I be able to take my name off any ties with Mary Kay? Thanks again!

        1. I too just signed up. My rep thankfully was very up front with me so nothing has shocked so far, but if remember correctly you can return your starter kit and they will reimburse most of your money, but I would call Mary Kay directly to be 100% positive. Sorry it did not work out.

        2. Christy, I’m so glad this post was encouraging to you! When I canceled my MK membership, I was basically an inactive consultant until the yearly subscription I paid was up for renewal, and I just didn’t sign on again. I don’t believe my name was counted toward any of my upline, since I wasn’t selling anything and making them a profit. I hope that helps alleviate some of your fears!

          1. I’ve been a consultant since April (after I was basically nagged, begged and prodded by my friend), and figured since I was unemployed, and having a hard time getting hired, why not? I was wondering what do I have to do; I’ve made three big orders (the first being the initial inventory order of $600), and now that I’m going to actual classes and not online, I’m finding that it’s much more difficult to try to get out there and get names for facials.

            Also, I’ve come to realize that not everyone has the money to get those skincare sets ($90). Plus, what I didn’t know is that you have to PAY to go to the weekly meetings! In my area, since they have a studio on the 2nd floor that they share with an insurance company and realtor in the same building, they charge $5/meeting, or $15 for the month. I’ve gotten the Pro Pay, and the website, which despite my telling them, they’ve never visited. I didn’t have the money, as I was unemployed, and getting a little money from my GI Bill stipend, and I used my credit card to get that first order. I’ve had to lean on said card once my money goes to the household, and it’s kicked up my balance along with the orders.

            Another is that my son is out of school, and it’s rather difficult when you have a chatty 5-6 year old as your trying to pan for new customers. My director wanted me to go to the Thursday morning meetings as her (I go on Tuesday nights, as class and other obligations take up the other nights, with me going to class 2 nights out of the week), and I told her I could bring my son, and have something to occupy his time with, as the meetings usually run two hours. She asked me if I couldn’t have my son at a part time job (I was considering getting a part time job to help with the household finances more), why should I treat MK any less?? Um, EXCUSE me?? She knew of my situation: my neighbor is watching my son on the two nights I’m in class until my husband picks him up, and given the fact that it’s summer break, wants to go places do things with her own daughter, which can’t be done when she has my son. So what started out as doing something for free during the school year has turned into a $40/week bill for me. She does iron treatments, and what was originally scheduled for Wednesdays, she actually moved to Thursdays to accommodate me. My director casually stated I could have her watch him on those mornings as well (which I took offense as she has no kids, and no idea on how you have to plan around little ones–the younger, the harder), and given the fact she was taking an even drier tone with me as we were talking, really has me reconsidering things. If I could return everything (except the things I used personally), and get the charges back on my card, I figure the better off I’ll be, or would I have to do a solid year?

            Sorry for the long story, but this is the situation so far. I’m thinking that I’ll have to go back to work, before we just may have to move, as my husband’s job is not paying enough, and he’s looking for something that pays more as well. Trying to get the ‘oodles of cash’ that comes in from those facials/skin care classes is not going to happen before we may have to choose either commit to our lease for another year or not, and move. It seems like the ‘free time’ one gets does not really apply, because you’re trying to get people to give you their number. I was even given a wrong number, and when I called, a man answered the phone! I’ve done specials with my friends, but if they don’t have the money, they don’t. I can’t force them to buy, and the other most common thing I’ve been told, is ‘I already have a consultant’, not surprising, because there are a TON of consultants in the area! I’ve been questioned about if I’m trying hard enough, and also, I’m going to commit to getting my degree first. I know I feel convicted when I talk to my friend and the director (she just made director, and my friend’s gunning for a red jacket), but both have grown and no kids. Frustrating, is this entire situation! Grrr!

        3. First of all let me say I’m sorry it did not work out for you. Running your own business is hard work and you have to have extremely good self discipline habits. No one starts a business and makes money right off the bat. You are going to have initial “start up” costs. If you track your money, efforts and expenses good you will be in the “black” and out of the “red” faster. It took me about 6 months of hard work to come out ahead and start seeing my profit margin from my initial investment. But, I’ve owned my own business before, I knew what I was getting into. People should learn to read agreements they sign IN DETAIL and not always take the word of someone who is doing the talking! Lesson learned. 🙂

          In answer to your question – You can’t just “quit” your one year agreement that you signed from Mary Kay. What you can be confident in is that since (I’m assuming) you are an inactive team member that you are NOT helping her drive her Pink Cadillac. Her privileges for earning the use of her career car are based on her team members that are WORKING and ordering product from the company to fulfill their customer’s orders. Just being on her “team” in no way gives her any advantage. I personally have 5 team members, but only one is working it like a true business so my “perks” are only based on the “one” … not the five. Mary Kay does this so that we keep working and no one gets rich by sitting on their behinds!!! I hope this helped. If you do NOTHING your upline director gets NOTHING from your zero efforts. After 1 year you are no longer a consultant.

          1. I found a website ,The pink truth, it has ALL information about Mary Kay pyramid. Explains with number how MK is ruining women life all around the world. Yes, I was a consultant for 4 days,until I found the truth.

            Think about all lies your director told you, the time you spent and how they charge you for everything.Besides do your homework about product’s quality on your own and count how many lies your director can say in a minute….

            I refused delivery from UPS and also called them. You need to really get out ASAP and let your director know she is not welcome anymore.She wouldn’t tell you her expenses, the fact they have no benefits or retirement plan, more they have no respect for anyone.They consider all us as losers, and Excuse me!… I don’t think MK “cult “is even healthy for your self-esteem, family or friends… do you want to be harassed all time , disrespect and mistreated, go and try MK. They expected you put the company first… not family or friends or your life anymore… and at the end of the day ….YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER ! MK IS MAKING MILLIONS FROM YOU, CONSULTANTS!

            They don’t care if you can make a living, certainly you won’t , they just will force you to buy products you will keep… unless you return it to MK. Do yourself a favor and go and read expert opinion from ex directors and people inside this business, find the pink truth !

          2. Via, it wouldn’t allow me to reply to your comment, but you are aware that website Pink Truth are a bunch of consultants who were unsuccessful in their business. I currently have a business that I do as a full-time job, and I also have been doing Mary Kay as a part-time business on the side as well for about 3 years (my other business is unrelated to Mary Kay), and I can say that even though it does take elbow grease, I would say that I’m almost as successful in Mary Kay as I am in my full-time business (which is expected, as I only do Mary Kay part-time. You were a consultant for 4 days as you stated, so how are you even qualified to give an opinion on how the business works? It sounds as if you joined Mary Kay, found this Pink Truth website and immediately jumped into all the negativity and bitterness it spewed without really taking the time to be open-minded and think things through. Also, Mary Kay is an actual business. Of course there’s no retirement plan or benefits…that’s something you get from an employer. Mary Kay is not your employer, if anything they’re your vendor who you retail products for. If you talked to a financial consultant like a CPA or a financial advisor, they could help you with things such as Keogh Plans, that help small business owners give themselves a benefits package. It sounds as if you had a negative experience with your director and I’m sorry about that, but before you come on here and spew such raw anger, please do a little more research besides a very biased source of information from bitter people who failed at this. Also, nobody said you were a loser, but quitting 4 days into the business because of some hate you read on a website somewhere certainly doesn’t do you any favors. Also telling your director she isn’t welcome anymore? Wow, how harsh! Your poor director must be wondering what on earth she did wrong. Please, take a step back, calm down and do a little more research.

        4. Having your name on her team does not get her closer to her “pearl pink cadillac” unless you contribute with orders. She needs recruits that actually sell in order to reach her $102,000 in retail sales over 4 months. Having a recruit that simply doesn’t buy anymore does nothing for her and nothing for you as well. You can simply do online orders without ever placing a large inventory order. I spend about 5-10 hours/week on my MK business (online, talking to friends, reorders, etc) and it has never been an issue to place a $225 wholesale order over 3 months. All businesses require work. The money doesn’t just roll in because you bought a starter kit. You have to get out there and talk to people. Some people aren’t cut out for that, I guess.

          On another comment, I have never paid for a weekly meeting. All our meetings are free unless it is a larger unit event like Career Breakfasts (which usually includes food and entertainment).

          1. I was told it was $225 in orders a year to stay active. Is it really every 3 months?

        5. HI. If you don’t EVER order, You do not Help her earn a Car. U are just a Inactive person on her Team. After a year u will be taken off her list. If you aren’t ordering U Are Not Helping her. Just enjoy the Kit. Mary Kay is Real Business. Walmart was Not Walmart over Night. Anything is Life is worth Working for. Mary Kay gives you Options. My daughter is Diabetic and I work around her Needs. The school calls me All the time. Do what makes u Happy. And with people that still have products. U have it because u didn’t try and sell it, talk to people or book parties. I order every month. Not because I wanted too, because I run out of products. I always get the discount. I love 50% off my make-up and skin care. And if u are out selling, u can easily sell $225 wholesale and u will get $225 in Free products. Good luck with any Path you take. I really want everyone to be Happy in the Career they choose.

          1. Stephanie I was told the same, and now I have inventory that needs to move. I’m in the whole, I won’t be making anymore orders just to get the discount for me and my family

        6. No you can’t take your name off her team and if you aren’t working your MK business you are not helping her get her car or anything else.
          You will be terminated and removed from her team list a year from the date you signed. You are an inactive member.

      2. Hi my name is Crystal and I am a MK consultant. My director was very up front with me. I also had to use my own common sense on running a business. Even thought I know it takes money to make money, I never placed a huge order with my own money. I had a business debut, did facials with my samples, and people placed orders. I made my start up money plus some in my first week. From then on I did the same until I start seeing enough profit to keep inventory on hand. You must have products to sell. Its not hard to find clientele if you play “the referral game” at your parties. you give all the ladies 2 min. To write down the names and numbers of ladies who might like a free facial! Who ever gives you the most names wins a lip gloss. I leave each party with at least 20 new names. Its just a matter of out thinking the business. It also helps to have a great director who wants to see you get free cars and nice commission checks. I find that when I recruit former MK consultants its always better this tile around because I try to give them a different out look. But no it is not for everybody, but you DO NOT have to spend so much of your own money!

        1. I am a Mary Kay Consultant and I have been using this product well over ten years. I was sold in having my Mary Kay business when my daughter with severe acne began to use the Velocity system. Out of the hundreds of dollars on medicines from dermatologists Velocity was the only thing that worked. I have been with Mary Kay for a little while as a consultant and saw when I became committed to my business I began to see growth. One thing I have found out is if I clock in at a job every day I can put the same initiative into my business. This has paid off time and time again. Crystal your post was great and I’m glad to see that you feel good about your decision. It is helpful for me as I continue to push through the obstacles. I will admit as well this decision is not for everyone.

          1. Mary Kay is a business and not a get rich quick skeem. If you WORK your business the business WORKS. It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone. It requires commitment and no excuses. I hope you will be very successful in your future endeavors. 🙂

        2. Thank you,

          I have just made the decision to become a MK Beauty Consultant and I am very excited, of course there has to be an investment, it takes money to make money! Than you for sharing your positive experience!

          Tammy Shearer
          Future MK Beauty Consultant

        3. Your absolutely right about spending money to make money if you know you cant do it and you feel like your being pushed dont do it something plain and simple i love being a consultant, the extra money is awesome!!!

  3. I’m sorry that happened 🙁
    I’m glad you realized it now though instead of a month down the line and be even more in the hole. Thank you for sharing this, so that other people can hopefully avoid this also.

    I sell Scentsy and one of the reasons is because you don’t have to and aren’t encouraged to buy a lot of stock just to have, though they did recently change the rules about how to stay active (must sell $150 in a month once every 3 months.)

    The good thing you can take away from this is I’m sure no one’s going to be able to take you again – you realized it quick this time and I’m sure if there’s a next time it will be even quicker!

    1. Currently, with Uppercase Living, I only have a yearly requirement, and they don’t push inventory. My contract with them is up in August though, so I’m just going to let that expire when the time comes. I’d like to focus on other things!It’s hard to have that kind of pressure to sell. Unless you already have a good customer base, it takes a lot of work.

      1. It really does take a ton of work. It’s not worth going in the hole over, that’s for sure!

    1. Thank you! I think honesty is something that is really needed in blogging. It’s too easy to appear like everything is always ok.

      1. just came across this site and read thru most of the comments….kinda got the feeling that some of the PRO comments were written by the same person over and over…….I wouldn’t be surprised since I know that’s how the PRO scientology recruits work……so sad

  4. I did something similar to this with Avon years ago. I thought maybe it was just because I was young and inexperienced. This actually made me feel better. 🙂

  5. I, too, did the same thing Kalyn. And you are right, nothing was disclosed to me, either, that in order to get the 50% discount you had to place the $400 order every three months in order to take advantage of the 50% discount. Being the (idiot is the only word that comes to mind but I will use…) ‘fool’ that I am, I GAVE all my stuff to a girl in our church that was just starting out with Mary Kay. I know there are those that do great in it, and it truly can be a very profitable venture, and they do have a good product, but I feel ALL the information needs to be disclosed when you sign up, not just in tiny print that (unfortunately) many of us do not pay careful attention to. Just another life lesson learned. I’ve sold Cookie Lee Jewelry and loved it; there was no surprises in fine print with them, and years ago I sold Little Peddler (don’t even know if that’s around any more), but loved that, too. No surprises there, either. To those that do sell Mary Kay, “thank you”, your product speaks for itself. Being a customer, rather than a consultant, is for me!

    1. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone! I’m wondering if MK consultants are told not to disclose that portion to new consultants until they sign.

      1. Hi there ALL,
        I just wanted to give you guys some insight from an actual beauty consultant. I stubbled upon this site when looking for some extra flyers for my MK biz and felt compelled to share my experience. Mary Kay doesn’t trick you into anything. I think it makes perfect sense that the company has you order quarterly to remain active. WE DON’T have quotas. The only thing it costs to get started is the Starter Kit ($100 plus tax and shipping). The title of “beauty consultant” means you are servicing customers. I was never told not to tell my potential recruits about how our 50% off works because I know that if you are working your business it is something you don’t even have to think about. You earn 50% off anytime you place a $400 retail order if you aren’t active so that is pretty awesome considering it only costs you $200. Every 3 months spending $200 means that you could take care of those close to you and earn your products for free (which is what I did when I was a busy student and only had small amounts of time to work). The company has to protect the power of the consultant because if everyone could just sign up at 50% off always and forever we wouldn’t have any true customers. I appreciate the company doing this and just want to encourage all of you that your consultant was not being malicious when she recruited you. She legitimately believed you would treat it like a business. If you aren’t willing to work it as a business then you should be a customer :). Perhaps it is that she believed in you so much that she couldn’t see that you would ever be worried about minimums. People who worry about minimums don’t make it in any business because in order to be successful you can’t think small. Mary Kay is an incredible company and I feel honored to work with them…so many think MK uses people to build businesses but what we really do is use BUSINESS to BUILD PEOPLE. I have seen amazing transformations in others and myself and I can share with you from the bottom of my heart that you should feel honored you were even asked to be on her team because it means that she was willing to do life with you. Best wishes, B

        1. Brielle – you are truly welcome here to share your side of the MK experience! Thank you for giving us your take. I wholeheartedly agree that anyone who sells MK should do so as a business. However, MK targets non-business women. Part of their appeal is that you can work as much or as little as you want, and still bring home a decent income. It’s just not true. The ones who are making the incomes are uplines who have recruits and tons of customers, and work 40+ hour weeks – just like a legitimate business.

          when you are just starting out with MK, it can be really hard to make that first profit, and you have to make a profit at the end of the day to be in business. If you don’t keep track of everything coming in and going out, you won’t know how much you are really taking home and getting paid for your time. Think big, but also think strategically. Excess inventory is not a strategic move in my opinion, because it is money just sitting on the shelf. And the more you have to buy to get that 50%, the more you have to sell, sell, sell, which most women and stay-at-home-moms just don’t have time to do.

