Thursday, January 3, 2008

Negative or Non-Anti-Negative?

To visit an anti-Mary Kay site - or - not to visit an anti Mary Kay site... seems to be the question.

This WILL get at the base of the issue of why I started this site. It must be discussed.

Should we (anyone involved with Mary Kay) ignore the negative things that have happened and are happening?

Should we just focus on the positive and hope the negative goes away?

Do we need to defend ourselves against accusations leveled at us?

When bad experiences occur, the people that experienced them will naturally "make noise" about it. With the advent of the internet and blogs, their voice is more easily heard. With the anonymity and lack of fact checking prevalent, combined with a mission like vendetta, is there any chance of "fixing" the problems that are being brought up?

This will most likely be a Pandora's box of sorts, I am sure. But throw your coins in the mix. I will be the first to admit that I do not know the "right" answers...

I do know that people who have had bad experiences deserve acknowledgment. I do not think that people who were not successful with Mary Kay were not necessarily lazy or incompetent.

The experiences of both successful and unsuccessful have validity and importance. Someone considering joining Mary Kay should have access to both of these sources.

So what am I asking? Well, this goes with the question from the other day. Is this an anti-PT site?

Are we trying to steer people away from PT? Or do they have a useful purpose?

One thing is clear. People posting on PT believe that their mission is helping people. Equally, people in MK believe that they are helping people.

Some have joined MK believing they were helping people,
then joined PT believing they were helping people,
then joined DUH's site... realizing that neither of the aforementioned causes were truly beneficial.

This tells me:

1. Extreme views tend to not help anyone.
2. Your definition of helping people will vary based on what you believe to be true.
3. As such, you should be sure to verify the truth of your belief before declaring it absolute!
4. It is possible to be wrong and right at the same time.

So, who is right?


  1. I, personally, did not go looking for anything negative until my experience took a turn for the worse. Then I looked. And boy did I find some information! Those who were burned are VERY vocal about their experiences. And once my feelings and experiences were validated - no, it's not just me - then I looked to see if ANYONE was doing it successfully. Selling, not recruiting.

    I have found that those who are successful have taken years to get there. They've started small and continually worked, adding customers, recruiting when there is interest. I just have not found many experiences where they are making real money. Not $50 here, oooh, $100 threre. I am talking about consistant income. Enough to pay real bills. I guess what I mean is not part time work income.

    And there are some who say they do make this, they just have no way to prove it.

    When I hear someone with a bad experience in MK, I believe it since it usually sounds very close to my own experience. When a pro MKer tries to tell me how much money she's making while working only a few hours a week, I don't believe her and then she keeps trying to convince me and then she sounds fanatical, like the steriotypical MK lady. I think the best way to refute the negative is to do it right. The more you protest the worse it seems.

  2. This is what I have been wondering about to .... does anyone make consistent income (enough to support themselves) as an IBC in Mary Kay? Or is the income really made as one builds their team and recruits? I have not found anyone out there in cyberspace that has said they are an IBC and that they do make enough to live on (I don't want to put a number here since it can be different in different areas). Where are these women? They are the ones that need to get a blog going or something to provide some insight to others.
    Frankly, about a year ago, I got pretty darn excited about a certain jewelry MLM. I really loved the product and unlike makeup, you buy your inventory and you can wear it yourself. It was impressive the amount of money that one "could" make. However, when I broke it down, I realized I would need a significant customer base to keep it going, plus they also retire 1/3 of their line every year (even at buying at 50% off it's still a lot to have the whole line - and I know I don't "have to" but again, people need to see the jewelry)...not to mention I found out that right in my own neighborhood there are three of these consultants already and one of them is a "manager" (has a team of 20+ people). So, the market is saturated. However, I have wound up with some good deals since the manager has a great annual sale. Cause, frankly, as much as I like the line, I don't want to pay full price. I don't think it's worth the full price. So, I will wait to get a deal on a piece I like. Anyway, when I was researching that company, I wound up reading Pink Truth and some of the other blogs for over a year. comments ...We just need to take the emotion out of it and concentrate on the facts and data. It's business.

