Saturday, March 15, 2008

Caution – the beverage you are about to enjoy is HOT

Is it just me? Do we have to be warned about everything these days?

Everyone knows about and talks about the McD’s thing, but it is everywhere.

Peanut containers have a “caution – contains nuts” warning.

Hair dryers scream, “don’t use in the shower”

My iron warns me, “don’t iron clothes on body”

The toner at the office reminds me, “warning, don’t eat toner”

(there’s more… click the link below to read more!)

The piece of cardboard my parents threw in the windshield to keep the car cool in the sun warned, “Do not drive with sunshield in place”

Are we really this ignorant? Do we need these warnings? Considering that most of these were born from either a lawsuit or fear of one, the sad answer to that question is yes. Because apparently if every company that has ever created a product for us does not warn us of every possible way that we could possibly injure ourselves using that product – some opportunistic, unscrupulous moron is going to sue them.

So – you tell me. Should a recruiter disclose every possible outcome of you joining Mary Kay BEFORE you sign up?

Look, I agree that anyone who says, “you will make millions guaranteed” OR “you can make an executive income working part-time hours” or anything similarly misleading should be shot on sight. (figuratively speaking) But even if some recruiters ARE saying these things… who’s fault is it that you just believed that at face value?

You mean to tell me (and by you, I mean any generic person out there that is whining that they would have “never joined MK if they had known ‘the truth’”) that you were so greedy and desperate for a quick buck that you just believed that you could BUY more money by placing progressively bigger orders? It doesn’t even make sense. You obviously were “had” by a professional con(wo)man. That does not mean that MK is a con. It does not mean that the majority of directors and consultants are working the ultimate con on you.

It is no surprise to anyone anymore to say that we live in a litigious society (read: we are “sue hapy”). And now with the advent of the blog-o-sphere, any ONE person that has a bad experience can band together with the other 300 or so other “mistreateds” and make a scene.

That is where this blog (hopefully) comes in. There are some people on some blogs crying, “foul” about Mary Kay. It is their stance that there is more bad than good in Mary Kay. In other words, there are so many people working a con in MK that there isn’t even a real business going on. However, with a sales force of 700,000 in the US alone (plus or minus) it does not seem likely to me that the experience of 300 or even 3,000 people can really speak to the “common experience” that can be expected in Mary Kay. ON EITHER SIDE of this discussion.

Nonetheless, it is important to air concerns and allow for complete answers/explanations to them. When someone feels the confidence to air a grievance on this site – because of the anonymity offered or because of the (relatively) non-hostile environment – everyone wins. When that grievance or complaint can be satisfactorily resolved – everyone wins.

Thanks to everyone that has continued to make this site what it is. It is greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Shay for all the great posts!

I hope you guys don’t mind me getting all “political” with the poll this month. Keep in mind that I have no way of knowing who you vote for… it is truly anonymous, so give it a go.


  1. Looks like I may have started something with my comment on directors, so I'll be the first to comment here. I will agree that we each are responsbile for our own actions, I place no blame on anyone.

    I think the complaints tend to run that Mary Kay "rewards" purchases and not sales. I realize & understand that Corporate could not know / would not be able to do otherwise, it would be impossible for them to be able to reward "sales" and not "orders" and I have no issue with their system.

    I belive an underlying issue is that (some) Directors also reward "purchases" and not sales by the IBC's and that some IBC's overload for these "rewards" - Granted this is their choice but I think this is a major complaint.

    Again, that is their personal choice and therefore each persons responsiblity and I fully agree.

    This said, I do feel that a recruiter should disclose every option of inventory BEFORE you join Mary Kay. As I have said before, I was not given any option less than $600 - at the time I signed my agreement, so I didn't have access to in-touch and didn't have a reason not to question the honesty of my recruiter.

    The idea that you can start your own business for around $ 100 is a little deceiving. I mean, I realize that you could start your business only with the starter kit, but its like buying "hot coffee" without the cup - it would help to know in the beginning so you could bring your own! --JMO

  2. When I was young (and I mean young as in grade school young) I remember my mother telling me, "you have to talk to people like they are 5 years old." This is because not everyone has what's called critical thinking skills. This is a fact. I learned that in college where my major was psychology--all about human thought.

    With that said, I think the important things to disclose when recruiting are:
    -The first decision to make is whether or not to sign up. This is a $100 decision.
    -Once a person signs up the second big decision is whether or not to have inventory. You can start with a little, a lot, or none at all.
    -If a decision is made to keep some inventory, the next decision is how much to start with.