          As for not letting others know about the 50%, I think it is irresponsible to refuse this information and only let these ladies know of the financial risk after they sign the dotted line. You should know exactly what you are getting into, as with any business opportunity.

          1. I agree; and also, they don’t tell you that you have to PAY for to go to meetings! I’m a stay at home mom, and you’re right, with that and school, and helping out my friends who have no transportation, I really don’t have the time!

          2. I just happened to run across this and wanted to expound on your reply to Brielle.
            First, I am a consultant and have been for almost 3 years this time. I have done my business as personal use, part time and currently full time. This is my 2nd round as a consultant. I have had my business with no children, with 2 kids ages 3&4 and then become pregnant. I have been a director in qualifications, but I am currently a Team Leader. Before I became a consultant I was a paramedic who did not wear makeup or use skin care products, and didn’t particularly care for people in general (praise God for using Mary Kay to change me!).
            Second, we are humans and each of us have different personalities, insights, understandings etc and not robots to just regurgitate information, so there is always the possibility of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and so on. We as the consultants aren’t perfect but I can promise that we gain absolutely nothing by misleading or incorrect information!

            If you choose to talk to a previous conaultant about their experience, please choose one that has at least 1 year of WORKING the business AT THE LEVEL you are considering (ie personal use, part time, full time)!  They can give you insight of the opportunity in their own words. When asking someone’s opinion remember you’re only getting one side of the story and that we humans don’t like to show our short comings.

            I don’t know all the ins and outs of your experience, but I know that by quitting 1.5 weeks after signing your agreement you have missed 99% of the information and not given your recruiter, the director and the national or the company the chance to show you how the opportunity can benefit you with the goals you had for it.
            Below I have taken your reply to Brielle and tried to give some basic information. I pray that you see this as informative and constructive and know that I am not attacking anyone. :-/

            *MK targets non-business women.-
            >This is not the case. MK does not target anyone, as a matter of fact, each IBC looks for people they would enjoy working with and whom they would like to help become successful. If anything we know the struggle is real and we know that this is a business that can help to overcome the struggle, but it does take a lot of discipline.

            *Part of their appeal is that you can work as much or as little as you want, and still bring home a decent income.-
            >It is absolutely true that you can work as little or as much as you would like,  BUT you have to expect to get the results of what you put into it. No work=no money.  It is absolutely possible for someone who just wants the discount and tax benefits to do such with no need to stay active. I have consultants who strategically place 1 or 2 orders a year, still get the discount and don’t sell a thing. If you’re interested I’d be happy to show anyone how to do this.

            *The ones who are making the incomes are uplines who have recruits and tons of customers, and work 40+ hour weeks – just like a legitimate business.-
            >Something that sets MK apart from other companies is that every single person who signs the agreement starts on the same level! We each bought our kits. We each started with no customers and most started with little to no time, money or support. All of us were given the opportunity to utilize the tools offered- ie. Inventory, business cards,  the ability to run credit cards, etc and we each made decisions based on the information provided, personal experience and research.
            Have you heard/read any of the stories of how some of these people started their businesses? We have victims of domestic abuse, previous heroine addicts that used the business’ positive teaching and strong support system to say clean, women who were homeless, helpless and destitute… We also have women who were Campaign Manager for successful senators, CEO’s of other companies who no longer wanted to work for someone else and have their freedom and every level in between!  51 years have proven the MK system to be a positive and uplifting system if you put in the effort and don’t give up, but it is also only one of hundreds available and not for everyone.

            *when you are just starting out with MK, it can be really hard to make that first profit, and you have to make a profit at the end of the day to be in business.-
            >Ask any business owner, a tax professional or a financial person and they will tell you that most businesses don’t see a CONSISTENT profit until their 2nd or 3rd year. Even the Government knows this and that is why there are tax benefits to having a small business! Every business has a heart beat in the sales industry- there are valleys, flat roads and peaks that allow things to even out over time.

            *Think big, but also think strategically.
            >I love this statement! To go anywhere you have to know where you’re wanting to end up! 

            * Excess inventory is not a strategic move in my opinion, because it is money just sitting on the shelf.
            > This statement is contradicted every time you walk into Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, or buy online from overstock.com etc! It is money sitting on the self, but it is money!
            The beauty of the MK opportunity is that you have the OPTION to run your business the way you want. We have the option to choose the items and quantities of inventory to match the level of business we want to have and the ability to offer on the spot service. You also have the option to not carry inventory and place orders as you need to. It is completely do-able, but could you imagine walking into Bath & Body or Ulta and placing an order based on a picture? How would that change your actual purchases?

            *And the more you have to buy to get that 50%, the more you have to sell, sell, sell, which most women and stay-at-home-moms just don’t have time to do.
            > We don’t have to buy! There is no quota and no minimum activity! And it isn’t the amount of time you don’t have but using the pockets that are left over wisely! When I started I worked 2 full time paramedic jobs at busy services- this means I worked 24 hrs at 1 job, went to the next and did 24 hrs and had one day off to see my kids, do all my errands, etc plus work with my church, kids extracurricular activities etc. I was the definition of no time! What I found is that my busy-ness brought me in contact with tins of ladies I had never considered before- nurses, ball moms, my church ladies! All women who were just as busy as myself, but still needed the pampering we all crave. I’m able to save them time, energy and money by coming to them, providing great customer service and an excellent product that outlasts and outshines all the others! When you love the product you are sharing that love, not being a pushy sales person…thus the try before you buy and 100% customer guarantee.

            *As for not letting others know about the 50%, I think it is irresponsible to refuse this information and only let these ladies know of the financial risk afterthey sign the dotted line. You should know exactly what you are getting into, as with any business opportunity.
            >Refuse the information? Did you ask how the discount works? Did you read the agreement? It isn’t whether or not you can have the discount, but how you choose to utilize it. Do you plan to make several small orders or 1-2 larger orders? Brielle stated it fabulously. If you get a lifetime discount we’d not have anyone to provide services for and Mary Kay would be a online store and not a way for us to enrich the lives of those around us! Our products are a tool to help others, not a scheme to get rich quick!

        2. Well said Brielle. I agree with you whole completely. MK has been around for 50 years enriching the lives of so many women. Is this business for everyone…no is not. That consultant that ask you to join her team saw something in you. We don’t ask everyone to join our team but, we do share the opportunity. It is up to everyone to do their own research. We advise of the cost to start and answer any questions there forward. Every business owner should want to have some on hand inventory. In MK you don’t have to buy inventory. MK feels that if you are to remain in active status you should be selling at least the minimum of 225.00 every two months. Just thought I’d share.

        3. Thanks for that post, I am about to become a new consultant so I was doing my own due diligence and reserching online to find out more about MK. I was never told about the minimum order of $400 per quarter, but I did have common sense to ask more questions, where in which I found that answer out. Really why would any company just give you their product for half off when you haven’t worked for that privilege? That would just be un-responsibleof them. You have to know for yourself what is going on, and contracts are signed gor a reason, you dhould read them. I’m most excited about being able to start a business for such a small about of money, and I plan on only ordering products as I need them. For most business there is a time period before you break even, MK is no different. You get out what you put in! Pink Cadillac’s arent cheap, you have to put in work and as secure as I am with my current full time job, it will nevergive me the opportunity to earn free cars, trips, or jewelry. And if all else fails, sell your product back at 90%, claim the loss in you taxes, or just use the products you got for $100 that really cost over $400! Nothing in life is free, and if it was easy everyone would do it! Good luck to you in whatever you are doing now.

        4. Hi, I have been researching MK for the past few weeks and have become very interested in it. I remember my mom having Mary Kay parties when I was little and I miss them! they just disappeared in my area. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to become a consultant? Do I have to sign up under someone else? And then how do I order a starter kit and look over the contract?

          1. The best way to become a consultant if you have not attended a party is to go to the Mary Kay website…(www.marykay.com) and using the search option – search for a consultant near you. Then send an email to the consultant, expressing your interest in becoming a consultant and would she be able to speak with you to answer any questions or perhaps she would consider taking you with her to one of her weekly meetings.

            Having been a MK consultant for over four years, in addition to being an attorney and a mother of three children, Mary Kay gives you want you give it; however, the most important think I’ve gained is the friendships of my sister consultants who I love dearly and who make nothing off my success (unlike my law firm). They are just happy to work the business along side of me; we lift each other up and are there through the good times and the bad.

            All my best to you.

          2. Emily,
            I would agree with Penny’s comment, go to MaryKay.com and put your ZIP code into the Consultant locator. This way you can see who the consultants and directors are in your general area. Ideally, you could reach out to one or two and see if they have weekly meetings you could attend as a guest, I am sure they will welcome you with open arms. This will give you the proper platform to ask all your questions, meet the group of ladies you will be working with going forward, and sign up as a consultant if you wish.
            I hope this helps 🙂 I wish you the best of luck! I am excited to be an Independent Beauty Consultant and hope you will feel the same~
            Nicole

      2. Not at all… Went to a MK party last weekend, and wound up talking to the girl about the possibility of joining just for personal use (I.e., for the discount)… She knows I’ll not be helping her earn her pink car, but she fully disclosed the $450 retail (which when you hit that, it becomes $225, your discount off the top) every quarter (not unlike many direct sales companies that have $150/month or $300/qtr minimums to keep active)… It could potentially be someone’s recruiting technique to just suck them in without fully telling them everything, but it shouldn’t be BC people will get upset and quit! In any DS business I’ve been in, I’ve been fortunate enough to have people who do NOT subscribe to the “spend money to make money” method of business… Sorry you didn’t have a positive experience as a business builder, but having all the facts is key for anything–maybe it’s BC I asked? But I will most likely be joining this week to get the kit and the bonus theyre offering this month to simply purchase at a discount (and in theory, I could do a big order once or twice a year 🙂 )

      3. Your experience of not being advised of everything is not what is taught. I train and mentor women in being successful in their Mary Kay business. Mary Kay Company holds the utmost integrity and the women who have their businesses are trained to do so. I would like for you to understand that the info you are giving out is not from someone who actually built a MK business so how can you give advice? 9 days, really? What did you think would happen? No investment? You can sell without getting inventory but if you are really building a business, women want their products today not whenever you get enough to place an order to the company. As for not being able to place a small order, why would you want to do that and spend all you profit on shipping? Mary Kay Ash was a very intelligent woman and the way she designed the business to work, still works today, 53 years later. Pink Truth are consultants that were unable to run a business because of their decisions not anything to do with Mary Kay. The most wonderful and amazing part of this business is building the Kingdom! It is truly Marketplace Ministry!

  6. I’m sorry it didn’t work out Kalyn!

    I’ve been debating Blessings Unlimited….I’ve talked to a few people and everyone I’ve talked to says they love selling and that it’s been good for them. That said, I’m still leery of getting in to it for the same reasons you mentioned here.

    I’ll keep you posted on what I decide. My husband has given me the go-ahead, but I’m still on the fence.

    1. Please do keep me posted. I would think that they should be honest, since they are a Christian company, but you never know. Something to think about, (because it is home decor and I saw some jewelry), is how many times you can have a repeat customer, or how much work it would be to find new customers to buy. I had that problem with Uppercase Living wall decals. One person might buy 1 or 2 decals from me and be done, because there was only so much they could buy for their own home or as gifts. I’m not saying that to discourage you, just something to think about – I wish you the best!

  7. Argh I hate when that happens, I had a similar scenerio when I worked for Avon cosmetics. Ended up spending more than I was supposed to be making 🙁 just as well you knew now rather than further down the line 🙂 xx

    1. I have been in MK for two months and I realize it will take hard work before it really begins to pay off. However, I am finding it difficult to find people who want the products (which are very good) or have time for parties (group or even one-on-one sessions). Someone recommended Avon because of the variety of products offered, the low cost, and the fact that customers use and reorder Avon products at a higher rate than MK customers. What is the real scoop on Avon? How do representatives get paid? Do you have to recruit before you see any real ROI? Are there monthly order minimums that representatives must make?

      1. It was many years ago now that I worked for them but back then there wasn’t monthly order minimums, I think the pay depended on how many products you sold and I imagine recruiting did see more ROI than reps but I agree with what you’re saying about MK that with Avon it was similar that it was difficult to find people who wanted the products and had time for parties etc. Hope that helps! 🙂

  8. What an honest post. Sales is a hard business period, but good for you for getting out there and trying things:-)

  9. I’m really glad that I read this. I too did this exact same thing back in 2007. Except, I allowed a MK rep to open a CC in my name and charge an obscene amount of money on it for all of this inventory that I would supposedly need. I wound up 1,700$ in the hole by the time it was all said and done. Wish someone had been brave like this to post long ago- Though, i’m not sure I was in a place at the time to really listen or care what anyone else thought- nevertheless, thanks! 🙂

    1. I briefly heard/read about the CC accounts becoming a problem, and would struggle working for a company that encourages debt. Thank you for sharing your experience here!

  10. As a fellow MK Consultant, I hate that you had this experience. I can honestly say that I was told about all of the requirements before I ever signed that paper. It all depends on who is recruiting you. I have been told what to say to anyone I am recruiting and was told that you tell them everything that you would want to know. I actually read this post to my Director and she was upset that anyone would have that proble. Mary Kay Ash’s goal was to enrich the lives of women. Why would she have this goal, but try to make you go broke in the process? Again, I apologize on behalf of the company that you had this problem.

    1. Thank you for feeling free to share this, Julia. I realize that not every consultant has a bad experience, and I can confidently say that writing this does not turn me off to buying MK products. I love the skin care/makeup, and am happy being a customer. 🙂

  11. Just now reading your post! It was very informative and I am grateful I read it. I actually JUST ordered my starter kit for Mary Kay only 1 week ago. And was NOT told about all of the other things you were going to have to purchase, other than your starter kit. My Consultant, although a very great person and very friendly, never informed me of the minimum $600 inventory purchase you have to do within the first 15 days.. Or the website and pro pay credit card site purchases. I have been a customer of Mary Kay, along with other women in my family, for years and so was finally convinced that it would be a good investment for me. But now I am not so sure! I am expected to now invest such a large amount of money and the only for sure costumer base I have right now is some family members! I am starting to feel the same way you felt…. Not sure what to do!! I also do not drive or have a vehicle at the moment and my transportation is usually my husband driving me to work and where ever else.. so that is another down side to starting this out! any advice would be very much appreciated!! before it’s to late ha…

    1. Natalie – your story sounds so similar to mine! The only thing I would suggest is to get those family members on board to slowly changing their makeup and skin care regimens over to MK, and only place a bulk order every couple months to meet your minimum requirement. The smaller, and more frequent your orders, you will end up having to purchase more inventory or risk losing that 50% discount. If you decide to opt out, I know MK will take their starter kit back for a full refund if you haven’t opened it. I never got a refund because I had used some of the catalogs already, but if you call them, they should be able to help with the return.

      I hope that helps, and I wish you the best, either way you decide to go!

      1. I just ordered my $100 kit and now I don’t think I want to do mk after reading this. Do you know if you can refuse the package when it comes and call the company to get a refund?

  12. thank you! that is really helpful! I am still debating sticking with it. I may have some family members that want to purchase at the moment..but who knows later on. just don’t want to set myself up for failure. Thank you I really appreciate your response!