  3. objectiveone,
    Once again I ask "where have you been?"
    Have you not been paying attention? How could you have been "reading Pink Truth and some of the other blogs for over a year" and not have read comments from IBC's who are successful? By "other blogs" I assume you meant some of the promk blogs as well, but in case you missed it try looking over the blog roll on this site and hit some of these blogs.
    The women who have these sites are either directors, about to be directors, or car qualifiers, or have just plain been in MK a long time. They know what they are talking about and they each have found consistant success. They are just a sample of the many women out there who make it work, ethically.

    Your comments are a prime example of what happens when lurkers read PT. They come away with the idea that noone is having success in this business because Tracy Coenon does not allow both sides to be seen or talked about on her blog.

    It seems as if you stumbled upon PT and that has been your only exposure to the MK world. There is more to this story than what they portray.

    By the way, when talking about your jewlery business, what did you mean by "I really loved the product and unlike makeup, you buy your inventory and you can wear it yourself". We can wear our makeup our selves and we can buy our inventory, so I dont understand that statement.

    You also mentioned market satuaration. That is the same stumbling block that many MK consultants come accross, but in my opinion it is a state of mind. With all the IBC's in my state, county and city, I shouldnt be able to sell anything, but I do. I think of satuation this way: There are at least 3 McDonalds within a 2 mile distance on one of the major streets in my town. ALL of them have continued to stay open, not one of them has put the other out of business. That is because there are enough people who are hungry to go around. If saturation was a factor on some level, one of them would have closed by now. I think of MK the same way. There are enough women to go around, many who still have never tried makeup at all, much less MK. Its my business to find em and let them know I am a beauty consultant. If market satuaration really was that much of a factor, then we would not see so many similar businesses being started and franchises being bought all over the place. What really matters is how you run your business and how you handle your income that you bring in.
    You say that in your neighborhood there were 3 other reps, well why not venture out of your neighborhood then to find other people who love the jewelry as you do. I am not saying that you did not try this, just saying that most of the limits we feel we have are those that we place on ourselves.

    Its also interesting to note that if you dont feel that it is worth full price, then chances are your customers wont either.
    I think MK is worth the full price for many of the products we have and that is what I charge and expect and get.

    You say only concentrate on the facts and data, but that is hard to do when everyones "facts and data" will differ according to what they experience. There is no one fact or set of data that covers every senario that will settle this debate

  4. Forever pink, you are coming across way harsh. When Objective One says she can wear the jewlery it probably means she can wear all of it and sell what she is wearing, verses MK where you cannot open a product and use some of it and then sell it, you have to have one for testing and one for selling.

    Objective one, keep reading. PT is correct in some of what is said. They do tend to go overboard. But so do Pro MKers. PT looks for the negative and they will broadcast that loudly; and for a very long time. And there is a lot of negative. Pro MKers ignore the negative and remember that one good class for a looong time. They are also usually in MK for more than just making money. So even if they are not making alot, they stay for other reasons. You have to read between the lines.

    The consultants who post here do make money. But it is supplement income. Most of them (if I remember correctly) have another source of income and MK is what puts them over the top. I have heard of some directors who are supporting themselves solely on MK but it does take years to build a customer base and you do have to build a unit, as well. From my experience personally and from what some here have posted, the income is not consistant.

  5. Judi,
    why is it that my asking for clarification of a comment is considered being "way harsh"? I think that objectiveone can speak for him or herself if he or she wants to explain what she meant. My asking was not meant as some sort of challenge, but only that it did not make sense to me? It reads as if she believes that we as MK consultants cant purchase inventory or wear our own product. Of course that is not true so I am simply asking what was meant.

