Debunking the Top 10 Reasons to Not Sell Mary Kay Products
What Makes People so Bitter about Multi-Level Companies like Mary Kay?
Is it sour grapes that they didn't have the idea first? Is it laziness, because they want to make money off the company but don't want to put any effort into it? Does the blame get twisted around when they don't make sales fast enough and then try to make themselves feel better by blaming the company, accusing it of forcing them to fail?
Whatever their reasons, the very vocal critiques of people who go so far as to create a website with the sole focus of supporting people who have been “betrayed” by a specific company seem a little unfair. A support group called "I Tried Starting My Own Business and Failed, Now I Need Help Getting My Confidence Back" would be better-respected than one where the group puts all of their time and effort into blaming their own failings on a well-known, highly successful worldwide business that is proven to be 100% legit.
Below, you'll find a list of complaints against Mary Kay composed by a leader of one of its largest bashing websites, Pink Truth. These are the supposed reasons to NOT do Mary Kay. After each reason, you'll find a Mary Kay representative's rebuttals.
You can decide for yourself whom to believe.
Top 10 Reasons to NOT Do Mary Kay, Complaint #10:
"The minute you sign your agreement, your recruiter and/or sales director is going to put the squeeze on you to buy an inventory package. They won’t shut up unless you buy $600 wholesale, and even if you agree to that much, they’re still going to try to get you to do one of the other packages ($1,800, $2,400, $3,000, $3,600, or $4,800)."
- Actually, my recruiter waited a full week before suggesting that I buy any makeup and when she did, she sent an email that made it very clear I was under no obligation to purchase $600 worth of products. I simply responded that I didn't have $600 to do that, which was the reason I decided to sell Mary Kay in the first place. She replied that she understood and never mentioned it to me again.
- Now, some recruiters and sales directors may be pushier than mine was, but you have to be honest with yourself: If you plan to sell Mary Kay products, you are electing to join a business that runs solely and purely off sales. If you are the type of person who hates going to a car lot because the car salesmen intimidate you, then you should probably not go into business for MK, where your business will be selling. Selling is also your recruiter and your sales director's business. Mary Kay does not only sell products to the public, we sell products and do business with anyone who is interested in joining the team.
- Therefore, it should not be considered offensive that sales people are going to try to sell you something. If you don't have the money to spend, simply tell them you don't. If you don't have the guts to say "no," you are in the wrong business.
- If you have a pushier director, simply tell them to stop selling to you: Problem solved.
"The prizes they dangle in front of you are mostly dollar-store items more appropriate for your five-year-old."
- This is simply not true. There may be door prizes at meetings that were bought from the dollar store, but these prizes vary and it depends on who organized the party. These prizes are completely different from the ones you'll find in the magazine you are given at the beginning of your selling year, full of wonderful, expensive things that you have the opportunity to earn for free if you reach certain goals that are set for all MK consultants. These goals are not set for just you alone, so you should not take it personally if you do not reach them. You are not alone and it does not make you a "loser."
- The prizes range anywhere from full sets of pretty traveling luggage, briefcases, and other baggage to gorgeous diamond jewelry. I would like to know which dollar store offers these types of prizes because I would gladly go shopping there!
"You’re not really allowed to advertise your business or sell through modern outlets such as eBay. Do any of these, and you’ll risk having your consultancy terminated."
- Yes, of course you aren't allowed to do that! Even though you are considered as the owner of your own business, you are still selling Mary Kay products. Therefore, it's more like you have purchased a franchise of an already-existing business, just as you would do if you decided to buy a McDonald's in your own hometown. Because the company already exists and you only "own" a small fraction of it, you must follow the rules and guidelines that were set for everyone, long before you came along.
- Mary Kay believes in playing fair. All I've ever heard at the meetings I have attended is, "We should never try to steal each other's clientele." If we open up avenues like eBay and Amazon to start selling our products individually, for cheaper prices, we are immediately turning the company into nothing but a competition. Selling on eBay would also allow non-consultants to buy MK products for dirt cheap to turn around to sell for more. If that happened, Mary Kay Inc. and its consultants would put themselves out of business.
- There are plenty of other ways to advertise and market your business online within MK's guidelines, though. It isn't rocket science: You just have to have the right mind for it and get creative.
- If you want to sell things on eBay and Amazon, my suggestion would be to find the aforementioned dollar store, purchase their products, and sell them on eBay. Another problem solved.
