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Misled to think I was to be a "model" in a make-up presentation
Posted by on
ALLSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Hello. My name is Stephanie and I work at a hotel near the Cape. The other day I as approached my a girl who said "I'm so sorry, this might seem a little forward, but I really need a model for a Mary kay make-up presentation this Sunday, would you be interested??" Of course I said yes, totally flattered. She said if I wanted to bring friends along I was welcome to do so. I was so excited I told my family and friends, and even invited a few of my friends along, thinking innocently, that I was going to be a "model" for a make up presentation, like the girl had said. First of all, the location was WAY out of the way, by over an hour and a half. We got lost but ended up getting there 15 minutes late. I was nervous that I had messed up their schedule and that there were lots of people waiting on me, as the "model" for the day. I walked into the room, and was immediately mortified and embarrasssed. It was immediately apparent that not only was I not the "model", but I had been duped into a Mary kay party with 3 strangers. I was SO embarrasssed, because I brought friends along and they thought they were just going to sit back and watch someone put make up on me, LIKE I WAS TOLD. I just wanted to run and hide. I was tricked, and of course was pressured into buying something at the end of the party. If I was told I was going to a Mary kay party, I would not have gone. She told me I was to be a model instead, lying to me. I was SO upset. I will NEVER buy Mary Kay because of the conniving ways of this Mary Kay beauty consultant.
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unhappy999 on 02/06/2011:
I would not have bought anything. Why couldn't you just leave when you found out what it was and go to a mall with your friends. I would not have let them pressure me into buying anything.
yoke on 02/06/2011:
I had a bad experience with Mary Kay 25 years ago when I was getting married. I went to a bridal show and of course put my name in all the drawings. Next day got the call that I was the winner of a makeover. Told them was not interested. After the pressure talk I agreed. I told the girl upfront I did not want to buy anything but she could come anyway. She came to the house, got the makeover. AS I went to the bathroom to look at the masterpiece she was lining up all I needed to buy. I looked like a hooker, lol. When I told her I did not want any of it she got upset and reminded me that she was there for over an hour. I reminded her it was a free makeover and she was welcome to leave.
It took almost 45 minutes to get the crap off.
Venice09 on 02/06/2011:
I would have been embarrassed too, but I would have just left instead of letting them think the scam worked.

Thanks for posting. This is a good warning.
jktshff1 on 02/06/2011:
Good well written post
Ytropious on 02/06/2011:
Good to know, I would have said no. It's sad they resort to flattery just to get you into their stupid parties now. I bet it's working wonders for them.
azRider on 02/06/2011:
I'm so sorry for you, I know it was embarrassing, but you know, just figure it was a learning experience. your now more knowledgeable and less likely to be taken advantage of. don't let this bother you, I'm sure your friends and family will forget about it, so place it in your mind in the back and be strong.
Anonymous on 02/07/2011:
wow....I would have been POed after driving an hour and a half to find out its some stupid party. I probably would have told her off and left. You felt pressured? they should have gave you something for free for wasting your time!
Anonymous on 02/07/2011:
no offense OP, but I have a feeling this woman saw you from a mile away, and I'm sure you're not the first one she's done this to.
Nohandle on 02/07/2011:
Anyone here use Merle Norman Cosmetics? I'm certain they are a fine company but I declare I went into a studio once and had the works. I was so lovely that I purchased almost all of the products that had been used. As I walked out into the parking lot saw a friend and she looked at me strangely but made no comment about my appearance. I was disappointed but it wasn't until I got in my car and looked into the rearview mirror for one last loving glance did I realize I looked like a tramp.
Alain on 02/07/2011:
This sounds like an old routine that Amway used to run (maybe they still do). They'd invite a person to a "party" and then it would turn out to be a pitch to sell their products. Thank you for passing the word of warning on to your fellow consumers.
FlShopper on 02/07/2011:
I agree with some of the others. The girl who suckered you into this and then actually got you to buy something after all your trouble knows that her ploy works.
Sneaky, but effective.
crowley chick on 02/12/2011:
As Alain said above, I immediately thought of Amway too.They'd want to have a few "friends" over, usually for dinner, to show them a great new business opportunity. Isn't is sad you have to be so mistrusting of people sometimes?
zeldaz on 02/13/2011:
Not all Mary Kay reps are like this. The one I work with is wonderful and very honest. She has helped me raise over two hundred dollars for a non-profit family shelter for which I volunteer. She has been so helpful and sensitive. Anyone invited to a party knows exactly what it is about and why they are coming. I am so sorry you had a bad experience.
Venice09 on 02/13/2011:
Zeldaz, thank you for reminding everyone to keep an open mind when reading these reviews. One bad apple does not always spoil the bunch.
chrissiann on 02/15/2011:
Just awful. Thank you for posting. So I might just show up if the same thing happens to me and tell the girl off in front of all her other victims for tricking us. Too often people just take the trick because everybody is too embarrassed to say anything. All it takes is one person to start it off and put the trickster in her place for future reference.
Anonymous on 02/15/2011:
I sold MK and also used "models". I would do their makeup for them and at the end ask them which product they liked the best (lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, etc...). I would give them two of what they liked for FREE (a lipstick and an eyeshadow for example). I would do it in front of everyone so that THEY would want to be my next model and I would have another party with all of their friends. What that particular sales rep did was just silly. I do not know what she hoped to gain from it except a bunch of ticked off people.
chrissiann on 02/16/2011:
It is a shame that some people just prey on the good will of others.
sunshine0163 on 02/21/2011:
I had the same thing happen several years ago. Only I was told I would be the model and she would do all my makeup then take a picture to submit to potentially be used in the next catalog. As soon as she started giving me the pitch as she applied blue eyeshadow, I knew I had been duped. I can be sneaky too...I let her finish applying all the makeup, but I didn't buy anything AND didn't allow her to take a picture. Ha!
TL-Houston on 02/26/2011:
I would have been furious. I would not have bought anything. I also do not appreciate when friends have invited me to a party, and it ends up being a selling type of party, not an actual party. Chrissiann's idea is good.
don't feel embarrassed - it's not your fault that this person is sneaky.
Anonymous on 02/26/2011:
This happened to my husband and I once with Amway--several years ago. The sad thing is that it was a family member who drove up to "visit" us--some 3 hours away. It was an uncomfortable weekend.
Augustus2099 on 03/08/2011:
My sister almost fell into this trap if it wasn't for me she would of ended up in a mess. I took care of them thought LOL you should have seen there faces no one picks on my sister.
anan on 11/04/2012:
I'll remember that if I ever get invited to a party by a person I know who just startes selling this crap!!!!!!
anan on 11/04/2012:
I remember going to an Amway party years ago with my mom!! You had to sit through all of their BS!!!! Thank goodness mom didn't fall for any of it!!!!
Jana on 02/05/2013:
The same exact thing happened to me. I worked with the ladies husband, so I didn't leave. It was at a hotel, so I ordered two glasses of wine and didn't buy anything!
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Facts about the Mary Kay MLM system
Posted by on
-(A)Mary Kay PRODUCTS;
-(B)The Mary Kay marketing APPROACH to retail consumers;
-(C)The Mary Kay RECRUITING process "Independent Beauty Consultant";
-(D)The many DISAPPOINTMENTS and PITFALLS of a Mary Kay consultant;