    And I really take issue with your statement that "Pro MKers ignore the negative and remember that one good class for a loong time". That is simply not true and you are doing just what TC and others on PT do by saying that. We dont ignore the negative, we simply just dont let it stop us.

    Many of us have accepted your experience and have supported you because of it. So how are we ignoring the negative? Many of us have acknowledged that multiple things need to change in MK, so how is that ignoring the negative?
    And it would take more than "one good class" to keep me in something for over 10 years.

    Objectiveone implys that he or she has not heard about anyone making any consistant money. I was simply pointing out where he or she can find that info. And I will ALWAYS defend myself and my business against sweeping generalizations like the ones you continue to make.

  6. When I said pro MKers remember that one good class for a long time I meant that it is brought up regularly. So many times I heard different ones in my unit talk about a specific class. They would mention how much they sold and it was always the same class. Was there no new class where they made money to talk about? Or was that class the exception? Same thing with the commision checks that get passed around. My director always showed the same one - her highest, I am assuming. Was that check the exception?

    And I am sure that objective one can speak for her/himself. I just know how I felt when I went to a pro MK site and asked a question and got jumped. I didn't go back. Maybe I took it wrong or maybe the person answering was way too defensive.

  7. Judi - thanks for looking out for me.

    Foreverpink - didn't mean to make you upset.

    I posted long comment on a different thread - that comment may shed some light on things..

  8. just for the record objectiveone, you did not upset me

  9. Here is my experience:

  10. at least oney does not blame the company for her unpleasant experience

  11. Howdy! I don't know if this will get seen, since this was months ago, but I found you guys on a web search. I noticed that one of the questions wasn't answered: Are any IBCs able to make a living wage simply as an IBC (i.e., no recruiting, just selling). I believe the answer is no. In MK you must recruit to earn the big money they promise is possible. And even then, all they promise is the possibility, no guarantee.

  12. Anonymous, the tone of your question implies you won't believe what I write anyway but here goes, around here our minimum wage is $7.15/hr, fulltime hours are usually calculated at 2080 hours a year. So that would result in $14,872 BEFORE TAXES. Just as a consultant I sell approx. $40,000 retail a year, using 40% profit ( I buy at 50% but we will be generouse and factor in discounts, free product, etc... ) that would result in $16,000 BEFORE taxes.

    I don't think that is bad money for parttime work, however, I do need more to survive, but being a director, I do spend alot of my time as a director not a consultant, so if I weren't earning my commissions as a director and a recruiter, I would have more time and I imagine I would be able to sell even more.

    So the answer would be based on how much an individual needs to survive and how much time they are willing to put into working.

    Hope this helps.

  13. Thanks, MK4me. :) Actually, that's pretty much what I figured. Minimum wage is not a living wage that covers rent, utilities, car payment, gas, etc. Trying to raise a family and cover all the needs by only selling MK product sounds like at least an 80-hour/week proposition, which pretty much jacks any family time.

    Using a similar thought process, if I took a part time job which allowed me to earn half of what I earn at my 40-hour/week job, I would be earning approx 24K (annually) for 20 hours a week. Net take-home after income taxes, retirmement, health bennies, etc, would be about $16,500 (annually). About the same as what you take home, but with no business expenses and only 20 hours worked in each week. For those of us who really don't do well in sales, a part time job is probably a better choice.

  14. Hey anon, you are right, it is not for everyone. It sounds like you do have a good job, if they allow you to just work parttime and still give you all the benies, you very well could do better for yourself. (It will all depend on the individual). I can not remember ever working 80 hours/week in my MK, but since Mk is just a part of me and I enjoy it, sometimes I guess I am "working" when I don't realize it.

    I can tell you one of the things I do love about being an established consultant.. I spent an entire month at a hospital with a child, I mean, ate, slept, etc... no classes, facials, etc... my reorders for that month were still over $2000, not that isn't bad for not being doing anything. Of course I could not do this every month. There are trade off's with anything.

