Dollar Stretcher readers share their experiences selling Mary Kay

Readers Respond: Selling Mary Kay Cosmetics

TDS Reader Solutions

See Part One of Selling Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Hindsight is 20/20

It's actually good to know that I am not the only person out there that can't seem to make a success out of selling Mary Kay. I, too, am in my second time around. I, however, purchased all the inventory the first time. I ended up selling a lot of it on eBay for a fraction of what it was worth. The second time, I am only in it to get the discount for myself and family. I was told I only needed to place an order once a year to remain active. I wasn't told about this option the first time. My director was so close to her pink caddy that she convinved me a big order would be the best thing to do. Now she's driving a free car, and I am finally getting my head above water. Thanks so much for sharing your story and allowing a place where others can share theirs.

It Takes Effort and Planning

I personally have never sold Mary Kay cosmetics, but I do own my own home-based business with another direct market company. I think people want to believe that there is a full proof way to make a ton of money with little to no effort. Being a stay-at-home mom, I just don't have the time to work full-time outside the home. A direct market business is hard work. Sometimes you do not see the added income for a year or two down the road. It takes effort and planning. And a lot of people tend to give up. There are many successful direct market sales people out there. You just need to do a lot of research before you decide and pick the business that fits your lifestyle and your personality. Please realize this is a your own business so you do not receive a weekly paycheck like a normal job.

Do What You Enjoy

I am a Mary Kay consultant and have been for over 12 years. Mary Kay is a great company with great products. But a Mary Kay business is not for everyone. Although you can make great money owning a franchise, doesn't mean I want to own one. Although you can make great money being a doctor or a lawyer, doesn't mean I want to be one. I am always approached by others regarding their network marketing opportunities. But just because they say you can make a lot of money with their opportunity, doesn't mean I want to do it. I enjoy my Mary Kay business and it is fun, and that's why it works for me. I think that's the key to whatever you decide to do. Mary Kay is a "sales" business and you must buy the product wholesale and sale it retail. Some customers will just fall into your lap looking for a Mary Kay consultant, but daily you will have market yourself and your services to continue to build your customer base. I have two home-based businesses. My Mary Kay business has more emphasis on sales. My other home-based business has more emphasis on team building. I make great money in sales with Mary Kay because my customer base is large and then I make extra from commissions because of my team building. In my other home-based business, I make great money from commissions because of my downline is large and then I make extra from my sales. They both work for me and each business goes hand in hand. But, no matter what you do, you should find out what it will take for you to be successful in any business and decide if you're willing to do what it takes. Mary Kay has worked great for some people and has not worked at all for others. So, don't base what you do on the failure of others or the success of others. But base it on what it will take for you to be successful in whatever you do.

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Don't Be Duped!

I used to be a Mary Kay Consultant. I was duped by my own grandmother. At first, I enjoyed it and loved all the pink boxes. Then the group e-mails got so annoying. I would get about 6-12 e-mails a day from group leaders, directors, company and my own director. It was just so overwhelming. I had to pay for my inventory starter kit $116, my website $40 for a year, my monthly orders (had to be a min of $200 to keep the 50% discount) and my catalogs (that Mary Kay so graciously sent out to my customers at 50 cents a pop). Then I had to buy samples and business supplies, business cards, sample holders and that was another couple hundred dollars. I ended up spending about $300 a month on Mary Kay, and although I had tons of supportive friends and family members who would place minimum $100 orders, it wasn't enough to cover my costs. There were special items that consultants could only order if they placed a $400 order so there was pressure to buy all the time. The mascaras went up to $15! Who pays $15 for Mary Kay Mascara? The overall feeling I got from my customers is that Mary Kay was just too overpriced for what you got. The so-called "free gifts" that you give to your customers when they make a larger purchase weren't free. I had to buy them, so there went my profit. The seminars and meetings you have to pay to attend and there is always so much pressure to recruit. I am a part of a new company. Well, technically, it's not new. They have been operating in 52 different countries since 1976, and my business is booming. I have already gotten back in profit what I have put in and there is no pressure to sell. Since this company has stores in the malls, there is already familiarity and the product sells itself. I would definitely not recommend Mary Kay. It sucks your wallet dry and the company is only interested in "selling" the consultant, and once they make their dollar off of you there, they really could care less if you unload the inventory. The more people you recruit, the more money the company makes as your commission checks will be small unless you have hundreds of people working under you.