With approx. 1.5 million Mary Kay consultants worldwide, most ladies in the U.S. will come in contact with a Mary Kay consultant and Mary Kay products sooner or later. It can be very helpful to be informed about the facts of the Mary Kay MLM marketing system before you accept a "Free Facial" or attend a "Free Spa Event" or if you're approached by a Mary Kay consultant about becoming an "Independent Beauty Consultant" with Mary Kay regarding the Mary Kay business opportunity.

At first let us say that based on personal experience and research it's a fact that Mary Kay products for the most part are actually very good quality products. Some MK skin care products are very helpful and are often superior to products from competitors, especially for individuals with sensitive skin. True, some individuals may be allergic to this or the MK product and in such a case the product can be returned to the MK consultant for a full refund. Mary Kay also offers a very nice and extensive line of cosmetics products.

-Cons with some positives-
Mary Kay products are officially only available through the so-called "Independent Beauty Consultants" of Mary Kay. Therefore MK products are not available in stores. This can create a problem for some customers as they are dependent on a particular MK consultant to supply them with product. For convenience sake, orders can also be placed via each MK consultant's MK website or by calling the consultant. While new MK consultants may not have the requested products in stock, most established MK consultants will have most frequently requested products in stock. MK consultants offer a personal service with the possibility of returning items in case of skin allergies, etc.

Mary Kay products are also often sold by unauthorized resellers on auction sites like e. g. Ebay and other websites. In general it's difficult to trust such unauthorized resellers regarding product quality because such items could be dated and the buyer can't find out where the product really originated, and also such purchases from auction sites cannot be returned for a refund. So, if you do buy Mary Kay products it's best purchase such directly from a truly authorized Mary Kay "Independent Beauty Consultant."


The Mary Kay marketing APPROACH to retail consumers:
As described above, Mary Kay sells their products through their extensive network of independent Mary Kay Beauty consultants. Such consultants may use various marketing approaches from little classified ads to postcards and personal invitations to a "Free Facial" or a "Free Spa Event" etc. to get in touch with new customers. Often a Mary Kay party is conducted in a home and a friend may invite you to such an event. Such an event can be fun, but you need to be aware of the purpose and the true intentions behind e. g. a Mary Kay party at a friend's house.

(1) The friend who invited you to her house for the MK party will usually receive a small Hostess gift from the Independent Beauty Consultant who conducts the party. Such parties can last from 1-3 hours depending on the products introduced and how the event is conducted.

(2) Free? Yes, you're invited to try out products at such parties for free in hopes that you will purchase this or that item and that you will become a faithful customer of these products. As mentioned above, most Mary Kay products are really good quality products and are fairly priced and in many cases MK products are even priced below comparative products from competitors. Sure, in many large retail stores you can find a whole array of skin care and cosmetics products from popular name brands at perhaps lower prices, but often the quality won't compare and if it does the prices are pretty much the same or even higher priced than MK products.

(3) While psychologically people feel obligated to purchase something at a MK party, there's never any obligation to purchase anything at such events. Many MK consultants put a lot of effort into these parties and it is rude to cancel shortly before the event or to be a no-show. Most MK consultants are hard-working ladies and they really put a lot of effort into their presentations and in acquiring new clients. So, there might be some pressure to purchase something at such a MK party at your friend's home.

(4) But there's much more to the MK party system than what meets the eye in the beginning. The real intention for most MK consultants is that they want really recruit so-called "Team members." This is what the whole Mary Kay marketing approach is, that the more people who sell MK products the more products the company will sell. We'll discuss the MK recruiting process next, but to give you the basic idea, the Mary Kay marketing systems is nothing less than a MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) system as MK consultants will only advance to the next level of directorship, etc. if they have a certain number of recruits and a certain amount of sales over a certain period of time.


The Mary Kay RECRUITING process "Independent Beauty Consultant":

(1) As mentioned above, most ladies will be first invited to attend a MK party at a friend's home, ... maybe it's called a "Free Facial" or a "Free Spa Event." The hope is that some guests will become interested in the products and in a sense also to find new friends.

(2) The second step is that MK consultants may find out a bit more about the guests at the MK parties including about their jobs, lifestyle, etc. The purpose for this is to evaluate if one or the other lady could become a potential "Team member." So while at the MK party products are sold and the MK consultant can generate a nice income at such parties if enough product is sold, the next step is to find new potential team members, ... new recruits.