    Around my area, if someone does want to work parttime, you truly are looking at minimum wage and no benefits at whatever hours they want to give you. (And if it is small employer with less than a certain number of employees, they are even allowed to pay less than minimum!)

    Keep in mind in MK, when you are just getting started out, you will be putting in more hours because you are building your clients so you are having to conduct skin care classes and facials.

    Once you have established a customer base and provide good customer service, you are going to be earning money from your reorders that do not take up much of your time and then you can still be conducting classes/facials for new business, so you income is going to increase without putting much more time into it? Hope that makes some sense.

    Now, I agree with you 100%, if you have found you just aren't that good with "sales" with the MK, than it might be more work than it is worth. I really am not good at "selling" - the hardest part of what I do is "closing" the sale. But, I do love this product, I love the way I can make people look and feel, and for me, I find that I don't have to "sell" the product, when I am done with a presentation, they either want it or not, either way is fine with me.

    And, I do not go out to warm chat, or do surveys, or harrass people, I have a great product, if I offer and they aren't interested, hey, no biggey, I just think to myself,
    (wrinkles to ya!!) - it's no big deal.

  15. that is true, a regular part time job would probaly be the same as far as what you can earn if you are working this business less than 30-40 hrs per week.

    The thing I like about sales though, is that at any time, my sales can be higher as my activity increases or if I sell more. On a regular part time job, the amount stays the same no matter how hard i work.

    I think a lot of women go into MK for part time anyway. I have never heard it said that you HAVE to get into MK to have it be your only income. I too dont think you could live off of sales alone, you would have to work your way up the career ladder which requires recruiting. But the thing that sets MK apart is that if you never wanted to recruit you could still make money, maybe not the executive money but still make money that supplements what you already have. There are other companies that the are set up that the only way to make money is to have recruits.

    This business is not for everyone thats for sure. I have found that for me and my schedule and my life, having a traditional part time job would be too much of a strain on my family. But between reorders and weekly sales it works for me. I hold most of my appts at home, I dont have to get a babysitter, which is something I would have to do with a regular part time job. My child goes with me to appts for the few that I hold outside my home. I am getting to where I mail most of my product which keeps me from driving all over town to deliver and that saves on gas. Also every business expense I write off on taxes, something you cant do with a regular part time job.

    There are pros and cons, but always the potential to do more which is what I like about it

  16. Thanks, mk4me and foreverpink. :)

    Hey, I figured out how to get my name in! You were talking to "anon" and I was like, who's anon? Did someone else post? ;)

    Anyway, I really appreciate your frankness and honesty. It sounds like you really enjoy what you're doing and that's very cool. I was recruited by folks who said you didn't have to be a sales person to sell MK and I found out shortly after that that's exactly what I was doing, and not enjoying it. The fact that you enjoy it and it gives you flexibility is a great thing.

    If I'd known what it was really like to sell, I wouldn't have joined...I guess, I just wish my recruiter had said that--she would've saved us both time and her a chargeback (which I didn't know at all about--I was really surprised at that concept). Fuller disclosure would be nice.

    foreverpink, I agree, you can make a bit of extra money if you do everything you can to keep expenses and inventory low. :)

    mk4me, I hope your child is doing better now!

  17. I'm really late coming into this, but I would have to agree that one cannot make a living just selling alone. I think one could achieve a pretty decent supplemental income with just sales. A friend of mine made the Queens Court of Sales in her first year as a consultant. That's roughly $16,000 profit when you factor in possible discounts and the 60/40 rule. That's a nice addition to her regular income, but it's no secret in MK that they want you to work "Full Circle" in order to achieve maximum success. Full Circle meaning, booking, selling, and then recruiting. It is a cycle, but such is sales.