    I make these three points to all of my prospective team members before they sign up.
    When someone signs up, I listen to what they tell me about inventory. Now, if someone tells me they want to order inventory, but also tell me they have bill collectors calling them (yup, heard it), I deter them from doing that. I tell that person to concentrate on getting orders and booking appointments. I give her some Look Books and Beauty Books in my welcome packet and tell her to hand them out and get orders. There is no sense in her trying to order inventory if she has some financial baggage to begin with. She probably signed up to alleviate some of that baggage. Why cause her more financial stress?
    On every piece of Mary Kay audio media there is a beginning disclosure:
    "As a Mary Kay Independent Sales Director or Independent Beauty Consultant, you are an independent contractor with the right to control your own business. The ideas shared with you are suggestions that have worked for others and my be useful or inspiring as that may help you build your Mary Kay business. Naturally, the results achieved might be different than those discussed..."
    That is Mary Kay, Inc.'s version of "the beverage is HOT!" ;)

  3. This is the reason for being restricted in what you can use as far as ads, paperwork, etc. The "legalese" is taken care of. What some people feel is unnecessarily limiting "independent" consultants is truly for the protection of everyone. That is why MK publishes things about inventory and such - but many people do not read them. :o(

    Two things that really bother me as far as personal responsibility is when someone orders product they aren't selling month after month - and blames someone else. Does someone REALLY have to TELL you that repeatedly ordering stuff you are not selling isn't a good idea? Seriously? There has to be an "ordering products month after month that you are not selling is not a good business practice" clause?

    Another thing that bothers me is when people talk about their dishonest (or incredibly stupid) behavior on "other sites" and no one calls them on it. "It's not their fault! The evil MKC is to blame for EVERYTHING!" I call B.S. on that. (Which, of course, is why some people get banned. LOL)

    When I DID call someone on some behavior that was either totally stupid or dishonest (I don't remember), I got a "warning" for "attacking" a PT member.

    IMHO, if no one is held accountable for their actions, they will keep on doing the same things over and over (because it isn't perceived as their "fault").

    Just my two cents.

  4. Maybe we should start stamping every human being with a message,

    ...breath in breath out, repeat and don't stop or you will suffocate....

    sometimes, it is really amazing the lack of common sense some human beings are blessed with.
    (and there is a big difference with intelligence and common sense)

    It is really sad but their are people that will never except personal responsibility for their decisions. I have watched my sixteen year old make better decisions that some adults I know.

    Once a consultant, read intouch - call the Company, the answers are always there. If someone has mislead you once, or even twice, why would one continue to rely on their information.

    What's the old saying, sh** on me once shame on you, sh** on me twice shame on me. I do not mean we shouldn't forgive people, but forgive and learn to protect yourself. Forgiving, doesn't mean to continue to be used as a doormat.

    lol, and remember, we should look both ways before we cross the street!

    My favorite line to use with the kids... God was good enough to give you a brain, show some appreciation and USE it!

    Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

    Love the post MKShay!!

    oh quickie question rural, when you found out that you could come in with under $600, did you ever question the person who told you?
    (just wondering please don't take it wrong) - would be interesting to hear the explanation.

  5. I heard somewhere on the news that a woman was sueing a casino because she is thousands of dollars in debt and she feels it is the casino's fault for continuing to let her gamble. How crazy is that?!

  6. foreverpink, as stupid as I think that is, I can believe it.

    No one is responsible for anything anymore - it is always someone else's fault!

    That is like these PTers saying that their Directors should have "stopped them from ordering, because they knew they weren't selling anything."

    Next thing you know, PTers will be suing MKC because the company didn't require proof of sales before allowing them to order more product.

  7. and if MK did require proof of sales, the complaint would be, it is suppose to be our business, they have no right to know what we are selling.

    (I couldn't even imagine the time it would take me to have to let MK know how and what I was selling, ugg.)

  8. Absolutely right, mk4me.

    For people who are negative about Mary Kay, the company does no right. If it donates products, it is evil because it does it as a tax writeoff. If they DON'T donate, they are stingy and evil anyway.

    If Directors call to check on inactive members, they are pushy and evil. If they don't, they are uncaring and evil.

    Some people are just not happy unless they villify the company.

  9. Shadesofpink - I think your way is excellent - Give them the information UP FRONT no suprises - like the "practice interviews"! You know what the steps are and work through each step.

    MK4me - Yes, I asked her about it later when I found out the 'truth' about inventory, and the answer she gave was that she needed me to be qualified in order to get her car!

    Just a clarification, when I said I place no blame on anyone, I meant other than myself. I'm not an anti-MKer, with my experience I just cannot take everything I'm told at face value. The manner in which I was recruited lead me to have some trust issues and maybe because of that, I can understand some of what former IBC's have issues with.

  10. rural, so sorry you were treated like that. What I don't get is why one operates this way. You ended up loosing respect for her when you found out the truth. She had to have known that sooner or later you would have found out the truth. Why?? o Why??

    Didn't she show you the options, and then be honest with you, that if you could do the $600 not only would it be a good place for you to start because of the free product you would earn, that if sold would recapture the cost of your starter kit, but also it would really help her out because of it giving her the car credit.

    You know, I bet you still would have done the $600 and felt good about it and then you would never feel like she had taken advantage of you.

    If she had done choose two - you may have still had a good relationship and the results would have been the same for the production.

    She hurt both of you by not given you accurate information to selfishly help herself.


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