(3) After potential team members are identified the MK consultant will schedule a phone interview. Usually, the MK consultant will say that she just wants to practice her phone skills or if she (the potential team member) would be available for a no-strings attached practice phone interview. The fact is that the MK consultant's team director will conduct the conference call. In this phone call the local MK director will explain all the benefits of becoming an "Independent Beauty Consultant" especially that the new team member will receive 50% off of the retail price of all Mary Kay products, ... and that's usually the hook. But in this phone call the director will also explain also the "great" potential in selling Mary Kay by conducting such MK home parties and that MK consultants can earn a "free" car, etc. The initial suggestion is that the new team member will get at least the huge 50% discount on her purchases and that she will be able to supplement her income rather easily by conducting MK home parties, and perhaps also Win or rather "earn" a free car after some time. It depends on the particular MK director how much pressure is applied. After the phone call, the MK consultant and the MK director will discuss the score of the conference call regarding the actual potential of the new possible team member and evaluate how they can recruit her specifically.

(4) Another approach is the invitation to the local MK center for the weekly team member meetings which we consider to be a type of hyped up cheer parties. Such weekly meetings, usually in a rented retail space or office space, are here to motivate the MK consultants, as well as to bring new potential team members there to finalize the deal to have them recruited, as well as to sell product to those who are potential new customers, etc. While the guests will usually not have to pay anything, most local MK "centers" will charge like e. g. $5 or so to cover rent, etc. for each weekly meeting.

(5) The conversion rate of potential team members to actual team members depends on the sales techniques applied by the local director and consultant. The starter kit is currently only $100 and is actually worth a lot more in retail value as it consists of products and product samples as well as some presentation material and a nice bag. The hook in the beginning is always that it's a business that can be started for only $100.

(6) It costs only $100 to start a MK business?
Yeah right. The fact is that right after sign-up and the purchase of the starter kit and perhaps after the first arranged house party, the new MK consultant is quickly confronted with the fact that she perhaps should stock an inventory of certain products in order to serve her new customers at parties. Of course, the established MK consultant or MK director will have already a pre-packaged suggestion list of products for the new consultant's first inventory order. This suggested order or inventory package will run usually approx. $2,700 to $5,000 or even more. The new recruit will be told that there's no risk to the order as at any time the products can be returned to Mary Kay for a full refund at any time. What they often don't tell you, if you return product and give up your MK consultant opportunity, you can't become a MK consultant ever again or you may have to wait 10 years or so to get started again. As a result once MK consultants are informed about that fact down the road, it is already too late and they've purchased their initial inventory for thousands of dollars. If MK consultants decide to quit, then they often won't return their unsold inventory, but instead they will keep it so that they have the option of restarting their MK business sooner or later again. Some may rather sell their MK inventory on Ebay or other such sites instead of returning it to Mary Kay.

(7) Once a lady is sucked into the Mary Kay marketing system and she has signed up and has ordered her inventory, etc. the promise of a "free" car is constantly put in front of her, as well as the potential to Win "free" cruises, "free" jewelery and lots of other rewards. Also, there are so-called "Career Conferences" and the annual MK conference in Dallas, TX who every MK consultant should attend. These seminars, conferences, etc. will cost many hundreds of dollars and perhaps even over a $1,000 annually which many MK consultants see as necessary to attend. Of course the promise of becoming a director to those who work hard will also always be presented to them. And also the biggest reward of becoming a "National" will always be put in front of MK consultants in order to keep them motivated week after week. A "National" can earn currently approx. $600,000 a year and after a certain time will receive a nice "pension" and of course can choose to have the top of the line Cadillacs (those are usually silver with a shot of pink metallic in it, but are a more attractive color today than once a long time ago when they were candy pink). The problem is that there are supposedly only approx. 100 "Nationals" out of 1.5 million MK consultants, meaning the chance of becoming a "National" is extremely slim (only 100th of 1%) just like the chance to be at the very top of any organization/company is always very slim. But that potential of becoming a "National" is always put in front of MK consultants with the various stories and/or accounts of how the famous "Nationals" became what are.

(8) Failures are looked down upon if discussed at all. Sadly, along the way the failures of many MK consultants and even MK directors are rarely ever discussed and when such failures or former consultants or directors are discussed, there's always an excuse and the blame is usually put on that failed consultant or director and/or their husband/family, etc. ... it's always their falt. So there's no objectivity as what caused the failure of this or that consultant and/or director and therefore new MK consultants don't learn about the many pitfalls and hurdles of a career as a MK consultant.


The many DISAPPOINTMENTS and PITFALLS of a Mary Kay consultant:
With the great potential of making a good living for a relatively small number of MK consultants, there are also many dangers of disappointments and pitfalls for Mary Kay consultants about which not much is said at MK meetings and of which many new potential recruits are not aware of.

(1) The first disappointing issue could arise from the step-by-step "revelation" process of how the Mary Kay marketing machine really work or the revealing on a "need-to-know" basis when becoming more and more involved with Mary Kay. Meaning first you're at a MK party at your friend's house to have a "Free" event with some pressure buy products, then the lure to be recruited as a MK consultant, then that it's not only $100 to start as MK consultant once signed up and started but that an inventory will cost several thousands of dollars, then the constant dependency of attending meetings and the need (in order to be successful) to be constantly on the phone with the local director to talk often for many hours every week with that director.

(2) The potential danger of not being able to sell the acquired inventory, although it can always be returned for full refund to Mary Kay Inc. But often failed MK consultants that thought that the MK business affords only a few hours of work a week, have thousands and thousands of dollars worth of product in their basement/garage and only have the option of facing the reality to give up their MK business. A true MK consultant will need to work at least 40 hours a week to just make a somewhat decent living, but it ain't easy considering all the work that is involved in the process of becoming successful. There's also enormous stress/pressure to succeed as the local team director will only keep her car when her team members perform and generate appropriate sales. We've seen team directors that received their Cadillac only to have it taken away from them after a while as their total team sales slumped. Then the pressure starts again to achieve the "free" car and so on. So, although it is said that when giving up the Mary Kay business a consultant can return her inventory for a full refund, the reality is that there's a huge financial risk involved in doing the MK business in the right way. We've seen consultants who in the process of having their MK business ran up their credit cards to tens of thousands of dollars for inventory purchases, all kinds of marketing efforts, establishing a home office, distribution of free product samples and catalogs, etc. (which MK consultant need to buy), and to attend MK meetings, seminars, etc., etc.