    Black Nova, I don't blame you one bit for wanting to sell your stuff back if it turned out to be something other than what was presented. ;)

  18. Oops! That should say "I'm really coming into this late."

  19. Welcome Black Nova, thanks for your input!

    Anyway, since I try hard to keep working, selling consultants and have them grow their inventory instead of starting too big, I am very fortunate most of my unit members if they decide not to continue MK don't have a boatload of inventory to get rid of, so I don't deal with many chargebacks.

    But I can say, I would not tell them about the chargeback anyway. You might ask why but the reason is I would never want someone not to take advantage because they didn't want to hurt me. If they knew about it ahead of time, it might influence their decision because they don't want to hurt me or their recruiter.

    If we are going to "sell" the 90% buyback if you try MK, then we must be willing to honor it if a consultant decides to use it. I don't feel that I should then try to blackmail them into not using the buyback when I told them about it in the first place.

    Now what I mean, jelly bean??

  20. You could kill a diabetic with your sweet attitude and I mean that in the nicest and most non-sarcastic way. =)

  21. i understand mkme, you dont want to guilt a person into keeping inventory if they dont want to.

    If they want to send it back, then they should excercise that option and not feel bad about it.

    But some directors are not honest. They tell consultants that they can send it back after a year, when in reality they can send anything back that they have purchased within any year. Some come away thinking that if they are in past a year then they have lost the 90% buy back option and that is not true.

  22. forever, this is where I still get don't understand what the fuss is about. I always explain from the interview thru a consultant's career it is a moving one year window. I have corrected other directors privately when I hear them say, "within the first year". my good friend Rebecca will tell you.... it is all in writing!! Once you are a consultant for longer than a week, I feel any consultant should be reading her material and even if the director tell her otherwise, the information is available.

    If one doesn't like to read, well there is an 800# that goes right to Corporate and they will answer any question for you.

    In some cases, I truly think the director doesn't get it either, and there is a big difference between a consultant knowing there is a 90% buyback and nowing the recruiter and the director is going to get charged back.

    Since I think there are a couple of great points in here and I can make it in a short post, I am off to put something together because my other ideas, I don't have the time to dedicate to until after the graduation this weekend!!

  23. It's very easy to say that we should have read In Touch. But I had no idea that my director would out and out lie to me. When she said I could only send it back during the first year, I did not know that I would have to read to find out if she was telling me the truth. I did read In Touch, just not about the buy back. And maybe she didn't know herself. That is the problem I see with more than one director. If they are to be directors, shouldn't they know this stuff? And shouldn't MKC make it their business to know who is representing them? And make sure these people know what they are talking about?

  24. speaking the real truthJune 6, 2008 at 7:00 AM

    Judi, I really believe that most who promote the idea that you can only return product the first year just do not understand the program.

    Please re-read what you wrote. You claim that a consultant should not be held responsible for not reading InTouch, the agreement, etc., but that a director should basically read and learn everything? I agree that directors should educate themselves as much as possible, because others depend on what they say and teach, but is it fair to say that and not expect consultants to read anything? From the start, they are independent consultants and they know that.

  25. Judi, I couldn't agree with you more. I think the biggest problem in MK is miscommunication and the blind leading the blind. When you have someone who doesn't completely get it, go and repeat what they incorrectly believe is true, you have problems. Again, I refer to the "Telephone Game" reference. The same is true (and even worse) when someone deliberately misinforms.
    I think the problem stems more from people not fully understanding then training others with their misinterpretation. What kind of training do directors go through these days from corporate? Didn't they used to have to go to DIT in Dallas before submitting DIQ? How did that work? When did that stop? I am really curious. I mean, I READ everything on InTouch, but many don't and won't want to. Anyone looking at this as a business should be reading all the updates on InTouch as well as reading Mary Kay's autobiography, IMO. I think it helps one to fully understand the business aspect and how it works.

  26. OH yea! STRT--I agree with that, too. I think it's important for ALL sales force to be familiar with the literature. It is OUR responsibility to be able to correctly communicate to our team members (we're not all directors recruiting). I do think directors need to be able to effectively field questions that a consultant doesn't understand. Especially if a brand new consultant begins team building early.