  13. Hi! I don’t know how old this post is or if its already been a year, but I just wanted to let you know that you can return all your merchandise to Mary Kay for 90% of what you bought it for as long as it hasn’t been over a year since you ordered it! They try and make sure that if MK doesn’t work out for you, you can at least get most of your money back (besides the starter kit). I’m so sorry you didn’t have a good experience and I completely understand. Your director should have been helping you and guiding you. You should have been told all the details before you signed up, but some people are sneaky and it’s sad that those people give Mary Kay a bad name. Also, the $400 order every 3 months is mostly for protection. A lot of people were abusing the system and signing up just so they could get the 50% off, which of course the more people that do that the more it hurts the business as a whole. But you of course don’t have to make one huge order of $400, in three months ALL the orders you have made need to at least add up to be $400. These are definitley things that your director should have helped you with!! It makes me sad..I hope I;m not coming across as rude or anything!! I just wanted to maybe help with some details. I am currently working with Mary Kay and have been for a year now. I started to make big orders so I could have my own inventory (even though you can just stick with the starter kit if you want) I just found that having inventory on hand helped my business. I decided to go the route of MK being my main source of income since I am a single mother, and it literally saved my home from being taken by the bank. But it is a lot of hard work. I find it was totally worth it and I;m so glad I at least gave it a try. If you don;t try you might regret right? But MK is definitely not for everyone! Thank you so much for being honest and helping others with their decision. =) There should be more people in the world like you, open and honest, the opposite only hurts other people in the end and makes them feel like MK is a sneaky business that refuses to tell you the details until it’s too late. I really hope it’s been under a year since your order so you can send your inventory back to MK and try to get most of your money back! It definitely sucks to be stuck with something you won’t use.
    Any way, I’m babbling now. Again, I hope your experience didn’t totally turn you off of MK, and maybe this message will help someone else out there in the same problem you were. =) And I;m ashamed of the recruiters for not sharing the details with you and others like they should! It;s not fair to the other person to go into something not knowing all the details!!

    God Bless,
    Kaytlin

    1. I actually was able to cancel my inventory order with no problems, and received a full refund, so there were no problems there. I’m so glad MK is working out for you and providing you with income to help your family, but I also appreciate you saying it takes hard work. I fear that many direct sales companies in general try to pass off their business model as something that can be done in your spare time, with huge benefits. I can’t argue that there are successful MK people out there, but you’re right, they work really hard too!

      Thank you for being open and sharing your heart here, and I’m excited to see the comments become such a variety of perspectives. I know it has really helped individuals who are thinking about taking the plunge at least be introduced to other experiences.

    2. Thanks for all the comments, each one. I am about to start. I have a party of 10 women soon. Can anyone guide me on the first inventory to order? All skin care? Tks.

  14. I too was a part of Mary Kay :(. My director NEVER gave guidance and basically abandoned everyone when she got married and moved to another state. If you were a consultant who couldn’t afford to buy inventory then you were ignored and received no help or even acknowledged. I wanted to stay doth MK and wanted to see about going with another director but was told that was frowned upon
    Definitely left me with a negativity regarding Mary Kay!!

    1. @ Kelly can I ask where you are from please I have a fantastic director & have even been able to set up & support girls that live 1000 km from my team
      I may be able to help if you were still wanting to continue I’d be happy to try & help you succeed 🙂

  15. I can’t believe no one told you about being active to get the 50% discount and all that. that just blows my mind. i am sorry you had such a bad experience.

  16. I am sorry for your bad experience with MK. I understand your pain. I am still in pain trying to pay off my inventory from 3 years ago. I have never earned anything from MK. Every time I sell anything the earnings go into the MK account to pay off product. Everyone I know sells it and so it makes it so hard to sell. Yes, I have to order $400 retail every time I place an order. What am I doing? I keep getting in debt to just make one customer happy. No, they did not tell me about the ordering. I feel like giving up and maybe I should. I wanted to become successful so bad. But, it just isn’t working out. There are a lot of things that they don’t tell you.

    1. I think the inventory is truly the kicker – it’s just money sitting on the shelf, and you never know if it will be sold or not. I wish you the best, and appreciate you taking the time to comment here!

  17. so what to do with the inventory? I have 3-4 customers but not enough to warrant keeping the inventory that I have. Sell it as a LOT on Craig’s list or what? I just want it out of here!

    1. You could do that, or I have seen others sell them as lots on eBay as well. There is also a site that will purchase MK inventory from you, but since I have never used it, I can’t 100% recommend it. However, if you are desperate it might be worth a shot! http://mkliquidator.com/

  18. thank you so much for writing this. reading this open and honest story gave me the strength to get out of mary kay after just signing up. I was having serious doubts but felt that I was committed and too far in, and that it would be so bad for me to back out already. But now that I have, I feel the weight of the world off of my shoulders, and I feel like 1million $$. Thanks for being willing to share, you truly helped me to realize that it was ok to say no, and to get out even when I was afraid to because of what people would think. you’re awesome : )

    1. Kelly, it’s SO hard to get out of something when you’ve committed and don’t want others to think less of you. I’m glad my story was able to be a little bit of an encouragement!

  19. Sorry to hear about your experience. You do understand that good housekeeping will buy back any product. They have a 100% mk buy back program. As far as ordering I myself have been in mk over a year. You don’t have to order the website etc thats your choice. I’ve chosen not too and yet and still making money. If you are not happy call the mk office they can give you details on the buy back program for any product you purchased

  20. I also did Mary Kay. I did it for a few months after i got out of high school, years ago. I got into it when my best friend held a facial party. I love the make up and especially the satin hands! I still use it, but when I signed up I was like you, i didn’t know what else was involved in the process and I thought I covered everything with my questions. I bought the start up package, got it in the mail and then when it came time to order more they wanted me to buy in bulk…. not just the items that my customers wanted and the smallest bundle was not cheap. I ended up not buying anything else and just kept what I couldn’t sell. I don’t want it to seem like i’m bashing them either, it is a great way to make money if you are passionate about make up- which I was not. I am more of a nature girl, I like as little as possible when it comes to make up. I only use eye liner, mascara for everyday and then a little blush and lipstick on special occasions too. So I wasn’t the greatest advocate for all the different kinds of make up they had because I simply never used it. Plus I realized that with these MLM companies, if you are making money off getting your friends involved, eventually there will be too many people selling it and not enough buying it. Plus it just creates more competition in your area. So you have to decide how you are going to make your money: buy selling to consistent clients or by recruiting new consultants. My best friend who got me involved just got out of MK. She has been selling it for years, but she didn’t have time to have all the parties and had lost a few clients. I hope it works out better for any one else doing it. 🙂

    1. I love that you brought up the fact that it’s much harder to sell when you don’t wear much make-up. I found myself in that situation too. Cover up, bronzer and mascara {oh, and some gloss!} are pretty much my everyday staples!

    2. Yes, Olivia, I know exactly what you mean! I had NO idea how many consultants were in the area until I went to a regional meeting in VA Beach back in April. There were about 115 ladies packed into one room, and who knows how many more were out there that WEREN’T there?? Plus, in my area, there were quite a good number as well. I realized that as I’m trying to drum up a customer base, that half the time, women were telling me that they already have a consultant!

      The other half, they’re simply not interested, or they’ll buy a small item or two. The most I’ve sold was a little over a $100, the rest is usually under $40. I think that the area’s saturated with consultants! The other thing is that some will give you their number, but then, they’re not trying to meet for a facial. At an event, I gave a Satin Hands set away as a door prize, with the hopes that the lady who won would be willing to do a facial. I got her name and number, said that she’d be there for a Girls’ Day Out event, but when I called to remind her, she said that she MIGHT come, as she had plans with her church, and she’d try to make it. Well, she never came, and after trying to call to reschedule, never could get a hold of her. Some just are unable or want to spend that much, even if the product is good…

  21. Hi Kayln! I am so happy you have shared your experience with us! I personally am an MK Consultant for the past few months, and like most consultants starting out, once you have done your taxes, your eyes bulge a little going, “I’ve invested HOW much?”. At that point, most people get frightened and run away- for me, I said to myself, “Well, shoot, that just means I have to work harder and get back my investment!”

    My family members all have their own small businesses, and I have seen them in the black and in the red. Having your own business means you may have to risk going through a wave of profit and debt- it’s truly the nature of the beast, as you already know. However, many naïve young women (and some elder) don’t have that prior knowledge, and if their recruiter does not explain that, of COURSE they feel betrayed. I was lucky to have that knowledge and have my recruiter confirm that.

    Also, people say you HAVE to have inventory. You don’t. I refused to buy inventory for a month until I thought I could handle it plus have the customers for. Also, it’s best to purchase things you KNOW will sell, as well as skin care, i.e. Satin Hands, Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover, TimeWise Miracle Sets, etc., but NEVER purchase inventory in makeup when starting out. You never know if it will sell! Plus, you should never go into debt over this business- so not worth it! Just buy what you can without breaking the bank or missing your bills, that’s the simplest way.

    I do agree, that MK should not target women who are too afraid to pick up the phone to call customers- there have been some great transformations of timid women to confident women, but that is not always the case.

    Most women are dreamers, “I can change my life with this!”- and you can- but not overnight. And unfortunately, many people are strangers to hard work. It’s all about promoting and networking and wanting to make a difference. The consultants who get enraged (not you, mind you! You had a more than valid reason to leave while you were ahead!) and quit are the ones who were never realistic in the first place. There has to be a balance of realism and dreams. I, for one, get laughed at a little when I go to meetings when they ask us our month’s goals. Some women say, “I’ll make $1000!”, “I’ll facial 50 people!” and I will simply say, “I’d like to make $100 this month”, or, “I’d like to facial 4 faces this month.” They say, kindly, my dreams are small- but I know I will never be disappointed 🙂

    I hope this helps anyone who has had issues with the Mary Kay Company and I hope this helps potential or current Consultants. In any small business, you CAN make it- but you have to have a heart strong enough to deal with the word, “No”, and you have to be willing to put the effort into it 🙂

  22. Thank you soooo much for your post! Through this and following the comment string it really shows both sides. This helped me bring me to my decision I bit off more than I can chew and will be returning my starter kit. I basically have no customer base to start as well as an unsupportive family so I’m going to try some product as a customer and maybe come back later to selling.

    1. Katie, I’m so glad you were able to find some clarity! As long as you feel at peace with your decision, you know it was ultimately the right one to make. I sincerely believe you have to be fully committed to make MK work, and you’re right, you may find that down the road will be the perfect time to start.

  23. All I can say is that, its all up to you. When you purchase a starter kit, you get all you need to start your business if you want. But nothing happens to you if you never do anything with it, they dont ask for it back. And you DO NOT have to have inventory or start with inventory. I hav the most AMAZING director! You are truly your own boss if you want. So what if you only pirchase a $200 wholesale once a year to get what you want, active means NOTHING if your a personal use consultant. Im sad & disappoint that there are those people out there(directors) giving MK a bad name. It can truly work if you put a little effort into it just like you would any job.

  24. I have heard this about MK before. While direct sales businesses differ a great deal, I think there are some common threads that give them a bad reputation. (I have only been involved with one, Barefoot Books, but I’ve read about others.) In particular, many bill the opportunity as very flexible and say you can build your business at your own speed, with as much or as little time as you want to put into it. While this isn’t an outright lie, it does seem to gloss over the reality of what it takes to build a successful direct sales business.

    1. You are what you put it! It’s great you had choices and that this company gave you that, for most when you start a business You DO NOT get your money back so the mere fact that this company does says a lot about them and PEOPLE are all different so shop around it’s the “beauty” of THIS business and it’s ashame that only bad things are posted. To be successful in anything it’s to think and be counter cultural something this blog is not but the best is wished for everyone just hoping that negativity being posted daily would come to an end. Choices WE ALL have them and should take responsibility for them. You made your choice to back out after 9 days? A wise woman said to me the other day if she would have “moved in” with her husband first they wouldn’t be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. I asked what her secret to success was in her Catering business and her marriage. She said commitment. Commitment gets you through the hard times when things get tough in business and Marriage. I’d just like to apply that here. It’s EASY to walk away from our dreams at 100$ when you invest and work smarter and don’t nickel and dime yourself and can have the inventory like she did or in this case MK or any business that gives you the privilege to carry inventory it’s an investment in yourself and makes it less easy for us to quit on ourselves when things get a little tough, just like getting married or starting a catering business and buying 50,000 worth of equipment!!
      So I’m not saying what this person did walking away was wrong, good for you that you saw it was not for you, but the lesson your trying to share is not factual because after 9 days you possibly could not understand the concept nor the how counter cultural this company is and hopefully one day you will give it more than 9 days to see that before sharing what you THINK someone was trying to take you for. It sounds like she wanted to give you the best possible start in a business so you wouldn’t nickel and dime yourself as you progressed but again I remember after 9 days thinking I can walk away now or give it the year and I’m so glad I gave it at least a year of consistent effort! Thanks for sharing ladies many lessons learned today.

  25. I have recently became a MK consultant. I attended a small party and was told I could get a starter kit for only $100 plus receive a 50% discount on product. Of course I joined right away. I loved the product itself, but I’m definitely no sales woman. I figured I could casually sell to family and friends, maybe have a booking or two a month for people to come to my house and it would be some extra spending cash. After my kick-off party, I realized my directors have been VERY pushy for me to buy inventory and to book parties as much as possible. Note that I have just graduated high school and plan on getting a job soon. Today I received a call from a National Sales Director, asking how many bookings I’ve made, how many people I’ve recruited, and questioning weather I will be attending seminar. Everything seemed so legit at first, until I placed my first order, in which I had to place a $400 order. I only made $260 from my kick-off party, so I was told to order things for future parties (applicators, trays, shadows, blushes, etc.) So, my sales director has put me “in a challenge” to get 10 bookings, 2 potential team members per booking, make enough to go to seminar, and order inventory. This is all too much at once. I need some advice. My fiancé thinks this is just a way for them to make more money, and for me to be one of the 98% of consultants who loose money. HELP!!!

    1. If you truly love the product, and think for sure you can sell to family and friends to cover what you personally use and perhaps make a little bit extra on the side, then I would be very firm with your director and say that you will be working Mary Kay on your own terms. They like to call it incentives and encouragement, but sometimes it can be downright rude and pushy! Don’t let them control your business….YOU control it. And if you find out it’s not for you, you can always sell off the inventory and walk away. I’m wishing you the best!!

    2. Get out!!! It is a scam to fill their pockets, not yours. I was a consultant for two yrs. Ran my business completely debt free despite the constant pressure and did not recruit! After taxes, I made $50 my second yr and I was top five in sales every quarter. You won’t make money unless you recruit A LOT!
      Ask any MK director to see their taxes and how much debt they have. They won’t share any of that because no one would sign up.
      It’s a scam and only the top 1 to 2% make any money. Get out while you can!

  26. This exact thing happened to me. I will never trust an independent sales oprortunity ever again! They don’t care about you they just want your money.

  27. this exact same thing happened to me , I was told a starter kit was 100 , and when I got it then I was told oh you have to buy 600 or more worth of inventory so I just want to by the mini. amount that I have to by to become active , its crazy ,

  28. This blog popped up in my search for a flyer too. ???

    I am truly saddened to read how many of you have had such negative experiences with MK because of PEOPLE. The Mary Kay brand is something I stand behind 1,000%. I just signed up to be an Independent consultant for the third time. Each time that I have let me contract lapse, it has been when I was unable to “work” my business due to other life circumstances, never because of the company itself. After dealing with a critical illness last year and being fired from my job as a result, I realized that I need to get back to making money on my own terms. When I was a consultant in the past, I had multiple levels of support, managed my own time, and had complete control over my flow of income. Plus, I love socializing, so I found myself in the perfect occupation. Now that technology is so advanced, even people who find it difficult to be social in person can utilize tools online to build a customer base. Mary Kay even advertises for free on your Facebook Page! I think I’m telling my age, but if I would have had all these tools 12 years ago, I have made it to Cadillac status. LOL

    I agree with Amanda Baker and Dar. This business, and others like it, is only for those who understand that it is a BUSINESS that takes dedication, motivation, and perseverance. I signed up again on July 11 , and I have been on the computer researching blogs, comparing numbers, Pinning, Facebooking, Googling, Tweeting, and creating emails & marketing plans every day. I have literally only been able to sleep for 4 hours because my mind is focusing on how to get my business up and running. I am REALISTIC though. I will not be driving the BMW next week, but NOT-TO-SLOW and VERY-STEADY will win this race. My plan is to be in my Red Jacket by September. 🙂 Peace and Blessings to all.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story. Mary Kay is a predatory company. Your story is NOT unusual. In fact there are tens of thousands of women (by now hundreds of thousands) who know how predatory MK is. Directors are taught to not share everything up front. They have scripts for every situation and for every argument you might put up. They train directors in the DISC so that they know how to overcome your objections according to your personality. It’s not surprising to read some of the very things I’ve heard over and over, “No one put a gun to your head” “You have to treat it like a business” “We have no quotas”. All of these types of things are said to make the victim feel like they are just a loser. What you don’t understand is that MK deliberately designed a pyramid (yes, it is) that most will fail. How do you win at MK and why is it a pyramid? Just look at how you really make money – recruiting. It’s impossible to make minimum wage just by selling. To go up their career path YOU have to recruit. Then under you, you have to have recruits who recruit and so forth. What shape is that? A pyramid. If you want to feel better about what happened to you and why ALL direct sales are similar in their construction go to wwww.pinktruth.com. You’ll find thousands of women, Sales Directors, Senior Sales Directors, Executive Sales Directors and even a NIQ who write there.