Can't Be Afraid of Hard Work

I just celebrated my thirteenth year as an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and during those 13 years, I have done things with conviction (sometimes) and I have done things half-heartedly (most of the time). I have witnessed stellar successes, as well as dismal failures. I have witnessed lazy people "trying" Mary Kay. One thing about lazy or fearful people is that if they begin a venture as lazy or fearful, they generally stay lazy or fearful in their attempt at that venture, unless they make a definite decision to be different, followed by ACTION in a different direction. This is true both in a romantic relationships and work relationships.

I haven't made the millions of dollars that some have and do and I haven't even earned a career car, but that is because I haven't been willing to do the work it takes to strive for excellence. Does this make me a "bad" person or Mary Kay Cosmetics a "bad" opportunity? No. It simply means that I haven't really made a life-altering decision to W-O-R-K to earn those millions and I probably wouldn't have made them in any other career either. I have, however, made $25-$300 an hour EVERY hour I have worked. Not bad, I'd say!!

In my mind, it is the same as putting your young children in day care to work a part-time job. It would cost more to pay the day care than the part-time job pays, because of the additional expenses. There's travel expenses, wardrobe, etc. Of course it would cost more to keep Mary Kay as a hobby. But the majority of hobbies do cost a LOT of money. Put more time, heart and effort into anything and the payoff will be much greater than an apathetic "try."

I have no sympathy for people who blame-shift and say that Mary Kay was this and that: That they were coerced into doing or giving up something. I have lived with pushy and overbearing people. I have worked for bosses who were bullies. They made their choices and I had choices as well. Either be a victim or stand up. The great thing about direct sales is that anyone can do it and that is also the bad part. Bullies and victims get into direct sales all of the time and unless they make a decision to change, there will be loads of nay-sayers and blame-shifters.

When someone "quits" Mary Kay after making poor decisions, it is their burden to bear alone, because this is a free country and everyone has the right to either accept or reject an idea, work or be lazy, or have faith or live in fear. Bad-mouthing a wonderful company like Mary Kay Cosmetics is nothing short of cowardice. These "blamers" would have failed at anything they tried, either due to choosing fear or some other life-draining lifestyle.

Mary Kay is a great opportunity for those who want success as badly as a drowning guy wants air and is willing to pay the price of persistent work.

I'd Like to Be a Mary Kay Success Story

I've tried Mary Kay off and on several times. I know the products sell. I've seen others do it with my own eyes, and the times I have sold are the times it just casually comes up in a conversation. I am by no means a success at Mary Kay, but a lot of that I believe is because I am so afraid of going up to total strangers. I don't know a lot of people, so the strangers are basically the only way to go. I need to do Mary Kay successfully for my kids and myself. I was in an auto accident a couple years back and I really need a home-based bussiness that is successful because of the pain associated with the accident. I really need to quit the job that I currently hold. I'm holding onto Mary Kay in hopes that I can be one of the success stories out there. Others have done it, but I do think it takes great persistance.

Needs to Dig Out of a Hole

I have been in the business for about two years now. I believe the business has potential if you are doing it full time, but part-time work doesn't seem to be profitable. I always have to order more than I can sell. No matter how much inventory I have there is always that one item that I don't have on hand. Then I have to place that minimum $400 retail/$200 wholesale order. I have invested thousands of dollars and I have no way of paying my credit cards. I had to take on a second job so that I have a predictable second income rather than pay to work for Mary Kay. I love the products, but I need to get rid of them fast before I lose everything. I've already passed the one-year agreement obviously. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can try to get out of this huge hole? Thanks.

Reviewed January 2018

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