(3) The third category can be a huge human toll and stress on a marriage and the family. Mary Kay directors even offer seminars, etc. for MK consultant's husbands so that they can support their wife in their new business and perhaps even become involved. MK consultants will often blame their failure in the MK business in not getting proper support from their husband. The idea is that the whole family should support mom in her MK business by distributing business cards and looking out for potential team members, etc., etc. It becomes a lifestyle as everything Mary Kay becomes the life of a MK consultant instead of the MK opportunity to be used as a source of income to live the life many wish for. So the whole thing can become a huge drag on relationships and may often result in alienation between spouses. The weekly team member meetings (who are often cheer parties and mutual society appreciation meetings) together with the frequent phone calls between MK consultant and her MK director produce a type of almost cultic co-dependency that can be very harmful. The numbers speak for themselves. How many of the approx. 1.5 million MK consultants are really successful to some extent and how many earn their "free" car and how many are even able to make a somewhat decent living from their MK business? The reality is not many. Most MK consultant only make a few hundred bucks a year for a lot of work and a lot of effort.

Bottom line: it's only worth to get involved in the MK business opportunity for certain types of outgoing people who as usual are at the right place at the right time. Yes it's possible to succeed in the MK business but often at a huge cost and the price is often not worth it, and the MK business most certainly is not a walk in the park. Only a very few will be truly successful in the Mary Kay MLM marketing system just like in any other MLM business. Unless you're single and you want to work at least 40 hours a week and you're determined to make this career a success, the MK marketing career may not be for you as the pursuit of success in the MK business will often put tremendous pressure on your marriage and family. The best thing is to pick your favorite MK products and just buy them from your authorized Mary Kay consultant and for most ladies it may not be recommended to engage in any "MK opportunity" discussions as the MK marketing systems works like a vacuum as ladies are sucked deeper and deeper into the involvement step-by-step, and at least you should be prepared about what you can expect if you do proceed with the MK opportunity.

Getting involved in the MK business opportunity may truly change your life, but in most cases not for the better, instead lots of heartaches and various difficulties may arise and alter your life over time dramatically. We consider the Mary Kay MLM marketing system to work similar to a religious cult and many marketing techniques that are found among Mary Kay consultants and directors seem to be somewhat deceptive to say the least.

Much more could be said about Mary Kay, especially the "MK opportunity" and books could be written about it, but we hope that the above provides a bit of an overview what to expect when confronted with Mary Kay as a retailer customer and/or as a potential new Mary Kay consultant.
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tnchuck100 on 02/05/2010:
Too lengthy? Yes, most certainly. Good information? Yes, to that as well. (VH)
Ytropious on 02/05/2010:
Yes I feel like someone contemplating a MK business would benefit from reading this. I thought it was common sense that realistically you make very little from Avon/Mary Kay type businesses but I guess I was wrong. I guess some women are suckered into it easier than others.
Sue on 08/09/2013:
I am sorry your experience was so pressured. That was not the Mary Kay way, nor how I was taught, (consequently, there are MANY more like me out there) nor how I conduct my Mary Kay business. I've been a consultant for 4 years, and recently became a director - working my business about 20 hours/week (40hrs ??? Where'd that come from? Poor time management? We teach both time and money management too) . I realize any company can have poor leaders/ managers, since I was in Corporate America for 30 years, and have pretty much seen it all. Mary Kay is not immune. That doesn't mean the company is bad. I personally know many directors who are ethically, and morally committed to doing right and follow what Mary Kay Ash taught. I know consultants that are quite happy with the extra money they earn, and don't desire to be leaders, which is fine. I have never and would never pressure someone to purchase inventory - Where you got your info on a suggested inventory package/ order of $2700- $5000 is beyond me. I've not heard of such a thing. I think you need to do a little more research before making such accusations. Also, one needs to remember, this is YOUR OWN BUSINESS. If my customer needs a product now, I want to have it for her, or she'll run to the store and buy whatever brand to have her need met. As the Owner of MY business, I want to have some inventory on hand to provide immediate service - I think it's smart business. However, you don't have to do that if YOU DON'T WANT TO. I wonder, if you went to a bakery and wanted a donut, and they said they'd order and have it in three days, would you look for another bakery or wait the 3 days?

Working for any business, do you get "free" trips, jewelry, cars? No? Hmm I bet you need to "earn" them! Same with Mary Kay. If anyone told you they're just free, then it was misrepresented. We "earn" these perks. Have you ever had to pay for continuing ed, or seminars for your corporate job? I had - thousands of dollars. I don't spend nearly as much in Mary Kay, and it's MY BUSINESS - I OWN IT! I can skip events like Seminar, but I get way too much out of it to do that. I enjoy the growth and education - and I deduct is it as a business expense.

Does this cause marital problems as suggested? NO. Take a look at the marriage and you'll find more underlying issues. When we, as consultants, work the business the way it was intended to be worked, there should be little stress. Some stress is good, but not when it becomes a burden - we need to check ourselves - we have control of our emotions...

There is so much more wrong with your "facts", but I am out of time...
You've called what you've written, facts, being very deceptive, as I know they are NOT. Please do more research. I wonder why you feel it's OK to slander any company, let a lone a company that has a 50 year proven track record of truly enriching the lives of countless women and their families.
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Lied To About Selling Mary Kay!!!
Posted by on
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINNESOTA -- I had a friend that sold Mary Kay! I got her 50% discount which was GREAT at times when I needed something. (Which was not very often)twice to be exact... But she kept asking me If I would sell under her and I said NO NO NO NO many times! When asked why I told her straight out that with 3 kids all in activities that I was way to busy. Then without my knowledge she and her director called me... Yeah was that a joke! But they told me how I could get the discount myself and take out the "middle man". I asked pretty much all the questions about selling... How much to start? What is in the starter kit? How much do you need to spend to get the discount? etc... Well I was told that it was a 100 dollars to get the kit and it was worth much much more... I did not have to sell to anyone, I could get all my stuff 50% off WHENEVER I needed it, just by buying the kit and signing up.