  30. Thank you for sharing. At first I signed up for everything, the website Pro Pay to accept credit cards, bought the kit and tons of makeup. I have struggled with being active. When I was active, I enjoyed getting the discount to buy personally. I sold a few things to some family members, but never ventured further. I really did lose money on this one, but at least I have a stock of makeup I can use for myself for awhile. I am currently inactive and was wondering if someone could tell me how I can cancel my account and MK website?

    1. I just called MK through the consultant line and they walked me through discontinuing the site and canceling my account. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you, but you’re right, at least you have some makeup to use!

  31. Something I can agree with is that you really aren’t told everything right away unless you have a very thorough recruiter or director.

    The thing that I was told when I was considering my mk business is that it is ~My Own Business~

    And with anyone starting up a business there is going to be incidentals, extra’s to improve your business.

    What Mary Kay gives you in your starter kit is everything you need to do your first 30 faces (Give or take depending on the way you squeeze, press, and puff. It also gives you the necessary paperwork and direction to where to go for more information and business materials. This kit also gives you over $400 in full size product to utilize in your business ventures.

    Like any business, if you want it to grow, you have to put some energy into it. I try and tell my consultants before they sign up that it is a job, and they have to work it to get the rewards. The rewards are GREAT, if you do the work.

    Many people sign up for Mary Kay under the delusion that it will be free money that they get when they wave their hands.

    Wrong.

    Though I have had people chase me down in parking lots because they need their Mary Kay, the bulk of my business is getting out of my house, away from the computer, and actually interacting with people in the community.

    I know, It’s scary and every time I approach a person I don’t know I choke, shake, have a little mass crisis in from head to toe…It comes with the territory. I have never really been a stranger-person. I am very much a people person and have a great time with others. When it comes to meeting new people, especially in preparation for a business venture…that I’m not so good with.

    Mary Kay is really about jumping out of your comfort zone, finding your confidence and letting it grow. It is going to be uncomfortable and you are going to have to work hard if you want it to be successful.

    Again….Just like growing any other kind of business. You have to get your name, face, and occupation out there or nothing will ever happen for you. There is only so much your close family and friends are going to be able to supply for you.

    I give you this advise if you are thinking of starting up your mk business, or are already a consultant and on the line:

    If you treat your business as what is it, a business, and allow yourself to work it like a “job,” you will do great! The hardest part is putting your mind into the “this is my job” mindset. Make your own goals, quotas, and accomplishments. Set specific times to work your business. Mary Kay gives you the tools, use them. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

    Also, for those who have Directors or Lead Consultants who aren’t quite giving you the support or information you need, it is ok to ask for help. Talk to them. Do not be afraid to ask for references to Directors who may better feel your needs. Don’t rely on an empty cup to fill your own.

    If you are out of milk, you go to the store and get more. You don’t stare out your window hoping one day your neighbor will see you in the window and know you need milk. Seek and ask questions. It will only benefit you in the long run.

    I hope you all success in any venture you decide to go on in your lives. Mary Kay is truly the place for me and my life is nothing but better every single day since I first brought home that beautiful starter kit. At first it was hard work. Now for me, it’s play. I do this as my full time job, and I can’t imagine my life back slaving away and working for someone else. Now I work for me and that makes me want to do all the better.

    Well wishes all,

    Amanda F
    Senior Beauty Consultant – Mary Kay

  32. Hi Kalyn! So I stumbled upon this blog literally because I did a google search for “Mary Kay blog”. I’ve been considering joining Mary Kay for THREE YEARS.

    I feel like now is the right time for me to get started, so over the past couple weeks I’ve been doing a LOT of research online about the company and reading tons of blogs/comments of peoples experiences. What I really really do appreciate about your blog is that even considering you were not happy with your experience with Mary Kay, you didn’t bash it and talk trash on it.

    Every direct sales business requires a talent in SALES. And that is such a tough field that it’s definitely not for everyone.

    Thanks for a great post! I like your writing and plan on checking out some more of your blog. 🙂

    1. You are so right about having a talent in sales! I was always told that you don’t have to be a salesperson to work in MLM, but you really do. I SO appreciate your sweet comment and hope you’ve been able to get both sides here and make the best decision for YOU! Hope to see you around!! 🙂

  33. Thank you sooooo much. I am dealing with this now as a new MK consultant. I love the products and the team etc. But I feel the exact same way as you. I work a full-time 40+ hour week and mom of two and church activities and volunteering. I was looking to do this as a PT opportunity. Every single thing that you said I experienced and agree with you 100%. I do not think anything MK does is to SCAM you or anything like that but it’s diffently something I should have asked more questions on. There was times I did feel rushed and pushed to make decisions and that is just not my personality. I agree with someone earlier that said it’s a Business so there are certain ways you need to run your business in order to be successful and I completely agree with that. I just do not think I’m cut out for this type of business. 🙂 I am a better customer with it than a Consultant, lol.

    thanks again and keep you head up…

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Tracey! It definitely takes a lot of work to make MK or any direct sales business successful. I am much happier being a customer too! 🙂

  34. Thank you for your article. This is why I joined Avon after paying my 15 $ sign up fee that was it. You do have to place an order of your books, but websites and training and meetings are free.

  35. I am so happy I found this. I am going through the same situation right now. I was introduced to the product by entering a drawing at bridal show. I got a call a month later saying I had one a “Facial and Makeup Makeover” for myself and bridesmaids. She said nothing of it being MK. When we got to her house with she called her salon we started getting suspicious. Sure enough it was your typical scam party to help them male money. I have never been the type of girl to take care of my skin and i have always heard great things about the product so i decided to give it a shot. I signed up to become a consultant because the starter kit was on a good sale and I figured I could really put some time and effort into selling as soon as my life calmed down a little (I’m planning a wedding). Well my director that signed me up stated that in order to get the consultant discount I had to book my “Debut” party with her within the first 10 days of enrolling, so I did. My director did not mention anything to me again until 9:45 the night before my party. She said she would come early to help me set up and do a quick run through of what she would be doing. The whole time she knew i did not have time to devote all of myself to this company. Well she came about 40 minutes late to the party after my guests had arrived casually holding her starbucks. She proceeded to put on the party and it lasted until 9:50…. starting at 6:30 on a Thursday. She also allowed customers to purchase product with a credit card, not knowing how I was supposed to accept payment she informed me to download this free app that allowed to money to be put into my bank account. I did and now realize how stupid I am for putting all of my credit info into some app, that is not even through the company, and pay the random fees that come along with using it. Well to my surprise I had a $353.00 order to place afterwards. I then tried to place my order online the following weekend and was not able to receive the discount because I did not reach the $450.00 retail limit. I had already given this whole business a lot of thought over the weekend and decided it was NOT for me. So instead of placing the order through my name I used my Co workers account and she was able to use her discount so that I would make my money back from what I had invested ( I would send the kit back but I like the product, it’s the director that ruined it.) Everything went through fine and I thought I was in the clear. Well my director finally called me to see how placing the order went, mind you she handed me the sale slips after the party and said “The website is pretty self explainable.” I told her the problem i had run into and what I decided to do to place the order. She freaked. She raised her voice with me and told me I needed to call and cancel the order with the MK company right away. She was mad that because of what I had done she wouldn’t get credit for anything, and neither would her unit. I decided then that I did not care for this woman, she is money hungry she does not care about the consultants she just wants her profit and credit. I am very disappointed in the company. I will always use the product but I need out. I cannot believe how she treated me and that she has a title within the company. She is the worst “boss” I have EVER worked for.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience, Janell! That’s so unfortunate that you didn’t know about the discount until you went to place the order — it’s exactly what happened to me too. I hope you were able to bow out without too much trouble!

    2. OMG that is SUCH a sad story! How unfortunate that you ended up with someone like her. I just barely started with MK and this story just reminds me that when I do start recruiting that I need to be very upfront about how the business works instead of letting the consultant find out bit by bit. So sorry you had that experience!

  36. I sold Mary Kay back in the 90’s. Or should I say I tried to sell Mary Kay back in the 90’s. The directors said the products would sell themselves. They don’t. They said they would sell the products for me if I needed help. They didn’t. I spent so much money on inventory and no one bought. These MLM companies really do pull the wool over people’s eyes by flashing around the few people who get cars and make it big.

    Worse is that all these home sales companies are taking advantage of the women that are asked to hold “parties” for them, and attend these “parties.” I am so sick of being invited to “parties” where I am really being invited to buy stuff. And you know the friend holding the parties are only doing so to help the sales person out…not because they think we want or need these products.

    I got an email from a salesperson before a party that I was invited to saying she wanted to bless the hostess with this party! Who is she kidding?! Does she really think the hostess is being blessed by hosting this party? NO…the hostess was doing her a favor! The of course during the party the sales person said she would be remiss if she didn’t give us the opportunity to join the company…again…she was going to bless US with this opportunity?! Really?

    We all know you need recruits to move up and get more money. We all know you need to bug your friends and get them to bug their friends, to move this product. And please don’t try to “Close” the sale by acting as if I am going to buy stuff. Act like a human being and ask me if I want to buy something….because of you treat me like a sale I’m not going to buy anything.

  37. So, here is my MK story….. I am currently a consultant and have been now for actually more than …..6 years. I started out with a BANG!! With that said, lets make it known that I agree with BOTH sides of the MK stories and situations I have read here.

    I have also had the experience of being pressured by a very pushy director and made to feel as though I wasn’t “putting enough effort” into my business. I have been begged to place big orders. I feel I was lied to by my director at times as well as shunned when I didnt do as she “demanded”. I recruited 7 team members and was on a roll, and my director did to them what she did to me. Needless to say I lost all of my recruits and became discouraged and quit!

    Now, here I am again but this time, smarter, wiser and I have learned I can run this business without doing all of those things I have mentioned above. So here is what I did…..
    I allowed one of my recruits who stuck with the business to re-recruit me! She is also a very dear friend and the two of us are very creative when we put our minds together. I went back to some of my “old” customers and said I was giving it a go again but with a different twist. With no inventory on my shelf and with the help of my sister consultants (who have all realized the samething about our director) we pulled together an event. We sent out invitations, posted fliers (with our individual names posted at the bottom), put ads in the local newspaper, and left postcards (again with our names on the bottom) in various businesses.
    We each had a table set up with some product samples, gift baskets, etc. (my friends let me borrow some of their products to fix up my table). We each took an area to “specialize” in. I was the “Color Coordinator”, one friend specialized in ” Spa and Body” and the other friend was our “Skin Care Specialist”…The guest signed in at the registration table where they also noted how they knew of the event or who they were invited by and were given $20.00 in “Splurge Money”.
    The game rules going into the event were as follows…..If someone placed an order in any of the three areas and was already a “client” of one of us then those orders were given to the appropriate consultant. If someone placed an order at any of the three tables and the person had indicated on their registration that they were invited by a specific consultant then the sale went to that consultant. In the case of not being a client or being invited by a specific consultant, the names were counted up and divided by three. This worked out wonderful. We each ended the day with about $350.00 in sales, each of us left with 15 new clients to contact. This was my DEBUT!!!
    I DO NOT HAVE PARTIES OR SKIN CARE CLASSES!!! I do one on one facials or double facials 4 times a week. My biggest “parties” consist of three people MAX. I am very vigilant in keeping up with current customers and knowing when to ask for re-orders. I have four events a year. Back to School, Christmas, Valentines Day, and Summer Fun. This is how I find new clients as well as service my current customers.

    Now lets talk about recruiting……..I DO NOT RECRUIT!!!! During my one on ones, double facials and/or events I use one line….If at the end of the day/night if any of you have questions about being a consultant please feel free to ask me anything you would like to know. Thats it!!! I have now recruited 3 consultants!!! and guess what? I am not allowing them to be pressured to buy anything, I am helping them to build their businesses as I have.

    So am I making money? Yes, I am. I am making about $600.00 a month. I pay myself 40% of my monthly sales, and the business is making $900.00 which 60% of my monthly sales.
    Is the process slow doing it this way? YES haha, but I feel at least I am going about it how it feels right for me. I love the products and so do my customers. Will I make it to directorship or as a national director? I do not know at this point and guess what I am not worried about it. At this point I am finding customers, putting on various events, going to Festivals and Fairs setting up my table when I have a chance and building this business by having one on ones or double facials. I am making a good chunk of change and its growing bigger each month. So I am happy and will take it.

    So what is my advice to someone interested in becoming a MK consultant. Never allow anyone to tell you that you MUST buy a huge amount of inventory or any for that matter to get started. Having an inventory will come, just like anything else you have to crawl before you can walk. If you put 60% of your sales back into your business you will build a nice inventory over time. You CAN build this business with out “Warm Chatter” I depise that concept and refuse to use it EVER!!! You will find recruits much easier if you do not go “shopping for women”. Put your faith in growing this business exactly where it belongs…. IN THE PRODUCT. The next thing I advise is do not whatever you do allow yourself to get “swooned” with all of the HYPE. Realize this is a business and like all businesses it takes work and dedication to keep trying. If your director starts pushing you RUN!!! Find a new one in your area. Find one that is open to how you want to operate YOUR business.

    I hope this has helped some out here as well.

    1. Hi Ann! I’ve been working my MK business a little over 3yrs. I’ve experienced the ‘roller coaster’ side of recruiting. Once I was back where I started, I was ready to quit. However, I just slowed down my business, still servicing customers, just didn’t ‘warm chatter’. Felt I needed to re-evaluate my business & work it the way it fits me. Although the company and great directors provide ideas to grow your business, at the end of the day it’s YOUR business.
      I’ve come to allow the Holy Father to guide/teach me the basics of starting/maintaining this business. I’ve been working the 40/60% financial rule and it works. I’ve noticed that referrals works well for me instead of ‘warm chatter’ & your approach on recruiting doesn’t sound like you selling them to join but letting your facial presentation Be the reason they may want to join; probably likely to continue. Ann, I appreciate you sharing your second time around. Your test is a testimony to me!
      Also, I adopted a nursing home for Mother’s Day this yr. to give pampering gifts as a way to sow into my community. This is something I plan to do every yr. now. I’m really learning how to use this MK business as a Ministry of ‘Enriching Women’s Lives’. Although this is the slow route, the race is Not made for the swift But for the endure.
      Thanks Again!