  27. It is sad that we all don't know every single thing there is to know about the business. We are trained but you know, not everyone understand everything, if if they think they are explaining it properly. That is why as an individual, it is also up to us to learn all we can.

    Even when one goes to a doctor and the doctor (who you trust) recommends for example, surgery for something, aren't we also told it is wise to get a second opinion. -Wouldn't most of us research whatever the doctor told us we had before we just listened to that first opinion.

    As mature responsible adults, we owe it to ourselves to make sure we are educated. I listen to others but I also double check the information. Why, because I need to protect myself. (If I am not willing to protect myself) can I possible expect others to?

    After you become a director, there is a dit week you should attend. I have heard directors say, oh, I didn't go, blah, blah, blah, well gee, I wonder why they are doing so great running a unit and their business. If one is willing to take the responsibility of becoming a director and is willing to accept the commission check for being a director, then you should be responsible in getting the education you need to do the job.

    Being a director is alot more than putting on a suit and strutting your stuff. It is a responsibility and shouldn't be taken lightly.

  28. Great conversation, ladies. :) Again, I really appreciate your input. It's good to know there are ethical directors out there.

  29. speaking the real truthJune 6, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    As a director, I'd like to add one other comment to this great conversation. Often times, consultants do not read the packet that I send to them and do not bother to show up for training events either. It is frustrating to me that I offer all of the training in the world, and some simply will not partake. But, that is their prerogative, since they are independent.

    Here is a key point though, in my experience, it is those who never came to training, etc. that usually have negative feelings about their business. Really. Maybe it is just that those who are doing well are the ones who show up, but I think there is a correlation between not getting any training, and not doing well and becoming frustrated.

    Also, I have found that in general, people are not great listeners. For instance, clients are often shocked when I remind them that they can return an item, even though I've told them at least once before. Consultants are often the same way, I have to repeat myself on some of the key procedures/rules/guidelines of the business before many of them soak it in.

  30. speaking the real truthJune 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Idea for a post:

    I was at Target yesterday. Yes, there with t-shirt, hat, no makeup, my son in his swimshorts and rash guard shirt on.

    I looked up and saw this lady and she gave me a slight smile. I thought that I recognized her. Yes, it was her. I looked back to see her talking to another gal who was wearing a MK name badge. Oh my gosh, they aren't! Yes, they were.

    They were rolling buggies around, pretending to be shopping, and interrupting other shoppers. Just straight up, rolling up to them, and giving them a spiel! I could not believe my eyes. Part of me wishes that I had reported them to security myself. I was embarrassed for MK and for that poor consultant. I wanted to walk up and say, "Just stop it, please! You are giving us all a bad name and this is no way to teach this consultant to work her business."

    When I was leaving the parking lot, I drove down the middle land to see if I saw her Pink Caddy. No, but the consultant was getting into her car. I slowed down so that she would pull up behind me as we left the parking lot. I wanted her to see that I am driving a MK car, but that I am NOT going through the Target like a ding-a-ling.

    I empathize with that consultant, I really do. Who in their right mind thinks this really works? Why would you put someone through that type of stress and humiliation? And what do they think that those who are accosted think? It's not good ladies. How would you react?

    Please, stop the madness! Stop accosting people. If you meet someone in public and talk to them about MK, that is one thing, running people down in the aisle at Target is another. And that goes for standing at the mall doing surveys. Do you really think that people trust you or feel warm to you when approached that way? Get real! Stop encouraging consultants to order too much inventory and stop recruiting their mom and 2 sisters for them before they even hold their first party. Stop offering my consultants the opportunity to hear you speak, for a $20-100 ticket. Stop offering my consultants your CDs and other materials. Please stop telling everyone that you meet that they would be great in Mary Kay. You don't even know her, she could be a meth addicted call girl! Please, stop!


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