Then when asked about having to spend so much $ a month or every so often to get my discount, I was told NOTHING... They said you just order what you want when you want... Sounded great until I was told after, that you DO NEED to spend so much MONEY to get the discount!!!!! Yeah that would be the catch!!!! I was so disappointed in the director and my friend that me and my friend of 15 years are no longer friends cause she knew the rules of this pyramid scam and did not tell me the truth! I was also told many times from my friend that if you don't like it you can just send the starter kit back and get a refund! So I contacted the company and WOW was the lady RUDE and very full of ATTITUDE!! I was very nice and told them that I wanted to send the starter kit back and get my money back and she asked if anything had been used and I said just a little cause my director told me to give samples to a few friends to have them try it, so I did. But most everything was unopened and unused! NO NO NO I could not get my money back cause I gave a few samples!

Then the lady sat there telling me that I knew what was expected of me when I started and I said NO THEY LIED! Well that got me NOWHERE!! SO I WILL let EVERYBODY know how "great" their customer service is! And How they LIE LIE LIE to get you to sell! Cause remember the more you sell the more money it is for whoever signed you on and their director!!!! REMEMBER IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE-- IT IS! I will never buy anything from Mary Kay ever again!! And I will let my friends and family what a EXPENSIVE joke it is!! Just remember anyone who sells to you, if you pay full price they are taking 50% of your money and putting it in there pocket!!!!!
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2inform on 05/06/2009:
It sounds like your complaint should be with the former friend and the director, not Mary Kay.
madconsumer on 05/06/2009:
best answer 2inform.
BokiBean on 05/06/2009:
First you expect your friend to supply you with HER 50% discount (dishonest) and then you expect Mary Kay to refund you for a starter kit that you have handed out samples on...sounds like you expect a lot.
Trish the Dish on 05/07/2009:
I did NOT ask my friend for the discount! Lets get that straight! I got it twice and I paid for her shipping and handling and offered her cash for being kind. I have given her plenty of things our relationship worked both ways. I am not a user! I love and care for all my friends! I was lied to and had contacted the company and they were very rude and did not care! GREAT customer service? DON'T THINK SO!
Trish the Dish on 05/07/2009:
By the way 2inform: They represent the company! They work for the company! The director was the one who told me to go to the company... So that is what I did!
Trish the Dish on 05/07/2009:
One more thing Bokibean I was not being DISHONEST she needed money for a order, the director had a "who can make the most sales month"... I told her in the first place I did not need anything! I was being a friend and ordered crap I did not need and have not used because I broke out! And I did not return it like I should have!
DigitalCommando on 05/07/2009:
Trish, with today's tough economy, you are going to have to blaze a new trail and market to previously untapped niche markets, to boldly go where no pink Cadillac has gone before. Now pick up a few of those starter kits and mozy on over to your local chapter of the Hells Angels and get busy. I shudder to think of what they will do with all of that "extra income".
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Horrible Customer Service, Horrible/unprofessional Consultant
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO -- First of all, I bought $238 in Mary Kay products, and I was treated worse than I was never before. This consultant, named Collette, sold me the products. I trusted her because I really didn't understand almost anything about make up, and she seemed so convincing because she said she has worked at Mary Kay for 25 years. That was when everything started.

She sold me the wrong color, darker than my skin color. The wrong formula, and she didn't even wanted to bring me the right ones. She wanted me to work with her schedule. She said she was too busy to help me, and if I wanted something I should go to her house which was in another city far away from mine. But that was what I didn't understand, because she was always here for business and she could not stop by for a minute to give me the products. And the worse is that she was treating me like an employee.

She was rude and abusive. She would demand things from me as I was obligated to do. Just to clarify I'm not a Mary Kay employee, I'm the client, and I wasn't treated as one. She was awful to me. I ended up getting upset about the way I was being treated and decided to give everything back, and get my money back too, but she refused to bring me my money, and wanted me to first send her the products and then she would give me my money. She even told me she would put me in the small claims, and for what? Because I wanted to be treated as a client and wanted the right products. She blamed me for her mistakes. I'm so frustrated. Having met this woman was the worse I have ever done in my life.
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Never Again
Posted by on
I won a Marykay makeover party from Oktoberfest and was pretty excited about. However the representative that hosted the party really didn't and still doesn't have it together. I had to send out the invitations which they normally do this. I had to be the one to contact her to confirm that the party was still going to happen she did not contact me. Then once the party was over I order almost $100 worth of products from and was told that she would have to ship them to me because she did not have them with her. I was a little annoyed that she had come to the party unprepared and had a month to plan for it. Then it took almost two months to get the items that I ordered. During the time that I waited for the product I had no communication with her I emailed and emailed with no response. It was not until a month went by and I emailed her to get my money that she responded and she never even apologized for not informing me as to what was going on. She simple told me either she could send out the product or refund a fraction of my money. So of course I would have to wait for the product or I would lose out on money. so finally two weeks after this the product arrived I emailed her to inform her that she sent me the wrong color for one of my items that was about a week ago and still have not received a response for her. I will never EVER order anything else from Mary Kay. Not to mention that one pf the guest from my party set up a party with her the party was supposed to be this past weekend but the representative never called to confirm or cancel the party but she never showed up.
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karleebarlee on 12/14/2010:
Unfortunately, this was probably just a bad misrepresentation of Mary Kay. I don't think all the representatives should be like this.
Anonymous on 12/14/2010:
Great comment, Karleebarlee. I was thinking the same thing.
lilydarling on 12/16/2010:
I can't believe you think that a "Mary Kay Party" is a PRIZE! You can call ANY Mary Kay rep and tell them you want a makeover party and they'll set one up for anyone, FREE. It's a marketing tool. Obviously the rep you had must have been brand new to Mary Kay, which is why she seemed so inept. And how could she possibly know what you'd want to order, so she could have it on hand? She has to pay for her merchandise ahead of time. Honestly, Mary Kay is overpriced anyway, you can buy good quality makeup such as Revlon at any drugstore on sale and with coupons. No muss, no fuss!
maytk on 07/11/2012:
I agree with the original comment. I found a lady in Killen, AL and got her number off her call because I actually like the product. The fist buy went good and even went out of my way to meet her to get my product. I called her the 2nd time and it's been nothing but a headache and still no product. I've tried setting up meetings to get but she always has excuse. I mailed her a check 2 weeks ago and she has yet to mail me my product. NEVER AGAIN WILL I ORDER MARY KAY
DebtorBasher on 07/11/2012:
Everyone who enters their names for drawing at places like Oktoberfests, will 'win'...all they want is to get names and contact info of people so they can push their products/services on them. I never enter those drawings, they just want to update their harassment list.
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Before you decide to sell........
Posted by on
When I decided to look into becoming a consultant for Mary Kay, I really took my time in making my decision, and I called the director several times with questions during the few months that I debated, until I truly felt that I had asked everything I needed to know.