  38. I became an IBC in October 2014. I didn’t need the income. I joined, because I own a cattle ranch with my husband and I wanted to have a social life outside of cows and other cattle people. My IBC met me at my house with the agreement. I am far from being a stupid person, but I have never in my life encountered someone in such a hurry to get my signature and get out my door. My IBC stated that she needed to get the agreement to MK and when I inquired as to when I would get my signed copy, she stated in a few days and I ended up buying the starter kit and $1,800.00 worth of product; the Sapphire level. The next day she calls me and wants me to attend a training in Napa, CA. I attended. On the way down she kept pushing the religious aspect. I just side stepped her. As we parked at the training, my IBC quickly states “Karen, I had to use your password and go on your website to see what you were doing.” This statement caught me off guard and then we were in the room. At the training, I was appalled!!! It was like attending a Jim Jones recruitment convention!!! The National’s there never stated what they themselves earned each month. But, they certainly kept stating what their unit earned, the prizes, the free trips, etc. Additionally, on the drive down with my IBC, she explained that she wants her consultants to call her everyday and tell her what they are doing with MK and who they have lined up. She, also, was very adamant that I immediately set up calls to get other’s to become IBC’s. I was starting to get very irritated with her, but kept my mouth shut. She was also pushing me to get my website setup. I apprised her that I was waiting for my business cards and a few other things before I started selling. I explained to her that, in order to have a good professional business, you should have all your ducks in a row lined up. She then wanted me to come to her house, located 45 minutes from her’s for the next day. She wanted to set down with me and watch me make calls to get people to sign up to be IBC’s. I did not want to do this, but I did. I was ready to get out of MK at the end of the training in Napa County!!! The next day I was so appalled by how my IBC was pushing my sister to become an IBC. My sister turned it down. But, my IBC wanted me to take her to my sister’s house 3 hours away so that she could talk her into becoming an IBC. The desperation of my IBC to become a National Sales Director was embarrassing. That night I put my website together. I also decided I would not check in with my IBC everyday. WELL, my IBC was on the phone everyday wanting to know why I did not call her and if I had signed anyone up yet? I then attended a weekly meeting in Fairfield, CA. I then found out I had to pay $5 for the meeting. Before going to the meeting, my IBC needed to do some shopping. While in the store, a young lady stopped her and asked if she knew where a particular item might be in the store. Immediately, my IBC started attempting to get this young female to become an IBC. I was so embarrassed and appalled!! I stepped in and got the girl off the hook. We then attended the weekly meeting. My IBC had gotten another lady to become a IBC. I was disgusted when my IBC attempted to convince this young lady to attempt to either get a loan or borrow money from everyone she knows, in order to purchase more product from MK. I took this person aside and told her not to worry about it. If someone really wants the product, they will wait for it to be mailed to them from MK.She was worried that our IBC would keep bothering her to find the money and she just could not do that. During the meeting, I and three other women were called to the front of the room and were given a pink rose and a song was sang. Then they asked each of us why we became IBC’s. When it was my turn, my IBC gave some spiel about why I wanted to be an IBC. After she finished, I stated that I wanted to become an IBC not for the money as I didn’t need it, but to have a social life away from my cows. My IBC was not happy with this. Next the four of us received a pin as we had sold $1,800.00 worth of MK product. I was dumbfounded. I hadn’t sold any product, I bought the product to sell. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON HERE, I said to myself. On the way home my IBC was quizzing me about how I was going to sell the product, etc. I got a little snippy with her and stated that I wasn’t in it for the money, I was in it to meet people. Once home that night, I went online and learned that my IBC did in fact have access to my password and that she went in and filled out an online agreement without my permission. I was furious. I then went online to see what law suits were out there regarding MK. I made the decision, I was out of MK. MK states that it is your business and you sell as much or as little as you want. That isn’t true. Those IBC’s that want to move up, want numerous IBC’s under them selling a lot of product in order to move them up the ladder. It becomes multi-marketing, because MK sends your IBC the bonus’ from the product you have sold. MK has and is suing ex-MK IBC’s for selling the product MK would not take back. If the ex-IBC sent MK a check for the other half of the product, MK could’t sue these individuals as the product is owned by the ex-IBC. Additionally, when a product is over a year old MK doesn’t want it. I am sure an attorney could win a law suit against MK, when MK sues the ex-IBC for selling the product that MK WILL NOT TAKE BACK. My ex-IBC still has not given me my signed agreement. I sent an email to one of the National Sales Directors that knows my IBC and no answer. My husband who just retired as a DA, Special Prosecutor, etc. told me that it wasn’t worth taking my IBC to court. I told him that the fact my IBC will not give it to me makes me very mad and I will never buy MK again and any chance I have to tell people about what MK is about, I will do so. My next step is to make a call to MK’s legal department and create some havoc.

  39. I’m sorry you had to go through this, it is unfortunate that Mary Kay’s original business plan is no longer being used. Her plan was for women to be able to sell and make a 50% profit from the sell of a product and then recruiting was secondary. Now that’s all these directors and nationals think about is making a killing off the backs of unsuspecting people by insisting they purchase HUGE inventories ahead of time.

    Meantime you’re in debt and the director or recruiter has already gotten paid from the order you placed. My thoughts on that is…..you will get paid after I get paid, (when I sell then I will place an order).

    Can you make great money in this company just selling the product? You bet! Is it hard work? Absolutely, this business is not for the faint at heart. It’s do or die. I am still a consultant and I only order what someone buys, not the other way around. I refused to stock a full inventory based on a “maybe” sell.

    Thanks for displaying the courage to share your story with all of those out there who are considering this career. I do not recruit, I sell only, this business is NOT easy and most cannot do it.

    I wish you the best in all you choose to do in the future. Hugs!!

  40. I just started Mary Kay, Not really as a business seeing that I am employed full time and attending collage. I love make up and skin care products so i decided to try out Mary Kay because the products are inexpensive. Therefore I just wanted to share my products with people who read my blog. I am all about beauty on a budget and I just thought this would be great for me personally. But thank you for telling me about the requirement to receive that 50%

  41. Hi there! I’m in a similar boat and just signed on to be a consultant and am having SERIOUS doubts! Just wondering, as you said you got a full refund for your inventory. Had it already shipped when you cancelled? Mine is still in the processing state and has not shipped so wondering if you had the same situation!

    1. No, it had not shipped yet, thankfully, I’m positive you’ll be able to get your money back. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out, but sometimes I think it’s better to find out now, rather than when you’re in it too deep!

  42. I wish I had seen this post before I got my kit. I took everything out of the bag but didn’t use anything yet. Is it too late to return and cancel my membership?

    1. As long as you haven’t used any of the products yet {and the forms are still in their original packaging}, you should be able to return the kit for a full refund. Just call the consultant phone number, and they can give you directions on how to return everything!

      1. I’m in a similar situation where I purchased the start kit, and no longer find the business interesting, so I’m looking to get a refund for my kit. I never used the products, but I took all the plastic off most of the items. I’m wondering what would happen if I just kept the kit, and didn’t do anything. What are your thoughts?

        1. nothing. you would be considered an inactive consultant and after 1 year you become a past consultant.

  43. Mary Kay is not for everyone. But it is a business. Just like a store in the mall, a Subway, or any other business. The only difference is you have to open your door and find the business. I have been a consultant at different levels of activity for 25 years. It meets my needs. To be an active consultant you must stock your shelf or use the product for your own personal use every three months and that’s only is participate in company sponsored contest earning prizes. To be considered a consultant, you only have to purchase $225 wholesale once a year without passing the date each year. As far as the kit, it has never ever ever been priced at over $100 plus shipping.

    The idea around Mary Kay or any other home based business is the effort you put into your business is shown by the results. If you have good intentions and purchase inventory and start supplies (like ALL businesses do) and then don’t open your business doors, that’s not the company’s fault…. that is yours.

    If you were to open a clothing store, would you have items stocked hanging to sell or sit down and try to sell your wares out a catalog? The number one reason at home businesses fail is because consultants embezzle there own inventory. You sell a lipstick and use the money for dinner or new shoes. Eventually what happens is you have pieced out your business little by little; haven’t paid your initial investment off; and now find yourself in debt and having to own means to purchase more inventory and you therefore blame the company and a failed business structure. But in realty, you are the only one to blame.

    There are so many people that just expect that success falls into your lap without putting in the effort for success. Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Avon, Zeal, Isgenix, Tastefully Simple, Party Lite, etc are not scam companies. They are business models for those who are disciplined, positive, and goal oriented individuals wanting a better life for their families and those companies are the vehicle used to get there.

    Mary Kay specifically is a straight forward company. It is outlined so that if you do this, you achieve that. You, your recruiter, director or national does not gain anything by you having product on your shelf that is not being sold. The are there to train you, help you, mentor you and support you. If that is not what you want, tell them. They won’t bother you. Some where you have indicated you wanted more out of the business then the effort you were willing to apply. The formula in direct sales is 1/3. 1/3 work hard, 1/3 are steady, and 1/3 struggle and take up valuable time “wanting” to do something. That is 1/3 of the consultants in any business that have nothing but negative things to say. The 1/3 that did absolutely nothing.

    My hat goes to those who persevere through all the negativity of others because you can’t do the business yourself.

  44. I just wanted to say I am a Mary Kay rep and I started June 2014. I put my bag in the closet and never touched it. Until February 6 2015 when I lost my job. I decided I would follow the info I was given and I would reach out to my director and recruiter. I told them I will not purchase $600 worth of inventory that I may not sell, but I am willing to host parties and learn how to book and coach them to run my business. Well I am now a Star Team Builder or Red Jacket and I run my entire biz on Public Transportation in Charlotte NC. This is not for everyone, nothing ever is for everyone. You have some people successful because they have tons of friends or family to buy from them and support them. I don’t and I have all strangers here in Charlotte who are now friends or customers, because I just moved here by the way from NY and none of my family has purchased anything or supported me. Being in my business has helped me grow personally tremendously giving me confidence to speak to people, ability to publicly speak in front of large crowds and just made me feel like I was achieving something and it has lifted my self esteem. Sometimes you get directors who don’t care, I am blessed mine is awesome and our success is her success. Anyway, I just want to say the business isn’t a sham and it may not be forth coming with all you end up needing to run it, but I have also found those other things are optional, cause aside from a website, I have a successful biz, riding the bus and customers order and are willing to wait a few days for product to come in and I have the ease of making my own schedule. I am currently working towards DIQ and qualifying for my first free car. Truth is, if you want a quick way to make money, that’s why you failed, this isn’t some get rich quick scheme, its a business and it takes work. If you don’t seriously do the work you won’t see the results. 9 days is hardly time to see anything except the fear of failure and so you jumped ship. Sorry to hear it but I challenge you to truly give it a go and it will and can make your life better!

  45. Just wanted to clarify something. Mary Kay Cosmetics is not a multi-level marketing company. It is a direct sales company. Mary Kay Cosmetics was designed for women to work the business, both selling and recruiting others, and as a result reap the benefits. It isn’t a something-for-nothing type of business. I appreciate the fact that you took responsibility for your decision. I’m sorry that you felt badly enough about your decision that you felt a need to post it in your blog. Mary Kay Cosmetics offers many women an opportunity to succeed with a great support system and all the tools necessary to run a business. All those other things that you purchased are for those who take the business seriously and are optional. I suppose one can’t truly understand the beauty of the business if they only had the business for 9 days. Congratulations Rose McCloud you now understand the business and I wish you the best in your endeavors.

    1. MK is a direct selling company. MK is not about the product, the IBC is the end user. The product is designed as a recruiting tool to send money up the pyramid.

      theres a website called pinktruth. That should answer your questions

  46. Hi there !
    Im french so sorry if you dont understand what i will try to say ..
    I just sign with MK 3 weeks ago .
    And the worst thing happened to me .
    My directrice , shes 19 years old . Wants me to have another credit cart and take a lown of 1200$ for inventory . In married with two beautiful daughters . I dont have that money to spend for products . Anyway , i was going to the meetings every weeks , paying my 6$ . I was very positive and motivated . I would also encourage the younger girls to be positive and focus and all of that . I was asking questions . A lot of questions . I guess my direcrice didnt like that . She bloqued me on Facebook . AND she asked all of her MK consultants to not talk to me anymore ????!!!!! She said that she was kicking me out that i was taking too much her energy !! Wtf … I didnt understand . I have been calling MK for 8 days now and no one is calling me back ! Im in shock and i want that post of me remove ! I have no time or energy for that kind of immaturity but i also feel very sad and mad !!! I think she was jealous of me or something .. I have questions and i am left without no guidance . I would like to continu my MK business but thats a big turn off right here !!… Im very confuse and i pray that someone can and will help me !
    Thank you .

    1. Sandra, I’m so sorry to her that about your director! I might try going to the person in her upline if you can find out who that was. Other than that, I’m not really sure what to try since I’m not with the company anymore. I definitely don’t think you should ever have to take a loan out for inventory if you can’t afford it right now. 🙁

  47. I am so sorry for you also that you did not give MK a chance. Like everyone said its your business and how you would have ran it was up to you. Website, no you did not have to get one, even though we are in a digital age and most large retailers do almost most of their business online. Credit card processor, nope you don’t have to get that either, even
    though most people carry plastic and not cash in today’s time. If you just only wanted to do cash only, your business do what you wanted to. Now inventory hmmmm. I just shut down a business my husband bought while he was battling cancer. He passed away a year later. The business made money but it also had huge expenses. So what came in the door went out the door. Well yes you would have to inventory in your store to sell. 50%! what direct marketing company gives you that type a discount? Most you have to spend a lot more to even get to that discount and probably monthly. MK is an opportunity for women or men, and the rewards for working your own business are huge. So again I am so sorry for you.

  48. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HONESTY!!! I’m so glad I ran across this post before I bought into MK!

    1. To everyone who feels this article “SAVED” them from Mary Kay: Do your own research, Mary Kay could be a fantastic opportunity for some of you. Like others have commented, it takes hard work to run your own business and I’d love to see an example of anyone who was successful in 9 days! Im sure its not common. Yes, this article is someones honest OPINION, but the facts aren’t even accurate. You do NOT need a 400 wholesale order for the discount!

      AND the pink truth…again, all people who couldn’t make it work. You can ALWAYS return any Mary Kay inventory you purchased in that prior YEAR for 90% back!!! What other investment in a business can you do that!?!

      MK is not for everyone, and certainly not for the unwilled, and unmotivated. Good Luck to all, find your passion and enjoy life! 🙂

  49. I stumbled upon your blog while researching this very topic – this just happened to me!
    I thought your post was so honest and refreshing – I was a Mary Kay consultant many years ago and I do love the product – but I also found it was not for me as a consultant but I do use the product. I really believe you have to find a good fit when starting a direct sales business. Like you mentioned, only YOU are responsible for getting into something and seeing it through. I think that if you find something you are truly passionate about and fully support and love – you do not have to feel like you are pushing a product or have to pressure anyone into joining your team. This is from a girl who swore off direct sales for many many years. One thing I have learned is that starting ANY business is not easy- not a lot of people tell you that part. There are struggles and growing pains but you have to STICK WITH it for at least 5 years to start seeing the long lasting true fruits of your labor. Not many people are willing to stick to something long term but there are no get rich short cuts as you know. I believe now that if you find joy in what you do – its is like sharing a gift with other people and that is what keeps you going. Best of luck in your future endeavors – looking forward to following your blog and finding inspiration through your personal journey.

    1. Definitely agree! When you find the one thing you’re truly passionate about, it almost shares itself and doesn’t feel like sales at all. The key is to find that one thing, and that can take time {and often a lot of mistakes in between.} Thanks so much for stopping by with your encouraging comment!

  50. Really sorry that you had this experience! Please know that not all units are like this. When I approached my director about joining, she told me I’d need $100 for my starter kit and a minimum of $250 for inventory or else I wouldn’t be considered active. She also explained that while I didn’t need to get business cards or to sign up for a website to be active, I should probably budget another $100 for “extras” to get me started. She was also EXTREMELY honest with me when it came to income potential and explained that my ENTIRE first year would be me investing back into my business. I realize that I’m probably one of the lucky ones that was given the full truth before signing up, but I just wanted to put it out there that not all directors are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I also really hope that future Mary Kay consultants will see your blog and realize that honesty is the best policy! If I had been in your shoes – I don’t think I would have made it to day 9.