"The market is saturated. If they don’t already have a consultant, they got rid of their pesky consultant, they don’t want a consultant, they don’t like the products, or they don’t want to be harassed by the MK lady."
- It is clear that unfortunately the person who wrote these "Top 10 Reasons" is not a salesperson or entrepreneur by nature. Everyone who works in any market, anywhere, knows it's a constant game of hit-and-miss. But if you get bucked off the horse, you either get back on it or you give up, hang your head, and walk away. If you get turned down by one person, you move onto the next or find a new way to approach that same person until you get them to buy your product.
- Marketing has every single thing to do with the way you approach your customer and how you talk to them about your products.
"The products are constantly changing. The company uses new packaging or 'changes' to the products in order to get you to buy more. If you bought inventory, some of that is now outdated, and the company is hoping that you’ll spend your money on the newest things. (And if you’re really lucky, your sales director who placed your first order for you knew what was being discontinued, and ordered you LOTS of it. That way you’ll have to put in another order sooner to have current products on hand.)"
- I don't even want to respond to this one because it is just so silly. Yes, of course MK changes their products. Does Maybelline have the same product and packaging as they did 20 years ago? How about even since last year? That's kind of the purpose of owning a line and selling product: You always go with the flow and change with the times, change with fashion, change with the hottest trends on the market, and you even change with the weather. For example, right now, MK is pushing sun block because it is summer. In a few months, they will change their focus onto another product.
- If you are smart about sales, you will use the new products to your advantage; you certainly won't complain about it.
- However, one of the first things that was made abundantly clear to me before I ever started my MK business was that I am still able to sell my products after the packaging changes. Until I sell out, I don't have to get the new packaging.
- The other thing is, I personally do not order products until my clients order them from me. The less stock I have sitting on my shelf, the more room I have, and the less I am indebted to myself or Mary Kay. Yet again, it isn't rocket science.
"You’ll be expected to wear a skirt to all company events. Although Mary Kay Inc. has officially done away with the requirement to wear pantyhose and closed toe shoes, many directors are still requiring it. This dress code is made without regard to the weather, your other obligations, your health, or your preference. (If you don’t follow it, you’ll be ridiculed and asked to not come back.)"
- WARNING: I'm going to get a little sarcastic for a minute, but it only seems appropriate as a response. OH.MY.GOSH. We have to wear skirts?! They actually hold us to certain standards and expect us to dress professionally? OH.MY.GOSH, Why would someone who is trying to run a business, especially in the beauty industry, want to look their best and professional? That's just horrible!
- Sarcasm aside, as I have already said, it is pretty clear that whoever wrote this list is not an entrepreneur or salesperson by nature. And that's okay, not everyone is. However, my guess is they couldn't handle working a normal 8-5 job in a regular office setting either, because chances are they would be required to wear a skirt or at least dress professionally and perhaps put on some panty hose.
"You won’t really make any money unless you recruit, recruit, recruit. Do you really want to spend your time trying to convince people to try to sell the products you’ve barely been able to sell?"
- Well, if you're not a salesperson, and you're not selling any products, then no, you probably wouldn't want to recruit. You probably are also in the wrong business if you can't sell anything, but that isn't Mary Kay's fault that you didn't realize starting a business for selling MK products meant you would actually need to sell something.
- Also, if you are struggling that much to sell MK products, the directors are available to help you self-evaluate and find out what you can do to improve sales. MK is a very popular brand, worldwide. In fact, within the first week that I started my own business, I had four women approach me and say they were so glad I started selling because they love MK. The products really sell themselves because they are wonderful and most people already know that. It's your job to make yourself available, consult, and work with them on the financial aspect. If you're barely selling product, again, it isn't Mary Kay's fault.
- It's true, you will make more money the more people you recruit. Why? Because you make a percentage off of each of their sales, as well. That sounds pretty good to me. To top it off, the ranking and recruiting is all made very clear to every person who is considering starting a MK business prior to them signing the contract. They don't lie about it, they don't keep it a secret, and they don't even beat around the bush. At least my recruiter didn't, and I haven't lied to the people I've recruited either. So... yeah. Moving on.
"Your family and friends will not respect you or your 'business.'"
- The only thing I'm going to say about this is if you don't take your own business seriously, then how do you expect your friends and family to take it seriously? You have to respect your own business before others can. "Altitude is contingent on attitude."
"You will spend most nights and weekends away from your husband and children, attending events, looking for new victims, and trying to sell the products. (I thought Mary Kay was supposed to help you be at home with them?)"