One of the questions I asked was "Will I always receive 50% commission?" and I was told "yes." plain and clear. After putting the $100 into the starter kit, this woman came to my house to get me started, and that's when she informed me that I'd have to sell $200 (totally $400 to those purchasing) worth of product before that commission applied to me, and had to sell that much every few months to keep the 50% commission.

When I questioned her on why she didn't give me this information when I asked the question, she explained to me that she wanted to wait until we were face to face because it was so confusing to explain, and she also explained that she did not want to scare me away, because she was going to help me make a sale this big, all I had to do was book the show and she'd come in and make sure I sold this amount.

I explained to her that she had misled me, and that she had to know she was doing so. I had not planned on doing shows, I had planned on simply selling a few products here and there to the people I knew, and she had told me that it would be absolutely fine for me to do that. Well, she explained that I still could do that, I just have to have a show once in a while, that totals that amount.

In the future, I will need to get information like this from a person in writing before signing up, and if they are unwilling to put it in writing I will be unwilling to participate, but I am definitely finished dealing with this company that I feel has gone out of their way to mislead me.

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Anonymous on 09/27/2006:
Seems at that rate, would take you forever to get your pink car!
~o/~ on 09/27/2006:
Throw your frustrations to a lesson learned right in the same folder marked Amway and shakley.
you r stupid on 09/28/2006:
I also was looking to seel Mary Kay but when I called the woman I talked to told me all that info and that's how I decided not to do it. I started selling Avon instead but you don't get that much discount and you have to pay for everything from books to samples and even the bags you pack the products in. It sucks that she would miss lead you, you should complain to her supervisor and ask for your money back on the start up kit. Avon only cost 10 bucks to start. I can also do sales over the internet and I make money off that too and I do nothing it ships right to the customers house and they credit my account for the sale.
Anonymous on 09/28/2006:
I wounder why they drive pink cars?
Slimjim on 09/28/2006:
You were lied to, plain as day. Contact Mary Kay and request a refund for your kit, which you will return. Explain the circumstances of your decision. They very well may refund you.
DebtorBasher on 10/03/2006:
Why would she feel that it would be easier to explain in person than on the phone? Unless she had to bring video to get to the point...I'd say what she meant to say was, "I wanted to get your money and your agreement first"...She's just in it for herself,yeah she will help you with your first party...and SHE would most likely get all the credit for it...kind of like those pyramid scams.
notnow321 on 10/06/2006:
As noted in the agreement you signed, Mary Kay, Inc. provides 100% money back return on your sales kit. There is also 100% money back guarantee on all Mary Kay products. For 43 years Mary Kay Inc. has stood behind everything it sells. I'm sorry you feel mislead. Hopefully this info will help. Go to for contact info to return your sales kit. Good luck and have a blessed day.
Freethinker on 10/23/2006:
I just have to say, always check out the web first because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exposing The Truth about Mary Kay Cosmetics
Freethinker on 10/23/2006:
well, I guess it didn't like my html link...
sediqua on 03/15/2007:
Mayrkay is a friggin joke, pure and simple. From an accounting stand point, you are just on your way to bankruptcy if you stay with MK. They sell the product to YOU, and basically, even if you sell all the product, mathematically speaking, the best you could ever hope to do is break even, that's it!!!

Now yes, you can make money, but ONLY if you recruit a bunch of people under you, and even then, you still have to stay active, meaning, buy more product.

You will forever be the hole. The only way to get that pink car is to dupe enough people, so you are not at the bottom ring.

Mary Kay is a joke. Stay away from those goofy people.
babejess on 05/30/2008:
Same thing happened to me. They are extremely misleading intentionally. Then to top it off, they try and connect with you right away so you feel bad if you don't want to do it. First time I went to a meeting, everybody was hugging me, clapping for me, and they were saying I love you. I wasn't even a consultant yet. Totally weird, because it's all fake nice. I signed up after I had been to a personal meeting with the director and she didn't mention anything about this. Then I'm ready to sell, so I'm online doing a practice order and that's when I find out I don't make any commission off of the order until it reaches $400 retail, plus I pay shipping. Why would I pay shipping? Hello? Plus, if a customer wanted something I didn't have, I'd be out money just ordering it, because I have to pay some ridiculous about of shipping to get it to them, and I don't make commission on it. Idiots! Makes sense now why they try to sell certain items over others. If they don't have the item at their house, they don't make commission on it and the consultant has to pay out of pocket to ship it. $100 start up kit my ass. Then they want you to buy their whole catalog times five so you have everything when a customer orders it.
redneckmommy on 01/22/2009:
I completely understand where all of you are coming from. I have joined the "mary kay world". But I do not have a problem getting my orders and I live in the most royal part of WV there could be. But not being told right off hand what is being involved is wrong. I would have to say that I was told all of this right off hand and made since to me. And NO MATTER WHAT SIZE YOUR ORDER the shipping coast is only $8.75. You do receive your "discount, or commission" what ever you want to call it for three calender months.... so why not have everyone order at the same time? Reorders are the basic concept to all home based businesses. And you get a 500.00 allowence for yourself on taxes for "personal use" so even if you don't make it through the year there is anoth tax break.....

What I am saying is if you had done your research and asked eveyone who was at you meeting they would have told you not just the director. What other product do you buy just asking 1 person? You do add people to your business to receive commission off their sales, but you never ever have to do that! It helps you get into those caddies, but there are three lines of cars and no one said you ever had to reach that goal.