    1. Your director sounds like a very smart woman! I love that she was so upfront about the costs with you, and I’m sure it also makes you and the rest of her team respect her even more. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me — it instills a little bit of my confidence back in MK!

  51. I signed up in May and have been trying to return my kit but they are telling me I have to pay to return the kit (no telling how much that will be) and I won’t get but 90% BACK. I was not aware or told this in the beginning. Nothing has even been used. I was in a car accident and don’t have a car, my stepmom had a stroke and my parents are having to move and I will be helping them. This is all nonsense. If I used it I could understand. It puts a bad taste in my mouth regarding MK. I’m not happy about this.

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry you are experiencing this with MK. I have been out of the company for almost 2 years now, so they might have changed their policy. You might be able to find a friend in MK who might want to buy some of the kit off of you.

    2. I encourage you to call MAry Kay directly and get the facts about your options for your situation.

  52. I signed up in march… i was told i didnt have to spend the $225 to stay active. i dont understand the purpose of lying to somebody to get them to sign up and then turn around and miss lead them thats not “the pink truth” im in away pissed off that i was mislead and taken advantage of so somebody can get more recruits under their belt. im trying to get out of my contract as i speak. my recruiter sid you have to go inactive for a yhar for it to cancel..

  53. Don’t know the year of this or if discussion is still active but I’ve been doing Mary Kay for a few months, but I just wanted to clarify something that was posted because I made the same mistake. When you place your first order you do get the 50% discount. If you didn’t then this is a mistake made by the consultant and anyone who doesn’t should reach out to their director for help. When you’re doing your checkout you have to get the cart up to $450. Once you do that the discount will show and your total will drop to $225.

    I’m sorry for your experience. My director has NEVER made or forced us to keep inventory and if we tell her we don’t want to order she doesn’t bother us. If you listen to her calls she does say that people do like it when you have inventory so they can take the item home but it is okay if you don’t. I have been successful at vendor events people ordering from me and me placing the order online and shipping it directly to them. They don’t seem to mind to wait. I guess everyone has a different experience.

    1. Hi Amanda! This discussion pops up every now and then & thank you for your input. I love hearing from readers & I’m glad you’ve been able to have success with MK like many other women!

      When it came to the discount, you highlighted one of the things that made me decide not to be a consultant. No minimums was one of the phrases that was used by Mary Kay. When I heard no-minimums and 50% off you can probably sense my surprise when I found out that there actually was a minimum order to receive the discount.

  54. Kalyn doesn’t have to be spot on 100% accurate. She pauses to analyze, discern and process – then she writes an intelligent reply that stays on topic.

    Some of those in MK who posted here have gone off topic into emotional stories that have nothing to do with the facts. A former abused mother on food stamps rising to the top in Mary Kay has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Kalyn was misinformed and not told about the activating order before she signed the agreement.

    You say it’s her fault for not reading the agreement? Thanks for sharing the obvious. You just confessed that women have to watch their backs when entering Mary Kay. Would you tell a woman this while trying to recruit her? “Hey come on in to the sisterhood, but I’m not walking you through the agreement. Anything you find out later, that’s all on you for not reading it yourself.” No, but you’ll gladly tell her that if she gets angry after signing.

    Stay on topic. The focus here isn’t on women who come in with STAR orders and never worry about the minimum order. The focus is on thousands of women who don’t intend to work the business at a higher level, women who honestly believed they could start collecting orders and profiting 50% instantly, even if it’s on one lipstick. They should not be shamed for doing anything less than $225 and accused for not working hard enough. If a woman is led to believe she can start profiting right away with no quotas and ultimate flexibility – work as little or as much as she wants – then she is under the impression that she can take orders at any amount whenever and turn a profit. Now if that were true, would the company profit? Probably not. But that’s not the point. The point is that women are being mislead by recruiters about how the company functions by omission of facts in conversation. Mary Kay like most well-oiled companies has their bases covered in writing, they make it clear how they work and you can disagree or agree. But not all consultants and directors are presenting the business accurately and they are gladly letting women sign and purchase starter kits without covering the information stated in the agreement.

    If you weren’t misled when you signed, congratulations. But your personal story doesn’t discredit or discount thousands of women who were and continue to be. They’re not lazy and out to give “zero effort.” Women just get mad when they’re mislead and simply choose to no longer work with you. That shaming and shunning is manipulation. These women are fully capable of success – they choose to no longer pursue that with you or the company – and that angers you so you verbally attack them – whether it’s outright, or with calm words ending with smiling emoticons – and for those who aren’t strong enough yet, it works and they stick with it.

  55. “After quite a bit of research into Mary Kay business practices, I could not visibly foresee it being a profitable venture, unless I, one, focused on recruits, and two, pushed hard on sales to get rid of all that inventory.”

    Ummm…. isn’t that the whole point of any SALES position regardless of the company? Secondly, MK is profitable and does work, but like anything else you HAVE TO WORK & treat it like a business. It’s a business not a get rich over night program. Purchasing inventory is essential, as with any other ‘sales’ business what are you going to sell without inventory on the shelf??

    The minimum amount to keep your 50% discount is also not true, however, even if it was, if you’re working your business like you should in the first place a minimum amount required wouldn’t be a problem. Any business required initial investment & if it doesn’t I wouldn’t consider it a ‘viable source of income.’

  56. I am experiencing the same thing and the Mary K .To me this was meant as a way to make money on the side.Seeing that I work for my city’s public School system and have two childrenwith not much extra time this is not the business venture for me.

  57. I have been in mary kay for 8 years and still believe in the company and its value. Yes I started with 3000.00 in inventory but did not have to not forced into it. I also started a salon business started with 3000.00 for equipment and product. It is called business.You start school with books it cost money what doesn’t in life. Just saying why would you get a discount for nothing.

  58. I am a consultant, i also signed up did the largest inventory they offered, i also did,business cards and began to work my business. But it took more than a week and a half!! This. Business does work when you do!! 100%!! I have been doing this since sept 29th 2015, you obviously didnt invest in yourself or your business!! This has taken me further than i could have imagined and im only a team leader almost a director in qualificafion. The company does care about your success or they would not have been around for 52 years and be the nymber one in skin care and cosmetics, also the minimum order to get the discount is 225 a month, and if your actually working your business thats not hard to do at all!! Even if its just the discount for you and family!! I hope anyone reading this knows rhat in order to be successful in Mary Kay you need to work mire than a week and a half at it!! Your a business owner…commen since!!

  59. THANK YOU! I’m a current (happily making money) consultant. I thanked you because I understand that everything is not for everyone. But you were honest, without bashing, the company. I will now follow your blog!!!!

    1. Thank you, Cherise. This was a tough post for me to write so I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  60. HI!! I am going on my 4th year as a Mary Kay rep and am struggling with if I still want to do this.

    I make literally no money, but I really love the products (I have about 4 regular customers who order $120 each time). With that said, I totally have a bit of a stock pile of unused items.

    I started gung-ho and my friends all came out to help me get started. Most bought a few make-up items and that was that. I attended team meetings and got a bit pumped up but could never get comfortable approaching people outside of my circle and those I did, just had no interest.

    I’ve started with a new Whole Health company with amazing products; they JUST introduced a skin care line, which I have not started as I love my MK. However, I just don’t think I can justify what I spend on MK, especially since this new company does not require me to sell anything, maintain stock and the a FABULOUS compensation plan. And we ALL earn!!! Not just one person getting the car or whatever.

    I believe this article helped me move forward into thinking that it’s time to hang up the pink.
    smk

  61. Your experience sounds unfortunate; however, there are some directors who are a bit unscrupulous and will tell their new recruits to put in these outrageously huge orders in order to get their “stars on the ladder” and/or grand prizes that are offered at each level starting at $1800; and then scare a new recruit into thinking they really do need all that inventory lest they run out. I say BS; this is my 3rd time resigning up with MK; the last time was purely for the 50% discount for personal use and I was taking orders and then ordering my inventory so that I would not get stuck (in the retail world it’s called preselling and it’s the focus of the major dept stores, of which I have also worked); I even knew one foolish consultant who “bought” her way onstage at Seminar in Dallas only to learn the consequences of doing that. My advice is to manage your money and record each and every sale; one director suggested 2 bank accounts, one working account where every single sale is deposited and a product account where 60% of the money deposited in the working account gets transferred over to the product acccount; it is from the product account where you determine how much you can afford to order. I prefer to take the paid order at a skin care class and then place the order because my orders are usually delivered to my house the very next day. I do not believe in carrying inventory and now MK gives 50% across the board and will offer bonuses such as free product for substantial orders, but that never phases me. I order within my means. You should have sent most of your order back and kept just what you needed (like 400 retail which would have been 200 wholesale) and you also should have been told by the person who recruited you that like any business things like cards, stationary, credit card services (which the service MK offers is much cheaper than having a Merchant bank account where they take up to 5% of the sale), websites, brochures, bags, etc. would be extra; but you don’t need to order those things immediately; I made cards on my PC in the beginning and ordered one packet of what brochures were absolutely necessary; I didn’t go crazy with “recruiting” brochures as I was just getting started myself. What many consultants do not realize that this is a business and it is to be thought out prior to getting your starter kit like a business; which means you need a business plan, startup costs, and a budget. And, (this is a big AND) you need to have realistic goals and the steps you are going to have to take to achieve those goals; without a proper business plan, you do not have a business, you just end up with tons of inventory and no one to sell it to. MK offers alot of tutorials as well as consultants on You Tube sharing their tips on how to get business. If you were in business for yourself selling widgets, you would still have to get your own accounts; if earning a pink cadillac were easy then everyone would be driving pink caddys, but any sr exec director will tell you that it is hard work; you have to have good mgmt skills to run a unit and you have to know how to keep your unit running smoothly which means you have to coach your people and be true to weekly meetings and training training training; all while having to maintain your own sales figures. This is not easy work, but it is possible to earn a modest living depending on how much time you wish to put into it. 9 days is not enough time to be an “overnight” success; even Estee Lauder went from salon to salon and peddled her skin care as did Elizabeth Arden; Mary Kay is no different than these department store brands, i know because I worked for them and their stories are just like Mary Kay; the only difference is MK had a different vision for women to be in business for themselves and to call their own shots and not be subject to making profits for the likes of the major retailers. Why should a woman work her tail off in a major department store for 3% commission and for managing the complete line i.e., Lauder, Lancome, Clinique, etc, and get a 1/4 of 1% override on sales and returns/damages/testers come off the total figures for the line. One month my damages (returns) and testers came out to $650.00 and that figure was deducted from my total line figures and guess what? I received $15.00 in override commissions in addition to putting up with the department sales hogs who have no dignity and act like company prostitutes just to get that 3% commission… MK had a different vision for her line and it has been successful for over 60 years. So it’s unfortunate that you overspent, didn’t really research what being in business is all about and bailed after 9 days when you could have sent most of that product back (3 day right of recision). MK is not all about the recruits, it is about selling the product which separates it from MLM.

    1. Judy- Well said! I’m still going to join and try my best to push forward. I push forward everyday at a job that DOES NOT benefit in any way other than a paycheck.

  62. You say you thoroughly combed through the details yet you didn’t manage to find out that the website and those other things you listed as “necessities” were truly not required. You did manage to avoid the large inventory. I mean, who needs inventory when they’re going into business?

    In other words, you spent some money, played grown-up for 9 days, and said, “oops, this is too much work, I’m not making money fast enough, it must be someone else’s fault.”

    Grow up, get a real job, and quit whining.

    1. Hi Ruth,

      I don’t jump into the comments on this post much but I wanted to take a second to respond to yours.

      My problem with Mary Kay {and many other MLMs} is that it over-promises and under-delivers. They bring recruits in by saying

      “You don’t have to be a salesperson”
      “You can make money by spending only a couple hours a week”
      “You don’t have to spend hardly anything.”

      Once you are in, you quickly realize that in order to succeed you:
      1. Need to be a salesperson.
      2. Need to spend way more time than a couple of hours a week.
      3. You need to spend a lot.

      You can make a few dollars here or there the other way, but not anywhere near the dream that is promised. I’m a practical but frugal business girl who is not a saleswoman by nature, so finding out that I suddenly needed to sell to more than my friends and family and buy a whole bunch of inventory each month shut me down in a hurry.

      One thing I like to encourage my readers to do on this blog is to treat each other with respect, because we often don’t know what the other person is going through, what they have experienced, or what they may be aware of that I am not.

      I would like to give you a quick bio about my life as a grown up. I graduated from Binghamton University with a business degree with a major in marketing (note: not direct sales). I’ve worked at a bank as a teller and at a medical office as an insurance coder. I have also started a successful cake business out of my home that I stopped after realizing it is not my passion. Most importantly I’ve been running this website for the past 4 years which I have built from the ground up. I work directly with brands like Discover, Weight Watchers, Shell, Sun Trust and dozens of others. I juggle editorial calendars, social media strategies, post creation, photography and image editing, just to name a few of my responsibilities, in order to bring new content to this website each week. I’m not complaining – I Love it!

      And recently, I was able to let readers know that my husband parted ways with his “real job” last October and now works with me full-time. That means Creative Savings provides the sole income for our family.

      I say all this, not because I’m mad, but because there’s a common misunderstanding that bloggers don’t hold real jobs. I truly think we have the best job, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

      So I wish you the absolute best, Ruth, and hope you find work that gives you meaning as well – whether it’s through Mary Kay, or another business you love.

  63. I am a MK Consultant for the second time. The first time I did it for extra income. I was in it for 3 years. My life got a little complicated so i had to put MK on hold for a while, long enough to not be a consultant anymore. I had no choice. Just recently, I got back in touch with my director to see if I could get some product from her because I missed my MK products (I am spoiled on MK). She told me that if I wanted to, I could rejoin for $30 and just place a $450 retail ($225 wholesale) order once a year and get my product at 50% off and stay active. She knows I just want the product half off lol. Anyway, I figured what the hey, I have many friends and family who had mentioned they wished I still sold MK so I told my director OK and I contacted my family and friends. I am now active and getting my product at wholesale and I just contact those same friends and family about every 3 months and get another order up. I REALLY love MK. I do talk to people about the products still and sometimes I get someone new to add to my quarterly order. It works for me. I don’t even have to have an inventory. If someone asks if I have a product, my director is always happy to help me out with that. She is great! Also, I have just started actively selling Scentsy. Although their commission pay isn’t that great, I love the fact that I can introduce people to Scentsy and it is VERY easy to sell. Do you know how many people I have run across that don’t know what Scentsy is??? It’s baffling lol. I also love the fact that I get free product without having to spend barely any of my own money lol. I am all about some free product! Anyway, bottom line….Direct selling isn’t for everyone.

  64. You only need to place an order of $225.00 every three months. I am sorry it did not work out. This career path is not for everyone. I hope you find what you are looking for. I love this opportunity I get to meet great people and help them feel better about them selves. Best of luck.

  65. I have been in Mary Kay for two weeks. I’ve spent a fortune and haven’t placed an order yet. I am already frustrated. I also hate the product after two weeks. My face burns and my eyes water. I’m ready to quit.

    1. How can you spend a fortune if you haven’t placed an order? LMAO Your face is not used to being taken care of and is reacting to being clean, healthy, and producing healthy skin cells. To many people don’t give things a chance in life, that is sad. Wish you the best though!

  66. I did the MK thing two times! I am a business owner as it is and I run a successful dog business but just wanted a side income. I liked the products and I thought this would be a great way to get discounted prices on it and get first hand items bef0re they come out. I still like the products but I like you was encouraged to spend more and I did because I was able to.. then I didnt sell…. and I am not a “sales-type” anyway… It was a disaster!!!

    It takes a very motivated and sometimes a pushy person to sell MK and do real well.

