Misleading Mary Kay Recruiting Information Highlighted

As a former sales director and beauty consultant of Mary Kay for five years, I wanted to highlight for all unsuspecting potential recruiting victims some of the misleading information that new recruits and current beauty consultants are given regarding Mary Kay.

Being in sales is very hard. It takes a special kind of person to deal with the rejection and to continue to push ahead when the odds are so slim for success. In direct sales companies, or MLMs, the odds are even fewer. It has been reported that as many as 99% of all people in direct sales will lose money. Companies such as Mary Kay know this, so it is the job of the sales directors to teach their beauty consultants how to sell the dream of their company and to make it appealing and make it look easy. One of the ways this is done is by exaggerating the company marketing information or worse yet, only sharing the parts that sound good and leaving out the rest of the information as I will demonstrate later.

Here are the most common problems with the Mary Kay marketing plan where new beauty consultants end up feeling as though they were misled. My goal for this article is to make everyone aware to research completely and do not get sucked into the hype of it all. My other goal is to make current beauty consultants aware of how giving wrong information can have a negative impact on their own businesses and can make them look untrustworthy and it makes Mary Kay look like a scam. Ask questions and with this information you will be able to make a more educated decision before joining Mary Kay.

“You get your products for 50% off.

Potential beauty consultants will be told that they can purchase all of their Mary Kay beauty products for 50% off, so even if they do not want to build a “business”, they can sign up for personal use and save money! What is left out is that there is a minimum order that has to be placed in order to receive the 50% discount. A beauty consultant must place a $200 wholesale ($400 retail) order to the company in order to receive her discount. Once she places her qualifying order, the beauty consultant will only get the benefit of the 50% discount for the next two months. Then another $200 wholesale order has to be submitted again.

You can only send back inventory for the 90% repurchase within the first 12 months of joining Mary Kay.

Because Mary Kay is a part of the Direct Selling Association, they have to offer all beauty consultants a repurchase program for inventory products purchased if the beauty consultant decides that the business is not for her. Mary Kay is entitled by the Direct Selling Association to refund the beauty consultant 90% of her inventory investment.

How beauty consultants are misled regarding the repurchase program is that sales directors will tell beauty consultants that they only have the first 12 months in order to return the product that they have been in the company. By saying this, a lot of consultants believe that once they have been in Mary Kay longer than one year, they are not eligible for the repurchase program. The truth is it doesn’t matter how long you are a beauty consultant or sales director with Mary Kay you can return inventory at anytime. What a beauty consultant is eligible to return is all product purchased within the past 12 months and it is a rolling 12 months. Sales directors will mislead beauty consultants on this information because they have to pay back commissions earned on any returned product.

Once a beauty consultant participates in the repurchase program, she can never be a part of the Mary Kay sales force again.

There have been exceptions made to this rule, as I have talked to several people who have been able to rejoin Mary Kay after sending product back through the repurchase program.

When the Career Car Program is highlighted, beauty consultants are told that they only have to pay 15% of the car insurance premium and Mary Kay pays the rest.

This really took me off guard when I earned the use of the Pontiac Grand Am a few years ago because I was expecting to only have to pay $20 a month for insurance. Let’s just say that I was not happy at all when I found out my payment would be $75 a month and the last I heard, it is now over $80 a month. This is not a “small underwriting fee” as promoted. The only to pay the $20 a month premium is to purchase an online driving course for each member in your family who is permitted by Mary Kay to drive your car. It takes several years of being in the car program before a beauty consultant or sales director’s monthly premium lowers to $20 a month.

Mary Kay offers free training to beauty consultants.

In the marketing plan, beauty consultants and sales directors make it a point to mention that one of the advantages of Mary Kay is the free training. The training is not free. Most directors will ask consultants to pay a weekly fee to attend unit meetings that range in price anywhere from $2 – $6 per week. Then there are several trainings throughout the year that are not free and will total upwards of $1,000 if you attend them all.

When I have questioned the use of saying “free” training in the marketing plan, sales directors will try to justify it by saying that the training is free. It is the meeting place that the beauty consultants are being asked to help pay for. Either way, the training is not free.

Sales directors work part-time hours for full-time pay (25 hours a week).

When sales directors are promoting their positions to potential recruits and their beauty consultants, they stress that they work part-time hours for full-time pay. This is not true at all. As a former sales director, I can tell you that one of the first things told to new directors at DIT (Director Training) week at Dallas is that in order to be successful, a director needs to work 40 hours a week. The 25-hour minimum is just what the sales director will need to work as a director. She still has to maintain her role as a beauty consultant where this will take another 10 – 15 hours per week.

With Mary Kay you can enjoy part-time work for full-time pay.

When a beauty consultant figures in all of her phone time, travel time, getting ready for appointments, ordering product, customer service, deliveries, selling appointments she will be lucky if she makes minimum wage. More often than not it is much less than that – especially after expenses.

DIQ (director-in-qualification) is only a short time period (four months). Once a beauty consultant has made it through DIQ, she will never have to work that hard again.

This is so wrong. Once a DIQ debuts as a new sales director, she is then told ht at she will need to continue to work as if in DIQ until her unit reaches 100 members. The stress and strain of DIQ completely ruined my already failing health. That short term for me was disabling forever.

It only costs $100 to join Mary Kay and inventory is optional.

Yes, it is only $100 to join and inventory is optional but a new beauty consultant will not feel that inventory is optional once she has signed the dotted line. Sales directors are taught to push those big inventory orders and they will work hard on a new consultant to try and get her to purchase product.

These are just a few of the complaints that I have heard about from so many former beauty consultants who felt they were totally deceived and misled by women in Mary Kay. It is better to be honest and totally upfront and perhaps lose out on a few recruits then to have so many unhappy women in the end.