But what I am saying is you are never going to make money in Mary Kay if you do not at least sell products, and you will nevere ever make money without spending it first!!!
Kisstophersmama on 03/30/2009:
I am a Mary Kay consultant. A lot of what I'm reading is a misunderstanding of how the company works. As for the hope to only break even, that is 100% not true. We receive a 50% discount on all of our items. I sell the 3 in 1 cleaner for 18 and I only paid 9. I just made 9 bucks. I stick 4.50 of that into my bank account for my own personal use, and the other 4.50 back into my Mary Kay account to get more product. I just made money!
To the woman that joined and was not told about the initial $400 wholesale order (you pay $200) I too have come across this problem. However my director helped me make my mark so it wasn't a problem at all.
The only thing that you need to do as a consultant to keep your discount is to make an order every few months so that you don't become inactive. Mary Kay consultants who aren't buying anything are not consultants. Mary Kay doesn't offer their customers the discount, and when you are selling so little they take it as you are only buying for yourself, which is NOT what a Mary Kay consultants job is. So if you are selling and doing your job you don't even need to think twice about this.
About the 100% money back guaranteed, it's only 90%. You pay 100 for the kit, you get 90 back if you aren't happy. Less shipping and handling, and you are not allowed to become a consultant again because you could have easily just used all of the product just to get your money back. It's protection from people trying to scam Mary Kay.
Trish the Dish on 05/07/2009:
That happened to me also! They will LIE LIE LIE!
m72 on 09/19/2009:
After all the serious AVON Complaints and how they mistreat most of you ladies I wanted to see what Beauti-control was all about.
Looking into it I noticed you get a great commission like 30-60%(compared to 20% and all the fees from AVON!) depending how much you sell.
The More you sell the higher your commission and the commission from the people you hire under you is very generous The makeup is not made in China and it really works and lasts a good while.I have personally tried the powder, foundation, eyeliner and AH- face peel.
I always look at consumer reporting and comment sites before I buy anything. I only saw 1 person that was mad at a beauty control consultant, the lady was not mad at the company or the products. her complaint was also from 2006.
I think it is now only $99.00 to sign up, and they give you a bunch of free stuff and 50% commission off all your orders for a period of time.
Please girls don't make AVON richer by your hard work and little bitty return. Also Beauti-control young people will buy, you will have a harder time trying to sell Mary- Kay to them and those are the life long customers you need.Mary- Kay never had a product that would make me want to spend 20 dollars or more on it(and it is NOT cheap). If you use Mary Kay in front of others they will think you are using old school makeup or friends say"Did you get that from your mother or grandmother?"
This is the plain truth girls...
Anonymous on 09/19/2009:
M72, instead of posting this on every single post that complains about Mary Kay... why don't you make an informative post, that way we don't have to see your comment spammed on everything.
kiki the cat on 11/06/2010:
you don't really get 50% discount. for example a plastic bag of 30 cost $2.50, the company charges you $8.95 for shipping, plus $1.45 tax total $12.90 for a bag that cost $2.50. you actually give the company money. another example, you buy one 3-in-1 cleanser for $18.00 Mary Kay gives you 50% off you pay $9.00 plus $8.95 for shipping $1.79 tax you ended up paying a total price of ($19.74) for the cleanser. the company makes about $1.74 on you and you make nothing. this is how Mary Kay gets rich from uneducated people like you. you are not making money at all. the company wants you to make a purchase of $400.00 then you'll pay $200.00 again,you pay $8.95 for shipping, plus $41.00 tax, so, your $200.00 total $249.95. if you continue with the math, you are charged more for the products. how do you make money selling mary kay? you make no money unless you charge your customers $8.95 for shipping, plus double the tax.
Wingedvisitor on 02/18/2011:
That sucks that you were mislead by the director, that is not something Mary Kay Ash would have condoned. I suggest you contact the company and tell them what happened so that they can explain to the woman that Mary Kay should never be marketed in such a shady fashion.
There is not any minimum requirement to become a consultant other than signing the agreement and purchasing the starter kit.

However, to receive the wholesale discount (50%), a minimum order ($200+ wholesale cost + shipping) is required. To maintain consultant status, a minimum order must be placed at least once a year. To maintain "active" status, a minimum order must be placed at least once every three months.

Being "active" gives you the discount. If you don't do it every three months, then as long as you place a minimum order within the year, you automatically revert to consultant status with that order.

You might also hear people talk about "qualified" status. That simply means a wholesale order of $600 or more at least once every three months and it basically gets you free stuff, prizes, and recognition. It also ties in with earning a car.

When you sell Mary Kay, the best advice I can give is to do at least a 60/40 split with your sales. This means that if you sell $100, you get to keep $40 (or less depending on what you decide - but never more). This gives you 50% to replenish inventory (or to order product if you choose not to) and $10 for shipping and/or business supplies. If you want to build inventory or need to pay off a loan for inventory, then you would want to keep less (though make sure to pay yourself something - its never fun to work with no money lol). Also remember that when you offer discounts or specials, that money comes out of your profit, not off the top before dividing.

If you are honest and make sure to do things the right way, then you shouldn't have an issue. Unfortunately there are some people out there who are shady and don't tell the truth, which gives the company a bad name, there always are people like that who want to take advantage of others. I hope that this clears some things up for you and you didn't walk away with a poor taste in your mouth.