    Note to all dont get caught up in spending too much and not being able to make profit!

  67. This happened to me too !! I just wanted to buy my products and help family and friends save money and be beautiful! I failed!!!
    But I am looking to buy Mary Kay products for myself if anybody knows a family member that would sell to me . ( I’m poor but live to look pretty)! Thanks

  68. This may of been how it worked when you were a Mary Kay consultant but it is different now. Your first order is the only order that has to be $450 retail price in order to get your 50% profit. Every order after that you automatically get your 50%. If you hit a bump in life and need a break, after three months of no ordering, you go “inactive”. You do not get kicked out, you do not pay a fine. Once your bump in life is over you just make the $450 retail price order again to activate yourself. I haven’t heard of one person yet that has went inactive, once you start selling and making a profit it becomes your job and that’s what you do. Some people sale their Mary Kay just to get out of their slumps in life. I live in the middle of nowhere with a population of 200 people and I’m able to make a profit off of Mary Kay. You do not have to sign up for the credit card option, website, or even the inventory option you get for your first month.

    1. As a Sales Director and wanting the truth to be heard…let’s elaborate on the $450 Retail first order….
      As a new consultant, you begin your business with a Business Debut where your Director will be on site to train you. This is what I do when I work with my team. You book your class for training and all the ladies get a FREE consultation. Towards the end of the class, I announce that I hope everyone enjoyed their experience and can compare it to the brands they are using, then I tell them there is NO obligation to purchase anything, however, should they want to purchase anything, their hostess is new and will be placing her first order and she can include what they may be interested in with that. Once the class is over, the orders are totaled up and there has not been a time where the new consultant has profited immediately from the class and have the money to place her “activation” order. In other words, the “activation” order is $450 RETAIL/$225 wholesale plus taxes of which you have collected at the table and then shipping which is considered an expense in a business and used on your taxes for your business. Therefore, once the $225 wholesale order is placed, the discount is established for a 3 month period. The consultant keeps the profit. If you are hosting classes monthly, there is no reason that you will not have the orders to place, which will keep your discount active. Should you choose to not work your business, you won’t have the order to place and you will loose the discount. It’s a business…but if you choose not to work and grow it…you won’t make it. Mary Kay Cosmetics is a fantastic company for women who want more out of life, and are willing to learn and work. I am disgusted at all the negative comments about this company and the all come from women who clearly do not apply themselves and are not willing to work. Mary Kay is not for everyone…but you will never know what you can achieve without trying. You do not have to buy inventory, you do not have to sign up for a credit card, you do not have to go “shopping for women”. You will learn how to run a business, how to develop a customer base and how to manage your business and network. Just like any other business out there…but those do not have a 90% buy back guarantee. Educate yourselves and make a quality decision before jumping.

  69. I am as you. But I’m refusing to buy the package and am settling with my $100 lose. I’m actually selling the stuff in my bag to help my feelings to close friends for cheap. I wish someone would have told me this before I jumped on the band wagon. But lesson learned! Now to reevaluate another stay at home job.

  70. I started my business in Jan. of 2013. In the beginning, I really got into it. I attended my weekly meetings and went to all the classes to learn as much as I could. I loved the encouragement of my teammates and the challenges! I was inspired after hearing other people’s stories. So, I invested a lot into Mary Kay, but didn’t have the same experience as everyone else. I felt like I was doing Mary Kay 24/7. My whole life became Mary Kay, and as much as I tried, it never seemed to be enough. When I’d go to my meetings and share my struggles my director would compare me with others and would belittle me. I remember walking into my meetings discouraged and walking out, just devastated and embarrassed because I was the example of the one that failed…
    Even though I was discouraged with the business aspect of things, I remained faithful to my skin care regimen and continued to try all the products. I started to notice brown spots around my face and on occasions I’d breakout. When I would bring the questions to my director she’d blame it on the food I was eating, or hormones or sometimes just my negative attitude. I did consult my doctor and stopped two of my medications for 4 months and continued to get the spots so I started doubting the products. I’d always wondered why Mary Kay was willing to allow everyone to start off making 50% and directors making more. So I wasn’t COMPLETELY SOLD OUT to their products which made it even harder to sell.
    In April of 2016 I discovered a documentary called, “The Truth About Cancer.” After watching this, I started researching my Mary Kay products! I didn’t know much about chemicals but after a lot of research I was deeply disturbed to learn about all the toxic products I’d been exposing myself to. I’ve had one too many healthy conditions and wasn’t about to contribute to them by adding more crap into my system. I knew there was no way I could continue to use Mary Kay or sell it. I started thinking about my customers and people who I possibly put at risk. It was vital for me to share what I’d learned. Some might say, the amount of chemicals in the products are minimal and not harmful but think about how many chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis; in our food, hygiene products, air pollution, etc!
    I called the Mary Kay Corporate office because I was curious to hear what they had to say about their products and wanted to know if they had any intention of changing the formulas to make the products safer and the lady literally laughed at me and bluntly just said NO. After that call, I packed up my inventory and returned everything I could.
    I refuse to represent a company without morals or integrity. How am I to sell a product that could potentially be harmful to someone, just to earn a buck? I can’t. I won’t do it, and it’s disturbing to me that they promote “Empowering Women” when they are clearly being deceiving! Sadly there are many companies out there like Mary Kay and the government and FDA aren’t doing anything about it.
    So, that’s my why!

    ~Keep it Real
    Crystal Medina
    

  71. My girlfriend of 3 years is a dental assistant and one of her patients is recruiting her or has for Mary kay, she has already bought the 100$ starter kit! I am concerned because I can’t find too many positive things on the net with the program and I don’t want her to be taken advantage of! She has not done any research about it and I have and when I try to talk to her about it she thinks I’m just trying to dictate her life and not support her! I just don’t want her to get played because she is a sensitive person and it makes me sad when she gets played over! What can I do to either be supportive with this and help her out? Should I try and talk her out of getting involved with? I want to support her either way I,I’m just looking for any helpful advice to make sure she doesn’t have those negative experiences I have read.

    1. Hi Jim,

      I don’t reply to many comments on this post anymore but I wanted to make sure I reached out to you. People can be successful with MLM programs like Mary Kay, but they have to be good at sales {something that is generally ignored in the recruitment pitch} and to be super successful, they have to be good at recruiting. I would encourage you to support her in her business ventures, but to also strongly encourage her to keep accurate, up to date business financial records. Many times people in MLM’s feel like they are making a profit but because they aren’t keeping an accurate ledger, many times they are just being their own best customer and they don’t even realize it.

      If your girlfriend keeps accurate records, logging every dollar she spends on Mary Kay and every actual dollar {not free product} that she earns, over time you both will be able to see whether or not this is a path worth continuing.

      I hope that helps!

      Kalyn

  72. Mary Kay has a 90% buy back guarantee. If you bought inventory, you can get most of your money back.
    I started with no inventory and worked my way up. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t listen to the new consultant hotline when you got your kit. That explains all about your first order, and your director should have advised you to call it.
    Mary Kay isn’t for everyone. And certainly should never be advertised as a get rich quick thing. It takes time to get there.
    Sorry you had a bad experience.

  73. Thank you for writing this blog about Mary Kay. I am really trying to find out all the facts about this company before I make any decision’s.

    1. It’s good to do your research! Which means finding out as much as you can from both sides of the business. It’s something I really wish I had put more effort into prior to signing up.

  74. Thank you for posting this. I’m actually a DIQ with Mary Kay which means I’ll be moving into the director position. And currently I’m actually thinking about leaving Mary Kay behind because I’m in 7,000 dollars of debt, and I’ve been working the business and have a steady amount of customers. The truth is, yes inventory is “highly recommended” which can come off as forced. I felt forced to buy inventory because my director needed me too, the day I signed up.

    I apologize for all the problems that arised in your business. Thank you for your opinion, it has helped me make my decision.

    1. Why leave now, your in DIQ, as the famous saying goes in Mary Kay land, Directors have more fun and I have seen it and yearn to be there myself someday. I don’t set expectations that may cause negative feelings and I love each daily victory, whether big or small. It takes a lot of work and faith but I find it well worth it!

  75. I am a current Mary Kay Consultant and LOVE my small business. It will vary for everyone to be honest. Yes, all information should be disclosed before you actually sign the contract but you also have to ensure you are asking the right questions. It may feel like a lot of work but I do it for ME and MY Family. My director does care and remains in contact with me daily to inquire how I am doing, what I may need help with, finding solutions not excuses. I have become stronger in my faith with God, my family time has become a lot more than what is was working at a job where I was extremely unhappy and the income has been AWESOME!!! If you are not making money, then you are not working your business. That goes with any business you begin organically or otherwise, if you don’t work the business then your going to go broke trying and end up quitting. I love the goals and encouragement to exceed my own expectations and I am amazed at how I am able to do it and not lose my faith. Sorry to hear your experience wasn’t amazing but maybe it was not the right fit? Additionally, some of the information you provided is incorrect. Just irritates me slightly that people may want to be so negative about their experience but if that is the case, please ensure your facts are true, correct and not bashing any company.

  76. I’m actually having this same issue. No one taught me how to do a customer order. I have to pay for propay and pay for the website and already in the hole. I just paid for someone’s Shipping on their first order. So I’m not too happy about it. I was just thrown into doing a party. I don’t think I’m going to continue as a consultant right now, I’m beyond stressed out.

  77. This blog, of which you are profiting from, is no different than any other woman who has “tried” a Mary Kay business and failed. You love to discuss all the negative experiences from your “test period” however, you fail to share that you had the opportunity to return ANY investment you made back to the company. I wish women who try to open their business would discuss ALL the opportunities they are given. If you were recruited by a woman who did not give you all the details, it appears to me you are an educated woman and could have visited the Mary Kay website and READ the agreement which clearly outlines the business structure. Inventory IS NOT required…YOU don’t get AUTO SHIPPED nor are you REQUIRED to order every three months. Your 50% discount is established though activity you create while learning the business. How this business is designed is for you to get your starter kit, which allows you to share with 30 women and place your “activation” order from your debut class where your Director should be present to teach you while you learn….you actually earn while you learn. Let’s get the truth out here please…You make a decision to begin your business, it involves networking and marketing a product through interaction with women. You TEACH a skin care classes and techniques and utilize Mary Kay Cosmetics to do so. The consultation is FREE and you are not required to sign up for a business. It is YOUR decision, your training comes from your Director and training is offered, it is YOUR decision to learn, or just get a discount on your products. If it didn’t work for you, you did not apply yourself. It is so easy to sit at a keyboard and share your thoughts on what you experience and get paid by advertisers….but, your blog actually tells me you didn’t apply yourself to an amazing opportunity, one that gives women the ability to learn and have their own business. Regarding the inventory, let’s set that record straight…you do have the ability to purchase inventory and the company rewards you with bonus products so you have more products to demo to your clients or customers, however, should you decide that you do not want to continue with your Mary Kay Business, you can RETURN your inventory to Mary Kay Cosmetics and they will REFUND you 90% of your investment. You keep the free products, any prizes you have won, but you are no longer in the business and money is refunded to pay off your business loan should you have one. This is what kills me…so many women complain about how it didn’t work for them, and they are out money. Actually what happened, is you were given an opportunity to have a marketing business and you failed because you refused to learn the business and return any products to get your refund. Actually, should the TRUTH be told…after your refund, if you take the value of what you were given with the inventory, you are not upside down…Thank you for allowing me to share the TRUTH about Mary Kay Cosmetics, and I am sorry if you were brought in by someone who truly didn’t have your best interest at heart. I turn women away daily that do not realize it is a business and just want to join to be part of a “discount club”, that is NOT what this is about. In my 19 years, it has allowed me the ability to learn marketing, presentations, and also landed me opportunities in local radio and television. Mary Kay taught me many things throughout my years and I am grateful. The one thing that you can’t put a price tag on is the fact that while working my business, it allowed me to be home with my small boys and now 2 are graduated from college and the last one is headed that way. It has given me opportunities that any “job” would not have offered, especially watching them grow up and being with them every day…which is priceless. So please think before you “blog” about any company or experience, have all your facts available and perhaps instead of discussing the negative, share the truth.

  78. Wow. Let me just say this is my 2nd time in MK. Everyone in MK are not angels. But reading some of these comments make me go through a range of emotions. It’s a business. There’s no subsription that you just cancel. If you simply don’t order for at 12 months you are terminated anyway and have to resign a beauty consultant agreement to get restarted. MK is NOT a pyramid scheme. We are in our 55yr as a business and only 1 of 3 that initially started in 1963 that is still around. So there has to be something legit there to me. There is. It’s called hard work and determination. Most of the people I ever see complaining just made excuses. The women at the top of this business and any other will tell you, they missed birthdays, special events, loss of sleep to have a life that most only dream of. But it pays off and then you have all the time you want and need plus the income to make choices. It’s called sacrifice. If that’s what you want to do, then say that. But don’t put down an amazing company – even if it’s not MK – just because it wasn’t for you. I will never say it “doesn’t work”, It works for those who work it! But much success to you! Me personally, on my way to the top in an amazing company called Mary Kay that truly enriches women’s lives and changes the trajectory of how they would otherwise be living!

  79. I wasn’t a consultant for 1 days. Bought my kitchen in june 2017 and didn’t know about all the cost for a web site, cards, etc. Im on a very limited budget so I couldn’t afford to do it and place a big “stock” purchase. I was told don’t sorry about that right now just go sell to me I felt I would have been a bit disorganized and I wanted to start out professionally. Eventually they stopped calling to encourage me while I became very discouraged day by day. I should have thought twice when the first words were “we’re not a pyramid type business” but all they want you to do is recruit.

  80. Kalyn – this is, to the T, the exact situation I am currently in. Wishing I would have come across this article a week ago. Thank you so much for writing this though, because I’ve been feeling ridiculous; like I should push myself to try new things and learn about running a business like this. But what you said about ‘not being true to yourself’ hit me hard. This isn’t who I am. I absolutely love the product and fully anticipate being a loyal customer, but I’m just not a consultant. This isn’t me. But I feel bad, like I’m letting the people who recruited me down. I got almost $200 of sales in just a week, but like you said, the fine print really got me good, so now I have to put in for a lot of inventory that I really don’t think I’ll be able to sale. It’s a little humiliating and I don’t want to tell anyone about my silly mistake. I’m a writer and blogger as well and even just a week in, I’ve been feeling like my time and energy is torn from the one thing that I truly love. This has been such an encouragement, even if it was written almost a year ago. So thank you!

    1. Kristin- It’s baffling to me that you earned a $200 sale in one week. Yet, you’re contradicting yourself by stating that you were conned about stocking inventory. If you were able to sell $200 in one week, why would you be able to sell more in future weeks? If I have that kind of initial success I would be over the moon and back. I’ll never understand why people would rather slave away their energy and efforts at a job they are not content with and bash opportunities that could potentially pull them out of that “rat race”. It’s totally insane and ridiculous at best!

  81. Mary Kay is a business… You have to invest before you can earn just like any other business.

    If you don’t invest in the necessaries to run the business and put in a little work, then you will never see profit.

  82. Mary Kay is MLM business and it’s not for everyone. My only criticism is that they don’t tell you upfront that you have to place a $400 order every quarter in order to maintain that 50% discount. I also reluctantly signed up to be a consultant because the sales director was offering free start-up kits and I was quite surprised when I entered my first order of $364 and didn’t see my 50% discount. I just ordered a couple of sets of satin lips to meet the mark. I also did not give in to the pressure from my director to purchase tons of inventory up front. Definitely ask questions and know fully what you are getting involved in.

  83. I apologize if I step on anyone’s toes with this comment, or if these things have already been said, (I don’t have time to read every comment) I just feel that I need to clarify some things, as I’m also an MK consultant.