Now, I'm going to go into a couple different directions with this one because time with family was the thing that sold me into becoming a consultant (more than making money).
- First of all, I can see where this person went wrong in their own MK business. I flaunt the fact that most MK representatives are stay-at-home moms who enjoy getting out of the house sometimes to have girly time with other women and earn money while they're at it. This complainer, on the other hand, takes a wonderful thing and paints it as something horrible. It's no wonder they weren't selling product or recruiting anyone!
- I love my children and husband very much. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending time with them. However, it is necessary for my own mental health (and theirs), as it is for every other human being on earth, to have some me-time away from my family. When I add money to that equation, it is another plus for my mental health as a stay-at-home mom to feel like I have something to contribute. Not all women need to make money in order to feel good, but for me, being an independent-spirited person, I need a dose of self-sufficiency every once in a while. Mary Kay helps me do that without really taking much time away from my family at all.
- When you become a consultant, Mary Kay is your own business to do whatever you want with. If you only want to host two parties per week, that's all you have to book. Heck, if you want to take a full month off from selling, you're welcome to do so! It's your business.
- I have gained three long-term clients from the comfort of my computer chair in my own house, with my one-year-old sitting on my lap. If you want to spend your evenings going around handing out flyers, you can do that, but you don't have to. You can advertise electronically with very little effort. The point I'm getting at is that if you're spending most nights and weekends away from your husband and children, that is totally and completely your choice. You are under no obligation whatsoever to leave your house, ever. Every decision you make is your own.
"People usually work to make money. In MK you’ll likely be one of the over 99% who lose money in the venture, and if you do make money, it’ll probably only amount to minimum wage."
- Of course you have to work to make money. That's a no-brainer.
- Again, it is your own business. You will get out of it exactly what you put in. I'm going to use McDonald's as an example again (and I'll tell you the reason why in just a minute). If you were to purchase a McDonald's franchise, you wouldn't expect to make money just because there are golden arches on the sign. If you didn't hire (or in this case, we'll say "recruit") people to work for you, you'd have nobody selling food (or "product") and therefore, you wouldn't be making any money.
- If you are not a driven, self-motivated person, you should definitely continue working a regular job. Rely on a paycheck while you contemplate the corporate ladder, hope for a promotion, or just settle for whatever position you're in. However, if you have the desire to run your own business and see what you can do for yourself, then consider Mary Kay.
- Don't just work for money: Make money work for you. That is what owning businesses and making investments is all about.
Would You Consider Representing Mary Kay?
The Truth About How It Works
Let's get back to my reason for using McDonald's as an example. Ray Kroc, the man who built good ole McD's into the most successful fast food joint in the world, once asked a group of young men, "What is my company about?" They answered, "It's a fast food joint, of course!" Ray told them they were wrong. He went on to explain that his business was not in fast food, but rather in real estate. He didn't make most of his money from selling burgers, he made it from selling franchises worldwide. He was smart.
Do you see what I'm getting at with the McDonald's analogy? Because businesses like Mary Kay are home-based, they are quickly judged and placed in the pyramid category. But really, they are just like other franchised companies. The difference is, Mary Kay Ash, an independent woman, saw an opportunity to help other women who feel the independent drive within themselves. She could easily have marketed her products to stores like every other makeup company in the world (Maybelline, CoverGirl, Revlon, etc.). Her makeup and skincare products are good enough to sell in that format. Instead, she chose to give other women (and even some men) the opportunity to share in the profit, just like Ray Kroc did with his franchise. As a smart businesswoman, she also profited off of these same men and women. Again, she was smart, not evil or conniving.
You will make money from selling Mary Kay products, you sure will. The only thing this poor, misguided complainer got right in that top 10 list is that you will, indeed, make more money in Mary Kay by selling the business to other people (or in other words, recruiting). Just as Ray Kroc became more successful and wealthy through his real estate business rather than via his invention of the Big Mac, you could have the same type of success with your Mary Kay business if you approach it with the same attitude as Ray did.
How do you get to that point? First and foremost, by not giving up. If you're still reading this and thinking, 'Mary Kay is a scam! We can't sell the product, we have to recruit people, we have to leave our houses every once in a while, and we have to wear a skirt while we're doing it!' then you won't be successful. Women who have become successful Mary Kay business owners did not let their family and friends' negative opinions (if they had any) hold them back. Instead, they saw the potential in their business and they invested their time (more than their money) until they reached their goals. Guess what happened when they did that. They proved the naysayers wrong.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.