For reference, I am not a consultant, but I used to be a few years ago. I stopped for personal life changing reasons and wanted to devote my time elsewhere. However, I am looking into doing it again as I felt it was a company of integrity and I thought the products were quality (two musts for me to sell them).
QueenCheryl on 09/17/2012:
I too was not told that you have to order $200 worth of products every three months
duped by mk on 07/26/2013:
I also was never told that you had to sell 200 dollars every month. I was told that I could go at my own pace and sell whatever I wanted to sell and get 50 percent off. I found that is not the case I am over Mary Kay as well. its all seems like a pyramid scheme where the loop you in and then expect you to get recruits under you so they end up making more money
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Ripped off and uninformed
Posted by on
About 4 months ago a friend asked me if I wanted to join her for dinner so I did thinking it was for friends. Instead when I got there all of the tables were full of Mary Kay items. The consultant lied to me to get her "face." During the MK Party they passed out invoices and the consultant stood right next to me wondering if I was going to fill out the form so I did just because I felt pressured. Then I had two consultants next to me bombarding me with questions about why I didn`t want to be a consultant. Well I purchased moisturizer and 3 months later still had no product so I called the consultant and she did not answer my call so I called Mary Kay and put a complaint in. She charged me $13 dollars for shipping and wanted me to pick the item up. It has been 4 months now and I still have no product and no refund.
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maytk on 07/11/2012:
I so understand. I've had the same issues with a lady from Killen, AL. She agreed to sale and this is her business. Wants me to go out of my way to pick it up, finally mailed her a check 2 weeks ago and to date she hasn't mailed me the product. Will never again order Mary Kay
Christen on 08/13/2012:
I am a consultant and I definitely was not good with follow up my first year. But I am trained that customer service is our number one priority. If the consultants logged onto our company website we have training on how to properly speak to people and treat them. I am also involved with monthly meetings and I am trained by my team leader and directors who stress the importance of treating others with respect. In addition, my team leader was given the "Business woman of the Year" award in our area. She is an amazing example and leader. It may be poor training on the consultant's parts and they are probably being pressured by their leaders to get more consultants. NOT COOL. I am sorry this happened to you. We are not all like that.
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Ripped Off!!
Posted by on
One of the mother's at my son's school asked me buy from her so I did in good faith. The products are crap and did nothing but break my face out. I ordered lipstick, press powder and blemish control, and she threw in a few other things along with a large invoice. I returned the unused items and kept the ones I ordered. She didn't give me a new invoice but asked me for the money at a child's birthday party and had me make check out to her. She charged me $55.00 for items that cost $42.00.

I've been requesting a new invoice and the money she overcharged me. She has ignored my emails for the past two months. Unbelievable. How can Mary Kay support this type of business? I will never buy from her or Mary Kay again.
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madconsumer on 06/24/2011:
lots of people also get breakouts from mary kay product. for me they were to harsh for my skin.

review very helpful.
Anonymous on 06/25/2011:
Consider contacting corporate and reporting this.

Mary Kay, Inc Corporate Office | Headquarters
16251 Dallas Pkwy. Addison, TX 75001
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Mary Kay products contain Talc
Posted by on
Mary Kay uses talc in their products. Talc can cause cancer but they don't seem to care. I was a consultant but no more. I need to throw away ass of my powdered products to include the eyeshadows.
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madconsumer on 09/11/2011:
I never knew this about talc. do you have any links about it? I would like to know more.

very helpful.
Anna Molly on 09/11/2011:
This is interesting. I'd find this more helpful with credible sources listed. I think I once read something about talcum powder applied to the genital area (on a very regular basis) *might* possibly cause cancer. Inconclusive, I believe. I'd hate to think people are regularly applying mary kay cosmetics to their nether regions.

Isn't talc used in many cosmetics, not just mary kay?

GenuineNerd on 09/11/2011:
People use talcum powder, as well as corn starch, to prevent chafing and absorb body odor. However, if too much is used, it could leave a major mess. My grandmother used to spill more talcum powder than she used, and the talc dust got all over the house. Talcum powder is difficult to sweep or vacuum. Never heard about any links between talcum powder and cancer, though.
Vinnie11 on 09/11/2011:
Talc used to contain asbestos but that is no longer allowed for use in cosmetics. They use an asbestos-free talc now. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a cosmetics line that does not use talc. Don't throw away your inventory before doing a little more research and if you find anything to the contrary, please let us know.
olie on 09/11/2011:
Johnson's Baby Powder contains two ingredients: Talc, and fragrance.

I'm pretty sure there would have been some sort of recall or banning of the product by now.
db1105 on 09/12/2011:
Talc is a silicate mineral in which a lot are known to cause cancer. The worst being asbestos. As far as warnings go, do your own research. I use the stuff in my shoes while not trying to breathe it in. We never used it on the kids when they were infants.
olie on 09/13/2011:
db1105, I also rarely used baby powder on my kids. Mainly because there were better options out there.
But still--if baby powder contained a carcinogen, there'd be a huge outcry and an outright ban of the product.
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I was done wrong
Posted by on
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- I ordered $300.00 worth of Mary Kay products and it broke my skin out. I then contacted the Mary Kay consultant and she offered me a new product. I tried it and again my skin gave a negative response. I made a second attempted to reach my consultant, only this time requesting a refund. She responded with "I'm going out of town and we can try something new when I return". And I haven't heard from her again.
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Anonymous on 05/31/2011:
You certainly were done wrong. Contact corporate and they will right it.

Mary Kay, Inc Corporate Office | Headquarters
16251 Dallas Pkwy. Addison, TX 75001
Anonymous on 05/31/2011:
I'm not familiar with Mary Kay products, so take my comment with a grain of salt. But why would they owe the customer a refund for a product she was allergic to? I would think it is a "buyer beware" situation. Again, I've never dealt with Mary Kay, nor has my wife, so I'm not sure of their guarantees. Just my worth.
Mrs. V on 06/01/2011:
Most of these type of companies (Mary Kay, Avon, etc) have a 'money back guarantee' if you dislike the product. It's one of the reasons that people order from them instead of going to a dept. store or such.
Cwazychicken on 06/01/2011:
Guess its a good lesson to not spend so much money on makeup you have never used. I know when I have never used something, I will try a sample or buy a cheaper version of something before committing that much money to it. But of course, that isn't your fault you were allergic and she should've refunded you for your problems.
CrystalSword on 06/01/2011:
I tried Mary Kay years ago and it caused a mild break out with me as well, but it was explained to me that it is designed to do that and within two weeks it would clear up, which it did. Its the only make up I use now and very little at that.
MikkiB on 06/12/2011:
I sincerely apologize for the way you were treated by this Mary Kay Consultant; please contact Mary Kay's Corporate Office and they will resolve this matter for you. The product is excellent and I do hope that this individual's action doesn't deter you from using the products.
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