    If you had asked, a consultant would have explained how much you need to order to get that 50% discount. Nothing that we do is a secret. I was told this before I even considered being a consultant, when my personal consultant was still trying to get me to join. We share everything with our customers, even. Or maybe that’s just the 30 some odd consultants that I converse with regularly. You also do not need to buy the name tag, business cards, website, card processing program, etc. right off the bat. I’ve been a consultant since February (six months at the time of writing this) and I still only have the card processing program, which I don’t even NEED, since I can have my director help me with orders if I needed that.

    Like many others have said, Mary Kay isn’t for everyone-the products or the opportunity. Every business takes a long time to produce profit, or else it’s probably shady. Of course people like to get the products that they order fast. That’s why it’s always a better idea to have inventory in order to make your customers happier and grow your clientele.

  84. Does anyone have information on how to enter your product in a spreadsheet to track your order/discounts/gifts.

    Thank you all for your help.

    1. Go onto your MaryKayIntouch website. You can go to my customers and enter orders. You can go to weekly accomplishments and those orders will show up and you can enter discounts and gifts there. I added myself as a customer and I use that to track my personal use or gifts I give for personal reasons there.

  85. Please do not tell people to sell on ebay or liquidation sites, that is against the company policy. Contact Mary Kay Corporate. There is a 90% buy back guarantee. You can also use products that you’d like to move, Mary Kay makes amazing gifts and products to use yourself! I have given his and hers fragrances for weddings, lotions and shower gels for graduation gifts, pampering for mom for baby showers, etc! Why should you not give amazing products at your cost instead of spending money other places for them to profit. Why should you not be your own best customer? You are still getting it at 50% off retail! If you have it, why go buy it from another retailer for them to profit of of you?

    1. My thought exactly! I’d rather pay my self than leave the profit to the other stores such as Macy’s, Sephora…blah…blah. This just makes no sense.

  86. I’m just wondering how businesses like being a Mary Kay consultant survive in the age of Amazon and on-line purchasing?

    1. You cannot obtain Mary Kay items on Amazon or Ebay unless these items have been posted by a defunct consultant. You should also note that those items may not be legit. I’ve seen MAC products online and they turned out to be fake or “bootleg”.

  87. I’d like to thank everyone for their comments and thoughts. I’m considering joining Mary Kay soon. I’ve been a loyal customer for more than 20 years. I’m figuring, I’d like the 50% discount! Comparing Mary Kay to my full time job, I’d rather be selling Mary Kay. My full time job does not pay me bonuses or incentives no matter how hard I work. I cannot honestly say I’m happy with my job or financial status. I’d rather focus on something I would enjoy doing even if only a few hours a week. What’s the worst than happen? Return your inventory for a 90% refund or stay at you current job and receive nothing for a lifetime.

  88. I recently “joined” MK for the starter pack and told them I was going to think about it. They were understanding, so I went home and really started to think about it and every person I see I look at their skin now. But what really got to me was the pushing for inventory (I understand why to get it) but when I was sent a link to a video and was told to ask family for money, apply for credit cards, sell things around the house I was completely in shock. I’m a single parent, 1) I have been able to support my child without help from family, you honestly think I’m about to ask for $600 so I can buy “inventory”? 2) apply for credit cards? and put myself in a whole? 3) what we have at home is a necessity. I know sometimes you have to do things to get somewhere but let’s be realistic here…who’s family has $600 laying around and can just “borrow them” the money?

    I said no to inventory and was asked to go to Credit Karma to see if I qualify for any credit cards even after I said no. Do not push someone to do things like that, they know what they can do and cannot do with their income.

    The other thing, I was invited to few seminars which I was excited to go to learn more and see if this was the right fit for me even though I just wanted the kit but I was told that I had to wear MARY KAY ATTIRE aka black skirt and white blouse…there goes another expense! Really? Why can’t I just wear some black dress pants with a cute shirt? Is this to keep men away from the business?

    I understand the cards, website, and name tag but why do I have to pay to be able to accept credit cards?

    I just wish things like the clothes were disclosed.

  89. Thank you for this post. You answered a lot of questions I had. Would you give information on other direct sales progrmas that worked? I’d like to find something that I can do to make extra money. My full time hours are so crazy its impossible for me to get a part time job.

    1. Hi Beatrice,

      I know there is a very good direct sales programs — USANA Health Sciences. Their compensation plan was rated the best among MLM companies for consecutive 16 years. No inventory required, no time pressure, Freedom! You can study about it thoroughly first by checking the 3rd party websites before joining. I joined Mary Kay and Amway before but it didn’t work. You are welcome to visit my website newliving.usana.com. Sincerely!

  90. If I just want to sign up to strictly get the discount for myself and NOT sell to customers, do I need to pay for the website and Propay?

  91. I just recently joined MK and just received my starter kit today. I have come to the conclusion that I just want to be a customer and not a consultant. Anyone have advice for me? I have a job, 3 kids and a husband that coaches select baseball so we travel a lot and I have decided I just don’t have the time or energy it takes to sell MK. I LOVE the products and will probably buy them in the future, but I just can’t sell right now. I would like to keep my starter kit and not return anything (mainly because I have already opened it). I have severe anxiety and this has me in a panic on how to get out of it

  92. I really dislike the debates and these catching I was in marykay 9 days titles. You dont have to do anything you dont want to. Its 225 placed every three months which literally comes from sales because your holding parties! Presentations…letting your clients try like they do anywhere else. I’ve been in marykay for 5 years. It made me a better wife mom and friend. I am super busy savvy and have helped many women reach financially goals with integrity just by selling the products and residual income because skincare runs out every three months. So for those of you researching your looking on the wrong place. Talk to someone who actually held parties and completed their first 30 facials. I can tell you hoe many women thank me for marykay and I am so grateful I was at a party where ai meant my recruiter which by the way says I threw my self at her. We are now best friends and I have surpassed her because in marykay we run our own race so different from so many companies out there. Hope this helps someone to not give up…give it a year…and really just figure it out for themselves. You’ll miss out on so much personal growth and blessings listening to bloggers who tried it for 9 days

  93. Sorry for typos just woke up saw this and got upset. Going to have quiet time with god. Grateful marykay taught me that and my first devotional was given to me by a friend I met in marykay . It’s a pink jesus calling. Gotta find my zen and the truth

  94. Hello Friends Can anyone tell me is this a “Home Party” business? Who do you sell the products to? Thanks pals All the Best

  95. Too many women aren’t interested in friendship until they join an MLM like Mary Kay. It’s really very sad.

    If you haven’t accepted my offers of friendship in the past, it’s highly unlikely that I will join your online “party” or buy your products or listen to you pitch the business.

  96. I’m glad I found this article, even if it’s 6 months too late. When I signed up and they asked why I wanted to be part of MK, my answer was to get the products at a discount. Like you, no one ever mentioned I had to spend so much money every 3 months. Plus the pressure to buy product and turn in all my sales weekly. I run a full time business from home, had no intention of selling, just buying for myself at a discount, and was a full-time college student also doing an internship. I did have a few friends want to order, but nothing that was close to the required amount every 3 months. I love the products but the transparency and honesty lacks. My director was sending me text messages constantly and I finally had to tell her to stop texting me.

    Thank you for your honest review and experience! there’s a lot of us out there.

  97. So sorry you had this experience. I joined Mary Kay 24 years ago to buy product for myself and my daughters, mom and sisters. My director was an awesome lady who told me exactly what you needed to do for the discount and to get started etc. Unfornately some people sign people on without telling them the requirements for the 50%.
    To me honesty is the best policy. I would do an order every 6 months or so at first but then more people found out I was a consultant and wanted to have a facial so I learned how to do a party and they became my customers along with their friends.
    I just earned my diamond ring and can say I didn’t work hard just afew hours on my customer page. Because of the pandemic everyone shops online so I make a little video about products and post them or have a Pink Sales Day etc.
    I would never encourage any of my team members to buy huge inventory until they see if they are going to be selling alot. I hope this afew people not telling new people the exact requirements doesn’t discourage people from joining. Like any direct sales company do your own research for yourself as well as talking to people who have made a successful career from it.
    We sign a contract when we join Mary Kay not to sell our products on Ebay etc. Because Mary Kay has 100 % guarantee and once it leaves their company and is sold to places like that they don’t know if someone had it for years etc
    Also the person who signed you on should have helped you do a perfect start which is hold 5 parties in two weeks. That means at 6 faces per party you would have seen 30 faces in those two weeks and definitely would have sold product plus would have a group of ladies to re-order with when you bought your own products.
    I hope you will still always enjoy your products and I am sorry you weren’t in long enough to experience the fun and life long friendships you make and the joy you bring to your customers when they know you really care about them. 💖

  98. Great all these posts. Im contemplating being a Consultant and all these comments have saved me a whole lot of research.

    Kudos to the Kalyn who stirred the waters and great wisdom came out of it.

    If I were to summarize, I would say- be your own light, research on your own and treat it like business which requires military discipline.

  99. I find this blog to be very interesting. I have been working with Mary Kay for a few weeks now. I am wondering if you read her book? Her main purpose of starting this business was to empower us women. Make us feel apart of something. Apart of a family. To give us women rights over man. She says in one of her interviews that she did not intend this business to be all about money. I have had no issues with Mary K like what you are describing in this blog. I am so sorry that you did have that experience, but I also want people to know that it is not like that for everyone. I feel like it may depend on the mentor and director that you receive. I have no money for inventory yet. My mentor encouraged me to take my time, save from my parties and sales to get my inventory. I have never felt pushed into doing anything thus far. You cant expect to get a business and then boom it right away. It takes time, and patience to start a business, just like Mary Kay Ash had to go through. She went through a lot of ups and downs in her business before it bloomed. Which is typical for every business starting out. I have been a stay at home mom for 6 years. I am the type of woman Mary Kay has always tried to help. She gives us an opportunity to be the best that we can be and have a purpose. I just hope that some people like me who feel stuck read this and know that Mary Kay is here for you! My mentor and director are absolutely amazing!! I finally feel confident and apart of a sisterhood, and am excited for my future business. That’s what this is all about. Everything will fall into place!!! You just have to believe and never give up like this woman who made this blog. No offense to you. A lot of people are out there spreading these kinds of things. But I’m telling you that they are false. Mary Kay has saved me from going to bed not wanting to wake up. Thank you Mary Kay!!!!!

  100. Everything you are saying is true. I am so glad to see more and more posts about the truth when it comes to selling Mary Kay. This info was not available when I started years ago. A represented called and hounded me until I agreed to try it. Sounded good, didn’t it? I did NOT try to hard sell anyone yet people started avoiding me when all I did was explain to them how we could order quality cosmetics and skin care at a fraction of the cost of buying from the department store. I have one, only one, customer who gets it. She loads up so we meet our minimum and get our discount.

  101. I signed up for Mary Kay as a male who truly sees a difference in my skin health and my overall appearance facially. It has been an amazing transformation for me, the family members I’ve shared it with and for those dear friends of mine. Mary Kay products work and they don’t test on animals.

    Having come out of retirement after publishing three books which empower my readers in life as a whole and as equals, I wanted to do something that went beyond my own satisfaction. I wanted to see a difference in what would make people feel good about themselves both inside and outside.

    A dear friend is a Mary Kay professional who rose up the ladder of success very quickly in just six months. She is seeing her car allowance already. I’m proud of her, because she has worked hard all of her dear life.

    I saw and heard the hype from her. I heard the whole ‘jargon’ as I’m not a stranger to sales and the whole: ‘buy now and you’ll get the most for your money’ thing.

    Still…I waited until I saw the real difference in my face and neck. I live in a very sunny state. I damaged my skin as a man who once thought I was always going to look nice. Well…how did that work out!?! Mary Kay made the difference.

    Yes, I have used very expensive Brands over the years. They worked. But I have never seen the results that I experience with Mary Kay. Thus…I will used these products at Full Price going forward.

    Yesterday I contacted my Director and her Director with the question of how to return the unused items that I have and to end my consultant status. Yes, I know that once I do this, I wont be able to sign up again as a consultant. Who cares? I don’t. I’ll still get the product through the friends that I brought on board. They too are amazed at their skin health via Mary Kay and that is why the signed up for fifty percent off.

    Why did I end my membership?

    I live for Truth. I speak Truth. I do not tolerate anything less in my life, my family and my friends.

    I was NOT told the whole truth about quotas every three months. I was not told about a Nifty one hundred and thirty dollar entry as a consultant by my Director when I signed up! I was told thirty dollars to join and you must buy four hundred and fifty dollars at retail to get your fifty percent off status going forward. There were so many things I had to learn by my own reading every fine line of the Mary Kay In Touch website which I was Never told by my Director.

    I didn’t sign up for the website BECAUSE OF THE FINE PRINT OF WHAT THEY WILL DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION AND THAT THEY CAN CHANGE THEIR DIRECTION AT ANYTIME WITHOUT HAVING TO NOTIFY ME. Really? No thanks.

    But even with that, I love the products. Thus, I went for a direction that I felt would reflect me. You can’t do it that way. It is all about the company and those who want to continue to rise to the top and earn the attention and the wealth.

    Some say it isn’t an MLM. That is NOT true. All MLM’s don’t have to cleave to the same rules and standard. This Mary Kay IS an MLM in my experience and it operates that way. I don’t care about the details. You buy…You Recruit…You have a downline that you drive…and drive and drive and drive….while you rise.

    In the rising of my Director, I was left without the proper direction. It wasn’t until I was told by my precious friend who signed up under me that she had found out about the quarterly quotas so as to keep the fifty percent discount that I said: “Wait a minute! Why wasn’t I told this?”

    I don’t take advantage of others to profit myself and my life. I simply work hard and that is where my profits have always come from. I feed the homeless. I give freely to my family and friends just out of love. They have Never been made to feel and prove that where I am in life it due to my turning to them to facilitate my lifestyle. Forget about that! Not me.

    So once I found out that I was not being told EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING A CONSULTANT AND A RECRUITER BY MY DIRECTOR WHO WAS FOCUSED ON HER OWN RISING START…the decision was easy: Get out and do what reflects who I am!

    I will Never recommend Mary Kay as a business opportunity. I will Always recommend their product line.

    It is a business. It IS all about Mary Kay profits and those who want to get them.

    I will only do what I can put my humble smile and presence upon. Thus….I’m happy I quit!

    I’ve read all of the comments on this site. I instantly recognize those who’ve commented as ‘hidden’ Mary Kay consultants. It makes me laugh, but I understand.

    I’m not ‘out’… the large amount of money that I was directed that I MUST invest to ‘keep my cart full’ to sell to others which I could only by at half off within the first three months to make a full one hundred percent profit. (That is what I was told by my Director)

    I’m not ‘out… the fact that I was told to buy things I would never sell to others like make up, eight mirrors, make up samples and a large purse. (That is what I was directed to get by my Director)

    I’m not ‘out’… feeling like what did I do for the last two months of devotion and focus on this direction I was given/not given with Mary Kay by those above me.

    I’m AHEAD! I take the responsibility that I listened to the ‘sing song’ and didn’t do my research before I said: “Ok, I love this stuff! I see where my Director has risen in just six months. This has to be legit!” It is on me. Accepting responsibility feels good, because I don’t walk around with anger. I don’t feel misled. I simply accept that I didn’t do deeper research and I’ve learned.

    The products I have will be returned, since they are for women. The products that I will keep will continue to make my skin better and better. That’s that. Done. Over and Out!

    As a multi racial man who is the “B” in the LGBT+ community, I DID have the conversation that Mary Kay IS NOT ALL INCLUSIVE OF ALL GENDERS. We live in a world filled with a completely different face than that when Mary Kay got it’s start. All of the information in print and online is about “Women, Women, Women”. I am fully Male. I am of Mixed Race. I represent the diversity of people even in my choice of mate. If Mary Kay were thinking out of it’s own ‘box’, the jargon would change, the approach would change and the representation would change. It hasn’t!

    Done!

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